These are our favourite cars we tested in 2022

This year has been a very important busy one when it comes to motoring, with a number of seriously important new car launches.

As we get closer to an era of electrification, there has been a major focus on new EVs, but at the same time the combustion engine is still fighting on. In 2022 there has been everything from new V8 performance SUVs launched to affordable new electric cars.

We take a look at our 10 favourite cars we’ve reviewed in 2022.

Ford Ranger Raptor – Ted Welford

The Ranger Raptor is a pick-up like no other. (Ford)
The Ranger Raptor is a pick-up like no other. (Ford)

The last Ford Ranger Raptor was a brilliantly unnecessary thing. Particularly in the UK, was there any need for a performance-focused pick-up capable of jumping sand dunes? Of course not, but that didn’t stop me from loving it.

The one problem with the previous Raptor was its engine – the same diesel engine you could get in the standard Ranger. But Ford has listened for its next-generation Raptor – using a mighty petrol V6 engine, accompanied by a ridiculous exhaust system. I got to test it at the incredible Les Comes off-road site near Barcelona and was left in awe at its talent.

Honda Civic – Ted Welford

Honda Civic
Honda’s survey has found how many people are relying on their cars this Christmas

Few cars have managed to exist on sale as long as the Honda Civic, which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2022, with the Japanese firm introducing the 11th-generation of this family hatchback earlier in the year.

The previous Civic was slightly hit-and-miss, so I wasn’t expecting amazing things from this new car – particularly when Honda said it would only sell the car with a hybrid powertrain; as Honda’s hybrid setups haven’t always been that great. But how wrong I was. Trying it out in Spain in June, then in September in the UK, it offers a combination of comfort, performance and efficiency that no other car in its class can offer, and it was a real highlight for me in 2022.

Lamborghini Urus Performante – Ted Welford

Lamborghini has introduced a ‘Rally’ mode to the Urus Performante. (Lamborghini)
Lamborghini has introduced a ‘Rally’ mode to the Urus Performante. (Lamborghini)

Launching a V8-powered performance SUV without even a hint of electrification in 2022 – a year when there’s been a real emergence in environmental protests – might not seem particularly on-trend, but as a final blow-out for cars of this type, I was left starstruck by Lamborghini’s new Urus Performante.

Getting to take it on track at the Vallelunga race circuit in Rome back in October, this track-focused SUV (something which, in itself, doesn’t make a great deal of sense) was exceptionally talented and monstrously grippy. The real highlight, however, was getting to take it on a rally stage. Just the thought of using a Lamborghini on an off-road stage solidified the Urus Performante as one of my favourite cars of the year.

BMW M340i – Ted Welford

The M340i sits at the top of the 3 Series range, aside from the M3. (BMW)
The M340i sits at the top of the 3 Series range, aside from the M3. (BMW)

Despite doing this job for several years, a BMW 3 Series is one of those cars that has always escaped me. Having never driven one, I never quite understood why people fuss over this model so much.

That was until I got behind the wheel of one back in September. It’s one of those cars that just feels so ‘right’, with brilliantly weighted and fluid steering, a firm yet composed ride and effortless performance from this straight-six M340i version tested. At the same event I also tried BMW’s new X1 SUV – a very fine car, but one truly showed up by the 3 Series.

MG4 – Ted Welford

The MG4 arrives to take on tough competition. (MG)
The MG4 arrives to take on tough competition. (MG)

MG is a brand gaining real momentum, and here in the UK it’s now one of the 10 biggest car firms – selling more cars in 2022 than brands like Skoda, Mini and Land Rover. In 2022 there has also been the introduction of the MG4, its first electric hatchback.

Considering its £25,995 starting price, making it one of the UK’s cheapest new EVs, it was a car that many expected little from. But what a game-changer this model proved to be. Embarrassing far more expensive rivals when it comes to looks, technology and driving experience, the MG4 is a real ‘one to watch out for’ as we go into 2023.

Ferrari 296 GTS – Jack Evans

The 296 GTS is the convertible version of the 296 GTB. (Ferrari)
The 296 GTS is the convertible version of the 296 GTB. (Ferrari)

Yes, I know, how incredibly predictable to have a Ferrari on this list. But the 296 GTS has to be on my list of top-picks for the year simply because of how sublime it is. A lot of people feel that hybridisation – or indeed any type of electrification, for that matter – is going to wipe the ‘soul’ away from performance cars, but the 296 GTS shows that simply isn’t the case.

This is one fearsomely good performance car, from its ‘baby V12’ V6 engine to its razor-sharp handling, the 296 GTS is everything you’d expect a Ferrari to be. Its hybrid setup takes its performance to impressive levels, too, while helping to lower emissions.

BMW X1 – Jack Evans

The large front kidney grills are a BMW staple

It’d have been quite easy to pick from one of BMW’s stellar list of performance models here, but it was actually the relatively humble X1 which left me very impressed. It’s something of a ‘little big car’, in that it packs a lot of the ‘feel’ that you’d get from BMW’s large SUVs into something a bit smaller and approachable.

It’s also got loads of equipment as standard and is really comfortable too. There’s an electric iX1 on the way, too, and I expect that this will prove extremely popular.

Mercedes EQS – Jack Evans

Mercedes-Benz EQS
Excellent ride quality makes the EQS a comfortable cruiser

The Mercedes S-Class has, for decades, proven to be one of the tip-top luxury cars that money can buy. But how do you go about transferring what has made the S-Class so successful into an electric model? Well, Mercedes seems to have achieved it with the EQS.

The most impressive part of the EQS is its range. It’ll do up to 453 miles on a single charge, giving normal petrol versions a real run for their money. With super-speedy charging, there’s no need to hang around at the plugs for too long either.

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS – Jack Evans

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
The new GT4 RS sits at the top of the Cayman range

For quite some time, Porsche was hesitant to fully go to town on the Cayman for fear that it would result in a car that was a little better than its all-conquering 911. However, it finally relented with the GT4 RS and boy, what a car this is.

From its raucous induction noise to the PDK automatic gearbox which shifts with sublime precision, this is probably one of the best cars I’ve driven.

Morgan Super 3 – Jack Evans

Super 3
The Super 3 feels is great on country lanes

Morgan has gone through a proper revamp in recent years, implementing loads of more modern features in its cars – many of which you might not expect from this traditional car builder. The Super 3 exemplifies this modern and classic blend, brought together in one of the most eye-catching cars of the year.

But looks aside, the Super 3 is excellent to drive. Its 1.0-litre Ford-sourced engine is an absolute peach, while the six-speed gearbox is great too. But it’s the overall experience which is what shines through with the Super 3.