Far be it from us to question the mystic wisdom of Yoda, that a Jedi craves not such things as adventure and excitement — but we don’t all live alone on remote swamp planets. So after being stuck in varying states of quarantine for the past nine months and counting, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, the li’l green guru will have to forgive us midi-chlorian-deficient folk pining away for a little external stimulation. As the automobile remains America’s quintessential totem of freedom, it makes sense that the cars we currently fixate on would favor the exciting, adventurous and affluent.
It comes as little surprise that SUVs dominate our year-end countdown of Cars.com’s most popular expert auto reviews, accounting for a full six of the top 10. But a noteworthy emphasis on luxury, performance and fun, in a year in which unemployment reached a precedent-setting high of nearly 15%, lends an air of escapism to the 2020 lineup — nowhere more so than the spendy luxury compact SUV taking the top spot.
For the 2020 model year, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class gets updates to its styling, powertrains and cabin appointments, with pricing from the $40,000s all the way up to nearly 100 grand for the top-performing AMG variant. Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman’s assessment of the GLC is overall favorable, and he sees why Mercedes buyers in need of some extra cargo or elbow room would choose it over the brand’s erstwhile top-selling model, the C-Class sedan.
“The GLC-Class has surpassed the C-Class compact sedan to become Mercedes-Benz’s bestselling model in the U.S., and for good reason: For a few bucks more than a C-Class, you get more space and headroom, plus the same quality interior, top-notch amenities, modern multimedia system and loads of available extra-cost safety equipment,” Bragman writes.
Follow the link below to our No. 1 car review of the year for Bragman’s complete take.
Steering hard into 2020’s fun, fancy theme, Mercedes’ second entry on our annual countdown clocks in at No. 6 — though that number gets much lower if that clock is a stopwatch. The jaw-droppingly gorgeous 2020 AMG GT C Roadster boasts a neck-snapping 0-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds, courtesy of the luxury roadster’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine. It also boasts a $163,395 starting price with destination, a figure that can keep accelerating from there. But, as Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley implies, if you have that kinda money, it’s money well spent.
“The Mercedes-AMG GT C is an elegant luxury car that could probably get by on looks alone, but spending just a few minutes behind the wheel reveals how much more it is than just a stylish roadster,” Hanley writes. “The GT C has enough luxury and tech features to not seem out of place alongside its Mercedes siblings, but its focus is driving performance, and in this it’s a thrilling success.”
Follow the link below to our No. 6 car review of the year for Hanley’s full review.
Headed further down Luxury Lane, another review from Bragman makes the top 10 in the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V, a moderately sported-up version of Cadillac’s CT4 sedan and little bro to the CT5-V. Head to the No. 7 spot for the full story there. And, at No. 9, Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger offers mixed feelings on the 2020 BMW X1, the smallest SUV in the luxury maker’s lineup.
And finally, those cooped up in quarantine and dreaming of overcoming obstacles not related to the coronavirus should head to No. 8 for Bragman’s review of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, which offers all the off-road ruggedness of the iconic Wrangler on which it’s based … plus some of the utility of a pickup truck.
But 2020 wasn’t all aspirations and off-roading. Peruse the entire list below for popular reviews on respectable daily drivers like the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, Toyota Yaris and RAV4 Prime, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Tahoe. Here are the top 10 reviews Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past year:
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