Cars.com editors recognize the best cars they drove this year. And they even bought the one they liked the best!
If you’re going to spend several years and many tens of thousands of miles in a car, shouldn’t it be one of the best?
That’s what the editors of Cars.com think, too.
Cars.com partnered with us to share their story about the Best Of Awards. This post is part of that promotional partnership.
They drive 80+ car and truck models a year and during that time they develop some opinions about what the best is. They get to know them all pretty well inside and out.
A few years ago they decided to whittle down their favorites in the market by bestowing a “Best Of” designation on the handful of cars that stand above the rest.
Truly the Best, Not Just the Best of the New
From each year’s test drives, they pick the best of the bunch. The absolute best. Not the best of the new, or the best of the redesigned or the best of all time, but simply, the best.
“We do things a little differently,” Joe Wiesenfelder executive editor of Cars.com told us. “Just because something is new, if it’s not better than last year’s model, why should it win?”
In fact, several Best Of winners are not necessarily new to the market at all. “We awarded the Chrysler Pacifica three years in a row,” noted Jennifer Newman, Editor in Chief of Cars.com. “We consider not only what is new, but also proven winners.”
This year’s winners illustrate the idea well. They are generally new to the market but also, proven in design, performance, and capability. We toured the Chicago Auto Show with Cars.com to see their designated Best Of cars and trucks for 2019.
Luxury Car of the Year: 2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
When it comes to luxury cars—true luxury— should the price be a factor? Cars.com editors didn’t regard price when picking their favorite. “This one has it all,” Joe told us. The Mercedes-Benz S Class is filled with luxury touches like heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and handcrafted leather upholstery. It has intuitive technology that reduces the stress of driving in heavy traffic. And, on the open road, it’s a joy to drive. But maybe the greatest luxury is that for all it offers, the S Class is not the most expensive in its category.
Our friend Bonnie Kenaz-Mara shared the whole story in her Facebook live stream broadcast:
Most Fun-to-Drive Car of the Year: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Miata has been fun to drive since it first rolled into dealerships in 1989. But the brand has continually refined the experience, Joe noted, and this year, they got it all right. With a telescoping steering wheel and improved drive experience, it is even more fun to drive than ever.
Why? “It is all about driving,” Jennifer told us. You feel closer to the road, connected to the machine, and “that focus is what keeps this car at the top of our list.”
Dr. Renee from Ask Dr. Renee shared a conversation with Jennifer and Joe from Cars.com:
Family Car of the Year: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica
This car carries the honor of being a three-time Best Of award winner. It captured the hearts of Cars.com’s editors when it was introduced for the fresh new look of a minivan. But it’s all the spoilers inside that make it a favorite.
“It’s all the little touches in this car,” Jennifer told us. “I love the way it drives, that my kids are entertained in the back.” The mom of two boys, “they love getting into this car,” she said. On trips, her boys will get so into their video games that when they arrive “they don’t want to get out of the car!”
The Pacifica makes family life easier, she noted, with ‘stow and go’ seats that fold into the floor when you need space for hauling things to in-car wifi and streaming. And, for buyers who want the added fuel economy and pure electric driving, the plug-in hybrid electric model offers about 30 miles on a charge and about 30 MPG.
ChiIl Mama has the story here:
Best Pickup Truck of 2019: Ram 1500
Pickup trucks are on fire right now. The entire industry has been in a race to redesign their pickups with more luxury, more capability and improved drive experience.
So when it comes to pickup trucks, “we do look for what is new in the market,” for the Best Of award winner, Jennifer told us. From the super luxurious to smarter, more innovative design, the Ram 1500 embodies all that a truck can do for its owners in its 2019 redesign. The details that won over Cars.com’s editors? From the oversized touch screen and infotainment system to the panoramic sunroof to the multitude of storage spots, the Ram can be a work truck, a luxury truck and a family car all at the same time.
Jen Rattie of My Crafty Life shared Jennifer and Joe’s look at the Ram 1500:
Best of 2019: Genesis G70
Looking at all these cars and trucks makes you wonder: What is the best of the best? While that can be a tough question, it was easy for the Cars.com editors to answer: the Genesis G70 won, hands down.
“Everyone agreed, this was the best car they drove all year, Jennifer told us. “People couldn’t stop talking about it, couldn’t wait to get in it.” And with two different engines, the team of editors fell in love with the larger more powerful V6, one of the factors that put the G70 over the top. The car is designed with deep integrity, they noted. Genesis parent company assembled a team of engineers and designers who previously contributed to BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz to design the G70.
And even for all that, perhaps the most surprising thing is the price, Joe noted. The G70 comes in at under $50,000. “You get way more power and features for the price than with its competition.”
One of Jennifer’s favorite features is seat adjustment buttons on the upper shoulder of the passenger’s seat. This means the driver or back seat passengers can move the front seat forward or back.
To really tell the story about their overall winner, the Cars.com Team buys the winning model. “We own it for a year and write about the ownership experience, the good and the bad,” Jennifer said.
Sounds like she’ll have a lot of volunteers on her team to get into the G70 to tell the ownership story, too.
Little Tech Girl shared her take on the Genesis G70 on Facebook Live:
Find Your Favorite Best Of Winner!
See all the winning cars for yourself at an auto show this year. Simply enter to win a pair of tickets to the auto show of your choice and get a close look at all the winners.
Contest rules: Entries must be completed by midnight February 20, 2019. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents 18 and older and subject to the laws of Illinois. Winners will be notified by email by February 25, 2019. Winners MUST pick up tickets in person at the Auto Show of their choice. Winners may be asked to provide identification to receive their prize. Prize value $30 per prize, not exchangeable for cash or other items; prize is limited to one pair of tickets. Prize DOES NOT include transportation, parking or other accommodations. Grand prize value is $130. A total of 10 pairs of tickets will be awarded and a total of 1 grand prize will be awarded. Contest is administered and managed by A Girls Guide to Cars on behalf of Cars.com; Cars.Com maintains no responsibility or liability for this giveaway.