5 Overrated Cars And Their Underrated Alternatives

There have been many lists of underrated and overrated cars published over the years, but what if I were to combine the two? In this post I'll talk about overrated cars and propose an alternative to the gearheads on a budget.

Cadillac Escalade
Substitute: GMC Yukon

Loved by hip hop artists and Southern California residents alike, the Cadillac Escalade is as much of a status symbol as it is a vehicle. While the Escalade is rather popular, perhaps it doesn’t entirely deserve that attention. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Escalade has a lot in common with the GMC Yukon, they are both built using the same chassis and powertrain; at least the Range Rover has it’s own chassis. You can buy a high end Yukon for thousands of dollars cheaper than the Escalade and still have a lot of features the Cadillac has (6.2 liter V8 for example).

BMW E30 M3
Substitute: Honda S2000

Apart from the Mazda Miata, the E30 M3 is said by some to be one of the purest driver’s cars you can buy. It’s when you compare the E30 to it’s younger siblings that the kinks in it’s armor are shown. The Honda S2000 is a Mazda Miata on steroids and is also more common and cheaper than the E30. It may not have a solid roof or back seats but it is one of the most involving driver’s car that isn’t new.

Mark 4 Toyota Supra
Substitute: Nissan 300ZX Z32 TT

It’s not uncommon to see 90’s Supras in good condition going for over $50,000 on the used car market, a price that is out of reach for many gearheads. The Nissan Z32 300ZX TT could be better than the lauded Supra in many aspects. Motor Week tested a 300ZX TT against a Mark 4 Supra in the 1990’s and the Nissan handily beat the Supra in straight line acceleration. A Z32 300ZX TT can definitely be obtained for less than $20,000, you can find one for under $10,000 if you’re lucky.

Foxbody Mustang
Substitute: Third Generation Firebird

Personally, I actually have recently fallen for the third generation pony car from Ford, but that hasn’t stopped me from realizing what it’s flaws are. The Foxbody uses 4 lug axles which limits wheel selection, Motor Week discovered the handling left much to be desired, the looks aren’t the best, the steering feel is okay at best and the brakes don’t inspire much confidence. Despite these shortcomings, the Foxbody is still immensely popular in today’s car culture while it’s Firebird competitor has remained rather ignored. Not only does the Pontiac handle better, you can get yourself one with a bigger and more powerful engine, 350 cubic inches of displacement versus 302 with the Mustang.

Skyline GT-R
Substitute: Mitsubishi 3000GT

The R32 through R34 Skyline GT-R has a twin turbocharged 6 cylinder engine, all wheel drive and four wheel steering. The Mitsubishi 3000GT has all of those features plus active aerodynamics AND a cheaper price tag in the used car market. You can also buy the Dodge Stealth, a rebadged 3000GT but the Stealth doesn’t have active aerodynamics like the 3000GT. While the 3000GT doesn’t have the racing heritage of the Skyline GT-R, it’s still a viable alternative to the mighty Godzilla.

While the Mazda Miata is overrated, I couldn't think of any good alternatives for it. The S2000 is more expensive and old European roadsters have shoddy reliability.





08/16/2017 - 03:36 |
11 | 0

should have had the r33 for the skyline

edit: didnt read lel xd

08/16/2017 - 03:42 |
0 | 0

what do you mean S2000 is a mere replacement for the E30
it’s a car that far surpasses the E30

08/16/2017 - 03:53 |
0 | 0
Dat Incredible Chadkake

In reply to by Caro

not in practicality

08/16/2017 - 04:24 |
0 | 0

That’s why the Miata is so overrated. It doesn’t have a close enough rival to have anything considered against it. Those looking for something similar to a Miata really only have the Miata, so it’s critically acclaimed. It’s still good, though.

08/16/2017 - 03:54 |
29 | 1

Closest car I can think of is the Pontiac Solstice. The Z3/4 also comes to mind, but that may be pushing it…

08/16/2017 - 04:13 |
3 | 0

Damn, you’re right……

08/16/2017 - 17:59 |
0 | 0

Doesn’t that statement contradict itself a little? It’s not like others haven’t tried to take on the MX-5. It’s got the formula/balance so right no one even bothers to try to match it any more. It has also changed and evolved over the years and IMO the latest one is easily the best with the weight stripping, fuel efficiency and looks (subjective). So it’s not just like Mazda are just resting on their laurels :)

01/16/2018 - 02:01 |
0 | 0

This meme is so universal, I’m just gunna start spamming it everywhere.

08/16/2017 - 03:59 |
15 | 2

The S2000 being the underrated alternative to the E30? You sure about that?

Otherwise the rest of these are pretty good. Especially the Supra to Z32 one.

08/16/2017 - 04:11 |
10 | 0

What about a Daihatsu Copen as an alternative to the MX5?

08/16/2017 - 04:42 |
1 | 0

It isn’t in America, so that’s a no, sadly.

08/16/2017 - 05:06 |
1 | 0
Andrew G.

Better underrated alternative imo to the e30 M3 is a Mercedes 190E or Volvo 240 turbo.

08/16/2017 - 04:58 |
9 | 0

The merc really is worshipped by gear head tho

08/16/2017 - 13:05 |
1 | 0

In Norway (and I think Sweden as well) the Volvo 240 is really overrated

08/16/2017 - 13:08 |
1 | 0

In terms of MX-5 alternatives, might I suggest the MG-F or Lotus Elise?

08/16/2017 - 05:22 |
0 | 0
Dat Incredible Chadkake

In reply to by Wogmidget

the lotus elise isn’t very affordable, the mg-f maybe

08/16/2017 - 06:17 |
0 | 0

Toyota MR-S?

08/16/2017 - 10:07 |
0 | 0

The GT-R didn’t have active aero but the GTSt and GTS25t did…

08/16/2017 - 05:37 |
0 | 0

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