2022 has been a year of big changes in the car industry. We’ve seen endless announcements about brands’ commitment to electric cars and a host of new EVs launched. We’ve also seen famous names - Fiesta, Focus - consigned to the scrapheap and even sports car legend Ferrari announce plans for an SUV.
All of this has taken place in a climate of strained supply and economic doom and gloom but the new car market has soldiered on bravely, with dozens of new models launched over the last 12 months, some great, some not so good.
Like all the best “best of” lists, our rundown of the top cars of 2022 is entirely unscientific and subjective but these are the 10 cars that have stood out for us over the last year.
1. Toyota GR86
There were more sensible, more practical, more economical cars launched in 2022 but, for us, the Toyota GR86 stood out this year because it was such pure, unadulterated fun. Compact, lightweight and with just the right balance of power and grip it is an absolute joy to drive, offering responsiveness, agility and communication that’s missing from so many modern cars. At £30,000 it’s also a bit of a steal, proving sports cars can still be affordable.
2. Honda Civic
In a more sensible vein, the Honda Civic is the definition of a great all-rounder. The new 11th-generation of the family hatchback puts comfort and user friendliness at its core, with a stylish, spacious and well thought out interior. Under the skin the hybrid drivetrain is smooth and efficient and although it’s geared towards comfort, the Civic is half-decent to drive, too.
MG’s previous electric offerings have been generally well received, with the caveat that they’re “good for the money”. The MG4 changes that and is just flat-out good. A practical and well-equipped electric family hatchback, it offers up to 281 miles of range, impressive refinement and even a bit of driving fun thanks to sharp steering and a rear-wheel-drive setup. The fact it costs from just £26,000 is just a bonus.
4. Dacia Jogger
The Dacia Jogger is another car that proves you can still find a bargain out there. A cross between an SUV, estate car and MPV it’s Britain’s cheapest seven-seater, starting at just £17,145. There are compromises in terms of the engine choice - there’s only one - and a slightly fiddly seating system but it’s amazingly spacious and practical, offering a usable and flexible seven-seat space for the same price as an average supermini.