What are the best new cars to buy? It’s a tough question to answer, and highly dependent on what you’re looking for. Some vehicles offer value; others strive for excellence. Some try to be generalists; others specialize in a specific aspect. Maybe you’re looking for a hyper-efficient electric car or you want a raw-sounding V8. We are not here to judge.
What unites the best cars, regardless of their purpose, is that they go beyond what they need to be. Whether it is a trusted icon that has dominated the art for decades or an upstart who catches one of those cars’ product planners taking a nap, the best cars go the extra mile to provide the optimal driving experience.
There are plenty of new cars out there – and we at the Equipment Patrol auto section have driven most of them. Here’s our authoritative (though admittedly subjective) list of the best cars to buy in 2022.
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Best Small Truck: Ford Maverick
The Maverick isn’t the flashiest vehicle in the Ford range, but it’s a new small truck that bends the segment and perhaps redefines what a truck can be. It is the first affordable, practical and fun new passenger car in a long time. And if that weren’t enough, the base-model Maverick is now the cheapest hybrid on sale in the United States.
Best Medium Truck: Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma looks better than the competition; it looks muscular and athletic, but without the forced effort that other manufacturers have put into it. It’s simple, capable and durable. That combination is what many truck and off-roader buyers want. And that’s why the Tacoma dominates its market segment.
Best Full-Size Truck: Ford F-150
Dropping money for a luxury car on a pickup seems crazy, but once you’ve spent some time in one of the regal Ford F-150s, it almost makes sense. The F-150 is packed with all sorts of ingenious features that, combined with its massive inherent capacity, arguably make it worth dropping $80K.
Best Heavy Truck: Ram Power Wagon
Whether you go for the well-equipped factory Power Wagon or start with a 2500 Tradesman and then add the Power Wagon package, you get a lot of truck for your money. There’s just no other three-quarter-ton pickup that can do all the things the Power Wagon does, let alone this well.
Best Small SUV: Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
The Tucson Hybrid does its compact crossover duty well; it’s roomy, efficient and gets the family from A to B smoothly and safely. But unlike most of its competitors, it does those tasks while being eye-catching to look at and feels like a premium product and really fun to drive.
Best Small Luxury SUV: Genesis GV70
Genesis is still a luxury upstart — the brand didn’t launch its first standalone vehicle until 2017 and branched out into SUVs only last year — but the GV70 is a bold statement of intent from a mature automaker. Not only does the GV70 offer better value than rivals such as the BMW X3 or the Audi Q5. It’s just better, and it does it all at a relatively affordable price.
Best Mid-Sized SUV: Kia Telluride
The Telluride offers luxurious amenities at an affordable price tag. It’s more polished than most of its competitors from respected value brands in the price range. Unless you have a big pile of cash to buy a ?? Lincoln Navigator or a severe overlanding itch, the Telluride should be on your three-row shortlist.
Best Off-Road SUV: Ford Bronco
Best Mid-Sized Luxury SUV: Genesis GV80
Best Full-Size Luxury SUV: Lexus LX 600
Best Minibus: Toyota Sienna
The all-new Toyota Sienna looks really cool and offers something that most competitors – minivans or three-row SUVs – don’t: excellent fuel economy and four-wheel drive in the same vehicle. That’s the kind of game-changer that can bring buyers into the minivan fold.
Best Small Car: Honda Civic
This all-new Civic is worthy of your attention — and not just because Honda is marketing it to young, young people like you on Twitch. The Civic offers excellent handling, exceptional value, a cool interior and not just one two versions with manual gearbox.
Best Small Luxury Car: Genesis G70
The Genesis G70 is a tremendous value in the luxury sports sedan market. And it’s not just a value game. With great looks, a luxurious cabin, sporty driving dynamics and serious engine pop, it’s just as good as its big rivals – maybe even better.
Best Mid-Size Car: Honda Accord
Best Mid-Size Luxury Car: Mercedes E-Class
Best Full-Size Luxury Car: Mercedes S-Class
Today, SUVs and crossovers (damn even pickup trucks) are the de facto choice for luxury buyers, but a few hundred miles behind the wheel of the new S-Class will remind you how appealing it is to drive a chic sedan instead.
Best Wagon: Subaru Outback
Many vehicles attempt to combine the best of car-like handling and SUV-like capability and practicality, but few succeed — at a price mere mortals can afford — like the Subaru Outback, which offers as much space and off-road capability as many. exercise without the fuel-efficient pain.
Best Sports Car: Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is the benchmark for a reason. The current generation is an objective improvement in almost every measurable way. It is more powerful, faster, handles better, keeps occupants safer, has more advanced technology and is even more environmentally friendly than its predecessors.
Best Affordable Sports Car: Volkswagen Golf GTI
Driving every day, the 8th generation GTI is the same GTI as always, but a little better. The car is still fast, lively and responsive. The controls remain precise. Driving the GTI is smooth and easy to drive from the get-go. Responses to your input can be downright creepy.
Best Sport Sedan: Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Best Plug-In Hybrid Car: Volvo V60 Recharge
The V60 Recharge sounds like parental nirvana – and it is. Volvo has just given it a powertrain upgrade for 2022. It now produces 455 horsepower and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. A larger battery will give you 41 miles of EV-only range. It’s also safe, fairly roomy, has four-wheel drive and won’t dazzle anyone with chrome trim.
Best Plug-in Hybrid SUV: Jeep Wrangler 4xe
The Hemi V8-powered Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will win the hearts of many enthusiasts. But the hybrid Wrangler 4xe is the best Wrangler ever made. The added power and torque make it a force on the road and off-road. And the Wrangler 4xe can make a 20-mile round trip without using a drop of gas.
Best Regular Electric Car: Kia EV6
Kia could have started with a bland, conventional crossover EV. Instead, they went bold with the EV6. It looks aggressive and sporty, and it has the impressive and fun driving dynamics to match that look.
Best Luxury Electric Car: Mercedes-Benz EQS
The Mercedes EQS is not a sports sedan. But it drives with the kind of sturdiness and comfort that most luxury cars can only dream of. Bentley and Rolls Royce engineers would like to extol the virtues of ample mass when it comes to driving and NVH, and this Mercedes has plenty of mass to go around, thanks to the 108 kWh battery pack on the underside of the chassis.
Best Electric Sports Car: Porsche Taycan
No super sedan or sport feels as fast as the Taycan in the real world. Porsche electric motors are always ready to give their all when you ask, no matter how fast they spin. To achieve something similar in a combustion engine car, you should always drive around with the engine close to the power peak.
Best Electric SUV: Ford Mustang Mach-E
The Mach E’s crossover body, multiple battery sizes and available four-wheel drive meet the need, offering ample space, plenty of range and all-season capability. The Mustang decal and sporty styling, in turn, fills the need — a ride that looks cool.
Best Electric Luxury SUV: BMW iX
It’s hard not to see the BMW iX as an ideal proposition for anyone looking for an electric luxury SUV and not planning to go off-road… which, let’s face it, probably 99 percent of the buyers of electric SUVs. Downright fast and surprisingly fun, visually appealing and packed with smart technology, it’s a car that feels like a breath of fresh air.
Best Electric Truck: Ford F-150 Lightning
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The coming years will be dominated by new EVs. These are the ones we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of.
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