The best of 2011: Los Angeles Times

January 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Two weeks ago, Car and Driver came out with their list of the 10 best cars released in 2011. Now, the Los Angeles Times is releasing their top picks and the two report cards couldn't be more different.

Besides the new Chevrolet Volt, which has quickly become one of the most sought-after cars in America right now, all of their choices were different.

Susan Carpenter and David Undercoffler, the reviewers at the Los Angeles Times, both picked three vehicles that had top-notch engines, drove very smoothly and killer designs.

Undercoffler picked the Porsche Cayenne S, Kia Optima and Nissan Leaf as his top picks. The critic praised the Cayenne for its ability to act like sport utility vehicle while still performing like a Porsche. It travels off-road as well as the tarmac and is "as charming in dirt as George Clooney was in 'Ocean's Twelve.'" In addition, Undercoffler congratulated Kia on a number of their new models, but called the Optima the "valedictorian" of the group.

Carpenter named the Chevy Volt, Jaguar XJ Supercharged and Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 as the best of 2011. She called the XJ a "dramatic update" of Jaguar's crown jewel while still maintaining a sense of elegance and refinement.

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