Before Motor Authority‘s Best Car To Buy 2022 is announced on Jan. 3, we thought we’d look back on our past winners to gauge our preferences and examine our benchmarks for how we evaluate cars.
The winners over the past 11 years have included coupes, wagons, convertibles, and hatchbacks. Oddly enough, one sedan was not the winner, but there were many nominees.
The cylinder count ranged between four and eight and there were turbochargers, superchargers, as well all-American naturally aspirated engine.
There is one theme that all vehicles are worthy of having a place in the garage.
Take a look at the past winners.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible
Chevrolet Corvette: Motor Authority“Best Car To Buy” 2021
American legend, the Chevrolet Corvette, has been a front engine, rear-drive sports car with two seats since 1953. This was until the 8th generation Corvette, which rewrote the story to make it a mid-engine sportscar. It was intended to fill the gap between C7 Corvettes and their more expensive rear- and midengine counterparts. It worked as the Corvette is capable of competing with European supercars. With 495 HP, the Corvette can hit the road faster than ever with a time of just 2.9 seconds to go from 0-60. Amazingly, the interior materials have improved than ever. This was achieved while maintaining a starting price of $60,000 This all helped the Corvette to be in the winning circle. Motor AuthorityHistory books.
2020 Porsche 911 – Best Car To Buy 2020
Porsche 911: Motor AuthorityThe 2020 Best Car To Buy
Porsche 911 is like wine. With age, it becomes better. With a classic design and an almost 60-year history, the timeless 911 continues to be a great sports car. It has a wide, low, and round body that is the ideal blueprint. With poise and precision at a track that puts it in another league, the eighth-generation 911 beat all of its competitors for 2020. We all felt like more drivers when our 911 4S tester drove the two miles at Atlanta Motorsports Park. The car was unflappable at speed, through corners and with its incredible grip, stability, agility moves and power, it felt unflappable. It feels and drives faster than the 443 horsepower model. The perfect sports car will cost you more than $100,000. But perfection is rare.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: Motor AuthorityThe Best Car To Buy in 2019
It’s clear why Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 won the 2019 award. Based on the superb C7 Corvette, the ZR1 cranks everything to 11 with incredible power—755 supercharged horsepower—and track performance for anyone but a professional hot shoe. Many people will discover their talents run out well before the C7 Corvette ZR1’s. You can also live in it on the streets (though not with optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s tires), thanks to its spacious interior, cargo area, and good visibility. This is the Hot Wheels vehicle from the poster. But it’s actually less than $150,000 in real life.
2018 Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic Type R Motor AuthorityThe 2018 Best Car To Buy
Motor Authority awarded the Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2018 the legendary Honda Civic Type R. Although it may start as a Civic Type R, the hot-hatch turbo-4 Honda Civic can push occupants into their seats with 295 pound feet of torque and 308 horsepower. Transmission? Honda is the only one who has a choice. While the Civic is solid, it has great bones. However, the Type R brings more to the table with an aggressive bodykit, track suspension setup and grippy seats which will be a perfect fit for McDonald’s-fed Americans. Honda Civic Type-R offers entertainment, comfort, and value for around $35,000
2016 BMW M2 Coupe
BMW M2 Motor AuthorityThe 2017 Best Car To Buy
BMW’s initial focus was on the i3 electric car and the big-selling crossover SUVs X3 or X5, but the M2 coupe proves that the German automaker still knows how to build a sports car. It sings thanks to its turbocharged, 6-cylinder engine and begs you to make it go faster. While a dual-clutch gearbox is an option, the “terrific” 6-speed manual has short, smooth throws and its stubby, leather-wrapped shift lever snicks positively into gears. The handling is what sealed the M2’s fate as Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2017. It was able to handle on both the road and track without the use of adaptive dampers. Although it connected dots from apex, the steering felt a little too stiff and unresponsive despite its being precise and predictable. With all the street and track thrashing, brilliant brakes are another highlight. Although the BMW i8 may have been their halo-car for 2017, we loved our M2 halo car.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro
Chevy Camaro SS: Motor Authority2016’s Top Car To Buy
The scene for 2016 was almost right from Thunderdome. Two cars rolled in (the Chevrolet Camaro SS and Ford Mustang Shelby GT350) and only the Camaro SS rolled out as Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2016. Camaro SS’s 455-hp LT1 v-8 engine, which is sourced from C7 Corvettes, can be described as a sledgehammer among hammers. The Camaro SS has a 0-60 mph time of just over four seconds. It had a smaller body and was over 200lbs lighter than the fifth-gen Camaro. This made it one of our favorite Camaros (as opposed to the fifth-gen Z/28). The body was identical to the last car but the interior had more recent technology. It was priced at $37,000 without options, although that price could quickly rise.
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa Romeo 4C: Motor AuthorityThe Best Car To Buy in 2015
It’s sometimes the quality of life that matters most. The Alfa Romeo 4C was not the fastest or most powerful nominee for 2015, but the carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and mid-engine design combined with a low curb weight gave it a formidable combo punch. This car is beautiful, with an exterior design that would be worthy of a Ferrari badge at a fraction the price. Although the manual steering wheel of the 4C was a pain at park-way speeds, it made driving on open roads a breeze. It became lighter and more responsive as the grip increased. This was a refreshing change from the electric steering system in the majority of other nominations. It was easy to use, quick and precise shifting, quick throttle response, and an unadorned interior all added to the enjoyment. The Alfa Romeo 4C took the title because it was an exotic vehicle that wasn’t expensive.
2014 Porsche Cayman
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG
2014 Porsche Cayman
Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and Porsche Cayman: Motor Authority2014’s Top Car To Buy
2013 was a complicated year. So much so that both the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and Porsche Cayman were named Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2014. The race was extremely close to the point that both the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and Porsche Cayman were named the Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2014. CLA45 AMG, a supergroup of rock stars, is known for their ability to combine luxury, style, performance and balance. It was a complex setup that was far more than the sum total of its components. It controlled the turbo-4 engine with its 2 liters and 355 HP. It cost only $48,375 to get in. Although the CLA45 could be described as a great generalist, the Porsche Cayman is a surgeon. This car featured two-dimensional reflexes that were laser like, the finest electric power steering available and an extremely balanced chassis. The 275-hp flat-six engine is midmounted.
2013 Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster: Motor AuthorityThe 2013 Best Car To Buy
The Boxster won the second time in succession for Porsche. It was the perfect combination of a classic, timeless sports car and a fun luxury vehicle. It was all about the driving experience: sun, wind, feeling, speed, and pure joy. While the 265-hp 2.5-liter flat-six is what started it all, the bigger 3.4-liter flat.six with 315 horsepower was more of what you wanted. The Boxster S was fast enough to sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds thanks to its dual-clutch transmission. This is almost supercar territory. It was an attractive car, both inside and out. The Boxster is still a great looking car.
2012 Porsche 911
Porsche 911: Motor AuthorityThe Best Car To Buy in 2012
In almost all categories, the seventh-generation Porsche 911 was undoubtedly the most successful. The (then) Porsche 911 was built by Porsche engineers who refused to bend to the laws and physics. Only the iconic 911 had a slightly less responsive electro-mechanical power steering. It was offered with either 350-hp (or 400-hp) and, when coupled with the fast dual-clutch transmission, it provided telepathic gear shifts from the whining flat-six engine. The car is excellent as a sports car but it’s also very comfortable as a daily vehicle. It has a more spacious interior than the 911 and offers much more space than the 911.
Cadillac CTS-V Wagon 2011
Cadillac CTSV Coupe and Cadillac CTS-V Wagon Motor AuthorityThe Best Car To Buy in 2011
Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy award was established in 2001. The world had changed drastically since then. The American Luxury Coupe and American Luxury Wagon had a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 that produced 556 horsepower. It was available in either a 6-speed auto (bad choice), or 6-speed manual (good option). The car looks like something out of the Twilight Zone. The era is gone. But its memories live on. The outrageous Cadillac CTS V Wagon Coupe and Coupe were distinguished by their sharp design and comfortable interior. For those looking for a luxury vehicle with high performance capabilities, there is no better choice than the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon and Coupe.