The 7 Best New Cars of 2018
Out of all the new cars presented this year, these were the absolute best!
As 2018 comes to a close, we decided to take a look back at the best cars presented this year. There’s a little something on this list for everyone, including models like the Mercedes A-Class, Hyundai i30 N, and even the Hyundai Niro EV. But what is it that makes these cars (and the others we’ve chosen) the best new cars of 2018? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.
Michael Fira - Mercedes A-Class
The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class, codenamed W177, arrived on the market as the successor to the W176, the model that repositioned Mercedes’ smallest production car as a proper subcompact luxury hatchback. It made its public debut at the Geneva Auto Show, and we’ve already seen the A35 AMG version with added oomph and a comprehensive package.
The standard model comes with Mercedes' high-tech dashboard with digital screens across the board, and you can option the car with a myriad of intelligent safety systems.
It’s quite a bit longer than the old A-Class, by some 9.4 inches, which translates in more room inside and, also, a larger and wider trunk with a capacity of 42.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. There are only three engines to choose from including a 1.5-liter diesel that is capable of 57.4 mpg combined. That is, arguably, the best choice with an MSRP of under $24,000 in Europe, even if it only packs 116 horsepower under the hood. So why is it the best car of 2018? Well, because it remains a class leader while also offering great gas mileage, many safety features, better practicality, and updated infotainment system for a somewhat affordable price considering its position on the market.
Mercedes A-Class Specs
|Engine:||A choice of three engines: a gas-powered turbocharged 1.3-liter 4-cylinder, a 1.5-liter turbocharged diesel 4-cylinder, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder|
|Output:||ranges between 116 horsepower (1.5-liter diesel) and 223 horsepower (2.0-liter gas)|
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes A-Class.
Andrei Nedelea - Hyundai i30 N
My top car of the year may come as a surprise, but it’s really the one car that I really appreciate: the Hyundai i30 N, the Korean automaker’s first ever hot hatchback. Why do I think it’s 2018’s best? Well, it’s the first car to bear Hyundai’s new N badge, and no matter what rival you judge it against, it’s really rather good.
The model is exactly what the kind of shakeup the segment needed, I think since its emphasis isn’t only on simply going fast and being very capable, but also rewarding the driver.
And the i30 N does so in spades, with excellent communicative steering, sharp brakes and an exhaust note that really shouldn’t be legal but thankfully is. It’s not the fastest hot hatch outright, but it’s got more than enough engine to keep up with most of the competition
It also doesn’t look too bad either, especially in the light shade of blue it’s been paraded around - Hyundai as a brand should be applauded for their remarkable progress over the past decade, and the quality of the i30 N shows they have serious intentions and won’t be stopping here.
Hyundai i30 N specifications
|Engine:||turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder|
|Horsepower:||246 HP @ 6,000 RPM |
271 HP @ 6,000 RPM
|Torque:||260 LB-FT @ 1,450 RPM|
|0-to-62 mph:||6.4 seconds, 6.1 seconds|
|Top speed:||155 mph|
Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.
Safet Satara -Porsche 911
Man, it was hard to decide which car should take home the prize. First of all, I thought I’d choose that Mazda 3 hatch, simply because it looks awesome and shows that hatchbacks can still be sexy. Then, I was thinking about the A-Class, but as I’ve just finished my extensive research on the new Porsche 911, I have to settle for it. It is a cliche to think about the 911 as the best car of the year, because, more people than not think that it is the best car. Probably ever. And the last one - the 992 911 is the best new car of 2018.
First of all, Porsche revealed the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S.
They bring so much new tech, and they certainly eclipse everything seen so far this year and then spice it up with the brutality of supercars.
See, the fastest and the quickest new 992 911 C4S can do things that only supercars could do five or ten years ago. And remember, I am writing about the 911 C4S. Cracking 60 in 3.2 seconds and cracking 190 mph is territory no other Carrera S or 4S have visited before.
Yet, the incredible power and speed aside, the new 911 is the first car to ride on the Modular Mid-Engine platform. It is an architecture that can support rear-engine and mid-engine applications, which means it will be shared with the next generation of the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman. More importantly, it will be shared with something some people believe is called the 988 - the first Porsche mid-engine supercar to attack the likes of the 488 GTB or the 720S.
However you cut it, the Porsche 911 992 comes up at the top of the list of best new cars of the year. And I stand firmly behind that assessment because Porsche did not only evolve it in terms of aero efficiency, interior sophistication, and propulsion systems, but it revolutionized it in terms of technology and capabilities. This is an ace. A testament to German engineering and a car that proves that all other contenders in this segment are still far below.
2020 Porsche 911 specifications
|Horsepower @ RPM:||443 @ 6500|
|Torque @ RPM:||390 @ 5000|
|0-60 time:||3.5 sec. (3.2 sec with Sport Chrone Package for the Carrera 4S)|
|Top Speed:||191 mph|
Read our full review on the 2020 Porsche 911.
Jonathan Lopez - Mazda 3
Endless good looks, a well-appointed interior, a smile-inducing driving experience, and now available AWD? Is there anything the 2019 Mazda 3 doesn’t do?
You’ll have to pardon the glowing praise, but the 2019 model year Mazda 3 really is that good. Let’s start with the way it looks. Mazda’s latest design language was first put into practice with the Kai concept introduced in October of last year, and while the production model isn’t quite as jaw-dropping as the non-production design study, it’s damn close.
The lines are clean and crisp, finding just the right proportions front to back, offering a mix of sportiness and elegance often missing from the compact segment.
While Mazda’s competitors tend towards adding more lines and more creases and more of everything else (I’m looking at you Honda), the 3 has just enough in all the right places - and that’s the essence of good design work.
The same can be said of the interior, where the 3 gets a slick layout and a streamlined aesthetic. The dash spreads across the cabin with a horizontal look that adds a sense of spaciousness, while a simple standup infotainment screen is added on top. Not only does it feel clean, but with the right options ticked, it looks like it belongs on a vehicle far outside the Mazda’s price bracket. And don’t forget the extra cargo room in back offered by the hatch model variant. Tech now includes lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and traffic-sign recognition.
Providing the power is a wide range of engine options, with U.S. customers offered either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 155 horsepower or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 184 pound-feet of torque. Diesel-powered options are offered overseas, and all engine variants are surprisingly fuel efficient.
Then there’s the new AWD system, which complements the standard FWD with extra grip when needed. Suddenly, competitors from across multiple segments are gonna be sweating bullets on this one.
And true to Mazda form, it’s the way this fun compact tackles a corner that really makes it shine in the segment.
Not only does it handle the rigors of the daily commute with aplomb, but once the going gets windy, you’ll have a big fat smile spread across your face in no time, especially when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. Hopefully, that doesn’t change with the new 3’s switch to a torsion bar rear end, rather than the older model’s multi-link.
2019 Mazda 3 specifications
|Engine:||2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.5-liter four-cylinder|
|Horsepower:||155 hp at 6,000 rpm|
|Torque:||150 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm|
|Gearbox:||six-speed manual, six-speed automatic|
|Curb weight:||2,899 lbs, 2,967 lbs|
|Suspension:||double wishbone front, torsion bar rear|
|Drive type:||FWD, AWD|
Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda 3.
Ciprian Florea - Kia Niro EV
2018 was obviously packed with impressive vehicles, ranging from boring people haulers to exciting sports cars and supercar. While I’m tempted to pick a sleek-looking sports car with plenty of horsepower, I’m going to stick to useful vehicles and nominate the Kia Niro EV. Why? First up, I like where Kia is going as an automaker. It has a solid, appealing design language and its newer vehicles feature better materials inside the cabin, while technology is on par with the competition.
The Niro is no exception from this rule, and the closed-off grille on the electric model makes it look somewhat futuristic.
Second, although it’s a crossover, and I’m not a fan of them, it’s a cool compromise. It’s compact enough for city streets, yet it offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Third, and more importantly, it’s plenty powerful and returns more than 200 miles per charge.
Granted, the base model, available only in Europe for now, boasts a rather mild 134-horsepower rating and its maximum range comes in at less than 200 miles. However, the range-topping model comes with a 201-horsepower motor and returns up to 238 miles on the U.S. cycle. In Europe, the e-Niro is good for up to 485 km per charge. It also comes with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty that also includes the motor and the battery pack, so you won’t have to worry about drivetrain- or electronic-related issues for a while.
2019 Kia Niro Ev specifications
|Battery:||64-kWh lithium-ion polymer pack|
|Motor:||permanent magnet, synchronous|
|Range:||Up to 238 miles per charge|
|Performance:||0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds|
|Top speed:||104 mph|
|Charging:||60 minutes to 80 percent with DC fast charge / 9 hours and 35 minutes with AC charge|
Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV
Kirby Garlitos - BMW 8 Series
You probably would’ve guessed it. I’ve been touting the return of the 8 Series for so long, I’ve had recurring dreams of sitting behind the wheel of BMW’s true flagship model. Guess what; the actual 8 Series didn’t disappoint when BImmer finally pulled the covers off of the model.
In case you’re wondering, the 8 Series isn’t a novelty model that BMW built to respond to calls of bringing the nameplate back after almost 20 years of getting mothballed. The 8 Series is here to stay, folks, and it’s a model that’s all its own. It’s not even a shortened version of the 7 Series, either. This model has a unique chassis, suspension, and powertrain setup. Don’t forget, it uses technology from Bimmer’s GTE Le Mans race, as well. There’s a lot to like about the 8 Series, and you only need to look at it to appreciate the work BMW put into its development. First of all, the two-door coupe looks sexy as hell. The front end looks imposing while the rest of the body curves in a way you don’t normally see on a BMW model. Dare I say; there’s a bit of Italian design flair on the 8 Series.
The good times don’t end with the design, either. Just like its predecessor, the new 8 Series packs a wallop. It features BMW’s ubiquitous 4.4-liter V-8 engine, which, in turn, produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It only takes the coupe 3.6 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, and while its top speed is “limited” to just 155 mph, you won’t hear any complaints from me in that regard.
Arguably the best part about the 8 Series is that there’s more to come in the next few years. The two-door coupe is the first in the party, but sooner than later, the convertible version will join it on the dance floor. Not long after that, a four-door coupe will enter the fray. Let’s not forget about the M8, as well. That model is arriving in 2019, but leaked images of the coupe have given us a taste of what’s to come.
I understand that expectations for the new 8 Series should probably be tempered because they’re reaching stratospheric levels at the moment. But I don’t care. I waited almost 20 years for BMW to bring back the nameplate. Now that it’s here, I’m basking in the revelry of its awesomeness. The BMW 8 Series is my choice for best new car of 2018, and no one’s going to convince me otherwise.
2019 BMW 8 Series specifications
|Engine:||4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8|
|0 to 60 MPH Time:||3.5 seconds|
|Top Speed:||155 mph|
|Gearbox:||eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic|
|Drive Type:||All-wheel drive|
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.
Sidd Dhimaan - Genesis G90
I’m going in with an entry that will leave most of you surprised and confused. There’s no denying that the Genesis badge has not been as successful as Hyundai hoped for it to be, but the marque’s cars are really good. The G90 was launched in 2015 and is Genesis’ flagship model. Perhaps, because of the lack of sales, Genesis decided to refresh the model in 2018, much earlier than the regular norm of updating a car in its fifth year. I expected it to get a few tweaks on the bumpers, a few add-ons in terms of features, and maybe a new tagline at max. But what came out was a complete shocker.
The new G90 looks like a completely new model and barely has any resemblance with the old one.
All it needed was a new name to trick us into believing that this is a new model altogether. On the inside, however, the changes are minmal. The cabin is a familiar space apart from a classy new analog clock and slimmer air vents. Powering the G90 are three powerful engines. You can find the specs in the table below.
Now, coming to the point why the Genesis G90 is the car of the year for me – The G90 was supposed to go against the likes of Volvo S90, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the Lexus LS500. Most people have apprehensions about going for a mainstream brand’s premium marque model, but the new Genesis G90, in my opinion, changes that. The car is no more dated and would definitely get the attention it asks for. So, my pick for the best “new” car of this year would be the Genesis G90.
2018 Genesis G90 specifications
|Engine:||3.3-liter, twin-turbo V-6, 365 horses, 376 pound-feet of torque/ 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 engine, 420 horses, 383 pound-feet of torque|
|Gearbox:||Eight-speed automatic transmission|
|Cargo Room:||15.7 cubic feet|
|Drive Type:||Rear-wheel-drive, All-wheel-drive|
Read our full review on the 2018 Genesis G90.