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AutoGuide’s Most Popular Car Reviews of 2021

These are the reviews you read the most this year, from trucks to sports cars.

As we enter the final few days of 2021, it’s a time for reflection. That’s why we’re looking at the big hits of the last 12 months, first with the news, and now the AutoGuide car and truck reviews.

It was another bumper year for crossovers. While there were other vehicles that cracked the top 10—including minivans and sports cars—North America’s favorite segment was well-represented in the traffic race, accounting for 40 percent of the list. Korean vehicles also nabbed that same share, followed by three Japanese models, a pair of Americans, and a German.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you, the readers. Our goal is to empower you with crucial real-world knowledge on your car buying adventures. Your continued attention keeps us doing this job we love doing. So thank you for that.

Read on then, for AutoGuide’s most popular car reviews of 2021.

10. 2022 Toyota GR86 First Drive Review: Old-School, Evolved

What we said:

“If Porsche made a front-engined sibling for its 718 Cayman, this would be it.”

Read the full review here!

Toyota didn’t need to change much for the second act of the 86. A little more power, a fractional weight gain, more modern amenities—that’s about it. It polishes an already fun to drive car and keeps the 86 in a sweet spot in the market. Nothing else—well, other than the Subaru BRZ twin—can pull off what this affordable little sports car can.

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09. 2021 Kia Sedona Review: Dead Van Walking

What we said:

“Most importantly for family buyers, the Sedona is budget-friendly, with a strong warranty and a price tag thousands less than the competition.”

Read the full review here!

Even though it’s gone now, a lot of you read up on the departed Kia Sedona. With the Grand Caravan/Voyager going fleet-only, the Sedona was the most affordable minivan left on the market. The flashier, more impressive Carnival stands in its place. The newer van just missed the cut for this list, but it also had four months’ less time to catch eyeballs. Are minivans back on the way up?

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08. How Driving the Current and Original Miatas Has Me Excited for Its Electrified Future

What we said:

“Mazda has earned our trust. Over 30 years, the Miata has stayed true to the original ethos, offering up fun in a compact, two-seater, open-air package. An electrified Miata can do all of that.”

Read the full review here!

This one’s a little different: not a straight-forward review, but a drive back to back with a current ND Miata and the original 1990 example. It illustrated just how steadfast Mazda has been with the lovable droptop’s 30-plus years of development, which fills us with hope for the next one, confirmed to be electrified.

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07. 3 Reasons the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo Succeeds as a Luxury Car (and 3 it Doesnt)

What we said:

“Mazda keeps inching towards the premium market, but this car right here does it best thanks to one key change: more power.”

Read the full review here!

Mazda has upmarket ambitions, and the quick proliferation of its turbocharged 2.5-liter across the lineup has helped. Blessed with torque and a smooth nature, we found it elevated the 3 to a space close to what you’ll find from the premium brands. A few months later we put the related CX-30 Turbo to the test, where it fought (and beat) the Mercedes GLA 250.

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06. 2021 Kia Telluride Review: Living Up to the Hype

What we said:

“The 2021 Kia Telluride straddles the gap between mainstream and luxury with aplomb. Despite its humble price tag, this three-row comes packed to the rafters with the sort of features to keep the whole crew satisfied on road trips.”

Read the full review here!

Kia had an immediate hit on its hands when the Telluride launched two years ago. The affordable mid-sizer has been in short supply since, and continues to rack up accolades for its smooth ride and pleasant interior. It’s a good ‘un.

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05. 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Review: A Passing Grade

What we said:

“The Atlas does everything satisfactorily and that is the issue with it. Even after it’s done with its daily grind and weekend duties, it still remains serious and rather single-minded.”

Read the full review here!

Sometimes you just need a vehicle that does the job, no fuss, no muss. That’s what the Volkswagen Atlas is for. VW’s big-boned crossover offers acres of space and an agreeable ride, with that semi-premium feel the brand has long been known for.

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04. 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Review: No Apologies

What we said:

“Despite the noisy interior and wayward driving dynamics, I found myself wanting one. Maybe it’s the personality or maybe it is the road presence, but you cannot deny its desirability.”

Read the full review here!

We like our trucks with an air of workhorse to them, and for the image-conscious Gladiator, that means the excellent EcoDiesel. It isn’t cheap, adding thousands to the bottom line, but the torque-rich driving experience is one we enjoy. It’ll still tackle just about path you point it down, too.

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03. 2021 Kia Sorento Review: First Drive

What we said:

“Kia can’t miss these days, and the Sorento is another win for the team. The assertive new styling distances it from the quasi-minivan look of the last model, but its beauty is more than skin deep. A thoughtfully-designed interior makes it great for hauling families, and those rear-most seats allow for more people to come along for the ride.”

Read the full review here!

Sure, January feels about 20 years ago now. But what hasn’t changed is our view on the new Sorento. Kia smartly kept its smaller three-row crossover away from the lauded Telluride, not just in size, but in styling, off-road ability, and available powerplants. We stuck the Sorento up against a few competitors this year and it continued to impress. 2022 sees the plug-in hybrid join the lineup, so expect to see more of the Sorento’s angular face around these parts.

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02. 2022 Genesis GV70 Review: First Drive

What we said:

“With the now-traditional blend of athleticism, attention to detail, long standard features list, and high value, the 2022 Genesis GV70 is a strong contender right out of the gate. Congratulations, compact crossover buyers: your decision has now become that much harder.”

Read the full review here!

You couldn’t get enough of the GV70 this year. From its initial reveal, our on-hands preview, and a head-to-head with the Porsche Macan, the compact Genesis crossover pulled in plenty of eyeballs in 2021. Nothing could top our initial first drive though, which highlighted the Korean’s athleticism, classy interior, and continued value approach.

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01. 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid Review: This Isn’t Your Father’s Hybrid

What we said:

“This is a very different kind of hybrid—one that makes the vehicle much more usable beyond the commute. Instead of camping in the left lane, you’ll likely be seeing the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost hooked to a camper.”

Read the full review here!

All is right in the world: the best-selling vehicle in North America is the most-read review here at AutoGuide this year. That’s not to say the F-150 is old-fashioned: with a well-integrated hybrid system and the supremely useful built-in generator, Ford’s golden child is bang up-to-date. It’ll jump even further into the future next year, when the all-electric Lightning steps up to the plate.

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