There have been some truly great cars over the years. Things like the Porsche 911, the original Ford Mustang and the Fiat Panda. But are there any automakers out there that have produced more than their fair share of icons?
To find out, we turned to you and asked what car makers have created the most great cars. You did not disappoint with your responses. So sit back, relax and enjoy your picks for the automakers that have churned out the most truly great cars.
“Probably Morgan, although that is more they made one great car and just never stopped making it. It is a one hundred percent great car record.”
Despite having made less than 50 distinct models in its 110-year history, Morgan has shifted some absolute icons!
Suggested by: skeffles
3 / 19
“That’s the answer already right there. Citroën. From the revolutionary Traction Avant from the 30s (up to the early 50s), the again revolutionary 2CV (40s up to 90!), the revolutionary DS from the late 50s up to the mid 70s, the SM, the CX, the GS, the BX, maybe even the AX, the XM, the Xantia and the (sporty versions of the) Saxo. I guess I stopped using the word ‘revolutionary’ as it was getting repetitive.
“Citroën had absolutely great cars in their line-up continuously up until the turn of the century. This century they had a few interesting ones as well, like the C6 and the Cactus. But, we have been living in an utter malaise era for interesting (internal combustion) cars for a while now so it makes sense that there aren’t that many great cars available any more.”
“Sadly it’s gone, but for me Pontiac built some of the most iconic cars and some bad ones too.”
For every great car Pontiac produced, like this lovely Tempest LeMans GTO, there are sadly a few misses from the brand. Still, those negatives can’t take away from the long list of positives out of Pontiac.
Suggested by: Malek Bayoun (Facebook)
5 / 19
“Nissan of the 80s and 90s. Seemed like they had a performance variant of every car they sold. They had it all. FWD, AWD, RWD. Different segments, car sizes, number of doors, body styles, and price brackets. We just didn’t get them in the US.
“Even before the 80s and 90s, Nissan had some greats with the Skyline and Z. Nissan may not have the racing and sportscar building pedigree of the likes of Porsche, but for roughly 2-3 decades, I’d say they were outdoing nearly everyone else.
“For the longest time, it seemed like they couldn’t stop making performance variants of every car they sold, but they obviously ran out of money, and Renault(another great car maker) bailed them out.”
This poster might just think Nissan of the ‘80s and ‘90s deserves a spot here. But, cars like the Fairlady Z from the 70s and the GT-R from the noughties show that Nissans from every generation can be great.
Suggested by: mountainbikingandtrackdays
6 / 19
“It pains me as a Ford and VW owner, but I think Chevy deserves a vote. Economy cars, pickups, heavy duty trucks, muscle cars, SUVs, vans, cop cars, even darn near super cars that could compete on the world’s stage. They weren’t all perfect, but they did a great job for the job they were meant to do. Some even made that leap to truly great.”
You could argue that any car can be a great car, even if it’s a pickup or an SUV. We won’t judge.
Suggested by: Donovan King (Facebook)
7 / 19
“Hands down Volkswagen (VAG). From the revolutionary Beetle, to the most iconic sportscar – Porsche 911. On top of that, Volkswagen has consistently done the craziest powertrain configurations in both cars AND SUVs. Then there’s all the companies that VW touched and turned into gold, which led to some amazing cars from Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini, Skoda, Seat, Audi and of course...BUGATTI.
“We got the fastest car in the world from Bugatti, courtesy of VW. This is the same company that got caught cheating on emissions (‘dieselgate’), and still managed to bounce back almost unscathed. If you are into motorcycles, VAG also owns Ducati, and Ducati has never been better since VAG ownership. Hate them all you want, but VW runs things out here!
“Honorable mention: Saab. Because they gave us fun mass-produced turbocharged vehicles that were reliable, looked otherworldly and were safe. Saab is also the most innovative company, with multiple patents of all kinds, and we wouldn’t have heated seats without them!”
The first of the big automaker companies to get a mention today was Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG). The German firm has been responsible for some truly legendary vehicles since its founding in 1937. In 1994, it added Skoda to the fold, and this was followed by Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti in 1998.
Suggested by: dacarguru
8 / 19
“Toyota. Corollas and Camrys are incredibly reliable and great in every practical way. Even the ergonomics are impressive. However, they’re so boring and most of the older models were ugly. Sure, the AE86 was fun, but nobody is putting up posters of their old Camry, Corolla (unless it’s an ae86), or Tercel.”
We all loved the GR Corolla when it burst onto the scene earlier this year. But Toyota couldn’t have come up with something like that without creating a few greats in the past.
Suggested by: Dominic Di Girolamo (Facebook)
9 / 19
“Lotus was the first one to come to mind. The Esprit V8 was the first car I ever really lusted after..”
Another company that went for quality over quantity, Lotus has less than 40 different models out there in the world. And sure, they might not be the most reliable small sports car you can buy, but they are all lovely.
Suggested by: lastminutebastrd
10 / 19
“Dodge. For more than 100 years. So many ‘because we can’ cars. Viper, Hellcats and vehicles that changed the industry like the Caravan. ‘Greatest Cars’ can mean a lot of different things.”
Our own Andy Kalmowitz cites the Viper as one of the best American cars of all time. So I guess we can afford Dodge a spot on our roundup.
Suggested by: @KathyatChrysler (Twitter)
11 / 19
“Mercedes Benz, easy.
“300SL Gullwing. 230sl Pagoda. w123 to 190e Cosworth. 600SEL Unimog. Not to mention all the amazing AMG models, especially the wagons.”
The 300SL and the Unimog have very little in common. Well, other than that I think they’d make for the absolute perfect two car garage.
Suggested by: hangovergrenade
12 / 19
“Depends on what you define as ‘great’. Porsche probably have the most class leading cars, they’ve made very few truly crap cars. Whether or not you actually like their cars is a different question.
“While Ferrari have made some absolutely garbage cars, they’ve also made some unbelievably awesome stuff. You can rattle off at least 5 Ferrari models that are in the top 25 all-time, maybe more. But again, it comes down to what you consider ‘great’. There’s no doubt the 959 was a better car than the F40, but was it greater? I don’t think so.
“Which brings me to Honda. S600, NSX-R, ITR, CRX, S2000....they make really good cars that are also lovable to enthusiasts. Honda wins.”
I’m surprised it took me so long to find a suggestion for Honda. It has built some truly brilliant cars, planes, robots and everything else over the years.
Suggested by: squirmish
13 / 19
“Probably Ford, due to its longevity at least. It’s had more time to have hits. Model T and Model A, with the various iterations from farm trucks to hot rods, the F series trucks, the Mustang, a car created for a market that needed it instead of a company pitching the car it wanted to sell, the Thunderbird, the original version, the GT40, the Taurus, which literally reshaped cars from boxes to curves, the Escort, a meh car, but as ubiquitous as a Beetle. They are all iconic shapes, recognizable by people who remember them from the contemporary times, important in how they shaped car design and sales. There may have been better versions of these cars from other companies, but they were often the first, or the first to do it right.
“Ford certainly had its misses, but that’s not the question. If you want to look at the percentage of great and high quality cars to bad, well, probably SAAB. Even the stuff GM tried to make them pawn off they turned into decent cars.”
What’s that saying, throw enough shit at the fan and some of it will stick. Ford has made a LOT of cars over the years, so surely it has a good chance at knocking out a few great ones here and there?
Suggested by: Joe Sledge (Facebook)
14 / 19
“I’m going to go with Ford (Europe anyway).
“1991 Ford Fiesta RS, Ford Fiesta ST-3, 1.5. Ford Escort RS2000 Mk1, RS Mexico Mk2, RS2000 Mk2, RS1600i Mk3, RS Turbo Series 1, RS Cosworth Mk4.
“Ford Focus RS2.5, RS3.5, ST-3,Ford Mondeo ST-220, Ford Sierra RS Cosworth (several), Ford Racing Puma, many others over the years.”
If you want to find the Ford that has truly made the most great cars, look to Europe. there, Ford has produced an onslaught of excellent hot hatches, over-powered coupes and wonderful Cosworth-powered creations.
Suggested by: svend
15 / 19
“Oh gawd, this is going to hurt... GM and it likely isn’t close.
“From 1908 to 1973, GM had a reasonable hit rate when it came to making great cars. They also had a ton of bites of the apple because they had 41 different brands when you count them all for all the markets.
“In the Last 50 years, GM hasn’t had a lot of great cars. A couple Corvettes, maybe the Volt, several Holdens, maybe a V model Caddy. But before the early 70s, they had a pretty good hit rate. In the 50s and 60s, there are some years where there are 2-3 contenders for ‘Great Car’ that were all made by GM on the Same year.”
File this one away with the other firms that churned out so many different cars that surely some of them had to be great.
Suggested by: yeardley68
16 / 19
“Porsche, not one bad car. And this family shaped the automotive world than nobody else.”
Sure, parent company VAG might have earned a nod, but Porsche is definitely deserving of a spot here. After all, Kevin says the firm has not made one single bad car in its 91-year history.
Suggested by: Kevin Blankenburg (Facebook)
17 / 19
“Ferrari. Look at the different models included in the top 100 auction prices ever obtained for vehicles, and look how many of them are Ferraris.”
Apparently there’s a direct correlation between greatness and auction prices. Well, whether you agree with that or not, I’m not sure you could argue against Ferrari being one of the firms responsible for the most phenomenal cars.
Suggested by: neverspeakawordagain
18 / 19
“I’m going with AMC. A Jalop favorite that brought you:
“- Nash Metropolitan!
“- Rambler American, Ambassador, Classic and Marlin!