Driven Women Magazine’s Best Cars of 2022

by Petrol Mum

Driven Women Magazine has capped off its Fifth Anniversary year by announcing our best cars driven in 2022. It was another busy one, reviewing 58 vehicles from 24 different marques. From a plus $400k McLaren to a sub $20k Kia and pretty much everything in between.

Independent car reviews, written by a woman with input from her family. That’s what you get when you read the reviews from Driven Women Magazine and once again my children have also selected their favourites vehicles from the year, so without any further ado, here are the winners!

My Daughter’s Car of the Year

The next-gen Ford Ranger Wildtrak V6 Diesel.

My daughter has remained loyal to the Blue Oval and has given her Car of the Year to the next-gen Ford Ranger Wildtrak V6 Diesel. This is not a surprise considering she loves Ford and utes.

My Son’s Car of the Year

CUPRA Formentor VZx Petrol Blue matte paint
The Cupra Formentor VZx.

This year my son chose the Cupra Formentor VZx as his Car of the Year because he found the design and aesthetic very pleasing and in particular he liked the colour combinations and the seats.

His Highly Commended award once again goes to the Toyota GR Yaris.

Driven Women Magazine’s People Mover of the Year

Toyota Granvia VX 6 Seater with bridge
The Toyota Granvia VX.

People Movers generally get a bad wrap, but they shouldn’t! With interior space that most SUVs can only dream about, seating flexibility and a high driving position, they really do tick all the boxes for a large family. In 2022 we drove the Toyota Granvia VX almost two thousand kilometres without our children killing each other. For that reason, and the four reclining Captain’s chairs with foot rests and seat heating, the Granvia is my People Mover of the Year.

Notable mentions also go to both of the other People Movers I drove in 2022, the futuristic looking Hyundai Staria and the Kia Carnival.

Driven Women Magazine’s Wagon of the Year

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack Premium Aquamarine blue side profile
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack Premium.

Before the rise of SUVs, if you wanted a practical family vehicle then you bought a wagon. Wagon’s may not be as prevalent as they once were, but they are still easy to live with and offer a more car-like drive than a SUV thanks to their lower driving position. My Wagon of the Year is the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack Premium because it combines a classy interior with a huge boot.

Highly Commended awards go to two other Volkswagen wagons, the Golf R Wagon for when you still want the buzz of a hot hatch, but need more space, and the Arteon Shooting Brake because it is such a good-looking wagon.

Driven Women Magazine’s Eco Car of the Year

Polestar 2 side profile
The Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor.

The Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor is my Eco Car of the Year for 2022 for many reasons. Most of all I love that Polestar have publicly shared their Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for Greenhouse Gases (GHG) for their vehicles. A LCA calculates the GHG emitted over the life of a vehicle, from manufacturing, to use and disposal. For some time now I have advocated that all car companies should publish the LCA information for all of their vehicles so that consumers can make an informed decision about the vehicle they are driving.

The Polestar 2 got the nod over the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric because I achieved a better energy use in the Polestar, 21.68kW/100km compared to 21.75kW/100km for the XC40 and I liked the acceleration of the Polestar 2. Volvo also publicly share their LCA data and this allows the consumer to compare the Volvo EVs to Volvo vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Special mention goes to the MG ZS EV Essence, which achieved the best energy use of any EV I drove in 2022 at 17.97kW/100km and the Kia Picanto S for the least amount of fuel used at 5.4L/100km.

Driven Women Magazine’s SUV of the Year

Skoda Kodiaq Style 2.0 TSI
The Škoda Kodiaq Style 2.0 TSI.

Škoda vehicles never cease to surprise me with their many practical features and I keep asking myself, why don’t all vehicles have that? Case in point for the Kodiaq Style 2.0 TSI, which comes with a rubber protector strip that flips out when you open the rear doors to help prevent door dings on the car next to you in the carpark. Škoda’s also come with a seven year/unlimited kilometre warranty, two years longer than their stablemate, Volkswagen.

On the Performance SUV front I really enjoyed driving the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and one of my all-time favourite vehicles, the Jaguar F-PACE SVR.

Driven Women Magazine’s Performance Car of the Year

McLaren GT VIP
The McLaren GT.

A supercar, in the truest sense of the word, which could actually be driven everyday, that’s what you get with the McLaren GT. A couple of features I loved about the GT, the metal paddle shifters – the best I have ever laid my hands on, the electrochromic sunroof that lightens and darkens at the touch of a button and the leather wrapped interior, which is heaven to sit in!

I could hardly split the other two performance cars that I drove in 2022, which says a lot because I have an ongoing love affair with the Jaguar F-TYPE. But the Aston Martin Vantage F1, really got under my skin as well and also took the Award for the Best Photo Shoot location for the year, White Bay 6 Marina, overlooking the Sydney skyline!

Driven Women Magazine’s Fun Car of the Year

The Hyundai i20 N.

I described the Hyundai i20 N as a track ready hot hatch that is bearable to live with everyday and that’s why this great little car is my Fun Car of 2022. The i20 N is proof that the affordable hot hatch still exists and what I loved the most was the built in race track menu that alerts you when you are near a track, just in case they are having an open drive day! The Hyundai i20 N was actually a close second for to my overall Car of the Year.

Highly Commended awards go to the perennial favourite in our household, the Toyota GR Yaris and the Volkswagen Golf R for when you want a hot hatch that is just a bit more grownup.

Driven Women Magazine’s Car of the Year 2022

Ford next-gen Ranger Raptor front
The next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor.

The next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor was the vehicle I was most looking forward to driving in 2022 and it did not disappoint! Building on an already awesome package, Ford Australia added a turbocharged petrol engine and a sports exhaust, befitting a performance ute.

What I have always liked about the Ranger ute is the metal rear tether child seat restraint points behind the rear seats and now the next-gen Ranger gets the level of active driver safety aids that you would expect on a modern family vehicle. I know not everyone needs a high-riding ute in their lives, but if you do the choice could not be easier, buy a Raptor!

The Škoda Kodiaq and Hyundai i20 N are my Highly Commended awards for overall Car of the Year honours.

Well that’s a wrap for another great year! If you have any questions about the cars I have driven in 2022 or would like me to review a particular vehicle in 2023, then please get in touch.

Stay Safe and Happy Driving!

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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