From the January 2023 issue of Car and Driver.
10Best just turned 40, and like many 40-year-olds, it’s going through a time of reflection and reassessment. 10Best assures us this is not a midlife crisis but an evolution.
For the past few years, we’ve experimented with allowing trucks and SUVs to claim spots on our list of 10. Combining them grew from a desire to give readers the most complete advice on what to buy and what to lust over. But picking fewer than 10 cars never felt right and led to many intraoffice squabbles. This year, we’re separating cars from everything else. It’s a move that will give shoppers a more comprehensive look at the entire vehicle landscape while allowing us to celebrate cars that we love. Next month you’ll see a 10Best list for trucks and SUVs.
The next 16 pages are a celebration of sedans, hatchbacks, two-seaters, sports cars, and an electric sports sedan. Much of the list will be familiar to our readers, because 10Best isn’t just about what’s new this year, it’s about the best that’s on sale.
A few rules apply, though. Every car on the list has to go on sale by January 31, and as always, we set a price cutoff, not only to remain relevant but with the expectation that an expensive car had better be damn special. Inflation has bumped up the price of a new car, and thus our cutoff to a Chevrolet Corvette Z06–size $110,000. We assure you that’s totally a coincidence.
Car and Driver isn’t an autocracy, which is ironic because autos are what we’re about. After a week of driving every new car that meets our criteria, we vote on a scale from zero to 100. As in figure skating, we throw out the high and low votes and average the remaining scores. From there, someone with mad Microsoft Excel skills sorts the list, and we have the 10Best cars of 2023.
Click each individual car to get the full story, or keep reading to find out more about the 2023 10Best cars.
The BMW i4 stood out among the competition, and not just because it’s an electric BMW. With its acceleration, handling, smart packaging, and value, the i4 distinguishes itself from all other sports sedans, whether they’re electric or not. In fact, the i4 may just have what it takes to push BMW’s enthusiast base to take the plunge and go electric.
Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
No matter how often we experience a CT4-V Blackwing, it charms us every time. The chassis and steering provide high levels of feedback that shame many sports cars. Opt for the manual and you get slick shifts and the joy of doing it yourself. Anyone who enjoys driving will find generous helpings of fun behind the wheel and if you need more, there’s always the CT5-V Blackwing.
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Even before you start moving, Cadillac’s CT5-V Blackwing struts like a champ. The 668-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 puffs its chest and barks out as if it’s in a Corvette, because in a different life it was. The Blackwing’s greatness extends beyond the mighty V-8. Every part of the driving experience bestows a level of intimacy typically reserved for exotic sports cars. The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the greatest sports sedan on sale today, if not of all time.
Critics like us love it for the driving experience and performance. Corvette fans love it because it’s the ultimate realization of their favorite car. People who’ve never had any interest in Corvettes suddenly find that they do now because this one is so different from all that came before. Add in the new 670-hp Z06 version that puts the exotic-car world on notice and you have the makings of a 10Best winner.
You can feel the award-winning richness of the Accord before you even leave the parking lot. It’s smooth, quiet, and refined to the nth degree. Honda keeps evolving the Accord and the latest version increases fuel economy, sports a new look, and retains the blend of practicality and performance that makes this the king of family sedans.
We’re awarding the entire Civic lineup because every model in the range offers value and greatness. Even the most sensible models—the base Sport sedan and hatchback—are a joy to drive, with engaging handling, refined road manners, and accurate steering. At the top of the range, the sporty Type R and the Si offer fun for enthusiasts on a budget. From top to bottom, the Civic gives every car buyer something to enjoy.
Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman
Driving a 718 Cayman or a Boxster resets your expectations for how a car should steer, accelerate, handle, and feel. It makes the list again because we love driving, and the 718 line knows how to speak that love language. With the increase in spending power for this year’s 10Best, we are able to include almost every 718 variant, from the base turbo flat-four up to the Cayman GT4, the lightweight 718 Spyder, and the kick-up-the-revs Boxster and Cayman GTS 4.0.
Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR86
These cars are built to entertain the person behind the wheel rather than fill a spreadsheet with big numbers. Light and devoid of extras that don’t enhance the driving experience, they’re utter delights—sharp, unfiltered, and inexpensive. Long may they remain so. Driving one serves as a reminder that sometimes simplicity is its own reward.
Toyota GR Corolla
The GR is the first Toyota Corolla ever to earn a spot on the 10Best list. But this is no ordinary Corolla. The GR looks, drives, and makes the sort of sounds you expect from a sports car and wraps it in a practical hatchback. It’s full of spirit, eager to please, and simply unflappable on the street or track. The wait for an exciting Corolla has been a long one, but the GR Corolla was worth the wait.
For 2023, the Supra returns to the 10Best list partly thanks to its newly available six-speed manual transmission. The added involvement takes the interaction between driver and Supra to a new level. And, while the automatic-equipped Supra can’t quite match the manual’s connection, all Supras share track-ready handling, an eager engine under the hood, and a smile-provoking performance.