The shortest month of the year spawned a few Editors’ Picks choices, and they come from a variety of categories amongst the car world. One comes with a particular caveat, the Lexus NX. Specifically, the new NX that gets our nod is the 450h plug-in hybrid model. We can heartily recommend an NX in this guise for its superb electrified powertrain, but the other versions fail to stir us in the same way. Beyond this, it’s some of the latest from GM cleaning up, and they sure are some good ones.
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 Editors’ Pick status. 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.
2022 GMC Yukon
Quick take: The Yukon is a big, comfortable and versatile SUV that has a little something for everybody, so long as you can stomach the fuel economy. It’s an excellent middle ground between the Tahoe and Escalade.
Pros: Tons of space, comfy ride, great trim variety, powerful engine options
Cons: V8 Fuel economy, infotainment can be laggy, unexciting base interiors
From the editors
Road Test Editor, Zac Palmer — “GM’s full-size SUVs are fantastic this time around, especially if you opt for the magnetic shocks and air suspension. The availability of a diesel engine that vastly improves fuel economy is huge, and the Denali trim is more special than ever with its unique interior design. I personally prefer the Yukon’s styling over the Tahoe’s, too.”
In-depth analysis: 2022 GMC Yukon Review | AT4 and Denali make the strongest case
2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Quick take: Cadillac is at the top of the mountain with its performance sedans, and the CT4-V Blackwing is no exception. One drive in this magnificent creation will have any enthusiast convinced that it’s a top-tier sport sedan.
Pros: A perfect chassis, very powerful engine, available manual, price
Cons: Not quite the Germans’ equal in tech, luxurious interior requires adding options
From the editors:
Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “I’d have this car over any of the others in the high-performance sport sedan class. It provides as much performance as anyone would ever want, and it does so in a car that is still engaging and feelsome to drive. It fixes the main pain points found in the ATS-V, and it leaves you with very few things to legitimately gripe about.”
Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “CT4 or CT5-V Blackwing? There’s no wrong answer, but it was the CT4 that converted me not just to Cadillac, but to General Motors. GM seems intent on sending off internal combustion with one hell of a bang. The Blackwings are the most satisfying sport sedans on their side of six figures (sorry, Alfa fans) and it’s not really close.”
In-depth analysis: 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing First Drive Review | A magnificent sunset
2022 Lexus NX 450h PHEV
Quick take: Only the PHEV version of the new Lexus NX gets the Editor’s Pick nod, and that’s because it’s the one powertrain we’d recommend you buy amongst the other relatively average options. Amongst other luxury PHEVs of this size, though, the NX 450h is a top performer in most vital metrics.
Pros: Great electric range, fun to drive, solid interior
Cons: Other NX models lag behind, interior tech could use a few updates
From the editors:
Senior Editor James Riswick — “The NX PHEV gets our Editor’s Pick mostly because it’s one of the few plug-in hybrid compact SUVs. It goes farther on a charge than the others, though, and benefits from a well-constructed cabin and Lexus’ strong reliability reputation.”
Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “The gasoline-powered NX is a competent, reasonably comfortable highway cruiser with much-improved tech, but there are more appealing options out there. The hybrid is where the NX goes from just good enough to pretty great; that PHEV powertrain is excellent.”
In-depth information: 2022 Lexus NX Review | A solid entry for hybrid hunters