Jan 12, 2022 - Economy & Business

The best cars of 2022 aren't the innovative EVs

Photo of Ford Maverick pickup and Ford Bronco SUV in front of Ford headquarters.
Ford's Maverick, left, and Bronco were among the winners in the North American Car, Truck and Utility awards. Photo: Ford

Some of the most innovative electric vehicles we've test-driven in the past year were snubbed as 2022 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year, announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The Lucid Air sedan, Rivian R1T pickup and Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover utility were all finalists for best vehicles in their category, but they lost out to traditional models from well-known brands.

  • The winners: Honda Civic (car), Ford Maverick (truck) and Ford Bronco (utility).
  • The jury: 50 leading automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada (including yours truly).

My thought bubble: The winners stood out for their value for the money and, in the case of the Bronco, technology that enabled even me to excel at off-roading.

  • Starting at $19,995, the small and efficient Maverick hybrid finally makes pickup trucks affordable for entry-level buyers, and the 11th-generation Civic is rock solid as always.

Yes, but: I was impressed by all three EV finalists, especially since Lucid and Rivian are newcomers to the industry.

  • The $169,000 Lucid Air Dream is a game-changer that could unlock more affordable electric vehicles for the masses.
  • Rivian's fresh and surprisingly capable R1T opens up a new market for electric pickup trucks.
  • And Hyundai's spacious Ioniq 5, which can charge to 80% in just 18 minutes, shows how EVs can easily fit into our lives.

The bottom line: These futuristic EVs hold promise, but it's too early to declare them winners.

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