If you’re shopping for a brand new car, deciding which models to test drive can be overwhelming!
There are more than 300 new car models to choose from, but Autotrader says there are 12 vehicles that shoppers must see and experience to believe.
Read more: The most reliable car brand is…
5 cars and SUVs to test drive
Here are the criteria to be considered for the automotive site’s Must Test Drive Award:
- Current or next model-year; available to purchase
- Base price under $75,000
- Significant value for the asking price
- Score no lower than a 3.5 on Autotrader’s five-point scale
We know that most people aren’t going to be spending anywhere near $75,000 on a new vehicle, so we’ve narrowed down Autotrader’s list to a handful of rides.
In no particular order, here are the cars and SUVs that you just have to take for a spin!
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
- MSRP: Starting at $37,495 ($29,995 after federal tax credit)
- Range: 238 miles
Image credit: Chevrolet
Autotrader says: Touted as a game changer with accompanying “welcome to the future” nods by Autotrader’s editors, the Bolt EV is a pure electric vehicle that anyone can drive daily without range anxiety. This, combined with its versatility and great driving experience, solidified its spot as a Must Test Drive Award winner.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
- MSRP: Starting at $28,595
- MPG: 18 city/28 highway
Image credit: Chrysler
Autotrader says: Designated by one of Autotrader’s experts as the vehicle that “will really make you rethink your anti-minivan stance,” the Pacifica is lauded for its surprisingly car-like ride, luxurious interior, and family-friendly features like stow-and-go seating and rear-seat apps and entertainment. The fact that it is both easy to drive and easy on the eyes is exactly why it’s the family van you must test drive before buying anything else.
2017 Honda CR-V
- MSRP: Starting at $24,045
- MPG: 28 city/34 highway
Image credit: Honda
Autotrader says: The newly redesigned CR-V – a longtime staple in the extremely popular compact SUV segment — features “numerous notable improvements over the outgoing model,” including well-executed exterior styling and upscale interior features, solidifying its spot among Autotrader experts as a Must Test Drive Award winner.
2017 Mazda CX-9
- MSRP: Starting at $31,520
- MPG: 22 city/28 highway
Image credit: Mazda
Autotrader says: Deemed “100% worth the wait,” “beautiful inside and out” and the “overall best three-row crossover in the market” by Autotrader experts, the newly redesigned CX-9 features a rare combination of luxury, efficiency, and driving dynamics that make it a must-experience vehicle.
2017 Subaru Impreza
- MSRP: Starting at $18,395
- MPG: 28 city/38 highway
Image credit: Subaru
Autotrader says: Subaru’s freshly updated compact sedan is now “one of the best small cars you can get” according to our editors. The Impreza’s cool new look, fun-to-drive factor, and nicely detailed interior are just a few of the reasons it’s on our Must Test Drive list for 2017.
Clark’s car buying advice
To do a good job for your wallet, Clark suggests only buying a brand new car if you plan to keep it for eight to 10 years. Otherwise, you’re better off buying something slightly used.
And if you’re not paying cash for the car, arrange financing with your bank before you go to the dealer.
Read more: The 19 best used car models under $15,000