Don’t get me wrong with this list. They are not cars I would always buy personally. However, some of these cars are quite clever. Let’s get started.
1. Fiat Multipla
Ahh, the Fiat Multipla. Possibly one of the weirdest, strangest and to some, ugliest cars ever created. The Multipla has a strange, shelf-like bulge under the windscreen that houses lights and the fiat badge. Strange yes, but does the Multipla actually deserve the hate it gets? Perhaps not. First launched in 1998, the fiat quickly divided opinion amongst the public. Its brava based underpinnings were nothing new; however, the Multipla did actually have some interesting features to offer. Its 3+3 seating configuration makes for a highly efficient and comfortable six seater, whereas rivals were all five seaters.
As well as this, the entire back bench was removable, allowing for a substantial rear loading bay. People have used this space for motorcycles, fridges, dishwashers, mountain bikes, and many other items that simply would not fit in a comparably sized vehicle. Its dashboard, although very strange looking, is well suited to the type of driving you will be doing, with a dash-mounted gear leaver (like a Honda civic type r). The Multipla is strange, weird and rather undesirable yet, despite this, the designers actually put a lot of thought into the car and as an alternative to buying a proper van, it makes perfect sense.
2. Toyota Prius
The first-gen Prius was boring, ugly, slow, and not particularly economical. The second-generation Prius is different. Toyota deserves credit for actually trying something new for once, rather than just following the market with another boring, small engined car. The Prius features technology that’s only just starting to appear on other brand’s vehicles, showing that it was ahead of its time. 0 – 60mph happens in less than 11 seconds, which isn’t that slow and peak power is rated at a small but usable 113bhp.
The Prius was one the first vehicles to feature an electronic ‘brake by wire’ system as well as an electronic gearbox system that replaced the conventional floor-mounted gear selector. They also added a unique electrically operated air conditioning system, the first of its kind. Unlike standard systems that pull their power from the engine’s fan belt, this system provides a continuous supply of cool air, even when the combustion engine has shut down in favor of the electric motor. The Prius was also one of the first cars to use regenerative braking, a feature that is now just coming in on Tesla and electric vehicles. It certainly isn’t a car for enthusiasts, but credit to Toyota for thinking outside of the box and developing some real-world, new technologies that we are just starting to see other brands use now.
3. Honda Civic
Look passed the rice boxes, the fart cans, and the VTEC memes, and you will see a vehicle that is actually one of the best cars for young enthusiasts. Hondas may have been taken over by ricers, but the actual car doesn’t deserve the hate. With small but punchy engines, light bodies and excellent handling, even a standard Civic can be a good car to drive. Especially in the 1990s, Honda was ruthless in the way that they engineered the Civic, ensuring that it was better than anything else on the market. This car is a perfect example of “don’t hate the car, hate the ricers.”
4. Scion XB
In the late 2000s, the market experienced a strange trend coming from the east: a set of box-shaped cars from Asian manufacturers that had people scratching their heads. These included the Scion Xb, the Nissan Cube, and the Honda Element. Probably more suited to the Japanese market, these boxes on wheels are easy to turn your nose up at. The thing is, the Scion XB is actually quite an interesting car.
The Xb uses space way more efficiently than your typical sedan, so it gives you the cargo space and headroom of a car double its size. Its compact car underpinnings mean that it doesn’t cost a great deal either. You end up with a car with a normal-sized footprint on the road, yet has all the cargo space most people could ever want. These cars have developed a cult following in some areas, due to being rather quirky.
5. Tesla Model S/X
Believe it or not, Tesla still attracts a lot of people who dislike the car. Many people dislike the car because it lacks an engine sound and a manual transmission. Range anxiety is a criticism people often bring up, yet the average consumers mostly do very few miles each day, well below the battery limits.
Even the base Tesla Model S does 0 – 60 in less than 6 seconds, faster than a lot of its rivals. You can’t argue with the performance that the electric drivetrain brings. The lack of engine sound is a factor that may limit its excitement for car guys, but anyone who dismisses electric vehicles as a fad is going to be in for a shock in the next 20 years. This new tech is going to be very important, and we can expect some very interesting and fun electric vehicles to come! Electrification doesn’t have to mean saying bye to enthusiast vehicles. All we need now is a few flagship supercars to become electric, and then that technology will start to trickle down into average consumer vehicles.
6. Chrysler PT Cruiser
Just kidding. This car actually deserves the hate. It’s not great. It’s not particularly clever, its retro styling is an acquired taste, and it’s made of mostly cheap materials. That said, if you want a sleeper, the cruiser is available with a 230bhp engine, which could surprise a few people!
Do you think I’m right or not? Let me know in the comments.