PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- In a world full of cheap accolades, myriad award shows and ubiquitous listicles, the superlative "best" has lost all meaning.
In the automotive world, it's almost completely subjective in areas where the metrics don't back it up. You can measure "best mileage" by how many miles the Environmental Protection Agency says your vehicle travels per gallon, but there are still plenty of variables both on U.S. roads and under the hood that can pitch that number in either direction. Best-selling vehicle? Are we including all vehicles in Ford's (F) F-Series of pickups, lumping the Chevrolet Silverado and its General Motors (GM)-built GMC Sierra doppelganger under the same umbrella and using all iterations of Toyota's (TM) Prius, or do we need to get even more specific?
Even Motor Trend has the good grace to call its top vehicle the "Car Of The Year." Is it necessarily the best? Meh. Do certain aspects of it stand out from the field and make it worthy of greater consideration? Absolutely.
That's usually how folks who don't work for automakers have to talk about cars. It's not the "best," it's the "most reliable," or "most affordable," or "most efficient." When second place is a mile per gallon or $500 away, "best" can be an overreach -- at best.And then there's the recent list of The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy from the folks at car ratings and sale site Edmunds. While the "best" part is, admittedly, the opinion of their editorial staff, the "You Can Buy" part is a bit of a stretch for a list that includes the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Range Rover, Bentley Continental GTC and, our favorite, the Ferrari FF as "Best Hatchback." Still, if you're looking to the get the conversation flowing and bring the fanboys out of the woodwork, only "best" will do as your superlative of choice. We've taken 10 of the cars Edmunds considers the "best" in their category and included them here for your approval or derision. Car buyers, start your engines:
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