It’s that time of year when all the car blogs and magazines (as if people even read those anymore, paper is so last century) publish their picks for best of the year. Here at Infinite Garage we’re no different in our desire to whittle down the best of 2012 to a handful of gems, but I can assure you that there are no 3 Series BMWs, hybrid-electric SUVs, or soccer-mom performance Crossovers on any of our lists. Instead, we will be highlighting cars that you would actually want to buy, or wish you could afford.
Because sometimes you have to haul the groceries, hit the jump to find out which four door we picked as our choice for Best Sedan of 2012.
Contrary to the popular opinion of most auto publications, just about every modern sedan does a pretty good job of getting down to business and being a decent car to drive day in and day out. Not counting the dirt bike, the newest vehicle in my personal fleet is 43 years so just about everything built since 1990 is orders of magnitude quieter, crisper and more convenient than what I’m used. As a result, I’m going to list the runner’s up in no particular order because let’s face it they really are good cars and someone in the market for a new sedan probably wouldn’t be disappointed with any of them.
Runner Up: 2012 KIA Optima
With more features and a for a few grand cheaper than it’s competitors (when fully optioned) the current generation Optima is a great choice for someone that needs four doors on what is dangerously close to a beer budget. Our own Jason actually drove one of these and he had a lot of good things to say about it. I think it looks a lot better than its direct competitors and it really is a game changing car for Kia in a very competitive segment.
Runner Up: 2013 Cadillac ATS
The ATS is Cadillac’s entry in the uber-competitive 30k “Douche Sedan” market, currently inhabited by such luminaries as the 3 Series BMW and Audi A4. Perhaps I’m being harsh, the cars in this segment didn’t ask to be bought by a frat guy with a communications degree and a bottle of Rohipnol, they just have the perfect ratio of price to prestige that attracts those types. The other thing these cars bring to the table is performance and with the ATS Cadillac has something on equal footing with the 3 Series for a lot less money (when fully optioned). Did I mention it also looks good?
Runner Up: 2012 Lamborghini Aventador
by Eddy Clio
It would be hard to argue that any car here is better than the Aventador. Unfortunately the lack of a second pair of doors was enough of a handicap that it just couldn’t quite bring home the gold.
The Infinite Garage Best Sedan of 2012: Because Sometimes You Need to Haul The Groceries
Winner: 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
Yes yes the BMW 3 Series goes around a track faster, the Audi A4 has blah blah interior finish, and the ATS looks better (ok that is actually pretty true) but just hang on a minute and I’ll run you through the advantages of the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle.
All kidding aside (and yes I know the Bluesmobile is a Dodge Monaco so don’t bother writing a snarky email) the Caprice really does have cop brakes, cop shocks, cop motor and more liberal tuning of the ABS and stability control which that allows for more aggressive driving.
It has 6.0L 360hp V8 and costs two grand less than a base model Cadillac ATS, not to mention there is a lot more room in the back seat.
The stock 170 amp alternator has more then enough power for spotlights AND a huge stereo system which should be popular with the kids and fans of deer spotting.
Underneath it’s plain Jane exterior is a lengthened version of GM’s Zeta platform, the same basic platform as the current Camaro and the artist formerly known as the Pontiac G8 (may it rest in peace).
Did you happen see those wheels, they’re 18” steelies with dog dish hub caps so yes you will be able to recreate all your favorite 70s police chase complete with flying hub caps.
Finally, judging from what people are doing with the G8, a cam and some bolt ons should pretty easily coax over 400 horsepower out of the Caprice’s L76 V8. That makes for a pretty decent daily driver if you ask me.
What is downside to all of this ‘Merican awesomeness? Well, as of now the Caprice is only available for fleet purchase so it is going to be pretty hard to get one as an individual. If you wait until 2014 Chevrolet is releasing the SS (basically a modernized Pontiac G8) which will probably be expensive, as in 50k plus.
Of course, when 2014 rolls around, there will probably be a number of freshly broken in Police auction 2012 Caprice PPVs so maybe there isn’t a downside after all, because a car that’s nice at 30k is probably at least twice as nice at 10 or 15k.