Car of the year awards are a precarious undertaking. Often, a vehicle needs to be declared as the best of best within a tight deadline, leading to minimal wheel time. It would be great if every new car could be driven thousands of miles for months on end, but that just isn’t feasible. New car buyers want to know which car is the best to buy now; not 10 months from now.
So sometimes, the actual best car of a given year does not get bestowed with the official award, title, and marketing fuel. But we are here to correct those injustices. We plan to rewrite history with the “AutoLobotomy Hindsight Car of the Year Awards”.
The AutoLobotomy 1992 Hindsight Car of the Year
For this installment we will look at the model year of 1992. This was a pivotal era in automobile history. The squared-off designs of the ‘80s were nearly scrubbed from existence by new, rounder, softer shapes. Technology advancements were enabling more powerful performance cars and greater efficiency for family vehicles.
For the 1992 model year, many new cars were fresh on the scene. Below I have compiled a list of notable all-new or highly updated vehicles that year:
- BMW 3 Series (E36 USDM)
- Buick Skylark
- Cadillac Seville/Eldorado
- Chevrolet Beretta/Corsica
- Eagle Summit/Dodge Colt
- Ford Crown Victoria
- Ford Taurus
- Honda Civic
- Honda Prelude
- Lexus SC400
- Mazda MX-3 Precidia
- Mazda 929
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Oldsmobile Achieva
- Pontiac Grand Am
- Subaru SVX
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Paseo
- Volvo 850
Many that know me would think I’d jump at giving the Subaru SVX top honours as I have an unhealthy obsession over this obscure coupe. But even I know it was more of an overpriced oddball offering than a real industry revolutionary.
The BMW 3 Series makes a compelling case as this is the generation that cemented many enthusiasts love for bimmers. But the first year E36 is a bit weak on variety and was not quite yet the car that many fell in love with.
The Toyota Camry actually won the Car of The Year awards from a few publications and deservedly so. It was wildly popular with North American buyers; everyone knew someone who owned a third generation Camry. Some say this was the best Camry ever made. The car blended comfort, efficiency, practicality and reliability in a package that fit many family’s needs. For me it was a toss up between this car and the one I chose as the winner.
The Hindsight Winner
My pick for the 1992 Hindsight Car of the Year would be the Honda Civic. The fifth generation Civic wasn’t the first model to be a hit with consumers, but it was the car that created many livelong Honda fans. It was a top choice for commuters, young families, and tuners alike.
In the mid to late ‘90s, offices, community centers, and import car shows were swarming with 5th generation Civic coupes, sedans, and hatchbacks. It was a car that was equal parts efficient, fun, and reliable. But maybe more than anything, it was affordable.
Did I make the right choice? If not, let me know what you would choose.