Now, there are some truly terrible cars out there and these 5 cars are at the top of the list. If you own one of these, we recommend getting rid of it as soon as possible.
5. Jaguar X-Type
The Jaguar X-Type is a prime example of a car company trying to pass off a low-quality product as a luxury vehicle.
Instead of designing a car from scratch to compete with the BMW 3 series, Jaguar took the underpinnings of a Ford Mondeo, put it in a poorly fitting Jaguar body, and added a questionable all-wheel-drive system.
The result was a car with seized engines, exploding transmissions and driveshafts, wheel hub failures, and falling apart interior and exterior trim.
Not to mention, parts and labor are expensive, the safety and infotainment technology is subpar, and it’s not even a pleasure to drive. This car serves as a reminder that luxury brands don’t always equate to quality products.
4. Chrysler PT Cruiser (Convertible)
In fourth place is the Chrysler PT Cruiser, particularly the awful convertible version. It’s understandable that Chrysler tried to combine retro styling with a practical and economical vehicle, but they failed miserably.
The PT Cruiser has terrible driving dynamics and a complete lack of build quality. It’s a retro wagon meets soft roader and it’s just embarrassing for anyone seen in one.
A mechanic even described it as “a horrendous piece of shit” and said they “want to stab [themselves] in the face and neck” every time they have to work on one. Avoid the PT Cruiser at all costs.
3. SsangYong Rodius/Stavic
In third place is the SsangYong Rodius/Stavic, which may be the ugliest car of all time. The goal of the design was to capture the essence of a luxury yacht, but it ended up as an awkwardly proportioned disaster of a vehicle that was even worse mechanically than it was aesthetically.
The SsangYong was heavily criticised for its poor build quality, lack of safety and tech features, poor performance, handling, and refinement, as well as an interior that was just as disappointing as the exterior.
Even when it was brand new, it was a terrible car, and it only gets worse with age. You’d be better off walking than getting in one of these.
2. Dodge Nitro
Second on the list is the Dodge Nitro. The only positive thing about this car is that it’s not unattractive. However, a quick Google search of “Dodge Nitro problems” will yield a long list of issues, problems, and even catastrophic failures.
To make matters worse, the Nitro is no longer in production and Dodge is no longer in business in Australia, making it almost impossible to repair if it has any issues, which it is likely to have due to its poor build quality.
The only reason to buy a Nitro would be to melt it down and sell the metal.
1. Hummer H2
The Hummer H2 is not just a bad car, it’s a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world.
It’s a gas-guzzling, environmentally irresponsible, and overpriced monstrosity. It’s poorly built, has terrible handling and performance, and is a nightmare to maintain.
It’s also a magnet for people with terrible taste and even worse attitudes. Save yourself the hassle and stay far away from the Hummer H2.
In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.
There’s not much cooler in the world of cars than the sleeper. A car that has the ability to wipe the floor with even the fastest supercars yet looks totally normal and completely understated. And there have been a host of awesome sleepers available over the years, but which do we think are the best? Here’s the ReDriven Top 5.
5. VW Golf R Wagon (Mk7 and 7.5)
In fifth, we had to have a wagon in this list, but will it be the only wagon? It’s the Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R wagon.
It may be able to hit 100 km/h from a standstill in just a touch under 5 seconds in standard form, but tweak the engine just a small amount and the Golf R Wagon will be embarrassing all but the very fastest cars out there.
Add to that its immense traction with a very intelligent all-wheel system, lightning-fast gear changes via its DSG transmission, and superb handling, and this brutally fast practical wagon will still fly under the radar as it looks nearly identical to a standard Golf wagon.
4. Audi RS6 Sedan (C6 2008-2010)
Still dabbling in the Volkswagen family tree, our 4th place winner is already well known for being a fast wagon, but it’s the sedan version that really nails the sleeper criteria. It’s the 2008 to 2010 C6 Audi RS6 sedan.
The recipe was insane but brilliant. Take the V10 engine from a Lamborghini Gallardo, bolt two turbos on it to make it the most powerful Audi engine to date, and then stick it in what essentially looked like a slightly lowered A6 fitted with some nice wheels.
But, Audi actually left some of the engine’s potential on the table, with a simple software tune, the standard 571 hp can be increased to around 650 hp, it is a weapon. Plus, only 1500 C6 RS6 sedans were ever produced, compared to the almost common, 14,000 Gallardos.
3. BMW M550i xDrive (2018-2021)
In third place, and like 5th and 4th, it’s another German, it’s the BMW M550i xDrive. The M550i recently received a boost in power, like it even needed it, going from 456 hp to 523 hp.
This propels the classy BMW from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. To put that into perspective, the iconic and ballistic McLaren F1 does the same 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 3.2 seconds, so this thing, with its 5 seats, multi-zone climate control, enormous boot, and lovely stereo, is just a smidge over half a second slower to 100 km/h than a multi-million dollar hypercar, incredible.
And then there are the looks, or lack of looks, as while it is undeniably a very attractive car, it looks almost identical to a base spec 5 series. And because 5 series BMWs are commonly driven by people that are, well, old, no one is going to expect it to have “rip your face off” levels of performance.
2. Volvo V70R (2000 – 2007)
No one is expecting these to be fast, it’s another wagon, it’s from Sweden, it’s the second-gen 2000 to 2007 Volvo V70R.
Ok, compared to the power levels the previous 3 cars had, the 300 hp V70R may seem a little on the weak side but where the Volvo beats the Germans is in its under the radar appeal.
Short of those in the know, hardly anyone is expecting a Volvo station wagon to be bloody fast and like the Golf R Wagon, with a few tasty tuning mods, these things can be seriously capable.
Add to it all wheel drive traction and sports tuned suspension but a massive boot, leather interior and that very cool Swedish design aesthetic and this is one awesome sleeper.
Plus, if you want one, they’re now really affordable, if you can find one for sale.
1. Ford Falcon G6E Turbo (2008 – 2014)
First, and look yes we’re getting a bit patriotic here but these things are seriously quick and bloody boring to look at, making them the perfect sleeper. In first place, it’s the Ford Falcon G6E Turbo.
If you’re into cars at all you’ll most likely know that Ford’s turbo charged 6 cylinder Barra engine, even when completely standard, is a weapon of a power plant.
But, with only minimal mods, these things can produce deep into the 500hp range and with some more serious modifications, they’ll easily top 1000hp.
Now, here in Australia, the Falcon was commonly associated with being a taxi or a hire car, and many Falcons were sold as part of fleet car packages for local businesses and governments and councils.
The G6E added some leather and chrome touches to make them feel a little classier but to have a car that looks so plain and unassuming yet is powered by this monster of an engine, surely must be one of the all time great sleepers.
Ford has been producing cars for nearly 120 years, and many of them have prioritised speed and performance. But which ones have executed their objective the best? What are the best fast Fords of all time? We asked Ford owners, mechanics, dealers, and fans on Reddit, Facebook, and Ford owner groups for their recommendations, and these are the results:
5. 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Of course, there was going to be a Mustang on this list, and in fifth place is the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It produces 567 kilowatts, or 760 horsepower, from its 5.2-litre supercharged V8, making it the most powerful production car Ford has ever built.
But it’s not just a straight-line drag racing car. With bespoke suspension, enormous Brembo brakes, sticky Michelin tires, and genuine aero, the GT500 has the dynamic and performance ability of smaller, lighter sports cars. Plus, it retains the Mustang’s everyday appeal and just listen to it!
4. 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth RS500
In fourth place is a homologation special: the 1987 Sierra RS500 Cosworth. A homologation special is a road-going version of a race car that is required in order to be allowed to race.
The standard Sierra RS Cosworth was already an incredibly special vehicle, but the RS500 variant took the “race car for the road” concept even further.
It had a larger turbo, larger intercooler, strengthened engine block, and upgraded fuel and oil systems, providing more power and torque. Only 500 RS500s were ever built, and nowadays you’ll need over $200,000 to purchase a good one.
3. 1970 Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600
If the RS500 is a race car for the road, third place is a rally car for the road: the 1970 Mk 1 Escort RS1600.
This is where it all started for the legendary RS brand. The recipe was simple: take some genuine thoroughbred racing mechanicals and wrap them in a small, light, beautifully balanced rear-wheel-drive body.
Under the hood was the first example of the now-famous Cosworth-designed BDA engine. Although its 85 kilowatts of power may seem underwhelming nowadays, keep in mind that a standard escort only produced 30 kilowatts.
The RS1600 began Ford’s long domination of rallying, leading to generations of Fords conquering some of the toughest rally stages in the world.
2. 1984 Ford RS200
In second place is another rally car for the road, but this one is a lot more extreme than the RS1600 in third place: the RS200.
Like the RS500 in fourth place, the RS200 was built as a homologation special in order to allow Ford to enter the most extreme rally category ever, Group B.
Group B was introduced in 1982, and while there were some restrictions, the rules were very relaxed, resulting in some of the fastest and most dangerous rally cars ever built.
The RS200 was an immensely complicated machine. The Cosworth-engineered 1.8-litre turbocharged engine was mid-mounted, while the gearbox was at the front and the car was, of course, four-wheel drive.
It had double-wishbone suspension all around with twin dampers at each corner, a fiberglass body, and in race trim, the engine produced between 250 and 300 kilowatts. The road-going version produced a more modest 185 kilowatts, but it weighed less than 1,200 kilograms, and this was in the mid-1980s.
1. 1966 Ford GT40
In first place, by a unanimous decision, is the 1966 Ford GT40. In the 1960s, if you wanted to race in the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, you had to build 25 road-going versions of your race car.
The GT40 is iconic, as demonstrated by the movie Ford vs Ferrari, and it’s no small feat to beat Ferrari at what they do best. Ford built only 31 examples of the road-going GT40, which differed little from the Le Mans-winning race versions. Wire wheels, carpet, fabric map pockets in the doors, and a cigarette lighter were the main changes, and understandably, buying one today will set you back many millions of dollars.
The Mk-1 GT40 wasn’t perfect and required many modifications to secure its race-winning reputation, but when it came to counting the votes for this list, even though second through twentieth were incredibly close, the GT40 was a clear and resounding winner.
In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.
A great performance car for under $10,000, surely that’s impossible! Well, no it’s not, there are some absolute bargains out there for fun cars on a budget and here is our top 5.
5. Toyota Celica SX (1999 – 2006)
In fifth place, a car that’s been around since 1970, it’s the Toyota Celica.
For 10 grand, we’d recommend looking for seventh-generation, 1999-2006 Celicas in the best possible condition you can find.
This generation Celica is hugely underrated. Typical bulletproof Toyota reliability, a funky coupe body, excellent driving dynamics the already excellent Celica is a genuinely superb and still very affordable performance car.
Ok, it’s not the fastest thing in a straight line and has to be revved hard to get the best out of it, which is incredibly fun, but the biggest issue this generation Celica had was that when it was new, it was commonly compared to the now legendary Honda Integra Type R.
But while Integra Type Rs now asking immense amounts of money on the used market, the Celica is an absolute bargain.
4. Nissan Skyline 350GT
In fourth place, it’s rear-wheel drive, it has a stylish coupe body and like the Celica, has a name plate that goes back decades, it’s the Nissan Skyline 350GT.
Sharing its platform and engine with the Nissan 350Z, the eleventh-generation V35 350GT did weigh a little more and was set up to be more of a grand tourer than an outright performance car, hence the GT in 350GT.
But, make sure you buy a manual, give the engine a mild tune, fit some quality suspension, brakes and tyres and you’ll have yourself an excellent performance car for thousands of dollars less than a decent 350Z.
3. Suzuki Swift Sport (2010)
In third place, this thing is an absolute barrel of laughs and a genuinely talented little car, it’s the Suzuki Swift Sport.
Motoring journalists raved about the Swift Sport when it was released and now these first-generation 2005-2012 Swift Sports can be had for well under 10 grand, they make for brilliant bang for your buck.
A punchy, high-revving, 1.6-litre engine with a notchy mechanical 5-speed manual in a little hatch body with wheels positioned at the extremities of the body, sports-tuned suspension and just the right amount of visual flair makes the Swift Sport an incredibly appealing proposition.
2. Honda Civic Type R (2008)
In second place, it’s possibly the least popular of a very popular line of performance cars, it’s the Honda FN2 Civic Type R.
The FN2 Civic Type R is cracking good performance car but its issue is that, with some of the FN2’s suspension changes, it just isn’t as special as the Civic Type Rs that came before and after it.
But, it still has the truly superb high-revving 2.0-litre K20 engine up front, a gear change feel many car companies still can’t get close to, a chunky squat appearance that almost looks like an angry little space ship and the ability to give whoever is behind the wheel immense levels of fun and interaction.
10 grand is pushing it to find a decent FN2 and chances are it might need some TLC but, it’ll be worth it.
1. Mazda NB MX5
In the top spot, it’s the Mazda MX5 or Miata.
These days, for 10 grand you’ll only really have one variety of MX5 to choose from and it will be the second-generation NB with the 1.8-litre engine, and obviously you’ll get it with a 5-speed manual because the auto should be eradicated from the face of the earth.
While the original NA keeps climbing in value and is fast becoming the collector’s choice, the NB is arguably a more resolved and better overall car while still delivering an equally addictive level of driving experience.
Plus they’re proving to be reliable, if they do break they’re easy to work on and parts aren’t expensive and if modified correctly and intelligently, can make the already brilliant MX5 truly phenomenal.
For the money, we don’t think any other car will make you laugh and connect you with the essence of driving quite as well as the MX5.
So obviously a car in this category has to be practical, safe, reliable and under 30 grand. But this is a car for single dads, it has to exude a sophisticated cool, it has to say ‘yes I’m a dad, so I’m doing my best at being a responsible adult but, hey I’m single and I’m ready to mingle’. It might also help if it frustrates the ex a little bit too.
So, what are the best used cars under 30 grand for single dads? Here is our Top 5
5. Subaru WRX
In fifth place, it’s our performance car pick, the Subaru WRX.
For 30 grand, single dads should be on the hunt for the 2014 to 2018 VA WRXs and ideally in the premium trim but if you really want to annoy the ex, get one with the optional wing attached.
The WRX is fast but practical, it’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system will keep you and the kids safe while also firing you out of corners like a ballistic missile and while the WRX becomes more mature and refined with every new generation, there’s still something fun and almost juvenile about the WRX.
And you just know there’s going to be some great satisfaction when the ex says “you bought a WRX?”
4. Lexus IS350 F Sport
In fourth we have our more luxurious choice, but it’s still dipping its toes in the performance car pond, it’s the Lexus IS350 F Sport
The IS350 is an exceptionally good car, but the F Sport is something special. It blends luxury and performance with genuine reliability and practicality. Also, if you happen to be picking someone up for a date, the F Sport just oozes class and cool.
30 grand should get you into a 2013 to 2016 F Sport, and at that price it will have a few kilometres on the clock, but, it’s a Lexus so that shouldn’t matter too much.
3. BMW E28 5 Series
In third, it’s the E28 5 Series BMW and specifically, the M535i. Like the Lexus, this does its best to dabble in the luxury feels but it does it with some old school charm.
Ok, it might not have anywhere near the safety credentials of modern cars but the E28 is practical, it oozes cool, it’s fun to drive, especially in M535i spec, and you’re kids will love the old school charm.
Understandably you might have some concerns when it comes to reliability but E28s in this 30 thousand dollar area are generally in incredible condition and should have thorough service histories to give you some peace of mind.
Plus, they are pretty simple machines with not all that many electronics so hopefully, that means there is less to go wrong. God they’re cool.
2. Toyota Prado
In second place, we’re getting into adventure mode and this is probably the most sensible car on the list, it’s the Toyota Prado.
30 grand should get you behind the wheel of 2012 to 2014 Toyota Prado in either standard trim with lower kilometres or modified and heavily accessorised but with higher kilometres.
We’d recommend finding one with some tasty mods and four by four accessories but, make sure it has been cared for and has a full service history.
The Prado has loads of room for the kids, with a few mods it will get you about as far away from your ex as is humanly possible. And, with Toyotas incredible reputation for reliability, it should easily last longer than your marriage did.
1. Ford Ranger XLT/Wildtrack
In first place, it’s not fast, it’s not luxurious but it will take you, your kids and loads of their stuff far off the beaten track, it’s the Ford Ranger.
We had to have a 4×4 dual-cab ute on this list and for 30 grand, our pick is the Ford Ranger, particularly a post-facelift XLT from late 2015 and into 2016.
The XLT is the sweet spot of the Ranger lineup and for good reason. It’s loaded with all the kit you and your kids will need, is arguably the nicest to drive on road and will tackle some very serious terrain off road, meaning your kids won’t shut up about how awesome dad’s new truck is to their mum.
Plus they’re showing pretty good reliability, as long as they haven’t been abused and if you want to know all the graphic details, we’ve made a video on one.
With the latest G80 M3 and M4 BMWs landing in showrooms and the monstrous M5 CS just around the corner, we thought it only fitting to pay tribute to the cars that have built BMW Ms notoriety and reputation. So, here are our top 5 BMW M cars of all time.
5. BMW E39 M5
In fifth place, it’s a personal favourite, it’s the E39 M5.
The E39 is often considered to be the best M5 of all time and therefore, one of the best sports sedans of all time.
Packing a near 400 horsepower 4.9-litre V8 into a beautifully balanced chassis, wrapped in a masculine yet understated body shell, delivering its thrust via a rear-wheel-drive 6-speed transmission creates one hell of a recipe.
The result is a 0-100 time of under 5 seconds while looking all suave and sophisticated. Oh, and it sounds just incredible too.
4. BMW 1 Series M Coupe
In 4th place, it is the 1 Series M Coupe or to many, simply the 1M.
Once BMW gave the secret project the green light, the plan was to limit production to just 2700 units but with rave reviews from motoring journalists and demand from fans, 6309 1Ms were built.
What makes it so special? Well in a word, simplicity.
Stick a 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-6 into a compact coupe body with perfect 50/50 weight distribution, keep it as strictly a 6-speed manual, toughen up the looks with muscular pumped wheel arches and gorgeous 19” alloy wheels and then price it well under it’s big brother M3 while offering near identical performance. What’s not to love?
It’s not insanely fast with a 0-100 time of 4.3 seconds and they can be a little sketchy on the limit, and having an enthusiastic drive in the rain can be either terrifying or exhilarating depending on your skill set.
3. BMW M1
In third, it’s the original M car, it’s the M1.
BMW made fewer than 500 M1s as a homologation special for sports car racing and the stunning Guigiaro-designed M1 was hand built between 1978 and 1981 and the M1 was the first car to be solely developed by BMW’s M division.
Its engine outputs may seem a little underdone compared to the power figures we’re used to these days but the 3.5-litre straight-six still managed to propel the stunning M1 from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in around 5 and half seconds, super impressive for the late 1970s.
In its hey-day, the M1 was an absolute hero car and these days is one of the most incredibly sought after cars in the world.
2. BMW E46 CSL
In second place, it’s the E46 M3 CSL. When the E46 M3 CSL appeared in 2003, it wowed enthusiasts all around the world with its application of racing technologies being applied to a street car.
To reduce weight, composite materials were used on the roof, bumpers, rear valance, boot lid and various body panels. Suspension components were lightened and strengthened, the interior was stripped out and fitted with gorgeous lightweight racing buckets. It could even be specified without climate control or a stereo.
The CSL ended up weighing in at 110 kilos lighter than the stock M3, and then there was that engine.
The already phenomenal 3.2-litre straight-six was modified and massaged to become one of the all time great naturally-aspirated engines.
Like the M1 in third place, these days the 265kW output might not sound all that special but this engine is about so much more than the numbers. Its response, characteristics and sound, especially when deep into the higher rev range is pure motoring nirvana.
It even lapped the Nurburgring in under 8 minutes, but, it’ missed out on the top spot for a reason and that reason is its one achilles heel.
Why BMW insisted on fitting the CSL with its SMG transmission is beyond us. It’s not the worst gearbox ever made and if driven knowing how to extract the best out of it, doesn’t completely ruin the experience like many will insist. But the CSL not being offered with a 6-speed manual is a crime.
1. BMW E30 M3 Evolution III
Now, this car is considered to be one of the finest driving machines of all time and more than lives up to BMWs Ultimate Driving Machine tagline. Unlike many current BMWs, taking out the top spot, as it did at countless touring car races, its the E30 M3 and in particular the Sport Evolution model.
Built to allow BMW to compete in the DTM and Group A touring car series in the mid 1980s, BMW took the standard E30 2-door coupe body and tweaked, adjusted and modified it to be stronger, lighter and more aerodynamic while the suspension and brakes were lightened, revised and improved.
Powering the E30 M3 is one of the most revered 4-cylinder engines of all time, the S14.
Starting off with just 143kW as a 2.3 litre and eventually reaching 175kW as a 2.5 litre in the Sport Evolution, the S14 may sound underpowered compared to many of todays cars but when combined with the E30 M3’s truly sublime chassis balance and driving dynamics, this car delivers a purity and delicacy no modern BMW can match.
And remember, the E30 is the only M3 that was designed and engineered to truly be a racing car first and a road car second. This thing isn’t marketing hype, it’s the real deal.
In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.
We just don’t get it. These are the cars that everyone raves on about but in reality, they’re actually pretty bloody average at best.
Either they are unreliable or they’re well below average to drive and live with or they’re just not worthy of their hype. Here’s our top 5 most overrated cars on the used car market.
In fifth place, Minis. Ok this one hurts because I kinda love these things, I love the aesthetic and what they’re all about but, once you remove all the image and quirkiness, they’re just, not very good.
But which Mini? Well, all of them.
We get it, they’re funky and cool and there’s not much else on the road like them but that is all novelty and look, novelty wears off.
What you’re left with is a car that really isn’t that well made, is becoming renowned for having some very serious mechanical issues and excluding any of the really rare performance models, will depreciate like crazy.
As far as what goes boom, CVT automatic transmissions fail, timing chains fail resulting in incredibly expensive engine failures, water pumps fail, many of the engine components are plastic and they tend to fail over time, there are radiator support problems, power steering problems and a whole host of electronic and computer issues.
Then there’s the depreciation. A 2020 Countryman Cooper S is going to set you back around 65 grand, you know how much a 2015 version of that car is, a little over 25 grand.
So it’s lost $40,000 in value in just over 5 years which might be ok if it was some groundbreaking incredible car, but they’re just not.
4. BMW X6M
In fourth it’s a car that is despised by motoring journalists around the world yet people still buy them and people It’s the BMW X6 and in particular the X6M.
The X6M is an SUV that is utterly useless at being an SUV, drinks fuel like it genuinely hates the environment, depreciates like the Titanic floats and if driven enthusiastically, is building quite the reputation for being a mechanical nightmare, which means you should avoid doing the one and only thing the X6M is good at.
And then there are those looks, which yes, are subjective, but in my opinion, the X6 is genuinely one of the all time ugly cars.
Because it’s based on the X5, which is not a sleek design by nature, the sloped roofline on the X6 makes the whole thing just look bulbous and awkward.
Plus that sloping roofline eats into your cargo space, and creates the mother of all blind spots.
If you really need a fast BMW SUV, buy an X5M, you’ll still have all the mechanical gremlins and plummeting depreciation but at least people won’t laugh at you.
3. Maserati Ghibli
In third place it’s the Maserati Ghibli. Many excuse these things because they are Italian and they have heritage and pedigree, it’s just a shame that nothing else about them matches the romance.
On paper it sounds great, a rear-wheel drive, leather-lined Italian styled sports sedan with a Ferrari-engineered power plant from luxury brand Maserati. But in reality, it was a horrendously thrown together dog of a car from the Fiat Chrysler group.
While it sourced its engine from Ferrari, pretty much everything else was from various Jeeps, Dodges and Chryslers and these are companies not exactly renowned for quality or reliability, hence why the Ghibli is truly horrific when it comes to things that go wrong.
Then there are the ergonomics. Anyone larger than a toddler will struggle for room in the back seat and up front, because the Ghibli is basically a concoction of various bits and pieces from other cars, nothing feels right, or in many cases, works as they should.
Then there’s the fact that even though Ferrari helped with the engine, the Ghibli is not actually all that fast, and it doesn’t drive all that well, especially when compared to its competition.
Finally, because these things are genuinely terrible, the depreciation is horrific. Back in 2015 a new Ghibli with a few options would have cost you over $150,000 here in Australia, these days (back in 202 when this was written) a 2015 Ghibli, will cost around 50 grand. So it’s lost two thirds of its value in just over 5 years or putting it another way, about $415 a week. What a joke.
2. Old School Mustangs
In second place it’s the first-generation, 1964 to 1973 Ford Mustang. We’re talking about the base model, inline 6-cylinder, not the V8s…..which, also aren’t all that great.
There’s no denying the Mustang is cool, it looks incredible and thanks to Steve McQueen and Carol Shelby, the Mustang has become one of the all-time iconic cars.
But, and this comes from experience, unless it’s been modified to a point where it’s hardly a Mustang anymore, in our opinion, they drive like utter crap and just do not live up to all the hype.
Firstly they are slow, a base model Hyundai i20 would leave it for dust, the ride quality is somehow harsh and floaty at the same time, the steering is more a suggestion than a tool to actually turn the car, the build quality is a joke and it will need constant repair.
I’ve driven a bunch of old school Mustangs and after the 15 minutes of romance and novelty wears off, I’ve just always been left disappointed and feeling totally underwhelmed when driving these things.
And it’s not an age thing because every time I drive an old 911 or Alfa Romeo of the same vintage, I’m generally blown away and trying to work out which internal organs I can sell to buy one.
Again, sorry, but old school Mustangs, excluding the fire-breathing ones, are massively overrated.
1. Range Rovers
In first place, it’s Range Rovers.
The sad thing about our top pick is the engineering that goes into these to make them incredibly capable deserves to be applauded, it’s just a shame they have a real habit of falling apart.
And even though you could probably steer it up and over Mount Everest while keeping cozy and safe, the vast majority of these are purchased as a status symbol or fashion accessory.
When we were doing the research for this list, we quizzed mechanics and automotive engineers and went through dozens of consumer satisfaction reports, vehicle reliability reports, and the car that consistently came out worst, Range Rover.
But even though people keep buying them, which Range Rover or Range Rovers should you avoid?
Well, we’d steer clear of the Evoque, the Range Rover Sport, the Discovery Sport, the Velar, the Discovery and the range-topping Land Rover Range Rover. Actually, I think that’s the entire line-up…
Yes, they look stunning, they’ll probably be great for your image and when they work, they’re a joy to drive. But, the looks will fade, serious things will start going wrong, which will be very bad for your bank account, and you won’t get to enjoy driving it because it will spend most of its life up on a hoist in some mechanic’s workshop. Plus the depreciation is insane!
In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.
With the recent announcement that Lotus will be wrapping up production of its current lineup of cars, we thought it only fitting to pay tribute to the back catalogue of Lotus. But, there is a disclaimer, this is our top 5 Lotus production series road cars, no race cars, concept or custom editions, only the cars you or I could buy from the showroom. So, here are our Top 5 Lotus of all time.
5: Lotus Exige
Actually before we get into this, please know this was such a tough list to put together, All the Lotus fans and experts we spoke to gave us dramatically different Top 5s but we’re happy with this final 5, we feel it’s a good culmination of everybody’s list suggestions, and in fifth, it’s the Exige.
Based on the series 1 Lotus Elise, the original Exige arrived in 2000 but for this Top 5, the Exige we favour is the series 2 and in particular the Exige S from 2006.
There were literally dozens of special edition Series 2 Exiges to choose from and a special mention must go to epic series 3 Exiges, in particular the current Sport 410…but for us the Series 2 S marked the moment the Exige model really set itself apart from its Elise base.
As Lotus said at the time, The Exige S represents the ultimate extreme production Lotus, with performance that trumps other supercars costing twice or even three times as much.
4. Lotus 7
In fourth place, it’s the Lotus that is considered the embodiment of Lotus performance, through low weight and simplicity philosophy, it’s simply, the 7.
It may not have been the very first Lotus but it is the car that arguably set the standard for everything that followed. Designed by Lotus founder Colin Chapman back in 1957, the 7 is still in production today.
The tiny, light, tubular-frame chassis has hardly changed over its near 65 year history, but the 7 has seen a host of different power plant configurations.
Officially, the 7 is built by Caterham these days but a host of other companies and even blokes in their sheds are welding and bolting together versions of the 7, all to become one with driving.
3. Lotus Elan
In third it’s another heritage model, it’s the 1963 to 1974 Elan.
A front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout in a tiny, incredibly light and gorgeous body with soft compliant suspension and just the right amount of power, built on the genius of Colin Chapman’s folded-steel backbone chassis, is what set the Elan apart from anything that had come before it.
In particular, we love the Sprint from 1970 and even compared to many of today’s performance cars, the Elan is still a sublime machine and if it wasn’t for the Elan, we might not have the Mazda MX5.
2. Lotus Esprit
In second, it’s the Lotus Esprit, but which Esprit? While the Series 1 is undoubtedly iconic, it’s the Series 3 Turbo that really got the recipe right. If it’s good enough for James Bond then it’s good enough for the rest of us.
The Esprit in general marked the moment that Lotus became a manufacturer of supercars willing to take on the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, but it’s the Series 3 Turbo, with not only more power but a host of other improvements, that gave Lotus a car that could seriously take on the competition.
The stunning Guigario design and ingenious backbone chassis were honed and adjusted over the years and while the Esprit was initially acclaimed for its handling, early models were a bit underdone when it came to power.
While you’d expect such an exotic looking car to have a V8 or even V12 powering it, early Esprits were propelled by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder which in the lightweight Esprit was fine, but, increase the displacement to 2.2-litres, bolt on a turbo and all of a sudden you have a genuine contender.
1. Lotus Elise
And in first place, it’s the Elise, but which Elise?
Look, they’re all brilliant, from the recent Series 3 Cup 260 to the Series 2 SC and 111S, every Elise has taken its lightweight, mid-engined layout, double wishbone suspension all around and immensely rigid bonded aluminium chassis and delivered an incredible driving experience.
But if we had to pick just one to top our list, it has to be a Series 1 Sport 190. The Sport 190 received more power and torque, upgraded tyres and brakes and revised suspension giving the already awesome and now iconic series 1 platform even more agility and enough poke to make things seriously fun.
There are loads of great performance car bargains out there but which ones give you the absolute best bang for your buck? The budget is 20 grand and here are our Top 5
5. Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ
In fifth place, it’s front-engined, rear-wheel drive and it comes from a manufacturer, or two that have a long history of making some incredible performance cars, it’s the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ 86.
Almost all the ingredients are there, the layout is just right, it’s the perfect size and it doesn’t weigh too much, the driving position is spot on, but, I think we all wish it had just a bit more firepower.
Now for 20 grand you will be looking at earlier higher mileage examples and this is a performance car so make sure you go over it with a fine tooth comb and make sure it has a solid service history but, there are some cracking examples out there for this money.
4. Fiesta ST
Anyone that scoffs at our fourth place getter for being a wrong-wheel drive shopping trolley has no idea what they’re talking about. These things are brilliant, and I should know, because I had one, and I miss it, alot. It’s Fords Fiesta ST.
If it’s good enough for Ken Block to slide into celebrity status, surely it’s good enough for the rest of us. Ok, Ken’s Fiesta is about as close to the road car as Kim Kardashian is to having any talent but in all seriousness, the Fiesta ST is a brilliant little car.
Sticking a torquey, turbo-charged engine in the front of a small, light hatchback has been a recipe for fun for decades but when it’s combined with delicious steering and a taught and responsive chassis set up, the Fiesta ST is a bit of a giant killer.
3. Volkswagen Golf R
In third, it’s probably the most sensible car on our list, at least in terms of looking very grown up and mature from the outside, it’s the Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R.
Ok, 20 grand probably won’t buy you the most pristine Golf R but these things are genuinely rapid even when standard. A powerful 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or DSG gearbox sending drive through all four wheels will get the classy Golf rocketing down the road as enthusiastically as Leonardo DiCaprio avoids women his own age.
But start fiddling with the oily and electronic bits and the Golf R is capable of embarrassing some very capable and expensive supercars. An 11 second quarter mile is not to be scoffed at.
2. Mazda MX-5
When the category is performance cars under 20 grand, of course this thing had to be included. It might just be the epitome of maximum driving fun for minimal money, it’s the Mazda MX-5.
Like the Fiesta ST, those that think these things are just some hairdresser’s car have either never driven one or require a car that helps them compensate for areas on their anatomy that might be lacking in size.
20 grand opens up a load of options when it comes to the MX-5. You could have the turbocharged NB series SE, a pristine NA series 3 or maybe even the 1.5-litre version of the current generation ND. Which one should you get? It doesn’t really matter because they’re all truly brilliant in their own way, just get the one you like the most.
1. Subaru WRX (STi)
In first place is the 2002 to 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi. Don’t get us wrong, finding one of these for 20 grand might take some serious shopping around as they have become a bit of a holy grail car, but that’s just another reason to buy one.
If the original GC8 Impreza WRX is just a little too raw but the third-generation GH and GE are a little too soft for you, then the GD combines nearly all the raw tactility of early WRXs and mixes in just the right amount of creature comfort, resulting in a truly dynamic and special car that you can genuinely use everyday.
These things are special, but quick tip, try to stick to the 2002 to 2005 models as their 2-litre engines are proving to be far more robust than the 2.5s that replaced them.