Home Cars 20 1990s Cars That Were Way Ahead Of Their Time

20 1990s Cars That Were Way Ahead Of Their Time

Cameron Eittreim December 29, 2021

Photo Credit: JDM

8: Honda Del Sol

In a short time, Honda created quite a few fun 1990s cars that defined the decade for the popular automaker. The Civic Si and CRX are two vehicles that come to mind. But the 1990s were a time of innovation, and one of the most innovative cars to come across was the Del Sol (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The roadster-inspired Civic was nothing short of amazing with its sleek styling and compact stature. An optional targa top made the Del Sol even more unique. Sadly, the car wasn’t practical enough for the average Civic shopper. There was no backseat and the cargo area was limited when most Civic buyers were looking for versatility and value.

Photo Credit: GM

7: Geo Tracker

Prior to the Tracker hitting the market, compact SUVs were never really a thing. But the diminutive SUV showed the world that you didn’t have to suffer from poor road manners and gas mileage. Based on the Suzuki Sidekick, the Geo Tracker was good on gas and relatively good at going off-road. Buyers wanted something that they could take to the beach or to the trail without having to break the bank (via Repair Pal).

Photo Credit: GM

The Tracker did that in spades and is still considered one of the best SUV models for the money. You can find these anywhere, and they are relatively reliable. Unfortunately, the Tracker didn’t make it past the 2004 model year. By the time the world was ready for a compact SUV, Toyota and Honda had innovated the segment.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

6: Honda CR-V

Although the Geo Tracker was the first compact SUV, the Honda CR-V did it right. Honda took all the elements of a great SUV and combined it into an attractive and affordable package. The first generation of the CR-V had refined road manners, a luxurious interior when you got the upmarket model, and a decent amount of versatility (via Car Gurus).

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Honda didn’t rely on gimmicks such as a removable top to sell the CR-V and it worked. The model became one of the best selling Hondas of all-time. With timeless styling and a comfortable interior, you can’t go wrong with a CR-V. Reliability is also the top reason people go for the CR-V on the used market. There is no doubt that the original CR-V was way ahead of its time.

Photo Credit: BMW

5: BMW Z3 Coupe

BMW is a brand that hit its stride in the ’90s. The BMW lineup from that decade is considered one of the best lineups in the history of the company. The Z3 Coupe is one of the most unique looking sports cars that came out. A hatchback design was incorporated with the standard design of the Z3 (via Consumer Reports).

Photo Credit: BMW

A relatively low production run made the Z3 coupe unique. There were no compact luxury sports coupes during this time, and the Z3 was an innovator. BMW was known for pushing the envelope of design around this time. Few cars are as notoriously rare as the Z3 Coupe is from this unique decade.

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4: Porsche 911

The Porsche brand was at a crossroads in the 1990s and the 993 body style was brand-new. From a design standpoint, the 911 was similar to the generations that came before it. But that might be the one thing that made Porsche special around this time. These Porsche models were increasingly modern and still look good to this day (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The 911 is also one of the best performing sports models on the road today. The interior had enough standard luxury features that the 911 was appealing. Even the most discerning Porsche enthusiast could seem themselves driving the 911. This sports car was far ahead of the curve in terms of design and performance.

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3: Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

The 1990s body style of the Mercedes Benz SL55 is as iconic as it is long in the tooth. This was one of the longest-running body styles for a Mercedes sports car. These cars have peaked in value and are catching good premiums when they go to the auction block. The SL55 had modern luxury features that we are used to seeing, and some that we aren’t (via New Car Test Drive).

Ref 42 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 F1 MRP
Photo Credit: Historics Auctioneers

The SL55 had an amazing performance out of the box that could rival even the most expensive sports cars. The interior is still considered high luxury today, and the powered convertible top was a nice touch. When it comes to classic supercars, the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG is worth considering.

Car - 1998 Toyota Supra
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2: Toyota Supra Turbo

As under-appreciated as it was, the final generation of the Supra Turbo has become an icon. The Toyota Supra Turbo had futuristic styling and a luxurious interior. Many of the cars were shared with the Lexus SC400. The underpinnings were some of the most advanced technical advances that went into a Toyota sports car (via Auto Detective).

1997 Toyota Supra - 1992 Toyota Supra
Photo Credit: Toyota

Unfortunately, when the Supra Turbo hit the market, the segment for sports cars was drying up. Consumers had shifted to sport utility vehicles, and the sports car was no longer popular. Later in the 2000s, though, the Supra Turbo was featured in the drifting scene and became more popular than ever.

Photo Credit: Acura

1: Acura NSX

The Acura brand has never been as popular as Lexus was for Toyota. But there have been quite a few unique Acura models. The NSX is one such model and one of the only super cars to come from Honda. The styling was far more unique than anything else on the market. To this day, the NSX is one of the most beautiful sports cars ever released (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Automobile

The performance of the NSX was at the top of the food chain. Many features that the NSX had are considered standard equipment. But when the NSX was brand new, these features were unique to say the least. The NSX will undoubtedly be one of the most popular 1990s cars ever and was certainly ahead of its time.

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