If you’re looking to buy a new car, you likely to want the best vehicle available to you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best cars available in 2023. That said, car is actually a pretty vague term, as many similar seeming vehicles have been designed to fill a number of very specific roles. It is, therefore, hard to rank a wide selection of vehicles, as you’ll be comparing apples to oranges most of the time.
To get around this, we’ve simply selected the best options available in a wide number of categories. If you’re looking for a cheap car, we’ll tell you what we think you should go for. If an EV or a hybrid is more your thing, we’ll have a top pick for you there. If you need a family car, you’re free to ignore the part where we’re drooling over a McLaren and instead read about a sensible choice that is capable of accommodating several kids and a dog.
We’ve also picked the best overall vehicle, which is what we’d get if we could choose anything with a 2023 model. Our top choice was selected as an all-rounder and could well have taken several of the other categories on offer. So without further ado, here are SlashGear’s best cars of 2023.
Best EV — Kia EV6
Starting at $42,600, the Kia EV6 is pretty reasonably priced for an electric vehicle. That figure looks even better when you consider the number of features and amount of safety tech the South Korean car maker crams into the vehicle’s most basic trim. Forward and rear collision detection comes standard, and most trims also feature a 360-degree parking camera to help you navigate into the tightest of spots.
Spending a little more will get you a larger battery pack, and AWD options are available. The electric crossover is surprisingly spacious and contains a good amount of storage room. It also drives and handles wonderfully, and its appearance also stands out, hovering somewhere between sporty and futuristic. While the base model is far from slow, it’s also possible to sacrifice a bit more cash and some range for the EV6 GT, which is one of the most powerful cars Kia has ever built and more than capable of leaving supercars for dead at the lights.
Kia is also happy to back its product, offering a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty on most of the vehicle’s components and a better-than-average 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on its powertrain and battery. You don’t just have to take our word for this one — the EV6 has snagged a good number of gongs, including Utility Vehicle of the Year at this year’s North American Car of the Year Awards.
Best Hybrid — Toyota Prius
Birds fly, fish swim, and Toyota absolutely dominates the hybrid market. While there are more options on the market these days than when the Prius first launched in the U.S. over 20 years ago, Toyota’s effort is still at the top of the mountain. The 2023 Toyota Prius is one of the most economical cars you can get, offering a staggering 52 miles per gallon on the highway and in the city. Of course, that’s to be expected — what’s a surprise is the shift in styling that makes Toyota’s hybrid hatchback one of the best-looking rides of this year, which finally makes the Prius look like something from the future we were promised.
It also offers a pretty decent driving experience. 0-60 times come in at just over seven seconds, and the Prius is equipped with three driving modes — Normal, Eco, and Sport. Slap it in Sport and you’ll have a nippy, great-handling little car.
Then there’s the pricing. You can pick up a new 2023 Prius for as little as $28,000, which is definitely on the cheaper side of things. The price is even more appealing when you consider how much fuel you’ll save over the car’s lifespan. So here we are, where sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one.
Best Luxury — BMW i7
While you can judge many cars on performance and practicality, luxury vehicles have their own boxes to tick. Their buyers want class, comfort, and little touches of beauty. They want something that justifies the price tag, which is often three or more times that of a standard vehicle. Thankfully, the BMW i7 ticks all of the luxury boxes.
The ride itself is flawlessly smooth, as the car seems to glide down the road rather than roll. On a similar note, while it does indeed go very fast, it never feels too fast. Breaking 100 mph in an i7 feels as safe and comfortable as driving along at 40 mph in a regular vehicle.
While driving BMW’s flagship EV is certainly an experience, passengers may have an even better time thanks to the vehicle’s outstanding infotainment system. Get into the back and you can set your seat to heat or cool you as needed, and there are also a number of massage settings to choose from. When you’re nicely relaxed, you can enable Theater Mode, which sees a 31-inch, 8K resolution screen flip down while window shades roll up.
The BMW i7 provides a full-blown luxury limo experience, so beyond spending over $150,000 on the fully specced-out i7, what you’ll really need to spend a bit extra on is a chauffeur if you want to make the most of it.
Best Supercar — McLaren Artura
There are no really disappointing McLarens. Even the 540C is merely the worst McLaren and not a genuinely disappointing supercar. The Artura has continued this trend and offers what is arguably the best supercar experience of the 2023 model year. It’s the iconic manufacturer’s first hybrid and errs more towards raw performance than it does fuel economy.
For a start, the motor is working alongside a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, not some microscopic one-liter thing that will get you 50 miles to the gallon. What that V6 will get you instead is a combined output of 671 horsepower and a 0-60 time of just three seconds. Flat out, you’ll be going 205 miles per hour.
On top of the raw performance on offer, you’ll get an absolutely beautiful vehicle, as McLaren doesn’t do ugly. There’s even an 8-inch touchscreen and an improved infotainment system to go along with it. It’s also possible to drive the McLaren, albeit briefly, in electric-only mode. The engine can work alone, too, though it will only take around 40 miles of intense driving before the motor runs out of juice. Prices start at $225,000, which puts it on par with other cars in its class. But don’t bother with those — this is your best option.
Best Hypercar — Rimac Nevera
If you need an indication that times are changing, look no further. While the world of hypercars used to be dominated by V12 and W16 engines, you’ll need to look at electric motors if you want to see peak performance these days. The best current hypercar is the Rimac Nevera, a four-motored, 1,914 horsepower, all-electric monster of a vehicle. Its 258 mph top speed makes it the fastest production EV in the world – although the versions ending up in people’s garages are electronically limited to a slightly tamer 219 miles per hour.
All in all, the Croatian-built vehicle has set 23 automotive records, including a 0-60 time of less than two seconds and a quarter-mile time of just 8.25 seconds. It’s one of those cars where you’re not just in possession of a world-leading piece of engineering brilliance. You’ve actually bought a little bit of motoring history. Few other vehicles have this kind of status. It’s a position previously occupied by the Bugatti Veyrons, McLaren F1s, and Lamborghini Miuras of this world.
Unfortunately, this may be the one car on this list you have absolutely no chance of getting your hands on — even if you do have a spare $2.4 million floating around. Only 150 have been made, which makes it only slightly more common than the McLaren F1. Apparently, a few have already been crashed, too, so that scarcity will only increase.
Best under $30,000 — Mazda3
New cars priced under $30,000 are certainly on the entry-level side of things, but you don’t have to go mid-range to secure a good ride. There are plenty of great options available for less than $30,000, and the Mazda3 is on top of that pile.
The Mazda3 gives you plenty of options if you want to go back to basics. You can opt for a six-speed manual gearbox, a naturally aspirated engine, and firmly-tuned suspension. While this back-to-basics approach may be offputting to some, it could also be a nice break from the automatic process driving seems to have become these days. That said, if all of this is a no-go, you can still opt for a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine and an automatic transmission.
If the 29 mpg combined fuel economy doesn’t matter to you too much, there’s a Sport mode you can select which will make the throttle mapping more aggressive and add to the fun on offer. Beyond the performance aspects, there’s a beautiful leather-clad cabin on offer, plenty of driver aids if you need them, and something resembling an infotainment system as well. AWD is an affordable upgrade, though you can’t have a manual transmission with that. There’s also a fair amount of cargo space in case you want to use your Mazda3 for practical reasons.
Best Family SUV — Kia Telluride
Kia has carved out a reputation for making affordable, reliable, high-quality family vehicles in recent years, and the Telluride is arguably the South Korean company’s best effort in that department. You can get your hands on one for just over $35,000 — though there are numerous trims on offer, each bringing something unique to the table and progressively pumping the price towards a decidedly mid-range $52,785.
Targeting the moderately well-off young family market seems to be a cornerstone of Kia’s strategy with the Telluride, and its new customer base is happy to make the leap. The SUV is selling so well that Kia’s production facilities are constantly struggling to keep up.
The inside is spacious and comes with three rows of seats. Depending on the configuration you choose (bench or no bench) there can be up to eight spaces in the Telluride — enough for a large family, some friends, and a couple of pets. The interior varies, depending on the trim, but you can go as far as to get the sort of leather-clad experience you would expect from a luxury crossover. In addition to all of this, there’s Kia’s easy-to-use infotainment system, a whole heap of tech to make driving easier, and a superb safety rating.
Best Offroader — 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4Xe
Offroading is a popular pastime and there are plenty of options on the market should you wish to get away from the beaten path. However, there’s one name that jumps out ahead of all of the others — Jeep. The Jeep famously started out as a military vehicle but has since evolved into an offroading machine capable of tackling the harshest terrain without breaking a sweat.
As you may expect, the Wrangler Rubicon 4Xe builds on the standard Wrangler 4Xe to deliver top-tier performance. The 4Xe’s hybrid drivetrain will save you a little on fuel while also offering more power and torque than the standard Wrangler. On-road, expect a 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds. Off-road, you may want to go a little slower, but you can still feel confident tackling any terrain. The Jeep is capable of fording up to 33.5 inches of water without any trouble, while an electronic front sway bar disconnect and locking differentials mean your vehicle will laugh its way across uneven and inhospitable terrain.
The 4Xe is the better vehicle in many ways, but if you’re a dedicated off-road enthusiast, it may also be worth considering the regular Rubicon, which is available with a manual transmission. That best-in-class 100:1 crawl ratio that this option provides is hard to overlook.
Best Muscle Car — Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170
Dodge caused controversy last year when it announced the iconic Challenger and Charger lines of muscle cars are set to be discontinued in 2024. This was further compounded with the unveiling of a Charger Daytona SRT EV concept, which included an electric exhaust. In what may actually be some kind of apology, Dodge decided to see off the iconic Charger line with a very special edition. The SRT Demon 170 is about as extreme a muscle car as you can get.
With the right ethanol mixture and a red key — the only key you get with it — the Demon can unleash an impressive 1,025 horsepower and go from 0-60 in less than two seconds. Its fuel injection system is capable of spraying more liquid per second than the average American shower head into the 6.2-liter high-output HEMI engine. That liberal splash of volatile fuel is joined by a tremendous amount of air from the Charger’s 3-liter supercharger.
Unfortunately, the SRT Demon 170 is a bit difficult to get hold of. It’s not the rarest car released this year, but with a maximum of 3,300 units and plenty of enthusiastic gearheads around, you should probably be contacting your local Dodge dealer soon if you want a chance to get your hands on one. If you miss out, there are six other last call specials on the market as Dodge says goodbye to one of the vehicles that defined it as a brand.
Best Overall — Lucid Air Grand Touring
Our overall winner could have topped several categories on this list. If you’re an EV enthusiast but suffer from extreme range anxiety, it’s an obvious choice. If you want to go from 0-60 before your foot has even moved towards the pedal, this is the car for you. And if you want to be surrounded by luxurious touches, exquisite beauty, and cutting-edge tech then this is the one you’ll want to pick.
We are, of course, talking about the Lucid Air Grand Touring. What began as a serious rival to Tesla and its Model S Plaid wound up being a 1,050 horsepower, long-range, class-leading vehicle. Its power is also handled incredibly well — you can take a corner hard in the Lucid Air and barely feel a thing.
That said, nothing is perfect in this world. When we tested the Lucid Air, it had a couple of software glitches which unfortunately took a little of the shine away. The price also fits its status as one of the leading examples of an already expensive vehicle class. An entry-level air will set you back around $90,000, and a specced out Grand Touring Performance will cost $179,000 before tax and destination fee.
While it may be pricey and have a couple of kinks to work out, the Lucid Air Grand Touring remains an incredible example of automotive excellence, and anyone looking for an unparalleled driving experience in 2023 should take it into consideration.