Luxury and performance vehicles win the year.
Lots of EVs driven but only one deserves to be on the list.
Putting this Top 10 reviews of the year has been another frustrating exercise. This list should take 10 minutes to compile but, as a car fanatic, it’s almost impossible to narrow down the list.
The fact of the matter is that there are still so many good and interesting vehicles to drive that nearly all have something going for them. In 2021, my faulty math calculations suggest that I will have driven close to 85 vehicles. These automobiles came from all segments, were priced between $17,000 and $200,000, with less than 150 horsepower to over 800 ponies, with one petrol engine or two electric motors, were built in Europe, Asia, North- or South America, and so on.
From this list, a few points stand out. To my dismay, most are premium and expensive vehicles. To be honest, I would (I swear on my kids’ heads) select a Civic Type R over an M3 given the choice but the fact is that the luxury brands can produce exceptional cars. I’m proud to say that barely more than a third are SUVs although two straddle the line between car and utility vehicle. Either way, this is not the norm, this is only me preferring cars over SUVs.
The fact that there’s only one EV on the list reminds me that EVs are still in their infancy. Although most like the Polestar 2 and Volkswagen ID.4 are impressive, they’re not quite special enough for me. Sure, they’re faster and generally cheaper to run, but hey, this is my list.
Finally, each of these vehicles offers up something expected or unexpected that makes them special, unique, or simply an absolute blast to drive.
Here are my top 15 vehicles driven in 2021:
2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The title says it all: The Best-Driving 4-Door Sedan.
2021 Audi e-tron Sportback
Sophisticated, fast, and handsome. The ride is silky-smooth, and the cabin is ultra-modern. Also, it’s pricey.
2021 Audi RS 6
The Audi RS 6 is the one ICE vehicle I would get if I could only buy one. It’s a turbo-V8 AWD station. There’s nothing more to say.
2021 BMW M3
With the manual transmission, the new M3 is tough to drive fast, and I love that.
2021 BMW XB7
The BMW X7 is already an exceptional large luxury SUV. With added Alpina sauce, it is the greatest in every respect.
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
In a world where petrol is uber-cheap, I would shuttle my little family in this thing and never back down from a race.
2022 Genesis GV70
Quite possibly the most impactful ICE vehicle to come from the Hyundai Group.
2021 Honda Civic Type R
Without a doubt, the best-driving, most rewarding, and intuitive FWD car ever.
2022 Honda Civic
The new Civic guarantees that Honda will not lose its crown as the maker of the best-selling car in Canada.
2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line
Surprisingly quick, well-equipped, affordable, and entertaining. I made the mistake of underestimating the compact sedan.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The new 11th generation WL Grand Cherokee has only one semi-flaw and it should be erased when the 4xe version arrives.
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe
Speaking of 4xe, while I might feel that PHEVs are like snake oil, the Wrangler 4xe’s extra power and electric range wrap a halo around the truck when off-roading.
2021 Land Rover Defender
Be it the 90 or the 110, the new Defender is equal parts acculturated urbanite and hardcore off-roader.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The previous generation Pathfinder had lost its path. Now, it’s back on the right path and better than ever. I had to…
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness
The Subaru Outback is one of my favorite cars. The Wilderness package makes it even more appealing.