The year is almost over and it’s been an interesting one. The BMWBLOG team has driven a ton of interesting new cars and we thought it would be a good idea to look back at them all and pick our best car from the year. Most of the cars we drove in 2022 were BMWs but not all of them. So it will be interesting to see what the team thinks of the cars we drove in 2022.
I have to pick two cars, one BMW and one non-BMW, because I had the privilege of driving a wide variety of great cars throughout the year and it’s sort of hard to pick just one. So here are my picks:
I was tempted to go with the BMW M4 CSL here but I really didn’t get enough wheel time to fully understand the car. Plus, if I’m being honest with myself, as cool as it was to drive the CSL on such a cool road, it wasn’t BMW that impressed me most. That title falls on the iX xDrive50. It’s such a fantastic overall car that does almost everything exceptionally well. It has its issues: it lacks cargo room, it’s a bit too expensive, and it isn’t great looking.
However, its powertrain is immensely impressive, its ride is almost Rolls-Royce-good, and it’s far more efficient than BMW claims it to be. It also has a super interior that outshines every other BMW cabin. It’s probably not my favorite BMW on sale but it is the best new BMW I drove in 2022.
I was tempted to go with the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing here because it’s one of my favorite cars in the world right now and probably the best performance sedan on sale. However, the Toyota GR86 is a car that absolutely stole my heart and did so at a price that almost every middle-class person can afford. It’s probably the best sports car value in the world at the moment and one of the most fun cars on sale. It looks great, has an outstanding manual transmission, fantastic steering, and playful rear-drive dynamics that make a 2 Series feel like a minivan.
Its weakest point—its 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer engine—is still quite good to use, with plenty of naturally aspirated power and a surprisingly fun noise. If my wife wouldn’t murder me for buying a brand-new two-door sports car, I’d buy one tomorrow.
BMW i4 M50
While the iX xDrive50 shocked me, throwing around its not-insignificant weight with more focus than some lesser sports cars, the i4 M50 sold me. It sold me on the idea that even in the electric age, BMW could still make the Ultimate Driving Machine. The song remains the same, but the key has changed – it seems they’ll now be reliant on a clever chassis design and balanced suspension tuning in place of wholly unique and charismatic engines.
Not a problem for me – even if the weight is. It doesn’t have a very long range, either. But ultimately, the i4 M50 is a straight-line supercar, gentle grocery-getter, and canyon carver all in one – and paints a very optimistic picture of where the brand is heading.
BMW X7 M60i
Where the i4 M50 represents the best of what’s to come, the X7 M60i, in many ways, represents the old school’s death rattle. Fast, freaky-looking, and with a twin-turbocharged M-tuned V8 engine to boot, the X7 M60i stands for everything that shouldn’t be in 2022. But thank goodness it does because it’s the most enthralling SUV on sale today, bar none.
In fact, almost nothing on sale today encourages lousy behavior as well as the X7 M60i. Between the excellent sound insulation and well-tuned suspension, you’ll never know you’re doing 100 mph until the cop pulls you over. Don’t ask. Go buy an X7 M60i – before you can’t.
2022 was a busy year in terms of BMW reveals and test drives. I was fortunate to test some exciting new models – like the iX M60 or the iX1 – but also some exclusive prototypes – from the G87 M2 to the XM luxury SUV. Since I haven’t had a chance to get behind the wheel of other brands’ products, I’ll focus only on BMW models.
Back in April, BMW of North America invited me for a very special event in Austria, at the famous and iconic Salzburgring. The double-header event included two prototype models – the G87 M2 and XM. And while the XM impressed me with its driving dynamics, despite being the heaviest BMW ever made, it was the G87 M2 that won my heart.
I sampled both an automatic and a six-speed manual M2. Despite being a pre-production vehicle, the new BMW M2 was already a highly refined product with impressive driving dynamics and the performance of an F87 M2 CS. The M2 has always been one of my favorite M products, but this new G87 M2 will most certainly become my new favorite M car.
The new BMW X1 electric crossover is unfortunately skipping the U.S. market for now. Which is a pity because the BMW iX1 is the one electric SUV I was looking forward to replace my i3 with. It has the looks, the high-quality interior and plenty of tech for a fairly priced electric SUV.
Naturally, its performance is in line with all electric cars – instant acceleration, great cornering performance and good electric range. Of course, it doesn’t have the cool carbon fiber chassis of the i3, nor its minimalistic interior cabin, but instead you’re getting a premium crossover which happens to be all-electric.
Here’s hoping that BMW will eventually bring it to the U.S. because I’m fairly certain it will sell like hotcakes.