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Buying a new car right now sucks. What shame, too, becuase buying a new car should have some joy involved. These days, few people can buy what they want even if they can afford it. The supply just isn’t there. We think you should open yourself up to the most underrated new pickup trucks, cars, and SUVs. Since 2022 isn’t the year of your dream car, let’s make it the year of your good enough car. 

The most popular 2022 Honda Ridgeline trucks
The 2022 Honda Ridgeline truck with bikes in the back | Honda

What is the most underrated new car of 2022?

The 2022 Toyota Avalon is Consumer Reports' most satisfying new large sedan
2022 Toyota Avalon is Consumer Reports’ most satisfying new large sedan | Toyota

“Underrated,” like so many in the car world, is a subjective term. Typically when we talk about underrated cars, we mean a model that has not seen as much attention as we feel it deserves. This doesn’t mean that these cars are incredible or anything; it just means that they are better than most people think. Given the state of the car market, we should all be hunting the underestimated. 

The car we’ve chosen for this honor is the 2022 Toyota Avalon Hybrid. I know the Avalon isn’t the King of Cool, but it has its strengths. Just last week, I rode in a Toyota Avalon for the first time. It was an older model used as an Uber, and still, I was blown away by the amount of room and smooth ride. 

The Avalon may not be cool, but it is comfortable, roomy, and efficient. According to Car Buzz, this long and low luxury cruiser is also a hybrid, so it returns 43/44/44 mpg city/highway/combined. All those miles and all that comfort don’t come cheaply; the 2022 Toyota Avalon Hybrid starts at a stout $37,250 and tops out at $43,550. 

What is the most underrated pickup truck? 

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package unibody pickup truck with a white paint color parked in a mountain desert
2022 Honda Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Ridgeline is the king of underrated pickup trucks. For years the Ridgeline has patiently waited as it was taunted for being ugly and small. Many referred to it as not being a “real” pickup truck. 

Its smaller size, unibody chassis design, and all-wheel independent suspension have passed from toyish and lame to highly desired and maybe even favored, in some cases. Since the onslaught of new midsize pickups hitting the market in the last year, the Honda Ridgeline is finally positioned to take its place in the sun. 

Even still, the Ridgeline isn’t shiny and exciting enough to keep up with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Cruz or Ford Maverick. The Ridgeline is larger than both and powered by a tried-and-tested 3.5-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft to all four wheels as standard. 

If you need a pickup truck in 2022, forget all the popular brands that will require an eight-month wait, and buy the most underrated pickup truck on the market: the 2022 Honda Ridgeline. 

What is the most underrated SUV? 

Gray 2022 Mazda CX-9 on the road
2022 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 gets the short end of the stick. Maybe it isn’t technically underrated. Most reviews and literal ratings are pretty good. However, they don’t really feel like a part of the SUV /Crossover zeitgeist, which feels like a shame. 

The Mazda CX-9 may not be all that flashy, but the real ones already know. The CX-9 touches on many aspects of the Miata while still being a super-luxurious three-row SUV. The big Miata starts at $36,505, but it doesn’t get really good until you step up to the fancier trim levels like the Carbon Editon, Grand Touring, or Signature. However, the top-tier Signature trim starts just under $50k. 

Like the Avalon Hybrid, The CX-9 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You may see one smoothly saunter down the road and think, “how boring?” but you’d be wrong. Well, not wrong, it is a little boring, but that’s not a fair judgment of the whole package. The 2022 Mazda CX-9 is a boring three-row SUV that almost makes you feel like you’re driving something sporty, but you’re way too comfortable to feel that way for long. That is a hard car description to hate. 

So which underrated new pickup truck, car, or SUV should you buy? 

That’s the best part; It’s all up to you. The point is, there are great new models out there that are worth buying that you don’t have to overpay, compete, or wait too long for. Maybe our dream cars just have to wait. Maybe 2022 is the year for us to buy a car that works and quit worrying about the rest? The underrated cars are going to get us through. 


The Real Reason the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Should Be More Popular