The Industry of cars never had any shortage of legendary models. Besides the world-class leaders and icons every country has their own champs. That’s why we’ve got tons of “the fastest, the mightiest and the sexiest cars” lists all over the internet. There is a lot of talent out there. And with all those names circling around the web there are still some names in the history of auto making that did possess a certain level of greatness but never really managed to shine through the crowd, if you know what I mean. Some of the lucky ones end up somewhere in the collector’s segment with a small, but loyal bunch of fans. However, the majority never manages to get there and people just burry them in history without even trying to give them the kudos they deserve, making them the most underrated cars in the automobile industry. That’s harsh, but that’s the reality, folks, plain and simple. To be perfectly clear, nobody has a 100% right definition of what makes a vehicle great. Great design? Superb styling? Impressive performance with off-the-charts top speed and acceleration? Most definitely, but not always – remember Citroen’s 2CV or Volkswagen’s Beetle? Do they boast killer designs? Of course not!
Figuring Out What Make A Car Great
One could say that a truly great car is one that has an affordable price-tag and is available to a wide audience, but that’s not it either – how about those 1 mil-worth Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys? Much like any other cultural “nuclear bomb”, for a certain car to become legendary it needs to arrive at just the perfect time and place. The stars will have to align, if you will. And predicting the ideal timing is nearly impossible, and that’s why even though many models introduce something really awesome and new to the customers, the market is simply not ready for it (or doesn’t want to be ready). This happened countless times throughout history (and not only in the automobile industry), so, it doesn’t always pay off to be ahead of the game. With that said, there are tons of superb car that could’ve make it big but failed instead. Some brands didn’t have enough funds to support their product; others couldn’t make them stand out in the crowded market. So, today we’ll talk about the most underrated cars in the automobile industry and give them the recognition they most certainly deserve.
The 1982-1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E – The German Stud
Long before Mercedes released the 190E, the legendary BMW 3Series was practically dominating the segment of small sport sedans. The 190E was the better version of the 240-series and the “father” to the contemporary C-class and Mercy invested billions of dollars into it. The engineers had a goal to create the perfect car and they couldn’t afford to sacrifice even the tiniest bit of quality for the size. So, at the end of the day they managed to roll out a true masterpiece that offered the same ride quality, comfort and luxury as the top-of-the-class S-series. The good news is, the Mercedes Benz 190E was a pretty great commercial success for the company, and even today, almost 3 decades later, we still have folks driving it on the American (and, of course, European) roads. The quality is there, the styling is kinda awesome, and if you’re a fan of those now-oldschool German designs, then you’ll have a blast with this one. The bad news is people name the BMW 3-Series the iconic model from that era, while the 190E still remains widely unrecognized, even though it deserves the highest praise.
The Most Underrated Cars In The Automobile Industry – The 1978-1992 Toyota Cressida
I bet you never heard of the Toyota Cressida (unless you’re a super-geek Toyota fan), and it’s definitely not one of the hottest retro studs today, but back in the day it was a pretty big deal for the Japanese company and a breakthrough model. It was introduced in ’78 and was meant to rival with the US-made sedans (the full-sizers). However, a few years later Toyota figured out that the future of luxury-level cars is in the European models and restyled the Cressida to look like and, naturally, rival with the likes of Audi, BMW and Merc. By the mid ’80s the company equipped both the Supra and the Cressida with a twin-cam V6 engine and they were both one of the coolest sport cars on the market. And even though this respectful sedan helped shape Toyota’s reputation in the United States, thanks to the mighty performance and modern styling, the company started to work on the next big thing – the Lexus LS400. And that’s exactly why the Cressida remaines one of the most underrated cars in the automobile industry.
The 1970-1975 Porsche 914 – Yet Another Solid German
Porsche today is probably the biggest brand from Germany when it comes to super-sleek and sexy sports cars, but not every model from the luxury automaker made it to the pedestal. The 914 had bad luck on pretty much every step of the way. It was a joint effort from Porsche and Volkswagen and was initially meant to replace the Karmann-Ghia (but eventually it got the Porsche brand instead). The thing is, back in the ’70s Porsche was all about manufacturing the legendary 911 2.3 Carrera RSR that boasted an unbelievable top speed of 190 miles per hour. So, you can imagine why the Volks-powered and generally routine (for Porsche, that is) 914 never got the attention it deserved. The good news is, about 40 years later this retro baby with clean, sharp styling, a 5-speed gearbox, a fully independent suspension, and a vintage engine with fuel injection is a crowd pleaser in its own right. In fact, the Porsche 914 is considered by some folks to be an iconic car because of the fact that nobody appreciated it back in the day.
The Most Underrated Cars In The Automobile Industry – The 1994-2007 Jaguar XJ6
Back in the day Jaguar was known for having quality issues and problems with reliability. And even after Ford acquired the company in 1990, the engineers still couldn’t manage to fix all the flaws. And that’s exactly why the XJ6 from ’94 never got the attention it deserved. Folks even gave it an insulting nickname – “The Luxury Run Vehicle”, or something like that, meaning you had to trade it in before the warranty expired so that you never had to deal with the troubles by yourself. Still, it was a good-looking, tech packed, performance-strong car with a super-classy interior and a very nice appetite for the race-track. So, despite the bad reputation the XJ6 could easily compete with any German model in terms of luxury and performance. The JXR edition was equipped with a mighty-strong V8 engine that pumped out 370 Horses and was even called the fastest sedan on the market. These days a solid XJ6 can be bought with a pretty low budget, and, if you keep up with the regular maintenance, the long-forgotten Jaguar will still be able to take your breath away on the road and give you one hell of an experience.
The 1967-1970 Cadillac Eldorado – The Best Pick For A Pimp
Speaking of the most underrated cars in the automobile industry I gotta mention the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado – a true luxury car with chart-topping style, grit and swagga. And, by the way, if you’re an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, the Eldorado will give you a lot of that street credit – just keep that in mind. So, back in the ’67 (that’s about 5 decades ago) this car was one of the most advanced and wanted cars on the market. True, today it might not look ground-breaking or anything like that, but you have to understand that ~50 years is like a 1000 years in the automobile industry. The Eldorado was created on the same platform as the Oldsmobile Toronado (yep, there was a car with that name), but it was FWD (front-wheel drive), the second FWD model manufactured by GM (General Motors), in fact.
So, yeah, it was a pretty big deal. In addition, packed with a razor-sharp design and not-from-this world styling, the Eldorado was the first personal luxury coupe. That’s right, it single-handedly started this super-popular segment in the industry. Later on, the competition rolled in, including the Chevy Monte Carlo, the Lincoln Mark III, the Chrysler Cordoba, et cetera, et cetera, and they practically monopolized the American roads. However, it was the Caddy Eldorado that did it first, and, by many objective numbers, it did it the best. So, that’s why I decided to finish the list of the most underrated cars in the automobile industry with this one, because, to my opinion, it’s the perfect model to get some belated love from all the true fans.
Watch also this video: The most underrated car ever!