Editors' Picks October 2021 | VW ID.4, Nissan Frontier and Kia Stinger

·3 min read



October saw us award a trio of cars with Editors' Pick status, and the three are all vastly different from each other. There's an EV, a new midsize truck and a sport-focused grand tourer. As the year winds down, we expect many more 2022 model year update cars to be eligible for Editors' Picks, so look out for even more soon. Read on below to see what made the cut for October.

In case you missed our previous Editors' Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get Editors’ Pick status. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in October that earned an Editors’ Pick.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S

Quick take: A fun-to-drive EV with plenty of range, lots of utility and slick styling. It's let down by unnecessarily difficult-to-use tech, but nails all the other vital aspects of an electric car.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV

Pros: Comfortable with excellent handling, spacious, plenty of range

Cons: In-car tech frustrates, plain/barren interior

From the editors

Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder — "The ID.4 isn’t perfect, but its quirky tech and touch interfaces are easy to overlook when you consider its other qualities. It’s plenty quick, with surprisingly sharp handling. It’s also quite roomy, with lots of space for both passengers and cargo. I’d take this over a Tiguan any day."

In-depth analysis: 2021 VW ID.4 Review | Price, range, interior space, pictures

2022 Nissan Frontier

Quick take: Nissan has a midsize truck to compete with the best of them now, as the Frontier has a great powertrain, superb looks and a modern, tech-festooned interior.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator

Pros: Stellar tough design, strong powertrain, above average interior

Cons: Poor towing/payload figures, hardly a bargain anymore

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — "The Frontier is already one of my favorite midsize pickups. It's remarkably quiet and refined inside, and I love that Nissan didn't make it significantly bigger than the old, outgoing model. All of the feature I'd want are there, and its below average towing capability is hardly bothersome when we're talking about this size and class of truck."

In-depth analysis: 2022 Nissan Frontier Review | What's new, price, specs, pictures

2022 Kia Stinger

Quick take: A special product, proving that Kia can screw together sporty cars. It's comfortable, features sharp styling, a richly appointed interior and only disappoints when you push the chassis to its limits.

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: Volkswagen Arteon, Acura TLX, Jaguar XF, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A5 Sportback

Pros: Slick and sporty design, stout powertrains, excellent handling and ride

Cons: Small back seat, G70 drives even better

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — "Kia fixed what bothered me the most about the pre-refresh Stinger with this update. The V6's exhaust and noise was anemic, and the four-cylinder lacked excitement. With a more emotional-sounding V6 and gobs more power from the 2.5-turbo four-cylinder, the Stinger lineup is just where I want it to be."

Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder — "The Stinger is just a dynamite package. It’s smooth, fast and spacious, and with updated tech that brings it in line with the rest of the phenomenal Hyundai/Kia lineup. Its styling is magnetic, drawing curious admirers from around the parking lot. I gleefully recommend it to anyone considering buying one."

In-depth information: 2022 Kia Stinger gets 300-hp I4, new sport exhaust for V6

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