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Editors’ Picks January 2023 | Acura Integra, the new CR-V and more



A new year means another long year of testing and evaluating new metal coming from the automotive industry — we know, tough job, right? It also means another year of new cars making it to our Editors’ Picks status, and we’re starting out January with a bang. In total, eight new vehicles were Editors’ Picks this month, including some brand-new models like the redesigned Honda CR-V, Cadillac Lyriq and the ever-controversial Acura Integra.

In case you missed our previous Editors' Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get an Editors’ Pick designation. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in January that earned an Editors’ Pick.

2023 Honda CR-V


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Quick take: An all-around winner, the Honda CR-V is spacious, features easily used technology and looks better than ever. We recommend the efficient hybrid model, but the standard powertrain is a solid option, too.

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Score: 9.0.

What it competes with: Hyundai TucsonKia SportageMazda CX-5Toyota RAV4Subaru ForesterNissan RogueVW TiguanChevrolet EquinoxFord EscapeMitsubishi Outlander

Pros: Clean styling; massive interior; efficient engine options; solid infotainment system; many standard safety features.

Cons: No base trim levels; lack of specialty options such as plug-in hybrid and off-road models.

From the editors:

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — "The CR-V is just really good in a lot of ways that really matter. It's enormous inside. It has a clean, stylish exterior and interior. It's solidly equipped. The base engine is pretty underwhelming, but that's rectified with the more powerful, more refined and more efficient hybrid. It simply doesn't do anything badly."

Senior Editor James Riswick — "The 2023 Honda CR-V is at its best as the hybrid. While the turbo base engine carries over virtually unchanged, the hybrid is new for 2023. To put it simply, it’s just better to drive. Honda engineers managed to simulate shifts when the gas engine kicks on, providing a more natural driving experience and eliminating the blender-like droning of the outgoing car. As for the rest of the driving experience, the 2023 Honda CR-V is notably a more refined and stable car than its predecessor."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Honda CR-V Review: Same old practicality, newfound style

 

2023 Porsche Macan


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Quick take: Nothing drives better than the Porsche Macan, and while you pay a premium for it, there's no other SUV that'll be as fun as this one. Its interior tech and utility is merely acceptable, but again, that's not the Macan's priority.

Score: 7.5.

What it competes with: Alfa Romeo StelvioGenesis GV70Jaguar F-PaceBMW X3Mercedes-Benz GLC-ClassAudi Q5Lexus NXAcura RDXVolvo XC60Lincoln CorsairInfiniti QX50, Volvo XC60

Pros: It drives like a Porsche; highly customizable; high-quality cabin.

Cons: It’s priced like a Porsche; on the small side; below-average fuel economy.

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — "I've driven nearly every trim of the Macan at this point, and at every single performance level, it's the best-driving SUV in the segment. Hop into the T if you're on a budget. Step up to the S if you're wanting a little extra shove, and go all the way to GTS if ultimate performance is the target. Seriously, the GTS feels more like a big AWD hatchback than it does a crossover. Any enthusiast is going to love driving the new Macan."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Porsche Macan Review: The little SUV to buy when you love to drive

 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq


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Quick take: An affordable and very luxurious electric SUV, the Lyriq checks all the boxes. We like its charging tech, range, power and handling. Plus, it's rather sharp looking.

Score: 8.5.

What it competes with: Audi Q8 E-Tron, Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model Y, Genesis GV60

Pros: Huge styling winner, superb interior tech, great electric car platform with solid charging tech and powerful motors.

Cons: Limited availability at launch, too reliant on touchscreen controls.

From the editors:

Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder — "The Lyriq is great to drive, with excellent on-road manners and engaging dynamics. But where it stood out to me most was the attention to detail in the interior design. This is a new era for Cadillac quality, and at a price that makes the Lyriq feel like an excellent luxury EV value."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Review: Electric SUV is Cadillac's future

 

2023 Subaru Crosstrek


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Quick take: The Crosstrek is a mini SUV with charming capability and an attractive design. Its one big negative is a lack of power from the base engine.

Score: 7.0.

What it competes with: Kia SeltosFord Bronco SportJeep Compass, Chevy Trailblazer, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks, Toyota Corolla Cross, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Mini Countryman, Kia Soul

Pros: More capable than similarly priced SUVs; good fuel economy; standard AWD; real roof rails.

Cons: Slow base engine; roly-poly handling; some head-scratching interior controls; Hybrid’s iffy value.

From the editors:

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — "One thing to keep in mind about the Crosstrek is that it's slow. The base one is extra slow, the Sport less so. But it makes up for that with a reasonable price and a spacious interior. Factor in standard all-wheel-drive and an impressive amount of ground clearance, and the Crosstrek will get you to a lot of places that other little crossovers never could, no matter how fast."

Senior Editor James Riswick — "The Crosstrek is really just an Impreza hatchback with some body cladding, chunky roof rails and that comical lift. It’s way cooler as a result – more capable, too."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Review: Simple, capable, sells like hotcakes

 

2023 Acura Integra


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Quick take: The Acura Integra sure is fun to drive with the manual, and it has tons of interior space. However, a lack of value versus the Civic and a boring CVT for all but one trim make makes it good, but not great.

Score: 7.5.

What it competes with: BMW 2 Series Gran CoupeMercedes-Benz CLA-ClassMercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A3Cadillac CT4

Pros: Civic Si performance with greater refinement; sweet manual transmission; thrifty fuel economy; versatile hatchback.

Cons: Underwhelming base equipment; cramped rear headroom; some cheap interior bits in back; a CVT, really?

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — "Every Integra is not the Integra Type R, and I think a lot of people forget that this was the case when comparing old versus new. As it stands, the manual-equipped Integra is one of the best budget daily drivers money can buy. You get everything that's fun about the Civic Si in a more usable and feature-rich format. The CVT is a downer, but as far as CVTs go, it's a pretty good one if you must have an automatic."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Acura Integra Review: Can it possibly fill an icon's shoes?

 

2023 Honda Ridgeline


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Quick take: The Honda Ridgeline is the most comfortable, car-like midsize truck money can buy. It's the perfect truck for most folks who don't often do truck things, but it's still capable when called upon.

Score: 8.0.

What it competes with: Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet ColoradoGMC Canyon, Nissan FrontierJeep Gladiator

Pros: Great on-road ride and handling; innovative bed design; standard AWD.

Cons: Controversial design; no inexpensive base models; limited off-road.

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — "If I had to park a midsize pickup in the driveway, the Ridgeline would be my choice every single time. It prioritizes comfortable daily driving and refinement instead of the usual rough-and-tumble vibe from body-on-frame midsize trucks. Plus, you still have a great bed and the ability to go off-road with Honda's excellent AWD system. I really dig this pickup.

In-depth analysis: 2023 Honda Ridgeline Review: It might be all the truck you need

 

2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge


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Quick take: Volvo's small electric crossover sure is quick with a cute and charming design. Its charging tech and range aren't class-leading, but we still love this little box of an EV.

Score: 7.0.

What it competes with: Polestar 2, Mercedes-Benz EQB, Audi Q4 E-Tron, Volvo C40, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model Y, Genesis GV60

Pros: Cute design with the Swedish styling we're used to, quick acceleration, useful interior for its size.

Cons: Range and charging tech is merely average, a pricey alternative versus the gas-powered model.

From the editors:

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — "Like its 'coupe' counterpart, the C40, the XC40 Recharge is expensive and lacking in total range, but makes up for it with a solid ride/handling balance and brisk acceleration. We'd pick the XC40 over the C40 for its ever so narrow advantage in utility over the sleek C40 and its tapered roofline, but you can buy way more EV for this kind of money if the badge is not a concern."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge First Drive Review: EV SUV is petite, potent and unpretentious

 

2023 Kia Seltos


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Quick take: Kia stuffs a lot of value in the Seltos. It's big for the mid-compact class, offers a potent turbo engine and has tons of tech. The styling is a little busy, but you're getting a lot of utility for the money.

Score: 7.5.

What it competes with: Subaru CrosstrekFord Bronco SportJeep Compass, Chevy Trailblazer, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks, Toyota Corolla Cross, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Mini Countryman, Kia Soul

Pros: Loads of space; great technology; exuberant acceleration with turbo engine; clever design throughout; strong safety ratings.

Cons: Weak base engine with unusual transmission; plenty of hard plastics.

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — "Most cars in this class feel like a penalty box to drive, but not the Seltos. You can get a powerful turbo engine, and the handling is perfectly respectable. Plus, AWD availability, all the tech you could possible want and a big cargo area make this thing a quiet winner. If something like a CR-V or RAV4 are too big or expensive, the Seltos is a lovely alternative."

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — "All in all, the Seltos is an attractive, competent package and a compelling draw for those who want a vehicle that's obviously a crossover with a small footprint and all-wheel drive. And if the latter isn't a must, you can save some money and gas by sticking with the front wheels."

In-depth analysis: 2023 Kia Seltos Review: Side effects include great tech, good looks

 

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