Best New Cars, Trucks, SUVs, and Minivans

2021 Editors’ Choice: Best New Cars, Trucks, SUVs, and Minivans

Our car experts choose every product we feature. We may earn money from the links on this page.

Aug 16, 2021

2021 editors' choice

Nathan SchroederCar and Driver

With more than 400 new cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans to choose from in 2021 shopping for a new set of wheels might feel like a daunting task—but it’s one we’re happy to help simplify. Each year, the Car and Driver Buyer’s Guide team leverages data from our strict regimen of instrumented tests, the expert subjective evaluations of our editors, and our knowledge of the market to select the top vehicles for a place on our Editors’ Choice list. There are more excellent cars and trucks for sale today than ever, but this is the list that we would recommend to our friends and family; the vehicles we think are reliable, safe, and fun to drive. We’d be happy with any of these in our driveways.

The vehicles named to our Editors’ Choice list are those that rank highly in their market segment; they comprise about one quarter of all the models currently for sale. The list includes those vehicles that were named to our 2021 10Best list. But only vehicles that the C/D staff has had hands-on driving experience with are eligible for an Editors’ Choice award. Below are the top choices in each of 32 market categories that have earned our seal of approval.

Trucks, SUVs, and Vans

Subcompact SUV

2021 hyundai kona front

Hyundai Kona

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Cheeky design, gutsy optional turbo engine, plentiful standard features.

LOWS: Not particularly cargo friendly, vague steering feel, poky standard engine.

VERDICT: The Kona’s as fun to drive as it is to look at, making it one of our favorite small SUVs.

Subcompact SUV

2021 kia soul front

Kia Soul

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Undeniably distinct appearance, interior has generous accommodations, lots of personality for the price.

LOWS: Top competitors consume less fuel, folded back seats don’t create a flat load floor, missing popular standard features.

VERDICT: The Soul provides funky style and practical space at an affordable price.

Subcompact SUV

2021 mazda cx 30 front

Mazda CX-30

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Eager driving dynamics, near-luxury interior trimmings, plenty of standard tech goodies.

LOWS: Could stand a few more horsepower, offers little added practicality over the Mazda 3 hatchback, occasional transmission stumbles.

VERDICT: If you’re shopping small SUVs, the Mazda CX-30 should be at the top of your consideration list.

Subcompact Luxury SUV

2021 bmw x1 front


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Peppy turbo four, crisp handling, practical interior.

LOWS: Unsupportive standard front seats, aging infotainment interface, bland styling.

VERDICT: The X1’s eager driving dynamics and cargo-friendly cabin will please enthusiasts and pragmatists alike.

Subcompact Luxury SUV

2021 bmw x2 front


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Athletic chassis, eye-catching look, reasonably fuel efficient.

LOWS: Stiff ride, bland interior doesn’t match bold exterior styling, raked roof hurts cargo capacity.

VERDICT: It costs more than the X1 and offers less interior space, but the X2 shines a little brighter on a twisty road.

Subcompact Luxury SUV

2021 volvo xc40 front

Volvo XC40

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Bold and boxy exterior, practical but stylish cabin, generous standard features.

LOWS: Unrefined powertrains, so-so fuel economy, laggy infotainment display.

VERDICT: Even though it sits at the small end of the Volvo lineup, the XC40 offers much of what makes the brand’s larger SUVs so desirable.

Compact SUV

2021 ford bronco sport outer banks front

Ford Bronco Sport

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Looks like its bigger brother, impressive interior versatility, Badlands trim is surprisingly capable off-road.

LOWS: Not very refined on the highway, smallish back seat, poorly integrated backup camera.

VERDICT: The Bronco Sport effectively imitates its bigger brother, with rugged styling and some trail-rated abilities.

Compact SUV

2020 honda cr v hybrid front

Honda CR-V

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Cabin’s upscale aura, noteworthy fuel-economy figures, plentiful cargo and interior- cubby storage.

LOWS: Not particularly quick, can’t tow as much as rivals, hybrid’s battery reduces cargo volume.

VERDICT: The CR-V has all the desirable qualities of the best compact SUVs: fuel efficiency, versatility, and plenty of the latest tech.

Compact SUV

2021 mazda cx 5 front

Mazda CX-5

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Luxury aura without the luxury price, engaging driving behavior, expeditious turbo engine.

LOWS: Base engine accelerates leisurely, competitors have more cargo space, tows only 2000 pounds.

VERDICT: The CX-5 rises above all other compact crossovers thanks to its many transcendent traits.

Compact SUV

2021 toyota rav4 front

Toyota RAV4

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Truckish good looks, car-like road manners, driver-assistance features are standard.

LOWS: Spartan entry-level model, engine moans and groans, top trims can be pricey.

VERDICT: A likable, practical, roomy compact SUV offered in enough different flavors to satisfy a wide variety of tastes.

Compact SUV

2021 toyota rav4 prime xse front

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Strong acceleration, driver-assistance tech is standard, roomy cabin.

LOWS: Prices start above $30,000, uninvolving handling, most desirable features quickly increase the price.

VERDICT: The RAV4 Hybrid and Prime bring Toyota’s well-respected hybrid-technology expertise to the popular compact-SUV segment.

Compact SUV

2021 volkswagen tiguan front

Volkswagen Tiguan

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Agile driving behavior, optional third row of seats, fuel-efficient powertrain.

LOWS: Poky acceleration, firm ride, dowdy interior design.

VERDICT: It’s not the GTI of compact crossovers, but the Tiguan has enough VW traits to make it one of our favorites.

Compact Luxury SUV

2021 alfa romeo stelvio quadrifoglio front

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Shapely and sporty styling, melodic and quick twin-turbo V-6, aggressive driving is encouraged.

LOWS: Ride doesn’t hide road imperfections, small back seat and cargo area, Alfa’s infamous reliability raises questions.

VERDICT: The stunning Stelvio Quadrifoglio, with 505 singing horses and surprising agility, transcends the typical luxury crossover experience.

Compact Luxury SUV

2021 bmw x3 front


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Graceful driving dynamics, powerful optional engine, surprisingly good fuel economy results.

LOWS: Tiny exterior mirrors don’t help with blind spots, unrefined auto stop/start behavior, dowdy interior design.

VERDICT: The X3 is tailor-made for buyers who yearn for some of that old-BMW driving magic.

Compact Luxury SUV

2020 mercedes amg glc43 front

Mercedes-AMG GLC-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Two powerful engine choices, sharp driving dynamics, nicely outfitted interior.

LOWS: Not as much cargo room as key rivals, tire roar when cruising is audible inside, stiff ride over rough pavement.

VERDICT: Other performance SUVs may offer more practicality, but the GLC43 and GLC63 will impress driving enthusiasts with their performance capabilities.

Compact Luxury SUV

2020 porsche macan gts

Porsche Macan

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Racy performance, handsome styling, drives like a sports sedan.

LOWS: Standard interior doesn’t live up to luxury price tag, tight rear seat space, puny cargo area.

VERDICT: The Porsche Macan exists at the apex of sportiness but also offers a modicum of SUV practicality.

Compact Luxury SUV

2020 porsche macan turbo front

Porsche Macan Turbo

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Thrilling twin-turbo V-6 powertrain, clairvoyant handling characteristics, unrivaled personalization options.

LOWS: Some rivals are quicker and more powerful, stingy back-seat space, can easily cost six figures.

VERDICT: The Macan Turbo delivers a transcendent driving experience unlike any other crossover.

Compact Luxury SUV

2021 volvo xc60 side

Volvo XC60

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Handsomely designed inside and out, good fuel economy from all three powertrains, plenty of standard safety tech.

LOWS: Infotainment system response lags at startup, hybrid powertrain needs refinement, dinky interior storage bins.

VERDICT: Looks like a scaled-down XC90, but the Volvo XC60 is still a similarly upscale and thoughtfully designed package despite its smaller size.

Mid-Size SUV

2021 ford bronco first edition front

Ford Bronco

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Surprisingly refined on the road, hugely capable off of it, more functional and practical than a Jeep Wrangler.

LOWS: Deserves more distinctive exhaust notes, interior lacks pizzazz on upper trims, frameless doors come with compromises.

VERDICT:The Ford Bronco makes an impressive return and looks to usurp the Wrangler as the must-have off-road SUV.

Mid-Size SUV

2021 honda passport

Honda Passport

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Spacious interior for people and cargo, powerful V-6 engine, plenty of standard safety features.

LOWS: Base model isn’t well equipped, occasional rough ride, not so stylish.

VERDICT: The spacious and powerful Passport is highly functional and pleasant to drive, making it one of our top-rated mid-size SUVs.

Mid-Size SUV

2021 hyundai palisade front

Hyundai Palisade

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Intuitive dashboard layout, class-leading features, every trim is teeming with value.

LOWS: Intrusive wind noise on the highway, styling may not appeal to everyone, tight door pockets.

VERDICT: Among mid-size three-row SUVs, the Hyundai Palisade is a well-rounded package that delivers plenty of space and is packed with desirable features.

Mid-Size SUV

2021 hyundai santa fe calligraphy front

Hyundai Santa Fe

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Relative bargain compared to rivals, relaxed demeanor, nicely-equipped cabin.

LOWS: Nonhybrid models could be more fuel efficient, tight rear seat headroom, no third-row option.

VERDICT: With a lineup that spans from the budget-minded SE to the near-luxury Calligraphy, the Santa Fe is an SUV with a price to suit every buyer.

Mid-Size SUV

2021 kia sorento sx x line front

Kia Sorento

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Diverse selection of powertrains, handsome exterior and upscale interior, satisfying ride and handling.

LOWS: Third row isn’t exactly adult-friendly, larger touchscreen lacks wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, small cargo area with the third row up.

VERDICT: The handsome Sorento has three rows, desirable features, and polished driving manners that make it a compelling mid-size SUV.

Mid-Size SUV

2020 kia telluride suv

Kia Telluride

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Utterly lavish cabin, absolute bargain pricing, great for hauling families.

LOWS: Not particularly fuel efficient, emotionless driving behavior, adaptive cruise control can be fussy.

VERDICT: For those who need to haul a family and look right, the Telluride is a terrific and affordable choice.

Mid-Size SUV

2021 mazda cx 9 front

Mazda CX-9

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: A rare fun-to-drive SUV, near-luxury cabin trimmings, top-quality fit-and-finish.

LOWS: Limited cargo space with rearmost seat in use, tight quarters for third-row passengers.

VERDICT: Even with seating for up to seven passengers, the CX-9 still offers plenty of that Mazda magic.

Mid-Size Luxury SUV

2020 bmw x5


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Wide range of available engines, high-quality cabin materials, intuitive infotainment interface.

LOWS: Somewhat vague steering feel, tight third-row passenger space, V-8 performance costs a lot extra.

VERDICT: While not as athletic as the Porsche Cayenne, the BMW X5 still provides an excellent blend of luxury, practicality, and driving satisfaction.

Mid-Size Luxury SUV

2021 genesis gv80 25t awd

Genesis GV80

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Lovely interior ambience, standard high-tech features, agile handling.

LOWS: Cramped third-row passenger space, no diesel engine for the U.S., heavily weighted steering feel.

VERDICT: With a sumptuously appointed and whisper-quiet cabin, the 2021 GV80 is exactly the flagship SUV the Genesis brand needs to be taken seriously by American consumers.

Mid-Size Luxury SUV

2021 porsche cayenne

Porsche Cayenne

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Sensational powertrains, sports-car DNA, can tow 7700 pounds.

LOWS: Ride can be stiff, limited cubby storage, custom options can add up.

VERDICT: The Cayenne is the driving enthusiast’s first choice for a luxury SUV.

Mid-Size Luxury SUV

2021 volvo xc90 front

Volvo XC90

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Stunning styling inside and out, impressive list of features, quick plug-in hybrid.

LOWS: Coarse-sounding gas engines, harsh ride on rough roads, plug-in hybrid isn’t as efficient as rivals.

VERDICT: What the XC90 lacks in driving verve it packs in designer styling and luxury features.

Large SUV

2021 chevrolet suburban 4wd high country

Chevrolet Suburban

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Generous cargo and passenger space, available 6.2-liter V-8 is especially speedy, drives with the agility of smaller SUVs.

LOWS: Fanciest trims are seriously pricey, fanciest trims have mediocre cabin materials, V-8 models have middling fuel economy.

VERDICT: The Suburban has the capabilities and practicality that large families desire, but its top trims aren’t the best value.

Large SUV

2021 chevrolet tahoe z71

Chevrolet Tahoe

Review, Pricing, and Specs

IGHS: Cabin is impressively quiet, third row is actually comfortable, able to tow up to 8400 pounds.

LOWS: Divisive front-end design, some questionable interior ergonomics, top models cost as much as luxury alternatives.

VERDICT: The new Tahoe is more spacious and sophisticated than before, which reaffirms its spot atop the large-SUV class.

Large SUV

2021 gmc yukon denali front

GMC Yukon

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Spacious three-row cabin, trio of engine choices, impressive on-road performance.

LOWS: Too similar to less expensive Chevy Tahoe, hulking exterior shape, gasoline engines aren’t particularly fuel efficient.

VERDICT: GMC’s latest Yukon is a marked improvement over the previous generation, especially inside its more spacious cabin.

Large Luxury SUV

2020 bmw x7 front


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Powertrains’ deliciously smooth power, interior as quiet as a library but much comfier, Alpina XB7 is hilariously quick and athletic.

LOWS: Excessive body roll around corners, cabin and cargo spaces are smaller than expected, power rear seats are S-L-O-W.

VERDICT: The BMW X7 has no shortage of luxury, and the V-8 powertrains are sublime, but we wish the interior was roomier.

Mid-size Pickup Truck

2021 honda ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Interior feels huge for the class, quick and refined on the road, several innovative features.

LOWS: Competitors tow more, rivals offer legit off-road models, subpar braking performance.

VERDICT: The Ridgeline isn’t a typical mid-size pickup truck; it’s more sophisticated and day-to-day practical.

Mid-size Pickup Truck

2021 jeep gladiator rubicon font

Jeep Gladiator

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Always off-road-ready, doorless and roofless configurability, can haul and tow more than a Wrangler.

LOWS: Busy behavior on the highway, unimpressive fuel economy, not as nimble on the trails as a Wrangler.

VERDICT: The Gladiator gives Jeep fans and off-roaders a more versatile tool that’s still really cool.

Full-Size Pickup Truck

2021 ford f 150 hybrid lariat front

Ford F-150

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS:Nicely-outfitted cabin, quick acceleration from hybrid model, novel productivity features.

LOWS: Ride isn’t as smooth as its key rival, adding hybrid powertrain comes at a cost, fuel economy could be better.

VERDICT: A host of upgrades and inventive features keeps the F-150 in the hunt for pickup supremacy.

Full-size Pickup Truck

2021 ram 1500 front

Ram 1500

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Rides smoother than rivals, boasts a nicer interior than rivals, more innovative features than rivals.

LOWS: Largest touchscreen can be unresponsive, styling isn’t as bold as other half-tons, priced above its competitors.

VERDICT: The Ram 1500 delivers unrivaled levels of innovation, luxuriousness, and refinement in a workhorse that does a good imitation of a luxury car.

Full-size Pickup Truck

2021 ram 1500 trx

Ram 1500 TRX

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Unbelievably quick for a pickup, unbelievably well-mannered for what it is, upscale interior inherited from the regular Ram 1500.

LOWS: Absolutely massive proportions, absolutely terrible fuel economy, rear-drive-only mode is absent.

VERDICT: The 702-hp, Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX goes big and never makes you want to go home.

Heavy Duty Pickup Truck

2021 ram 3500 front

Ram 2500/3500

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Semi-truck-like towing capability, cabin can be dressed to the nines, best ride in the HD class.

LOWS: Diesel rivals have more modern transmissions, Power Wagon not available with the diesel, largest models are cumbersome in traffic.

VERDICT: The heavy-duty Ram offers tremendous capabilities as well as unparalleled levels of luxury.

City Van

2020 mercedes benz metris front

Mercedes-Benz Metris

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Drives better than its competitors, accelerates with authority, notable towing and hauling abilities.

LOWS: Pricey, less fuel efficient than rivals, lacking in brake-pedal feedback.

VERDICT: The Metris provides the sophistication befitting a Mercedes and the capabilities needed from a work van.


2021 chrysler pacifica awd front

Chrysler Pacifica

Review, Pricing and Specs

HIGHS: Trick Stow ‘n Go rear seats, available plug-in hybrid option, more USB ports and storage cubbies than expected.

LOWS: Some cheap plastic interior bits, acceleration could be sprightlier, SUV-focused consumers continue to ignore.

VERDICT: Style, grace, comfort, and space—the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has it all, and more.


2021 honda odyssey front

Honda Odyssey

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Super practical interior, thoughtful tech features, novel second-row adjustable seats.

LOWS: Heavy rear seats are a chore to remove, slightly firm ride on 19-inch wheels.

VERDICT: Thanks to a roomy interior, reconfigurable seating, and lots of cargo space, the 2021 Odyssey is a great choice for modern families.

Full-Size Van

2021 ford transit front

Ford Transit

Review, Pricing and Specs

HIGHS: Extensive list of standard driver-assistance features, impressive handling, quiet, up-to-date interior.

LOWS: Higher base price than many competitors, competitors offer lengthier warranty coverage, some rivals have larger payload capacity.

VERDICT: Pleasurable driving dynamics, multiple cabin configurations, and modern amenities make the Ford Transit the leading choice in the full-size van market.

Electric SUV

2021 ford mustang mach e

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Review, Pricing and Specs

HIGHS: Attention-grabbing design, handsome and hushed cabin, instantaneous acceleration.

LOWS: Not particularly engaging to drive, most range ratings are modest, Mustang purists will miss the V-8 traits.

VERDICT: While it doesn’t drive or sound like Ford’s pony car, the Mustang Mach-E is an accessible and stylish EV.

Electric SUV

2021 hyundai kona electric front

Hyundai Kona Electric

Review, Pricing and Specs

HIGHS: Playful handling, long driving range, fantastic standard warranty.

LOWS: Small back seat, front-wheel drive only, cold temperatures sap battery capacity.

VERDICT: The Kona Electric offers the standard model’s cool looks and sprightly personality in a compelling all-electric version for those who’d rather never visit a gas station.

Coupes, Convertibles, Hatchbacks, Sedans, and Wagons

Subcompact Car

2021 hyundai accent front

Hyundai Accent

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Grown-up looks, sprightly handling, well-built but simple interior.

LOWS: Coarse-sounding engine, tight rear seat space, so-so performance.

VERDICT: With the Hyundai Accent, there’s no need to sacrifice your own dignity to be frugal.

Subcompact Car

2021 kia rio side

Kia Rio

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Simple yet elegant cabin, ride and handling transcend price point, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

LOWS: Cramped rear quarters, limited driver-assistance features, cargo space isn’t a strong suit.

VERDICT: The Rio sedan and hatchback exceed the expectations that most people have for subcompact cars.

Compact Car

2021 honda civic sedan touring front

Honda Civic

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Zesty handling, accommodating cabin, plenty of models and prices to choose from.

LOWS: Polarizing exterior design, not as efficient as some rivals, too-basic standard warranty.

VERDICT: Its fun-to-drive nature and focus on practicality makes the Honda Civic a compact car we’re happy to recommend.

Compact Car

2021 hyundai elantra

Hyundai Elantra

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Bold exterior styling, compelling value, perky turbocharged N Line model.

LOWS: Sluggish acceleration with nonturbo engine, best infotainment features aren’t standard, a few cliche design flourishes.

VERDICT: Wild styling aside, the latest Elantra sedan wows with its features, performance, and value.

Compact Car

2021 mazda 3 hatchback front

Mazda 3

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: More upscale than most competitors, well-equipped cabin, spry handling.

LOWS: Big blind spots in the hatchback model, best features restricted to top models, base model lacks key infotainment features.

VERDICT: The good-looking Mazda 3 preserves the brand’s fun-to-drive nature while showing up its mainstream rivals with its more upscale cabin.

Compact Car

2021 volkswagen golf front

Volkswagen Golf

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Splendid ride-and-handling, two satisfying transmission choices, capacious cargo space among compacts.

LOWS: Unimpressive passing power, fewer desirable options than rivals, a wallflower compared with the GTI.

VERDICT: The Golf is a great compact hatchback, but it lives in the shadow of the hot-hatch GTI.

Sport Compact Car

2021 honda civic type r limited edition

Honda Civic Type R

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Transformative driving experience, volcanic acceleration, totally practical for daily use.

LOWS: Uninspired exhaust note, noisy at highway speeds, styling only kids can love.

VERDICT: The Civic Type R might hurt the eyes and disappoint the ears, but its terrific driving behavior will still enchant the senses.

Sport Compact Car

2020 hyundai veloster n front

Hyundai Veloster N

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Performance bang for your buck, fun driving character, more practical than you’d expect.

LOWS: Less polished than rivals, tight rear seat, low-rent interior appearance.

VERDICT: Hyundai’s quirky three-door Veloster hatchback takes nicely to the aggressive N high-performance treatment, resulting in a sport compact that’s both fun to drive and affordable.

Sport Compact Car

2020 volkswagen golf gti

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Exceedingly fun for the price, wonderful transmissions, classy and practical.

LOWS: Ride quality can be a bit harsh, too understated for some, rival hot hatches cost less.

VERDICT: The Mk 7 Golf GTI is the ultimate sport compact.

Sport Compact Car

2021 volkswagen jetta gli front

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Always entertaining to drive, accommodating rear seat and trunk, costs less than the hatchback GTI.

LOWS: Cabin lacks the quality of the Golf GTI, not particularly sporty looking, best content reserved for the more expensive model.

VERDICT: Along with being more affordable and having a bigger back seat, the Jetta GLI sedan has the same performance acumen as the Golf GTI hatchback.

Luxury Sport Compact Car

2021 bmw m2 front


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Raucous but refined engine, fulfilling driving characteristics, still offers a shift-it-yourself transmission.

LOWS: Interior lacks the panache of the M2’s price, stiff-legged ride, the slimmer and less potent M240i is a better value.

VERDICT: The M2 is a brilliant driver’s car, but it’s still a bit too hardcore for everyday use.

Luxury Sport Compact Car

2020 mercedes amg a35 4matic

Mercedes-AMG A-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Launch-control thrust, sports-sedan handling, upscale and modern-looking cabin.

LOWS: On the small side of a size-small segment, a tad loud for a luxury vehicle, rough-edged ride.

VERDICT: Mercedes-AMG’s smallest sports sedan packs a mighty punch and solid value.

Entry-Luxury Compact Car

mercedes benz a class sedan

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: High-class appearance, taut handling, relatively spacious cabin.

LOWS: Puny cargo area, some competitors are quicker, several mainstream compacts offer more standard driver-assistance tech.

VERDICT: Just as refined and upscale as its larger siblings—but in an extra-small size.

Entry-Luxury Compact Car

2020 mercedes benz cla250 front

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Lively handling, plentiful standard amenities, stylish but still acceptably practical.

LOWS: Not as fuel efficient as some rivals, tight rear-seat headroom, occasional transmission stumbles.

VERDICT: The Mercedes-Benz experience distilled and applied to a subcompact sedan.

Family Sedan

2021 honda accord

Honda Accord

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Nimble handling, peppy powertrains, easy-to-use infotainment.

LOWS: Strictly average interior storage, low-end models can be noisy when cruising, rear blind spots may bother some drivers.

VERDICT: Styling, driving verve, practicality, and affordability keep the Accord at the top of our list of recommendations for sedan buyers.

Family Sedan

2021 hyundai sonata

Hyundai Sonata

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Classy, comfy cabin, exceedingly fuel efficient, one of the best values in its class.

LOWS: Indifferent driving experience, relaxed acceleration, ride needs more smoothing.

VERDICT: The Sonata delivers an upscale, feature-laden experience at a great price.

Family Sedan

2021 kia k5

Kia K5

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Gorgeous outside and in, loads of luxury options, smooth powertrain operation.

LOWS: Touch functions are distracting, driver’s seat set too high, some rivals drive better.

VERDICT: The K5 delivers a truly upscale experience at what is expected to be an accessible price.

Family Sedan

2020 mazda 6 front

Mazda 6

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Classier than its rivals, great handling, quiet cabin.

LOWS: Turbo engine lacks charisma, missing an eco-friendly model, top options reserved for priciest trim levels.

VERDICT: The Mazda 6 is a marvelous family sedan because it’s beautiful, sophisticated, and fun to drive.

Entry-Luxury Car

2021 audi a5 sportback front

Audi A5 Sportback

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Slick fastback body, cargo-friendly trunk, easy to drive quickly.

LOWS: Mediocre braking performance, rear seat not as spacious as expected, interior could use some additional luxury.

VERDICT: The A5 Sportback delivers the best of worlds by combining the styling of the A5 coupe and the practicality of a four-door hatchback.

Entry-Luxury Car

2021 bmw 3 series front

BMW 3-series

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: First-rate powertrains, brilliant ride and handling balance, generous cabin and trunk space.

LOWS: Steering feel could be better, expensive, no more manual transmission.

VERDICT: The 3-series is the segment’s finest sedan thanks to its cohesive and engaging demeanor.

Entry-Luxury Car

2020 genesis g70

Genesis G70

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Well-balanced chassis, upscale cabin, undercuts its rivals on price big time.

LOWS: Outdated infotainment interface, forget the manual transmission, tight rear seat space.

VERDICT: If the premium pricing of compact Audi and Mercedes-Benz sedans makes you wince, then check out the slick Genesis G70.

Entry-Luxury Car

2021 mercedes benz c class coupe side

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Upscale design inside and out, comfortable ride quality, plenty of standard features.

LOWS: Not as quick as some four-cylinder rivals, so-so fuel economy numbers, small trunk.

VERDICT: The C-class provides the premium feel, technology features, and classy design that you’d expect in a small Benz.

Sports Sedan

2021 alfa romeo giulia quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Looks good, sounds good, drives great.

LOWS: Questionable reliability, we’d love a stick shift, uneven power delivery.

VERDICT: The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s desirability and pulse-pounding performance are tainted by its fallibility.

Sports Sedan

2021 bmw m3 competition front


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Delightfully smooth and dependably strong straight-six, BMW participates in #SaveTheManuals, enjoyable even during everyday duties.

LOWS: Distracting super-sized grille, manual gearbox not offered on Competition model, torque-converter automatic not quite as quick as the old dual-clutch auto.

VERDICT: The new BMW M3 might have a polarizing snout, but it’s a supremely thrilling sports sedan with few compromises.

Sports Coupe

2021 bmw m4


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Straight-six is as forceful as it is smooth, manual gearbox is available and desirable, driving verve worthy of a full-blown M car.

LOWS: Too many adjustable drive settings, bigger and heavier than its predecessor, digital gauges lack the clarity of analog ones.

VERDICT: While BMW gives the new M4 an, um, interesting mug, it also gives the coupe a splendid engine and enthralling driving dynamics.

Sports Sedan

2021 mercedes amg c43 front

Mercedes-AMG C43

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Deluxe cabin, gutsy twin-turbo powertrain, available in a variety of body styles.

LOWS: Stiff ride, desirable options don’t come cheap, trunk space at a premium in two-door models.

VERDICT: The C43 offers the look, the handling, and the prestige of an AMG-tuned Mercedes without the bonkers horsepower or exorbitant price tag.

Sports Sedan

2021 mercedes amg c63 sedan

Mercedes-AMG C63

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Stunning powertrain, laser-accurate handling, available as a convertible.

LOWS: Flinty ride, some active safety features cost extra, competitors have better warranties.

VERDICT: An exceptional ultra-performance car that anyone would be proud to own.

Premium Sports Sedan

2021 bmw m5


Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Astonishing acceleration, all-wheel drive allows rear-drive antics, expensively appointed cabin.

LOWS: Less engaging than smaller M models, not as boisterous as the AMG E63 S, subdued appearance hides its mission.

VERDICT: The M5 retains the luxury of the regular 5-series and transforms it into a ferocious four-wheeled Ferrari hunter.

Premium Sports Sedan

2021 mercedes amg e63 s 4matic

Mercedes-AMG E63 S

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Accelerates like a SpaceX rocket, corners like it’s on rails, pampers like a spa day.

LOWS: Drift mode is complicated to activate, thin tire sidewalls magnify hard impacts, the E53 is a lot cheaper.

VERDICT: The E63 S sedan offers a brilliant mix of stunning performance and indulgent luxury.

Mid-size Luxury Car

2020 audi a6 front

Audi A6

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Gutsy turbocharged V-6, high-tech cabin, rich interior materials with great fit and finish.

LOWS: Driving experience lacks adrenalin, under-the-radar styling, stingy interior storage bins.

VERDICT: While not the choice for extroverts, the A6 is a tasteful, upscale, and spacious luxury sedan with a lot of tech-savvy features.

Mid-size Luxury Car

2019 audi a7 30t front

Audi A7

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Refined in every way, quickness matches quietness, sleek profile hides useful hatchback.

LOWS: Engine’s personality is MIA, dual touchscreens can divert attention, A6 model is cheaper.

VERDICT: The A7’s hatchback helps it be more suave and more practical than the Audi A6 sedan.

Mid-size Luxury Car

2021 genesis g80

Genesis G80

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Nicely trimmed cabin, fantastic bang for the buck, plentiful high-end features.

LOWS: Polarizing grille design, lacks brand recognition still, cornering characteristics could be sharper.

VERDICT: Genesis may not be the first name that comes to mind when you’re considering a luxury sedan, but this latest G80 is set to elevate the brand’s cachet.

Mid-size Luxury Car

2021 mercedes amg e53 sedan

Mercedes-AMG E53

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Performance doesn’t diminish luxury, racy and rich interior, loaded with technology.

LOWS: Dainty shift mechanism, largest wheels elicit harsh impacts, no complimentary maintenance.

VERDICT: Regardless of body style, the E53 is the perfect combination of luxury and sporty.

Mid-size Luxury Car

2021 mercedes benz e class sedan

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Brimming with high-tech features, tranquil interior environment, smooth and strong powertrains.

LOWS: Standard engine lacks oomph, convertible top can steal trunk space, no complimentary maintenance.

VERDICT: The E-class is the downsized equivalent of an S-class, delivering equal parts comfort and style.

Full-size Luxury Car

2020 audi a8 side

Audi A8

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Quiet cabin with plenty of luxuries, all the best tech features are standard, comfortable but still capable in the corners.

LOWS: Somewhat anonymous styling, less-than-generous warranty, base V-6 engine is merely adequate.

VERDICT: In the same way that a simple but well-tailored tuxedo elevates one’s style, the quietly luxurious 2021 Audi A8 is handsome and looks expensive without being flashy.

Full-size Luxury Car

2020 genesis g90

Genesis G90

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Lowest price in the segment but doesn’t look it, hushed interior, smooth powertrains.

LOWS: Floaty handling offers little driving satisfaction, fixed rear seatback limits cargo space, little name recognition.

VERDICT: A compelling luxury sedan that lacks only a prestige name badge on the hood.

Full-size Luxury Car

2021 mercedes benz s class

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: A showcase of high-tech features, beautifully-tailored and delightfully serene interior, rear-axle steering makes this barge surprisingly nimble.

LOWS: A noticeable lack of flashiness, some craftsmanship sacrificed for digital instrumentation, adaptive cruise had inconsistent behavior in heavy traffic.

VERDICT: As the flagship of Mercedes-Benz, the S-class has the company’s most innovative technology and unquestionably high levels of luxury.

Station Wagon

2021 subaru outback

Subaru Outback

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Ground clearance helps off-road or in snow, spacious cabin, tons of available tech.

LOWS: Unhurried acceleration, ho-hum driving dynamics, indistinct exterior styling.

VERDICT: Useful, rugged, and family friendly, the Subaru Outback is a station wagon with an adventurous side.

Luxury Station Wagon

2021 audi a6 allroad front

Audi A6 Allroad

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Handy wagon body style, chic exterior, silky-smooth V-6 powertrain.

LOWS: Expensive from the start, dual-screen infotainment takes getting used to, occasional gearbox clumsiness.

VERDICT: Audi’s posh A6 Allroad is an SUV-alternative with a similarly adventurous image–what’s not to love?

Luxury Station Wagon

2021 mercedes amg e63 s wagon

Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Exhaust plays a rhapsodic soundtrack, unexpectedly quick and agile, exceedingly palatial and practical.

LOWS: Narrow tire sidewalls transmit hard impacts, most people can’t afford one, no complimentary maintenance.

VERDICT: The E63 S wagon drives great, accelerates like a supercar, and can haul a family. What else do you need?

Luxury Station Wagon

2021 mercedes benz e450 4matic all terrain

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Plush cabin, plentiful cargo space, high-tech amenities.

LOWS: Bumpy ride, styling panders to SUV buyers, not as stately as the outgoing model.

VERDICT: The E-class Wagon’s refreshed styling may appeal to crossover buyers, but its rugged veneer reads as gimmicky to wagon connoisseurs.

Luxury Station Wagon

2020 volvo v60 t8 polestar front

Volvo V60 / V60 Cross Country

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Gorgeous exterior, delicious interior, optional high-performance hybrid powertrain.

LOWS: Rough ride over bumpy roads, significant infotainment lag at start up, can’t get all-wheel drive on all models.

VERDICT: Volvo’s V60 and V60 Cross Country wagons are as attractive as they are practical, making them a wonderful alternative to an SUV.

Luxury Station Wagon

2021 volvo v90 front

Volvo V90

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Beautifully designed exterior and interior, standard driver-assistance tech, SUV practicality with better handling.

LOWS: Four-cylinder-only engine lineup, laggy infotainment system, firm ride.

VERDICT: The vehicle of choice for upscale but quirky families looking to avoid SUV monotony.

Luxury Station Wagon

2019 volvo v90 cross country

Volvo V90 Cross Country

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Scandinavian-inspired interior, most bells and whistles are standard, long-roof practicality.

LOWS: Infotainment system takes its time to boot up, cargo hold not as roomy as rivals’, inconsistent power delivery.

VERDICT: Splitting the difference between wagon and SUV, the Volvo V90 Cross Country offers practicality and all-weather capability in a beautifully designed package.

Electric Car

2021 tesla model 3 front

Tesla Model 3

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Quick and fun-to-drive, beats direct rivals’ range estimates, high-tech everything.

LOWS: Difficult to achieve range estimates on the highway, interior controls take getting used to, build quality is questionable.

VERDICT: The Model 3 is a desirable and relatively affordable all-electric car that has helped the Tesla brand push EVs into the mainstream.

Luxury Electric Car

2021 porsche taycan

Porsche Taycan

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Incredible and repeatable acceleration, drives a lot like a Porsche sports car, can charge quickly.

LOWS: A pain to get in and out of, missing some traditional EV traits, exorbitant price.

VERDICT: The Taycan takes everything good about electric performance cars and amplifies it.

Luxury Electric Car

2021 porsche taycan turbo cross turismo

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Immediate acceleration all the time, turns and stops remarkably well for its size, bigger back seat and trunk than the sedan.

LOWS: Starts over $90,000, max range still not competitive with the Tesla Model S, cabin’s primarily touch controls can be distracting.

VERDICT: The Taycan Cross Turismo wagon is more practical than the sedan, and it’s also just as entertaining to drive.

Luxury Electric Car

tesla model s

Tesla Model S

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Excellent driving range, gut-punch acceleration, eco-friendly image.

LOWS: Interior isn’t as luxurious as it should be, limited service locations in some regions, range estimates are difficult to achieve in real life.

VERDICT: Once the jewel of the Tesla lineup, the Model S is finally being challenged by more luxurious rivals, but it’s still a formidable luxe-class EV.

Muscle Car

2021 chevrolet camaro zl1 front

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Ultimate Camaro performance, unbeatable value, non-1LE models have surprisingly good ride quality.

LOWS: Outward visibility is compromised, unimpressive interior, 1LE package makes it overly stiff.

VERDICT: The 650-hp Camaro ZL1 isn’t for the faint of heart but for anyone whose heart is at the racetrack.

Muscle Car

2020 ford mustang 23l high performance

Ford Mustang

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: All models are fun to drive, cabin is roomier than the Camaro’s, great performance options.

LOWS: Cabin has some subpar trim pieces, available Recaro seats are overly aggressive, standard four-cylinder is too subdued.

VERDICT: The Mustang offers a compelling mix of image, style, performance and driver satisfaction.

Muscle Car

2020 ford mustang shelby gt500

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Enthralling V-8 powertrain, enjoyable to drive every day, can outrun exotics at the racetrack.

LOWS: Speeding tickets likely to increase, a rolling middle finger to fuel-economy ratings, top track package is super expensive.

VERDICT: The Shelby GT500 is a magnificent muscle car and possibly a more impressive sports car.

Sports Car

2020 chevrolet corvette stingray z51

Chevrolet Corvette

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Performance that rivals exotic cars’, comfortable enough to drive daily, nicely-trimmed cabin.

LOWS: Exhaust note is only exciting at full throttle, limited driver-assistance features, manual transmission not offered.

VERDICT: By moving the engine behind the seats, Chevrolet has turned the Corvette into a bargain-priced Ferrari complete with supercar performance.

Sports Car

2021 mazda mx 5 miata front

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Playful handling, just-right four-cylinder engine, makes every sunny day special.

LOWS: Choppy ride, limited space for people and cargo, road noise is loud inside the cabin.

VERDICT: Top-down and bombing along a winding road, the Miata is nearly perfect despite its many well-known compromises.

Sports Car

2020 porsche 718 boxster t

Porsche 718 Boxster

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Crisp handling, eager powertrains, wind-in-your-hair freedom.

LOWS: Unrefined four-cylinder noises, lack of storage, dreary cabin.

VERDICT: Despite the 718 Boxster’s shortcomings, its thrilling driving experience makes it one of our favorite sports cars.

Sports Car

2020 porsche 718 cayman gt4

Porsche 718 Cayman

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Transcendent driving traits, both transmissions are perfect, plentiful personalization options.

LOWS: Cabin lacks convenient storage spots, grating four-cylinder noises, pricier than its peers.

VERDICT: The Cayman is so sublime, it might be the world’s most affordable supercar.

Sports Car

2021 toyota supra 30

Toyota Supra

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Smooth and powerful inline-six, a blast to drive, nicely finished cabin.

LOWS: Manual transmission not available, difficult ingress and egress, big blind spots.

VERDICT: This revived version of the Japanese automotive legend has BMW bones, but they’re damn good.

Premium Sports Car

2021 porsche 911

Porsche 911

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Performance that transcends bad weather, unrivaled driver engagement, sublime powertrains.

LOWS: Digital gauges could use improvement, too expensive for ordinary folks, what’s up with that automatic’s shifter?

VERDICT: The recently redesigned 911 may be new, but it’s still all about thrilling its driver.

Premium Sports Car

2021 porsche 911 turbo s

Porsche 911 Turbo / Turbo S

Review, Pricing, and Specs

HIGHS: Monstrously quick acceleration, heroic handling, confidence-inspiring brakes.

LOWS: Overly stiff ride, insane price tag, no manual transmission offered.

VERDICT: In the world of high-powered sports cars, the 911 Turbo and Turbo S reign supreme.

Previous Winners

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2020 Editors’ Choice: The Best New Cars, Trucks, SUVs, and Minivans

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2019 Editors’ Choice: The Best Sedans, Hatchbacks, Coupes, and Convertibles

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2019 Editors’ Choice: The Best Pickup Trucks, SUVs, Minivans, and Vans

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2017 Editors’ Choice: The Best New Cars, Trucks, SUVs, and Minivans

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