Ƶ

🍨 WHAT'S COOKING: Dalton Dari-ette serving up smiles (and coney dogs) since 1957
CARS

2024 MotorTrend Car of the Year contenders

Staff
MotorTrend

has been handing out its Car of the Year title since 1949. To be eligible to take home the big prize, a given model must be all-new or significantly revised, but that's just the beginning. Once in the competition, each car is judged not against the others but rather: safety, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency and performance of intended function. The 2024 Car of the Year competition featured 15 distinct nameplates, represented by 26 total variants; the competition includes a finalist cut before ultimately choosing our winner. This group represents the cars that didn't quite make it to the finalist round for the Golden Calipers as 2024 MotorTrend Car of the Year.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

Surely, the new high-performance variant of, would go far in our Car of the Year competition. It has pedigree, being based on the, which in turn is a car adapted from — a finalist two years running, first in regular guise back in 2022 and. That last association carries the most gravity by far: The Integra Type S is, in effect, an Integra with all the Type R's performance upgrades baked in.

2024 Ford Mustang

Thirty years ago, the 1994 Ford Mustang was. A heavily revised version of the famed Fox Body Mustang that preceded it, it featured avant-garde retro-modern sheetmetal, a stylish new interior and largely carryover powertrains. It's difficult to look at competing for our 2024 Car of the Year award and not draw parallels.

2024 Honda Accord

When is good not good enough? Honda has a reputation for excellence in most segments, but we've found many of its latest efforts — the outstanding Civic excluded — don't quite reach that bar. The new, redesigned for 2023, is one such example. We loved the previous Accord's handsome styling, impeccable driving dynamics and strong powertrains. While the new model doesn't take any huge steps backward, it also fails to make many advances or exhibit much of the old car's intangible magic.

2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE

should have participated in our 2023, but a test car wasn't available at the time. So AMG's arguably most important electric vehicle to this point joined the fray for this go-around.

Plug-In hybrids:Why you may want to rethink these cars

Why "most important"? It's the division's most "affordable" EV to date, though it isn't remotely cheap with a starting price of $110,250. Our totaled $125,640 thanks to its two most expensive options — carbon-ceramic brakes and the Air Balance package, which includes air purification, fragrances, a head-up display, four-zone climate control and additional USB ports.

2024 Polestar 2

we evaluated didn't blow away any judges, making our 2024 Car of the Year evaluators curious to learn whether the 2 — now updated with a midcycle refresh — has come far enough to change their tune in a new setting.

In brief, sees single-motor variants now using a rear-mounted motor instead of one at the front, switching such models from front to rear drive. There are new motors and inverters across the range, with the standard dual-motor AWD version now making peak outputs of 421 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque (improvements of 13 hp and 59 lb-ft). Want even more go? The Polestar 2 Performance Plus model with its standard Performance package the company provided to us for COTY ups peak horsepower to 455.

2023 Porsche 911T

is, we'll argue, the ultimate driver's Porsche. Not the ultimate track 911 or the ultimate 911, period, mind you. And certainly not the quickest or fastest. No, the 911T is the car for people who prize the experience, mechanical connection and engagement in the act of driving above all else.

Porschephiles and spec-sheet savants among you will note there isn't technically anything new as compared to the 911 Carrera S that. Rather, this car is the next generation of that's also a unique combination of existing parts that 911 buyers can't get their hands on by any other means. It's a thoughtful and purposeful mixing and matching of performance hardware solely intended for an unrivaled driving experience, even compared to other 911s. Maybe it's a thin premise on the face of it, but we'll allow it.

2024 Subaru Impreza

Subaru brought back the RS trim forsixth-generation Impreza — which it now offers only as a hatchback, giving it more utility. It's an honest little car, with a low center of gravity, standard symmetrical all-wheel drive and a rear roof spoiler.

2024 pickup trucks:These are the best new small and midsize pickup trucks to buy

The RS trim comes, thankfully, with The flat-four is connected to a CVT with a manual mode and steering wheel "shift" paddles. The engine's 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque were sufficient for most judges, but the engine gets a bit loud when pushed. And although we got the car up to 120 mph, it took a long time.

2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Toyota offers a sizable hybrid lineup with niche-filling models in most segments. is the smallest and most affordable car of the lot, undercutting even the Prius hatchback, and it receives considerable.

Toyota revised the front and rear fascias, added the latest version of the automaker's safety suite, and overhauled the infotainment system. Most crucially, the Corolla Hybrid is. Our judges agreed these improvements give Toyota's compact sedan surprising appeal, but is it enough to win Car of the Year?

2024 Toyota Crown

The Toyota Crown nameplate left the North American market in the '70s, but the Crown is in its 15th generation elsewhere and covers a full vehicle family in Japan. In the U.S., for the 2023 model year as a tall, full-size, five-passenger hybrid sedan with standard all-wheel drive. There is an entry hybrid and the Hybrid Max with a new 2.4-liter turbocharged I-4, six-speed automatic transmission, electric motor in front and a second motor and inverter in back. It adds up to 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, which are impressive figures when paired with the car's 29/32-mpg EPA city/highway ratings.

Photos by MotorTrend staff, manufacturers