On average, today’s vehicles are significantly faster than they’ve ever been.
Consider that a 2020 Hyundai Accent sedan making do with just 120 hp can run 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, which absolutely obliterates the 9.7-second figure that a 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28’s mustered—and that “muscle” car pumped out 165 ponies!
And that’s not even getting to the exotic stuff.
An entirely new category of ultra-high-performance cars called hypercars was created because supercars suddenly seemed downright inadequate in describing the godlike capabilities of modern mega-dollar exotics.
In the age of BMW M5s hitting 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds without breaking a sweat, you can still find vehicles on the opposite side of the straight-line speed spectrum.
Here are five new cars that are saddled with acceleration so positively glacial that you’re better off watching paint dry before they shamble across the quarter-mile mark:
2020 Nissan Kicks (0-60 mph: 10.5 sec)
If you get your kicks from impeding your fellow motorists from reaching their destination on time by piloting a lethargic crossover on freeways, then the Nissan Kicks is your ride. Nissan unwisely paired an anemic 122 hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder with a CVT transmission to power its diminutive crossover, so we suppose you should expect highway passing to be an exercise in patience (and frustration). Still, there are sprightlier crossovers for similar money so we suggest you opt for those if you don’t want to be smoked off the line by mail jeeps and ice cream trucks.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid (0-60 mph: 10.7 sec)
Toyota did a fine job sprucing up its ubiquitous Corolla sedan for 2020—snazzy styling, impressive standard equipment, and an available hybrid trim make this perennial economy car more appealing than ever. Where Toyota may have dropped the ball is with the Corolla Hybrid’s Prius-sourced 121 hp powertrain. The hybridized Corolla crawls from 0-60 mph in 10.7 seconds and wheezes past the quarter-mile in 18 seconds. For best results, plan your passing maneuvers weeks ahead of time.
2020 Toyota C-HR (0-60 mph: 11 sec)
The 2020 Toyota C-HR may flaunt some bold, aggressive styling cues that hint at sporting intentions, but bury the gas pedal to the floor and you’ll be alarmed at how little forward momentum is achieved. Its pokey pace can be blamed partly on a languid 144 hp four-cylinder that’s forced to push around 3,300 lbs of pork, but the CVT transmission is also culpable due to its narcoleptic tuning. They say that speed kills, but attempt to merge with freeway traffic in the C-HR and you’ll be convinced that slow kills, too.
2020 Ford EcoSport (0-60 mph: 11.2 sec)
The standard 1-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine in the Ford EcoSport generates a somewhat respectable 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, but this is simply not enough grunt to provide anything but sluggish acceleration for the 3,000 lbs cute-ute. Aggressive throttle mapping gives you the illusion of hustle off the line, but attempt to prod the EcoSport deeper into its powerband and you’ll run out of steam quicker than a dollar store tea kettle. Pro tip: Spring for the optional 166 hp 2.0-liter engine to avoid being tailgated by parade floats.
2020 Mitsubishi Mirage (0-60 mph: 12 sec)
Mitsubishi wisely named its 78 hp tortoise-on-wheels the Mirage because you’ll quickly realize that any traffic behind you is an optical illusion—these cars have actually passed you eons ago. Slow doesn’t even begin to describe just how slothlike the Mirage accelerates. Throttle-response is lazier than a sunbathing sloth (we’ll lay off the sloths now), merging with modern freeway traffic is downright dangerous, and don’t even think about trying to pass anything but a disabled vehicle—and even then, the odds are likely that the stalled car will start up again and spring away by the time you’re within 1,000 feet of passing it.