At 40, our 10Best award remains fit, powerful and full of automotive goodness. Our avid readers will immediately notice that 2022 adds several new vehicles to our favorites list, meaning a few of last year’s winners have been won over.
What makes our distinction different is that a vehicle can earn and maintain a position on the list year after year. A 10Best nod also ensures that the cars and trucks so honored are not only the best of what’s new, but the best of what’s on sale for less than our $90,000 base price cut.
For two full weeks, former winners compete against new cars and trucks. After driving, probing, climbing the third row, opening suitcases, learning infotainment systems, testing with instruments and taking diligent notes, we score each vehicle on a 100-point scale. The cars and trucks that emerge all have something unique, a special power that makes them better than the rest. Keep reading to see the 10 best heroes of 2022.
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Click on each individual car to read the full story, or keep reading to learn more about the 2022 10 Best Cars and Trucks.
Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
You may think that the 472 horsepower CT4-V Blackwing is just a sidekick of the 668 horsepower CT5-V Blackwing. This idea, while seemingly logical, is completely wrong. Even those who prefer the larger Blackwing admit that the smaller Blackwing is a spectacular car in its own right. Now the staff’s opinion is not unanimous on the subject, but towards the end of 10Best testing, the true believers rose to offer that the CT4-V Blackwing is the better sports sedan of the two. —Tony Quiroga
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
As far as we know, Vegas oddsmakers do not take bets on the winners of our 10Best list. But if they did, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing would probably have been a favorite. The statistics are certainly impressive. Okay, they’re stunning: a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that puts out 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque and is loaded with just over two tons of curb weight, a standard six-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel cleanliness. drive. —Joe Lorio
We love performance. But we also love to save money. That’s why the appeal of the Corvette, its superpower, which sets it apart from the hundreds of other cars, trucks and SUVs currently on the market that have not received votes, is dear to us: it’s the best bargain. But if you think the Corvette is more about the deal than going fast, it’s downright faster on a challenging track than anything else on the list, even the lighter and cleaner-running Porsche Boxster and Cayman. —Dave VanderWerp
For decades, Jeep Wrangler buyers have settled for less, because that’s exactly what it had to be if you wanted to go a four-by-four where the roof and doors could be removed. While there’s an argument that much of the Jeep’s appeal lies in its outdated charm, Ford’s new Bronco proves there’s a much better way. —Joey Capparella
The super villains of everyday life lack spice. The Commute and the Last-Minute Carpooler don’t instill the same fear as the Joker or Dr. Doom, but like an evil plot, a dull drive or a cramped car can lead to creeping despair. The Honda Accord may look like other boring sedans, but driving it is a revelation. —Elana Scherr
Every superhero needs a behind-the-scenes fixer, someone who is as unobtrusive as they are invaluable. Think Pepper Potts, Alfred, and whoever keeps Aquaman’s trident sharp. That’s the Kia Telluride. It can’t pull a 787 or win the Baja 1000 or pull a wheelie, and yet it’s probably the vehicle we recommend most often simply because its profound excellence enlivens the proletarian tasks of everyday driving. This is the SUV that makes it all possible, thankfully. —Ezra Dyer
Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman
The special gift of the Porsche 718 is speed. The 718 looks fast and is fast. Quickly blur the landscape. Effortlessly fast. Fast times two really, as the 718 line is made up of mid-engine fraternal twins, the Boxster droptop and the fixed-top Cayman, which we’re honoring again here. Their performance feats have been passed down through four generations; it’s clearly in their DNA, which seems to come from a place only the engineers in Zuffenhausen know and have access to. In the 25 years since the Boxster debuted in the US, it and the Cayman—which arrived from planet Porsche in the 2006 model year—have earned our 10Best award 23 times. —Rich porcini mushrooms
When it comes to hero worship, we tend to worship sports cars and sports sedans. But circumstances often demand the space and power of a pick-up. For too long the life of the truck meant tolerating a jarring ride, an interior with helmet charm, and frequent $100 refills. And then the current Ram 1500 arrived. In 2009 it began this century’s coil-spring revolution—the one where pickups are involved — a change that meant an uncomfortable ride was no longer a given pickup truck. In recognition of the people who drive a pickup every day, Ram outfitted the cabin with materials good enough for a luxury sedan. Equipped with four-wheel drive and the optional turbo diesel 3.0-liter V-6, the latest Ram gets lower EPA fuel economy than the Kia Telluride. Even a 3.6-liter four-wheel drive V-6 version can match Telluride’s four-wheel drive EPA numbers. —KC Colwell
Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR86
Every hero has a weakness, and the original Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S (later Toyota 86) had two: power delivery and grip. The rear-wheel-drive chassis was sublime, but the tires offered all the traction of bowling shoes, and the 2.0-litre flat-four had a torque curve with a death valley at about 3000 rpm. But as the presence of the Toyobaru twins on this list should tell you, they’ve sorted it out. Largely. —Ezra Dyer
Volkswagen Golf GT
Can commonplace be a superpower? It seems unlikely – like a superhero who forgoes a cape or chooses not to wear his underpants on the outside. But the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s greatest strength has always been that it does the everyday so well that it is special. Well before the eighth-generation new car arrived, the GTI was one of our most award-winning 10Besters, often partnered with a Jetta or Golf sibling. This marks its 16th appearance since 1983. It’s never been hard to see its appeal: a bona fide German performance car at an affordable price – the $30,540 base price is eligible by today’s overwrought standards – plus the practicality of five seats, good fuel economy and more cabin volume than some compact crossovers. —Mike Duff
The 10 best contenders of 2022: the cars that didn’t make it
Acura MDX Advance SH-AWD • Acura TLX Type-S • Audi Q5 45 TFSI Sportback • BMW M3 Competition • BMW M4 Coupe • BMW M440i Coupe • Ford Bronco Sport • Ford F-150 PowerBoost • Ford F-150 Raptor • Ford Mustang Mach 1 • Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD • Genesis G70 3.3T Launch Edition • Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport Prestige AWD • Genesis GV80 3.5T Prestige AWD • Honda Civic 1.5T Touring sedan • Honda Civic Hatchback • Honda Civic Type-R Limited Edition • Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited • Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate • Hyundai Kona N-Line AWD • Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD • Hyundai Sonata N-Line • Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Limited AWD • Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD • Jeep Compass High Altitude 4×4 • Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland 4×4 • Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve 4×4 • Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series II 4×4 • Jeep Wagoneer Series II 4×4 • Jeep Wrangler 392 Rubicon • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe • Kia Carnival SX Prestige • Kia Sorento Hybrid EX • Kia Sorento X-Line AWD • Kia Stinger • Land Rover Defender 90 • Lexus NX • Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD • Mitsubishi Outlander 2.5 SEL S-AWC • Nissan Frontier PRO-4X • Nissan Pathfinder • Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe • Porsche Macan GTS • Porsche Taycan PBP • Toyota Corolla Cross • Toyota Sienna XSE AWD • Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium • Toyota Venza Limited • Volkswagen Golf R • Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S • Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S AWD • Volkswagen Jetta GLI • Volkswagen Jetta SE • Volkswagen Taos 1.5L SEL • Volvo XC40 Recharge