Last week we named four Green Car Reports Best Car To Buy 2024 finalists.
Between the Hyundai Ioniq 6, Kia EV9, Nissan Ariya, and Toyota Prius Prime, one will earn the annual distinction.
While in upcoming days we’ll take a deeper look at why those models are on our shortlist, it’s worth first taking a look at what arrives this year that isn’t on that list, and why.
Best Car To Buy is awarded to what’s new. It has always been limited to those models that are fully detailed as completely new or substantially redesigned in the calendar year leading up to the award, and due to be widely available in the calendar year following the award.
Last year we nixed plug-in hybrids due to a sheer lack of contenders that emphasized strong EV range while backing it up with high fuel economy pinch-hitting as hybrids. This year that changed in one specific case: the Prius Prime, which goes up to 45 electric miles and gets up to 52 mpg combined as a hybrid.
2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid
A few other compelling plug-in hybrid options arrived, but they didn’t quite make the cut. One of them was the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, a model we found charming, refined, and able for family duty—with the mild off-roading capability as well as a small third-row seat. While its 38 fully electric miles are impressive, its 26-mpg rating as a hybrid was hard to get past when choosing the best.
2024 Mazda CX-90 Plug-In Hybrid
Another new and noteworthy plug-in hybrid entry this past year is the Mazda CX-90 Plug-In Hybrid, but at 26 electric miles and 25 mpg combined, it neither offers enough emissions-free miles for the commute nor gas mileage to measure up to three-row hybrid SUVs like the 34-mpg Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid.
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric
We opted not to include the Hyundai Kona Electric alongside the Ioniq 6 as a top contender of the year as those of our staff who have driven this latest model noted that while modestly improved, it’s not transformative. And with Kona EVs for the U.S. built overseas, it appears Hyundai doesn’t have big plans for sales volume and availability.
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70
For different reasons the U.S.-made Genesis Electrified GV70 didn’t make our shortlist. While it’s an excellent luxury vehicle with a brilliant ride-and-handling balance and super-quiet cabin, it doesn’t forge new ground with respect to efficiency, range, or sustainability. Hyundai and Genesis have already set such a high bar for themselves.
2023 Vinfast VF 8 City Edition
Based on a disappointing first experience with the Vinfast VF 8, we have to assume it’s not one of the greats of the year—although we look forward to following up with it, and the larger VF 9, at some point in the near future.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV
Deliveries of the Chevrolet Blazer EV and the Chevy Silverado EV electric pickup have started (albeit just in WT form for the Silverado EV), but not enough of our staff will have been in either of these models by the time we chose a winner. By the end of the year, our access will have been limited to one staff member in both of these electric Chevys. The same is true of the Fisker Ocean.
2025 Volvo EX30
Likewise, we’re punting the Volvo EX30 to next year. It’s arriving in early 2024 and will prove one of the most noteworthy EVs of the year for its emphasis on simplicity and sustainability plus its affordable pricing—of $36,245 to start and $47,895 in top-spec Performance Ultra form. In a market seemingly devoid of small-car (not small-SUV) entries, it’s a welcome addition to the market.
2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
And finally: Yes, we know. Technically, Tesla Cybertruck deliveries have started.
Cybertruck drivers, you want to let our staff put your truck through the paces in the next couple weeks? Otherwise, we’ll aim to include the Cybertruck—along with the revamped Tesla Model 3 set to arrive in 2024 for the U.S.—in next year’s competition.