At 40 years old, our 10Best award remains fit, vigorous, and full of automotive goodness. Our keenest readers will immediately notice that 2022 adds several new vehicles to our list of favorites, which means a few of last year’s winners have been vanquished.
What makes our award different is that a vehicle can earn and then maintain a position on the list year after year. A 10Best nod also ensures that the cars and trucks so honored aren’t just the best of what’s new but the best of what’s for sale for less than our base-price cutoff of $90,000.
For two full weeks, former winners face new cars and trucks. After driving, probing, climbing into third rows, opening trunks, learning infotainment systems, doing instrumented testing, 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 10Best heroes of 2022.
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Click each individual car to get the full story, or keep reading to find out more about the 2022 10Best cars and trucks.
Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Perhaps you’re thinking that the 472-hp CT4-V Blackwing is a mere sidekick to the 668-hp CT5-V Blackwing. This notion, while seemingly logical, is quite wrong. Even those staffers who prefer the larger Blackwing admit that the smaller Blackwing is a spectacular car in its own right. Now, staff opinion is not unanimous on the subject, but by the end of 10Best testing, the true believers stood up to proffer 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 don’t take wagers on the winners of our 10Best list. But if they did, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing likely would have been an odds-on favorite. Its stats are certainly impressive. All right, they’re staggering: a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 making 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque and burdened with just over two tons of curb weight, a standard six-speed manual transmission, and the purity of rear-wheel drive. —Joe Lorio
We love performance. But we also love saving money. That’s why the Corvette’s appeal, its superpower, what sets it apart from the hundreds of other cars, trucks, and SUVs on the market today that didn’t get the votes, is one we hold dear: It’s the best performance bargain. But should you be thinking that the Corvette is more about the deal than the business of going fast, it is flat-out quicker around a challenging track than anything else on the list, even the lighter and purer-driving Porsche Boxster and Cayman. —Dave VanderWerp
For decades, Jeep Wrangler buyers have settled for less because that’s just the way things had to be if you wanted a go-anywhere four-by-four whose roof and doors could be removed. While there’s an argument to be made that much of the Jeep’s appeal lies in its antiquated charm, Ford’s new Bronco proves that there is a much better way. —Joey Capparella
The supervillains of everyday life lack pizazz. The Commute and the Last-Minute Carpooler don’t strike 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 might look similar to other boring sedans, yet driving it is a revelation. —Elana Scherr
Every superhero needs a behind-the-scenes fixer, someone as low key as they are invaluable. Think Pepper Potts, Alfred, and whoever keeps Aquaman’s trident sharpened. That’s the Kia Telluride. It can’t tow a 787 or win the Baja 1000 or pull a wheelie, and yet it’s probably the vehicle we most frequently recommend, simply because its thorough excellence enlivens the proletarian chores of daily driving. This is the SUV that makes it all happen, happily. —Ezra Dyer
Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman
The Porsche 718’s special gift is speed. The 718 looks fast and is fast. Blur-the-scenery fast. Effortlessly fast. Fast times two, actually, because the 718 line consists of fraternal mid-engine twins, the Boxster droptop and the fixed-top Cayman, both of which we honor here once again. Their performance heroics have been handed down through four generations; clearly, it’s in their DNA, which seems to come from a place only the engineers in Zuffenhausen know about and have access to. In the 25 years since the Boxster went on sale in the U.S., it and the Cayman—which arrived from planet Porsche in the 2006 model year—have earned our 10Best award 23 times. —Rich Ceppos
When it comes to hero worship, we tend to revere sports cars and sports sedans. But circumstances often call for the space and capability of a pickup. For too long, living the truck life meant tolerating a jarring ride, an interior with the charm of a hard hat, and frequent $100 fill-ups. And then the current Ram 1500 arrived. In 2009, it started this century’s coil-spring revolution—the one that involves pickups—a change that meant an uncomfortable ride is no longer a pickup-truck given. In recognition of the folks 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 better EPA fuel economy than the Kia Telluride. Even a 3.6-liter V-6 version with four-wheel drive can match the all-wheel-drive Telluride’s EPA numbers. —K.C. Colwell
Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR 86
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-liter flat-four had a torque curve with a death valley at about 3000 rpm. But, as the Toyobaru twins’ presence on this list should tell you, they fixed it. In a big way. —Ezra Dyer
Volkswagen Golf GTI
Can ordinariness be a superpower? It seems improbable—like a superhero forgoing a cape or opting not to wear their underpants on the outside. But the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s greatest strength has always been that it does the everyday so well that it’s special. Well before the new eighth-generation car arrived, the GTI was one of our most awarded 10Besters, often in conjunction with a Jetta or Golf sibling. This marks its 16th appearance since 1983. It has never been difficult to see its appeal: a bona fide German performance car with an affordable price—the $30,540 base figure qualifies by the overwrought standards of the current market—plus the practicality of five seats, good fuel economy, and more cabin volume than some compact crossovers. —Mike Duff
2022’s 10Best Contenders: The Cars That Didn’t Make the Cut
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