Thursday, September 27, 2012

10 "hidden gem" cars I don't see enough of on the road

Cadillac CTS Coupe
I saw a Cadillac CTS Coupe in town the other day, which reminded me how well-designed it is. The wedge shape is distinct, aerodynamic, and downright it! But I don't see enough of these cars on the road for some reason. Click through for some other examples of great cars that people should buy more of.

Lexus CT
The CT is based on the Prius but sooo much cooler looking. LED lights, an interesting computer mouse-like dashboard controller, and the Prius-like gas mileage make this car a true unsung hero. My guess is that the CT's more traditional station wagon-like roof scares people off? Americans prefer sedans and fastbacks to station wagons, which would suggest that the Prius' more sloped trunk (and lower price point) have led to its success.

Hyundai Veloster
Having driven the Veloster through Zipcar, I am an instant fan. A lot of people complain about its space-age styling, but I think that's what makes it so interesting. The hidden third door makes getting in and out of the backseat easy, while retaining the car's coupe-like looks. I haven't seen too many of these cars on the road despite its attractive price...

Honda CRZ
The CRZ channels the CRX's awesomeness of the late '80s, but with updated technology, a sleeker body, and a hybrid engine. The CRZ's two seats and evidently sluggish engine are what I believe have made it a slow seller, but it's a shame, because I thought it would be a huge hit -- the next de facto teenager car. Maybe the article I recently read saying that fewer teens are driving works against the CRZ's favor.

Buick Regal
The Buick Regal, which is based on the European Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, is one good looking car - inside and out. GM failed to bring the Opel Astra to Saturn - probably because they had to sacrifice so much of its technology for the Saturn's low price point - but the Buick doesn't have to make those sacrifices. Despite this car's awesome looks, I don't see many on the road. Hopefully younger car buyers will get over the fact that it's a Buick and see the car for what it is!

Ford Fiesta ST
I see a lot of Focuses (Foci?) on the road, but not many of the smaller Fiestas. I drove the Fiesta off-road last year and had a BLAST. It is peppy, attractive -- even more so now with the Aston Martin grille -- and uses high-quality interior materials. Owning this car doesn't make sense in rural territory, but in urban and suburban environments, it is a great alternative to the ancient Smart car or drab Yaris. Americans should give the Fiesta a chance!

Audi A3
I see many more A4 Sedans than I see A3 Sportbacks, even though the A3 has a similar engine, is cheaper, and uses many of the same interior materials. Having driven the A3 through Zipcar, it has become one of my favorite "hidden gems".

Ford Taurus
This may strike you as an odd choice, but for some reason I don't see too many Tauruses on the road. I think it is a handsome looking car, has a well-appointed interior, and is a far cry from the Tauruses of last decade. I'd like to see more on the road -- other than Police cars.

Cadillac SRX
The SRX is, for all intents and purposes, a strong contender in the entry luxury SUV market. But for some reason, I see many more Lexus RXs and Infiniti FXs than SRXs. Having driven the SRX myself, I was quite impressed by the quality of the interior, the faux-hand stitched dashboard, etc.

The CC was supposed to be VW's attempt at knocking the Mercedes CLS off its throne at a much lower price point. While the CC arguably does not cause nearly the same emotional impact that the CLS has, it is still a looker in today's world of mostly boring midsize sedans. I see many more staidly Passats than the expressive CC. What gives?


  1. I really like the Veloster! And yes, I have not seen most of these cars on the road.