Nine Most Overlooked Cars

Some cars are marketing darlings – manufacturers spend tens of millions making sure you know about popular models like the Toyota Camry and the Ford Fusion. But there are scores of cars that are worth a test drive that you might have overlooked. We look at the nine most overlooked cars that are worth a second look.

By Aaron Gold

BMW 1 Series

BMW’s compact 1 Series lives in the shadow of the mid-size 3-series, which offers more back-seat space and comparable fuel economy. Still, we like the smaller BMW 1 Series because it’s less expensive, easier to park, and a lot of fun — especially the BMW 135i, which uses the same powerful twin-turbo six-cylinder as the bigger 335i. It’s super fast, handles precisely, hugs the curves and looks great doing it. The 1 Series coupe is cute and cheeky, while the 1 Series convertible is the least-expensive way to go topless in a BMW. Lots of fun in a personal-sized package. It’s so good it still surprises us it’s on a list of most overlooked cars.

Scion xD

We’re not quite sure why Scion’s smallest car isn’t more popular. The xD takes reliable Toyota mechanicals and wraps them in a stylish package, and the engine, which is larger (1.8 liters) than most subcompacts, gives it a little extra acceleration (although that comes at the expense of fuel economy). And the 2013 Scion xD is easy to buy — all xDs come with air conditioning and power everything, and Scion’s no-haggle pricing policy makes for a painless transaction. Who doesn’t love that?

Volkswagen Golf

The 2013 Volkswagen Golf has been the best-selling car in Europe for years, but here in the States, buyers prefer its sedan stablemate, the VW Jetta. We like the Volkswagen Golf for the same reasons the Europeans do: The practical hatchback shape and cool boy looks. There’s plenty of room for passengers and bulky cargo, and yet the VW Golf is almost a foot and a half shorter than the Jetta, meaning that Golf drivers can grab those parking spots that mid-size cars have to pass on. Like all Volkswagens, the 2013 Golf is good fun to drive, plus it’s offered in a super-frugal TDI diesel engine that gets outstanding highway mileage, or a GTI version that is raucously sporty.

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4 Responses to “Nine Most Overlooked Cars”

  1. pat says:

    That picture for the 1 series isn’t a 1 series, its an X1, FYI.

  2. Lynne says:

    I think that Toyota needs to advertise the Scion xD more. With that said, I would also like to see them make the arm rest standard, make the back seats fold all the way flat, and give the option of having a telescoping steering wheel for those of us who drive long distances and have long legs, making us extend the driver’s seat all the way back.

    • Shewolf Herrera says:

      Toyota is a great car. I own a Scion Xa, I can say the only think that I had to replace in 6 years is the battery. But, the customer service and Toyota maintenance is a ripoff. My car used a wireless entry, it was damaged, I went to use my keys, and none of the keys would work on any of the doors, I made 4 copies, none would work except one, to open the trunk. I had to pay five people to climb in through the trunk to open the door, I have only one key to open the trunk otherwise if I lose that key, I’m out of gas. Cars can be great, but when they break down, the service is horrible.

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