We all have one car that we’re kind of ashamed to like. It’s a guilty pleasure, and even people who are able to drive loads of new and fancy cars can have some puzzling favorites. Here, your AutoGuide.com editors let you in on their guilty pleasure vehicles. What car are you ashamed to like? Tell us in the comments below!
Mike Schlee, Road Test Editor: Nissan Juke NISMO RS and Buick Regal GS
“The Oldsmobile Alero is the most underrated car of recent time. Oh wait … this has to be about current vehicles? Fine. For me, it’s a bit of a tossup. The first is a small crossover with bizarre styling and not much space for anything. But when the Nissan Juke receives the NISMO RS treatment, it’s a hilarious blast to drive. Even if it is regulated to front-wheel drive, a six-speed manual receiving 215 hp from a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is a riot. Plus, the Juke’s controversial styling is turned up about 34 notches when transformed to NISMO RS.
My other guilty pleasure is a Buick. Yup, a Buick. I guess that’s not much of a surprise from a guy who bought an Oldsmobile … new … for his first car. But the Regal GS just ticks off all the right boxes for me. Nearly 300 lb-ft of torque, all-wheel drive and a well-balanced chassis that blends performance and comfort appeals to this mid-30s new dad. Now when’s the early bird special begin?”
Jodi Lai, Managing Editor: Nissan Juke NISMO RS
“I don’t care that my guilty pleasure car is a weirdo ugly duckling that gets all sorts of scorn from automotive journalists. I friggen LOVE the Nissan Juke, and I don’t care that it looks like an atomic frog on a bad LSD trip. Especially in Nismo RS form and with a manual transmission, that car is as fun as it is ugly! Like an animal that is so hideous it becomes cute, like Grumpy Cat, or this guy, I give the Juke extra points for originality. I hate cars that just blend in to the background, so the Juke is refreshing in a sea of bubbly compact crossovers or ones that pretend to be super aggressive.
In Nismo RS form, the Juke is actually hilarious fun to drive. Its compact dimensions makes it easy to, um, juke around town and it has a decent turn of speed. The Juke Nismo RS doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that deserves some recognition.”
Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor: Ford Flex
“I’m not joking when I say the 3.5-liter EcoBoost-powered Ford Flex is a serious sleeper. As a single young man with no interest in a car that has seating for seven, I should have no reason to like this car, but for some reason, I didn’t want to give it back. The Sport model of this three-row crossover not only sports 365 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque and all-wheel drive, but it can also hit 60 mph in under six seconds. That really isn’t anything to laugh at when you realize just how big, comfy and feature packed this thing is.
I recall my 2013 tester had parking assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, front collision alert and parking sensors galore. It also had cooled seats, heated steering, an awesome sound system and sexy ambient lighting. As for the looks, it’s up to you, but I think the two-tone exterior and big wheels really make the Flex stand out in a good way.”
Craig Cole, Associate Editor: Ford Transit Connect
“You could argue that someone’s choice of vehicle is a reflection of their personality, a physical manifestation of what’s hidden deep inside. Accordingly, my guilty pleasure automobile is a more like me than I’d normally care to admit — functional, sensible and perhaps most importantly, cheap.Ford’s Transit Connect is a small commercial van, arguably the best from the latest crop of these European-themed vehicles to wash up on our shores. It’s spacious for cargo and, if properly equipped, passengers as well, but that’s not all; it also drives quite well for what is essentially an industrial tool.
SEE ALSO: AutoGuide Answers: Which Fancy Features Should be in Mainstream Cars?
Is this the coolest car around? Hardly. The TC is frumpy, somewhat noisy inside and not all that fast, but it’s ideal for hauling stuff or even camping trips. In a lot of ways, it’s a lot like a pickup truck with an enclosed bed and that’s enough to make it cool, right?”
Stephen Elmer, News Editor: GMC Sierra 3500
“I like the earth. I love forests, mountains, clean water and fresh air. But my automotive preferences blow smoke in the face of my inner hippie. My guilty pleasure is the love I have the for GMC Sierra 3500. While the truck is actually in use, hauling a small ship or a big boat, I would have no guilt in cruising around in this diesel badass.
My guilt comes from the fact that I would daily drive this monster. More than once, I have opted to drive massive trucks into my downtown office when I really didn’t have to. To most, driving a big truck in a dense urban area is a seriously stressful situation, but I revel in it. And there’s nothing better than a country cruise in a heavy duty; it makes me feel at home!”
Jason Siu, News Editor: Toyota Prius
“Surprisingly, choosing a guilty pleasure car was tougher than I thought. But then it dawned on me — there’s none other than the Toyota Prius! Living in Southern California, it’s so “the thing to do” owning a Prius, but I’ll be the first one to admit there were times I wish I was in my Toyota Prius and not my Subaru BRZ. You see, Southern California traffic is terrible. You have little to no opportunity to truly experience how fun a car can be, which really took a lot of the luster away from the BRZ. And then there are times where gas prices are well over $4.50 a gallon and you have to wonder why you’d drive anything that doesn’t get at least 45 mpg.
Sure, the Prius gets made fun of a lot. It’s slow, it’s boring and it’s kind of hideous. But in conditions where you don’t need supercar acceleration or hug-the-road handling, the Prius is an extremely comfortable car that easily seats five and still loads up the rear with cargo. How many Prius or former Prius owners have you met that could honestly tell you they hated their hybrid?”