MotorBiscuit Announces 2021 Best Car of the Year Finalists

We have driven dozens of cars, trucks, and SUVs at MotorBiscuit this year. Trying to pick the best of a great lineup is tough, but we have been hard at work whittling down the best for each segment.

The best sedans and coupes we drove this year covered a wide swath of the segment. But there can only be one MotorBiscuit Car of the Year, and it will be one of these six finalists. At this point, it’s anyone’s race.

MotorBiscuit Best Car of the Year award 2021
MotorBiscuit Awards Logo | MotorBiscuit

The 2021 Lexus LC500 is a V8 beast with a heart of gold 

MotorBiscuit gave the 2021 Lexus LC 500 a 9.0/10

As our own Joe Santos wrote in his 2021 Lexus LC 500 review, “It’s hard not to love a supercar with sleek and exotic styling that looks this good. On top of all, the LC 500 has the handling prowess and power that you would expect from a car like this, and it’s an excellent value to boot.” 

The 2021 Lexus LC500 is one of our favorite cars we drove this year. It is powered by either a muscly 471-hp 5.0-liter V8 or a less-powerful but more sophisticated hybrid 354-hp 3.5-liter V6. Even with these killer powerplants, the Lexus LC 500 isn’t exactly a sports car; it’s a modern-day Grand Tourer wearing a sports car suit. 

What’s so special about the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450? 

The 2021 Mercedes E450 convertible parked on the side of the road

MotorBiscuit gave the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 an 8.7/10

I was lucky enough to be at the helm of this luxurious land yacht. The 2021 Mercedes E450 delivers on every promise it makes from start to finish. 

Mercedes offers its 362-hp, 369-lb-ft M256 3.0-liter turbocharged “mild hybrid” inline-six engine for the E-Class lineup. It has an integrated starter-generator that delivers 21 hp of electrical “EQ Boost” to help acceleration from a dead stop while the turbos spool up. This mild-hybrid system also helps boost gas mileage and lower CO2 emissions. 

But speed and sportiness aren’t what the E450 is all about. Seat massagers; that’s what this car is truly about. This car was a luxurious cruiser that excited me every time I had the opportunity. It was a breeze on the highway and embarrassingly pride-inducing when lumbering around town. 

Don’t sleep on the 2021 Mazda Miata MX-5; not now, not ever 

Red 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata, a car with high gas mileage and fast acceleration, parked by a large house
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

MotorBiscuit gave the 2021 Mazda MX-5 an 8.4/10

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 is unsurprisingly one of our favorite cars of the year. It continues to be one of the best cars for enthusiasts year after year due to its phenomenal handling, spritely power, and simple, driver-focused cockpit. 

The 2021 Mazda Miata sports a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine making 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque with an optional automatic transmission or the standard six-speed manual. 

The Mazda Miata was never meant to blow anyone away from stoplight to stoplight, but if you want to learn something about actually learning to drive quickly, there is no better place to start than a Miata. 

The 2021 Acura TLX is a surprising romp

A red 2021 Acura TLX
2021 Acura TLX | MotorBiscuit: Joe Santos

MotorBiscut gave the Acura TLX an 8.2/10

Our review team sure thinks so. The 2021 Acura TLX steps into the luxury midsize sedan world with the Audi A4, Lexus IS, and the Mercedes C-Class. It’s fair to say that TLX has stiff competition. However, there are some really strong pros in the TLX’s column. 

For one, the design – both inside and out – is pretty damn appealing. A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four making 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, powers the TLX with plenty of snap. There is also an optional 355-hp 3.0-V6 for the Type S trim. The TLX is luxurious, comfortable, and quick.

The 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid is impossible to deny 

MotorBiscuit gave the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid an 8.2/10

The 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid is far from the most exciting or best-looking car of the year, but it sure as hell could be the best. Everything is as it should be with the Camry. There aren’t many bells and whistles. The grocery parking lot won’t split when you pull up, but it is the last car that will leave you stranded. 

The Camry is quiet and comfortable. The cabin is well-equipped with plenty of standard safety tech, it has good power from its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor pair, and of course, has Toyota’s legendary reliability behind it. The 2021 Toyota Camry is a car that makes us wish our dream was to become an accountant and drive a Camry. Instead, we jaw on about cars and dream of owning Alfa Romeos and Lancias and other such nonsensical cars that will never work. 

The 2022 Mini Cooper S is buckets of fun

2022 Mini Cooper S parked in an empty. The Cooper S made the list of MotorBiscuit's car of the year
2022 Mini Cooper S | MotorBiscuit: Peter Corn

MotorBiscuit gave the 2022 Mini Cooper S an 8.0/10

It is hard to tell just yet if the 2022 Mini Cooper S will be better than the other models or not, but overall, Mini Cooper has come on a long way on reliability since the early 2010s. The 2022 Mini Cooper S was probably the most fun car I drove all year. Reviewing this car was an absolute treat. The dollar per thrills ratio on this car is off the charts. It is a true sports car in every way.

The 2022 Mini Cooper S comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making a spritely 189 hp. While this may not seem like a ton of power, the Mini Cooper S only weighs slightly more than a thimble full of water. If you know what you’re doing, that 189 horsepower can send this little speeder into outer space. 

It is still very tiny, fairly rough, and loud. There is almost no part of driving the 2022 Mini Cooper S that is comfortable, but that’s not really what sports cars are for, are they? 

Which one is deserving of the first MotorBiscuit Car of the Year?

Over the next week, we will be comparing notes on the cars mentioned here and pouring over pros and cons. Unlike Consumer Reports, we are going to pick a winner. Picking the car of the year is a series of threading the needle. It isn’t an objective choice; the top pick must function well and really, well, make our team want to drive it. As we work through these killer finalists we are getting increasingly excited to share the winner with the world as the official, first-ever MotorBiscuit Car of the Year.

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