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20 Popular Sports Cars Today’s Drivers Forgot Existed

Cameron EittreimOctober 13, 2021

Photo Credit: Edmunds

7: E36 BMW 318is

The E36 BMW of the 1990s was a game changer for the brand. From the styling to the performance, everything about this beamer was better. The luxury aspects of the car made it much more reasonable to live with. Many consumers also enjoyed the compact nature, although the interior was comfortable (via Classic World).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The 318is will be one of the most popular BMW models of all time. Many were sold, and it became a common car. Some have forgotten that this BMW existed, but for a short period, it was one of the most popular. For the price and luxury characteristics, you can’t go wrong with the 318is.

Photo Credit: Ford

6: Ford Probe

It’s funny to look back on it now, but there was a time when Ford believed the Probe would replace the Mustang. The executives quickly realized that wasn’t going to be the case, however. The Probe was a decent car, especially in the 24V version. But true pony car enthusiasts are loyal to the Mustang brand and the Probe wasn’t going to change that (via Driving Line).

Ford Probe 24V
Photo Credit: Ford

There were some reliability issues with early Probe models, but this had been rectified by the 1990s. Many people have forgotten about the 1990s Probe. The car was lesser-known yet it had modern styling and decent performance for the price. Even if you aren’t a Ford person, giving the Probe a second chance might not be a bad idea.

Photo Credit: Subaru

5: Subaru SVX

In the 1990s, Subaru was far from the trendy and well-regarded company it is today. They were throwing mud at the proverbial wall to see what stuck. The SVX didn’t stick, and most drivers were confused by the looks of the car. But from an honest performance perspective, the SVX is one of the best driving cars you’ll ever experience. The all-wheel-drive motion gave the SVX a stellar driving characteristic that still can’t be matched (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Subaru

The prices for the SVX on the used market have remained steady. You get a lot of cars for the price, and the styling still looks good to this day. There were a few different SVX models, and if you can get a later one, you’ll be much happier. The SVX is sort of the start for Subaru beginning to explore the sports car market.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

4: Fourth Generation Pontiac Firebird

The final generation of the Pontiac Firebird is a relic of GM’s past. Even Jay Leno owns a 2002 model, and there is a lot to like about this car. The Corvette-powered LT1 and later the LS1 are two of the best engines GM ever made. From bulletproof performance to stellar reliability, the LS1 will be running long after the rest of the car falls apart (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Even with that being said, the Firebird had some of the most iconic stylings of any car around in addition to being one of the last cars to have pop-up headlights. We’re sorry GM won’t revive the Firebird because Pontiac is no more. The Firebird is still one of the most iconic muscle cars thatever graced the roads.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

3: Tenth Generation Ford Thunderbird

The final Ford Thunderbird, who could go wrong with this one? On top of being a rear-wheel-drive coupe, it also featured a V8 engine. The mixture made the car one of the best driving experiences of all time. The Ford Thunderbird had a lot going for it with the smooth styling and spacious interior. If you wanted a V8-powered Ford but didn’t like the SN-95 Mustang, the Thunderbird was the car to get (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Many things about the Thunderbird have made it a memorable ride. But it’s easy to forget many ’90s cars because of the bland styling. A new generation of drivers are missing out by not experiencing what this car has to offer. You can find one for a cheap price, and you’ll be delighted with the performance for the price.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

2: Eighth Generation Mercury Cougar

The final Mercury coupe ever hit the road was the cat eye-inspired Cougar. Although it didn’t have a V8 engine, this was a peppy little sports car. Many drivers forget this short period for Mercury, where the brand reinvented itself. The Cougar has modern styling that still looks good to this day (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The interior was fairly roomy, and many of the underpinnings were shared with the Mustang. The handling is also one of the best features of this car. You can find a Cougar from this generation for almost nothing. Many times, the cars are still in excellent running condition with a little work, and you can’t go wrong with the styling.

Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

1: C4 Chevrolet Corvette

The C4 Corvette is by far the most forgotten Corvette model of all time. This model lacked the traditional characteristics of the later models but made up for it by offering stellar performance. The styling was nothing to sneeze at, and the performance was above average. The Targa-top was an attractive option for those who didn’t want to opt for a convertible model. The C5 Corvette often overshadows the C4, but there is a lot to love there (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: GM

The C4 had many unique features that made it stand out, and you can find one for a fairly inexpensive price. Few cars have managed to create the same type of impact as the C4 Corvette in a short period. From the styling to the unique performance, the C4 is a true gem in the storied history of the Corvette line.

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