0-60 Magazine

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'Merica's Best-Selling Cars Of 2012, 0-60 Style

We make our choices for the best picks from a mediocre list.

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    1. Ford F-150<p><b>Units Sold: 645,316<p>Our Pick: SVT Raptor Crew Cab<p>Price As Wanted: $50,445</b><p>The F-150 may be our favorite pickup truck out there today. And while we were briefly swayed by the Lincoln-esque interior and ample power of the F-150 Platinum EcoBoost, at the end of the day, our heart will always belong to the wilderness-stomping SVT Raptor.
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    2. Chevrolet Silverado<p><b>Units Sold: 418,312<p>Our Pick: 2500HD Extended Cab LTZ 4x4 Duramax<p>Price As Wanted: $54,275<p>Two words: Turbo Diesel. The big Chevy’s Duramax diesel (not available on lesser 1500 models) cranks out 765 lb-ft of torque, yet can still take the truck up to 680 miles on a single tank of fuel. And we took the LTZ trim, because hey, if you’re gonna drive 600 miles at a time, you want a nice interior to do it in.
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    3. Toyota Camry<p><b>Units Sold: 404,886<p>Our Pick: SE V6 Leather Sport Package<p>Price As Wanted: $31,215 </b><p>When in doubt about how to improve a car, just start throwing options on. It’s not a foolproof plan, but odds are good they might just improve a dull car enough to make it halfway decent. The SE is the “sportiest” Camry trim (though Toyota’s kind of torturing the word), the 268 horsepower V6 as peppy as the car gets, and the Leather Sport Package adds touchless entry, 10 speaker satellite radio with touchscreen and USB jack, Bluetooth, Ultrasuede seats (ooooh!) and a moonroof. It almost sounds like a car you wouldn’t mind driving, doesn’t it?
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    4. Honda Accord<p><b>Units Sold: 331,872<p>Our Pick: EX-L V6 Coupe <p>Price As Wanted: $33,608</b><p>The latest Honda Accord is supposed to restore some of the magic to the nameplate. We haven’t driven it yet, so we can’t say—but we do know it’s pretty much the only V6-powered FWD car you can get with a stick shift, so we’re definitely getting that. Add on some Honda-designed ground effects, and you’ve got a peppy, good-looking mini-GT that’s reliable as the rising sun—for a bargain price.
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    5. Honda Civic<p><b>Units Sold: 317,909<p>Our Pick: Si Sedan with Summer Tires<p>Price As Wanted: $23,927</b><p>If you’re searching for something new that’s fun to drive for less than $25,000, the Civic Si is your best bet anyway. The fact that it happens to be on this list is just incidental. We’d pick the sedan over the coupe (the back seats are pretty much impossible to get at in the two-door), and we’d take the summer tires and satellite radio. Then we’d drive off into the sunset.
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    6. Nissan Altima<p><b>Units Sold: 302,934<p>Our Pick: 3.5 SL Sedan<p>Price As Wanted: 31,350</b><p>The new Altima’s sedan body is actually a fine-looking piece of family sedan, and when you add on the 3.5 liter V6, you get a car with some serious hustle. Throw on the SL trim level for an Infiniti-worthy interior, and voila—the best of a bunch.
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    7. Ram Trucks<p><b>Units Sold: 293,363<p>Our Pick: 1500 Laramie Longhorn Quad Cab 4x4<p>Price As Wanted: $48,045</b><p>Chrysler has dropped the “Dodge” from all of its Ram pickups, but whatever you call it (we still usually use the old name), it’s a solid truck. We were briefly tempted by the new 305 horsepower V6/eight-speed auto combination that’s new for 2013, but in the end, we knew nothing less than the 395 hp Hemi V8 would do. And the Laramie Longhorn edition is upholstered like Rick Perry’s living room, so we had to pick that, too.
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    8. Toyota Corolla/Matrix<p><b>Units Sold: 290,947<p>Our Pick: None<p>Price As Wanted: You couldn’t pay us enough</b><p>The Toyota Corolla is the worst car in America.
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    9. Honda CR-V<p><b>Units Sold: 281,652<p>Our Pick: EX AWD<p>Price As Wanted: $26,975</b><p>You could ball out and buy a CR-V with leather seats, rear-seat entertainment, sat-nav, all the toys and the like, but do you really want to be driving a leather-lined SUV with a DVD player in back? You might as well just give up on your dreams and join the PTA. Stick to the spirit of the quirky original CR-V and go cloth seats, Bluetooth, moonroof and fog lights.
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    10. Ford Escape<p><b>Units Sold: 261,008<p>Our Pick: Titanium 4WD<p>Price As Wanted: $32,515</b><p>This one was a little tricky. While the 1.6 liter EcoBoost four is arguably a better engine for most people, this is <i>0-60</i>, and we like power, so we’re gonna have to go for the 2.0 liter turbo four with its 240 horses and 270 lb.-ft. And while we aren’t the biggest fans of Ford’s MyFord Touch system, the benefits of the higher trim levels—sport seats, 10 speaker stereo, 19” alloys and HID headlights—make it worth adapting to. Our Escape is pricey, but it’ll sure be fun.

Regrettably, the average American consumer’s choices rarely parallel our own when it comes to cars. We like to pick AMGs, Audis, FR-Ss and Vipers (with the occasional diesel sedan thrown in); they choose beige family sedans, cheap compacts and big pickup trucks they may or may not really need.

But even amongst the appliance-like cars chosen in the largest numbers by the citizens of our fair land, there are still some enjoyable choices to be found. So we’ve gone through 2012’s ten best-selling models and chosen the best way to have each one. Just because you’re stuck driving the same car as everyone else doesn’t mean you can’t make it somewhat enjoyable.

*Note: In certain cases, we’ve had to make our choices based on new or heavily revised 2013 model year cars, which would not have made up all the sales the year before. Don’t let it bother you too much.

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