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2020 Automobile All-Stars Awards: The Very Best Cars of the Year

We gathered 21 of this year’s best cars to see which are the true standouts.

Nelson IresonWriterWilliam WalkerPhotographer

From Willow Springs to Borrego Springs, this year's Automobile All-Stars evaluation features a truly remarkable crop of cars, 21 of them in total—each is one of the best and most interesting new or significantly revised cars on sale this year. For the second year, we returned to the Palmdale, California, area for our road testing, the incredible (though often imperfect) roads of the Transverse Ranges perfectly complementing the Streets of Willow Springs road course at Willow Springs International Raceway.

While Streets isn't the biggest, fastest track at Willow Springs, it's perfectly suited to our no-lap-times evaluation. Its 1.6-mile length and 13 turns are strewn across natural high desert terrain, effectively making the track a perfect stretch of curvy mountain road—minus the dangers of oncoming traffic or the public in general. Sure, many of this year's All-Stars would enjoy a day of hard use on a faster track—and while the higher average speed would be more fun, it wouldn't tell us any more about the cars except how track-ready they are, which is entirely missing the point in a road-car showdown.

In fact, the track is only the first of three days of evaluation by our team of staff members and freelance contributors. After we get comfortable with all of the cars suited for the track, and get the need for ludicrous speeds out of our systems, we head up to the Lake Elizabeth area for two full days of driving on a selection of roads hand-picked to put any street car through its paces. The pavement is sometimes perfect, sometimes rough and broken; sometimes it's all winding curves, other times it's arrow-straight. Taken together, our route serves as a strong test of the bandwidth of a car's handling, ride quality, and quietness. It also provides an opportunity for some great photography.

After three days behind the wheels of all 21 cars, we each pick our favorites and tally the scores, with the highest-scoring cars becoming our Automobile All-Stars Winners. We then take this crew of the year's elite for another two days of driving and photography as a sort of celebration.

Now we invite you to share in our celebration of the best cars of the year, the 2020 Automobile All-Stars Winners and Contenders.

2020 Automobile All-Stars Awards: The Very Best Cars of the Year

This year's Automobile All-Stars awards saw us return to the Palmdale area for track testing at Willow Springs before spending a few days in Angeles Forest and Borrego Springs. So what are the best cars of 2020? These are.

2020 Automobile All-Stars Winners 

The new Ferrari F8 Tributo is arguably the best mid-engine car on sale today, delivering ludicrous performance and, just as important, a driving experience to match.

What makes the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette an Automobile All-Stars winner? Killer performance and unbelievable value, for starters.

2020 Bentley Continental GT Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Winner 

The third-generation 2020 Bentley Continental GT is a car so good we couldn't help but name it a 2020 Automobile All-Star.

2020 Kia Telluride SX Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Winner 

In a field of supercars, sports cars, and Europe's best, Kia's Telluride three-row SUV proved it's a great choice for anyone in need of an affordable, well-built people hauler. So great, it's an Automobile All-Star for 2020.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Winner

Even facing down the very best supercars of the year, this American powerhouse proves it can do finesse as well as brute force—and earns an Automobile All-Star award in the process.

With its upscale interior, great chassis, and fun-to-drive demeanor, the Mazda3 proves that a car need not be expensive to be an Automobile All-Stars winner.

2020 Toyota Supra Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Winner 

The new Toyota Supra has been a polarizing figure since it hit the market, and our test drivers found plenty to debate about it. But it proved it's one of the most-fun sports cars on the market, and easily claimed an Automobile All-Star award in the process.

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Winner 

Reimagining a legend isn't easy, but sometimes Porsche makes it look that way. The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S is not just a great sports car, it's an Automobile All-Star.

2020 Automobile All-Stars Contenders

2020 Subaru Outback XT Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Contender 

Subaru's family wagon might seem a bit out of place in this company, but that's only because you haven't driven it. The 2020 Subaru Outback XT is a 2020 Automobile All-Stars Contender.

It's Mercedes' smallest offering in the U.S. , and not even the hot version, but the A220 is breathing the rarified air of the 2020 Automobile All-Stars competition.

2019 Subaru WRX STI S209 Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Contender 

This limited-edition, U.S.-market-exclusive super-STI is unlike any Subaru that's come before, that's for sure. But is the WRX STI S209 an All-Star?

The Lamborghini Huracán Evo is fast, loud, and gorgeous. No wonder it's a strong 2020 Automobile All-Stars contender.

2020 Porsche 718 Spyder Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Contender

It's a special edition, but is the Porsche 718 Spyder really that special? We found out during our 2020 All-Stars evaluation.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Contender 

We spend three days in Southern California hills and desert testing the 2020 Jeep Gladiator along with 20 other All-Stars Contenders to see which rise to the top.

2019 Honda Passport AWD Elite: Automobile All-Stars Contender 

The very fact that an affordable family hauler is rubbing shoulders with hypercars and mega-luxe cruisers should tell you the 2019 Honda Passport AWD Elite is something special. It's also a contender for the 2020 Automobile All-Stars award.

How does a car this big drive this well? We dig into what brought the 2020 Mercedes-AMG 63 S to this year's Automobile All-Stars competition.

It's McLaren's first car to put a serious emphasis on practicality and comfort over outright performance—but is the GT an Automobile All-Star?

2020 BMW Z4 M40i Test Drive: Automobile All-Stars Contender 

The 2020 BMW Z4 M40i proves it's just as much about good handling and driving fun as it is about top-down cruising.

BMW's excellent M850i xDrive luxury sport coupe does battle with 2020's best cars but falls short in this year's Automobile All-Stars competition.

2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback Test Drive: 2020 Automobile All-Stars Contender 

The 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback is a compelling and powerful machine that's a winner in its own right.

Electric cars have many inherent advantages over the combustion-powered competition, but does the 2020 Audi E-Tron have what it takes to hang with this year's best?

The Venues
Track Evaluation
Streets of Willow
Track length: 1.6 mi
Willow Springs Int'l
Motorsports Park

3500 75th St W
Rosamond, CA 93560
(661) 256-6666
Road Drive
Elizabeth Lake Road
Test-loop length: 28 miles
Base Camp
39325 Trade Center Dr Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 224-1200
39325 Trade Center Dr, Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 224-1200