Not every car we tested could be Motor Authority's Best Car To Buy 2020. That distinction went to the Porsche 911 alone. And we don't do participation trophies.
But this year, all the cars we tested each had some lovable quality or qualities worth our time and attention. We'd be happy snuggle up to the Veloster's N Mode, or nuzzle the M850i's mellifluous exhaust note in the morning.
We'd marry the 911, and there's not a car on the list we'd want to bury in the smoky hills of northern Georgia. You can figure out what we're saying from there.
Here are the list of small features we couldn't get enough of—and some we got enough of, then went back for more.
2019 BMW 8-Series Convertible - Best Car To Buy 2020
BMW M850i xDrive's exhaust note
Barking V-8s are our sleep soundtrack. Yours isn't?
The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the BMW not only sounds great, it sounds even better from inside the M8 with the seat massagers on, cresting triple-digit speeds.
We've always admired the BMW V-8 bellow, but since the M6 convertible's demise we haven't had a chance to hear it al fresco. The M8 fixes that, and gives us our fix too.
2020 Toyota Supra - Best Car To Buy 2020
Toyota Supra's center tach
A lot of ink has been spilled on the Toyota Supra's BMW bits—and there are many—but we appreciate the heritage cue in the instrument cluster that didn't come from Bavaria.
The Supra's center-mounted tachometer has been around since the Mark III, and it appears in the new car too. A new generation may never know how glorious the Supra's cockpit was (especially the Mark IV) but at least they'll see a big round dial in the middle like us olds are used to.
2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - Best Car To Buy 2020
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63 S monoblock wheels
Our staff was split on the AMG's wheels; one half liked the chunky 21s on the 4-Door Coupe, the other half was wrong.
Polished chrome on blue isn't the best look, we can all agree, but Mercedes has better wheel game than others in its class. Prime example: monoblock wheels. Mercedes offers them only on the GT 63S in chrome or black. Ostentatious? Yep. Good flex? Yep.
2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020
Hyundai Veloster N Mode
At least this entry in the sport button-arms race doesn't sound like a dare like "Expert Mode" or "Race Mode." The Veloster N Modes open up the hot hatch's personality with sharper throttle response and a stiffer suspension.
It would have been easy for Hyundai to cheap out and give us a sugar pill Sport button—ahem, Mazda—but N Mode makes a big difference, especially in its suspension. The back roads of northern Georgia never felt so much like a paint shaker before.
2020 BMW Z4 - Best Car To Buy 2020
BMW Z4's convertible
The best part of the Z4 M40i isn't its convertible top—its engine is a first-ballot hall of famer, after all.
But the collapsible soft top on the Z4 is a big reason why we fought over the keys. The convertible top also set the stage for what made the Z4 great: open-top cruising along back-country roads. Lose the top and free your mind, man.