Best Overlooked Cars of 2018
Some very nice cars got lost in the shuffle in 2018. We believe it’s a shame when great cars get pushed aside, so we thought we’d pull five of our favorites from obscurity for your consideration. Of course, what’s bad news for these cars can be good news for you. With 2018 models currently being phased out in favor of 2019s, there are also some great deals to be found on this list.
Buick Regal GS
Blessed with handsome styling, a generous array of standard equipment housed within a nice interior treatment, and more than adequate performance, the 2018 Buick Regal GS would sell like popsicles at a baseball game on the Fourth of July if it had an Audi badge. But, since it’s wearing a Buick logo, younger buyers are overlooking the sleek hatchback and older drivers are finding it too edgy. Sadly, that’s too bad for them. We’d get ours with the 310-horsepower V6 and all-wheel drive.
Ford Fusion Energi
Given the goodness of the model, we’re surprised to see the Fusion qualifies for this list. However, the model’s popularity has waned considerably over the past few years. Sales dropped 21 percent in 2017 and no rebound was experienced in 2018. This is sad because the Fusion is arguably the best American family car on the market. It’s stylish, spacious, beautifully equipped, more than adequately powered and can also be had in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. With Ford recently announcing its near abandonment of the passenger car marketplace (killing everything except Mustang and Focus Active), Fusion’s days are clearly numbered.
When Hyundai introduced its upmarket Genesis brand a few years ago, it hit the luxury car broad strokes but missed the fine points. With the 2018 Genesis G90, Hyundai has proven it can build a world-class luxury offering. The G90 is powerful, smooth, graceful, sumptuously outfitted and very handsome. For the price, it’s really tough to beat. However, pedigree does count for a lot at this level of the game too. Still, if you can put your ego on hold, you’ll find much to love about the Genesis G90.
Yet another upstart, Kia is trying to break into the high performance sedan space with its aptly named Stinger. Wringing 365 horsepower out of a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 and routing it to the ground through an all-wheel drive powertrain, the Stinger has the mechanical chops to hang tough. Again though, we’re looking at a case of right specifications/unexpected branding. So far, driving enthusiasts have yet to embrace the Kia. However, if you’ll give it a fair shot, the Stinger is capable of winning your heart.
MINI Cooper Countryman ALL 4
Not quite car, not quite SUV, not quite crossover, the MINI Cooper Countryman exists in something of a gray area. We like its style, we love the quirkiness of its interior, even though it has been toned down quite a bit from the renaissance MINIs of 2002. We also like the way the Countryman demonstrates the versatility of the MINI platform. Of course with models out there that are exactly cars, exactly SUVs and exactly crossovers, it takes a special kind of person to go for the Countryman. Thus it arrives on this list of the overlooked models of 2018. Still, there’s lot to love about the MINI Cooper Countryman All 4, including a plug-in hybrid.
Volvo’s flagship has always had a tough row to hoe in the US. However, this version of the car is the most handsome and lavishly appointed iteration of the big Volvo ever offered. The S90’s sleek exterior houses a gorgeous interior treatment—especially when you order it in lighter colors. Quiet, comfortable and luxurious, driving the Volvo S90 is also going to get you exclusivity. You’re not going to see many of these on the street.
Once the hot new “it” car, the Beetle has lost the luster it enjoyed when it came back to market in 1998, after debuting to a cacophony of applause at the 1994 Detroit Auto Show. Twenty years later, the Beetle is just as stylish, practical and comfortable as it was when it was re-introduced. It also drives nicely and gets reasonable fuel economy (26-city/33-hwy). After all, the Beetle is basically a Golf with a different body. But styles change, tastes change and Volkswagen has announced plans to let it go. This might be your last opportunity to get a new one.
Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen
With everybody so caught up in compact SUVs, the virtues of the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen are easy to miss. Meanwhile, the stylish little wagon will carry just as much stuff as any compact SUV. Plus, it handles better, beats them on fuel economy and rides more comfortably. All-wheel drive is offered as an option, so the Sportwagen will also go pretty much anywhere most people ask compact SUVs to take them. But, like all the other models on this list, the VW’s more notorious rivals overshadow it.