After a few long years of waiting for the sequel to the highly acclaimed Forza Horizon 4, we finally have Playground Games’ newest addition to the Forza Horizon franchise: Forza Horizon 5.
Forza Horizon 5 went on sale just a few days ago, but the game is already reaching all-time-high numbers in terms of peak concurrent player numbers and sales. Forza Horizon 5 beat out its older brother with three times as many peak concurrent players and set the record for the biggest Xbox Launch Day in history.
We all probably loved Forza Horizon 5’s still very successful predecessor, Forza Horizon 4. This time, in Forza Horizon 5, we have a very special and arguably more challenging environment, which will surely appeal to many players old and new.
This new environment that Forza Horizon 5 is set in will dictate how viable some cars are compared to others. Today, we will look at the Best all-around car for Forza Horizon 5.
New Horizon: Mexico
Forza Horizon 5’s open-world gameplay is set in Mexico. The intro gameplay gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of roads, scenery, and environments.
What will definitely catch the players’ attention the most is how the initial locations in this series feel like a rally/tarmac hybrid rather than the urban + highway setting we got so used to by now in the old game. Roads transition from all tarmac to dirt real quick. Even the usual Road Racing Series somehow feels like a rally race rather than an all-out street race.
With that in mind, certain cars in Forza Horizon 5 will have the upper hand almost anywhere due to their drivetrain layout and the grip and handling advantage that the layout provides.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution or Lancer Evo is a legendary Japanese AWD Rally monster. Even though the Lancer Evo is most known for its rallying and off-road racing heritage, the Lancer Evo can be tuned and set up to become a track beast as well.
The Lancer Evolution is powered by a relatively small 2.0-Liter inline-four turbocharged engine that produces anywhere from 250-400 horsepower. The Lancer Evolution’s drivetrain is an AWD system with Active Yaw Control. The Lancer Evo’s AYC controls the amount of power sent to any of the four driven wheels. The Lancer Evo’s AYC increases overall traction during cornering.
Because of how versatile the Lancer Evolution platform is for street and dirt racing, the Lancer Evo is one of the best all-around cars in Forza Horizon 5.
We already touched on how Forza Horizon 5 features a somewhat rally+tarmac hybrid environment that could use the AWD grip that the Lancer Evo offers.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in Forza Horizon 5
In Forza Horizon 5, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution gives drivers a very safe and controlled feeling. The engine power is enough to get you going, and the suspension settings in stock form give players just enough understeer to keep the car nimble yet controllable.
Because of how quickly races in Forza Horizon 5 transition from tarmac to dirt, your cars will have to be able to soak up dips and road undulations effectively while still offering sharp and precise handling.
The Lancer Evolution offers great versatility and grip in any situation in Forza Horizon 5 because of its compliant yet sharp handling. It could use a little more power, though, as the chassis and suspension feel like they could handle a little more power even in stock configuration.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI
The Subaru Impreza WRX STI is the Lancer Evolution’s greatest rival. Although, it is fair to say that the Lancer Evolution owns the wins with the most quality, thanks to Tommi Makinen’s superb consecutive wins with Mitsubishi back in the 90s.
The Subaru Impreza WRX STI does have some good wins under its belt with Petter Solberg and Richard Burns behind the wheel, though.
Like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the WRX STI is powered by a 2-liter class engine with its 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder turbocharged motor. Subaru claims to have a better center of gravity thanks to the low-slung design of the Boxer engine. However, even though the Subaru Impreza WRX STI has a bigger engine than the Lancer Evolution, they make roughly the same power.
Drivetrain-wise, the Subaru WRX STI has its version of Mitsubishi’s AWD and torque vectoring system, which intelligently distributes power among the four driven wheels.
Subaru Impreza WRX STi in Forza Horizon 5
Compared to its red-colored archrival, this blue Subaru Impreza WRX STI feels sharper in terms of handling. The engine response in stock form is also better than the Lancer Evolution. Part of the reason why the Subaru’s engine feels more responsive is most likely due to the amount of torque that’s immediately available at the lower RPMs. Aside from the instantaneous torque, the power band also feels very flat and linear, which makes the car very easy to control using the throttle.
We mentioned how the Lancer Evolution’s power felt lacking relative to its suspension and chassis capabilities. The Subaru, on the other hand, feels like a more polished and well-rounded car versus the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
The stock suspension settings of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI allow players to keep the pedal to the metal, regardless of the road surface. We have no doubts that, in Forza Horizon 5, the Subaru WRX STI is a better car than the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Audi Sport Quattro
The Audi Sport Quattro was the car that changed rally racing forever. Audi’s WRC Group B entry was the first-ever rally car to feature an AWD system, thanks to the recent ruling changes that allowed the use of all-wheel-drive systems in WRC.
Audi’s AWD Group B monster was powered by a 2.1-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine which produced 350 horsepower. The Quattro is probably the best sounding car on this list, thanks to its five-cylinder layout.
Rally fans from the 80s will recognize the Audi Quattro as the most iconic rally car in WRC history. However, despite its notoriety, the Audi is not as decorated as some of the other cars on this list.
Audi Sport Quattro in Forza Horizon 5
We have mixed feelings about the Audi Sport Quattro in Forza Horizon 5. We want to love it because of the racing heritage and the legendary status of the Quattro as the sport-defining icon of its era. However, the Audi Quattro is showing its age, especially in A/B testing against the more modern Subaru Impreza WRX STI and Lancer Evolution.
The AWD Audi feels very controllable and balanced in the dirt, but part of that controllable nature is because of how underpowered the car is. The chassis can benefit from a bit more power.
The price tag also kind of makes you think twice about the car’s worth relative to its performance. At 150,000 in-game credits, the Audi Quattro is not competitive for the price. It is noticeably slower than both the Evo and WRX in stock form.
It does look awesome with the race livery on, though.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
The Ford Escort RS Cosworth, like the Audi Quattro, was an icon in the rally scene. Although the Escort RS Cosworth was not the most winningest car in its era, it is one of the most popular and recognizable shapes in rally history.
Part of the charm is the rear double-spoiler, which could double as a picnic table.
The Ford Escort RS Cosworth was powered by a 2-liter inline-four turbocharged engine developed by Cosworth. The Escort RS lays all of its 350-horsepower on the dirt through a permanent all-wheel-drive system and 7-speed gearbox.
Ford used the Escort RS Cosworth in its rallying endeavors for nearly three decades before the platform was replaced by the more modern Focus platform we know today.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth in Forza Horizon 5
The Ford Escort RS Cosworth might not be the most successful platform to compete in WRC. However, it has the potential to win almost every race in its category on Forza Horizon 5.
The handling characteristics of the Ford Escort RS Cosworth feel very similar to the Subaru Impreza WRX STI with a tad less power. The entire car feels like it’s on rails and the entire car exhibits almost zero drama in stock form. Just turn the wheel and step on the gas pedal; the Escort RS will happily tread the dirt roads of Forza Horizon 5 for you with glee.
Masters of the Dirt
We wonder how the supercars, which dominated the streets back in the UK, will fare in Forza Horizon 5’s new setting. Most of the early race events force players to drive on the dirt, which does not suit low-slung high-powered supercars very well.
Rally cars, however, are a different breed altogether. These cars can soak up bumps and tear up the dirt, unlike any other car in Forza Horizon 5. With the right engine upgrades to increase their power output, these cars will give players a better all-around driving experience in Mexico’s mixed-road-condition race events.