Gaywheels Picks the Best of 2008

Each year, the editors of drive hundreds of new cars to find the best new vehicles for you, your partner, your family, and sometimes for ourselves too.
We published our inaugural Favorite Vehicles list in 2007 and are continuing the tradition for 2008. The field of best-ofs includes some 2008, 2009 and even a 2010 model. The list includes vehicles perfect for us, for families, for dates and clubbing, and cars and trucks notable for their new looks, new hardware and new attitude.
The winners for’s Best of 2008, in order of seniority, are:
Joe LaMuraglia-Founder,

Best New Car: 2009 Mazda6

2009  Mazda6

The newly designed Mazda6 is a bigger, badder and more beautiful entry in the midsize segment from Mazda. With a choice of two engines and the availability of a manual transmission, this car is the epitome of “Zoom-Zoom” for the driver that needs to carry clients or kids as well. I say the Mazda6 is the new 10 for sedans.
Best Makeover: Mercedes-Benz BlueTec Equipped Vehicles

2009  Mercedes-Benz BlueTec

It is more of a transplant than a makeover but the idea is the same. Mercedes-Benz launched their amazing Clean Diesel technology a.k.a. Bluetec in their SUVs and gave Americans a reason to fall in love with them all over again. They are clean, quiet, efficient and they get my vote for best makeover for 2008.
Best Date Car: BMW 1-Series

2009  BMW 128 Convertible

This the second time I’ve picked a convertible as the best date car. A drop top says you are fun-loving with few responsibilities (a.k.a. single) and the new 1-Series from BMW says all that and more. It is a no-nonsense convertible that gets back to the basics of looking good and driving fun. Enjoy it while you can because once you find your mate, the car in the next category will be more your speed.
Best Family Car: Ford Flex

2009  Ford Flex

Just because you have responsibilities doesn’t mean your car has to be boring. The Ford Flex seats up to 7 and looks like nothing else on the road. Stylish inside and out, you may consider it even if you don’t have kids to haul around. Cool features include Sirius Travel Link, Ford’s Sync and an available refrigerator! We called it “Flexalicious”.
Best Club Car: Maserati GranTurismo

2009  Maserati GranTurismo

You’ve seen it in the movies; two hotties roll up to a club in a sexy car, a valet appears out of nowhere to take their keys and they alight from the car right as the velvet rope is unhooked allowing them direct entry into the club while hundreds of less fortunate wait in the cold. The Maserati might not make you as pretty as the actors in the movie, this gorgeous coupe might just get you to the front of the line at the club. That’s worth $114K+ isn’t it?
Best Car For Me: Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen

2009  VW Jetta Sportwagen

History repeats itself, in bodystyle choices at least. Two years and two wagons as choices of my Best Car for Me. The new VW Jetta Sportwagen is good looking, roomy and with the TDI clean diesel engine, one of the most efficient vehicles on the road today. We called it the “Vehicular Version of Comfortable Shoes”.
Joe Tralongo-Montana Editor
Best New Car: Nissan GT-R
40 years of automotive foreplay came to an end this year when Nissan finally brought its screaming Skyline GT-R stateside. Known here as just the GT-R, this car has been taunting enthusiasts from afar since 1969. The 480 horsepower twin-turbo coupe costs a pretty penny, and a limited production run is bound to push the price even higher, but it’s worth it to own a little piece of automotive history. Good job, Nissan.
Best Makeover: 2010 Mazda MAZDA3

2010 Mazda3

Due out this summer, the all-new Mazda MAZDA3 is going to shatter all preconceived notions of what an economy car should be. With styling that is more exotic and economical, and such cool features as keyless entry and start, the MAZDA3 is the stylish solution to a new fiscal reality.
Best Date Car: Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series
If he doesn’t swoon when you pull up to his condo complex, just show him the $301,000 price tag. With only 350 cars being produced world wide this car is sure to grab attention, and its fuel thirsty V12 engine makes the old “Uh-oh, we’re out of gas” line utterly believable.

Best Family Car: Chevrolet Traverse

2009 Chevy Traverse

If you’ve got kids and cargo, you need a three-row SUV. The Chevrolet Traverse provides all the room of a full-size SUV in a midsize package that is stylish, safe and economical. Loaded with standard goodies, the V6-powered Traverse can shuttle up to eight passengers and still pull down 24 mpg on the highway.
Best Club Car: Cadillac CTS-V
Cadillac’s V-Series treatment is to the stunning CTS what Human Growth Hormone is to Major League Baseball. With 556-horsepower and standard all-wheel drive, you might want to bypass the club and head straight for Mulholland Drive.
Best Car for Me: Subaru WRX
OK, last year my perfect car as the VW GTI, and in truth it’s still my favorite. But after experiencing my fourth Montana winter, I’ve come to appreciate the wisdom of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With the WRX, I get all the fun of the GTI but in a package I can live with year round.

Josee Valcourt-NY Editor
Best New Car: Volkswagen CC

2009 VW CC

It’s the exterior coupe action combined with a competitive price point that does it for me. This Mercedes Benz CLS look-alike starts nearly at $27,000. The VW midsize newbie looks great in city drives, and I’d assume, it’s just as striking along a winding mountainside road. Its handling is responsive and ride comfortable.
Best Makeover: Infiniti G37
The defunct Infiniti G35 coupe was one good looking car. The G37, its replacement, looks even better. It’s exterior appearance speaks to the Infiniti brand’s design strength. The engine is quiet and fast, propelling the car like a slinky panther.
Best Date Car: Lexus GS350
This a sweet looking car, and in my view, especially in the iridescent pearly white hue. It looks good from dawn till dusk, meaning you’ll be sure to impress your date at any hour. The sporty vehicle has all the necessities one would expect in a luxury brand including a booming sound system that can drown out the awkward first-date silence or weird conversation if needed. It’s also available in all-wheel drive for added traction.

Best Family Car: Volvo XC70

First things first, the Volvo XC70 is a station wagon. Now that we’ve gotta that out of the way, here’s the skinny: the vehicle is also a pretty cool ride for carting the fam in luxury. The XC70 offers a smooth ride and grips curves – a must-have when it comes to hauling your precious bunch from point A to point B. The vehicle is spacious, providing comfortable seating and a roomy cargo. There’s also the whole added safety thing that’s synonymous with a Volvo.
Best Club Car: Nissan 370Z
The new 370Z from Nissan is an attention grabber, for sure. Heads will turn when you pull up in front of your destined swanky club spot of choice. It’s the slick design that gives it a “Bond, James Bond” flair or “Sex and the City” edge. Whether you’re stepping out in a hot LBD (little black dress) or rocking your GQ look, you’ll look good emerging from the 370Z.
Best Car for Me: BMW 335i Convertible
This Beamer hard top is a beast, pumping out 300 horsepower from its twin turbo-charged six-cylinder engine. You may find yourself fighting the urge to scream “woo hoo!” while in motion. The vehicle reacts nicely on roads, hugging curves all the while looking fabulous with its top down.