One of the great things about cars is that there are all kinds of vehicles for all kinds of needs, wants, and desires. Some people want the car that accelerates the fastest. Others want a car built for going around corners as fast as possible. Still others just want the cheapest car that will get them from point A to point B without breaking down. For those kinds of people, there are all kinds of cars available. Some people even like the looks of those fast cars but really prefer n automobile that doesn’t necessarily drive like a sports car. While it may sound contradictory, there are actually quite a few cars out there that fit that bill. Here are the top 10.
1. Volkswagen CC
The Volkswagen Passat is by most accounts a very capable family sedan. It’s comfortable and spacious, and the option of an incredibly fuel-efficient diesel engine makes it a serious road trip car. It isn’t, however, the most beautiful sedan on the market. The Passat-based Volkswagen CC, on the other hand, is much more attractive. With a fastback roof line and a “four-door coupe” look, the CC looks like it costs twice as much as it does. It might not drive like a true sports sedan, but everyone you pass on the street will believe it does.
2. Scion tC
In most respects, the Scion tC drives a lot like a slightly quicker Toyota Corolla, and from the driver’s seat, you would probably think you’re sitting in a two-door Corolla. It doesn’t look like a Corolla from the outside, though. Instead, the tC is angular and aggressive. There’s an FR-S inspired grille, angular headlights, and a sporty roofline that will have other drivers thinking your car is much more sporty than it is.
3. Lexus CT200h
While the Lexus CT200h doesn’t get quite the same gas mileage as the Toyota Prius, they do both share a lot of components. More importantly, they’re built on the same platform and use the same engine. The CT200h’s hybrid system is only able to achieve a combined 41 miles per gallon, though. What you get in exchange is a car that looks every bit the part of a hot hatch. It’s not particularly fast but looks like it is, and you’ll get great fuel mileage in the meantime.
4. Ford Fusion
Many years ago, Aston Martin borrowed the look of the Ford Mustang for its Aston Martin V8 coupe. For 2013, Ford paid back the favor by borrowing Aston Martin’s styling for the Fusion. At its heart, it’s just a midsize family sedan, but if Ford hadn’t already sold half a million of them, no one would know. The charade would be up once someone finally drove it, but if the Fusion were badged as a Jaguar or Maserati, it’s doubtful that anyone would bat an eyelash. It’s just a very good-looking car.
The first-generation Mazda3, Mazda’s replacement for the Protege, was attractive for the segment and well styled, but it wasn’t exactly eye-catching. With the second generation, Mazda perhaps got a bit carried away with its bolder styling, giving that generation a look that was just a little too happy. With the third generation, though, Mazda got it absolutely right. The current Mazda3 is gorgeous, especially in hatch form. It’s on the sportier side of its class, but it’s not a true performance car. But just because it’s not a performance car doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed for its looks.
6. Hyundai Veloster
Figuring out what the Hyundai Veloster is can be a bit confusing. From one side, it looks like it has two doors and a hatch. From the other, it looks like it has four doors and a hatch. In actuality, it has three doors and a hatch. The unique door configuration helps maintain its practicality while also allowing Hyundai to give it some serious style. It’s really an economy car that starts at $18,000, but there isn’t a cooler car on the market that won’t cost you at least an extra $7,000.
7. Lincoln MKZ
Lincoln has had a rough go of it ever since the LS was cancelled, but Ford has promised that it’s committed to changing all that. The first step toward bringing Lincoln back was to introduce the MKZ, a midsize sedan based on the already gorgeous Ford Fusion. The MKZ’s humble underpinnings might keep it from being a true luxury sedan, but that didn’t stop the designers at Lincoln from gifting it with a striking look all of its own.
The Mazda6 might not sell quite as many units as, say, the Toyota Camry, but it’s going to be hard to find anybody who doesn’t see the latest midsize sedan from Mazda and at least find it gorgeous. It’s a solid vehicle that’s well-built and would make an excellent substitute for the Camry or Accord just based on factors like comfort and refinement, but it also has the looks of a much higher-end sedan. In 20 years, there may be more Honda Accords still driving, but in 50 years, don’t be surprised if people have started collecting the Mazda6.
9. Volvo V60
What list would be complete without a station wagon? They may have fallen out of style with many Americans who look at wagons as slightly less cool than minivans, but they’re undeniably practical. Unlike the boxy, dull station wagons that you may remember, the Volvo V60 pulls it off in style. No one will mistake it for anything other than a station wagon, but the V60 will definitely make them reconsider their opinion that station wagons are lame. Can you really beat good looks and practicality? I think not.
10. Mercedes CLA 250
Originally priced at $29,900, the CLA 250 made Mercedes one of the first luxury car manufacturers to dip below the $30,000 mark. The price has now been raised to $31,500, but it still undercuts the price of the Mercedes C-Class significantly. The CLA might not feel like a true luxury sedan, even if you option it up, but it certainly looks the part. Compared to similarly priced cars like the Audi A3 and the Acura TLX, the CLA has a way bolder look. If you’re looking to grab attention on the street, your least expensive option is definitely the Mercedes CLA 250.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.