We are car-obsessed here at Man of Many and our list of the Best Cars of 2022 proves such. This year we had the chance to get behind the wheel of so many cars we actually lost count, but it left us thinking about the best.
What makes the best? Well, we’ve touched on everything from Lamborghini’s epic Huracan send-off in the STO, all the way to Ford’s game-changing ute that’s on track to become one of Australia’s top-selling models of all time. In between, we’ve filtered down a few favourites that appeal because of their technology, driver engagement, and design. Of course, we’ve thrown plenty of electric vehicles into the mix too.
Putting together a short list of just 15 cars is quite the task because just like the best watch releases of the year, there are so many notable releases it’s hard to keep up. We’ve narrowed our list down to cars we’ve driven and left the biggest car releases to our news team right here.
How Man of Many Chose The Best Cars of 2022
Man of Many’s list of the best cars for 2022 is made up entirely of cars we’ve spent time driving in this calendar year. With the exception of our ‘unveiling of the year’, our first-hand experience in reviewing more than sixty cars both on the track and on road has resulted in this list of 15. We’ve taken into account everything from utes to supercars in our testing and narrowed the list down to a select few vehicles.
For 2022, Man of Many has worked on curated lists of products that push boundaries and pioneer new fronts, across the automotive, fashion, lifestyle and technology verticals. Sure, we love getting the latest piece of kit in our hands, but being able to point out the benefits and shortfalls objectively is at the heart of what we do.
As a result, our list of the Top 100 Products are primarily comprised of products that we tested in-house and use extensively first-hand. While there are a few exceptions to the rule, generally due to scarcity and availability, we made note of the cultural significance surrounding each product should we not have been able to review it personally.
Best Cars of 2022
- Best Overall Drive: Lamborghini Huracan STO
- Best Electric Vehicle: Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
- Best Hatchback: Audi RS 3
- Best SUV: Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
- Best Value for Money: Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ
- Best Use of Technology: BMW iX
- Best Ute: Ford Ranger Wildtrak
- Biggest Unveiling of the Year: Rolls-Royce Spectre
Now we’ve rounded up our favourites, let’s check out the full list.
1. 2022 Lamborghini Huracan STO
Best Overall Drive
We had a chance to spend a considerable amount of time behind the wheel of the STO this year, both on the track and on public roads, and it surprised us in every facet. Out of all the cars on this list, the 2022 Lamborghini Huracan STO stands out for all the right reasons.
While you’d assume the ultimate track-focused Lamborghini to be a rough thing to peddle around on a daily basis, it shocked us with how happy it was to rack up nearly 1000km across some of Victoria’s roughest public roads in this year’s Giro. Of course, you worry about everything that creaks, rattles, and scrapes while you’re driving around, but once you get over the ducts, wings, and splitters it shrinks around you as every great car should, and provides all the theatre you expect at any speed.
We’ve said it before, but this is our favourite car of the year for the sheer fact you can drive it straight from the road to Daytona and set a lap time that’s only 2.5 seconds slower than a GT3 racecar on which it’s based.
One of the best engines of the last 20 years, the best brakes we’ve ever experienced, ultimate driver involvement through your hands to your buttocks, trick electronics with drive modes that work perfectly, more creature comforts than you’d expect for a racecar, and supercar looks.
The third to last Huracan is nothing short of a sheer and utter masterpiece.
2. 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
Best Electric Vehicle
If pushing a cutting-edge electric vehicle down a muddy dirt road with traction limited, a quarter-million Porsche under you, and mud flying everywhere isn’t enough to get the blood pumping, what is?!
Boasting one of the longest waitlists in the country, there’s a good reason why the Porsche Taycan is so desirable. There isn’t an EV on the road that’s as capable as the Taycan, and we had a chance to drive two models this year, the ‘base’ RWD model and the lifted and gravel-road-ready Taycan 4S Cross Turismo.
The stand-out feature in the Cross Turismo is ‘Gravel Mode’. While traditional internal combustion-engined vehicles rely on a gearbox to get power to the ground, the dual-motor EV can individually control each wheel thousands of times a second to find any amount of traction available. It’s unlike anything we’ve experienced in any car offroad, even Audi’s trick ‘Quattro’ system pales in comparison.
With highway-orientated tires, the car found an unbelievable amount of grip off-road. On slippery corners, it would allow the rear end to come around as you enter the corner, but as soon as you bury the throttle on the corner exit it would pull you out, finding every ounce of traction. In the same way that the Huracan STO blends street and track, the Taycan Cross Turismo is so impressive not because of its excellent ride quality, power, and space, but its ability to go off the beaten path and excel in another dimension. If this is just a teaser for the Porsche 911 Dakar, it’s going to be immense.
3. 2022 Audi RS 3
Audi RS3 is the clear winner of our ‘best hatchback’ crown this year. The fact you can still buy a 5-cylinder hatchback with nearly 300kW and one of the most capable chassis and all-wheel-drive systems in the industry is a token to Audi as a brand.
The 2.5-litre TFSI 5-Cylinder engine is the stand-out feature of the RS 3. A recipient of the ‘International Engine of the Year’ award 9 times in a row, it’s a special motor that we fear is nearing the end of its production life thanks to strict European emissions legislation, so get one now before it’s gone. Producing 294kw of power and 500Nm of torque (up 20Nm on the previous generation) it’s plenty, to say the least.
Outside of the outstanding performance, the fact remains the Audi is a hatchback, which means practicality, space, and the ability to travel long distances in relative comfort. The ride quality surprised us as being particularly compliant in its softest setting, and while the interior plastics were underwhelming in the rear, there’s no arguing with a Quattro all-wheel-drive system that can send 50% of its power to the rear wheels. Some time on the skidpan proved that.
4. 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
We saved the best SUV for last, and while we only hopped out of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT a few weeks ago, this is far in a way one of the best cars we’ve driven this year. Not only is this the fastest SUV around the Nürburgring, but the way it accelerates in a straight line is addictive, and the sound it makes is just next-level.
The 0-100km/h time of 3.34 seconds (as tested by Performance Drive) is far from the full story because the way the Turbo GT accelerates above the legal speed limit is equally as impressive. The 0-200km/h time of 11.77 seconds gives you a better picture of how rapid this 600hp+ SUV really is. For reference, a 911 GT3 was tested at 11.23 seconds 0-200km/h.
Going beyond the speed, we think the car looks great – if not a little understated for how much performance it offers – and the interior fit and finish are still up there with the best in class. At $351,900 (before on-road costs), you won’t drive away with any change from half a million dollars, but if you compare it to the class above, including the Bentley Bentayga Speed and Lamborghini Urus (of which it shares an engine) it seems like a relative bargain.
5. 2022 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ
Best Value for Money
Speaking of bargains, the 2022 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are the definitions of value for money. We spent quality time in both this year, walking away with the opinion that they’re identical in just about every facet.
It’s particularly difficult to critique a vehicle that’s just over $40,000 AUD and offers a rear-wheel-drive, front-engined layout. The brands know that, so instead of a simple ‘face-lift’ they completely redesigned the engine to produce more power, removing the infamous ‘torque dip’ in the process.
Moving inside and the cabin is modern, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the driving position and touch points are all very good. The manual gearbox misses out on essential safety features, and the automatic is still a slushbox that’s never happy to shift up or down in track conditions, but the GR86/ BRZ continues to define the idea of fun-to-drive. Deciding between the two comes down to which you prefer to look at.
6. 2022 BMW iX
Best Use of Technology
The 2022 BMW iX gives us the best glimpse at the future yet, because not only does it looks like a concept car in the flesh, but the driving experience, interior, and technology make it one of the best cars we’ve driven this year.
That stinking big grille at the front of the iX is a bit sore on the eyes, but it houses all the trick cameras and sensors to help the iX assist you in driving. Of course, if you want it to steer itself on the highway it can (just like Tesla ‘Autopilot’) but it’s the car’s ability to regenerate battery without driver input that impressed us the most. It can read intersections, cars in front of it, and roads to manage speeds and slow itself down to maximise range through regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking and driver assistance are what separates a good EV from a great EV and the BMW iX fits into the latter category with the best regenerative braking system on the market.
The interior with BMW Operating System 8 is outstanding and with 27 inches of screen real estate floating above the dashboard, the inside feels as futuristic as the exterior. Give us $200,000 to spend on a two-car garage and we’re picking the BMW iX xDrive50 and a Subaru BRZ every day of the week. This is the best ‘daily driver’ we’ve sat in this year.
7. 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Think back 10 years ago and you’d never consider buying a ute for daily driver duties unless 1. you’re a tradie or 2. you actually need the tray for adventure, camping, surfing, etc. These days utes have become a viable option for families, grey nomads, and weekend warriors while also providing an SUV-like driving experience and an overall ‘nice place to sit’ during your commute. At the top of that food chain sits the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.
A new interior and V6 diesel engine have lifted the model into luxury SUV realms with a leather-clad cabin, good sound deadening, and plenty of space for a few workmates with gear, or even a small family. We had a chance to drive the new Everest back-to-back with the new Ranger and the difference in ride comfort is closer than you’d imagine on paper. Of course, there’s a utilitarian nature to the Wildtrak, however, the typical ute characteristics – bouncy rear axle, scratchy plastic interior, and poor fit and finish – have been ironed out completely.
Ford hasn’t just ironed out a few rough edges, they’ve set the benchmark for the segment by adding a host of clever features we’ve rounded up in our article here. If you don’t look over your shoulder, you may forget you’re driving a ute at all, and that’s the biggest praise we can give to such a well-rounded vehicle.
8. 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre
Biggest Unveiling of the Year
After years of creating the best hand-built and bespoke vehicles on the planet, Rolls-Royce outlined its first electric vehicle this year when it unveiled the Spectre. The brand says they’ve created an entirely different sub-category of the motor car with the Spectre – something they’re calling the Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupé – but we’re not sure a 2975 kg electric vehicle is reinventing the wheel. Nonetheless, the top luxury automaker going electric is enough to rock the industry and we’ll have to reserve judgement until its arrival in 2024.
As it stands at the time of writing, Rolls-Royce has shared preliminary data that suggests ballpark figures, including 520 kilometres of WLTP range from an all-electric powertrain producing 430kW of power and 900Nm of torque. While it’s unconfirmed, these figures closely reflect those found on BMW’s i7 and we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re platformed shared. Check out our full Spectre feature via the link below.
9. 2022 Ram 1500 TRX
The most smiles
Okay, we might’ve made up this award so we can give the Ram 1500 TRX some credit because we haven’t smiled as much behind the wheel as during our time on Stockton Beach in the TRX.
It’s probably the biggest ‘mixed-emotions’ vehicle money can buy because the highs are so high, but the lows are just as exciting for all the wrong reasons. You’ll cringe at the fuel economy around town – we managed 22 litres/100km by feathering the throttle – but the smile it produces hearing the supercharger whining off a set of traffic lights almost makes it worth your money.
Get it onto the sand and it’s another story, expect fuel consumption to go hover around 40 litres/100km but the fun you can have makes it absolutely worth it. Stick the TRX in ‘Baja Mode’ and the 3500kg truck acts like a featherweight ballerina with 20ft rooster tails of sand, more whine than a spoilt brat, and an attitude to go anywhere you point it. We threw a few videos into our review linked below, but there’s plenty that’ll never see the light of day.
Of course, you’d have to have rocks in your head to consider driving this thing more than a couple of days a week on Sydney roads, it’s too big and thirsty. However, get it out on the freeway and the 14 litres/100km fuel economy isn’t so bad (for a 702HP truck) and the thing will actually fit in between the road markings.
Priced beyond $200,000 AUD before on-road costs, it’s a pricey toy, but given the right situation and there isn’t more fun to be had on four wheels.
10. 2022 Polestar 2
Rounding out our top 10 is the Polestar 2, the vehicle on this list that we’d pick to drive every day if we were given $100,000 AUD to spend on a car. And while the BMW 230i would take that crown if we had to purchase something with an internal combustion engine, the Polestar is the best option for those looking to adopt an EV right now (that includes ourselves).
The brand has created what we think is one of the best driving, best looking, and best overall cars on the market at this price point, period. There are three models to choose from with prices sitting anywhere between $63,900-73,400 AUD before options, but we had the Dual Motor Long Range on test with the full fruit and tipping the scales very close to that six-figure mark.
At this point in time, just about every EV on the market ticks the big boxes of quality interior, infotainment, and pace in a straight line, but few actually fulfil the ‘driving’ side of the equation. The Polestar 2 is the only EV in the sub-$100k category that we’d actually drive for enjoyment thanks to a well-connected and developed chassis with real driver engagement. Yeah, the fact it doesn’t have any ‘fake’ noise is a little counterintuitive for a ‘performance EV’ as you find yourself bombing into corners with only the speedometer as a speed reference, but the Polestar is just as happy being pushed down B-road as it is cruising around the city and catching plenty of eyeballs.
11. 2022 Porsche 911 GT3
We came back for round two in the Porsche GT3 this year after spending some time on the track with it last year. Of course, it sat at the top of our best drives this time last year, so we decided to put it through its paces on the road with 1000km of daily driving to see if it really is the ‘best daily of all time’.
Our article linked below is a journey through some of Sydney’s best driving roads to find out if you really can drive the GT3 more than a couple of times a week. We checked out Putty Road, West Head, Bells Line of Road, and more in just four days of driving.
12. 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD
In the same vein as the Polestar 2, the Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD is the car we’d recommend for families looking to buy an EV around the $100,000 AUD mark. It’s the definition of an all-rounder, with plenty of space, futuristic looks, quality EV power, good infotainment and charging capabilities.
While the Polestar 2 ticks the ‘driver’ box, the KIA opts for the ‘family’ box and the driving experience takes a bit of a hit when you compare it to many internal combustion engined vehicles at this price point. The driving position is rather van-like and the ride comfort doesn’t compare well to luxury SUVs at this price point, however, we managed to achieve the quoted WLTP range of 506 km which is plenty for an average week of driving.
I think we summed up the Kia EV6 best in our review linked below.
“They might be at different ends of the price spectrum, but the EV6 is as much a halo car for Kia as the BMW iX is for the German luxury manufacturer and when push comes to shove both brands have nailed the brief. These EVs might forgo a little character on their way to becoming technological time machines, but it hardly subtracts from the overall product.”
13. 2022 BMW M240i
The biggest surprise of the year award could very well go to the BMW M240i. Not only is this one of the quickest ICE-powered vehicles at this price point, but the Grand Touring capabilities of the latest 2-series 6-cylinder beast give its pricier big brothers a run for their money. One could argue this is the best coupe BMW makes at the moment, all things (including price) considered.
In many ways, our review below is more a foreshadowing than an outright review of the M240i because it’s a great car with a trick up its sleeve – there’s a faster one coming.
14. 2022 Mini Electric
We need to give a special shoutout to the Mini Electric this year because it’s right up there for us when you’re talking ‘smiles for miles’. And while you’ll spend just as much time at a charging station in Sydney as you will driving the car around (you’ll need a home charger to make this one work) the fun you can have in the Mini Electric at legal speeds is what makes it so great.
It feels genuinely quick between 60-100km/h and there’s a nice little shove in the seat as the front wheels scramble for traction. The fact you’re basically sitting in the back seat of the car adds to the experience and the Mini Electric offers some of the most fun we’ve had on tight twisty roads this year. It’s about as close to an electric go-kart for the road as you’ll find.
Expect the Mini Electric to make some serious noise in the market once battery technology improves and BMW can shove some tightly packaged batteries into the chassis with 300km+ of range.
15. 2022 CUPRA Ateca VZx
Just like the Mini, we had a lot of fun driving the CUPRA Ateca VZx this year. It’s so over-braked from the factory that you feel like you’re going to lift the rear wheels off the ground when you’re entering a turn and the pitch and rolls you get from the small-SUV body add to the experience. Overall, we like to refer to it as the ‘baby Porsche Macan’ and it would be an easy one to recommend if it wasn’t so closely priced to the CUPRA Formentor VZx that’s simply a better car overall.
While the best cars of the year were detailed in our feature reviews above, we also got behind the wheel of a few gems that didn’t quite make the cut overall. These are our honourable mentions for 2022.
- 2022 BMW X3M Competition
- 2022 Audi e-Tron S
- 2022 Subaru WRX Wagon
- 2022 Genesis Electrified GV70
- 2022 BMW iX3
- 2022 Ford Everest Platinum
- 2022 BMW M4 Convertible
- 2022 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition
Man of Many’s Best Cars of 2022 FAQs
What is the best car of the year for 2022?
Man of Many's favourite overall car for 2022 is the Lamborghini Huracan STO.
What is the biggest car release of 2022?
The biggest car release for 2022 was the Rolls-Royce Spectre.