Fancy Luxury Cars? Naturally-Aspirated Refreshing Beasts? Gear Up To Speed On All Of The Picks We Have Rounded Off For You In All Sorts. We Definitely Won’t Leave You Empty-Handed!
Believe it or not, the end of the year is almost here. 2023 has been a momentous year in the automotive world. And, it looks like 2024 would offer ample excitement as well.
We’ve got new SUVs, truck, sports car, and even a minivan. Some long-awaited entrants have finally arrived after a yearlong chatter. Moreover, we have some atypical offerings for everyone. And we can’t wait to get started.
1. LARGE SUV
2023 Jeep Wagoneer
The revived, full-size, three-row Jeep Wagoneer enters its second model year with a luxurious interior, plenty of off-road capability and powerful engine options. This big box on wheels has seating for up to eight, a smooth, quiet ride and all the trappings of a luxury vehicle. It also has genuine off-road capabilities, which makes it a standout. Although the Jeep Wagoneer was all-new for 2022, it still gets a few significant changes for 2023. A powerful twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine is now standard on top trims and there’s a new long wheelbase available for those who want extra cargo room.
The base engine for the lineup is a 5.7-liter V8 with 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque that easily gets this large SUV up to speed. Standard on all but the base trim is a new Hurricane 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder with 420 hp and 468 lb.-ft. of torque. This is also the standard engine on all long-wheelbase Wagoneers. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the Hurricane is plenty powerful to provide much better gas mileage in the long run. This four wheel drive models feature one of three available off-road drive systems that provide the capability to tackle seriously tough terrain.
Off-road capability and a roomy, luxurious interior are this SUV’s calling card and all three rows it provides has lots of space for passengers. The new L model’s third row is one of the roomiest on the market. Ticking off part of the luxury experience it has a comprehensive infotainment system with a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen and premium Alpine audio. Top trims offer a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alerts, and front and rear parking sensors across the full lineup.
2. OFF-ROAD SUV
2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The G-Class’ five-passenger interior is positively bursting with luxury, including flagship-level materials, features, and the looks can be accentuated with various blingy packages. The whole vehicle is outrageous. But it’s also built like a bank vault and unerringly safe in almost any situation. Its structure is rock solid and Mercedes-Benz bundles in lots of world-class safety gear that it often makes optional on lesser models.
While the old G-Wagen was a notorious oaf on the pavement, the new one is all about refinement. The G63 can blast to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach an improbable 174 mph with an optional AMG Driver’s Package. It definitely sets a feat which seems to challenge the laws of physics given the weight and decidedly un-aerodynamic appearance of the G-Class, and the multiple drive modes noticeably change the G63’s personality. AMG is also responsible for a selectable exhaust system that, cranked to its Sport + setting, blasts an equally murderous soundtrack through four side-mounted pipes.
And, if one dares to get down-and-dirty off-road, the G-Class is up for anything, with 9.5 inches of ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs for amazing approach and departure angles. There are also locking front, rear and centre differentials. With being equipped with front and rear portal axles (driveshafts offset from the centre of the wheels, allowing a taller ride height) it boasts a ground clearance of 13.8 inches. Rugged simplicity rules, yet details are outstanding: A ribbed grille adorned with a Mercedes star, frosty doe-eyed LED headlamps, a burly brush guard (standard on the G63 AMG) and plenty of optional extras to gild the lily. Mercedes-Benz G-Class can climb a 45-degree grade and wade through 35.8 inches of water.
3. COMPACT SUV
Jaguar F-PACE SVR
The 2023 Jaguar F-Pace is a five-seat crossover SUV riding on a 113.1-inch wheelbase. Four trim levels are available, with three distinct engines. There’s also a high-performance variant, the SVR, with a twin-supercharged, 5.0-liter, 32-valve V8 cranking out 550 horsepower. All F-Pace models are all-wheel drive. F-Pace SVR is roomy, comfortable and quiet—until you stand on the accelerator. Doing that unleashes a deeply satisfying snarl. There’s a setting where you can make the exhaust even louder, but that could draw the attention of the local police. Handling and braking are beefed up in the SVR to match the power on tap.
Driven typically with a light touch, the SVR comes across as a top-tier luxury SUV. The 6-cylinder versions of each vehicle are also close in horsepower numbers, but the Jag is half a second or more slower than any of them in getting to 60. It’s only when ponying up for the SVR that the F-Pace wins a sprint to 60 at 3.8 seconds. The split personality may be the F-Pace SVR’s greatest attribute. Whether you’re being coddled by a luxury car or encouraged to indulge in enthusiastic bursts of speed, handling is entirely up to the driver. That sets it apart from the hottest models, which tend to go all-in on sport.
Even with the bolsters in the SVR model, the front seat comfort is excellent. Thus, this model makes the relatively universal shape of a crossover SUV stand out with some subtle creases along the lower body, cat- like LED headlamps and a large, aggressive grille with smaller air intakes on either side. Prominent dual exhausts give it a menacing look from behind as well. Even in more basic trims, the F-Pace looks very much the part of a performance vehicle. Part of its charm is its exclusivity, a quartet of exhaust finishers and unique wheels, the F-Pace SVR is almost sinister looking, a rarity if compared to current models.
4. SPORTS CAR
2023 BMW Z4 M40i
Open air roadsters are a rare breed these days, but the 2023 BMW Z4 almost occupies a niche of its own. Yes, it’s a classic two seat, rear-wheel drive, open-topped sports car; but it also sells on luxury and comfort and its strengths are both performance and usability. By sports car standards, it’s practical, comfy and easy to live with. It is just as capable as an SUV even if its convertible form means slightly more weight and less speed, but in six-cylinder, and 382-horsepower M40i form, it covers your drive. 9.9 cubic-feet is actually a pretty big trunk for a roadster and there’s lots of small item storage too. Both the four- and six-cylinder Z4s get good gas mileage. While it’s a really fun performer and satisfying to drive, the Z4 excels on providing its occupants with space and convenience. Even drivers as tall as six- foot-five will be comfortable all day in this car’s supportive seats, and with the top up the interior still feels roomy and quiet. Inside, the cabin is full of nice materials and intuitive, easy-to-use controls. The Z4 uses iDrive 7. At the heart of every Z4 is one of two excellent powerplants. While the M40i uses the sonorous “B58” inline six making 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. Being a rear-drive only and using an eight-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode and paddle shifters.
Both engines team well with a chassis that’s happy to attack curvy roads, but the Z4 also straddles the line between softer edged grand tourer and pure sports car. It rides very smoothly despite its short wheelbase, big rims and fat Michelin Pilot Super Sports, the Z4 is frisky but civilized. This isn’t likely to say the Z4 isn’t fast or reactive, because it’s both. A proper sports car, it feels very well-balanced, its steering is precise, and it’ll follow whatever line you choose through the twists and turns.
2023 Lexus LM
Lexus has become synonymous with luxury, and now it doubles down on its first-class aesthetic with the all-new Lexus LM. It’s a first for Lexus, entering the chauffeur-driven passenger experience sector of the market. It has been designed with all the mod-cons, such as a 48-inch HD widescreen monitor, refrigerator, smartphone-style control of cabin environment, “one button” control of your personal preferences for seat settings, like lighting and climate control, and a bespoke 23-speaker Mark Levinson 3D Surround Sound System. With Active Noise Control, it cancels unwanted sounds inside the cabin, noise reducing wheels and tyres add to the quiet experience.
Elsewhere, technological advancements include thermal sensors that precisely control and direct heating and ventilation, seats counteract head-sway to feel the level, and clever packaging makes for optimum headroom. Given it is a Lexus, the LM comes with a 2.5-liter self-charging hybrid engine, a whole suite of safety features, and plenty of driving aids to make your chauffeur’s life bit easier. It has large aperture sliding doors allowing for easy ingress and egress.
In terms of exterior, the front fascia of the new Lexus LM is equipped with a massive grille and stylish LED headlamps. At the side, the MPV gets a revised glasshouse and fine lines all over the length. It is likely to use 17-inch/19-inch alloy wheels. And, the torsional rigidity of the vehicle is 50 percent higher than its predecessor which has resulted in MPV being stronger and sturdier than before.
6. FULL SIZE TRUCK
2023 Ford F-150® Raptor®
For 2023, the Blue Oval has unleashed a counteroffensive with a second variant, the V8-powered, 700-horsepower F-150 Raptor R. The Raptor R has plenty to brag about. If you take the Raptor R up a snowy, muddy bypass it will feature plenty of boulders, gnarled logs, water bars and some tight turnarounds. But with a monster 640 pound-feet of torque, massive tires, a two-speed transfer case, and multiple modes (slippery, rock crawl, and off-road) that counter wheelspin this Ford laughed its way through the endeavour.
Once you’re on the pavement it can rip to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, which is just crazy. The R also gets some interior upgrades and 37-inch tires (the regular Raptor uses 35s). This is the most teddy-bearish, always comfortable truck. As, it uses the ten speed automatic, makes 700 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds tires are 37-inch all-terrains, which makes for even more off-road brawn.
The Raptor comes pretty complete with safety features too, including Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0, with lane centering, lane keeping, auto high-beams, emergency braking and pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, front, side, knee and ceiling airbags. The standard features in the R were specifically designed to offer more grip to keep you hide from sliding around, and they are indeed supportive, and the cabin digs are very liveable.