The Best EVs We Drove in 2022

The Best EVs We Drove in 2022

Hyundai's Ioniq 5, VW's ID Buzz and Rivian's upcoming SUV are prime examples of automakers go all-in on electrification and a fun driving experience.

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Lucid Air Grand Touring
Photo: Lucid

As automakers continue to build out their electric lineups, the list of EVs that we’ve reviewed grows with it. Some, such as the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, were only OK, but why dwell on the negative? There really are some great EVs out there, and these were the best ones we drove this year. Weirdly, we didn’t review any notable ones until the summer, but hey, sometimes things just happen like that. Maybe that’ll change next year.

SLIDE #1The Hyundai Ioniq5 Is the Perfect EV For Someone Who Loves Quirky Cars (June 23, 2022)

Hyundai Ioniq 5
Photo: Hyundai

When I last addressed my desire for an electric vehicle here, I came up short. Not in terms of locating a desirable ride: I found a few of those, including the Mercedes EQS 580 and the Porsche Taycan Turbo CrossTurismo, and, a little later, the Audi E-Tron GT RS. No, I came up short on cash, as all of these cars are priced well over $120,000, more than a few tax brackets beyond my means.

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The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Shows What GM Can Do When it Really Tries (June 28, 2022)

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Shows What GM Can Do When it Really Tries (June 28, 2022)

Cadillac Lyriq
Photo: Andy Kalmowitz

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is a sure sign General Motors is finally doing what we always knew it could do.

Think back to high school. Remember the kid who was really smart, but never did any homework or studied for a test? They averaged high Cs, low Bs. Everyone – especially the teachers – knew they could do better, if only they tried. They finally buckled down, earned a great SAT score, and got into a good college.

Cadillac is that student, and the all-new, all-electric Lyriq is its 1560 SAT score.

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The 2022 Rivian R1S Is the Rightful Heir to the Land Cruiser Throne (July 6, 2022)

The 2022 Rivian R1S Is the Rightful Heir to the Land Cruiser Throne (July 6, 2022)

Rivian R1S
Photo: Steve DaSilva

Imagine for a minute that you’re a well-to-do car buyer with an outdoorsy bent. You’ve got 90 grand burning a hole in your pocket, and you head to your local Toyota dealership to plunk down your hard-earned cash on a Land Cruiser. But the dealer gives you dire news — the Land Cruiser is dead in the U.S., and your only option is the far more ostentatious Lexus LX 600.

You’re despondent. All you wanted was a full-size luxury SUV to glide through your daily commute and tackle the weekend’s off-pavement adventures, all wrapped up in a stylishly under-the-radar design. You want three-row seating and the finest interior accoutrement, but you don’t want the comically oversized grille found on most luxury utility vehicles.

Lucky for you, that SUV still exists — in the form of the Rivian R1S.

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SLIDE #4The Lucid Air Grand Touring Makes the Tesla Model S Feel Kinda Pointless (July 18, 2022)

Lucid Air Grand Touring
Photo: Lucid

We’re all fairly aware by now that starting a new car company is not easy. That’s especially true when you’re targeting a pretty expensive, exclusive slice of the market. This is why I’ve been a little iffy on the Lucid Air since it made its debut approximately one geological age (or like 15 years) ago.

The specs for the Air Grand Touring Performance read – at first glance – like vaporware. It’s got 1,050 horsepower and can travel nearly 500 miles on a full charge. That’s all tough to swallow, but while the car is far from perfect, it meets all those claims without requiring the driver to wade through a bunch of gimmicks.

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The VW ID Buzz Is Microbus Nostalgia Done Right (October 5, 2022)

The VW ID Buzz Is Microbus Nostalgia Done Right (October 5, 2022)

Volkswagen ID Buzz
Photo: Matthew Askari

I got to drive Volkswagen’s new ID Buzz electric van twice this summer, and it’s a good thing I had a second go. While these days VW is known for cars like the GTI, the ID.4 EV, a couple of decent crossovers, and a certain emissions scandal, there are two Volkswagens that evoke undeniable love and nostalgia: The Bug and Bus. Volkswagen has already had its second and third coming of the Beetle, but we’ve been without a Bus for eons. In fact, the automaker has been teasing microbus concepts for decades. In the region I call home — California and Oregon — you still see a jillion examples of the old-school Bus running around, kept up with pride.

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The 2023 Kia Niro Is Appealing as a Hybrid or an EV (October 10, 2022)

The 2023 Kia Niro Is Appealing as a Hybrid or an EV (October 10, 2022)

2023 Kia Niro
Photo: Kevin Williams

I’ll be honest: I have my favorites when it comes to hybrid systems. To me, the most efficient hybrid is a Toyota-style ECVT setup, placed in an ugly hatchback body that I’ve probably conned myself into thinking is the pinnacle of driving efficiency. Sure, Toyota’s hybrids are mechanically robust, but in my opinion, they’re ugly, and generally not fun to drive. The power delivery is syrupy, like pouring corn-laden Mrs. Butterworth’s imitation maple syrup on a freezer-burnt Eggo waffle. In the same way that unsatisfying meal counts as adequate sustenance, those Toyota hybrids are functional transportation. For awhile, it felt like Toyota’s winning combo (and dominant sales numbers) meant every mainstream hybrid had to rigidly follow that formula.

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SLIDE #7The BMW iX M60 Is So Good It’ll Make You Love the Grille (November 1, 2022)

BMW iX
Photo: Tim Stevens

I’m not going to lie: I love the way the 2023 BMW iX looks. Think I’m crazy? You may be right, but before you consign me to a padded cell know that it’s been an acquired taste. In fact, when I got the first embargoed pictures of this thing ahead of its debut I physically recoiled from the screen — much like many of you are probably doing right now. But this M60 is so good and drives so well, it might just win you over, too.

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SLIDE #8The 2023 BMW 7-Series and All-Electric i7 Are Almost Perfect (November 5, 2022)

BMW i7
Photo: Lawrence Hodge

For the most part, the luxury sedan segment is pretty conservative. Many offerings don’t take risks or really do anything daring. BMW is here to change that. If the 2023 7 Series doesn’t slap you in the face with its styling, the all-electric i7 will kick you in the backside with power — or coddle you with its attention to detail and luxuriousness. Any way you go about it, you’ll feel something for the new 7 Series.

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SLIDE #9The 2023 Kia EV6 GT Has a Ton of Power in a Compromised Package (December 19, 2022)

2023 Kia EV6 GT
Photo: Kia

The Kia EV6 is a great car. It’s reasonably priced, comfortable, offers as much as 310 miles of range and looks cool with its big ol’ ducktail on the back. But Kia knows it’s not enough to just be a good all-rounder in a world of high-performance electric cars. No, you’ve gotta be quick, too. Hence the introduction of Kia’s new halo electric car, the EV6 GT.

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