Votes have been cast and arguments made, and we now know the winner’s 2022 Editors’ Choice award. The culmination of the 2022 Star Awards, our Editors’ Choice marks the moment we toss aside our objective hats and start to look for the vehicle that we’d spend our own money to buy and maintain because it best fit our wants, needs, and lifestyles. And that car is the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

It almost wasn’t, though. The Cadillac CT5-V, Audi RS3, and Hyundai Elantra N – all contenders for the title of Best Performance Vehicle – made strong plays for the top prize, and the Acura Integra’s accessible price tag, segment-leading features, and energetic driving character kept it in the running. But the Ioniq 5’s fantastic design, exceptional charge speed, and fun-to-drive character – all at a reasonable price – won out. Here’s what the team thought of the leaders and the winner of the 2022 Editors’ Choice Star Award.

Acura Integra | Audi RS3 | Hyundai Elantra N | Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing | Hyundai Ioniq 5

Acura Integra

Quick Stats 2022 Acura Integra A-Spec w/Technology
Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-liter I4
Output: 200 Horsepower / 192 Pound-Feet
Efficiency: 26 City / 36 Highway / 30 Combined
Base Price: $30,800 + $1,095 Destination
As-Tested Price: $37,395

While mechanically similar to the Honda Civic Si, the Integra’s hatchback body, revvy turbocharged engine, and snickety-snack six-speed manual won ample praise during testing.

“The Integra isn’t afraid of the scenic route, thanks to a frisky turbocharged engine, superb suspension tuning, a limited-slip front differential, and the best six-speed manual at just about any price,” Senior Editor Brett Evans wrote. “It’s the car I most wanted to take home for good.”

Gallery: 2022 Audi RS3: 2022 Star Awards

Audi RS3

Quick Stats 2022 Audi RS3
Engine: Turbocharged 2.5-liter I5
Output: 401 Horsepower / 369 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH: 3.9 Seconds
60-0 Braking: 101 Feet
As-Tested Price: $74,595

Our Kyalami Green Audi RS3 not only looks great, but it matches up a spacious and well-appointed cabin with a fantastic powertrain. But as Managing Editor Brandon Turkus explains, the RS3’s individual traits mingle to create a perfect do-anything vehicle.

“The Audi RS3’s performance is exhilarating, but there’s also tremendous depth thanks to the RS Torque Splitter. At the same time, it’s totally civilized in everyday driving, with excellent technology – both for entertainment and driver assistance – and a handsome, comfortable cabin. The RS3 has essentially everything I look for in a performance product.”

Gallery: 2023 Hyundai Elantra N: 2022 Star Awards

Hyundai Elantra N

Quick Stats 2023 Hyundai Elantra N
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I4
Output: 276 Horsepower / 289 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH: 5.2 Seconds
60-0 Braking: 97 Feet
As-Tested Price: $35,645

The Hyundai Elantra N is the kind of affordable performance car that any of our team would have loved at 22 or 23 years old. But even though some of us are (much) older, the Elantra N’s unapologetically rambunctious character won hearts.

“With 276 horsepower and the silliest exhaust note this side of a Fiat Abarth, the most powerful Elantra appeals to your right foot’s hedonistic desires better than any other pocket rocket. And its well-damped suspension feels taut and planted, but rarely harsh. It’s no surprise that Hyundai poached ex-BMW engineers to develop its N lineup,” Brett Evans said.

“The Elantra N exemplifies the things I love in a car: It feels equally at home on the track, on a twisty road, or even sitting in traffic, all while remaining relatively affordable,” added Video Producer Kyle Freudenberg. “That’s why it’s my choice for the 2022 Editor’s Choice Award.”

Gallery: 2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: 2022 Star Awards

Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

Quick Stats 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Engine: Supercharged 6.2-liter V8
Output: 668 Horsepower / 659 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH: 4.0 Seconds
60-0 Braking: 103 Feet
As-Tested Price: $123,535

The big, bruising Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing’s intense pace, aggressively blue paint, and focused driving character nearly won it our Best Performance Vehicle award. And those same qualities put it near the top of the Editors’ Choice ranks.

“The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is not moving the game forward with innovative technologies or never-before-seen features. In a time when the very nature of how we get around is being reimagined, the fast Caddy could be dismissed as an anachronism,” Editor-in-Chief Seyth Miersma said.

“And yet, for old guys like me, the Blackwing was the most involving, emotional, and satisfying car of the 20 vehicles we invited to Star Awards this year. It might cost me a small fortune in fuel bills and speeding tickets, but of all the cars I drove at Test Week the Blackwing is my runaway choice for the car I’d bring home.”

Gallery: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5: 2022 Star Awards

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Quick Stats 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited
Motors: Dual Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors
Output: 320 Horsepower / 446 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH: 4.5 Seconds
EV Range: 266 Miles
As-Tested Price: $58,005

The humble Hyundai might seem like an odd choice considering the sporting credentials of the other top vehicles in this year’s competition, but it provides a fantastic blend of that performance we crave with the space, comfort, and style that makes the Ioniq 5 work so well in everyday life.

“With ample range, lickety-split charge rates, a fantastic design inside and out, and excellent technology, the Ioniq 5 suits the needs of my wife and I perfectly,” Turkus said. “That it’s fun to drive, loaded down with active safety gear, and agreeably priced for all it brings to the table doesn’t hurt matters.”

Senior Editor Jeff Perez, meanwhile, highlighted the styling both inside and out before praising the Ioniq’s comfort.

“The retro-futuristic styling and the minimalist, modern interior both appealed to me, and although it wasn't the sportiest EV out there, the Ioniq 5 still felt quick and handled well," Perez said. "But what I liked most was how comfortable the Ioniq 5 was to drive. It offered exceptional all-around visibility thanks to its open and airy cabin design, while its slightly taller – but not too tall – ride height provided an excellent view of the road ahead. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a car worthy of widespread recognition.”

How We Choose Star Awards Winners

The Star Awards start with vehicles that received the highest Star Ratings throughout the year. Our awards consideration set starts with vehicles that are either all-new or significantly revised over the last year. From there, we invite the best vehicles to join us for a week of head-to-head testing.

During the year we let data take the lead in our rating system, but the goal of Test Week is to compare vehicles head to head – on the road, on the track, or in the dirt as the case may be – to see which competitor in each segment stands out with unmissable value, incredible technology, and impressive real-world behavior. Any vehicle invited to participate in Star Awards is excellent, but only the very best in each segment can claim the title.

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