Brian Cooley's favorite cars of 2008
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Brian Cooley's favorite cars of 2008

Culture
{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\cocoartf949\cocoasubrtf350 {\fonttbl\f0\fmodern\fcharset0 CourierNewPSMT;\f1\fswiss\fcharset0 Helvetica;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;} \margl1440\margr1440\vieww9000\viewh8400\viewkind0 \deftab720 \pard\pardeftab720\ri0\sl276\slmult1\sa200 \f0\fs22 \cf0 Car Tech. It\'92s the best beat at CNET TV, but it carries a burden: People always asking me, \'93What\'92s your favorite car?\'94 And I never have an answer ready! Until now! Let\'92s wrap 2008 with a special Top 5: Cooley\'92s Favorite Cars. Here now are the five cars that stuck in my mind LONG after they went home.\ Starting us off the line, at #5: The Nissan GT-R. I would never own this harsh-riding beast unless I had a chiropractor in the family. So why is it on my list? Sheer audacity. No car this year made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up like this one. And I love that configurable instrument panel, designed by the same team that did Gran Turismo.\ #4: Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. This was the first 911 to hit the CNET garage and it actually delivered on the overhyped legend. Best clutch and gearbox I\'92ve ever driven. And in a world choked with big-dollar luxo-performance cars of all kinds, the 911 manages to remain unique without gimmicks.\ #3: Hang on to your hat, cowboys: it\'92s the Dodge Ram Laramie Crew. Forget the bed out back, the cabin technology and comfort were fantastic. Handsome new lines, those clever storage boxes, and oh yeah, it goes like hell with that big Hemi. Opened my eyes!\ #2: The 2009 Honda Fit Sport. Honda quality, great efficiency, amazingly useful, fun to drive, and cheap. It\'92s the right car at the right moment.\ Before we get to #1: The cars rated Worst in Tech by the CNET team in 2008:\ 5. \'9208 Pontiac G8\ 4. \'9209 Range Rover Sport HSE\ 3. \'9209 Honda Civic LX-S\ 2. Also Honda\'92s \'9209 Pilot. Ouch.\ And the crappiest tech car we tested in all of 2008: \ The \'9209 Subaru Forester 2.5\ Now my #1 favorite car of the year: The Maserati Gran Turismo. Some of you were aghast when I called it the best value in a car today. But add it up: Ferrari derived V8, the best automatic I\'92ve driven, a bespoke Poltrona Frau-clad interior, styling that is both unique and gorgeous, and solid cabin tech. If you have the money, it\'92s a no brainer. \f1 \ \pard\pardeftab720\ri720\sl276\slmult1\sa200\ql\qnatural \cf0 Well those are my top 5 unforgettables for 2008. The only thing better than those 5 cars, are the 100 or so I'll drive in the year ahead.\ }

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