Editors’ Picks April 2021 | Honda Accord, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and more

Editors' Picks April 2021 | Honda Accord, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and more

The month of April saw us award Editors’ Picks status to a couple mega-luxury vehicles and a couple long-time standbys that recently went through mid-cycle refreshes. We drove plenty of other cars that didn’t quite reach the bar for Editors’ Picks status — BMW 4 Series, Infiniti QX55 and the Mitsubishi Outlander among others — but the four you’ll see below stood out as the best this month.

In case you missed our previous couple Editors’ Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get Editors’ Pick status. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in April that earned the honor of being an Editors’ Pick.

2021 Aston Martin DBX

2021 Aston Martin DBX

  • 2021 Aston Martin DBX
  • Image Credit: Greg Migliore

Quick take: With attractive styling and a gorgeous yet functional interior, the V8-powered DBX is a legitimate crossover worthy of the Aston badge.

Score: 8

What it competes with: Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600

Pros: Mega style, fantastic driving dynamics, a true and faithful Aston Martin

Cons: Very expensive, only average infotainment

From the editors:

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore — “The DBX captures the spirit of Aston Martin in a modern crossover. That’s not an easy thing to do. I expected the DBX might look the part, but lack functionality. Or it would be a decent crossover, but fall short of my idea of an Aston. The DBX did neither. It exceeded my expectations and is an entertaining vehicle to drive. The styling is interesting and evocative, and the AMG-sourced powertrain delivers proper performance. I also loaded it up with groceries and a carseat fits pretty well. Mission accomplished for Aston.”

In-depth analysis: 2021 Aston Martin DBX First Drive Review | A crossover that makes you forget it’s a crossover

 

2021 Bentley Flying Spur

2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8

  • 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8

Quick take: There are technically competitors to the Flying Spur, but nothing matches it stride-for-stride in every category. It’s the Bentley flagship product now, and it flies the brand’s flag with both gusto and excellence. You can’t go wrong whether you spec the W12 or V8 either.

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Maybach S 580

Pros: Opulent interior, powerful powertrains, ghostly silent and surprisingly agile

Cons: The sky high price, middling infotainment

From the editors:

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “The Flying Spur’s near-limitless individualization options and effortless driving experience make it a perfect canvas for the uber-luxury buyer who prefers an engaging drive experience. Even with the V8, it’s an experience that is difficult to match.”

Green, Senior Editor John Beltz Snyder — “The craftsmanship and attention to detail are spectacular, as you’d expect from a Bentley that costs as much as a house. It’s fast, of course, but it also handles surprisingly well for such a big, heavy luxury barge.”

In-depth analysis: 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8 First Drive Review | Making a scene at the ends of the Earth

 

2021 Honda Accord

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

  • 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0394

  • IMG_0394
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0396

  • IMG_0396
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

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  • IMG_0400
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0401

  • IMG_0401
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0402

  • IMG_0402
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0404

  • IMG_0404
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0405

  • IMG_0405
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

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  • IMG_0407
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0410

  • IMG_0410
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0415

  • IMG_0415
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0417

  • IMG_0417
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

IMG_0418

  • IMG_0418
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

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  • IMG_0421
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

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  • IMG_0423
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

Quick take: Honda stands above the rest with its Accord sedan. The stylish four-door has excellent powertrains aplenty, oodles of space for everybody, drives way better than expected and is generally devoid of weaknesses.

Score: 9

What it competes with: Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Nissan Altima, Mazda6, Subaru Legacy, VW Passat, Chevy Malibu

Pros: Awesome driving dynamics, tons of space, fuel efficient

Cons: No more manual, average infotainment, less luxurious than some others

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “There’s no better all-around car from top-to-bottom than the Accord. It’s a shame that the manual is no longer available, but the 10-speed auto with the 2.0T is still a great enthusiast option, and the Hybrid is shockingly fun, too.”

West Coast Editor James Riswick — “Get the hybrid. You’ll get excellent fuel economy and there’s little (if any) downside in terms of drivability, refinement or even power compared to the base 1.5T engine. Otherwise, its ride, handling and steering make you feel just as connected to the driving experience as other Accords. Win-win-win-win .. “

In-depth analysis: 2021 Honda Accord Review | What’s new, fuel economy, prices, pictures

 

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450

  • 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Quick take: From the sleek coupe and convertible to the versatile wagon models with the classic sedan in between, there’s an E-Class for everyone, and they’re all exceptional. 

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Genesis G80, Lexus ES, Jaguar XF

Pros: Top-notch interior, superb driving comfort and handling, powerful and efficient engines

Cons: Tech overload at times, more expensive than competition, conservative styling

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “There’s a reason everything else gets compared to the E-Class. It’s the best, and every time you think someone has caught it up, Mercedes goes and leaps ahead again. The E 53 Sedan is my pick of the bunch, but there isn’t a bad choice to be made.

West Coast Editor James Riswick — “The E-Class coupe is one of a kind. Literally, there is no other midsize luxury coupe. A competitor probably wouldn’t stand much of a chance, though, since the beautiful E-Class is a masterclass in refinement, luxury, well-balanced driving dynamics and making you feel like you’re in something special.”

In-depth analysis: 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 First Drive | It keeps getting better

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

  • 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon
  • Image Credit: Zac Palmer

Quick take: Mercedes’ AMG division is as good as it’s ever been, and the E 63 S is one of its best efforts. Both the Sedan and Wagon are firecracker performance cars that are loaded to the gills with the best of Mercedes luxury and tech. 

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: Audi RS 6 Avant, BMW M5, CT5-V Blackwing, Porsche Panamera Turbo/Turbo S

Pros: Fire engine with spectacular sound, brilliant ride and handling, tech paradise

Cons: Wallet-emptying, polarizing styling, tech can overwhelm at times

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “The Wagon makes a great case for being the best car money can buy, period. And the Sedan is better than the BMW M5, which is no easy feat. Just as Mercedes-AMG stays on top in Formula 1, the road cars experience the same success. These two are bombshells of luxury performance. Simply brilliant.”

In-depth analysis: 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon First Drive | Power, plus responsibility

 

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