The 10 best cars of 2022

06th December 2022
Ben Miles

It’s almost the end of the year and that of course means endless best of the year lists. And we at GRR are absolutely no exception, we’re all suckers for reading what people think was better than other things, so why avoid the issue. It’s also been a pretty good year for releases of exceptional cars, so picking the very best was difficult. But we’re pretty happy with what we’ve chosen.

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS

Ah yes, starting with what was definitely my favourite car to drive of 2022. Back at the start of the year we got our first chance to spend some time in Porsche’s latest speed machine, the most stripped-out, most-winged, most extreme Cayman there had ever been.

The interesting thing is that the change in pure performance stats over the standard GT4, if you can call it standard, is negligible. There’s 80PS more, to make 500PS (368kW) and 30Nm extra – for 450Nm (331lb ft) overall. While that does mean the GT4 RS will hit 62mph as fast as the 911 GT3, pure speed is not what the GT4 RS is about.

What it will do very happily is be a total nutter. The engine – derived from the one in the 911 GT3 cup racing car – screams to 9,000rpm. From idle to 8,500 it sounds like a demented banshee and above that it sounds like death is being tortured. A new manifold means free revving and the chassis is pretty much perfection. The Cayman GT4 RS is a chuckable monster that will torture every one of your senses like Homer being force-fed donuts in the Simpsons. It’s just magnificent.

Genesis GV60

I have my problems with the GV60 – it looks a bit like a fish from several angles, it is really rather expensive, and some of the chintzy bits are a bit, well, chintzy. But, underneath it all, what Genesis has done is really rather good.

It helps that the car is based on the Kia EV6/Hyundai Ioniq 5 platform, giving the GV60 a base of two of the best EVs ever made. But Genesis has managed to give the car its own personality. It doesn’t feel as exciting as the EV6 or look as good as the Ioniq 5, but it has taken the interior and elevated it into exec levels. The drive and range are excellent and once you’re inside it you don’t have to look at it, so all is good.

Cupra Born

You have to wonder what VAG execs think of the Cupra Born, really. For anyone who has been in both, what the Born does is spend its time highlighting all the things that are wrong with the Volkswagen ID.3. Because underneath, and in large parts on top, they are the same car.

The Born looks great, it has a lovely interior and, while I take issue with how it handles compared to its sporty looks, it drives extremely nicely, delivering dollops of power when you want and, certainly in the wet, a little slide from the rear. There are faster versions coming that should hopefully fix that sporty looks/reasonable drive dichotomy, but if you’re looking for a family EV with a decent budget the Cupra Born is quite possibly the best choice in its segment

Morgan Super 3

The Morgan 3-Wheeler is dead, long live the Morgan Super 3. How do you radically alter a car that’s essentially three wheels tacked onto an engine?

Well, the answer, according to Morgan, is to move to a proper car engine, stick it inside the bodywork for the first time and add some tech. Now with a water-cooled 1.5-litre three-cylinder from Ford, the Super 3 might have lost some of the charm of that old vee-twin slung out in front, but it’s gained a more modern look and lost none of the fun. It’s also faster, with 118PS (87kW) and 129Nm (95lb ft) while weighing 635kg.

There’s still nothing that looks or handles like the Super 3, with the gearbox from an MX-5, an engine related to the Fiesta ST and basically no weight. It’s a purist’s dream, and possibly the easiest car to break traction in. A one-tyre fire in a Super 3 also isn’t really an issue. 

BMW i4

Ignore the weird M badge on one of them, the i4 might be exactly what the EV market is crying out for. Sure it’s great to see EVs experiment, be radically different to the automotive norm, use their freedom from trad drivetrains to think outside the box. But a century of car making has led us to expect cars to look and be a certain way. The i4 is a BMW family car that looks like a BMW family car and just happens to be an EV. A salooney-fastback thing with four doors, five seats and room for luggage.

It also drives very well, is exceptionally fast and manages to have an innate Bimmer-ness to it as you drive. Perhaps the downside is the way the screen feels like it’s been propped on the dash rather than integrated, but the interior quality is top notch and for all people complain about the nose, it’s a good-looking car.

Lotus Emira

Is this the car with the toughest job in the world? How can one car manage to replace the Elise, Exige and the Evora all while being well thought out enough to be the final internal combustion-engined car from Lotus?

Well, it still has basically the same engines as the ones before (a four-cylinder and a V6 from Toyota), so the actual push isn’t really that impressive. But it’s a Lotus, so the chassis is absolutely everything, and with old-fashioned hydraulically-assisted steering, stringing corners together in what’s now the small, medium and big Lotus is just delightful.

Given the Lotus Emira has to replace so many different cars, there will be many, many, different versions of it to come – we’ve only had a go in the 3.5-litre V6 with its 400PS (299kW) and 421Nm (310lb ft). But this is a really, really really promising start to the farewell tour.

Range Rover

Cost of living crisis be damned. The Range Rover will continue to go from strength to strength no matter what. The new one didn’t tear up the rule book, it didn’t change everything dramatically. It just seemed to make everything better. This is executive motoring pretty much on a par with some things built not too far away from Goodwood.

The latest Rangie will go off road, as you expect, and on the road it is a monster of waft, as you’d expect. Eating up mile after mile with very little regard for whatever is on the tarmac in front of it. The new interior is an updated, refined, version of what went before. There’s a plug-in version incoming, making the Range Rover’s breadth of abilities ever wider. Quite simply the Range Rover is still completely without rival.

Honda Civic Type R

The FL5 Civic Type R had one hell of a hard act to follow. A bit like the Range Rover. And we were very thankful to find out that it has done so admirably. With the world of hot hatches disappearing off into a tech fest of four-wheel-drive and monstrous power outputs, it’s comforting to know that the Type R is still a front-driven manual.

It does, we have to admit, look a little plain, even to those of us who thought the last one was a bit “much”. But all the attention has gone underneath, and that’s a good thing. The rear wing, which looks like it’s been tacked on, produces real downforce. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo is an evolution of what went before but now has 329PS (242kW) and has been developed to remove the foibles of the FK8.

And it’s all worked. The new Type R is sharp and predictable. Less mad than some of its rivals, but more fun because of that. It could well be the final Type R to be like this, and if so it’s going out on a high.

We’ll have a video review of it in the new year.


Dacia Jogger

Does this really fit in amongst the rest of the cars in this list? We would argue that yes, yes it does. A bit like the Range Rover the Jogger doesn’t really have any proper rivals. And much like the Range Rover this is a car that just does everything needed of it. But unlike the product from Land Rover, the Dacia Jogger won’t cost multiples of your average salary.

But more than just being cheap the Jogger is actually brilliant. It has enough room for the biggest family, has ingenious ways of packaging extra storage, looks decent and isn’t awful to drive. If you need seven seats it’s really hard to argue that you should even think about spending more.


Alpine A110

There is still nothing at almost any price range that can make you feel the way that the Alpine A110 does in spades. This is a sportscar that’s not focussed on being a sharpened blade, it doesn’t need to be the very fastest thing from a to b. The Alpine wants to be the best thing you’ll drive from destination to destination. The one that gets you there while making you wonder if you should just keep driving.

It’s had a mild update for 2022, and the range now even incudes a hardcore version, the A110R. But it’s the basic version that is still the best. It now comes with an aero pack – don’t get it – and has some new colours – very nice – but has retained the excellent handling while adding a little bit of extra tech inside.

The Emira gives the Alpine A110 something to think about in 2022, but in reality nothing can really eat into the appeal of the French sportscar. It is its own thing and doesn’t want to be anything else and that’s good. Because it’s own thing may be the best thing ever.

  • List

  • Porsche

  • Cayman

  • GT4 RS

  • Genesis

  • GV60

  • Cupra

  • Born

  • Morgan

  • Super 3

  • BMW

  • i4

  • Lotus

  • Emira

  • Range Rover

  • Honda

  • Civic

  • Type R

  • Dacia

  • Jogger

  • Alpine

  • A110

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