4 most dramatically overlooked and underrated cars
Generally, when a product sells better than its competitors, it usually means that it is better. But for cars that’s not always the case.
Great cars often are passed over by car buyers for more popular cars. This happens for a variety of reasons, such as the effort it takes to fully investigate an automotive market segment, brand loyalty or sticking to widely accepted ideas like “Toyotas are reliable.”
Here are some of those great cars that don’t sell nearly as well as their more pedestrian competitors.
Ford Flex: Best vehicle for road trips
The Ford Flex is probably the best vehicle for road trips you can buy. The Flex has tons of space, comfortable accommodations, and it can be quick when equipped with the optional 3.5 L Ecoboost engine that produces 365 hp and 350 ft-lbs of torque. That power also means that the Flex can tow up to 4,500 lbs, which is enough to tow most recreational trailers.
The interior of the Flex is nothing short of spacious. The Flex has three rows, allowing a seating capacity of up to seven people. The middle row is able to have either two captains chairs, or a single bench for three people. In the back, the Flex has available PowerFold seating that allows you to stow the rear seats with the touch of a button. Other options include a refrigerator for storing snacks and sodas on longer trips, front and rear moonroofs, and decidedly upmarket leather and wood trim.
All in all, the Ford Flex is the solution for anyone who doesn’t want to be seen in a minivan, doesn’t want to feel like they’re driving a giant SUV, and who finds wagons to be a bit too small. The Flex takes the best qualities from all of these categories and combines them into a single vehicle.
Chevy SS: Best ‘sleeper’ that money can buy
A “sleeper” is a term for a car that looks unassuming but packs a real punch, and the Chevrolet SS is the best sleeper that money can buy. The Chevy SS looks like a generic, handsome American four-door large sedan, but under the hood lies a 415 hp V8 that sends power to the rear wheels. This means that the Chevy SS is fast, but a policeman wouldn’t look twice at one. Not every fast car needs to look like it’s trying to eat the car in front of it, and there’s something to be said about not needing to show off.
The Chevrolet SS is also a pretty good bargain for what you get at $46,575. The interior is refined, and both a manual and an automatic transmission are available. The V8 engine gets the SS to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, while huge Brembo brakes can quickly bring it to a halt. Magnetic ride suspension that adjusts itself thousands of times per second is also standard.
The Chevy SS has performance you would get from a sports car in a body that is completely unassuming and comfortable. More people should be buying this car.
Mazda6: More fun to drive than its rivals
In 2015, Toyota sold 429,355 Camrys, making it the third-best-selling vehicle in America after Ford, Chevy and Dodge pick-up trucks. In the same year, Mazda only sold 57,897 Mazda6’s. This is a shame, because the Mazda6 is probably the best car in the very competitive mid-sized sedan segment.
First, it’s high compression engine SKYACTIV engine makes the Mazda6 more efficient and more powerful than the 4-cylinder Camry and Accords, putting out 184 hp and getting up to 40 mpg on the highway. The Mazda6 also looks fantastic inside and out, giving it a more premium feel than its rivals. Mazda also offers options such as radar cruise control, brake assist and lane departure warning.
At the end of the day, the Mazda6 is more fun to drive than its rivals and it is reliable. There’s no reason not to pick this car.
Dodge Viper: Get it while you can
When the Viper was first introduced in the early 1990s, it gained a bit of a reputation as a widowmaker. The original Viper’s V10 made 400 hp, but it lacked ABS and traction control, and it was difficult to drive at high speeds. The current generation Viper was designed to still be brash and loud, but be much easier to drive.
The Viper has an 8.4L V10 that can send 650 HP and 600 ft-lbs of torque to the widest rear wheels on a production car. The Viper has a top speed of 208 mph, and it can do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. The Viper is not just quick in a straight line, it can handle itself in the corners as well. The interior is made of fine materials like leather or alcantara, and is quite comfortable. This all adds up to a car that can truly be called a supercar, and one that stands out from the pack.
But the Viper’s days may be numbered. After selling only 676 units last year, FCA announced that it will be ending the production run in 2017. Get your Vipers while you can!