The 10 Best New Cars of the Year
Forget about the best of today. What’s the best of tomorrow?
Everything evolves, and what’s considered “best” today might not be tomorrow.
But what’s going to be best tomorrow?
To find the best new cars for the 2020 model year, the goal is simple: identify new (or newly redesigned) vehicles that either set new standards in their respective class or offer dramatic improvement over the model they replace.
In other words, these are the 10 best new cars for 2020: whether new or redesigned, they’re the automobiles with the most promise to live up to.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $59,995 MSRP
In thoroughly reimagining the 2020 Corvette, Chevrolet’s engineers and designers transformed “America’s sports car” into a relatively affordable, mid-engine exotic. Better yet, according to Chevy, the base MSRP will be less than $60,000.
Initially, the 2020 Corvette will come in Stingray trim with an optional performance package. It will still use a 6.2-liter V8 engine, which Chevrolet says makes up to 495 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, but unlike every Corvette produced before it, that V8 will sit behind the driver. The other key takeaways? 0-60 mph in less than three seconds, and the only transmission option is an eight-speed automatic.
2020 Porsche 911
Price: $97,400 MSRP*
Adhering to the stylistic recipe that made it a sports car and racing icon, Porsche completely redesigned the 2020 911 Carrera and its future myriad derivations with an eye toward an electrified future.
Yes, it comes with an upgraded twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, but the new 911 is engineered for future derivations that will include hybrid and electric drivetrains. In other words, every variant of the car is wider in order to accommodate batteries and electric motors–whenever Porsche decides to debut a hybrid 911. Aluminum bodywork reduces weight, and with greater power comes greater performance than the outgoing 911.
Porsche infuses the redesigned 911 with new driver assistance, collision avoidance, and infotainment technologies. The legendary sports car doesn’t drive itself, however. If it did, what would be the point?
*Price for 2020 911 Carrera; Carrera Cabriolet (shown) starts at $110,200 MSRP.
2020 Cadillac CT5
Taking its design cues from
With several levels of specification, CT5 buyers have a choice between a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a twin-turbocharged V6 engine. A 10-speed automatic powers the rear wheels, though all-wheel drive is an option. The CT5 is equipped with the latest in Cadillac infotainment and driver assistance technologies, including the automaker’s
2020 Hyundai Sonata
With more than a hint of controversy to its detailing, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is anything but a boring midsize sedan. This isn’t the first time the automaker has taken a design risk with its bread-and-butter family car: the 2011 Sonata was a departure from the norm, and sold well. No doubt Hyundai is hoping to repeat history.
While there’s no word yet on specs for the Sonata’s Hybrid version, the main technology highlights (regardless of engine) include a pair of smartphone-driven integrations: a Digital Key system that allows the owner to use a phone to unlock and start the car, and a Parking Assist that self-parks the car...albeit with the owner standing outside the car issuing instructions via the phone.
2020 Hyundai Venue
Though it does offer a manual transmission, performance isn’t the Venue’s mission, as its 121-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine will attest. Value, however, is. The Venue comes in SE and SEL trim levels, each providing 18.7 cu.-ft. of cargo space in the trunk, or 31.9 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down.
And it’s probably going to sell enormously well. As you may have heard, people want SUVs, not sedans. With an expected starting price below the Kona, Hyundai is hoping the Venue makes its showrooms as packed as Shea Stadium during the British Invasion.
Let’s be realistic about one thing, though: Hyundai may be selling the Venue as a crossover SUV, but we’re counting it as a car, since you can’t get it with all-wheel drive and the comparatively meager ground clearance won’t support off-road excursions beyond the dirt shoulder of the highway.
2020 Kia Soul
Price: $17,490 MSRP
Speaking of cars being presented as crossovers by their manufacturers, the 2020 Kia Soul is completely redesigned. It’s also better than ever. It can even match up well with some SUVs with regard to cargo space. Fold the seats down, and this cube-shaped car can fit 62.1 cu.-ft. of junk into its trunk.
As for the funky soul of the, um, Soul, Kia may have ditched the rapping hamsters from the commercials, but it kept the available dynamic mood lighting that pulses with the stereo speakers. It also kept the available turbocharged engine, and more than doubled the Soul EV’s electric driving range.
2020 Nissan Versa
Price: $14,730 MSRP
The leap forward for the Versa is so dramatic that if not for the arrival of the mid-engine Corvette, this entry-level Nissan would’ve been the most significantly improved car on this list. With an aging design that dated to 2012 and a roster of safety features from the same era, Versa was in need of a redesign perhaps as much as any car on the market. For 2020, the Versa sedan returns with thoroughly modern engineering, a stylish set of clothes, and upgraded technologies.
2020 Subaru Legacy
Price: $22,745 MSRP
What’s impressive about the redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy is what lies beneath its skin.
It now rolls on a much safer and more modern chassis that absorbs up to 40% more crash energy than the previous Legacy, which was already one of the safest sedans in its class. The EyeSight suite of driver assistance and collision avoidance systems gets an upgrade, too. Rounding out the safety advancements with a flair, Subaru’s new DriverFocus facial recognition system is perpetually on the lookout for a drowsy or inattentive driver.
Also on offer is the same turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder found in the larger and heavier Ascent SUV, which delivers more robust acceleration when called upon.
2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan
Price: $19,600 MSRP
With this redesign, Toyota gets back into the game it once defined. With a history that dates to the 1960s, the Corolla has long existed for people who value reliability, efficiency, and affordability. For 2020, Toyota adds style, sophistication, and (in SE or XSE trim) even some speed to that equation. You can even get a stick shift in the SE.
Additional highlights include a higher quality interior, next-generation driving assistance and collision avoidance systems, and the addition of Apple CarPlay.
For near-Prius levels of fuel efficiency in a discounted package, go for the new-for-2020 Corolla Hybrid.
2020 Toyota GR Supra
Price: $49,990 MSRP
A quarter-century has passed since Toyota stopped selling the Supra in America. But now, thanks to a partnership with BMW, the Supra is back and with more than a whiff of German engineering behind it.
Based on the same two-seater platform and using the same turbocharged 6-cylinder engine design as the BMW Z4 sDrive M40i, the new GR Supra (the GR is for Gazoo Racing) is the hardtop counterpart to BMWs’s Z4 roadster. Toyota engineers did fine-tune the GR Supra differently, however, just as its designers penned their own exterior. Inside, though, the Supra’s BMW lineage is obvious, from the joystick-like eight-speed automatic’s shifter and the orange nighttime backlighting for the center console displays.
Supra loyalists might have a problem with this shared engineering, but that doesn’t prevent the new GR Supra from qualifying as one of the best new cars of the year. In fact, it probably ensures it.