The Car List, Part 1: What Car Should I Buy?


Welcome to the first installment of what is going to be a new, ongoing series of articles about The Car List, which is a list that I came up with to help friends, family members, and co-workers who asked me a question. The same question. Over and over and over again. That question being, of course: What car should I buy?

The way it works is pretty simple. You think about what kind of car you’re looking for, then refer to the list in descending order.

For example: imagine that you find yourself saying, “I want to buy a Mini Cooper S. What car should I buy?” You should buy a Mini Cooper S. Yes, it’s number 24 on the list, but no one ranked between 1 and 23 makes a Mini Cooper, do they? Life is short. Be happy. The Mini Cooper S is the car you should buy.

Next, imagine yourself saying, “I want a safe, reliable SUV with a prestige nameplate, and I have to have a V8 engine. What car should I buy?” You should look to the list. When you do, you’ll see Honda and Acura “tied” at number 1. Unfortunately, neither Honda or Acura offers a vehicle that meets your criteria, so you keep going down the list. Volvo is at number 2. Volvo makes a safe, reliable SUV with with a prestige nameplate, but there’s no V8 option. Lexus is number 3, and that’s where you’ll find the 2018 Lexus GX. It’s a safe, reliable SUV with a prestige nameplate and a V8 engine. The Lexus GX is the car you should buy.

Get it?

Now, granted, this is an opinion piece. That’s true. This is a well-thought-out opinion piece, though, and The Car List has spent several weeks “in beta” with the help of people like Charis Michelsen and Chris DeMorro. Smarter people than me, in other words.

So, with all those disclaimers and explainers in place, here it is.


The Car List

  1. Honda | Acura
  2. Volvo
  3. Lexus
  4. Mazda
  5. Toyota | Lotus
  6. Nissan | Infiniti
  7. Subaru
  8. Ford | Lincoln
  9. Audi | Lamborghini
  10. Buick | GMC
  11. Mercedes | Smart
  12. Volkswagen | Porsche | Bentley
  13. Hyundai | Kia
  14. Chevrolet | Cadillac
  15. BMW | Rolls Royce
  16. Tesla
  17. Mitsubishi
  18. McLaren
  19. Ferrari | Maserati
  20. Chrysler | Dodge | Jeep
  21. Alfa Romeo
  22. Jaguar | Land Rover
  23. Aston Martin
  24. Mini
  25. Fiat


We’ll be using The Car List in the coming months to help answer the “What car should I buy?” question as much as possible, and we welcome your questions, comments, and even challenges to the list as time goes on. You might also have noticed, at the very beginning of this article, the words, “THE CAR LIST WAS LAST UPDATED”, followed by a date. That’s because The Car List is intended to be a living document, with changes being made as car lines improve or decline, brands are bought and sold, or even disappear entirely.

In the meantime, see if you can spot your favorite car brand(s) in The Car List ranking, above, and let us know what you think of their ranking in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Original content from Gas 2.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.