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THE TEN BEST OF 1990 PART 3

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RAY: Over the last two weeks, we've been unveiling our picks for ten best cars of 1990. In case you forgot, here are the winners we've announced so far:

TOM: The BEST MINIVAN is the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager. The BEST ALL-AROUND SEDAN is the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable. The OTHER BEST ALL-AROUND SEDAN is the Toyota Camry V-6.

RAY: We thought the BEST NOT-TOO-SMALL SPORTS COUPE was the Ford Thunderbird. We picked the Mazda Miata as The MOST FUN FOR THE MONEY. And due to my brother's unswerving persistence, The MOST FUN FOR A LOT OF MONEY car is the Jaguar XJS V 12 Convertible (Dark Blue).

TOM: These are the cars (of those we've driven this year) that we've been most impressed with. We considered driving pleasure, practicality, serviceability, price, quality of design and manufacture, and, of course, how full the gas tank was when the test car arrived. Here, today, are the final four Click and Clack Ten Best Cars of 1990.

BEST SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE: FORD EXPLORER.

TOM: These types of vehicles are generally driven by nut cases--you know, the people who decide the best time to go out and buy light bulbs is right in the middle of a raging blizzard.

RAY: So if this describes you, and you have your heart set on a four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle, the one we recommend is the four door version of the Ford Explorer. The Explorer is the most car-like vehicle in this class, which means that you'll enjoy it the 99 percent of the time you're NOT driving off-road. It's comfortable, roomy, and powerful. The handling is a little sloshy, but that's the price you pay for not having your head hit the roof every time you go over a bump.

BEST SMALL CAR: NISSAN SENTRA.

TOM: We're always reluctant to recommend little cars since they're inherently less safe than bigger cars. But with that caveat, the new Nissan Sentra is a good little car. It's sporty, it appears to be well put together, and it comes with a good amount of standard equipment.

RAY: Nissan has almost completely re-done it's entire product line over the last few years, and they've improved across the board. The Sentra is no longer the tinny econobox it once was. In fact, the 11,000 dollars Sentra SE-R is a bargain of a sports sedan.

MOST AWESOME CAR: LEXUS LS 400.

RAY: This car won the Most Awesome Car award because it's perfect in every way.

TOM: Now I know why Lee Iococca screams that it's not fair.

OTHER MOST AWESOME CAR: INFINITI Q-45.

TOM: Although my brother will disagree with me, I think the Infiniti is even MORE awesome than the Lexus.

RAY: They are both truly wonderful cars, and it's tough to choose between them. But if you have 38,000 dollars, it's one of those tough decisions you're just going to have to agonize over.

NEXT WEEK: THE RUNNERS-UP.

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