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30 Cars That Can Help Drivers Survive A Midlife Crisis

Vukasin HerbezJuly 3, 2020

Psychologists define a midlife crisis as “a loss of self-confidence and feeling of anxiety or disappointment that can occur in early middle age,” that affects the male population ages 45 to 56. You might wonder what this topic has to do with cars.

If you know anything about men in a midlife crisis, you know they are the biggest market for flashy rides. They believe nothing can show you still have it like a new convertible in your driveway. Most midlife men spend their money on cars they wish they had for years because they finally can afford them.

So read on to learn about some of the best midlife crisis cars. They aren’t a whole lot unlike some long-lost sports cars you can buy and fix up. Those models are perfect if you want to make your neighbors and friends jealous. They may even convince you that getting older is nothing to fear. This is a list of the perfect midlife crisis cars for those born in the late ’60s and early ’70s. If you are in the throes of a mid-life crisis, these gems from the ’80s or ’90s and new status symbols could be the cure.

30. Shelby GT350

Ford’s pony car has been on the market for over 50 years and still feels as young as ever. That’s exactly why middle-aged men want it. The Mustang is the definitive muscle car that has survived many market changes. It continues to deliver great performance.

There are numerous models to choose from, ranging from classic models to modern 2.3-liter EcoBoost fastbacks. However, if you are in a midlife crisis looking for a Mustang, a V8 can do the trick. The best V8 Mustang currently in production is the mighty Shelby GT350. Although they based the Shelby on the Mustang GT, much of the car’s suspension, design, aero package, and engine are new.

The biggest difference was the fantastic Voodoo engine, with 5.2-liter displacement, 526 HP, and 429 lb-ft of torque. The main feature of this high-revving powerplant is the flat-plane crank technology. It allows the big V8 to scream to almost 9,000 rpm. It is the same technology exotic manufacturers like Ferrari use. Ford’s investment into the Shelby GT 350 R paid off since the performance is mind-boggling with 3.9 seconds for 0 to 60 mph.

29. Cadillac Escalade

Although the Escalade is not a sports car or a flashy convertible, it’s still a good midlife crisis car. It’s big, expensive and opulent. And it is a Cadillac, which still represents something great in the motoring world. Cadillac jumped into the luxury SUV bandwagon relatively late in 1999 with the first-generation Escalade.

Even though it was nothing more than a rebadged Suburban, the Caddy was one of the most dominant models on the market. The reason was the opulence of classic Cadillacs easily translates to the 21st century as well as the luxury SUV segment. Cadillac understood the opportunity, so they presented three generations of the biggest, most opulent luxury SUV models available.

The market went crazy for these apartment complexes on wheels. The Escalade is still a rebadged Suburban, but Cadillac hides that with an enormous amount of luxury goods and specific details. The Escalade is perfect for people who want to show off their success.

28. Mercedes SL

This German luxury convertible is one of the classics of the midlife crisis car genre. It’s been a favorite of drivers looking for tan automotive fountain of youth. Even before the 911 became a transport of grey-haired drivers, the SL had an older clientele. And most are more concerned with appearance than performance and dynamics.

Mercedes realized this, so they made cars offering the looks of a sports convertible with the comfort and equipment of a luxury sedan. The combination seemed to work like a charm because people loved the premium feel. This Mercedes convertible came with soft seats and a comfortable cabin. The SL looked like an open-top sports car and even its numbers suggested that it was.

These older Mercedes models still retain a high level of prestige and performance. Over the course of 12 production seasons, Mercedes produced over 200,000 examples with several engines. However, the most sought-after cars come with 5.0-liter V8 or 6.0-liter V12 units. Go for V8 models since they are more affordable yet offer almost the same level of refinement as their V12 cousins.

27. Porsche 911

The 911 started as an affordable sports car for driving enthusiasts. 50 years later, it became one of the most popular midlife crisis models. There are several reasons why the 911 is so popular with wealthy car owners all over the world. First, it’s a great car and a joy to drive. Second, it is one of the most iconic shapes in the industry and a recognizable status symbol. Third, Porsche holds its value. You may think of it as an investment, not just a full-size toy.

Over the years, they produced numerous 911 models, so there are a dozen variants to choose from today. Expect to pay close to $100,000 for the standard model and almost $300,000 for the exclusive Turbo S and GT3 RS models. However, you can also choose the GTS or 991 R. The R stands as a reminder of those ultra-rare, lightweight models from the late ’60s.

The 911s have a lightweight body and lack of luxuries. They also have cloth seats and naturally aspirated engines with 493 HP and six-speed manual transmissions. This is the perfect blend of modern technology and old-school driving feel, but with one flaw. Porsche built only 991 examples, all of which sold out quickly. So if you want one today, be ready to pay a cool million.

26. Chevrolet Corvette

America’s first true sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette has captured the imagination of car enthusiasts worldwide for over six decades. As the dream of countless boys obsessed with cars, the Corvette is a true American icon. It’s also a popular midlife crisis ride for people who grew up wanting one and are finally able to afford it.

The current C7 Corvette is a fantastic sports car that comes in two body styles and several versions. They also made an interesting hybrid model that proved to be one of the best Corvettes they ever made: the 2017 Grand Sport. Chevy named the car for those ill-fated racing Vettes from the early ’60s.

The modern Grand Sport has a 460 HP engine from the regular Corvette with a wide-body and track from the Z06. This combination proved to be the winning formula. The Grand Sport has normal handling and driving dynamics with a better, wider stance while retaining the dramatic looks of the Z06.

25. Cadillac CTS-V

For years, Cadillac was without the proper performance cars they needed to compete with BMW or Mercedes. But finally, the V-Series was born. It was all that Cadillac lovers dreamed of with its powerful engines, world-class handling, and suspension setups as well as exclusive production. Even competitors took notice when Cadillac rolled up with the new V-Series.

The most successful was the second-generation CTS-V model produced between 2008 and 2014. Under the hood was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 556 HP. This combination made the CTS-V the most powerful performance sedan on the market. The suspension and the rest of the drive train were advanced and up to the task too.

With a 556 HP LS9 V8 engine and 0 to 60 mph time of just 3.8 seconds, the second-generation CTS-V was one of the fastest four-door vehicles on the planet. This made it a true muscle car sedan, perfect for drivers experiencing a midlife crisis who need a sedan but don’t want to sacrifice performance.

24. Mazda Miata

Ever since the first Mazda Miata rolled off the assembly line in 1989, car enthusiasts considered this model one of the best affordable midlife crisis cars. The combination of low price, lively performance, open-air driving feel and high-quality mechanics made this roadster a reliable form of transportation too.

The Miata is perfect for men who always wanted a convertible and finally got one when their kids went to college. To be honest, those buyers probably wanted of something more powerful, but the Miata is a strong compromise. The current model has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with just 155 horsepower. But in a car that weighs just 2,381 pounds or 1.2 tons, it is more than enough for lively performance and exciting driving dynamics.

23. Plymouth Roadrunner Hemi

If you want to be a cooler middel-aged driver without an expensive foreign car, you can always get a restored classic muscle car. Classic muscle cars are something you probably remember seeing as a child. And you may have always promised yourself you’d finally get shiny piece of Americana on wheels. One of the best is the Plymouth Roadrunner Hemi.

When it first appeared in 1968, the Plymouth Roadrunner was an influential and important muscle car. The whole idea behind the Roadrunner was simple; present a low-priced but powerful vehicle with a crazy name and graphics. It came with the powerful 383 V8 as the base, and buyers could opt for the 440 or mythical Hemi 426. For just above $3,000, you could be the proud owner of a Roadrunner in 1970.

However, if you wanted a few options and the Hemi engine, the price would quickly rise to over $4,000. Today, Hemi Road Runners are the most sought-after versions. Examples in perfect condition are over $100,000. If you want one in the signature Plum Crazy purple color, be ready to pay extra for that privilege.

22. Porsche Boxster

If you have a midlife crisis urge for an imported sports convertible but have a strict budget, consider this roadster. The third generation of the Porsche Boxster is currently in production. But Porsche presented the first-generation Boxster in 1996 and discontinued it in 2004. It’s been over 20 years since Porsche introduced this roadster. It is safe to say the Boxster revolutionized the concept of the open-top fun car.

This car has stood the test of time as a future classic you can own today. The Boxster’s big advantage is its layout. While most cars have front-engine rear-wheel-drive construction, the Boxster has a mid-mounted flat-six engine. Also, it has a perfect balance, two trunks, and sublime handling. Since the base 2.5-liter delivers a healthy 200 HP, it makes even the most affordable Boxsters agile and fast.

The Boxster is exciting to drive, especially if you pair it with a six-speed manual transmission. If you think the 90’s Porsche design is cool and you want a piece of German engineering with open-air flavor, this is the roadster for you. For around only $10,000, you can find decent Boxsters from the late ’90s.

21. Ford Focus RS

If you come from a generation and grew up on those pioneering hot hatches, you probably want the new Focus RS. It’s one of the best hot hatches. This is probably not your typical midlife crisis car, but it is one of the most interesting and fun cars on this list.

Under the hood of the new Focus RS is a 2.3-liter turbocharged unit pumping 345 HP to all four wheels. The performance is incredible because 0 to 60 mph takes only 4.7 seconds with top speeds of 165 mph. Simply looking at this furious compact will tell you it is a genuinely fast Ford. They packed the Focus RS with innovative and advanced technology.

It includes an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, special driving mods, and a host of electronic aids and systems. However, Ford kept the six-speed manual as the only transmission option since it wanted to make the RS a true rally car for the street.

20. Porsche Cayenne

If you want to have a performance SUV from a well-known brand with a high horsepower rating, there’s no better choice than the Porsche Cayenne. This luxury SUV is the perfect midlife crisis vehicle since it stands for money, style, and performance, all the things a man of a certain age wants to represent.

Also, since the new Cayenne is an expensive machine, look for used ones for much less money. You’ll still look sharp driving it.

19. Jaguar E Type

For classic car enthusiasts in their 50s who want to show some class as well as exquisite taste in cars, there’s no better choice than the Jaguar E Type. It’s one of the most beautiful sports cars of all-time, with potent six-cylinder engines or smooth V12s in later models.

The E Type is a fantastic driving machine. Also, people will notice you faster than driving any new machine for sale today. The prices for some E Types can go north of $50,000, but look at it as an investment.

18. Hot Rod

Building a hot rod in your garage is one thing, but buying it finished is another. If you build your car, you can call yourself a hot-rodder. But if you buy it just to show off, you are a suburban dad in a midlife crisis looking for a fun machine to drive around.

There is an enormous number of cars available, but be ready to pay top dollar for the best ones. Also, you can buy a DIY kit and assemble your own hot rod in your driveway.

17. Low Rider

For those in a midlife crisis who want to show that they are still keeping it real, a low rider is the ultimate ride. Just imagine hopping in one of those glorious machines and blasting some old school music. You could even pick your kids at school with the front wheels up in the air.

Most low riders are not expensive. However, beware of crude jobs, faulty hydraulics, and bent frames. It is better to invest more and create one yourself. That way, you can personalize it to your tastes.

16. Lamborghini Huracan

This list has to feature at least one Lamborghini because this brand represents the ultimate midlife crisis company. From the Countach days in the ’80s to the latest Huracans, Lamborghini will always be a favorite of rich guys looking to be noticed.

If you are one of them, the latest Lamborghini Huracan is a fantastic supercar that delivers brutal performance. Also, it comes with advanced technology and that signature wedge shape. But it also comes with an extremely steep price tag.

15. Jeep Wrangler

For off-road enthusiasts, the Jeep Wrangler is the perfect midlife crisis car. It’s good enough for everyday driving and perfect for trips to enjoy nature or the desert. Over the years, Jeep has produced numerous models and Wranglers are not expensive machines to own.

Also, lots of Wrangler owners tend to modify their cars. Not just for aesthetic purposes, but for serious off-road capability. Compared to the other cars on the list, Wranglers are among the coolest and most usable on the road and in the mud.

14. Dodge Ram 2500 Longhorn

The Dodge Ram 2500 Longhorn was the pinnacle of Ram’s lineup a few years ago. It is one of the most luxurious trucks Dodge ever made. It featured a special color combo and interior. They also added unique decals and top-of-the-line equipment and engines.

With its high price, limited production, and street presence, it was the best truck for men in a midlife crisis who need a big truck but still want to show off a bit.

13. Lexus LC 500

One of the coolest coupes to hit the market in recent years is the new Lexus LC 500. This car perfectly blends sports car performance with the comfort and luxury of a Gran Turismo coupe. Under the hood is the 5.0-liter V8 engine that delivers 461 HP.

Also, with its smooth character and comfort, it is a great midlife crisis car because it looks like a sports coupe with a dynamic appearance. It still is a comfortable cruiser for middle-aged men.

12. Toyota GT86

Toyota introduced the GT 86 and its twin brother the Subaru BRZ in 2012. Both vehicles immediately drew attention from performance car lovers for their raw driving dynamics. Add to that their low weight and uncompromised handling to deliver a lively performance.

For those in a midlife crisis who wants to feel driving dynamics in its purest form, this is the perfect set of wheels. The GT86 provides much excitement, good looks, and all at a modest price.

11. Smart ForTwo

Some folks in their 50s buy Smart cars just for the sheer practicality of the package, usability, and easy parking. And of course, for the idea of them being cool for driving a quirky car.

However, a gray-haired dude in a Smart car looks a bit silly. So even though the car is tremendously easy to drive and park, your midlife crisis deserves a better, more mature set of wheels.

10. Classic Mustang

One of the most common classic cars you can find and enjoy is a classic Mustang. With over two million of them made between 1964 and 1973, there are plenty to choose from and they are relatively inexpensive. That is why this is one of the favorite cars for men experiemcing a midlife crisis.

The Mustangs are cool, look great and they are perfect cruisers. A Mustang will take you back to your youthful days and immediately transform you into a younger version of yourself.

9. De Lorean DMC12

The favorite movie car of car lovers who grew up in the ’80s and are now approaching middle age is the legendary DeLorean DMC12. Although not exactly a great sports car and pretty slow compared to modern machines, the DMC12 is still an extremely cool and interesting car.

The Gullwing doors, stainless steel body, low silhouette, and instant recognition make this DeLorean the perfect choice for middle-age enthusiasts.

8. Lincoln Navigator

The quintessential luxury SUV is the Navigator. Just like the Cadillac Escalade, the Navigator is the perfect calling card on wheels. It says that you’ve made it, are successful, and want to show it off.

Also, it says that you prefer luxury and comfort over performance and handling, a clear sign of you getting older and forgetting about the dream of owning a true sports car someday.

7. Ferrari 488 GTB

Based on the 458 Italia, the 488 marks the return to the turbocharged V8 engines last used in the ’80s. Modern technology and competition made naturally aspirated engines obsolete and Ferrari needed to go the route of turbocharging.

Needless to say, the Ferrari 488 is again one of the best cars in the class. Also, it’s a typical midlife crisis car because it is flashy, fast, and expensive.

6. Range Rover

Another luxury SUV favorite by successful middle-aged guys who want to show the world they have a little class, not just a big bank account. Modern Range Rovers are perfect SUVs with plush interiors, powerful engines, highly capable drivetrains, and elegant design.

Too bad that all of those great machines will be spending their time on highways and in shopping mall parking lots.

5. Tesla Model S

The Model S is not the first car Tesla produced, but it is by far the most popular and most influential globally. It is the first fully-electric sedan produced in significant numbers and a car that singlehandedly created the electric car market.

Along with fantastic performance and loads of interesting technology, it makes a perfect middle-age crisis car for all IT engineers out there.

4. BMW M4 Convertible

The BMW M4 is a magnificent street racer with sublime handling, a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, and 460 HP. It has brutal performance and it is made for that perfect mountain road and breaking lap records.

However, in its convertible form, it is a common choice of middle-age men who want to show off. Of course, equipped with automatic and driven at 15 mph.

3. Jaguar XK Convertible

You crave for an imported luxury convertible, but you have a middle-class income and a strong case of midlife crisis. Why not opt for a used Jaguar XK Convertible. Introduced in 1996, there are numerous well-kept examples on the market.

For the price of an average used compact car, you will find yourself driving a luxury convertible with V8 power and leather interior.

2. Audi A5 Coupe

You want to differ from your neighbor’s Mercedes or your colleague’s BMW? You want to have a sleek coupe body with all-wheel-drive traction and powerful engine?

Well, the A5 Coupe is the right car for you. Of course, if your midlife crisis is particularly strong, you can move up to the RS5 and have 444 HP and fantastic performance.

1. Lamborghini Countach

There isn’t a better feeling than when you finally afford your childhood dream car. For most of today`s middle-age guys, that car was the legendary Lamborghini Countach. Introduced in the early ’70s and produced all the way up to the early ’90s, the Countach was the car of the generation.

For a long time, their prices were kind of low but recently they started becoming quite pricey. Obviously, the midlife crisis is strong with some buyers and they are eager to snap this piece of their childhood dreams.

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