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Editors’ Picks January 2022 | Ford Maverick, Jeep Grand Cherokee and more

This month, we awarded Editors’ Pick awards to a number of totally redesigned, new models. Most notable of the bunch is the 2022 Ford Maverick. Ford took a chance on a new segment, and its execution is as close to perfect as we could hope for. The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a worthy competitor, though, and was also named an Editors’ Pick. Also in this list, we have the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s an excellent SUV, and it’s only going to get better when the plug-in hybrid 4xe model hits the roads.

In case you missed our previous Editors’ Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get Editors’ Pick status. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in January that earned an Editors’ Pick.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Quick take: Jeep’s midsize SUV hits it out of the park with the latest generation. We could stand to see some powertrain innovation, but the Grand Cherokee’s premium proposition is sound.

Score: 8.0

What it competes with: Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, Nissan Murano

Pros: Highly capable, luxurious interior, choices aplenty

Cons: Pricey, fuel economy

From the editors

Associate Editor, Byron Hurd — “Jeep did almost everything right with the redesigned Grand Cherokee. Its powertrain offerings are fairly unremarkable, but the new two-row 4xe will go a long way toward addressing that. It’s an otherwise fantastic, modern, luxurious Jeep SUV.”

In-depth analysis: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Drive Review | 1 fewer row, 1 more touchscreen

 

2022 Ford Maverick

Quick take: The Ford Maverick offers tremendous value, efficiency, incredibly well-thought-out packaging, plenty of storage, a fairly engaging drive and ease of use, all with the utility of a pickup bed. We like the hybrid, but the EcoBoost engine and FX4 package offer more capability.

Score: 8

What it competes with: Hyundai Santa Cruz

Pros: Very affordable, Hybrid fuel economy, compact size

Cons: Tight backseat, FWD only Hybrid, no cruise control in base trim

From the editors:

Green, Senior Editor John Beltz Snyder — “The Maverick is simply a dynamite package. It’s smart, useful, drivable, efficient, providing affordable utility in the underserved compact pickup segment. It offers something for almost everyone, from the base hybrid version to the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, off-road-ready FX4 version. It’s no wonder demand is high.”

Features Editor James Riswick — “The Maverick is an intriguing new entry in the automotive landscape: a pickup at a price that competes with compact sedans and midcompact SUVs. Sure, it has crossover architecture and therefore can’t lug that stump out of grandma’s front yard, but for the daily drive or weekend adventures, it provides exceptional hybrid efficiency, a responsive driving experience and the distinctive utility only an open pickup bed provides. Best of both worlds?”

In-depth analysis: 2022 Ford Maverick Review | A smaller truck can be a smarter truck

 

2022 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring

2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring PHEV

Quick take: Adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain to the Corsair adds a new, green dimension to the already luxurious and appealing Lincoln crossover. 

Score: 7

What it competes with: Audi Q5 PHEV, Lexus NX 450+, Volvo XC60 Recharge

Pros: Competitive pricing, grand interior, spacious

Cons: Could be a smoother powertrain, not sporty to drive

From the editors:

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — “The Lincoln Corsair is one of very few small luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs, but it’s compelling for the right buyer. It’s one of the most affordable in the segment, as well as one of the most efficient with good electric range. It also has one of the best looking interiors on the market. You’ll want to look elsewhere for power and sportiness, but if luxury and efficiency are what you need, you should definitely check it out.”

In-depth information: 2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring First Drive Review | Efficient, stylish and value-packed

 

2022 Audi A3

Quick take: Stellar exterior looks, an intriguing interior design, good handling and great fuel economy makes the A3 a splendid entry-level luxury sedan. Plus, it’s all available for a respectable price.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Acura ILX, Cadillac CT4

Pros: Punchy looks, great tech, fun-to-drive, fuel economy

Cons: Gets expensive quick, cheaper interior, odd touch-sensitive buttons

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “I’m rather enamored with the scrappy looks of the A3, and I find it more appealing than all the other small, German luxury sedans. And while the interior materials may be on the cheaper side of luxury, the angled and funky design gives it some needed spunk. Add great fuel economy and respectable handling to the mix, and the A3 is an excellent, little luxury car.

Green, Senior Editor John Beltz Snyder — “The Audi A3 is a nice entry into the Audi brand, with sporty looks and plucky handling. I like the design inside and out, even if some materials aren’t quite as nice as its higher-priced siblings. This would be a fun and comfortable car to drive on the daily.”

In-depth information: 2022 Audi A3 and S3 First Drive | Tiny sedan, big fun

 

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