The Best Cars and SUVs of 2017

The Daily News Autos Awards are out, and these are the best cars and SUVs of 2017

For the second year in a row, the New York Daily News has announced its annual Daily News Autos (DNA) Awards. What’s that got to do with Speedy Daddy, you might ask? Good question.

As the editor of the newspaper’s Autos section (and a contributor to other publications), I am proud to have instituted this awards program in 2016, and I am thrilled that the Daily News elected to repeat the DNA Awards for 2017. While several of my own selections did not make the final cut this year, those vehicles that earned the most votes from the 8-person jury, and by extension won the award, are absolutely worthy of your consideration.

What follows is a selection of those vehicles, the ones that are worthy of a Speedy Daddy recommendation. I’ve listed them here in alphabetical order, along with some of the reasons cited by our jury for selecting them for the win.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in Red
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio won the Best Luxury Performance Car award from Daily News Autos.

One of most experienced contributors at Daily News Autos, Ron Sessions, a veteran of Car and Driver, Motor Trend, and Road & Track magazines, is utterly in love with the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. But he’s not the only one smitten by this sensual Italian temptress.

Aside from its gorgeous looks, consider the following statistics:

  • Twin-turbocharged V6 making 505 horsepower
  • Acceleration to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds
  • Top speed of 191 mph
  • Claimed world record lap time of Nurburgring for a 4-door sedan

Granted, this level of performance does not come cheap, but as one of our jurists explained when asked to compare the Quadrifoglio to other luxury performance sedans: “None feel quite so alive as the Giulia.”

Get Ron’s take on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Photo Credit: Copyright Alfa Romeo for editorial use only

2017 Audi A4

2017 Audi A4 Prestige in Black paint
The 2017 Audi A4 won the Best Premium Car award from Daily News Autos.

I adore the redesigned Audi A4. It might not be wrapped in the most exciting bodywork, and the power ratings for either of its turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines are unimpressive, but once you’ve gotten behind the wheel, dipped the throttle into the seamless surge of torque, and made best use of the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, all is absolutely right with the world.

Read my Car Gurus review of the 2017 Audi A4

Photo Credit: Christian Wardlaw

2017 Ford Focus RS

2017 Ford Focus RS in Nitrous Blue
The 2017 Ford Focus RS won the Best Performance Car award from Daily News Autos.

Daily News Autos associate editor, Brian Leon, is 25 years old. During a Facebook Live event announcing the awards, he would not, could not stop praising this car. It’s no wonder, given that it’s a 350-horsepower, all-wheel-drive rally car for public roads and costs less than $40,000. Plus, it has an industry-first drift mode.

Contributor Beverly Braga, no stranger to the sport compact car scene and owner of a Mazdaspeed 3, is also a fan of the Ford Focus RS. You can see what she has to say about this car in her review for the Daily News.

Photo Credit: Copyright Ford Motor Company for editorial use only

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

2017 Jaguar F-Pace in Blue
The 2017 Jaguar F-Pace won the best Luxury SUV award from Daily News Autos.

Possessing style, substance, and performance, Jaguar hits a home run with its first attempt at building an SUV. The new F-Pace is stunningly good, suffering only from a few too-obvious short cuts in terms of interior plastics. Sized larger than compact SUVs but smaller than a typical midsize model, the F-Pace offers plenty of room for people and cargo.

Check out the Daily News Autos review of the Jaguar F-Pace

Photo Credit: Copyright Jaguar for editorial use only

2017 Mazda Mazda6

2017 Mazda Mazda6 in Machine Gray
The 2017 Mazda Mazda6 won the Best Family Car award from Daily News Autos.

Just when you were starting to wonder if there might be a “normal” car on this list, here it is, the 2017 Mazda6.

Now in its fourth year since it graced the midsize family sedan with grace, beauty, and athleticism, the Mazda6 gets a small but significant change that makes it the perfect mainstream choice for parents seeking a fun daily driver: G-Vectoring Control. It’s hard to explain, but G-Vectoring Control transforms the Mazda6 from being enjoyable to drive to being utterly brilliant to drive.

Add affordable luxuries, top safety ratings, a roomy trunk, and comfortable seats, and the Mazda6 is clearly the best family car you can buy. By the way, as I write this, the gray car shown here is still sitting in my driveway. I really, really, really don’t want to give it back to Mazda.

Learn more about Mazda G-Vectoring Control

Photo Credit: Christian Wardlaw

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 in Blue
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class won the Best Premium SUV award from Daily News Autos.

The more time I spent with the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 earlier this year, the more I liked it.

A compact crossover based on the C-Class platform, the GLC is one of the newest designs in its segment, which is populated with a variety of aging designs, mildly luxed-up versions of mainstream models, and the impressive Porsche Macan, which can’t match the GLC in terms of value.

Greater competition is on the way in 2018. Acura will field a new RDX, Audi’s new Q5 goes on sale soon, BMW is planning a new X3, Infiniti is rolling out a new QX50, Land Rover is introducing the Range Rover Velar, and Volvo has an impressive new XC60.

Mercedes has some serious competition heading its way.

Read my Car Gurus review of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43

Photo Credit: Christian Wardlaw

2017 Volkswagen Golf

2017 Volkswagen GTI in Dark Gray
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf won the Best Small Car award from Daily News Autos.

Hey, here’s another affordable car that’s plenty of fun to drive. You might even decide to get one for your kid, or at least recommend that he or she get one after they’ve landed their first real job.

In any case, the Golf was our pick in the Small Car category because you can get one just about any way you want one. And they’re all built with quality materials, feature simple but timeless styling, and are a delight to drive.

Read my Car Gurus review of the Volkswagen GTI

Photo Credit: Christian Wardlaw

By Christian Wardlaw

A driving enthusiast and father of four, I've got 25 years of experience working in automotive journalism. Currently, I contribute content to CarGurus, J.D. Power Cars and Kelley Blue Book. When I'm not working, I'm doing something fun with my family, preferably in Hawaii.

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