After evaluating 200 different vehicles for its "AAA New Car & Truck Buying Guide," the nation's largest organization for motorists recently selected its 12 top cars for 2000.
AAA's automotive experts rated 11 vehicles as best in their price category and, for the first time, named a "Cool Car" because of its unique characteristics. AAA's Top Cars, by price category, are:
Ford Focus (under $15,000)
Mitsubishi Galant ($15,000-$20,000)
Buick LeSabre ($20,000-$25,000)
Acura 3.2TL ($25,000-$30,000)
Lincoln LS ($30,000-$35,000)
Cadillac DeVille ($35,000-$40,000)
Lexus GS 400 ($40,000-$50,000)
Mercedes-Benz S500 ($50,000 and above)
Dodge Grand Caravan (minivan)
Nissan Xterra (SUV under $25,000)
Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon (sport-utility vehicle $25,000 and above)
AAA chose the Audi TT Quattro as the new millennium's "Cool Car" because its experts deemed it fun to drive and eye-catching.
AAA's annual New Car & Truck Buying Guide tries to take some of the guesswork out of buying a new vehicle. It evaluates all the model-year 2000 cars, trucks, minivans, SUVs and trucks are based on the following criteria:
ride and handling
acceleration and braking
comfort and convenience
AAA Editor Dave Van Sickle and his team of automotive experts test-drove each vehicle listed in the book to see how it handled in real-world situations, on streets and highways, with passengers and cargo.
Their evaluations are included in a four-color guide with easy-to-read rating boxes, safety checklists, car buying tips, accurate and reliable pricing information, and vehicle pros and cons.
"Determining which vehicles deserve the AAA Top Car Award is as difficult as the choices many consumers make when shopping for a new car," said Van Sickle. "In the end, our selections hinge on which vehicles offer the best combination of performance, design, quality, and value."
Priced at $14.95, the "AAA New Car & Truck Buying Guide" is available at most AAA offices, major bookstores and on the Internet at amazon.com.
AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 89 clubs with 1,100 offices providing more than 42 million members in the United States and Canada with services such as travel, insurance, financial and automotive.
- Xpress Press