Which Car Gets A Bad Rap?

Illustration for article titled Which Car Gets A Bad Rap?
Photo: Jalopnik

If reading this site has taught me one thing, it’s that some cars are pretty good. But also, that there are cars that are impossibly bad. That are expressions of cynicism or misanthropy, that are dangerous without being cool. That are ugly, and not in an endearing way.


But then there are cars that are both fine and capable of arousing utter contempt among car people. When I was growing up, Dad had a couple NA Miatas that he absolutely adored. Some time after he sold the second one, a green and gold Chrysler LeBaron GTC came into his orbit and he bought it cheap. It wasn’t a Miata, it wasn’t fun to drive, but it was a convertible and it had four seats and gold basket-weave wheels. Eventually, that car — much diminished by having lived in the same house as me for a couple of years — moved on, to be replaced by an NC Miata.

Like the Toyota Solara, Volkswagen Eos and Buick Cascada, the LeBaron’s design brief was “be a convertible.” And when it came to being a convertible, it was preposterously successful. But people hate these unsporty, cheapish convertibles. For not being sporty enough? Or luxurious enough? I don’t know. Old guys want to toot around Del Boca Vista Phase 2 with the top down, but the Miata’s too sporty for that, and Cadillac and Lincoln don’t sell convertibles anymore. What are they supposed to do, buy a Mercedes?

I know deep down that all Jalopnik readers have at least one car they believe has been treated very unfairly, maybe more unfairly than any other car, and it’s something they’re looking into and they’re looking into it very strongly.

Which car’s honor are you willing to die to defend? Mitsubishi Mirage? Dodge Journey? Which car do you think gets a bad rap?

Jalopnik EIC '48 Willys CJ-2A, '84 Porsche 911, '15 VW GTI, '07 Lexus GX 470.


Lord Whistledown

The minivan.

And by that, I mean all of the minivans, not just a particular model.

I don’t have young kids, but if I did, a minivan is the perfect vehicle to haul them around. Three-row SUV/crossovers have a big problem: They’re hard to climb in and out of. The minivan and it’s power sliding doors, folding seats, tons of room in back, myriad features, make it the perfect family vehicle.

I don’t know why people think that owning one is some form of “giving up” as if it makes them uncool. You know what’s uncool? Lacking the confidence to drive a minivan. When I see a bunch of kids packed tightly into a Durango or a 5'2" woman struggling to park a Tahoe because she can’t see over the hood, I don’t see a cool person.