Top 10 Older Cars We're Still in Love With
Drivers looking for something cool have a veritable smörgåsbord of options on the market today. Automakers are building some of the most appealing and exciting vehicles in industry history.
From sports sedans to Baja-ready pickups to stylish grand-touring cars there’s literally something for every kind of enthusiast. But newly introduced models can have more than their share of issues. Quality can suffer in a vehicle’s first year as unforeseen issues pop up. Also, if a product is really hot it can be hard to get one, especially an example that hasn’t had the price inflated by a greedy dealer.
But there’s something you can do to avoid these potential pitfalls. You can get a slightly older vehicle, one that’s been on the market for a few years (or more). Here’s a list of 10 older cars that are still cool.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, I thought he said COOL cars. Why is there a Buick on this list?” Well hold your proverbial horses right there sir and/or ma’am, whichever may or may not apply, because the Regal isn’t your grandpappy’s Buick, especially the GS model.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Buick Regal GS Review
In this trim it’s graced with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 259 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. But even more appealing than that is the fact that it can be had with a six-speed manual transmission; all-wheel drive is also offered if you opt for the automatic. The Regal was introduced as a 2010 and is essentially a re-branded Opel Insignia, which dates back to about 2008.
Dodge’s bulky Challenger muscle car has been around a few years, first arriving at dealers for the 2008 model year. Since then it’s received a not-insignificant update for 2015. This modern-day performance car earned some small exterior tweaks and a redesigned interior.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Review
But the thing that’s kept this vehicle exciting and makes it a genuinely cool car is that Chrysler has continued making new features available over the years. You can get one with a shaker hood for instance, there’s a high-performance SRT model and then there’s the all-new 707-hp Hellcat version that will singe the hair off your body like a Victorian-era boiler explosion.
Nissan’s 370Z is another performance coupe that’s aging gracefully. With cool styling, a powerful engine and seedy performance this car is certifiably slick even though it’s been available in North America since 2009. Giving drivers a little choice, the Z is also available with a retractable roof.
The car features a 3.7-liter V6 that puts out 332 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Either a six-speed-manual or seven-gear-automatic transmission is available. Upping the performance ante is a NISMO variant of the 370Z, which provides a 350-hp drop kick.
Despite tottering on the brink of ruin in America, Mitsubishi still offers at least one cool car that’s worth consideration. The Lancer Evolution has been around in its current form since about 2007. Appealing to younger drivers it serves up turbocharged performance and the traction-enhancing benefits of all-wheel drive.
Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 291 hp and 300 lb-ft of twist. The hard-core MR version comes with six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, though something that really highlights this car’s age is that the more workaday GSR variant comes with a manual gearbox featuring just five forward speeds.
Sweet baby Jesus, the Audi S4 sedan is good, really good. In my humble opinion, for whatever that’s worth, it’s one of if not THE best all-around cars in the world. It just feels so right in so many ways. And the same is true of its sibling the S5 coupe, which is essentially an S4 minus two points of passenger entry.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Audi S4 Review
Both cars feature a smooth-running 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Thanks to that belt-driven air compressor it churns out 333 horses and 325 lb-ft of torque. You also get quattro all-wheel drive and a choice of creamy-smooth six-speed manual or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.
Not every cool car has to come with a manual transmission or heavily bolstered sport seats. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the ultimate luxury machine and because of that it’s pretty damn sweet. It’s also ancient, first hitting the market in 2003.
Of course the car has received numerous enhancements over the past decade but it’s still essentially the same old Phantom. In spite of that, it’s a model we love and honestly how could you argue? Out in the wild they have a commanding presence, they practically demand stares from passersby.
The Lexus IS F sports sedan is another cool car that’s pretty old. It was introduced way back in 2008. Despite its age, this four-door luxury performance vehicle can put a smile on nearly any driver’s face.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Lexus RC F Review
It’s powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that delivers 416 hp. The engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission for enhanced dynamics and reduced consumption. From a standstill, 60 MPH can be yours in just 4.6 seconds.
Now regrettably the Lexus IS F is out of production, the last one rolled out of Japan back in August. But if you really want one and you’re lucky you can probably find some unsold models at Lexus dealers.
Like the IS F, production of Cadillac’s CTS-V ended months ago, but there are probably still a few floating around. If you have the means you might want to track a specimen down because without a doubt this is one killer car.
It features a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers a walloping 556-hp boot to the bottom and 551 lb-ft of torque. Upping the excitement factor it can be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or an automatic with the same number of gears. But best of all it’s not just a singular vehicle, Cadillac gives you some amazing choices. It can be had as either a sedan, coupe or kick-ass station wagon.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is a rugged, go-anywhere sport-utility vehicle with a luxurious interior and a price to match. The current generation has been around since the 2008 model year meaning it’s knocking on seven years old!
This large SUV features a 5.7-liter V8 that delivers 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Seating capacity matches its cylinder count so you can take the whole family wherever you want, be it across a scorching-hot desert, through swampy lowlands or even straight up a mountain. Unfortunately this capability and refinement doesn’t come cheap. The Land Cruiser starts at 80 grand.
Without question Audi’s R8 is one of the coolest cars of the past decade. This stylish, capable and surprisingly livable supercar is a delight to look at and even more fun to drive.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus Review
Introduced in ‘Murica back in 2008 this lovely performance machine was built around an aluminum structure to keep the weight down. It also featured carbon-fiber “side blades” for a bold look and a howling 4.2-liter V8 engine that delivered 420 high-winding horses.
To keep pace with the ever-improving competition Audi has introduced a couple different versions of the R8 including a Spyder model as well as ones with an even more muscular V10. What’s not to love?
Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
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