There are very few cars that really disappoint us over the course of a year of driving. The ones that do are almost universally derided as not worth buying (or building, for that matter) don't last very long. Then there are the ones that we can't wait to drive in the coming year. We'd like to take the time to when our driving appetites, as well as yours, with ten of the best vehicles we'd like to drive this year (and we factor in ones we might actually get our hands on).
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8)
This one might be reaching since we're not even sure it'll get into our fleet for testing, but we can dream. The C8 is the first generation of Corvette with the engine behind the seats, and that should make for unbelievable performance starting at $50K. The 490 horsepower base 6.2-liter V8 engine should launch it to 60 in well under four seconds. In top trim Z51, it'll do it less than three seconds, making it one of the fastest cars for the money. Awww yeah.
2020 Ford Explorer ST
The new Explorer really is all-new with a rear-wheel drive platform. In sportier ST trim, the Explorer gets a whopping 400 horsepower to all four wheels thanks to a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. The ST should rocket to 60 in about five-and-a-half seconds, making it rapid transit for a party of seven. It also happens to be one the best-looking three-row SUVs on the planet with its blackened trim and special ST details.
2020 Audi SQ8
As if the beautiful Q8 wasn't powerful enough with its 335-horsepower turbo V6, the SQ8 will easily eclipse that number. Although we won't get the version with the diesel V8 from Europe (429 horsepower), we might just get an SQ8 packed with the engine from the S6 and S7 sedans that spit out 450 horsepower, which should be enough to scare your passengers and delight them at the same time. What's more, it might even be a mild hybrid system for better efficiency. The interior appointments will get even more luxurious than the Q8's sumptuous cabin, as well.
2020 Land Rover Defender
The second coming of the Defender has been a long time coming, and we can't wait to get behind the wheel to test its mettle. In 90 and 110 configurations, it's supposed to be even more capable than its predecessor, and that's a high bar to clear. It gets independent suspension front and rear, full-time four-wheel drive, an active locking rear differential, and a manually locking center differential. Even a powerful mild-hybrid powertrain with 394 horsepower is available, way way more than the original's 85 horses.
2020 BMW 8-Series
In two-door coupe and four-door Gran Coupe style, the 8-Series gets the turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 (523 horsepower, 553 lb-ft of torque) and an eight-speed automatic routes power to all four wheels in the M850i xDrive. Not only will the M850i xDrive rocket to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, it'll do with premium style and serious luxury. It's bringing sexy back to BMW.
2020 Hyundai Sonata
Who says family sedans are dead? Hyundai is re-thinking theirs with great styling, premium technology, and even a performance N-Line version. The huge grille is menacing but gets outshone by the LED lighting elements in the hood. Inside, you'll find blind-spot monitors that pop up in the gauge cluster, available Nappa leather, and premium appointments. The engine choices will be four-cylinder gas engines (180 hp 2.5-liter; 191 hp 1.6-liter turbo; 290 hp 2.5-liter turbo). We can't wait to see the rebirth of the family sedan with the new Sonata.
2020 Mercedes-Benz ECQ
Though it might not be much to look at, the GLC-like EQC gets a fresh grille with blue lighting and matching lighting on the rear fascia. Most important is what the blue light symbolizes, electric power. The EQC 400 gets two electric motors with 402 horsepower in total, making it quite fast (0-60 in 4.9 seconds). Range is good for up to 200 miles, which might not be earthshattering but it could be just right for most commuters and a new step for the German brand.
2020 Toyota Highlander
The Highlander is one of Toyota's best-selling vehicles, and it was due for a redesign this year. The new styling is pure Highlander but more contemporary and dramatic. The Highlander will seat up to 8 with reach bench seats, and it gets a bit bigger than the outgoing model. The second-row slides and reclines, and the wheelbase increases by almost 2.5 inches. It'll come in a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine good for 295 horsepower, and there will even be a super-efficient hybrid trim, which should put it at the top of the three-row heap, even though the third row won't be the biggest in the pack.
2020 Subaru Legacy
The new Legacy Sedan lives, and it should prove to be the best so far. The styling is familiar but nicely updated to look more refined and less bulky. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard, as always, and the new Legacy will offer two flat-four cylinder engines: a 2.5-liter with 182 horsepower and an XT trim with a turbocharged 2.4-liter good for 260 horsepower. Inside, you'll find improved styling and infotainment to make it the most refined Legacy to date.
2020 Polestar 2
If you haven't heard of Polestar, you're not alone. The performance arm of Volvo is building fresh electric vehicles that will come here next year. The Polestar 2 will be a direct competitor of the Tesla Model 3, and that's a tall order. It will be powered by two electric motors good for 201 horses each for a total of 402. It'll rocket to 60 in under five seconds and get 275 miles of range. There will even be a performance package that provides better suspension, brakes, and fancier trim. The EV game will get even more heated with the Polestar brand, and we're excited about that.