Those cars include a number of the best German luxury vehicles on the highway, cars that we certainly wouldn't kick out of the garage. Cars like the sporty-but-useful BMW M5, the powerhouse Audi RS5, and the refined and stylish--but not sporty--Mercedes-Benz GL Class and SL Class.
Along with the Germans, a solid handful of American cars also just missed the cut, including the muscle-tastic and surprisingly nimble Camaro ZL1, the tech-luxurious Cadillac XTS, and the 200-mph Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang.
The others that didn't clear to our short list include the fun and amazingly affordable Fiat 500 Abarth, the much-improved Lexus GS 350 F Sport, and the quirky Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
For those keeping score, that leaves us with just a sextet of final contenders for our third annual Best Car To Buy award:
We'll have more details on each of the remaining cars over the coming weeks, including why we love them (or why we don't), what their strengths and weaknesses are, and why they made the short list when some other very good cars didn't.
Keep in mind that our Best Car To Buy award isn't just about the fastest, most luxurious, or best-styled car out there, but the one we'd most like to bring home, and the one we'd most recommend for you, the enthusiast, taking into consideration all of these factors along with the more ethereal element of sheer driving fun. We'll announce the winner December 10, 2012.