Home Cars Gas vs. Electric: These Cars Will Outlive The EV Revolution

Gas vs. Electric: These Cars Will Outlive The EV Revolution

Cameron Eittreim September 7, 2023

Gas-powered engines have been at the forefront of automotive engineering for over 100 years now. But the time has come for technology to change and we’re seeing a rapid shift to electrification. With that being said, there has never been a better time to protect the classic gas-powered cars that we love. Some gas-powered cars , like the Yugo and the Hyundai Excel, were horrible when it came to reliability. Yet there are other vehicles like the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla that have spent decades exemplifying reliability.

Even though the future will hold a lot for electric cars, many gas-powered cars will still be on the road. These cars will outlast just about anything else. Gasoline-fueled cars that possess precision engineering will be on the road for quite a while. With a wide availability of aftermarket parts these days, it’s also easier than ever to keep a car on the road. We looked at the gas-powered rides that are going to still be roaming the streets long after EVs take over, so find out which will survive the revolution here.

Photo Credit: Honda Forum

1990 Honda Civic

The early ’90s Civic is a car that you still see on the road today. It was a car that brought Honda into a new era of design and brought with it a new generation of drivers. This Civic was reliable and easy on the eyes. We might even say this Civic was a blast to drive (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: Honda Forum

The 1990 Honda Civic was the birth of the modern car that we’ve all grown to love. It was comfortable enough to live with and reliable enough to stay on the road for decades at a time. There are very few cars that have broken the type of reliability records that the Civic has. The car just keeps running no matter what and that’s why people love it.

Photo Credit: Volvo

1997 Volvo 900 Series

Affectionately known as that boxy-looking Volvo that we saw all throughout the ’90s, the 900 Series is one of the most reliable models ever built. You still see this car on the road today, often in great condition. Volvo went all-out with the design of the 900 Series. Every inch of the car was built to please customers with excellent design and stellar safety features (via Classic).

Photo Credit: Volvo

The Volvo 900 Series changed the game for Volvo and introduced consumers to a friendly and reliable sedan. The Swedish driving characteristics and the comfortable interior made the car quite a popular choice. Also, the most important aspect of the 900 was the fact that it had some of the highest safety ratings of any passenger car on the road.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1985 Porsche 944 Turbo

Could a Porsche truly be in the most reliable club? Of course and that model was the 944 Turbo. The 944 was a testament to Porsche’s design in the 1980s and was also one of the most reliable models on the road. There was just something about its turbocharged engine and sleek lines that made it stand out from the pack. The car had an exceptional reputation for tackling twists and turns and that’s where the 944 is naturally at home (via Porsche).

Photo Credit: Porsche

The 944 is the car that redefined Porsche in the 1980s. The stellar reliability is what has kept the car on the road for decades and continues to propel it to popularity. While some classic Porsches will cost you an arm and a leg, the Porsche 944 is the one that manages to stay affordable. With excellent reliability and one-of-a-kind styling, the 944 is still going to be on the road long after EVs.

Photo Credit: Motor Week

1989 VW MK2 Golf GTi

The MK2 was the transitional period for the Golf and Volkswagen in general. The brand was moving toward a new more modern future and the MK2 led the charge. But it wasn’t just the run-of-the-mill Golf that did the job, it was the GTi that changed the way consumers bought a sporty hatchback model (via Honest John).

Photo Credit: Motor Week

The Golf GTi went up against the likes of the Civic SI and the CRX. The compact dimensions of the car coupled with the excellent performance changed the game in more ways than one. The MK2 Golf is one of the most popular variations of the Golf that was ever built. The stellar quality and performance of the car made it an instant classic.

Photo Credit: BMW Blog

1987 BMW M3 E30

At one point in time, the M3 E30 was the car that everyone wanted to own. It had style, performance, and a great reputation. But there was something far more special about the E30, and that’s reliability. There were quite a few noteworthy BMWs from this era, but the E30 quite possibly is the most reliable model that left the dealership lot (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Classic Trader

The E30 has stood the test of time as one of the most reliable BMW models in the company’s history. An added benefit was that it’s fun to drive as well. You don’t get a lot of cars from this era that were both fun to drive and reliable. But the excellent build quality and the stellar styling made the E30 an icon in the automotive world that still holds true today.

Photo Credit: Audi

1984 Audi Sport Quattro

Audi has never been the type of car that was like anything else, and that’s why it’s been special. When you get behind the wheel of an Audi, you aren’t getting behind the wheel of an average ride. This is why so many people have gravitated toward Audi models over the past couple of decades. But it was the 1984 Quattro that completely changed the game for the automaker (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Audi

The Sport Quattro is the car that everyone loves to drive because every inch of it is fun. You wouldn’t think that a small hatchback was this well-built, but it was and it performed quite well. Every Audi that you see nowadays can trace its roots back to the Quattro. The car had a well-designed body and engine that made it a real challenge in the racing world.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

1987 Ford Mustang GT

The Fox Body Mustang doesn’t always get the credit that it deserves for reliability, but it was a surprising success. The main thing about the Mustang GT 5.0 was the exceptional engine that was under the hood. A lot of the parts that were on the car were easy to fix and very affordable to purchase. This is why an entire generation of young people in the late ’80s and ’90s embraced this car so much (via Mustang Specs).

Photo Credit: Mecum

In recent years the Mustang GT has skyrocketed in value, and a new generation of enthusiasts are discovering it. There were a lot of fun cars that redefined the era but it was the Mustang that helped to reinvigorate the pony car segment. Ford was about to give up on the Mustang in the 1980s and focus their attention on the Probe, but it was the fox-body that saved the nameplate.

Photo Credit: Omaze

1987 Buick GNX

The Buick GNX was a car that completely changed the game in the 1980s. It utilized a turbocharged V6 engine instead of relying on the traditional V8. GM was experimenting with turbo-powered cars a lot during this era. The GNX had a number of unique attributes that made it stand out from the crowd, but the performance was the most important aspect (via Trust Auto).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The GNX was the basis for the GMC Typhoon and the GMC Syclone as well. All three cars were notable for their build quality and reliability. Buick had a knack for building unique cars around this time period and the GNX was evidence of that. The car performed well in every aspect and introduced the world to the power of the turbocharged V6.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1980 Nissan/Datsun 280ZX

The Datsun brand was instrumental in bringing Nissan to the mainstream in the United States. The 280ZX was the car that revolutionized the sports car world, this was the “Z” car that everyone talks about. The performance of the 280ZX was the main selling point of the car, and it managed to catch on with consumers who wanted an affordable sports car (via The Truth About Cars).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The 280ZX did a great job of competing against the well-known sports cars that were on the market. It had one of the most reliable engines that Nissan ever built and sold. Enthusiasts appreciated the natural handling and exceptional performance of the car. It was one of the most well-known sports cars in the world and continues to be a popular choice.

Honda CRX Si
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

1986 Honda CRX Si

The CRX was a sports car that innovated what a cheap compact can be. The CRX wasn’t the most technologically advanced car and it didn’t have the most power. But it was extremely well-built with a compact design and a peppy motor. The CRX resonated with consumers who wanted something that was cheap and fun to drive (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Motor Authority

The Honda CRX SI combined the excellent fuel economy of a compact car and the stellar performance of a sports car. The CRX offered the type of value that consumers wanted at the time. The engine was one of the most well-designed powerplants that Honda ever utilized, which is why you still see the CRX on the roads and still in great shape.

Photo Credit: Hongliyangzhi

1988 Toyota MR2

The Toyota MR2 was a well-known sports car that redefined what cheap fun was. Often referred to as the “poor man’s Ferrari” the MR2 utilized a mid-engined design and a short wheelbase. Enthusiasts were taken aback by the excellent cockpit design and the bulletproof driving characteristics that the car offered up. The MR2 also had something very special which was excellent reliability. There are even many examples of this car on the road (via Car & Driver).

Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

The MR2 had the stellar build quality and reliability to make it a legend, but it also had the performance. Even though EVs are going to be the thing of the future it wouldn’t be surprising to see a great number of MR2s still on the road. The car was well-built in every way and exemplified why a fun driving experience doesn’t have to be expensive.

Photo Credit: SAAB

1980 Saab 900 Turbo

The 1980 Saab 900 was another well-known car that utilized Swedish design and technology to push the boundaries of design. The beautiful car was unlike anything else on the road at the time. Which is why many consumers loved everything about the car. The unique performance was only one of the main selling points of the Saab 900 (via Motor Trend).

Saab 900
Photo Credit: Saab

The Saab 900 had stellar reliability and the car was built with the precision that you’d expect from Saab. But that wasn’t the only thing that made the 900 Turbo a special ride, because there was a lot to like about the car. There are still many of these models on the road and a loyal following of enthusiasts who work all around the world to keep these historic rides on the road.

Photo Credit: Auto Classics

Audi RS2 Avant

The Audi brand is notorious for creating some of the most awe-inspiring cars on the road. That’s why they have a reputation for reliability and driving pleasure. But the Audi RS2 Avant broke the mold when it came to what a wagon could do. The car was amazingly fast and offered a number of unique features for the price including one-of-a-kind paint job (via Car & Driver).

Photo Credit: Auto Gespot

The RS4 Avant is a car that completely revolutionized the wagon segment, at a time when no one wanted one. You’ll still find plenty of these at enthusiast meets and they still run excellent. The car was well built in every aspect, with a one-of-a-kind exterior and interior as well as technology that made it drive like a dream.

Photo Credit: BAT

Fourth-Generation Chevrolet Camaro

The fourth generation of the Chevy Camaro was the last model produced until the redesign in 2010. But the design of the car was way ahead of its time and very reliable. You see, under the hood of the fourth-generation Camaro was the GM LS1 V8. The same engine that you’d find under the hood of a C5 Corvette and was largely considered one of the best engines that GM ever built (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: GM

The fourth generation of the Camaro has become extremely popular on the aftermarket. The car had everything that you wanted in a muscle car for half the price, and people went crazy for it. The sheer power and reliability of the LS1 V8 are enough to sell the car because most of the car will fall apart around the engine before it gives up.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Fourth-Generation Pontiac Firebird

Like the Camaro that it shared a platform with, the fourth-generation Firebird was one heck of a race car as well. It was street legal of course with the potent Corvette LS1 under the hood. But what else was important about the Firebird was just how reliable it was as well. The Firebird was night and day more reliable than anything else from the era (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Unlike the Camaro, there would never be another generation of the Firebird. But loyal enthusiasts have been more than happy with this model as it does everything right the first time. The car had a one-of-a-kind design to it and a presence that was unlike anything else on the road. Pontiac did everything right with this model, so it will still be on the roads for years to come.

Photo Credits: GM

Pontiac GTO

Released in 2004, the legendary GTO had one final hurrah in the modern world. The car hit the market to much fanfare and it packed one of the best LS Series engines under the hood. But the best thing about the LS engine was the sheer reliability, and the GTO was fun to drive. The car was heavily featured in video games and music videos and you still find a lot of them on the market (via Car & Driver).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

While the styling didn’t go over quite well with fans of the original car, the GTO has managed to secure a position in the history books. The car can compete with just about any modern muscle car on the road and its reliability cannot be overstated. This is by far one of the best muscle cars that came out of the early 2000s.

Photo Credit: LS1 Tech

Buick Regal GS

Contrary to popular belief that the 1990s were such a bad time for GM, there were actually many unique cars to come out that decade. One such car was the Buick Regal GS which took on a modern look and feel. But it was the Supercharged V6 engine under the hood that still stands as one of the most reliable engines that GM has ever sold (via LS1 Tech).

Photo Credit: LS1 Tech

The Regal GS did everything that a sports sedan needed to do right, and it had great styling to back it up. It’s not uncommon to see one of these Buicks from this era with well over 200k on the odometer. It’s safe to say that these cars will still be on the road in one form or another long after EVs become a more common thing.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Chevrolet Impala SS

The Impala SS was the car of the 1990s as it changed the game and brought back a historic nameplate. While the car itself wasn’t the most advanced on the road and didn’t offer much that was unique, it did pack a potent LT1 V8 under the hood, which was shared with the Corvette model of the time. The Impala SS was reliable, bulletproof, and fast (via Reddit).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The beautiful design of the Impala SS is about as understated as you can get, and that’s alright. Because it did what it needed to do and it did it well enough to convince thousands of people to get behind the wheel. There are even a few famous owners of the car like Tim Allen and Jay Leno, both of whom swear by the simpe design of the car.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Ford Bronco

The final generation of the Bronco was affectionately known as the “OJ” after the infamous slow-speed chase involving OJ Simpson. But the Bronco was also one of the most reliable SUV models on the road. A true testament to the simplistic Ford design of the 1990s the big thing was comfortable and wouldn’t set you back very much at the repair shop (via KBB).

Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

It’s one of the reasons why you still see so many of these models on the road they were reliable and easy to maintain. The stellar build quality of the Bronco coupled with the notable performance made it stand out from the crowd. With the popularity of classic four-wheelers rising, you’ll continue to see these on the road.

Photo Credit: Lincoln

Lincoln Town Car

The Town Car has long been one of the most popular cars on the road. The focal point for every limo company in the world, the Town Car revolutionized what comfortable travel was. But it was also one of the most reliable cars on the road, with many of these still going strong with over 500K on the odometer (via Auto Blog).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Town Car had a basic design and a bulletproof engine which is why it was so reliable. But when you ride in one you are greeted by one of the smoothest rides in the automotive industry. The Town Car had a lot to offer and it still manages to be one of the best deals in the used car world because of its reliability and comfort.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Lexus LS400

When Toyota set out to create a new luxury brand they spent over a billion dollars doing research and development. The final product was a car that was so well put together that even Mercedes-Benz couldn’t compete. And that over-engineering that went into the LS400 still holds true today as many of these models have over 400K on the odometer (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Every inch of the LS400 was well-designed and well-built. The idea was to over-engineer the car so that it stood up to the rigorous standards of luxury car shoppers. The plan worked well and Lexus became one of the most popular automotive nameplates in the world. The LS400 has continued to break records for quality and refinement for decades now.

Photo Credit: Toyota

Toyota Camry

The Camry just gets better and better with age and keeps breaking quality records. The reliability of the Camry is the main thing that has helped the car to be one of the best-selling models of all time. The engine that’s under the hood of the Camry is one of the best that Toyota has ever produced, and these cars routinely rack up mileage with minimal repair costs (via Co Pilot).

Photo Credit: Toyota

The average repair costs for the Camry are $388, which is far better than anything else on the road. The car is amazingly cheap to repair and it offers a stellar deal for the price. The amount of quality and refinement that went into the Camry is why the car keeps getting better with every generation. The reliability and beautiful styling just add to the value.

Photo Credit: Automobile

Mercedes-Benz 500 E

The 500E was one of the most notable cars of the 1990s. The design of it was far above anything else at the time, and the performance just added to the fun. The engine is considered one of the most reliable that Mercedes ever built. The car was known for giving owners minimal problems during their ownership time with the car (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Automobile

These cars have managed to keep the Mercedes’s reputation for quality alive. The amount of time that you’ll spend in a shop is minimal and it’s not uncommon for these to have thousands of miles on them. Nowadays these cars have achieved new recognition as classics and many enthusiasts are restoring them back to their factory beauty.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Geo Metro

Everyone has seen one of these or knew someone who had one. The Geo Metro was for a long period of time the cheapest car on the road. It was fairly common and had a three-cylinder engine. But what made the Metro extremely unique was the fact that it was one of the most reliable compact cars ever built. The repairs are almost minimal with these cars and there are still dozens of them on the road (via US News).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Geo Metro is a great example of simple engineering done right. The car had all the things that made it a hit and now it has become a cultural icon. You’ll definitely see this car on the road for many years to come. It offered the right blend of reliability and economy that made it a great choice for a new generation of car shoppers.

Photo Credit: Namaste Car

Mazda RX-7

The Mazda RX-7 was a thing of beauty, redefining what a sports car should be. The unique look and feel of the car was only the tip of the iceberg because it was one of the most revolutionary sports cars that was ever built. The rotary engine was unlike anything else on the road, and it gave the car an amazing amount of performance and reliability (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

The RX-7 had a number of unique features to it that made it a legendary sports car. So many people have learned about the RX-7 and learned to love it. The value of these cars just continues to rise and they are more reliable than ever. There are very few sports cars that have carved as unique of a niche as the original RX-7 managed to.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

Once the least popular Corvette of all time, the C4 was actually a great car. It boasted one of the most durable engines in the world, the LT1 V8. The thing with the Corvette C4 was the fact that it wasn’t the most high-quality car on the interior. But for the reliability and the one-of-a-kind performance you couldn’t go wrong with this piece of Americana (via Car & Driver).

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (C6) - Car
Photo Credit: Motor 1

The ZR1 competed with the likes of many other models on the market, and it did it well. The unique styling and one-of-a-kind performance helped to differentiate the car. The bulletproof reliability has made it quite a popular ride among enthusiasts these days who want a classic Corvette without breaking the bank.

Photo Credit: Mecum

GMC Syclone

This wasn’t your father’s GMC Sonoma, and it also wasn’t a full pickup truck. Instead, this was a sports car with a pickup truck body that broke all the rules when it hit the road. The Syclone had one of the most powerful turbocharged engines that GM ever used in a production vehicle. For a short period of time, it was the fastest production car on the market (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: GM

The GMC Syclone was one of the most powerful sports trucks of its time and it showed the world what GM was capable of. It also had some of the best reliability numbers of the time too thanks to being built on the solid S-Series platform. Few cars have revolutionized an entire segment the way that the GMC Syclone did when it hit the market.

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