Cars not reviewed, but not forgotten: 2023 Edition

As with last year, some of the press vehicles I drove this year went without a written review (though we did cover them on The Off the Road Again Podcast). Yet these cars, trucks, and SUVs are still worth mentioning, so this post covers them in short format. In chronological order from least to most recent this includes (all 2023 or 2024 Model Years): BMW XM, BMW M2, Subaru Crosstrek Sport, Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC, Alfa Romeo Tonale TI EAWD, BMW X1 xDrive28i, Mercedes-AMG GLS63W4, Jaguar F-Type R75 AWD Convertible, Alpina XB7, Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC, Nissan Altima 2.5 SL AWD, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Crew Cab ZR2 4WD, Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD RS, and Subaru Impreza RS. Let’s get to it.

2023 BMW XM

Base price: $159,000
As-tested price: $167,395

Yay: The best headliner this side of Rolls Royce’s Starlight Headlining, good seats, V8 still makes some noise
Nay: Hideous, gas and electric don’t cooperate, complexity and heft comes at the price of the driving experience
Takeaway: Slower, uglier, more expensive, and worse to drive than the X5M, it’s hard to justify the XM’s existence.

2023 Alpina B8 Gran Coupe

Base price: $149,300
As-tested price: $151,300

Yay: One of the best looking vehicles on sale today, effortless thrust, great ride
Nay: A bit stiff in the tire department, not particularly sporty, overly overt for some
Takeaway: A hell of a looker and a fantastic cruiser.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4

Base price: $43,900
As-tested price: $48,710

Yay: Modernized styling, lots of features, blows the old truck out of the water
Nay: Turbo-4 sounds dreadful, interior feels cheap, the Chevy Colorado does the same thing for less money
Takeaway: A much improved truck over the outgoing model, the new Canyon is perfectly adequate if not an underwhelming step above its Colorado stablemate.

2023 BMW M2

Base price: $62,200
As-tested price: $65,050

Yay: 453 horsepower and 406 pound-ft of torque and it somehow feels like it makes that at the tires (i.e., it’s making more power than advertised), dimensionally right for sporty driving, good infotainment, fast automatic transmission
Nay: Stiff ride in sportier modes, >3,800 pounds, simply heinous
Takeaway: The new M2 is a monster of a performer that punches above its weight on the speed spectrum but it’s so ugly we wouldn’t blame you if the styling makes it a non-starter when shopping the class.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

Base price: $28,995
As-tested price: $32,605

Yay: Comfortable, supremely easy to live with, solid MPG, Subaru AWD
Nay: Center screen and tech interfaces feel old, still slow despite the power bump, completely anonymous
Takeaway: This is all the car that most of the population needs, even if it isn’t what they want. It’s comfortable, safe, well-equipped, gets decent gas mileage, and asks nothing of you other than to get in it and drive.

2023 Mercedes GLC 300 4MATIC

Base price: $49,100
As-tested price: $57,850

Yay: Great ride quality, plush interior, fancy lighting tricks, quiet cabin
Nay: Start/stop can be fussy, gets pricey quick, emotionless driving experience
Takeaway: Entry-level Mercedes crossover buyers will dig the new GLC.

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale TI EAWD

Base price: $44,995
As-tested price: $55,950

Yay: Styling, convenience of electric-meets-gas plug-in-hybrid tech, steering quickness
Nay: Quality issues, small for the price, unproven reliability
Takeaway: There’s a decent little crossover here, though Alfa needs to work out the bugs and get over the first-model-year hiccups to make it truly worth a look.

2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i

Base price: $38,600
As-tested price: $46,795

Yay: Good size for city living, gets out of its own way surprisingly well, interesting material and design selection inside
Nay: Interior feels simplistic in a way that’s clearly for cutting manufacturing costs, not even remotely interesting to drive, some controls are MIA
Takeaway: A BMW for those with dreams of owning a car with an aspirational badge for the sake of luxury and not driving dynamics.

2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63W4

Base price: $139,000
As-tested price: $158,500

Yay: The monoblock wheels, great seats, space for you and your town
Nay: Terribly inefficient, tiny sidewalls makes for huge pothole impacts, slower than the Dodge Durango Hellcat which costs $60k less
Takeaway: The AMG-ified GLS is a spectacular thing to look at and spend time in even if it’s not the best three-row SUV out there.

2024 Jaguar F-Type R75 AWD Convertible

Base price: $115,000
As-tested price: $119,875

Yay: Perhaps the best looking car on sale today, exhaust note rowdier than most American V8s, fast as hell, drop top only improves the experience
Nay: Interior feels very dated, heavy at almost two tons, last model year before the F-Type is gone for good
Takeaway: While the F-Type has never been the best-driving roadster or sports car out there, it handily sits at the top of the attractiveness and exhaust note ladder, qualities that will help it go down as one of the company’s greatest.

2023 Alpina XB7

Base price: $145,000
As-tested price: $150,245

Yay: Among the best wheel designs out there today, drives much smaller than it is, gorgeous accouterments inside, split tailgate
Nay: Could use more sidewall, can feel precious, branding across the front bumper is tacky, no massaging seats
Takeaway: The definitely-not-a-BMW Alpina XB7 is much better than it should be to drive and treats its passengers to a beautifully refined experience that makes it an excellent highway cruiser.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan

Base price: $59,900
As-tested price: $77,930

Yay: It looks alright?
Nay: The worst hybrid integration of any vehicle I’ve ever driven, sounds like a bag of marbles in a blender, poor ride quality, not even a little engaging, terribly expensive
Takeaway: The worst car I drove in 2023, and I’m not alone in feeling this way.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC

Base price: $44,445
As-tested price: $50,880

Yay: Attractive styling, supportive quilted seats, easy to toggle between electric/gas drive modes
Nay: Shamelessly displays switchgear and tech from the Nissan Rogue with which it shares its bones, combustion engine is rough when running on its own, gas mileage when not running in hybrid or EV mode is mediocre at best
Takeaway: Though somewhat expensive for a vehicle with a very limited dealer network, the Outlander’s sci-fi, Range Rover-esque styling and approachable plug-in hybrid tech should draw in consumers who otherwise never would have considered the brand.

2024 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL AWD

Base price: $33,930
As-tested price: $37,010

Yay: A vehicle that’s not a crossover, decent back seat space, surprisingly large trunk
Nay: Awful engine, not engaging, terrible tech
Takeaway: It’s clear that Nissan has stopped putting money into its sedans (RIP Maxima) and it shows; the Altima presents as cheaper than it is and it basically sits at the bottom of its class in every regard.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Crew Cab ZR2 4WD

Base price: $69,600
As-tested price: $86,805

Yay: Burly good looks, tons of off-tarmac capability, new infotainment is a huge leap forward, Multimatic DSSV off-pavement performance
Nay: Cheap materials inside, starts expensive and gets drastically more so with options, DSSVs are harsh on-road
Takeaway: Chevy’s Heavy Duty off-roader does well to achieve its intended purpose of being a rock crawling and mudding-capable wheeling companion right out of the box, yet the price, quality of interior materials, and ride quality in daily use simply don’t add up.

2023 BMW i7 xDrive60

Base price: $119,300
As-tested price: $156,595

Yay: Fantastic to drive, incredible back seats, enormous theater-like screen that drops down from the ceiling, quiet and supremely comfortable
Nay: Needless/pointless/useless tech (like the powered doors), overindulgence on touch screens, near three-ton weight means range is questionable, perhaps the ugliest vehicle on sale in the USA today
Takeaway: Electric propulsion suits the big sedan nicely and it’s truly luxurious in every regard, though some of the tech seems to exist more for the purpose of BMW being able to say “look what we can do” than for the actuality of it in use.

2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD RS

Base price: $28,700
As-tested price: $35,065

Yay: Attractive styling, all-wheel-drive crossover utility at a reasonably low entry price, a good size for a city/suburban runabout
Nay: $35k seems excessively expensive, sport mode is worthless, RS means nothing these days
Takeaway: Chevy’s “other’ small crossover (the new Trax has stolen the show) is perfectly adequate and nothing more, if not a bit too expensive for what it is.

2024 Subaru Impreza RS

Base price: $27,885
As-tested price: $31,045

Yay: Visibility, safety, Subaru AWD, all-around package just works
Nay: Zero percent sporty despite the RS badges and red-accented seats, tech is slow and dated, Crosstrek exists
Takeaway: Perhaps the most sensible car on sale today, the Impreza is a very good car overshadowed by its Crosstrek sibling.

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One response to “Cars not reviewed, but not forgotten: 2023 Edition”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    I didn’t know Nissan even still made the Altima, and with that damning conclusion, probably needn’t know it either.

    What do manufacturers do if you guys get cars to review and they are not really reviewed? Is there no follow up?