The Ten Cars Most Changed By The Game

Some cars are so innovative they redefine the segment, sometimes even the whole industry. These cars are the opposite of that.

10.) Audi A3


Audi sold an A3 5-door here in the states for years, and it didn't really make any waves. Then comes Mercedes with their hugely successful CLA and all the sudden we have an American-friendly, decidedly non-hatchback A3.

Suggested By: AudiAudiOxenfree, Photo Credit: Jalopnik

9.) Mercedes-Benz GLE

I imagine the argument for putting the GLE into production went something like "Well BMW is making a fastback crossover 'coupe' thing so why shouldn't we?"

Actually, I imagine that this is how most product planning meetings at German automakers go these days.


Suggested By: zacarious, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

8.) Ford Explorer


The original Explorer defined the body on frame SUV market that reigned supreme in the '90s, but the current model followed in the example of the Highlander and became yet another crossover.

Suggested By: ezeolla, Photo Credit: Ford

7.) Subaru Forester


Arguably the worst victim of the increasing beige-ification of Subuaru, the Forester went from being an off-the-beaten path crossover/wagon thing, to something completely anonymous.

Whatever character the Forester had is completely gone now, but at least we know Subaru can still make interesting cars, in the form of the WRX and BRZ.


Suggested By: Vintage1982Benz, Photo Credit: Subaru

6.) Honda Insight


The original Insight was a bold take on the Hybrid concept with its incredibly low weight, low drag body shape, and ultra-efficient drivetrain. It's still one of the most fuel efficient cars ever made.

Of course the Prius crushed the unorthodox Insight in sales, so Honda copied Toyota for the Insight's second-generation, killing all the innovation and making it less fuel efficient to boot.


Suggested By: smalleyxb122, Photo Credit: Honda

5.) Chevrolet HHR


Chevy decided to jump on the PT Cruiser bandwagon, even having the guy who designed Chrysler design the HHR. Too bad the HHR didn't hit the market until after the PT Cruiser was cool. And yes, the PT Cruiser was at one point cool.

Suggested By: clutchshiftington, Photo Credit: Chevrolet

4.) Porsche 911 (996)


Let me just start off by saying that this isn't going to be about the transition from air to water cooling, nor will it be about the fried egg headlights. The 996 was the first time Porsche made a cheap car; not cheap in price, but in build quality.

Older 911s are among the most solid and reliable ever made, but that build process nearly bankrupted the company. With the help of Toyota consultants, Porsche restructured and brought the Boxster and 996 to market, which allowed the company to survive, but reeked of cost cutting.


The 996 was horribly unreliable, and poorly built. If you didn't know otherwise, you wouldn't think the 993 and the 996 were made by the same company.

Suggested By: themanwithsauce, Photo Credit: Porsche

3.) Chevrolet Camaro


Currently, the Mustang and Camaro are in an arms race with both trying to one-up the other with every new update, but without the Mustang, the Camaro wouldn't exist.

GM rushed the Camaro and the Firebird to market to try to take some of the market share of the unprecedentedly successful Mustang, beginning a war that has lasted nearly 50 years.


Suggested By: Kuhachar, Photo Credit: Chevrolet

2.) Ferrari F355


Before Honda dropped the bomb that was the NSX, Ferrari could sell cars just on their looks and badge alone without really caring if they were any good. Basically, they didn't give a shit.

The NSX made the Ferrari 348 look like a cheap kit-car, forcing Ferrari to actually do a good job with the F355. Thankfully, Ferrari did a fantastic job.


Suggested By: 365Daytonafan, Photo Credit: Ferrari

1.) Every Truck After The 1994 Ram


After Dodge released the second generation Ram, pickup trucks couldn't just be tools anymore. They had to be big and intimidating, and as luxurious as a private jet. The idea of an aspirational "glam truck" started with that Ram.

If you're mad about the rise of the $60,000 half-ton, blame the '94 Ram.

Suggested By: carcrasher88, Photo Credit: Ford

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Top Photo Credit: Ferrari

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