12 new cars that will never go out of style
Some cars never go out of style. It's rare, but it does happen. You are getting old. They are being written off. But they never stop looking cool.
Some may call them modern or instant classics. Within a few years they are no longer the newest or the best, no longer the flavor of the month, but they remain special. Always special. Timeless.
Those cars won't necessarily be worth a fortune one day. However, some models may not lose as quickly or as much as other models. But we're not talking about that here. These are the cars that roadside enthusiasts will always find desirable. It's the cars that you buy late at night on eBay 10 years later because you can't get them out of your head. It's the cars that will delight you forever when you spot a clean car in traffic or in a parking lot.
In the last few decades there have been many more recent examples that could immediately be considered design classics. But then we started thinking about which 2021 models are going to be forever cool to stare at? What new cars and trucks for sale today will we buy on eBay late at night in the 2030s? We took supercars and other ultra-expensive cars off the list to keep things within reach, and we ended up with 12 cars in total.
We don't use a numeric ranking for any of the cars on this list, but if we were the Lexus LC would be number 1. There is no other car design out there that can stir our emotions the way an LC can if it just does stands still. This car is a concept design that has come true in the most beautiful possible way, and it's a winner for concours events decades in the future. All of that overwhelming praise, and we haven't even gotten to the LC 500's heady 5.0-liter V8. It doesn't win drag races. It won't be the fastest on the track against similarly expensive competition. But none of that matters. It's probably the best car you can buy new, and that says it all when it comes to the LC.
It may not be all the madness the Lexus LC is, but the new C8 Corvette is and will remain a special vehicle. It's the first mid-engined Corvette that instantly cemented it into something of an automotive Hall of Fame. All of the performance stats and specs are there to back up its supercar-like appearance, and it remains the best performance bargain sold today. In addition to the exotic exterior of the C8, it is also the first Corvette to offer an interior that rivals luxury competitors from head to toe. There are so many reasons the C8 will remain desirable for years to come, which means it more than deserves to be on this list.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Ask us which four-door sedan we'd park in our garage, and before our brains can stop us, our hearts have already forced "Giulia" on our tongues. It's been a couple of years since the Giulia started selling here, but it doesn't matter because it's just as beautiful today as it was then. You don't have to go for the Quadrifoglio model to capture the beauty of the Giulia's design, but it doesn't hurt either. We never tire of hearing the Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 sing its sweet Italian tune, and the styling is guaranteed to remain attractive for years to come.
Ford Bronco 2-door and 4-door
Ford just wrote its own styling for the new Bronco 2-door and 4-door, so how could the new one go out of style if the old one is still breaking its necks today? The variety of looks and styles that Ford offers for the Bronco also helps. The Base 2-Door with Manual might be the ideal build for someone, but someone else's dream Bronco could be the 4-Door Badlands with the Sasquatch package. These two look very different, but they will both be timeless. Just like the next off-roader on this list, we suspect the Bronco is a long way from going out of style.
When the Bronco gets in, so does the Wrangler. Jeep has had no real reason to change the Wrangler so drastically in the past few generations, which is evidence that it can be stylish for decades to come. You can get bigger tires than ever, add a bunch of LED lights, and even get it with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but the Wrangler's basic design goodness got nowhere. Just look at the used prices and you will find that the Wrangler doesn't seem to have an end date when it will lose its popularity. Old wranglers are cool. New Wranglers are cool, and it's very likely that future Wranglers will be cool too.
Of course we include the Porsche 911 on this list. The 992 generation of the 911 is perhaps the largest and most Grand Tourer-esque to date, but beyond the obvious high costs it makes itself almost immune to criticism. Just like the Wrangler and the Bronco earlier on this list, Porsche is making the 911, with its numerous body styles and power levels, something that gets your money's worth. It doesn't matter which generation 911 you pull up - they all stay in style. And yes, even the long unpopular 996 generation is heading for a comeback and a price increase. All in all, it's hard to imagine a model that fits this list better than the 911.
Audi RS6 Avant
Here we are now in the wagon world. The RS6 Avant may have taken second place behind the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon in our group test, but that doesn't change the fact that it is by far the better look. Hot Audi station wagons as long as they go back (RS2 Avant) never lose their style or cool factor. To see that the RS6 Avant is easily one of the best looking cars to buy today, it is a slight nod to be included on this list. Just check it out! This car will outlast any other performance crossover or SUV with a stupid big margin of desirability and depreciation.
The V90 could have easily made this list too, but we chose the V60 because of the Polestar Engineered model available and the sportier design. Every Volvo car of the past few decades is proof enough that the latest and greatest deserves a place among other cars that never go out of style. They're boxy, quirky, and oh so pleasant to drive and stare at. We're not sure how long PHEVs will last, but if there's a relatively affordable PHEV for enthusiasts from this era, it has to be the V60 T8 Polestar Engineered. This car will last, and even if one day you can pick it up at reasonable prices, it will always be a piece of fascination for anyone who loves cars.
This one is almost as easy to incorporate as the Porsche 911. The question of the best affordable sports car is alive today with the introduction of the new BRZ and GR 86, but the Miata is hands down the iconic choice with the longest history behind it. The fact that Miata's ND generation looks so darn good makes it even easier to explain their timelessness. Mazda gave us the super tiny, light, and pretty sports car that we all wanted. It drives exactly as we'd like it to, so there's no way this little Miata is going to go out of style anytime soon.
Now that the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro have taken the sports car direction, it is only Dodge that holds the position of real American muscle. No car illustrates this point better than the Dodge Challenger. It's nostalgia strapped to a massive, supercharged V8 that makes enough noise to be instantly the pariah of any neighborhood. We haven't seen a better application of retro styling cues on a sports car since then, and considering the general shape and design hasn't changed in ages, it's safe to say that Dodge got it right. We know the electrified dodges are coming, so enjoy this timeless classic while it's still here and drink the last drop of gasoline it can.
The F-Type is one of those cars that looks good enough to let us overlook some of its main flaws. It's What You Buy When Style Is Your Number One Buying Factor. A 911 will surpass it. A Corvette will surpass it. But nothing will surpass the F-Type in terms of pure styling quality. And if you get the R or SVR, nothing will beat the sound it roars from its hellish quad exhaust. No matter what the Consumer Reports reliability studies say, this Jaguar will always have a special place in our hearts and it is well deserved.
We're going to end this list with some off-road Toyota goodness. The Tacoma could serve as an alternative in this case, but our all-time favorite is the 4Runner. Toyota trucks don't change often, and when they do, change is slow. That's all well and good for the 4Runner, because it's a top-notch design in the off-road vehicle category. The simple and rugged SUV styling just doesn't get old, and while others far surpass it in technology, the 4Runner never stops being cool. Like virtually every other Toyota truck, the 4Runner will retain its value well into its later years, and Toyota's design is one of the big factors that owe it to us.
Do you have a disagreement about this list or your own nominations? Suggest us in the comments below.
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