We all love cars here. But some cars, for some reason or another, we feel we shouldn’t love. Of course, that never stops us from having our own particular tastes, but it often stops us from sharing them — too often, in fact. We should be proud of our guilty-pleasure cars. Yesterday, we asked you to share yours, and today we’re combing through the results. Let’s see what you secretly love.
Corvettes, all of them.
Yep, we’re not supposed to like them because of the whole Boomer, gold chain, white New Balance, stereotype thing, but damn, they’re pretty awesome in a reachable super car kinda way.
Yes, even saying “Vette” vs. Corvette makes you sound a bit like a tool.
And admittedly the malaise years for the later C3 were a bit embarrassing performance wise, but other than that, they provide amazing performance for the dollar.
I kinda love them.
I get it. Remove the context, all the boomers in their tucked-in tees, and you get what the Corvette was actually built for — cheap speed. The appeal is there, it’s just buried under layers of jorts.
Ford Escort ZX2, I know they aren’t great cars by most any measure, but I have always loved them, no clue why.
Objectively great? Maybe not. Subjectively a very fun time? Absolutely. No guilt needed here, these are just fun cars.
Late-Model Priuses (Prii?)
I’d say it’s the Mustang II, but I neither feel guilty about the fact that I love the things, nor do I hide it.
It’s the Prius. Third generation or newer. They handle surprisingly well, they’re nowhere as slow as their reputation, and they can be a TON of fun driven in the right context.
I have to wonder if the dislike of the Prius is just a U.S. culture thing. It seems like they’re beloved overseas. Are we just too fragile to appreciate a good car?
The second-gen Chevy/Geo Metro. We had a bunch of these when I worked at a rental car agency, which we used as a lure to get people in the door with a ridiculously low daily rate, then, once the customer saw it, ultimately spent more money on the upgrade. They were wrong.
On paper it made no logical sense: anemic 1.0L engine mated to an abysmal 3-speed automatic, no power steering, not a single convenience feature (including A/C), and more cost cutting than a box of Girl Scout cookies. But none of that mattered. It was scrappy as hell and an absolute hoot to floor it and try to wring every one of those 55 horses out. I’ve never heard an engine scream and protest this much while reaching 60 mph in a languid 15.6 seconds.
The Metro was one of those cars that ironically looked and drove better after a year in the rental fleet, and nothing could happen to it that could make it look any worse, so you never cared if it got dinged, scratched, or lost a hubcap. It’s lowly and humble nature made you laugh, like that kid in your elementary school class that was cool because, though they were not funny, their humility earned them a certain charm that made them impossible to hate. Long live the Metro!
The Metro’s looks, to this day, hold up better than much of its mid-nineties competition. That’s a good car if ever I’ve seen one.
Long, Low Pickups
Lowered crew cab F150s. I do not know why, but I dig it.
This look harkens back to muscle trucks of old, that ditched the off-road pretensions for better street performance. Given how infrequently most modern trucks leave the pavement, maybe they should all come like this from the factory.
Top speed of “almost”
Crash safety of a large refrigerator box
100s of horsepower? Nah, brah; 87 screaming ponies when new in an air-cooled 4 cylinder
The Chevy Iron Duke motor is an UPGRADE that most people do
Air con? “Air seem fine to me...”
Would I drive it to get a single gallon of milk?
Would I drive it 21 feet down the driveway to get mail?
And I would be smiling the entire time, just feeling the shaking heads of people that passed me (because, let’s be real, I am not passing anyone)
No notes. A perfect guilty pleasure.
Anything With Underglow
Not necessarily a single car, but the boy racer cars with Neon Lights underneath. I know it’s rediculious and many hate on it, but I do love seeing a fart can civic or 90s eclipse cruising down the road at night with all the neon glow.
I maintain that underglow is coming back. We’ve already seen it in Formula Drift, why not add it to other racing series as well?
I love the way it looks and the comfy feeling of seeing one
No judgement here. You do you.
‘80s Family Wagons
Mid-80's family trucksters. Huge, boxy, lumbering, inefficient, unsafe beasts with no redeeming qualities other than the internal space of a small football stadium, legendary demo derby performance, and gobs of nostalgia. This is an ‘85 Colony Park representative of the ilk, but I could have just as easily gone with the Custom Estate or Country Squire.
There’s something honest about these wagons. They aren’t pretending to be sporty or sleek. Just you, your family, and your stuff, out on the open American roads.
Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s complicated, it’s expensive to maintain, it’s full of luxury crap—the opposite of everything I value in a vehicle. But I think it looks cool, it’s got no B pillar, and it comes in some amazing colours.
The Conti GT may be big and heavy, but it doesn’t always look it. That lack of a B-pillar makes it appear slim and sleek, which makes it appealing to the eye.
Owning a minivan means it’ll fit. What will fit? All of it. All of it will fit. Which is the excuse that people give for owning a truck, but having a van also means none of your “friends” are going to ask you to move furniture or tow a trailer for them 2-3 times a week. They see “van” and think “full of kids”. Their loss.
Do you mostly do cargo hauling? Get a cheap-ass Grand Caravan. Those seats all disappear into the floor. Hard plastic interior that you don’t care if it breaks or gets dirty. I keep a rolled-up 8x4 rubber mat in the van and haul trash to the dump. A van is so, so much easier to get tools and construction/DIY goods out of than a truck. That load floor is knee-high. Your stuff is locked up. And it all fits.
Want something a little nicer? I paid $10K for one with leather trim, power everything, DVD system, heated seats and steering wheel, power pedals, and a built-in 110V system. You can get a $50K Pacifica, Sienna or Carnival that will rival the luxury of a Lexus.
Sliding doors = the best doors. Except for power sliding doors. Those are even better.
“Yeah, but minivans are slow and drive like ass”. Well, ok, yeah, I’ll give you that one to a point. They drive like SUVs. But they don’t drive like your mom’s old Windstar. The GC is fine. It rides fine. It handles fine for its size. It has 285 hp and will do nice little FWD burnouts when trying to merge out of the Costco parking lot. That amount of power means you can still do 70mph easy with six people inside.
And one of my favorite things about owning a grey minivan is that everyone just ignores you and no one expects anything out of you. It is the strongest “I don’t have to prove anything” statement you can make. You have achieved peak DAD, even if you don’t have children. A guy getting out of a big truck, or a Jeep, or a Mustang? He’s still trying, just a little bit, bless him. Not Minivan Dad. He is done with everyone’s bullshit. Let him pass in peace.
I’m a firm believer in minivan superiority, particularly for long road trips. You shouldn’t feel guilty about loving these, they absolutely rule.
My first car, a ‘76 AMC Pacer. I will always maintain it was ahead of its time. Part of me would like to have one again, and swap a turbo 4 of some kind into it. Not mine, but it looked like this:
I understand that your first car was, in all likelihood, not the Mirthmobile. But it was a ‘76 Pacer, as was Wayne and Garth’s famed ride.
Long, Tall Trucks
9th gen Ford trucks, particularly in long-boi form
Like the wagons from earlier, these older trucks are honest workers. None of the luxury fit and finish of modern six-figure luxury pickups, just a truck built to haul stuff from point A to point B.
Economy Cars That Don’t Suck
Cheap, solidly-built, economy cars. The general consensus - usually by non-car people - are that they’re shit, but I love them. All of them. Mirage, Fiesta, Geo Metro, Ford Escort, Cavalier/Cobalt etc etc. The world is a better place because they exist. No, I don’t own one, but I have and I would do it again.
I will always defend the Cobalt. I maintain it’s one of the better-looking vehicles ever to leave a General Motors facility, even to this day. It’s a good car.
As you probably know by now, my little Abarth. When down and out, I go for a drive and I always, always come back with a big smile stamped on my face.
The 500 Abarth is a raucous little hatch, taken too soon from the U.S. market. I nearly bought one myself, until it turned out to be in far worse condition than it seemed in the listing. Maybe there’s still one in my future.