Every year, Digital Trends editors hand pick the most exciting products we’ve had the privilege of handling this year. Make sure to check out award winners in categories from outdoors to computers, plus the overall best product of 2017! Read on for the cars that floored us this year.
Honda Civic Type R
For nearly two decades, Honda’s Civic Type R was the forbidden fruit that Americans could never taste. A darling of performance magazines and movies, the Type R was never sold in the U.S., so expectations piled impossibly high as we watched from afar, imagining a car that seemed almost too good to be true. So when Honda finally relented and brought it to our shores for 2017, the ramped-up Civic surprised us by being exactly the accessible tuner we had always fantasized about.
Packing a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder power plant that puts out 306 horsepower, the Civic Type R has plenty of grunt on tap to fling it around corners without being precarious. Despite pumping all that power through only the front wheels, Honda’s magical suspension engineering nullifies the torque steer that makes lesser front-wheel-drive vehicles feel as if they tug to one side during heavy acceleration.
Whether you put the Type R to work on windy back roads or on the track, it communicates its limits confidently, as you to inch closer and closer to the edge without too much worry.
When it’s not playing track toy, the Type R is still a Civic, so you have a comfortable amount of space that can house four passengers, as well as usable available cargo space behind the rear hatch.
Besides hitting all these technical marks, the Type R just … feels right.
Available at around $35,000 and with one trim level, it doesn’t live far out of reach of folks who just want some performance in their lives. Everything that makes the Civic Type R great comes standard, too, so no need to compromise or sift through a list of options.
Besides hitting all these technical marks, the Type R just … feels right. Something about its agility brings driving joy that can’t be thoroughly explained through engineering alone. We encourage you to take a Type R to a track, autocross, or rural back road to experience it for yourself.
Read our full Honda Civic Type R reviewSee it
Volvo’s flagship sedan has a way of prioritizing luxury and comfort without the side effect of being pretentious. And with a host of tech for both safety and convenience, our attraction goes more than skin deep. A refined pilot assist allows the car to drive itself on highways at up to 80 mph without the need to follow traffic. Pedestrian and animal-recognition capabilities make even those outside its handsome steel cage safer, while those inside enjoy a concert hall experience from the car’s 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
Read our Volvo S90 T6 review
Tesla’s highly anticipated Model 3 finally rolled off the assembly line and into the hands of a few eager customers. As the Tesla “for the masses,” the latest ride from the innovative EV maker starts at around $35,000, but optional upgrades can increase the 220-mile range to 310, and further packages add Tesla’s benchmark-setting autopilot drive assist system. The car’s debut has been marred by some production bottlenecks, but if previous models have proven anything, it’s that the Model 3 will be worth the wait.