2016 Digital Trends Car Awards

Ride along as we test 15 of this year's top cars to find the best of the best

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.


SUVs have come to dominate U.S. roads, not just due to their versatility, but because these days, they can be extremely enjoyable for drivers and passengers alike.


Volvo XC90

Volvo’s XC90 is a great example of how automakers can still surprise us with unique approaches to conventional segments. The T8 plug-in Hybrid boasts a list of tech and safety features too long to get into here, as well as a combined 400-horsepower supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine when backed up by its electric motor. It would sound ludicrous if it didn’t work so well. It is also an SUV so stunning that it upstages luxury vehicles in every segment.

Honda Pilot

It might seem like the Honda Pilot is in strange company, but most of the tech features in the other cars featured in this category can also be found in the Honda, and at a much more attainable price. With an 8-inch gesture-controlled touchscreen, a palpable ‘Lane Keeping Assist’ system, and tons of convenience features, it’s fully loaded with enough stuff to keep you happy, and a versatile people mover.

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is a prime example of how having a utility vehicle doesn’t mean giving up driving enjoyment. Boasting Audi’s Quattro technology, a 3.0-liter TFSI supercharged V6, and tech like the Virtual Cockpit, you might forget momentarily that you’re in a car meant to hold five to seven passengers along with their cargo.


Volvo XC90 SUV Award

Volvo XC90

Our SUV category had tighter competition than any other. The Audi Q7 had been the diligent workhorse behind the scenes as camera car and support vehicle, and it had the best dynamic performance on the road. Honda’s Pilot was able to hold its own as well, with its tech-laden interior and boatloads of space. In the end, the stunning-looking XC90 won the award, as well as our hearts. Apart from its standout looks, the interior wood, leather, and metal touch-points were remarkably elegant. Its smooth ride, dynamic sound system, and intuitive tablet-style touchscreen interface made for an enjoyable, unique experience. Add in loads of safety- and efficiency-improving tech that doesn’t sacrifice power, and it’s clear why the Volvo was our pick for winner.


Picking our favorite luxury car is admittedly a bit of a bourgeois task, but somebody has to do it. As the old saying goes, if you have it, flaunt it, and our pick of 2016’s top luxury vehicles have plenty to boast about.


Jaguar XF

Jaguar’s XF pairs British racing enthusiasm with its mastery of luxury, resulting in an exquisite four-door that doesn’t skimp on performance. It can be driven at a gentle pace, but the temptation to fully utilize the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is often too strong to ignore.

BMW 750i

The BMW 750i goes for the “more is more” approach, loading the sedan with all sorts of gadgets such as removable Samsung tablets, and features like a “Vitality Program,” which makes the Bimmer’s back seat a mobile spa visit. Coupling all that with the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood makes it tough to decide whether to sit behind the wheel or lounge in back.

Cadillac CT6

The CTS-V is a nice, musclebound distraction, but let’s not forget Cadillac is all about luxury. The CT6 is the automaker’s new flagship that is as quiet as a bank vault when you want it to be, or as loud as an opera house when you don’t, thanks to the 34-speaker Panaray stereo system. Tech like the haptic feedback and integrated rear camera mirror benefit the driver, while the connectivity features — and smooth ride — make the CT6 a delight for anyone along for the journey.


Cadillac CT6 Luxury Award

Cadillac CT6

The BMW had the most tricks up its sleeve, but almost to its detriment. The Jaguar XF was comfortable no matter where you sat, but its superior driving performance and pared-down interior appointments made it clear that it favored driver satisfaction over the passenger. Cadillac’s CT6 integrates its tech with much more subtlety, drives incredibly smooth, and comfortably coddles passengers. Upfront, the streamlined, customizable gauge cluster gives the driver everything they need, while haptic alerts provide an enhanced awareness that typical proximity sensor-triggered beeping doesn’t match. Innovative tech like the rear-view camera, which shows up as a feed in your rear-view mirror, makes maneuvers, safe, easy, and enjoyable.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.
2 of 3