2013 Bold Ride of the Year: The Final 4

We’ve narrowed down our list from seven to four in our pursuit of ‘Bold Ride of the Year.’ And while most of our nominees were good, these four were pretty great. Chevrolet finds itself twice on our list, while Subaru and Lexus take up spots the next two spots.

Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below:

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Camaro Z:29

7.0-liter V8 / 500HP / $N/A

Of course, Chevrolet has been on the up and up in 2013 with its all-new, all-sexy Corvette Stingray. But we’ll get to that later. For now, we’re taking a look at another Chevy on our short list of nominees for Bold Ride of the Year; the Z/28.

For muscle car faithful, it’s one thing to bring back the historic Z/28 nameplate, but for non-muscle car enthusiasts, it’s another thing to prove that this new Camaro is more than just a 1/4 mile car. Taking the Nurburgring head on, the Z/28 threw down a 7:37.47. That’s faster than cars like the Lexus LFA and Porsche 911.

How do you like them apples?

Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ

2.0-liter Boxer / 200HP / $25,500

There’s a debate amongst enthusiasts — FR-S or BRZ. By the numbers, it’s pretty clear that the FR-S sells better, appeals to both male and female buyers, and captures more of the Gen Y buyers. This is due to some quality marketing courtesy of Toyota. But it’s not better, and I’ll tell you why.

The basis of Scion’s existence lies in the 24 and under consumer base. For Subaru as a whole, it’s not much of the same story. The Forester, XV, and Legacy (just to name a few) all appeal to a more mature set of buyers. And cars like the WRX and STI are performance-oriented, but draw more of the ‘sensible enthusiast’ type.

The BRZ is more refined, slightly better looking, and brings more to the table in terms of performance heritage than lowly Scion. If the FR-S came with a Toyota badge though, it’d be a much different story.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Corvette Stingray

6.2-liter V8 / 455HP /  $51,995

If you didn’t expect the new Corvette Stingray to be on our short list, we’re not sure what planet you live on. It’s gorgeous, it’s capable, and it’s not just a mid-life crisis car anymore (although those chrome wheels might tell a different story).

In nearly every single test, the Stingray has proven to be a Corvette for the ages. We just can’t wait for the new ZR1…

Lexus IS

Lexus IS 350

3.5-liter V6 / 306HP / $39,465

Corvette, Camaro, BRZ — those are all pretty easy choices, being some of the most highly-touted cars of 2013. But we went for a little bit of a different route for our fourth and final nominee; the Lexus IS.

If we told you ten years ago that the Lexus IS would be in the same category as the Corvette in terms of “boldness,” you’d likely laugh in our face. “Bold” and “Lexus” were two words that didn’t come together but only a few years ago with the LFA.

But the new IS is actually fun to drive, designed with a bit of passion rather than in a wind tunnel, and still brings to the table anything you would expect in a luxury sedan. It checks nearly every single one of our boxes for mid-range luxury.