This has been an exciting year for myself as an automotive reporter and for The Auto Reporter. Our rearview reflections and Top 10 vehicles have been hard to choose out of the many good memories and drives we’ve had.

We’ve gone to some amazing events, too, making friends everywhere we go. Many of which have made their way onto our Facebook friends list, with car conversations nearly weekly.

And that’s why we like the Seattle car scene. Everyone is friendly, everyone appreciates cars and the few car-snobs that exist are outweighed by the amount of people that just want to be near other car people.

Personally, I traveled to California for two car events – getting to drive the epic Pacific Coast Highway and test out vehicles on Laguna Seca. I’ve traveled to big-name auto events like SEMA and the LA Auto Show, and to local auto events like Ferrari Concours and casual meetups at parking lots. And all that this has shown me is that cars are awesome, and the people that love them are incredible souls.

We loved all of it. And can’t wait for more of the same next year. We’re started videos in 2016 with our first video review of the Subaru WRX STI, and you can expect more (with better quality) in the upcoming year.

There has also been a lot of test drives. Without futher ado, our top ten list of vehicles we test drove this year:

TOP TEN

10) 2017 Chevrolet Volt

We love it when eco-friendliness and fun intersect. With instant acceleration and power through the entirety of gears, this EV hybrid is seriously green and seriously quick!

9) 2016 Mazda3 S Grand Touring

Why do all low-cost sedans have to be boring? Well, they don’t! The Mazda3 brings the fun of an MX-5 roadster to a sedan! And we like that!

8) 2016 Volkswagen Dune Beetle

Our first chance to test out a VW Beetle was everything we’d hoped it would be: top-down on curvy roads with sun in our faces. Perfection with turbocharged fun.

7) 2016 Honda CR-V

This peppy little SUV was able to keep up with some very fun cars on some very curvy roads. While others enjoyed watching this SUV tackle the trip, we enjoyed driving it!

6) 2016 GMC Sierra Denali 1500

This pick-up truck is the best of luxury and workhorse, with an off-road attitude. We took this truck to the top of a Cascade Mountain and enjoyed the view from the warm, leather-filled interior!

5) 2017 Mazda CX-9

This three-row SUV has all the refinements that many higher end manufacturers have, but the love of driving that Mazda exudes!

4) 2016 Ford Mustang Turbo

While most people didn’t believe in a 4-cylinder turbocharged Mustang, we are avid enthusiasts of those engines. It was a muscle car right up our alley!

3) 2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible

What a better way to spend your birthday than driving a turbocharged convertible around major volcanos? Nothing, and we loved every second of it!

2) 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4

We got dirt in everything with this truck after we wandered across a mud pit at the end of a dirt road. It was epic fun, but we felt sorry for whoever had to clean the thing.

1) 2016 Subaru WRX STI

The ideal powerhouse for the sedan loving off-roaders. We love the accelerator action, the big wing on the back and all that comes with the WRX STI!

 

Extras:

2017 Lotus Evora 400

How can we not love the 2017 Lotus Evora 400? I’d say it’s like perfection on wheels, but then I’d be crazy for loving the next (since it wouldn’t be).

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C

I still want one. The 9 months in between driving this and today has not made me want one any less. Please donate $70,000 to $80,000 for me to purchase one, thanks!

 

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Deanna Isaacs is a syndicated automotive columnist who graduated from the University of Washington's Communication department. She enjoys sports cars, two-seaters and long drives where she can annoy the husband.

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