In a year marked by supply chain issues, chip shortages, and record-setting inflation the automotive industry has never faced a bigger challenge. But with the pivot to electric cars in full swing and a large range of new product launches, automotive writers have had their hands full with more new vehicles to test than ever before. We asked our main contributors to pick their favourite cars of 2022 and a close runner-up. This was no easy task, but the vehicles on this list stood apart from the rest.
2023 Honda Civic Type R
“The Civic Type R
needs no introduction, and it ’s not much of a surprise that it ended up on this list. We’ve only received the last two generations of it in North America, but both are spectacular to drive.
“The 2023 somehow manages to be even sharper, gets more power, and what was one of the best gearboxes ever is even better now. The styling is much tamer on the new model and you can actually consider it a good-looking car now. The performance, approachability, and the practical five-door hatchback bodystyle make this one of the most usable and fun sports cars on the market.”
Runner up: 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
“With a 9000-rpm naturally aspirated flat-6
mounted amidships, and the airbox in the cabin, rides don’t get much more thrilling or visceral than this.” – Kunal D'souza
2023 Nissan Z
“Rarely does a car live up to the hype that months of renderings, concepts and teasers creates. The Nissan Z
is no exception to that rule but, for me, it is exceptional nonetheless.
Sure, it’s built upon a dated chassis, has a borrowed motor and the cabin is still a bit cramped but the Z is a front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car – with a manual transmission – in 2022. That alone is worthy of praise.
Power spools from the twin-turbo V6 with immediacy and grunt. The clutch is well weighted and the shifter communicates only a little bit of mush to it. Plant your foot and Z will squat a touch before it squirts, but it hustles with impressive eagerness. The soundtrack ain’t half bad, either.
“Most impressive was the ride. Nissan could have delivered a track-day fighter but they softened the edges and dialled back the damping. That will cost more than a few tenths on a closed circuit but rewards endlessly on the roads leading to it which is why, for me, it wins.”
Runner up: 2022 Lexus IS 500F
“Trailing ever so slightly was the Lexus IS 500 F
. A raucous reminder that the fast saloon is still an ambition worth striving for.” – Matthew Neundorf
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
“I realize this selection is pretty on-brand for yours truly, but the Blackwing
is remarkable not only for its immense performance credentials, but also because of its status as a vehicle from an increasingly bygone era. With the rise of electrification, rear-wheel drive sedans with big V8 engines and manual transmissions have almost gone extinct.
From its meticulous carbon fibre detailing inside and out, to its fighter-jet cockpit with pin-sharp digital displays, and bulging bodywork, the Blackwing represents truth in advertising – looks fast, is fast. The stat sheet doesn’t always tell the true tale, but in the case of the Blackwing it really does. 6.2-litre supercharged V8 with 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft. of torque, 0-97 km/h in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 322 km/h, and it goes on, but you get the point. Simply put, it’s a thrilling car to drive, one that delivers not only seat-pressing acceleration, but also nimble handling from GM’s Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, massive grip from its Michelin Pilot 4S summer tires, and precise stopping power from its Brembo brake package.
“Likely the last pure gas-powered V Series sedan from Cadillac, the CT5-V Blackwing is one to savour.”
Runner-up: 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT
“The flipside of the Blackwing is Audi’s flagship EV sports sedan, a car that suggests all-electric performance is indeed something to look forward to.” – Lee Bailie
2023 Genesis G80 Electric
“The Genesis G80 Electric
was a real eye-opener for me. It shares many of its underpinnings and interior digs with the gas-powered car, and that is a very good thing because these are some sterling underpinnings. The ride is top-drawer even on stylish 20-inch wheels, the materials used inside feel of the highest grade and everything is spectacularly subtle. The way the infotainment control operates like an original iPod scroll wheel is cool; the fact that the transmission select wheel gets real glass at its centre is cool; the widescreen infotainment display is cool; the weirdo steering wheel that doesn’t really have spokes but more of a central hub like an old Citroën is cool. Add some avant-garde
exterior styling and an EV powertrain with over 500 km of range and a colossal 516 pound-feet of torque and the want is very strong.”
Runner up: 2023 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 1LE
The Z/28 is gone, so the 2SS with 1LE
track pack and 455 hp V8 plus six speed manual ‘box, magnetic dampers, fat tires and cool aero touches is as close as you can get for 2022/23. Its straight-line speed is obvious, but the fact that it handles like a much smaller vehicle is the real kicker, making for an absolutely addictive drive.” – Dan Heyman
2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo
“After testing the standard Taycan, I was left somewhat melancholy when considering the future of enthusiast cars in the inevitable EV era.
The ferocious, all-consuming, face-melting acceleration of the Taycan Turbo
changed my mind in three seconds flat.
The Turbo still embodies Porsche elegance under normal circumstances. But mash the go-fast pedal and you’ll swear it was the hyperspace throttle on the Millenium Falcon. It makes everything else feel slow. An 800+ horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat Jailbreak I tested immediately after felt sluggish by comparison.
“Best of all, the Taycan Turbo will make your passengers scream and laugh like they’re on a rollercoaster. Which means this EV can do the most important enthusiast car trick of all — leave you with fond memories.”
Runner up: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla
“The GR Corolla
is possibly the most fun and rewarding car I’ve ever driven. The manual gearbox is worth tales of its own. Which is to say nothing of the superb steering, grip, chassis and powerband — all packaged into a dailable compact hatchback. This is Toyota delivering on their “no more boring cars” promise.
“However, while the GR Corolla’s MSRP is positioned as a bargain, it’s difficult to overlook its economy interior and extreme compromises in noise, vibration and harshness versus some competitors.” – Chris D’Alessandro
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
“Every fall I make the long trek to Detroit to participate in the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) test event, driving dozens of vehicles to determine the finalists. This year, electric vehicles dominated that list, with six of the nine finalists being EVs. We live in changing times!
“While most EV owners embrace their status as early adopters, for many motorists the new technology is bewildering. And you won’t find a more traditional bunch than pickup truck owners. Knowing this, Ford delivered their very first all-electric truck wrapped in the comforting cloak of familiarity. The brilliant Ford Lightning
, my pick for this year’s best vehicle, offers quiet, refined handling, a wealth of new tech, and impressive power and capability in a traditional pickup truck package.”
Runner up: 2023 Genesis GV60
“Lovely design, a whimsical rotating crystal ball shifter, and dynamic driving character earn the Genesis GV60
second place in my year’s favourites. A mechanical limited-slip differential and adaptive suspension make the GV60 a hoot to throw around winding roads – yet it’s luxurious enough for a relaxing cruise.
It’s chock-full of high tech like the biometric fingerprint and facial recognition system that lets you operate the vehicle without keys or smartphone. The Hyundai Group is on a roll lately, and clearly the GV60 continues that winning streak.” – Lesley Wimbush