Our favorite cars of 2021


Let’s face it, testing cars is a lot of fun (most of the time). It’s even more fun when the cars we drive are great machines, whether they’re fast, efficient, luxurious, or just plain good looking. These are our favorites, the cars we just couldn’t get enough of.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2021

Chevrolet Corvette 2021

Editor-in-Chief Joel Stocksdale: It might not be really new, but I ended up only getting the chance to drive the Chevrolet Corvette this year. Strangely enough, it appeared last winter during a fairly snowy week. And the fact that it still impresses me on cold and sometimes slippery roads should tell you a lot. The nearly 500 horsepower V8 is about perfect for going really fast, while having fun on the streets. He also likes to be rolled up. The drivetrain is great when you shift gears as quickly as possible, but it’s also incredibly smooth and cool when you just want to hit the grocery store. And of course, it has plenty of space for groceries thanks to its front and rear chests. The steering and handling are amazing, about on par with Porsches. Plus, when you sit low inside this wide vehicle with its low nose and a window directly into the engine bay, it really does look like something much more expensive and special, like a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.

The Corvette is really as good as everyone says, and if you can afford one you should definitely buy one, even if that means you have to wait awhile for yours to be built.

Cadillac CT4-V 2022 black wing

Associate Editor Byron Hurd: It’s rare when a car just seems to fit, and Baby Alpha wasn’t the car I expected to do for me this time around, but here we are. About 48 hours after driving it to VIR, I was talking to a local Cadillac dealership about placing an order. Looking back, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. The “standard” CT4-V is already a great little car, and it’s no surprise that 150 extra horsepower and a more engaging drivetrain make it an absolute gem. The charisma and absolute speed of the CT5-V Blackwing’s V8 may be unmatched, but the 4’s slimmer, slicker chassis makes it very athletic in its own right, and although I enjoyed my two American coupes With a V8 engine (a 2013 Challenger SRT8 and a 2015 Mustang GT), I found myself gravitating towards baby Blackwing. It’ll be equally at home on a track, autocross course, or cross-country road trip, and it has all the gadgets a performance car enthusiast could ask for.

Finalist: My second pick for this class would be the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N. DCT or otherwise, it’s a ton of fun and carries on the Mazdaspeed3 legacy in a way nothing else has. Get one while they’re still relatively cheap (and available at all, for that matter).

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Editor-in-Chief Greg Rasa: It is not uncommon for a press car to attract attention. I drew the crowds with a Rolls-Royce and a Lamborghini, no surprise there. But a week with the Mustang Mach-E brought in more inquiries and even photo takers than I have known. It was in the spring before the car hit dealerships, so it was the first time the folks at Mach-E had seen it. But people knew this car was going to hit the market and were looking for it. One day, I parked in the circular driveway of a hospital, and nurses, doctors, and patients checked it out. A guy looked inside, then asked to sit in the passenger seat. When he emerged he said, “I own Tesla and am impressed.” Me too.

Finalist: A pre-production Polestar 2 showed similar interest. The delivery driver said that before dropping her off with me she had to stop at a local Volvo store and the entire dealership had emptied to view the car. The 2 also impressed us here at Autoblog. It was a lot of fun to drive; acceleration and handling are all you could want in a daily driver.

Public interest in the next wave of electric vehicles is there. People are open to the idea of ​​an electric car. The automakers, who are betting the farm on this transition, rest assured: if you build it, and build it well, they will come.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Editor-in-Chief, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I had my choice to be the base Porsche Taycan (see finalist below), but then I took the Hyundai Ioniq 5’s first ride. It’s a phenomenal electric vehicle, with futuristic styling, interior. Lounge-style, plenty of range, super-fast 800V charging, great tech and tons of character all around. The best part, in my opinion, is the all-wheel drive powertrain. It’s powerful, cranking the car to 60 miles per hour in about 5 seconds. It’s skewed towards the rear, and an accelerator pedal boot on exiting a corner will tease the rear slightly, which is absolute gas. The Ioniq 5 exemplifies Hyundai’s recent momentum and a sign of great things to come. If I chose a new daily driver right now, I would have a hard time choosing between this one and the Polestar 2.

Finalist: I generally like electric vehicles (see our soon published list of the most disappointing cars for an exception). I generally like to drive Porsches. I generally like powerful rear-wheel drive cars (but too powerful can be boring). So it’s no surprise that I quickly fell in love with the base Porsche Taycan, in all its rear-wheel-drive electric splendor. Best of all, it happened in my driveway just between heavy snowfall. Admit I briefly recalled over a decade earlier, helping push a sliding Nissan 370Z down a snowy main road in Ann Arbor with Seyth Miersma and Steven Ewing, but the Taycan on winter tires didn’t m ‘never left out. (Winter tires, gentlemen. Winter tires.)

I had a blast with this Taycan base. I made donuts at Taycan. I went shopping in the Taycan. I was comfortable in the Taycan. I felt safe in the Taycan. The fact that you can get such a pure and refined Porsche – and electric, to boot – for less than $ 100,000 is fantastic. How could I not fall in love?

Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

Editor-in-Chief James Riswick: Whatever my selection this year, it was going to be electric. Not because of an evangelical need to tout their need to slow global warming, but because they were rightfully the most interesting cars I’ve driven this year. That’s really saying something given my earlier fear that the future of cars may be doomed to become unmotivated transport mods. Instead, my favorite car nominees included “the most complex car I’ve ever tested” in the Mercedes EQS, the well-balanced and characterful Mach-E GT, and my ultimate pick, the Porsche Taycan GTS. whose electricity completely dimmed in the seat of his bad Porsche as I circled it around Willow Springs and wondered “is this the best car I’ve ever driven?” after emerging from the Angeles Crest Highway.

It was my first time driving a Taycan, but the GTS-specific performance upgrades and unique, un-lifted Sport Turismo body style seems to be my choice, anyway. Since we’re talking about “favorite cars” here as opposed to the more objective and professional “best cars” or “best cars”, I have absolutely no problem throwing the price out the window. In a fantasy world, the car that I have driven this year and that I would most like parked in front of my house permanently, plugged in of course, would be the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition

Test drive editor Zac Palmer: This one was easy. I just picked this year’s car that I would most like to drive from the dealership. The regular Civic Type R was my favorite mega hot hatch in recent years, and the limited edition only sweetens the pot. As expensive as the LE can be, there is no car in the same stadium that can touch it for driver engagement and sheer driving pleasure.

I cherished every mile on that Phoenix Yellow firecracker. Its virtually perfect shifter made sure that even the most mundane driving tasks were filled with mental stimulation. And then, when you take it on the right roads, the Type R shows a side of itself that you barely thought possible in a front-wheel drive car. It makes you question long-held beliefs that rear-wheel drive is better, mainly because the Type R LE is good enough that you wonder how anything else on that $ 100,000 side could be better. The fact that I have even more words to say poetically about it after hushing up a whole story of praise about it is proof enough: the Type R Limited Edition is a rockstar, and it’s my favorite car of all time. 2021.

Lucid Air Dream Performance

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I have driven a lot of great vehicles this year. I could have chosen almost any of the eight electrical devices I highlighted in a recent column. And the Cadillac CT5 Blackwing is exactly the kind of high powered old school sedan that I love. It looks like a Cadillac in a way I can only imagine they felt it when Caddy was at the height of his power in 1962, let’s say.

But I landed on the Air for its style, performance and overall character. It’s rare to find a new product from a new company that seems to make everything work in harmony. Sitting in the beautiful but simple interior, I was surprised at how sophisticated it all was. Sure, I tested a $ 169,000 car with 1,111 horsepower, but always. Lying on the throttle as I lit Woodward on a sunny November afternoon, I pulled the air out of my lungs. When my adrenaline stabilized, I was left with a sense of optimism for Lucid and EVs in general.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

Consumer Writer Jeremy Korzeniewski: I pick a motorcycle as the best car I’ve driven in 2021, mainly because when I look back on the year, the vehicle I remember having the most fun with was the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250. C he is a great bike, and it suits the kind of riding I like to do. It excels on the road, with 150 galloping horsepower from its liquid-cooled V-twin engine at the rear wheel, and also performs well when the asphalt turns to dirt and rocks. There’s plenty of room for luggage, all the electronics and tech a biker could want and, of course, the kind of wind-blown freedom bikers all over the world crave.

I have also driven legitimately excellent cars and trucks – the donuts I made around a makeshift 8-way ride in the Ram TRX were especially memorable – and vehicles like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler 392 and 4xe prove that adventurous vehicles are here to stay. Electric vehicles like the Rivian R1 series, Ford Lightning and Hummer join Tesla in the electric revolution. Suffice it to say, we are in the midst of an exciting time for vehicles, and that also applies whether you are on two or four wheels.

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