- Business Insider is set to announce the winner of our 2018 Car of the Year award.
- Each year, 15 finalists are selected from the more than 60 cars, trucks, and SUVs we tested during the year.
- From those 15, we have whittled the pack down to five runners-up and one winner.
- Brands represented this year include Lincoln, Ferrari, Jaguar, Subaru, and Tesla.
- The winner of Business Insider's 2018 Car of the Year winner will be announced on Monday, November 19.
With autumn's arrival comes time for Business Insider to announce the winner of our fifth annual Car of the Year award.
This year, we tested more than 60 cars, trucks, and SUVs. From those, we have selected 15 finalists. Now, we've whittled the finalists down to five runners-up and one winner which we'll announce on November 19.
Our methodology is straightforward, focused on basic questions:
- Is there a strong business case for the vehicle?
- Did our reviewers agree that the vehicle should be included? We have to come to a consensus, even though we might disagree on some particulars.
- Was the vehicle objectively excellent? There has to be some sort of wow! factor.
- Did the vehicle stand out from the sea of competition, particularly when it comes to technology? A Car of the Year finalist has to be special.
- Can we strongly recommend buying or leasing the car? We demand to know whether we'd buy the vehicle ourselves if we had the resources.
The five runners-up come from a variety of background and a wide range of market segments from family SUVs to a V12-powered supercar. There also a pair of highly impressive EVs - one is a sedan while the other is a compact crossover.
So here they are, the five runners-up for Business Insider's 2018 Car of the Year:
2018 Lincoln Navigator
Engine tested: 3.5-litre, 450-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6
Base price: $US73,000
Why it's here: Matt DeBord reviewed the 4x4 Reserve trim level of the Navigator, tipping the price scales at $US90,000, and understood why Lincoln can't build the big SUV fast enough to satisfy demand:
With the new Navigator, following the debut of the flagship Continental sedan, Lincoln has nearly completed its comeback in the luxury market. Navigator was an important part of this process, and Lincoln has basically done everything right. The classic has been updated, gracefully, without sacrificing its functionality. It now stacks up much better against the Cadillac Escalade, and Caddy will be under pressure to keep pace.
If really, really big rides are your bag, you can't go wrong with the 2018 Navigator. Lincoln created this segment, and it's clear that they still know exactly what they're doing.
2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast
Engine tested: 6.5-litre, 789-horsepower V12
Base price: $US335,000
Why it's here: In his review of the 812 Superfast, Matt DeBord had this to say about his new favourite Ferrari:
At the legal speed limit in the 812 Superfast, you've barely roused the beast. On the freeway, you can finesse the throttle to dance the 6.5-litre under the hood - a bump in displacement from the F12's 6.3-litre - enjoying the snarls and growls, or you can shift gears yourself, using the elegant carbon-fibre paddles behind the steering wheel, and feel the snaps and jerks, the kicks to your spine and sternum, as you deploy the G-forces.
For what it's worth, this glorious machine was also Business Insider's first yellow Ferrari, and at an as-tested price of $US474,000, it was one of the most expensive vehicles we've ever reviewed.
2019 Jaguar I-PACE
Engine tested: Dual electric motors, producing 394 horsepower; 90kWh battery pack, with a range of 234 miles on a single charge
Base price: $US69,500 (before tax incentives)
Why it's here: The much-awaited Tesla competitor is a winner, according to Ben Zhang.
In his review of our Jaguar I-PACE EV400 HSE tester, he wrote:
After a week with the 2019 Jaguar I-PACE, we came away impressed.
The Jag is engaging to drive with a luxurious and modern cabin. Its styling is modern yet maintains many of the striking design cues that make Jaguar stand out. However, the I-PACE isn't perfect. Its styling can be polarising. While the raked rear hatch cuts into the crossover's car capacity. In addition, the 5.6 inches ground clearance will limit its off-road capability.
In spite of its imperfections, we found the Jag to be a really fun, stylish, and likable car that's easy to live with.
Jaguar has been on a roll in recent years with a string of hits including the F-Type sports car, the XF sedan, and the F-PACE SUV.
2019 Subaru Ascent
Engine tested: 2.4-litre, 260-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder
Base price: $US31,995
Why it's here: In a US market that's defined by crossover SUV sales, the new Ascent is a warning shot across the industry's bow.
"Subaru really needed to get the Ascent right," Ben Zhang wrote in his review of a $US45,670 Ascent Touring. "And boy did they nail it. The 2019 Subaru Ascent wowed us with its user-friendly design, its refined cabin, a cornucopia of standard safety features, infotainment tech that works, and a gutsy turbocharged engine. In a market in which the weak are quickly exposed, Subaru is entering the fray with all guns blazing."
Tesla Model 3
Engine tested: Single electric motor, producing 217 horsepower; 65 kWh battery pack, with 260 miles per full charge
Base price: $US46,000 (before tax incentives)
Why it's here: You have to ask? The Tesla Model 3 is the most hotly anticipated automobile in human history. Luckily, the waiting was worth it. The car is absolutely fantastic. We drove in three times in 2018, in both the rear-wheel-drive version and the all-wheel-drive high-performance spec.
In his review of a $US57,500 Model 3, Matt DeBord enthused, enthused, and enthused some more:
What's really so hypnotically and addictively compelling about the Model 3 is how many great ideas have been crammed into one automobile. This is a car that's absolutely bursting with thought, about the present and the future - and the distant future. Those ideas are overwhelmingly optimistic. Clearly, because it creates no tailpipe emissions, you can buy a Model 3 to feel better about yourself and your life on the environmentally embattled Earth.
But the truly astounding thing is that Tesla, in only about five years of seriously manufacturing automobiles, could build a car this good. That's a staggering achievement.
Wait, did I say good? I meant great.
Hold on, did I say great? Sorry, I meant greatest.
Say hello to the best car money can currently buy.