Car and Driver
The distinctive coupe body style suggests a commitment to stylishness and sportiness over practicality. We’re talking real coupes here, not the bulky SUV impersonators or so-called “four-door coupes.” The best coupes–as in two-door, sloped-back cars–offset their lack of back-seat space and cargo room with fun-to-drive characteristics as well as luxurious accommodations. Our editors have put just about every coupe sold today through our renowned testing regimen. From performance testing to cargo area measurements and a real-world fuel economy challenge, we do it all. Whether driven daily or reserved as a weekend toy, these coupes serve both masters and are our favorites, as demonstrated by their 10Best award or spot on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list.
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The second-generation Toyota GR86 is due for the 2022 model year, and although it’s completely new, it follows the same rear-wheel-drive formula as the first-gen car. Developed again in conjunction with the Subaru BRZ, the 2022 GR86 will be powered by a horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and a standard six-speed manual transmission. This time around, Toyota has addressed our principal complaint with the last generation and has given the GR86 more horsepower for 2022. The new model is powered by a 2.4-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that makes 228 horsepower, which is 23 hp more than the outgoing model’s 2.0-liter mill. The result is a phenomenal driving experience for the price, a combo that’s worthy of spots on our 10Best and Editors’ Choice lists.
Prioritizing affordability and lightweight agility over high horsepower and high-priced exclusivity, the 2022 Subaru BRZ continues to be a pure sports car for everyone. The completely redesigned rear-drive-only coupe remains a unique entry in Subaru’s otherwise all-wheel-drive lineup. The same is in store for its mechanical twin, the Toyota 86. With a 228-hp naturally aspirated flat-four, the BRZ is more powerful than before, which at least partly addresses one of our biggest complaints. Combine that with a lower center of gravity as well as a feathery curb weight and this assertively styled 2+2 hatchback is set up to deliver the seat-of-your-pants feeling that defines all great sports cars. With a new interior design that brings modern tech but preserves its predecessor’s practicality, the 2022 BRZ leapfrogs affordable sports-cars favorites like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and earns a 10Best nod and a spot on our Editors’ Choice list.
It’s been a few years since the Supra rejoined the Toyota lineup after a long hiatus, but despite our growing familiarity, the 2022 Supra remains one of our favorite sports cars. In fact, it’s on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. Although it was developed and is built alongside the BMW Z4 convertible, the Supra coupe offers a personality that’s unique from its Bavarian brother, even though the two cars share the same powertrains. The latter include two turbocharged engines, a standard 255-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an optional 382-hp 3.0-liter inline-six. Both feed the rear wheels via a snappy eight-speed automatic transmission. The Toyota’s cabin is snug and surprisingly premium, largely because it pulls from the BMW parts bin. The 2022 Supra also packs plenty of infotainment features and safety tech, too.
Whether it’s used for top-down trips on the Sunset Strip or track time at Lime Rock, there’s a 2022 Ford Mustang for most every lifestyle and personality. With countless appearance packages, notable performance-enhancing options, and coupe or convertible body styles, it can be highly personalized. Power comes from a punchy turbo four or a mighty 5.0-liter V-8; both engines feed the rear wheels through an engaging manual transmission or a terrific 10-speed automatic. While all models are fun to drive, Ford offers myriad packages to up the excitement, culminating in the track-focused Mach 1. Even the most aggressive Mustang (excluding the 760-hp Shelby GT500) can be driven every day, and it has a roomier back seat and better outward visibility than the Chevy Camaro. When it comes to pony cars, there’s none better than the 2022 Mustang, which is why it’s on our Editors’ Choice list.
With the 2022 BMW 2-series, the German automaker makes its entry-level, two-door car even more satisfying. We even named it to our Editors’ Choice list. It’s still available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and its turbocharged engine options include a 255-hp four-cylinder (230i models) and a 382-hp straight-six (M240i). A convertible body style and a manual transmission option are both gone. Still, the new 2 coupe is just as entertaining to drive and even more poised on the road. While it has a more distinguished façade and a modern interior, its back seat is actually smaller than its predecessor. As the follow-up to one of BMW’s most affordable and satisfying machines, the 2022 2-series lives up to those expectations.
The 2022 BMW M4 is just as exciting as its M3 sedan sibling, but only it’s available as a coupe or soft-top convertible. Both make our Editors’ Choice list. The base hard-top model comes exclusively with rear-wheel drive, a satisfying manual transmission, and a thrilling 473-hp twin-turbo straight-six. The Competition variant gets an enhanced 503-hp engine, a snappy automatic gearbox, and unique chassis tuning that should culminate in quicker lap times at the local racetrack. Only the automatic M4 is available with all-wheel drive, and this slick system features a drift-worthy rear-drive mode. Regardless of the body style or power delivery, the M4 is a hoot to hoon, and its ride is remarkably civil when hunting apexes isn’t part of the daily commute. We wish BMW gave it analog gauges instead of indecipherable digital ones, and we’d prefer fewer adjustable drive-mode settings, but overall the 2022 M4 is delightful to drive, and that’s what matters.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Think of the 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 kind of like a rolling theme park. Its monstrous 760-hp supercharged V-8 launches the coupe with eye-watering force, and its immense grip causes sensations of euphoria or nausea or both. All the while its thrilling exhaust note provides the soundtrack, and a rapid-shifting automatic transmission handles gearchanges for the rear-drive-only coupe. The Shelby GT500 isn’t just the mightiest Mustang ever, it’s also the most powerful road car Ford has ever built. We named it to our 2022 Editors’ Choice list, too. Despite the ability to soil people’s undergarments on demand, it’s still a Mustang at heart, meaning it doubles as a daily driver. Opting for the Carbon Fiber Track Pack optimizes the GT500’s performance, but it also costs almost a quarter of the Shelby’s base price. For some owners, that money will be better spent on fueling this thirsty beast or paying the inevitable influx of speeding tickets.
The 2022 Chevy Camaro ZL1 isn’t the most powerful muscle car, but when it comes to driver involvement and value for the performance, it’s unbeatable. It’s also on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. The bow-tie boys stuff a 650-hp supercharged V-8 between the ZL1’s fenders and offer a satisfying manual transmission or a snappy 10-speed automatic. Sure, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 packs a 760-hp V-8 and its own incredible track capabilities, but it doesn’t offer a stick-shift or a convertible body style. Plus, unlocking the Shelby’s full potential costs considerably more than the Camaro’s transformative 1LE package. While a ZL1 1LE has the hardware and tuning to slay some six-figure cars around a racetrack, its ride will be too harsh for anyone who isn’t a glutton for punishment. And, as with every Camaro, the ZL1’s outward visibility is compromised and the interior materials are unimpressive. Still, the 2022 Camaro ZL1 makes its driver feel like a king and lords over its fiercest rivals.
Offered as a coupe and convertible, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG C43 provides a sports-car attitude with luxury-car accouterments. It’s on our Editors’ Choice list, too. These two-door C43 models come standard with a 385-hp twin-turbo V-6 that provides ample power and sounds fantastic. All-wheel drive is standard, and the C43’s handling is razor-sharp. Unfortunately, the same can be said of its ride quality, which can be tortuous over rough stretches of road. Like most cars with sporting intentions, the C43 requires you to take the good with the bad. The cabin is stylish, well-equipped, and comfortable for front-seat riders, but those relegated to the back may want for head- and legroom. Likewise with trunk space, which is merely average for the class. This current crop will likely be this generation’s last, as the C-class has been redesigned for 2022, meaning an AMG-tuned variant should be on its way to replacing the C43 with something more modern and, hopefully, just as fun to drive.
There are sportier alternatives to the 2022 Mercedes-Benz E-class, but few are as seamlessly high-class and high-tech. While the behind-the-wheel experience isn’t as exciting as that of its AMG-tuned twin–the separately reviewed 429-hp E53–the regular E is subdued and serene. Its cabin is beautifully appointed, remarkably quiet, and fitted with flashy tech features such as the dual displays embedded in its dashboard. The E350 sedan is powered by a common-for-the-segment turbo four, but the E450 enjoys a sweet turbocharged straight-six. This strong, smooth mill is available in the sedan and standard on the coupe and cabriolet. Regardless of the powerplant, all body styles supplement their classy interiors with a cushy and composed ride. Add the 2022 E-class’s roster of advanced driver assists to its luxury appointments and quality assembly, and its esteemed position among mid-size luxury cars is evident, as is its spot on our Editors’ Choice list.
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG E53 doesn’t compromise sportiness for luxuriousness, and vice versa, making it a complete and compelling machine. It also makes our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. As with the regular Benz-branded E-class, the enhanced-by-AMG E53 is available as a sedan, coupe, or cabriolet and boasts a beautifully appointed and well-equipped interior. Unique to this AMG-tuned trio is a rich-sounding turbocharged straight-six-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric supercharger to produce an uninterrupted 429 horsepower. Teamed with a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, it’s notably quick and capable in all four seasons. With a chassis that’s successfully set up to both excite and soothe the senses, the 2022 E53 does a masterful job of being everything to almost everyone.
Few cars, including other sports cars we love, offer the same purity of mission as the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman. Its mid-engine arrangement and expertly tuned suspension give it a joyful driving demeanor that’s truly addictive, and we again named it to our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. Buyers can choose from a horizontally opposed four- or six-cylinder engine, the latter of which sings a siren’s song that encourages aggressive driving. Fans of open-air driving will find the 718 Boxster a similar experience, but we review that model separately. While the Cayman commands a price premium over rivals such as the Chevy Corvette and Toyota Supra, its focused persona and Porsche brand image are enough to justify the increased cost. Of course, its transcendent driving traits are what secure its spot on our 10Best list.
With transcendent driving traits and terrific twin-turbo flat-six engines, the 2022 Porsche 911 is a nearly flawless sports car, and it’s an obvious Editors’ Choice winner. Apart from being too expensive for most enthusiasts, Porsche’s iconic two-plus-two-seater is as immersive as it is versatile. Along with the aforementioned flat-six which produces a distinctive snarl and makes between 379 and 473 horsepower–we review the higher-powered GT3 and Turbo variants separately–the lineup offers a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic or manual transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive. The latter ensures its incredible performance can be enjoyed in all four seasons. The 911 comes in coupe, cabriolet (read: convertible), or quasi-convertible Targa body styles. The beauty of the 911 is that its athleticism doesn’t diminish its livability. Its ride is surprisingly civil considering its cornering limits and race car-like steering feel. Its interior is roomy up front and can be lavishly appointed. And its driver is treated to a satisfyingly low seating position but also excellent outward visibility.
The 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S, which come in familiar, understated coupe and cabriolet body styles, are the pinnacle of the automaker’s most revered nameplate. At their heart—albeit located in their tails—is a twin-turbo 3.7-liter flat-six that develops 573 horsepower in the Turbo and 640 in the Turbo S. Along with spine-tingling yawps at stratospheric rpm, the engine delivers neck-snapping acceleration. After all, the 911 Turbo S is among the quickest cars we’ve ever tested. Helping achieve that historic status is standard all-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that ranks among the best. While we wish there was a manual option, and though we found the sportiest suspension setup to be overly stiff, the 2022 911 Turbo and Turbo S offer a sublime driving experience that even some more exotic supercars can’t replicate. This helps them earn a spot on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list.
With an exclusive naturally aspirated engine and race car-inspired components, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is optimized for driver engagement and track-day glory. Porsche enhances its most visceral 911 variant with a control-arm front suspension—the first on a 911 road car—and an unusual rear wing that’s mounted at the top instead of the bottom. The GT3 is also the only 911 that’s not turbocharged, and the responsive nature and immersive sounds of its 502-hp 4.0-liter flat-six qualify as inspirational. The specialness of the rear-mounted mill is further realized by the telepathic seven-speed PDK automatic transmission or the rewarding six-speed manual. Thanks to a unique suspension setup and track-focused tire options, the 2022 911 GT3 has a surprisingly supple, albeit firm, ride and incredible steering feel that are just a few of the reasons it’s so exhilarating to drive. They also help it make our 2022 Editors’ Choice list.
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