12 new vehicles that moved the needle in 2022
Yes, we know, putting together a list of the most important vehicles introduced this past year is a very subjective thing. But this has been a big year for new debuts, including sports cars, trucks, luxury EVs, and more. If we got it wrong, there’s a comments section down at the bottom where you can set us straight. So without further delay, here are 12 vehicles we think moved the needle in 2022, or will soon in 2023. Oh, and they’re organized alphabetically, rather than ranked in any particular order.
BMW i4 M50
With the i4 M50, BMW is just showing off. With the enormous grille that is there for looks (what happened to the modest bow tie grilles on BMWs?), the electric i4 M50 has dual-motor all-wheel-drive, totaling 536 horsepower, with a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. Weight is over 5000 pounds, but it feels lighter on its feet than you’d expect. It’s a solid vehicle with in-your-face styling, starting at $68,295. Click here to read Ronan Glon’s BMW i4 M50 review.
Yes, it’s surrounded on this list by a lot of electric cars, but the BMW M2 is a pocket rocket reminds you of why internal combustion and manual transmissions still matter. The turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine has 453 horsepower and the six-speed manual promises smooth shifting, especially after the car is broken in and you get used to that familiar, rubbery gear engagement. It’s pricier than, say, the Toyota GR Corolla, but this car is as exciting and, in its own way, sophisticated as it gets for $63,195. Money well spent, we’d say. And no M4 grille!
Go to Cadillac.com and click on “Lyriq.” The first thing you see: “Orders for the 2023 Lyriq are full. Pre-order your 2024 model today.” That speaks to the general appeal of the elegant electric Lyriq. Cadillac estimates the price of the 2024 all-wheel-drive, two-motor, 500-horsepower Lyriq at $64,000; they might sell out in ’24 too – a problem Cadillac hasn’t had with a mass-market model in a long time. Click here to read Aaron Robinson’s 2023 Cadillac Lyriq 450E review.
Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-150 Lightning has become the default representative of the electric truck. It’s quick, entirely capable as a pickup, handsome, and despite a rash of price increases that now comes in at a base of just under $60,000, still affordable if you opt for the Pro or Lariat model (though the Platinum extended range model is dangerously close to $100,000). Rivian’s swanky R1T is a looker, but the Lightning boasts well-conceived and expertly executed package—with the backing of the Blue Oval. Click here to read Sajeev Mehta’s Ford F-150 Lightning review.
Yes, we know, we haven’t driven the seventh-generation Mustang, but it is an important car, even if the new generation isn’t that far removed from the sixth. But all signs point to the possibility that this may be the last true new pony car with an internal combustion engine, and that wonderful sound from the (soon to be) 480-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, much less the track-ready, 500-horsepower Dark Horse model. The looks aren’t to everyone’s taste, but the performance can’t be denied.
The electric Genesis GV60 tries to be many things to many buyers, and it essentially succeeds. The premium cockpit and very smooth, quiet ride point up the level of precision that went into this SUV; there are luxury models that are more fun to drive, such as the Volvo XC40 Recharge, but as daily runabout transportation the Genesis GV60 delivers everything you’d want in a modern EV. Starting price is just over $60,000. Look for Nate Petroelje’s first drive review of the GV60 in the coming weeks.
While the Endurances we drove earlier this year were certainly capable and well screwed together, this fleet truck scores points mainly because it exists, turning an abandoned GM plant in Ohio into a working factory again. Kudos, and good luck getting the Endurance off the ground. Click here to read my Lordstown Endurance review.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer L
The L is representative of all the big new Jeep Wagoneer models, but there’s something about the L that just seems appropriately stately. After seeing a white one at a gas station towing a big aluminum-skinned Avion trailer, we had to admit it just looked right. And the new 510-horsepower “Hurricane” inline six-cylinder engine is just right, too. Of course, starting at $88,640, the Grand Wagoneer L better be good. Click here to Nate Petroelje’s Jeep Grand Wagoneer L 4×4 Obsidian review.
Kia EV6/Hyundai Ioniq 5
These two South Koreans are essentially twins, so choose your styling and your dealer and go for it. You’ll be getting one of the most critically acclaimed electric SUVs on the market. Handling is startlingly good, masking the weight of the battery (and let’s face it, electric vehicles are way too heavy). Power is adequate at 320 horsepower, and far more than adequate in the sports-minded 576-horsepower EV6 GT model. The single-motor Ioniq 5 SE is probably the best bargain, with rear-wheel-drive and 320 horses, but a range of over 300 miles for under $47,000. Click here to read Sajeev Mehta’s Hyundai Ioniq 5 design story.
No, it isn’t as fast as some customers might want it to be, but 400 horsepower seems like plenty for this Japanese sports car. Handling is very good, ergonomics above average, and the styling, reminiscent of the 1990 Nissan 300 ZX but not derivative, is spot on. Eventually the pipeline will be full enough so dealers can’t so easily tack on $20,000 to what is a tantalizingly low base price of $39,990 (before destination). If you’re looking for attention, this may well be the most appealing pure sports car you can get for the money. Click here to read Eddy Eckart’s Nissan Z review.
Toyota GR Corolla
The only question we have about the GR Corolla is, what took Toyota so long to build a wild thing like this? It’s a blast to drive, but even with its 300-horsepower turbo three-cylinder it’s docile enough to serve as practical daily transportation. The manual transmission is way fun, and handling is truly kart-like. The all-wheel drive system and limited-slip differentials front/rear make it a uniquely rally-bred prospect, now that the Subaru WRX STI is dead in the water. The GR Corolla starts at $35,990 (before shipping), but good luck finding one for that.
We suspect a lot of consumers who have never thought about buying a Prius will now add it to the “consider” list. It’s finally pretty, and with the base hybrid’s 193-horse powertrain, it should be reasonably capable of merging onto the highway. Add in great mileage and Toyota reliability and resale value, and we think the new Prius will be a big hit.
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Agreed, not a show stopper in the bunch.
Agreed, Evo vehicles are stupid, how high would the death toll been in Buffalo? They are no good in the cold and don’t have the staying power that ICE vehicles do.
Electric cars are no more than transportation. No matter how much they cost, no matter how fast they go they are about as exciting as slot cars. Oh wow, my electric motor is faster than yours. Whoopee! Makes me want to puke!
Slot cars were a ton of fun and still are! What’s the difference between my electric motor is bigger then yours or my big block is bigger, louder, and more obnoxious then yours. You make me want to puke!
Oh, and by the way, I have a 427 side oiler BB and an electric with a zero to 60 time of 3 secs. Both are Great!
We’ll said Carl.
I have to disagree…a good slot car is much more exciting.
Agree 100% They’re about as exiting as turning on my bench grinder.
I agree with you 100%. Electric cars are as exciting as getting the runs!
I would categorize EV’s as mere transportation appliances, not automobiles. They have no character, no soul.
What, no C8 Corvette Z06?
The C8 Corvette Z06 didn’t count because it broke the needle when it moved it too far. 🙂
Chevrolet has raised the bar for performance. There is NO vehicle that can run with the Z06. Of the dozen listed above there may be two that can see the Corvette’s shadow. The remaining ten are mere showroom bauble. Big dogs don’t run with puppies, so for now there is NO competition! “It’s a good feeling!”
None of these move any needle, it is all just more of the same generic shapes. Pre-ordering anything from GM would be the stupidest decision any person could make. 100%
That Genesis – a face only a mother could love
My old man owned a Genesis. It was a smoking deal when he was leaving a 3-series, years back.
Let’s just say it didn’t end well, and was almost lemon-lawed twice before the dealer stepped up, and spent serious time finding some major electrical gremlins. He hasn’t gone Hyundai/Kia/Genesis since.
Steve, thanks for the great article. We still miss your writing in Orlando. I am a tried and true petrolhead, and I must say that I am loving the new Lightning. It is as fast as my GT500, maybe quicker at times and it sure is nice “filling up” at home, mostly on pure solar. On a negative note, I would be remiss if I did not object to any car list with a prius on it. As my former leftist neighbor says, ” the prius does away with the nasty label that a car brings, it is an appliance for the future.” At least I agreed it was not a car. Thanks, KO
I love my 4 classic sports cars and have no plans to sell them and will continue to enjoy them. But I am also excited for all the new electric offerings coming our way. Like internal combustion cars today, some or most will be boring and some will be amazing in performance and styling.
Watched videos of the McMurtry Speirling this morning &, I’ll sadly admit, electrified vehicles with unlimited funding are wildly impressive. However, the common public gets “treated” to overpriced, soulless econoboxes & SUVs. I get it, the market is all about the SUV, but I decry the loss of good old ICE sounds & cars that are light & handle amazing without relying on a computer chip to do so. I remain unconvinced that all these gadget controlled cars will be a total reliability headache in the future & the sight of $60k worth of 5000lb rolling sewing machine slithering down the road makes me cling even more to my outdated, but superior current vehicles. I’m not old enough to be this heart sick over “progress”. In regards to this article, only the M2 & the Corolla would be on my wishlist. Both, however, are too much money though &, in the Corolla’s case, too much because of simple greed (yes, yes…free market…I get it). Leaves an extremely bad taste in my mouth.
Should have read “will not be a reliability headache”
You don’t have to decry the loss of good old ICE sounds…They’re still here. I have two of them. They just happen to be 20 years old.
Just taking a wild swing here, but Hagerty might not be the perfect forum to blame all our national ills on liberal arts graduates.
Why not? Regardless of what forum the discussion is generated from this clueless group of people need to hear what common sense and truth is.
Car of the year – CT5V Blackwing is not listed – American Super Car !!!
American Engineering at its best !
I own 2 and I can’t say enough about this ferocious-sexy sleeper !
So this is a New Car site now? How many of these cars will Hagerty insure?
I almost quit reading when the first few cars on this list were over 60 grand .even the cheapest is going to be close to 40 grand.times sure have changed!
Yep, I have to agree with a few folks here. I thought Hagerty was for collector vehicles that had earned the recognition as true classics after decades of recognition. YES, I did say DECADES! Until they are admired for a few decades, they are just used cars or the newest splash in the pan.
When everyone gets an EV the grid will collapse. They can’t shovel the COAL in that fast. Give me ICE!
Yeah that F-150 Lightning is a real masterpiece. Can’t tow very far and Ford advised folks driving them in cold climates refrain from using the heater so as not to lessen the battery power and range. What a JOKE. Take your electric farce and place it where the solar won’t go.
Kuddos John K you are right on! The gullible public will buy anything!