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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The 2008 Automotive Overrated List

Chismillionaire will disagree with a couple of selections here and I would not be wrong.

First off, the Nissan GT-R may in fact be underrated even with all the hype, it is that good. It may not stir the passion and have the soul of the European or British marques, but that is its Japanese-ness shining through. The fact the mechanic is complaining about creature comforts items in a 75k legitimate supercar is proof of a weak argument. The GT-R did to the Supercar, what the NSX did to the exotic car just about 20 years ago.

Next, the Lincoln MKS is a great package and badly needed update of a 300C type American big Sedan. Reserve Judgement for when the EcoBoost with 350hp and All Wheel Drive is on the street as originally intended. A Very spacious compelling package at $38,000 sticker with incentives gallore likely.

Finally, the Jaguar XF. A great car, possibly the best Jaguar has ever produced. They have taken a true chance with the entire change in how an interior should be thought out and function. To boot, it works well with the phosphor blue lighting and drive selector. It may be one of the best luxury performance bargains out there. The fact you can get a 420hp supercharged engine for about 60k and the same package in any other Jag is about 100 in XKR or XJR guise is proof enough. While I agree the final styling is too bland and too far a departure from the original killer looking concept, this is one great sedan at any price.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the importance of being optimistic in these troubled times. And I stand behind the sentiment contained within those wonderfully crafted 690 words. But don't misunderstand, optimism should be also be selectively doled out.

Sure the future looks bright, but not everything is great. In fact, during the inescapable 24 hour news cycle, many things get overrated. Too many things. And since I like the sound of my own thoughts I thought I'd make a list of those things.

I expect many of you to disagree with me on many of these, but remember, if you do, you're wrong.

The Dodge Challenger SRT-8
Not only is it too damn big, but a Shelby Mustang GT500 sucks its doors off.

Chip Foose
Enough with the two-tone and the billit. Talk about a one note somba. Time to overhaul your esthetic.

2009 Nissan GT-R
Too noisy. Too rough. Too fragile. Better not use the launch control.

Piloti Driving Shoes
Piloti must be Italian for Geek in the overpriced clown-booties.

The Toyota Prius
If any conventional car was that ugly, that uncomfortable and that rotten to drive it would have been a laughing stock.

The Tesla
Part car, part bullshit. Buying one seems to require a secret handshake, a briefcase full of cash and a pinky swear to never drive the car in public. I've seen one on the road and I live in the hybrid loving more money than brains club headquarters that is west Los Angeles. If they're selling these things like they say they are, where are they selling them, Ohio?

Small SUVs
Acura RDX, Infiniti EX35, VW Tiguan, etc. Who the hell buys a Sport Utility with absolutely no utility? There's more room in my sinus cavity than the new crop of cute utes.

2009 Lincoln MKS
Worst engine in its class. Would have been competitive during Clinton's second term.

Speed Channel
Too much NASCAR. Too much Pinks. Too much Wrecked. No enough cool stuff.

2010 Ford Mustang
Second verse same as the first. Suddenly it's 2005.

Bong, play Britney. Bong, play Britney. Bong, play Britney.

Saturn Aura
So much better than the embarrassing Ion it replaced this average sedan was destined for overrated status.

Top Gear
Oops. My mistake. This should not be on the list. Top Gear really is that good.

Lexus IS-F
Fake tailpipes and suspension tuning endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association.

Honda Civic Si
Sinfully ugly. No torque. Battlestar Gallactica called and wants its dashboard back.

2009 Jaguar XF
Looks like a tarted up Lexus GS. It may be a needed new styling statement for the luxury car division of Tata Motors, but after the sexpot XK (also designed by Ian Callum) it's nothing short of a let down.

2009 Chevy Corvette
Fast? Yup. Affordable? Kinda. Plasticy? Oh yeah. Looks like it got rear ended by a semi? Twice.

I'm not really as great as I say I am. Plus, my cottage cheese thighs could use a little sun.

Bob Lutz
He once told me the Saturn Ion was good. It wasn't.

Miles Per Gallon
In case you haven't noticed (and nobody has) gas is really cheap again.

-- The Mechanic, Inside Line Contributor