Best Car To Buy Winners: A Decade of Driving Towards Sustainability

Ford F150 Lightning (

Explore the Evolution of  Car Excellence, from the Nissan Leaf to the Lucid Air and F-150 Lightning, as We Crown the 2024 Winner

For over a decade, we have celebrated automotive excellence with the Best Car To Buy award, showcasing vehicles that not only redefine the present but also provide a glimpse into the future. The award, initiated in 2010, has evolved to reflect the changing landscape of the green car market, recognizing innovations that extend beyond traditional “economy cars.”

In 2017, criteria adjustments allowed for a broader perspective, lifting the price cap while introducing a minimum 200-mile driving range for EVs and a 32-mile electric range for plug-in hybrids. This flexibility aimed to embrace all types of EVs, acknowledging the diverse needs of consumers.

As we reflect on past winners, a common thread emerges: each winner was either a plug-in vehicle or offered a plug-in version. This foresight, a decade ago, aligns with the present momentum towards electric propulsion supported by scientific consensus, automakers, and regulators. While acknowledging alternative efficiency measures, the focus remains on the environmental benefits of EVs in typical use cases.

Exploring Past Winners:

2011 Nissan Leaf:
The groundbreaking electric car that set the stage for mass-priced, battery-powered vehicles, proving EVs could be safe, reliable, and cost-effective.

2012 Toyota Prius family:
The Toyota Prius V expanded the Prius lineup, showcasing versatility, while the Prius Plug-In Hybrid introduced a 6-mile all-electric driving option.

2013 Tesla Model S:
A game-changing electric sedan with a 17-inch touch-screen display, setting new standards for EVs and introducing the Supercharger network.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid:
Honda’s introduction of a Two-Mode hybrid system in the mainstream Accord, emphasizing responsiveness and real-world fuel efficiency.

2015 Volkswagen Golf family:
The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf stood out with an 83-mile range, sprightly driving experience, and a modular platform enabling various powertrain options.

2016 Chevrolet Volt:
The second-generation Volt improved on plug-in hybrid technology, offering more electric range, enhanced interior, and a compelling daily driving experience.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV:
A landmark American-made electric car with a spacious interior, perky driving manners, and a 238-mile range at an accessible price point.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid:
An understated plug-in hybrid minivan with a 33-mile electric range, targeting families with practicality and efficiency.

2019 Tesla Model 3:
Recognized for sport-sedan reflexes, efficient long-range capabilities, and groundbreaking over-the-air update capability.

2020 Audi E-Tron SUV:
Audi’s foray into electric SUVs, combining luxury, consistent range, and charging capabilities, setting the stage for the brand’s electric future.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E:
A surprising shift, with the Mustang Mach-E proving to be a better car than the Model Y in many aspects, potentially influencing EV adoption.

2022 Lucid Air:
A luxury sedan setting new benchmarks with astounding efficiency, range, and performance, challenging traditional perceptions of electric vehicles.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning:
The first mass-produced electric pickup, symbolizing a bold step towards an electric future in the automotive powerhouse of the U.S.

As we anticipate the announcement of the 2024 Best Car To Buy, the evolution continues, with each winner contributing to a sustainable and innovative automotive landscape. Stay tuned as we unveil the next chapter in automotive excellence on January 3rd.