Editors’ Picks April 2022 | Toyobaru twins and the Kia EV6

This month of Editors’ Picks saw us bestow recognition to the Toyobaru twins — Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ — and the totally-new Kia EV6. We rated a number of other EVs and run-of-the-mill SUVs, too, but these are the new models that stood out in their respective segments. Even before all the improvements made to the GR86 and BRZ, they were shoe-ins for Editors’ Picks. However, their respective scores both ticked upwards for the new generation, and they continue on in their winning ways. Meanwhile, the Kia EV6 is one of our favorite new cars on sale — read on to learn more.

In case you missed our previous Editors’ Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get Editors’ Pick status. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in March that earned an Editors’ Pick.

2022 Toyota GR86

Quick take: Compromises are few when it comes to the GR86. It handles extremely well, has a reasonably powerful Boxer engine and its price is super-low. This is a sports car that is worth every penny.

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: Subaru BRZ, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota GR Supra 2.0, Nissan Z

Pros: Superb handling, punchy engine, a great value

Cons: Basic interior niceties, loud on highway, stiff ride

From the editors

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “When it comes to getting the most fun out of your dollar, no new car does it better than the GR86 (or BRZ). It’s approachable to drive for someone new to sports cars, but offers all the control and balance that experienced enthusiasts want, too. I stuck my nose up at the previous-gen 86 and BRZ because of the engine (mid-range torque dip), but with that completely fixed for this new car, I can heartily recommend it to anyone.”

Features Editor James Riswick — “I drove a GR86 with the six-speed automatic transmission. That pairing adds a Sport mode that agreeably sharpens throttle response, and increases the frequency of downshifting. It quickly does so when getting back on throttle, and smartly anticipates the need to do so when braking heavily into a corner. I still preferred using the shift paddles … not to mention the manual transmission. Either way, the GR86 is more fun to drive than more practical hot hatches, and more practical than a Miata. A happy medium.”

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “The 86 was already a solid value and the GR overhaul makes it even more so, especially in this market. With inexpensive staples drying up, the GR86 is even more attractive than its predecessor. I really can’t come up with a reason not to buy one if you’re in the market for an inexpensive enthusiast car with a solid warranty.”

In-depth analysis: 2022 Toyota GR 86 First Drive Review | A rousing refrain

 

2022 Subaru BRZ

Quick take: The BRZ is finally a complete sports car with an engaging engine, perfect chassis and a super-affordable price to boot. We can’t recommend it enough.

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: Toyota GR86, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota GR Supra 2.0, Nissan Z

Pros: Superb handling, punchy engine, a great value, better ride than GR86

Cons: Basic interior, loud in cabin, limited utility

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “Personally, I prefer looking at the GR86 over the BRZ, but I would never fault anyone for opting for the Subaru. As James points out below, the ride on certain roads is slightly more agreeable to our bottoms in the Subaru. That said, pretty much every bit of praise I heaped on the GR86 above also applies to the BRZ. This is truly be the perfect sports car for so many people.”

Features Editor James Riswick — “Of the Toyabaru twins, I’m choosing and recommending the BRZ. No second guessing needed. Its ride is more compliant than the GR86’s, which is a benefit to your spine around town, and to keeping the rear end settled on a mountain road where the pavement isn’t pristine. Otherwise, this car is a joy to drive, and the new engine makes a world of difference: there’s actually mid-range now, and it actually sounds pretty good, especially as you approach redline.”

In-depth analysis: 2022 Subaru BRZ First Drive Review | Save the sports cars!

 

2022 Kia EV6

Quick take: The Kia EV6 does so many things right from a mechanical and tech perspective. It’s the complete package and highly competitive in the EV space. Meanwhile, its eye-turning design alone might be enough to sell you.

Score: 9.0

What it competes with: Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, Polestar 2, Volvo C40 Recharge, Volvo XC40 Recharge

Pros: Stellar design, nice (and futuristic) interior, good range, quick acceleration

Cons: Pricey, limited frunk

From the editors:

Features Editor James Riswick — “A home run. Among reasonably affordable EVs (so not a Taycan or Mercedes EQS), this is my nomination for best of the bunch. Compelling design that turns heads, a cool and functional interior, easy-to-use tech, above average materials quality, ample space, a tidy ride-handling balance … and I haven’t even mentioned its impressive range and charging credentials. Kia is not screwing around.”

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — “Despite using many of the same mechanical and electrical parts of its siblings, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60, the Kia EV6 manages to stand out as a unique offering. It hardly looks like the others, with completely unique and very sleek styling. The interior in particular, with its futuristic-looking center console, striped dash (at least in GT-Line models) and low roof give it the feel of a sports or GT car. And more importantly, its unique suspension tuning help it feel more that way on the road. It has significantly less body roll and better body control over bumps than the Hyundai, making it a more fun and confidence-inspiring car for sporty driving. It is a bit firmer, but it’s a trade-off we like. Plus, it comes with all the other great features of the platform, such as punchy electric motors, impressive range, vehicle-to-load charging, support for 350-kW fast charging, loads of leg room and a spacious cargo area. It’s a very impressive EV all around.”

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “I enjoyed the EV6 even more than I enjoyed the Hyundai Ioniq 5. I prefer Kia’s interior styling and control interface, though I think the Hyundai’s sci-fi exterior styling is a bit more interesting.”

In-depth information: 2022 Kia EV6 Review | Equal parts cool and practical

 

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