- What’s the right car to buy this year? The answer depends on what you need it to do.
- With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 12 vehicles that stand out in different ways.
- We’ve also kept varying budgets in mind, so MSRPs range from $19,610 to $107,595.
- Find outstanding options whether you want an SUV, sedan, truck, sports car, or minivan.
The car market is brimming with choices these days. On the one hand, that means consumers have more selection than ever. But on the other hand, the sheer number of options can be a little overwhelming. To help you sort through it all, we’ve narrowed down the field to 12 cars that truly stand out.
Since every driver has different needs, we’ve made a point of including a variety of great options. Whether you want a sedan, SUV, pickup truck, sports car, or minivan, this list has you covered.
12. Chevrolet Traverse
Why We Picked It: Sleek minivan alternative
MSRP: $33,700 – $53,400
U.S. News Ranking: #4 in Midsize SUVs
J.D. Power Ranking: #2 in Upper Midsize SUV
Need the roomy seating capacity of a minivan but just can’t see yourself driving one? Then the Chevrolet Traverse could be the vehicle for you. It’s a mid-size SUV with a spacious cabin that comfortably seats eight passengers — plus cargo!
So, it can handle road trips and school carpools. While other three-row SUVs may be able to fill the bill, the Traverse stands out. As Consumer Reports puts it, “Not only is it competitive with popular three-row SUVs, such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander, it beats them in their own game.”
11. Kia Sportage
Why We Picked It: Sporty drive, affordable price
MSRP: $24,090 – $35,250
U.S. News Ranking: #4 in Compact SUVs
J.D. Power Ranking: #2 in Compact SUV
The Kia Sportage offers the valuable combination of a sporty drive and a relatively affordable price tag. While its base engine is satisfying to drive, those looking for an extra exciting ride might consider upgrading to the even speedier turbo engine.
In other words, Car and Driver says both engine options make for an enjoyable ride, but “the turbocharged engine can turn mundane milk runs into rollicking rides.” The compact crossover SUV also has an upscale cabin and an intuitive infotainment system.
10. Toyota Camry
Why We Picked It: Luxe without the price tag
MSRP: $25,395 – $35,820
U.S. News Ranking: #3 in Midsize Cars
J.D. Power Ranking: #2 in Midsize Car
If you think “unexciting” when you hear Toyota Camry, then it may be time for you to reevaluate the classic sedan. It’s shed its traditional sedan styling and taken its look to the next level with a sleek exterior that sits low. And that’s not to mention the interior, which has an upscale vibe.
Although its look recently got a makeover, at its core, the Camry is still the vehicle so many drivers know and love. That is to say, the reasonably priced sedan continues to shine in reliability, safety, and fuel efficiency. There’s a reason the Camry’s been the best-selling car in the U.S. for about two decades.
9. Cadillac Escalade
Why We Picked It: Imposing exterior, tech-centric interior
MSRP: $76,295 – $107,595
U.S. News Ranking: #3 in Luxury Large SUVs
J.D. Power Ranking: #1 in Large Premium SUV
The Cadillac Escalade has long been a status symbol known for its towering presence and luxurious cabin. Now, its interior is also decked out in showstopping electronics. As Car and Driver puts it, the 2022 Escalade has “more technology than an Apple Store.”
Its digital dashboard has three curved OLED displays that create a combined 38-inches of screens. This setup displays both the gauge cluster and infotainment system. The Cadillac also has an augmented-reality navigation system and impressive 19 or 36-speaker sound system, depending on your choice of trim. Additionally, you can add a rear-seat entertainment package with two 12.6-inch displays.
8. Chevrolet Corvette
Why We Picked It: Fun to drive, great value
MSRP: $60,900 – $79,850
U.S. News Ranking: #1 in Luxury Sports Cars
J.D. Power Ranking: #1 in Premium Sporty Car
If you’re in the market for a luxury sports car, then the Chevrolet Corvette has a lot going for it. “It can do just about everything that the Porsche 911, Mercedes-AMG GT, and Acura NSX can but at a fraction of the price,” according to U.S. News & World Report.
The Corvette has fierce acceleration, precise handling, and powerful performance. It also absorbs bumps in the road, so it’s even a smooth ride over rough roads. And that’s to say nothing of the Corvette’s cool, futuristic interior that feels like a cockpit. What’s more, Consumer Reports found it’s one of the 10 most satisfying cars based on owner feedback.
7. Toyota Sienna
Why We Picked It: Modern family vehicle with great fuel economy
MSRP: $34,710 – $50,910
U.S. News Ranking: #4 in Minivans
J.D. Power Ranking: #2 in Minivan
The Toyota Sienna looks and feels like a minivan for the modern age. For one thing, its muscular build looks more like an SUV than an old-fashioned minivan. Beyond its eye-catching exterior, the Sienna is a hybrid minivan that gets an impressive 36 mpg in the city as well as 36 mpg on the highway. It’s also one of the few minivans with all-wheel drive.
The modern feel continues inside the Sienna. Its cabin is upscale and practical, featuring a sleek dashboard, center console, and plenty of storage bins. Notably, it also has seven USB ports and 18 cup holders — thoughtful touches large families will appreciate.
6. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Why We Picked It: Ruggedly handsome, up for off-roading
MSRP: $34,900 – $69,820
U.S. News Ranking: #3 in Midsize SUVs
J.D. Power Ranking: #6 in Midsize SUV
Those looking for an SUV that combines impressive off-road capability with comfortable city driving should take note of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It can handle mud, snow, and potholes. Not only does the exterior look rugged and outdoorsy, but it also manages to look polished and luxurious — quite the balancing act to pull off.
If you want to maximize the Grand Cherokee’s off-road power, then you might consider the Trailhawk trim package. It comes with four-wheel drive, an off-road camera, terrain management system, skid plates, limited-slip differential, and tow hooks. And when you aren’t off on an adventure, the rugged and refined Grand Cherokee is also comfortable enough for your daily commute.
5. Ram 1500
Why We Picked It: Powerful, efficient, incredibly comfortable
MSRP: $35,900 – $76,780
U.S. News Ranking: #1 in Full Size Pickup Trucks
J.D. Power Ranking: #3 in Large Light Duty Pickup
The Ram 1500 does what’s typically expected of a full-size pickup truck — and does it well. For instance, it can tow up to 12,750 pounds and haul up to 2,300 pounds in its bed. Depending on your needs, the Ram 1500 has several trim packages and the choice of a V-6 or V-8 gasoline powertrain. With up to 32 mpg, it also has efficient fuel economy.
If you need off-road prowess, then consider the Rebel trim level. It comes with all-terrain tires, upgraded shocks, and skid plates. In addition to checking the traditional boxes you expect of a pickup truck, Car and Driver says it has “creature comforts that make the Ram feel more like a luxury vehicle than a pickup truck.” It has a plush cabin and an intuitive infotainment system.
4. Hyundai Tucson
Why We Picked It: Head-turning style, ample driver assistance tech
MSRP: $24,950 – $42,700
U.S. News Ranking: #1 in Compact SUVs
J.D. Power Ranking: #4 in Compact SUV
The Hyundai Tucson’s exterior has a brand-new futuristic design that’s bold and eye-catching. With this daring redesign, the Tucson earns major points for its appearance. In fact, Consumer Reports says it “now outshines several segment mainstays, including the Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4.”
Beyond style, the Tucson also has a full suite of driver assistance features, including a rearview camera, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring. It also has a comfortable cabin, user-friendly infotainment system, and smooth handling.
3. Nissan Sentra
Why We Picked It: Combines low-cost with high-value
MSRP: $19,610 – $22,200
U.S. News Ranking: #9 in Compact Cars
J.D. Power Ranking: #1 in Compact Car
According to Consumer Reports, the Nissan Sentra is the top car on the market under $25,000. So, if you’re looking to save money without sacrificing quality, then the Sentra could be the vehicle for you. The current generation has a polished look that Consumer Reports says turned the “dowdy-looking, also-ran sedan into one that now stands with the top models.”
Notably, the Sentra has comfortable seats and a spacious interior that feels upscale for the price. Additionally, it offers respectable handling, power, and gas mileage. While it doesn’t have some of the flashy bells and whistles of pricier vehicles, it provides high value for a low cost. One thing to keep in mind: the Sentra is selling over MSRP at some car dealerships, so make sure you pay a fair price.
2. Lexus GX
Why We Picked It: Supremely reliable and luxurious off and on road
MSRP: $55,625 – $65,135
U.S. News Ranking: N/A
J.D. Power Ranking: #2 in Midsize Premium SUV
Not only is the Lexus GX the year’s most reliable SUV according to Consumer Reports, but the source also says it’s the most reliable vehicle of 2022. It earns a reliability score of 5 out of 5. And unlike many luxury SUVs, the Lexus GX has serious off-road chops. So, it can handle rugged terrain as well as city streets.
The Lexus GX also scores points for a quiet cabin. Plus, the well-built cabin features luxurious materials such as wood and leather. It’s also worth mentioning the infotainment system, which got a significant upgrade this year. Now, the Lexus GX has a 10.3-inch touch screen that’s easy to use.
1. Honda Accord
Why We Picked It: Consistently great year after year
MSRP: $26,120 – $38,050
U.S. News Ranking: #1 in Midsize Cars
J.D. Power Ranking: #1 in Midsize Car
Over the years, the Honda Accord has racked up a lot of awards and accolades. As a matter of fact, it’s made the Car and Driver 10Best list an impressive 36 times. It’s also the year’s most reliable midsize sedan in the $25,000 to $35,000 category, according to Consumer Reports.
In addition to dependability, the Accord also has a spacious and stylish interior. The finishings are refined, and every trim offers a comfortable cabin. But the top-of-the-line trim maximizes comfort with heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a head-up display. Plus, the Accord has good get-up-and-go. To put it another way, Car and Driver says that “the 2022 Accord shines in every way a car can.”