The field of Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2024 nominees included everything from sports cars to hand-built luxury electric cars to off-road pickup trucks and traditional luxury cars.
The list of contenders started at nearly 30 vehicles. Some cuts were easier than others, but we eventually whittled down the list to just five finalists after arguments among our editors.
We’ll detail each of the five finalists leading up to the Jan. 3, 2024 reveal of the Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2024 winner. In the meantime, here’s why these vehicles didn’t make the cut.
Aston Martin DB12
The Aston Martin DB12 flaunts power, poise, and handling prowess. It also costs more than $225,000 and is arguably a heavily updated DB11. While the fabulous interior features an infotainment system developed by Aston Martin and top-notch materials, it’s still a hard sell in this competition as it isn’t track-ready. Where’s the Valhalla?
2023 BMW XM
Have you looked at it? Would you believe its design is perhaps the least offensive thing about the BMW M division’s flagship? From its unrefined powertrain with an itchy trigger finger to its noticeable lean during turns, the XM disappointed nearly everyone on the team. Attempting to be everything for everyone can lead to compromise, and that’s what the XM delivered. It just doesn’t do many things as well as its price would suggest. The XM’s interior is its greatest strength with top-notch materials and build quality. The sheer number of finishes can overwhelm, though, which is a great way to describe the XM as a whole. Overwhelming.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
We drove this off-road pickup truck from Reno to Vegas nearly entirely off-road, and it performed well. With 10.7 inches of ground clearance, a 2.7-liter turbo-4 rated at 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, front and rear lockers, and excellent spool-valve shocks, the Colorado ZR2 is one of the most off-road capable pickup trucks money can buy. However, it was simply overshadowed by louder, more futuristic, and faster vehicles that delivered a different kind of fun this year.
2023 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
There can only be one Corvette in this competition. We argued for and against the E-Ray more than any contender, but in the end the Z06’s flat-plane crank LT6 V-8 nudged it into the finalist circle. The Corvette E-Ray runs and guns with the Z06 off the line and in nearly every performance metric. It also has the advantage of all-wheel drive thanks to the electric motor mounted on the front axle, but it’s meant for better all-around performance, not efficiency. The E-Ray simply didn’t stun us like the Z06 did with its track moves and exotic sounds.
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70
The Electrified GV70 slides a battery pack and electric motors into the GV70 we know and love, making it heavier, quieter, and quicker. Its American-made build quality is astonishingly tight, with even panel gaps and rock-solid feel throughout. The weakest part of the Electrified GV70 is its 236-mile range, which is surpassed by most other EVs. Everyone on the editorial team loves the Electrified GV70, but no one stepped up to champion it as a finalist.
2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
Two years after its debut the GMC Hummer EV SUV finally arrived on the streets. It’s everything GM promised, and very much like the Hummer H2 that flaunted its excess earlier in the millennium. Squat and wide, it’s an American bulldog. But the Hummer EV is far from moving society to a more sustainable future, and GM seems to be unable to ramp up volume production of this beast. It’s ridiculous in good and bad ways, and those bad ways—inefficiency, high price, road-grader weight—prevented it from becoming a finalist.
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
The last generation of the Maserati GranTurismo aims to stave off extinction with a multi-pronged powertrain approach. The sweet sounding V-8 is dead. Under the hood lies either a twin-turbo V-6 or an electric powertrain. The latter, in the Folgore model, provides scorching EV acceleration thanks to instant torque, while the former provides a last taste of gas-powered Maserati performance. It’s all wrapped in a pretty package, but the entire lineup feels like the automaker is taking a core sample of how its customers will react to the looming future.
2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQE SUV
The Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV can be viewed as either the shrunken, sportier, better looking sibling of the more expensive EQS SUV or the larger, more practical, American-aimed version of the EQE sedan. Either way, it’s a midsize luxury crossover EV that comes in at $79,050 to qualify for the federal tax credit. It can be had in standard or AMG form with up to 617 hp. It’s an appealing package with plenty of space for a family, and it provides a glimpse into the future of the automaker. But it doesn’t match the EV technology of some rivals, and its range can be as low as 235 miles with the AMG model.
2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 E Performance
The S-Class remains the standard of the luxury car segment and the pinnacle of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. This year, the automaker shoved its plug-in hybrid AMG powertrain into the S-Class to give it an eye-popping 791 hp and 1,018 lb-ft of torque. The luxury barge can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and can drive about 15 miles on electricity alone, though that’s not truly the point. It may be the most complex car ever built, and it mixes luxury with performance quite well, but it’s expensive, not overly efficient, and not as fun as our finalists.
2024 Nissan Z Nismo
The Nissan Z Nismo arrived as the more track-focused variant of the iconic nameplate. The upgrades are minor, but meaningful, with an extra 20 hp and 34 lb-ft of torque versus the regular Z for 420 hp and 394 lb-ft. It boasts improved cooling for the engine oil and a revised suspension to firm things up for track duty. But the sole transmission option is a 9-speed automatic. The Z Nismo was actually invited to be a finalist and we looked forward to testing it further, but the automaker declined to provide a vehicle, so it bowed out of the competition.
2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Some enthusiasts argue that despite the 911 serving as Porsche’s halo it’s the 718 Cayman GT4 RS that defines Porsche perfection. The mid-engine design pairs the best bits of the 911 GT3 without losing the fire, fury, and power of the automaker’s icon. The GT3’s 493-hp flat-6 is a rev-happy delight with 4.0 liters of greatness screaming to 9,000 rpm. At more than $160,000, the GT4 RS has already jumped nearly $20,000 since its introduction in 2021, and it’s extremely difficult to get a car without a hefty dealer markup. For practical reasons, it was cut.
2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The latest Porsche 911 GT3 RS arrived to make fast faster. With incredible mechanical adjustability, motorsports technology baked into its design, and all the tricks Porsche knows how to employ in a street-legal package, the latest GT3 RS is best described as a weapon seeking the perfect lap. It’s also beyond overkill for nearly every mere mortal both on the street and on the track. It starts at $225,250, and that’s if you can get on the list to even get one at all, not to mention one at MSRP. The latest in the 911 lineup sets a bar, but not for this competition.
2025 Volvo EX30 electric SUV (dual-motor, Vapor Grey)
With a base price of $36,245, and the ability to sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds for $46,195, the EX30 offers an electric-car bargain with a premium Volvo badge. It’s also the quickest production Volvo in the automaker’s history. Yes, it’s quick, but the cost-cutting interior might be a bridge too far for those who love Volvo’s pristine interiors. From the soundbar mounted on the dashboard to the single screen housing all the vehicle’s controls, the EX30 doesn’t feel like a premium product.