Because the transfer to electrification continues, some automakers are leaping towards the long run whereas others need to the previous for one final remaining hurrah. These traits are clearly evident on this 12 months’s crop of finalists for Motor Authority Finest Automobile To Purchase 2023.
Final 12 months marked a primary for our award. A clean-sheet-design electrical pickup truck from a startup automaker got here out on high because the Rivian R1T earned Motor Authority Finest Automobile To Purchase 2022 honors. The Lucid Air, additionally an electrical automobile and likewise from a startup, was the runner-up.
After driving almost 30 new or considerably up to date luxurious and efficiency automobiles, vehicles, and SUVs, we whittled down the record of 2023 nominees to simply seven contenders. We fought to get there, and fought extra to find out the winner.
We’ll announce the winner on Jan. 4, 2023, together with the winners from our sister websites, The Automobile Connection and Inexperienced Automobile Studies.
Till then, these are the seven finalists for Motor Authority Finest Automobile To Purchase 2023.
2023 Acura Integra
The Acura Integra proudly returned in 2022. Previewed a 12 months forward of the hatch’s return in prototype type, the compact hatch delivered on its promise of recapturing the magic of the glory days. Primarily based on the Civic Si’s bones, the Integra takes issues a step additional with the supply of adaptive dampers, a greater sound system, and naturally, a hatchback physique fashion. It is a disgrace the handbook transmission is quarantined to the top-spec mannequin.
2022 Audi RS 3
The Audi RS 3 returned with turbo-5 energy and monitor functionality. The RS 3’s mission is to thrill the driving force and stir the soul, and it feels proper at residence on a racetrack. The all-wheel-drive system has grow to be extra subtle and basically presents a drift mode because of a trick rear differential with torque vectoring functionality. The tires are staggered, oddly with the bigger rubber up entrance. It is legitimately fast, too, with a 0-60 mph dash of three.6 seconds. Certain, there is a little bit of turbo lag, nevertheless it’s a part of the automotive’s character. However at greater than $60,000 in most configurations, it is costly in a timeline of quick and enjoyable automobiles for much less cash.
2023 Cadillac Lyriq
The Cadillac Lyriq aligns the automaker with its battery-powered future. It might additionally mark the turning level that proves GM’s luxurious division is lastly able to chart its personal path. Moderately than chasing the Germans, the Lyriq units out on it personal with jaw-dropping fashion, a parts-bin free inside that is Cadillac-specific, and exemplary journey and dealing with. Whereas the preliminary worth of $62,990 has come and gone—it’s going to value greater than $70,000 if ordered now—it nonetheless looks like a price. That is the primary mass-market software of the Ultium platform, and it bodes nicely for future GM EVs.
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
The Ford Bronco Raptor made it to the ultimate spherical as a result of it is one of the outrageous and outrageously enjoyable automobiles cash can purchase. It is a street-legal Tonka truck with loopy specs, together with 418 hp, 13.0 inches of floor clearance, 13.0 inches of entrance and 14.0 inches of rear suspension journey, and 37-inch all-terrain tires. It additionally prices lower than the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, although that beast has two extra cylinders and 57 extra hp.
2023 Honda Civic Kind R at Sonoma Raceway
May we’ve a repeat winner on our fingers? The Honda Civic Kind R was named Motor Authority Finest Automobile To Purchase 2018 when the last-generation mannequin arrived. Now the brand new Kind R is right here, and it grows up however stays enjoyable. The newest iteration of the legendary scorching hatch checks in with 315 hp, higher cooling, and a revised gearbox. Certain, it nonetheless has the massive wing, nevertheless it’s bigger, smarter, and sooner than earlier than. It is already set a front-wheel-drive lap document at Suzuka. Priced at $43,990, it isn’t the cut price it as soon as was and our remaining two contenders value much less.
2022 Hyundai Kona N
The Hyundai Veloster N is useless and we mourn its loss after it virtually gained our Finest Automobile To Purchase award in 2020, however now we get the $35,995 Hyundai Kona N. The marginally lifted scorching hatch bursts onto the scene with the the identical rowdy turbo-4 and front-wheel-drive format however a bit extra practicality. The Kona N goes past scorching hatch to wild baby with its loud pops and crackles and sharp dynamics. However its greater seating place is a detriment to trace and canyon driving, and the journey is harsh.
2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Version
Who thought we might ever see the day when Toyota returned the Corolla to its Nineteen Eighties scorching hatch heyday? The GR Corolla does that, and far more. Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division put in a 300-hp turbo-3, a 6-speed handbook, and a trick all-wheel-drive system to make the Corolla enjoyable. The feisty scorching hatch begins at $36,995, however the model fans need runs simply over $40,000 because of non-obligatory entrance and rear limited-slip differentials. That is an costly Corolla, and it is nonetheless budget-grade inside, nevertheless it has the willpower to again up its perspective and worth.