The drum beat continues as the industry marches into the electric era, but gas-powered cars aren’t dead yet. For proof, check out this year’s finalists for Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2024.
Last year marked the return of a champion with the Honda Civic Type R earning Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2023 honors. But the plot twist came with the electric Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV making it to the final round of the competition.
After driving nearly 25 new or significantly updated luxury and performance cars, trucks, and SUVs, we whittled down the list of 2024 nominees to just five contenders. We argued to get to that list, and then fought even more to determine the winner.
We’ll announce the winner on Jan. 3, 2024, along with the winners from our sister sites, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports.
In the days ahead we’ll have an in-depth look at each of these nominees. Until then, these are the five finalists for Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2024.
Acura Integra Type S
The Acura Integra nameplate returned in 2022. It was even a finalist for Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2023, but compromised packaging, limited availability of the manual transmission, and a lack of power kept it from the winner’s circle. Now the Type S brings the model back to the finalist circle with a slightly tweaked, 320-hp version of the turbo-4 from the Civic Type R dressed in a more mature package.
2023 BMW M2
The BMW M2 won Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2017 when it debuted. The car’s become bigger, heavier, more complex, more powerful, and faster since then. It’s still a joy to drive, it still offers a slick-shifting manual transmission, and it’s a great car for a trip from San Francisco to Napa Valley, but is it as fun as the car that won this award seven years ago? You’ll find out soon.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 finally gives the C8 the powertrain the chassis deserves. The LT6 is an exotic engine—a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crank—to match an exotic mid-engine design. It sounds and revs gloriously. We also discussed whether the new electrified AWD Corvette E-Ray should be the Corvette contender, but its limited electric range (3-5 miles) and the special character of the LT6 meant the Z06 won out.
Ford Mustang Dark Horse
The Ford Mustang will be the last pony car standing at the end of this year, and the S650 generation brings with it a monster, the Dark Horse. With 500 hp from a naturally aspirated V-8, dual throttle bodies, and an available handling package with sticky Pirelli Trofeo RS tires, the Mustang has morphed into a thoroughbred sports car.
Lucid Air Sapphire
In an instant the Lucid Air Sapphire has become the de facto benchmark for fast sedans. With 1,234 hp, a 0-60 mph sprint of 1.89 seconds, and the ability to run 8s in the quarter mile, the Sapphire shows electric cars can push the performance envelope like gas-powered cars never could. It also carves corners, treats passengers to a comfy leather-lined interior, and goes more than 400 miles on a charge.