Certain models continue to draw the most interest and excitement in the automobile business, while other equally exceptional cars are frequently overlooked. Having evaluated a significant number of underappreciated and overhyped cars as an enthusiast, I wanted to focus on a few of the most underappreciated models that consumers should pay closer attention to.
Even if a car isn’t adorned with a fancy badge or isn’t frequently discussed in forums, it still deserves to be appreciated. Here are some of the best cars and trucks that are now on the market that are underappreciated and provide great driving experiences without the flash or commercial hype:
1. Mercedes E-Class
Due to its distinct market niche and lack of direct competitors, the Mercedes E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet are frequently overlooked. These cars are often ignored since they are positioned between the larger BMW 8 Series and Mercedes S-Class coupes and the smaller BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 convertibles.
Despite this, the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet maintain a pleasant ride quality while providing strong performance, particularly in the AMG versions. Mercedes’ mid-size coupe/cabrio is a lovely option for long travels; the 400 d diesel stands out as a favorite choice, offering a blend of speed, efficiency, and subtle styling.
2. KIA Stinger
With the Stinger, Kia has shown that it is capable of producing extremely high-quality sports sedans. With its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6, fast handling, and Gran Turismo styling cues, the Stinger can compete with German cars that are over twice as expensive.
It is disappointing that more buyers aren’t looking more closely at this exquisite, big touring Kia when searching for a comfortable mid-size sedan. It is worthwhile to cross-shop the Stinger with Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.
3. TOYOTA 4RUNNER
The 4Runner mid-size SUV is one of the most capable, dependable, and long-lasting 4x4s that may fit any budget while receiving little coverage from the media. Drivers seeking adventure adore the 4Runner’s off-road capabilities and features that increase confidence.
It can tackle trails that would be too difficult for most crossover SUVs. When you consider the 4Runner’s excellent dependability ratings and exceptional resale potential, families searching for a big, roomy SUV with a classic design should give it additional consideration.
4. MAZDA CX-5
In the small crossover market, the Mazda CX-5 distinguishes out thanks to its sporty handling, luxurious amenities, and fuel-efficient turbo engine. It demonstrates that a reasonably priced crossover can provide a pleasurable driving experience without sacrificing anything.
Comparably, the Mazda 6—which is sometimes overlooked—competes favorably with well-known sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. With a stylish exterior, a potent 184 horsepower engine, and superb handling, the Mazda 6 is a sports sedan that looks like a practical suburban vehicle.
5. Volkswagen up! GTI
Even though the Volkswagen is up! GTI is getting older, but it still has a youthful spirit that is evocative of the legendary Mk1 Golf GTI. With 113 horsepower from a 1.0-liter turbocharged engine, the smallest car in the Volkswagen portfolio to bear the GTI label is powerful for its small size. The engine uses less fuel, yet the cabin still has the sturdy construction that Volkswagen vehicles are known for.
The steering isn’t as thrilling as it could be, but it’s still an improvement over the previous model. still provides a good amount of enjoyment. The up! GTI is a great option for people looking for the dynamic spirit of the original Golf GTI in a contemporary, safe package.
6. Genisis G70
Hyundai’s new luxury brand, Genesis, creates cars that are competitively priced with high-end German rivals. Specifically, the G70 performance sedan offers a refined exterior and interior design blend, well-balanced athletic handling, and strong, smooth engines.
Notwithstanding these advantages, its lack of distinction and brand cachet makes it difficult to lure customers away from the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. Nonetheless, the G70 sticks out as a value-packed choice, providing unparalleled luxury among entry-level sports sedans, for discriminating buyers who are willing to explore.
7. FORD MUSTANG ECOBOOST
The EcoBoost, a four-cylinder turbocharged Mustang, has the same iconic appearance and chassis as the V8 variant. Despite its smaller engine, it gets over 30 miles per gallon on the interstate.
The 310-horsepower turbo-four Mustang is a great option for drivers who don’t need a lot of power for their everyday commute. At about $27,000, the elegant EcoBoost Mustang is a performance value that’s often missed in dealership showrooms.
8. The Mazda CX-30
The Mazda CX-30, despite its underappreciation, is a great option for a family SUV due to its remarkable driving characteristics. Characteristic engines and agile steering give the CX-30 a connection that many of its rivals lack, naturally balancing ride comfort and handling.
Even though its handling may not be as good as the MX-5’s, by SUV standards, it effectively reduces body roll. The spacious, minimalist interior feels more expensive than some of its more expensive German competitors. It also has excellent safety scores, being among the safest vehicles ever evaluated by Euro NCAP.
9. The Citroen C4 Cactus
In the small SUV class, the Citroen C4 Cactus is a unique option that presents a striking contrast. Even though its style has become a little more understated, it still boasts distinctive elements like its slim headlamps and simple interior. Citroen’s focus on comfort offers a pleasant ride, particularly on highways, and is a welcome diversion from the sportier SUV trends.
Despite having a reduced roofline, the C4 Cactus manages to blend eccentric flair and utility well, providing competitive cargo capacity when compared to a Volkswagen Golf.
10. KIA TELLURIDE
The Telluride, a new large SUV from Kia, rivals SUVs with far greater prices thanks to its luxurious amenities and high-end trimmings. With its roomy cargo area, elegant exterior, and luxurious interior, the Telluride should be on any family’s list of vehicles to buy. Though underappreciated, this SUV is a serious competitor for the top spot in the market.
Don’t just go with the flow when choosing your next vehicle; these underappreciated models provide an enjoyable ownership experience on par with more well-known luxury vehicles. Insightful consumers should look past popular selections to find undiscovered treasures that, although they may not top bestseller lists, are the ideal fit for their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
What makes a car underrated?
Cars can be underrated because of factors like overshadowing by competitors, newer technologies in rival models, badge snobbery, or a memorable marketing campaign that shifts attention.
How does Auto Express rate cars?
Auto Express rates cars by considering their performance in comparison to competitors and their suitability for the target audience. The coveted five-star rating is reserved for the best-of-the-best models.
What are common reasons for cars being overlooked?
Cars can be overlooked due to minor imperfections, advertising hype, or current fashion trends. Sometimes, a flaw or controversial design can contribute to a car’s lack of recognition.
The Bottom Line
In a world where certain car models attract the spotlight, there are equally remarkable yet underrated vehicles deserving attention. These overlooked gems, such as the Mercedes E-Class Coupe, Kia Stinger, and Toyota 4Runner, offer outstanding driving experiences without the glamour or excessive marketing.
From the capable and reliable 4Runner to the engaging Mazda CX-5 and the value-packed Genesis G70, these cars provide a unique and enjoyable ownership experience often overshadowed by their high-profile counterparts. As savvy buyers seek beyond the mainstream, they’ll find these underrated models, like the Kia Telluride, offer a compelling blend of luxury, performance, and practicality, challenging the dominance of more heavily advertised options.