2002 Editors' Most Wanted Awards

Readers often ask us: What is the "best" car or truck? Our Editors' Most Wanted list is a compilation of our editors' 30 favorite models in a variety of vehicle classes. Find out what the Edmunds' editors would choose if they were spending their own money.

Why We Began the Editors' Most Wanted List

  • Our staff members get the same question over and over: What's the "best" car or truck?
  • There isn't a single "best" car or truck that will meet everyone's needs.
  • When somebody asks us what the "best" of the crop is, we respond by quizzing the inquiring mind about his needs and wants in a vehicle.
  • Still, readers want to know which cars and trucks we'd buy given the resources.

How We Selected the Editors' Most Wanted Vehicles

  • Our editorial staff gathered to hash over the roster of 2002 models.
  • We picked our 30 favorites in a variety of vehicle classes. Unlike last year, where price was not a factor in our choices, this year, in order to give all vehicles a fair shot, we used the $30,000 mark as a dividing line between categories. (Since $30,000 is the point between high- and low-end cars.) Also, we have four categories of $20,000 or under, in order to give lower-priced economy cars a chance to make the list. It should also be noted that no cars over $55,000 were eligible.
  • The result of our voting is a list of cars and trucks we'd want in our own garages.
  • Only 2002 models were eligible and, with the exception of the Exotics category, at least one member of our editorial team had to have driven the vehicle prior to our voting deadline of October 1, 2001.
  • Nominations were accepted, and votes were counted. Majority rule determined the winner.

Who Selected the Editors' Most Wanted List

When reviewing our selections, keep in mind that we're a group of men and women who enjoys driving.

  • Our staff of writers ranges in age from the mid-20s to the late-40s.
  • Some of us have kids.
  • We all enjoy long road trips and the occasional blast up a twisting canyon road.
  • Some of us lead active lifestyles, while the rest of us chomp Thai chicken pizza and eagerly await The Simpsons reruns each night.

We need vehicles that fit this kind of lifestyle.

Our Selections Were Guided as Much by Our Hearts as Our Heads

We eat, breathe and dream automobiles, and in many instances, this love for the car overruled common sense during our selection process. But that's the great thing about the Edmunds.com Editors' Most Wanted list: it's guided by passion, not science (much like the majority of car purchases).


Select Year: 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999

Most Significant Vehicle of the Year


Economy Car Under $13,000
Hyundai Elantra GLS

Economy Sedan
Volkswagen Jetta

Sport Sedan Under $30,000
Subaru WRX

Midsize Sedan Under $30,000
Nissan Altima

Midsize Luxury Sedan
BMW 5 Series

Large Sedan Under $30,000
Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis

Large Luxury Sedan Under $55,000
Lexus LS 430

Entry-Luxury Sedan
BMW 3 Series


Small Station Wagon
Mazda Protegé5

Midsize Station Wagon Under $30,000
Volkswagen Passat

Luxury Station Wagon
BMW 5 Series

Coupes & Performance Cars

Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T

Economy Coupe / Hatchback
Volkswagen Golf

Midsize Coupe
Chrysler Sebring

Sport Coupe Under $30,000
Toyota Celica

Luxury Sport Coupe
BMW 330Ci

Sports Car Under $55,000


Convertible Under $30,000
Mazda Miata

Convertible Over $30,000
BMW 3 Series


Small Pickup
Toyota Tacoma

Large Pickup
Ford F-150 Series

Small Crew Cab Pickup
Dodge Dakota

Large Crew Cab Pickup
Chevrolet Avalanche


Small SUV
Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute

Midsize SUV
Nissan Pathfinder

Large SUV
Toyota Sequoia

Luxury SUV
Acura MDX


Honda Odyssey

Large Van
Ford Econoline


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