There are rosy years for the automotive practice, and then there are the rosiest. This past year was the latter.
Consider us spoiled: We drove over 150 new and classic cars this year, with few regrets. As we enter 2015, which promises even more automotive greatness, here's a look back at the cars that made 2014 memorable:
7. BMW M235i: All the greatness of previous generations of BMW's M3 coupe and sedan, distilled into a tinier package.
6. Hyundai Genesis: Still unconvinced that the Genesis is the best-built executive luxury sedan in the business? Try either the proven V-6 or the strong V-8 and then luxuriate in the German-grade interior finishes.
5. Mazda6: What do you call the baseball player who rounds the bases every single time? Add a spectacularly useful 6-speed manual transmission, and the Mazda6 is the only sedan you'll ever need.
4. Cadillac ATS Coupe: Beauty meets performance. The ATS Coupe has an elongated torso and windswept features that add more than a dash of sexiness to the fun ATS Sedan's capabilities.
3. Ford Fiesta ST: A perennial favorite, the Fiesta ST's value-added factor is that you can wring it out all day, on the street or the track, and it never tires. Try apexing the Brooklyn Bridge off-ramp in your SUV, or redlining your midsize sedan's engine on the commute to work.
2. Ford Mustang: We expected the all-new Mustang to be good, but didn't anticipate a full leap forward in capability and refinement. Finally, a pony car that doesn't shudder when things heat up on the track—or the freeway.
1. Jaguar F-type Coupe: It's impossible to fully appreciate the sultry, deep lines of the two-door coupe from a photograph alone. But once around the block is all tht you need to be convinced that the taut Jag has the most perfect sound, and fits just right, to be the ultimate object of desire.