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Humans, for better but often for worse, are creatures of habit. We sail right past the new and bold and reach for the boring and comfortable. Well, Dish is here to shake you out of your rut with a list of cars to test-drive next time you are in the market for some new wheels.

Mazda6
Mazda6

While all mid-sized sedans are losing market share to crossovers, the Mazda6 sedan has always been criminally ignored beside the Accords and Camries which dominate the market. Italianesque good looks, a near-luxury interior, and perfect proportions combine with thrifty fuel efficiency, excellent handling and good reliability to make irresistible offer - one that too many sedan buyers don’t know about. Pick up your own starting at $21,945.

BMW 3-Series Wagon
BMW 3-Series Wagon

At first blush, the case for a wagon over a crossover appears strong: all the space and utility, but with better efficiency and handling. Despite being dynamically superior to BMW’s SUV offerings, the 3-Series wagon still suffers from the same stigma affecting wagons across the US; a hangover from a time when traumatized baby-boomers were schlepped from place to place in wood-paneled wagons. It’s a crying shame, because the long-roofed 3-series is a handsome, powerful all-wheel-drive machine brimming with a luxurious (and capacious) cargo hold. Get one very well equipped starting at $42,950.

Cadillac ATS
Cadillac ATS

Cadillac has long been synonymous with luxuriant land barges, but over the past 10 years they’ve quietly (too quietly) created true sports cars with performance chops to equal or better German rivals. But conventional wisdom dies hard, and the ATS and more extreme ATS-V are two of the most prominent casualties. While lacking somewhat in refinement versus competitors, their raw performance shames all comers, but that the $34,595 Cadillac ATS doesn’t find more buyers is the real shame.

Toyota 86
Toyota 86

What’s in a name? Would a niche sports coupe by any other name sell as poorly? The bard’s eternal question has been answered by the Toyota 86, which is also on our roads as the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ. By all names, the 86 has been a critical darling but hardly a money maker. The car conjures the essence of performance cars long past that were more about the driving experience than raw numbers - and too many buyers today look at a $26,255 sports coupe with only 205 horsepower - about 100 less than such affordable performance icons as the Mustang and Camaro, and take a hard pass. These buyers miss out on an car more about feedback and fun than absolute power. Aside from Mazda’s MX-5 roadster, the 86 and its Subaru twin are the last of a dying breed.

Chevy SS
Chevy SS

Though the Chevy SS follows the great American tradition of V8 powered, rear wheel drive sedans, the SS was actually born in Australia as a Holden Commodore. The engine is good for a healthy 415 horsepower and is married to a capable, taut chassis that could hail from Bavaria as much as Sydney. So why no takers? Part of the problem is the styling, which obscures the SS’s exotic roots behind a handsome but largely forgettable corporate Chevy fascia. Only those who want to hide their $46,625 muscle car until the right stoplight comes along would want the the SS instead of brash and bold competitors such as the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, despite the SS’s better handling and more sophisticated ride.


www.Dishmag.com / Issue 195 - September 2017
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