We certainly can't say 2017 was a boring year, so it's with some pleasure that we look back at our most-read car reviews and see that they're all about interesting subjects in one way or another. Despite the vast popularity of mostly soulless crossovers, the cars you most wanted to read about this year tended to possess character, distinctiveness, and in most cases, excellence. Here they are ...

10) 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom First Drive | When only the best will do

"Philip Koehn, the engineer directly responsible for the Phantom, told us over dinner that Rolls-Royce owners do care about things like steering feel and feedback, but in a rather nontraditional way. A Phantom must glide down the road, effortlessly, imbuing the saloon with what the automaker refers to as a Magic Carpet Ride. John Kay would surely approve." - Jeremy Korzeniewski

  • Image Credit: Rolls-Royce
  • Image Credit: Rolls-Royce
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  • Image Credit: James Lipman
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  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: Rolls-Royce
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
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  • Image Credit: Rolls-Royce
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  • Image Credit: James Lipman
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  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
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  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman


9) 2018 Lexus LC 500 | Drivers' Notes

"The LC 500 is one of the most drop-dead gorgeous cars I've driven this year. It's simply a stunner ... It attracts a lot of attention. Children on bikes rubbernecked. Evening walkers cast curious glances. A guy in an old pickup almost sideswiped me as he gawked while taking the corner fast." - Greg Migliore

  • Image Credit: Lexus
  • Image Credit: Lexus
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8) 2017 Mazda CX-5 First Drive | Sweating the small stuff

"To what seems like an absurd degree, Mazda's engineers obsessively examined every nook, cranny, corner, and crevice to sniff out noise and eliminate it. Gaps were filled, insulation was injected, seals were added, air was redirected, glass was double glazed, and carpet replaced plastic coverings. It would seem that the Society of Persnickety Engineers is well represented at Mazda HQ." - James Riswick

  • Image Credit: Mazda
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7) 2017 Jeep Compass First Drive | Stepping on the Cherokee's toes

"After spending a solid day driving the reborn Compass over the rivers, through the woods, and everywhere in between, we're more than happy to forget the ill-conceived first-gen Compass entirely. Put simply, to say that the new Compass is better than the old one is an understatement of Rubicon-size proportions." - Jeremy Korzeniewski

  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
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  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC
  • Image Credit: FCA US LLC


6) 2017 Land Rover Discovery First Drive | A cult classic gets a mainstream reboot

"Soft, with better on-road manners – I realize it's a bit practical to admire the new Discovery for what makes it more marketable. There's an ingrained charisma to this SUV, a general Land Rover warmness. The leather is buttery, the steering wheel is meaty and the steering feel direct, the ride is crisp, and sightlines characteristically are excellent. It's no chore to amble up a crooked pass, to roll up its pants and wade through the mud – and presumably effortless to crowd half of a soccer team inside and cross the 'burbs to the field." - Alex Kierstein

  • Image Credit: Land Rover
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5) 2018 Volkswagen Arteon First Drive | VW's new style maker

"(VW) is well-aware of the morgue filled with corpses and brands that tried to crash the exclusive party of upper premium German manufacturers. So the theme here is substance over marketing rhetoric: good design, fine materials, and excellent drivetrains, all tempered with advanced communications and safety technology, and skimmed over with a sheen of practicality." - Andrew English

  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
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  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen / Ingo Barenschee


4) 2018 Nissan Leaf First Drive Review | Electric power to the people

"It's hard to find effective criticism against the new Nissan Leaf. Sure, Nissan doesn't promise full autonomy like Tesla, but Tesla charges money for a feature that might not be legally allowed for many years. The Leaf doesn't offer the range of the Chevy Bolt, but also doesn't cost as much, and seasoned EV drivers know that the added driving range does more for pacifying range anxiety than actually providing day-to-day utility." - John Beltz Snyder

  • Image Credit: Nissan
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3) 2017 Bugatti Chiron First Drive | Fast doesn't begin to describe it

"The Chiron's leap to 1,500 ponies required considerable development, testing, and re-engineering. That exhaustive process saw significant challenges, even late in the game. Consider the high-speed testing incident in South Africa: despite extensive test-bench work, real-world driving revealed that the immense exhaust heat was melting the rear bumper and nearly igniting the car. The solution, it turns out, was to add a duct so airflow from the underbody could channel through and diffuse the heat. Hashtag: #1500HorsepowerProblems." - Basem Wasef

  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
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  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
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  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
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  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey
  • Image Credit: Bugatti / Max Earey


2) 2018 Lincoln Navigator First Drive | From black sheep to flagship

"This is Lincoln's flagship. It's the most luxurious, comfortable and expensive vehicle the brand sells ... And yet, the Navigator's flagship status is a comeback story. It wasn't too long ago that it was a black sheep confined to the distant back row of Lincoln family promotional photos along with the Town Car and a fichus added for decoration. It was never given one of the new-fangled MK names, and its V8-powered, truck-based status made it a thirsty dinosaur at a time of rising gas prices and an increasing number of crossovers." - James Riswick

  • Image Credit: Lincoln Motor Company
  • Image Credit: Lincoln Motor Company
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  • This the cargo area of the extended-length Navigator L. It adds about a foot of extra space.
  • Image Credit: Lincoln
  • Image Credit: Lincoln
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  • Image Credit: Lincoln Motor Company
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  • Image Credit: James Riswick
  • Navigator "Ebony" interior
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  • Navigator "Cappuccino" interior
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  • Navigator "Dark Slate" interior
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  • Navigator Black Label "Yacht Club" interior
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  • Navigator Black Label "Destination" interior
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  • Navigator Black Label "Chalet" interior
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1) 2018 Honda Accord First Drive | Feels like home again

"Front to back, this car is really something special. It's not only better than the last Accord, it's as good or better than everything else in the class. There's not one fundamental flaw or glaring issue that Honda left in. All of the criticisms of the past few years about complacency and a lost focus seem to have been addressed." - Reese Counts

  • Image Credit: Honda
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