Can You Identify All of the Best Cars and Trucks From This Decade?

AUTO

By: Nikki Weed

7 Min Quiz

Image: TheStraightPipes via YouTube

About This Quiz

The automotive industry has evolved quite a bit over the last 10 years. In the past, drivers had only two options when fueling their cars, diesel or gas, but now there's everything from cars that you plug into the wall to ones that can harness the energy from braking. Fueling wasn't the only thing to change, either. Better safety systems (including accident avoidance technology), lightweight body panels (such as using aluminum), and cutting-edge infotainment systems were all implemented to make already good cars great. How do you decide what takes good to great, though?

In this quiz, we've compiled a list of 40 vehicles from the 2010s that stand out as some of the absolute best cars to be made during that decade. We've looked at horsepower, fuel efficiency, styling and overall technology to get a comprehensive and rigorous list. Best, in the case of this quiz, includes the best technology, the best styling and the best overall performance. The best cars don't necessarily have to go 200 miles per hour or plug into the wall, it's the total package that counts!

How much did you pay attention to the ever-changing automotive landscape over the 2010s? Do you think you can ace identifying these great vehicles? Give it a shot, the good news is if you see one that you'd like chances are you'll be able to find it at a reasonable price on a used car lot!



BMW breathed some new life into what tight-handling roadster in 2018?

It's hard not to admire the new Z4! The car itself has design hints that are a hat tip to early '80s models, with a pointy "shark" nosed hood, a refreshing break from the exaggerated grill designs BMW fans have become used to. In addition to a drastic redesign from the fifth-generation Z, the sixth generation has more suitable features for a convertible roadster, like a cloth convertible top and even more aggressive haunches.

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Which car manufacturer shook its reputation of only producing tiny cars when it introduced the Countryman?

Defined as a compact luxury crossover SUV, the Mini Countryman doesn't fit the bill of crossover nor SUV. The small in stature car might have the capabilities of an SUV, but at heart, it is nothing but a fun-loving coupe. Mini fans were shocked at the introduction of a four-door Mini, but it's selling well and delighting its owners.

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Which front-engine, rear-wheel-drive German sedan was lovingly referred to as a "stretched-out 911" in 2010?

Similar to the reception of the Macan, many Porsche purists were leery of loving the new Panamera, but it was hard not to let the sedan grow on you. As a sedan, the Panamera had roadster type handling around twisty mountain curves, but still offered a supple ride around the city. What set the Panamera ahead of other sedans of the time was a simplistic approach toward a luxury sedan.

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Way back in what seems like an eternity ago in 2010, Kia also debuted another unique SUV, the Soul. What advertising gimmick was used?

Although Mike Torpey might not be a household name, in many ways he should be. Torpey was the brains behind the desk way back in 2005 when the Kia Soul started to take the recognizable form that we know today. The Soul was inspired after Torpey watched a documentary about boars, modeling much of its styling after a boar in a backpack. We'll bet you'll never look at a Kia Soul the same again!

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Nissan introduced what environmentally friendly electric car in 2010?

The Nissan Leaf was a welcome and exciting peek through the window of the future in automotive ingenuity. Critics at first were hesitant to hop on the EV bandwagon, with most of the criticism revolving around the styling, not the actual performance of the car. The Leaf didn't waver, and Nissan continued to chisel away imperfections making it a truly great electric four-door car.

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Convertibles are usually designated to be car-specific, but Land Rover released what popular SUV in convertible form in 2019?

The convertible SUV is an extremely niche market which could be either a disastrous flop (think the Nissan Murano convertible) or an overwhelming success (like the PT Cruiser convertible). What Land Rover offered was a convertible with classy styling but also the ability to channel your inner wild child and let the top down. The price tag might have frightened some fair-weather convertible fans away, but in all actuality, it was the only luxury variant available of its kind.

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Das Auto! What hot hatch did Volkswagen have great success with in 2012?

Motor Trend was complimentary of the GTI, stating that it was "hot hatch fun without the 'look at me!' stigma." What sticks the GTI over other hatches as the best is the fact that it came with seemingly limitless options. You didn't get a simple order sheet of cloth or leather, you had options of colors and heated or cooled or both. The handling of the GTI was superior as well, with the editor at Motor Trend describing driving the GTI as being like a bantamweight MMA fighter ready to kick you in the head. Is that a good thing?

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Entering its ninth generation, what Chevrolet sedan got a radical facelift in 2017?

For almost a decade, the Chevy Malibu was a forgettable sedan that previously shared a frame with even more forgettable cars like the Oldsmobile Cutlass of the early 2000s. With extinction imminent, the Malibu was treated to a real celebrity style makeover and brought back into the public eye as not just an attractive but desirable sedan. The Malibu got a 300-pound weight loss, an upgraded safety system and an extremely comfortable ride.

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Which giant Lincoln was jokingly referred to as the Taj Mahal by Car and Driver in 2019?

The SUV market in the 2010s became incredibly saturated, with every car manufacturer slapping a large body on a chassis and calling it an SUV. To stand out from the others, Lincoln did one better when it redesigned the Navigator. With a user-friendly infotainment system and special nooks to hide your water bottles, the Navigator offered nothing but comfort and opulence. It was this radical facelift that gave this Lincoln SUV a reviving breath to save it from automotive extinction.

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Which reliable yet sporty car made Consumer Reports list as the best small car of 2012?

As sure-footed as a pack-mule, the Subaru Impreza impressed automotive journalists and consumers alike with its all-wheel-drive capabilities. Instead of just slapping a new front clip on the Impreza, Subaru worked to perfect an already great machine. Trivial complaints about plastic dashboard parts and low pile carpet are present. However, the car itself proved to be the best bang for your buck in 2012.

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Chevrolet surprised the SUV market in 2019 with this reintroduction of what popular vehicle from the '70s?

Chevy made sure to stay within its means when it redesigned and introduced the new Blazer. As far back as 1969, Chevy made an agile off-road capable vehicle that could handle five passengers with the name of Blazer. In the early 2000s, the Blazer had a bit of an identity crisis and found itself in limbo between being a tall Impala and a Silverado without a bed. The new Blazer, however, traces back to its roots. Reeling it in from the bloated 2002 model, the 2019 Blazer is trim, agile and has seating for 5 (instead of 8).

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What language did Porsche use in naming its stylish and sporty Macan, which translates to tiger, in 2012?

Tiger is a remarkably fitting name for this German beast. The Porsche Macan and the Audi Q5 share the same chassis, but that's where the similarities end. To try to rid the stigma of the Macan just being a better badged Audi, a Porsche Traction Management system is offered, which makes the Audi Quattro system look juvenile in comparison. What makes this SUV one of the best of the decade is that it can do 0-60 in 2.6 seconds flat.

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What roomy sedan has been in constant production since 1975 and has recently started using turbochargers for the first time?

Combining sleek new styling and turbo technology, BMW took what was already perfection and made it flawless. Some critics were hesitant when it was first announced that the 3-series was going to be equipped with a four-cylinder engine. The real BMW fans, however, know that the 3-series started with humble four-cylinder roots, and has done nothing but get better over time.

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The one millionth Fiat 500 was built in what year?

Fiat had slipped from the eye of United States drivers until recently, when Chrysler merged to form the equivalent of an automotive super-group. Upon introduction to the US, the Fiat 500 seemed like just another comically compact car, but over time it grew a fan base and loyal drivers. Their slogan "There's something for everyone" really rings true with the 500. Trim levels include incredible basic models up to luxury touring editions.

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Kia stepped up into the mid-sized luxury SUV division with what ruggedly attractive introduction in 2019?

Kia shook its reputation of being cheap, small cars almost to death with the introduction of the Telluride. Styling grabbed hints from Range Rover and the Chevy Suburban, but the end product was uniquely Kia. Even some of the most analytical automotive reporters fell in love with the Telluride, expressing great surprise in not only its power but also comfort.

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What formerly small truck made a big comeback not only in popularity, but also in size in 2019?

Ford was excluded from the small truck market for quite some time (seven years to be exact) before it decided to reintroduce the Ranger. Chevy was having success with the Colorado, Toyota was selling Tacomas like they were going out of style and Ford wanted a piece of that action. The reintroduced Ranger wasn't quite the little truck that we remember from the '90s, though. The new Ranger is more truck-like in all ways than its previous counterpart, with a decent towing capacity and increased payload capacity.

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JD Power and Associates ranked which small Chevy as one of the most dependable cars of 2014?

The Chevy Sonic was up against some pretty tough small car competition and barely lost the number one spot to the Hyundai Accent in 2014. The motorcycle-inspired cockpit gave the car a sporty feeling from the driver's seat, and the engine backed up that feeling. The Sonic might not have been winning any drag races, but it was offering a huge bang for the buck at the gas pump, with a 1.8-liter engine that barely sipped fuel.

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Honda had a huge hit with the Fit starting back in 2001. In what year did Honda start offering the Fit hybrid, a serious rival to the Toyota Prius?

This is a bit of a trick question! Although the hybrid Fit went into production in 2010, the hybrid Fit didn't hit US shores until later. When Honda made the Fit into a Hybrid, it spent time increasing the overall experience of the car, not just the powertrain. For the overall quality of the ride and price point in comparison to the Prius, Honda took a large chunk of the hybrid market.

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Ford decided to use what lightweight material in its best selling F-150 in 2015?

Using aluminum for body panels didn't resonate well with some critics at first. Complaints of the fragility of the aluminum were squelched by the fact that the aluminum created a lighter-weight truck that was capable of having the same payload capacity as a V8 when only powered by a V6. On top of the overall fuel savings without lack of performance, the aluminum used created a body that was rust-resistant.

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It's hard not to love a Corvette! Chevrolet offered up the ZR1 in 2019 and labeled it as a supercar for the masses, but what was the price tag for a base model ZR1?

If you find yourself shopping for a ZR1 on the Chevrolet website, you'll find that $123,000 will get you a proper, street-legal supercar! With a top speed of 212 miles per hour and new tuner parts being developed almost daily, you'll find that the price tag quite a bargain compared to similar European counterparts. Splurge on the Sebring Orange edition, you won't regret it!

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Vans have waxed and waned in popularity over the past couple of decades, but what van has consistently ended up on "best van" lists throughout the '10s?

Vans get a bad rap sometimes as being uncool and ugly, but Toyota valiantly broke through those stigmas with the Sienna. With every driver-assist system imaginable, and available AWD, the van isn't just easy to drive, it is incredibly safe.

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Speaking of vans, Chrysler transformed what vehicle from being a lackluster crossover to a technology-driven van in 2017?

Chrysler decided to focus on its minivan roots and redesign what was a struggling crossover, and from that redesign came the "all-new" Pacifica in 2017. In the ultimate switcharoo, it removed the Town and Country nameplate all together and offered the Pacifica instead. With frontal styling from the Chrysler 200 and powerful V6, Chrysler's new van became a viable competitor to the Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona.

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Ford morphed which "party car" from being a gutless wonder into a sport hatch in 2011?

When Ford introduced the Fiesta ST, hatchback lovers rejoiced that there was an affordable yet spunky hatch on the market. This excitement was muted, however, by the boring reputation of the Fiesta of the past. Ford went to great lengths to reintroduce the Fiesta as a brand new car and make it more appealing to the younger generation.

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Which popular car from the 2010s has found its way to the top of Car and Driver's best car list 17 times since its introduction in 1989?

Although all answers to this question have notably found themselves on a "best" list, the Miata has found its way to the top of the list more times than not. With consistent dependability, agile handling and superior roadster styling, the Miata gives excellent bang for the buck as far as compact sports cars are concerned. The Miata was also named the "World Car Of The Year" in 2016, edging out stiff competition like the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

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In order to make an already adored car even more desirable, Honda offered what version of the Accord in 2011?

Honda has a great way of making sure its consumers get exactly what they want, and in 2011 it let go of the reins and allowed the Accord to go in several directions at once. One of the more popular manifestations of the Accord was the Crosstour, an all-wheel-drive wagon with all of the comforts and seating of a sedan but the cargo space of an SUV. These Accords also came in a manual coupe and a luxury four-door, making that one Honda model check off several desirable boxes.

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The old saying "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" has worked well for Toyota with its Highlander over time. One subtle change had to happen for it to appear in the Japanese and Australian markets. What was it?

You could call the Highlander a pile of compost, and it would still be an excellent vehicle that has dominated the SUV market for over a decade. Interestingly enough, due to trademarks already made by Hyundai, Toyota had to rebrand its Highlander in Japan and Australia, calling it the Toyota Kluger instead (in German it translates to "the smart one" loosely).

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What surprising car made the U.S. News number one pick for luxury sedan of 2011?

When U.S. News chose the Buick Regal as "The Best Upscale Sedan of 2011," it wasn't based on mere hype or popularity. A combination of ride comfort, styling and safety made the Regal stand out from the crowd. With a sporty spirit yet luxurious interior, the Regal provided drivers a more connected driving experience than other sedans on the market.

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What newcomer to the large luxury car scene in 2014 earned an almost perfect score from U.S. News, only losing points for lack of rear row headroom?

When tested by not only U.S. News, but also MotorTrend and Car and Driver, critics were hard-pressed to find flaws in the brilliantly executed sedan. Road and Track was extremely complimentary of the sedan, stating that it was the quickest silent car in the world. MotorTrend also lauded it as being unmatched in speed and comfort. Worth a mention is the average range the Model S offers, around 208 miles per charge. Depending on your driving style, of course!

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Toyota stormed the barn in 2019 with what radically redesigned but highly anticipated car?

Toyota is no stranger on any "best of" list, but when it decided to morph the timid Corolla into a sultry hatch in 2019, it solidified its place as top dog in the car market. The Corolla had been destined to be a simple commuter car without much personality, but when Toyota decided to change that, it drastically changed it. The new hatchback is in no way a performance car, though. What it lacks in performance, you can expect to make up for in resale value and reliability!

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It's hard for Audi to make a bad car, but what exceptionally affordable offering made the Car and Driver list of "best cars" in 2018?

When you take an excellent base model car and expound upon it, you end up with a doll that has a seemingly endless amount of outfits. The A3 was exactly that, offering everything from a basic front-wheel-drive package to an all-wheel road-gripping boss. The addition and subtraction of features make this fine automobile desirable, allowing the buyer to pay for everything they want and nothing they don't.

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Not everybody needs a fuel-sucking V8 pickup truck in their everyday lives! Which mid-sized Toyota truck has been produced since 1995 and just seems to just keep getting better?

One of the most alluring features of the Tacoma is that it works like a truck, but it sips fuel like a sedan. The second generation, which ran for a whopping 10 years, had two available engines (a four- and six-cylinder), both offering cavalcades of extras like downhill assist control and Toyota Racing Development components. Aside from fuel efficiency and reliability, the Tacoma also offered some of the best safety ratings of any small truck in the market, gaining five stars from NHTSA in every category aside from rollover.

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With many automotive companies offering hybrid technology in the early 2010s, what car did Chevrolet offer to compete with the Prius?

Unlike the Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Volt was a hybrid plug-in that could draw power from a gasoline-powered generator should the battery charge fall below a certain level. This added feature added a level of security for drivers who suffered from range anxiety and were hesitant of taking the plunge into going all-electric. The Volt also had regenerative braking technology and energy conservation systems in place that could stretch a single charge out over much further than its projected 53 miles on electric power alone.

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What car upset a Bugatti Veyron and a Lamborghini Reventon at the 2011 Goodwood festival of speed, becoming somewhat of a sleeper from the states?

When most people think of a Cadillac, they think of a heavy four-door sedan that their grandparents drove. Cadillac shrugged that stigma off with great vigor in 2011 when it crafted the CTS-V. Upon first glance, the gaping grille and wedge-shaped B-pillar make for an awkward-looking coupe. Once you see the car perform, however, all judgments based on appearances are thrown out the window. In the aforementioned Goodwood Festival Of Speed, MotorTrend put the CTS-V through rigorous testing, placing it nose over tail against other exotic supercars.

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It's hard to criticize a car as great as the Civic. What body style did Honda reintroduce in 2017 as a sort of throwback to the Civics of the '90s?

Civics have morphed dramatically over their over 40 years and 10 generations of models. In 2015, Honda gave the Civic a more sport profile, shaving a bit on the rear haunches and upgrading the headlight assembly, but it wasn't until 2017 that the Civic became a new, affordable blank slate. With the introduction of the R-type and hatchback model, the Civic became a hit with the young tuners again.

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The automotive world can be extremely confusing at times, take 2015 for example. The BR-Z and the FR-S were essentially the same car with one slight difference. What was it?

Producing a car isn't as cut and dry as you might think, and when a major automotive powerhouse wants to produce something to rival something as epic as the Miata, it employes the help of whomever it can. In the case of the FRS/BRZ, Toyota (Scion) and Subaru combined automotive geniuses and created what some might call the biggest rival to the Miata ever to be on the market.

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To solidify the notion that Dodge was the cornerstone of American horsepower, it released the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye in 2019. What sort of horsepower does it produce?

Does anyone need an 800-horsepower muscle car in this day and age? Probably not. Does it prevent people from wanting one? Absolutely not. This highly modified Challenger is a treat to anyone who craves seemingly uncontrollable low-end torque and launch control. If you're not satisfied with that alone, a Demon body kit and fender flares are also available, if you're trying to make your neighbors move or terrify small children crossing the crosswalk. The Challenger has other alluring features aside from instilling fear in the masses, such as decent fuel economy and respectable crash rating.

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The Hyundai Sonata upset the Toyota Camry for best midsized car ranked by U.S. News in what year?

Hyundai has struggled away from having a reputation of unreliability and high cost of repair from the late '00s to being one of the most dependable cars on the market in the '10s. Aside from a few quality quirks such as road noise and what some critics refer to as a cheap plastic interior, the Sonata rated a full 9 out of 10 on the U.S. News ranking charts, a full point higher than the Camry of that year.

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Aside from the fun-loving Miata, what other Mazda did drivers love during the 2010s?

Much like the Sonata, the Mazda 3 had some pretty big competition on the affordable mid-sized car market. What kicked the car into high gear was the third-generation facelift and upgrade of an otherwise cheap-looking interior. A little known fact of the Mazda 3 from the previous generation was that it was built on a Ford platform. Upon the separation of Mazda and Ford in 2013, Mazda was able to create its very own unique car, which proved to be much better than the collaboration that had been occurring.

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It is almost impossible to create a list enveloping the best cars of a decade without including what unassuming Japanese car that has been produced since 1983?

From a starter car for a first-time driver, to a reliable car for someone of advanced age, the Camry is suited for everyone. Even those looking for a bit of sporty horsepower, the V6 Camry was able to get out of its way without any hesitation. In 2018, Toyota treated us to the eight generation of the Camry, which stylistically was a stark contrast to the melted stick of butter design they had gone for in the past.

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Hyundai decided that the world needed an affordable yet luxury car and released the Genesis. In what year did Genesis break off into its very own company?

When you take brilliant business-minded people, combine them with innovative mechanical engineers and then pepper in one of the most talented automotive designers sculpting today, you get the Hyundai brainchild brand, Genesis. A common misconception is that the Genesis is just a branded Hyundai. There may be a small about of truth to that, but about as much as calling a Lincoln the same thing as a Ford.

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