Automotive Research

The 2024 AAA Car Guide: Find a vehicle that works for you

For the past 14 years, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC) has reviewed and tested vehicles in its annual car guide to help members understand the latest automotive technology and help them purchase vehicles that best suit their needs.

The 2024 AAA Car Guide is the latest edition, testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) technology. In addition to vehicle evaluation, it covers several automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, the importance of vehicle maintenance, and upcoming trends and new models you may see in the coming years.

Pick up the AAA Car Guide

AAA members can pick up a free copy of the 2024 Guide at a AAA branch while supplies last, or view the 2024 AAA Car Guide eBook online.

Featured vehicles are ranked from highest to lowest based on: 

  • Fuel efficiency
  • EPA emission score
  • Acceleration
  • Braking
  • Handling and drivability
  • Ride quality
  • Interior size
  • Ease of entry and exit
  • Visibility
  • Interior noise
  • Cargo capacity
  • ADAS features
  • Quality

Each vehicle receives an overall score from 1-10 for each characteristic and is evaluated relative only to the other vehicles in the AAA Car Guide, not to all vehicles available on the market. Each vehicle’s review provides a summary of the car and lists its strengths, weaknesses, and available safety features.

This year's AAA Car Guide winners

Winner badge for the Overall category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Overall Winner & Large SUV Winner: Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC SUV

Simply put, the EQS 580, Mercedes’ top-trim large electric SUV, excels in virtually all categories: performance, luxury, comfort, and technology. It delivers nearly everything you could ask for in a big SUV, and our reviewers found very little about it to criticize.

Winner badge for the Small Car category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Small Car Winner: Volvo S60 Recharge Ultimate Black Edition

The plug-in hybrid S60 Recharge is a muscle car disguised as a mild-mannered Scandinavian luxury sedan. Its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine combines with an electric motor to produce 455 hp, with a strong EV-only range of 41 miles.

Winner badge for the Midsize Car category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Midsize Car Winner: Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC Sedan

The EQE SUV, a premium midsize electric SUV that Mercedes introduced in 2023, is a standout in most categories, with high performance levels and copious comfort, convenience, and enhanced advanced safety features.

Winner badge for the Large Car category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Large Car Winner: BMW i7 xDrive60

When BMW released the latest generation of its 7 Series sedan in 2023, it added the i7, an EV variant. The i7 earned points from our reviewers for its powerful EV drivetrain, smooth ride, stylish and luxurious interior, and cutting-edge technology.

Winner badge for the Pickup category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Pickup Winner: Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat

Ford introduced an electric version of its F-150 full-size pickup, the Lightning, in 2022. We were impressed by its strong acceleration, high fuel efficiency, excellent build quality, perfect EPA emissions score, long range, and high number of standard advanced safety features—unusual for a pickup.

Winner badge for the Small SUV category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Small SUV Winner: Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited

Introduced in 2022, the Ioniq 5 compact crossover is Hyundai’s first EV from its Ioniq sub-brand. Especially strong points include its quick acceleration, the high number of standard advanced safety features, high fuel efficiency, and its EPA emissions score.

Winner badge for the Pickup category in the 2024 AAA Car Guide
Midsize SUV Winner: Genesis Electrified GV70 Prestige

The Electrified GV70 is a great example of how relative newcomer Genesis has put traditional luxury carmakers on notice. Our reviewers noted its luxurious interior, powerful drivetrain, high fuel efficiency, excellent handling and drivability, and comfortable ride.

See how the cars rank

On the AAA Car Guide website, you can see the ratings for specific vehicles that the ARC has evaluated. You can search by vehicle type (e.g. midsize), fuel type (e.g. hybrid), and price range.

Research our rated vehicles

Take a look inside the 2024 AAA Car Guide

Chapter 1: Your Next Car

An explanation of the body styles and powertrains of today’s cars and light trucks.

Read more about different vehicle types in Chapter 1 of the 2024 AAA Car Guide

Chapter 2: How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car?

How to determine the complete cost of owning a car—plus important tips for keeping your vehicle in top shape.

Read more about vehicle maintenance in Chapter 2 of the 2024 AAA Car Guide

Chapter 3: Safety First

What makes a car safe, plus a description of how the latest advanced safety features work—and their limitations.

Read more about vehicle safety in Chapter 3 of the 2024 AAA Car Guide

Chapter 4: Future Cars

Exciting new cars we’re likely to see on the road in the next few years.

Read more about future vehicles in Chapter 4 of the 2024 AAA Car Guide

Chapter 5: How AAA Tests and Ranks Vehicles

How the ARC tests and evaluates the vehicles in the Guide.

Read more about vehicle testing in Chapter 5 of the 2024 AAA Car Guide

Planning to buy a car?

AAA members can enjoy a great car buying experience with AAA Car Buying Service. Find the car you want from a certified dealer and feel confident in the price you’re paying.

AAA Car Buying Service is only available to AAA members. Outside of Southern California, AAA Car Buying Service is managed by TrueCar, Inc. Only car buying research tools are available in Hawai‘i.

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