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The Best Cars of 2018

Spanning several makes, models, and vehicle types, here are the best cars 2018 has brought to market

Updated July 17, 2018

The complex decision of choosing your next car might just become harder. We’re often trying to be helpful by suggesting cheap thrills, and bargain  and , but this time we might just ruin your carefully planned choice. If you’ve already cast your eye on a new model, you might want to reconsider. With the 2019 model year just around the corner (how the time flies!), we’re looking at the hottest cars of 2018. These don’t necessarily have to be the best cars 2018 has brought us overall in every category, but they sure are some of the most illustrious ones. Moreover, some of them are way out of the average Joe’s reach (myself included), but I’ve always stood behind the statement: “A Ferrari is always better than the Camry”. So, in no particular order, here are what we consider the best cars of 2018.

 

If you’re looking for newer rides we’ve now released the 

2018 Lincoln Navigator 3/4 view

9. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The ZR1 badge had already donned the ‘Vettes between 2009 and 2013. Moreover, the ZR1 was also available between 1990 and 1995 when it had a Lotus-designed V8 mill, while the badge made its debut between 1970 and 1972. The last ZR1 packed 638 horsepower and is still considered one of the most powerful American cars ever made. Well, there’s a new king here to claim the throne once and for all.

What started out as arguably one of the most anticipated cars of 2018, the loud-and-proud ZR1 is offered with 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque on tap. A large pushrod V8 mill Chevy likes to call the LT5 and equally impressive 50% larger supercharger are what’s responsible for such enormous figures. Starting at $120,000 the new ZR1 doesn’t come cheap, though. Moreover, its carbon fiber aero packs further raise what’s already quite a steep price tag. The fact that the first example was already sold for $925,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona should tell us the lot. Expensive as it may be, the Chevy Corvette ZR1 is deservedly lauded as one of the best performance cars around and the only way to further improve the ‘Vette is to finally move that small-block behind the driver.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is hands-down one of the best cars 2018 has to offer

8. Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is not just another revolutionary piece in Elon Musk’s long line of accomplishments, it’s also the car that pushed to set a new example and make high-tech, classy all-electrics available to the masses. It still very much has a chance at accomplishing that if initial reviews are to be believed. However, the Model 3 has been caught in the eye of the hurricane as of late in a phenomenon the media like the call ‘production hell’. In production hell, the Model 3 is simply struggling to meet the promises of the PR events that came before it, but instead of focusing on the negatives of production hell, we choose to look at the finished product coming out of it. The Model 3 is offered in both rear and all-wheel drive setups and offers the option of a long-range variant that ups the base model’s offering of 220 miles to an impressive 310 miles.

The Tesla Model 3 doesn’t only look like the most revolutionary of cars recently presented. It’s also one of the best cars 2018 has to offer. While more than 100,000 preorders of the vehicle were placed since the official unveiling, it seems that nearly a quarter of these have been refunded. Tesla isn’t worried about this, though, because a healthy stream of preorders continues to roll in. Since Tesla’s planning to put a maximum of 75,000 of them to the streets this year, this means the waiting lists will continue to be long. In fact, Tesla’s website is quoting a minimum wait time of 3 months and a maximum of 1 year. Tesla is launching the long-range and performance versions before the standard car, so keep an eye out for these brand new EVs rolling around your neighborhood. Production hell aside, we expect they’ll soon be coming in droves.

Tesla Model 3 frontal view

7. Lamborghini Urus

The long awaited oddball Lamborghini SUV crossover has finally become a reality. The exotic SUV isn’t powered by a 10 or 12-cylinder vee, but by an in-house-built 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that should be more than sufficient to move what’s definitely the heaviest Lamborghini currently in production. The newcomer easily delivers 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque which puts it above the most powerful Lamborghini Huracan. Even the entry-level flagship Lamborghini Aventador isn’t all that more powerful with 691 ponies on tap.

The Lamborghini Urus shares the same platform as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. That will lower the production cost somewhat, but don’t worry – all the future Urus owners will still have to pay at least around $200,000 for one. Interestingly, Lamborghini is also preparing the hybrid model which puts emphasis on efficiency, rather than on performance. The hybrid Urus will, however, be arriving at a later date: likely halfway through the 2019 model year. It also most likely won’t be able to hit the 60 mph mark in around 3.5 seconds which the non-hybrid Urus does with ease, but that’s the price you pay for efficiency.

Lamborghini Urus front 3/4 view

6. Jaguar XE SVR

Why is the Jaguar XE SVR one of the best cars of 2018? Because it sticks it to the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 alike, those puffed-up ignorants. The Brits haven’t produced a good genuine compact sports luxury sedan in a while and the Jaguar XE SVR is here to fix that up. The JLR’s newly formed SVO division has stuffed this executive sedan with a 5.0L supercharged V8 which should be good enough for around 500 horsepower. After all, that very same engine delivers 567 ponies in the Jag F-Type.

Comparatively, the Mercedes delivers either 469 hp or 503 hp, depending on the chosen tune, while the BMW makes “only” 444 hp. They do it with a 4.0L twin turbo V8 and a 3.0L twin turbo inline-six respectively, however. Add to that the XE SVR’s all-wheel drive (whereas the Germans are both rear-wheel driven), and the Jag is about a hundred pounds or so heavier than the German duo.

**To our great disappointment, Jaguar’s SVO division ultimately canned the XE SVR in favor of the limited run XE SV Project 8. We have no doubt it would’ve been on of the best cars 2018 had to offer, had it actually made it to production.

Jaguar XE SVR will be one of the best cars 2018 is bringing our way

5. Audi SQ7 TDI

At one point, the German automaker decided to try its luck in mad vehicles department, and they presented the SQ7. This full-size crossover SUV is not your average practical luxury vehicle. It’s a sporty version of the conventional 5,000-pounder with a huge diesel mill under its hood. How huge? Try 435 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. A 4.0L V8 with dual sequential turbochargers and a 48-volt electrically powered supercharger to offset their lag at low revs will enable Audi’s land yacht to accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 4.7 seconds. Say what you will about sporty SUV’s, but you gotta admire those figures.

The Audi SQ7 was already strutting its stuff in Europe, and North American market models have now arrived stateside. Priced at around $70,000 or thereabouts, it’s definitely out of most people’s reach. However, it is still more affordable than its Mercedes-Benz and BMW counterparts. Crazy or not, with the SQ7 you get a vehicle that’s faster than most luxury sedans and sports better fuel economy as a bonus. Not to mention the extra torque and space you get out of it.

European Audi SQ7 3/4 view

4. Ford Expedition MAX/Lincoln Navigator

The biggest of Ford’s crossover SUVs has been long overdue to receive a full makeover. As of the 2018 model year, both the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are more stylish while also a few hundred extra pounds lighter thanks to all-new aluminum body construction. The F-150 adopted aluminum a while back which lightened the pickup by up to 700 pounds depending on the configuration. The Expedition and Navigator won’t lose as much, but every extra pound counts, especially today when fuel economy once again plays an important role.

In order to further increase the economy, both vehicles are limited to the EcoBoost V6 engines. Ford’s 3.5L mill should be good for up to 450 horsepower, though, thanks to a new 10-speed auto transmission. Furthermore, the new Expedition MAX is now nearly a foot longer than the outgoing model. The Navigator too, has become more spacious and luxurious, and comes in standard and extended lengths as before. The lower end price limit of $47,000 for the entry-level Expedition has remained mostly intact, but the Lincoln Navigator got a new top-tier model called the Black Label. It’s only safe to assume that one’ll cost more than $80,000 which was the outgoing model’s top price range.

2018 Ford Expedition 3/4/ view

2018 Lincoln Navigator 3/4 view

3. Kia Stinger

Derived from the 2011 Kia GT concept car, the Stinger doesn’t only sport a creative name. It brings performance to match as well. What’s surprising, though, is the fact that one of the most anticipated cars of 2018 was, well, a Kia. But, the Stinger is well deserving of that title. Sporting a 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 mill with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, the Stinger accelerates from 0 to 60 in just 5.1 seconds. This is groundbreaking for the South Korean car manufacturer on many levels. For one, these figures are good enough for any sports sedan. And then, Kia had always emphasized its sporty nature, yet failed to deliver a true sport-worthy performance.

What’s more, the entry-level Stinger comes with company’s 2.0L 4-cylinder engine often found across Kia’s range. Although it won’t be able to compete with the aforementioned performance line of Jaguars, BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz’s, it should be able to sway some of the conventional BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C Class buyers to its side. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than its German counterparts, starting from just under $32,000 and all.

Kia Stinger might just be one of the best cars 2018 is bringing to market

2. BMW X7

The BMW already offers a three row, 7-seat crossover SUV, but the X5’s optional bench isn’t exactly spacious. After all, the X5 is still just a mid-size car and things tend to get cramped quickly when you stuff more than 5 people in one. This is where the new BMW X7 comes in. One of the best cars 2018 has to offer, at least when it comes to new arrivals, proves to be much more spacious than its sibling. After all, it’s a full-size luxury crossover SUV, so anything less would be a disappointment.

What engines exactly will make it to the US, is probably easy to guess, and guess we must, considering the X7 has actually been delayed until 2019. A 3.0L turbocharged inline-six and a 4.4L twin turbo V8 petrol engines from the BMW 7 Series are the first that come to mind. Diesels are another thing, though, as they’ll likely remain Euro-bound. Larger powerplants like the possible V12 shouldn’t be excluded as well, and hybrids make a good case for themselves too. We remain vigilant as far as new is concerned for the still yet to be release BMW X7.

BMW X7 Concept 3/4 view

1. Jeep Wrangler JL

The long-anticipated next-gen Jeep Wrangler has finally arrived in 2018. Don’t let the new JL-generation code fool you, though. The iconic off-roader will keep most of its hallmark cues, including the removable bits like the doors, roof and windscreen. Only this time, they’re all made of aluminum. Most notable visual changes are the new daytime running lights on front fenders, slightly increased windshield rake, and spare tire that’s been moved down for improved rear visibility. A steel frame with five boxed crossmembers is all-new, and so are the next-gen Dana solid axles.

The same engine from the JK Wrangler still motivates the new models. A 3.6L V6 delivers 285 horsepower and serves as a sole choice at the moment. MY 2019 will bring a 3.0L V6 diesel unit into the fold. This engine will make 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, but will be exclusively limited to the 4-door models. They’re still available alongside their shorter 2-door siblings, but their Unlimited moniker has been retired. Finally, there’s a third option as well, and that’s a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. All things considered, the new Jeep Wrangler JL already offers more than its predecessor ever had. It’s hands-down one of the best cars 2018 has to offer. At least as far as its class goes.

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is one of the best cars 2018 has to offer

Frequently Asked Questions

When do 2018 cars come out?

New model year cars typically come out in the fall of the preceding model year, in the third or fourth quarter. Occasionally, a new vehicle will be released halfway through the model year resulting in something like a “2018.5” model year vehicle. Most 2018 model year vehicles were released in the fall of 2017, and the 2018 model year will essentially end with the coming release of 2019 model year vehicles in the fall of 2018.

What 2018 cars have CD players?

While some consider CD players to be a thing of the past, there are surprisingly still tons of buyers looking for current models with CD players. Some of the 2018 vehicles that feature CD players include: Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, and Silverado, as well as applicable GMC and Cadillac counterparts, Ford Escape, Focus and Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, Nissan Altima and Versa, Subaru Crosstrek, Mitsubishi Mirage, Hyundai Accent and Elantra, Toyota Highlander and Land Cruiser, and many many more. It would seem the days of the CD player are not dead after all.

What 2018 vehicles have hands-free lift-gates?

Hands-free liftgates are becoming more and more common each year, and if one model in the lineup has the option, it’s pretty much a given that it’s accessible throughout the rest of the lineup where applicable. Manufacturers that offer hands-free liftgates include Ford, Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, Audi, BMW, Buick, Hyundai, Land Rover, Kia, Mercedes, and Volvo.

Which 2018 cars offer Android Auto? Which 2018 cars offer Apple CarPlay?

BMW, Nissan, and Porsche seem to be the only brands that prefer Apple CarPlay over Android Auto, while most other major brands offer both services across almost their entire model ranges. It actually seems that these days, the list of what manufacturers don’t offer either service is much shorter.  For a complete list of 2018 cars with Android Auto, and a complete list of 2018 cars with Apple CarPlay, click the respective links.

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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