2014 CarNewsCafe Awards – 10 Exceptional Cars for the New Year

alfa romeo 4c

The CarNewsCafe editors have decided to bestow a select group of cars and vehicles with “CarNewsCafe Awards” highlighting the best cars of the year.  We looked at the line-ups of cars in all available segments and categories and determined what we felt was exceptional in terms of price, features, and design for this year.  While we always feel there are a lots of great vehicles out on the market at any given time, the cars and trucks chosen here stand above the competition.  That’s why they deserve an award from us.

Best Small Car – 2014 Kia Forte

2014 kia forte

While there is a lot of competition in the small car segment, and it is only getting more intense, Kia has managed to surprise the auto industry with some killer cars the past few years.  The 2014 Kia Forte is no exception and when you consider the value-for-money it’s hard to beat it, which is why it earned CarNewsCafe’s “Best Small Car” of 2014 award.  Read our 2014 Kia Forte Review to see why it’s such a great small car.  It’s small, zippy, comfortable, and snazzy enough to get compliments from your friends.  It comes in a range of body styles (coupe, sedan, hatchback) filling a wide variety of needs.  Sales of the 2014 Kia Forte have done well so far and we expect Kia to do even better in the coming year thanks to other great models in the line-up.

Notable mentions in the small Car Category go to the 2014 Chevy Sonic2014 Ford Fiesta, and the Nissan Sentra.  Read our 2014 Chevy Sonic Review, our 2014 Ford Fiesta Review and our Nissan Sentra Review.

Best Midsize Sedan – 2014 Mazda6

2014 mazda6

The 2014 Mazda6 exudes design and sexiness that you rarely see in midsize sedan.  The fact is the car looks beautiful and we believe it will likely be a future collector car.  In addition, for the value, you will not find anything better in the midsize sedan category.  Along with Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology improving the entire efficiency, engineering, and design of Mazda’s lineup, including the Mazda6, it’s hard to think of another car we would have picked for our “2014 Best Midsize Sedan.”

We liked the 2014 Mazda6 so much we even wrote two reviews about the car on CarNewsCafe.  Check out Aaron’s Turpen’s 2014 Mazda6 Review and Nicolas Zart’s excellent 2014 Mazda6 Video Review.

A notable mention for oust Best Midsize Sedan of 2014 goes to the 2014 Ford Fusion.

Best Small Crossover – 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO

nissan juke nismo

If you want a fun rally car that can be used for hauling kids gear on the weekends too, the 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO is your best option.  While not on the top of  everyone’s list for a good small crossover since the styling is quite polarizing, we think the Nissan Juke NISMO has a lot character and packs a punch, thus earning it our title of “Best Small Crossover”of 2014.  There is a lot of unexpected value and fun here.

Read our Nissan Juke NISMO Review.

Best SUV/Crossover – 2014 Subaru Forester

subaru forester

The 2014 Subaru Forester provides an all around great mix of affordability, off-road capabilities (if needed), reliability, and practicality; which is hard to beat in this segment.  In addition while other SUVs are not fun to drive, the Subaru Forester is.

Even though Aaron Turpen in his 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander vs 2014 Subaru Forester match up gave the Outlander the win, we feel that out of all the competition for 2014 Best SUV/Crossover the Subaru Forester wins overall.

Notable mentions go to the Toyota Rav4 (checkout our Toyota Rav4 Review) which just fell short of being our 2014 Best SUV/Crossover this year.  The 2014 Kia Sorento (also read our 2014 Kia Sorento Review) was another good contender for the category year.

Best Luxury SUV – 2014 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport

2014 lexus rx350 f sport

Hands down the best luxury SUV this year goes to the 2014 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport.  There’s a reason this luxury SUV has stayed on top of the competition, it’s the best in it’s class.  It’s got a sweet and smooth ride, great tech features for the price, and is sporty for an SUV.  Great for suburbanites or those living in the city that want a country “getaway vehicle” for long trips.

Read our 2014 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport Review and you will see why it was chosen as our “2014 Best Luxury SUV.”

Best Full-Sized Truck – 2014 Toyota Tundra

toyota tundra

The 2014 Best Full-Sized Truck goes to the 2014 Toyota Tundra, which might surprise some.  Building trucks is not what Toyota is known for since their bread and butter is sedans and smaller cars.  However the 2014 Toyota Tundra shows they are in the truck game.  The 2014 Toyota Tundra gives you everything you would need in a truck, great towing capacity, nice features, good fuel economy, and comfort.  Perfect for buying a lot of lumber and tools for those house projects you will never finish.  Right guys?  Let us know when your wife stops nagging you about it.

Check out Tim Esterdahl’s great 2014 Toyota Tundra Review and see why the Tundra earned our award for “2014 Best Full-Sized Truck.”

Best Mid-Sized Truck – 2014 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

nissasn frontier pro4x

The Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is not a truck that Nissan has been marketing well, which we don’t understand.  It’s great for those that want a nice off-roading machine without having to do many modifications or buy aftermarket parts they need to install themselves.  If you are looking to spend about $35,000 for an off-roader, this is an excellent choice which is why it earned our “2014 Best Mid-Sized Truck” award.  Read our Nissan Frontier Pro4x review and to get a better idea why.

Best Green Car – 2014 Nissan Leaf

nissan leaf

The Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric car of all time and earns the CarNewsCafe “2014 Best Green Car” award.  Quite simply the 2014 Nissan Leaf is the most versatile and easily price-justifiable of all the available green and electric cars out on the market.  We like how it’s a true electric car.  The Nissan Leaf is not a modified small car and wasn’t built to be California compliant car.  It’s engineering and design is around being an electric car.  If we wanted a “Green Car” we would buy the Nissan Leaf with our own money.

Best Sports Car – 2014 Jaguar F-Type

jaguar f type

The Jaguar F-Type is a sexy beast, no matter if you choose the coupe or the convertible.  On top of being a great looking car it handles like a true sports car should and the design is meant to remind us of the heyday of the Jaguar E-Type.   The Jaguar F-Type was recently named 2014 Car of the Year by Playboy and it is coming off the heels of a successful marketing campaign from the Super Bowl “British Villains.”

If you’ve bought a Jaguar F-Type, when you drive you are likely not thinking of anything else.  If you buy a sports car, that’s the way it should be.  That’s why the 2014 Jaguar F-Type gets the CarNewsCafe 2014 Best Sports Car award.

Best Chick Magnet – 2014 Fiat 500L

2014 fiat 500l

If you want to attract chicks, you better buy a Fiat 500L.  Aaron Turpen said this is likely a better chick magnet than VW Beetle Convertible Turbo.  What else do you need to know?  (I imagine many guys just stopped reading this and are already in their cars driving to a Fiat dealership.)  Read Aaron’s 2014 Fiat 500L review so you get to know the features, like the button that makes girls come over and check out the Fiat 500L.

Best Car for a Date – Alfa Romeo 4C

alfa romeo 4c

Once you get a hot date, are you going to show-up at her house with a Fiat 500L?  No, you gotta show up with something that says you are stylish, sophisticated, and cool but not snobbish.  This stunning Italian machine says all of those things.  While the Alfa Romeo 4C is not available for sale in the U.S. yet, it will be eventually as Alfa Romeo is coming back.  (We even believe Dodge will get killed to make way for Ala Romeo in the states.)  It’s sex appeal is through the roof, just look at it, which should help you accomplish your dating goals.

Adam Yamada-Hanff
Adam has always loved cars and anything with wheels. When he is not writing about interesting stories you might find him jamming on his saxophone, watching movies, creating art, or playing with his two dogs.