Any list of yearly “bests” is subjective to varying degrees – one person’s meat is another’s poison, to paraphrase an old saying. That’s especially true in the automotive arena, where some buyers might favor ultimate comfort and convenience over sheer performance, while others won’t sleep comfortably unless they know the car they drive leads all comers in terms of 0-60 mph acceleration times and lateral g-forces. And then there’s cost to consider, especially with average new-vehicle prices at around $32,000 these days.
That said, we present our list of what we consider are the best new vehicles for the 2015 model year. They’re split evenly among cars and SUVs/crossovers, and feature models at a wide range of price points we feel excel in terms of styling, performance, features, and value for the money. These are the models we’d recommend to friends and family, with each of them a standout in its own right. We’re presenting them in alphabetical order, with all prices cited including the manufacturer’s destination charges, which average around $800.
Acura MDX – Premium Crossover SUV Base price range: $43,685-$57,890
The midsize MDX luxury crossover SUV is a perennial favorite for its deft combination of admirable styling and performance in a family friendly package. The exterior is attractive without being flashy, while the MDX’s interior is handsomely and purposefully designed with three rows of seats (with the rear row being best suited for the kids) and refreshingly straightforward dashboard controls. It remains largely unchanged for 2015 after a model-year 2014 redesign. As before the MDX shares its underpinnings with the boxier and less-posh Honda Pilot. It comes powered by a smooth and willing 3.5-liter 273-horsepower V-6 engine that can shut down half its cylinders while at cruising speed to help maximize its fuel economy. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, with the automaker’s “Super-Handling” all-wheel-drive system included (except on the value-leading base model) that helps boost traction both on wet or snowy roads and through the curves on dry pavement. Even in its base form, the MDX is tuned to tenaciously hold its own around corners and through winding highway on-ramps, while delivering a smooth ride over all but the most brutally broken road surfaces. Coming well equipped, the top model includes upscale amenities like a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and a widescreen DVD entertainment system.