20 for 20 Best Cars Countdown: Part 1
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As we pass the half-way point of 2020, there’s no better time to look back, and forward, as we count down - each day this week - the best cars.
Volkswagen may have missed a marketing opportunity with a limited edition Millennium Bug back in 2000, but its New Beetle has been a revelation that’s not only persevered, but powered on over the last two decades, with the Beetle’s final chapter closing only a year ago. It’s just one story of a list of cars that DRIVEN considers one of the 20 most iconic, important and/or relevant car brands and models over the past 20 years.
Some are brand specific, some are model specific, but all play a part in the way cars have shaped us over the past two decades, as we look a little back… and a little forward, as we count down what we think are the 20 biggest cars of the past 20 years.
But it’s not just our option, either: cast your vote in the comments and tell us what you think we should include. No AU Falcons please, it’s clearly ‘above’ lists like this…
20. Porsche Cayenne
Not particularly attractive, not particularly fast when it launched in 2002, its success paved the way for Porsche’s financial revival and ongoing success. Faster Turbo versions and evolutions of styling and equipment have placed the Cayenne as a perfect ‘second’ car to a traditional 911/Boxster owner. In hindsight, it seems so obvious! It was less so, back then.
19. Rolls Royce
Like royalty, no one really needs it, but it’s an incredibly regal thing that we look up to and revere. And sometimes get a glimpse of or maybe even experience first-hand. It’s the icon of luxury motoring and somewhat remarkably, alive and well in 2020. A bit like the Royal Family. Can you even name the current Rolls Royce range? Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan are but a few.
18. Nissan Z
Reviving the retro theme, the 350Z launched in 2002 as an ode to the original 240/260/280Z/300ZX. Its gruff 3.5-litre engine grew in size with the 370Z, and as we look forward to the news of a 400Z looming, it remains Nissan’s ‘volume’ selling sports car from a company that’s clearly steered towards SUVs. And that’s a good thing.
17: Mercedes-Benz S Class
The innovator, S Class is often the hero of new technology, the premium Mercedes-Benz model often the stage for innovations, which over the last 20 years have included ventilated seats, radar cruise control, keyless entry and cylinder shut-off. The cliché of technology filtering down into ‘normal’ models has to start somewhere, and it’s often with the S Class.
See the countdown continue from cars ranked 16th-13th tomorrow - and don't forget to comment with your choice on our Facebook page.
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