20 for 20 Best Cars Countdown: Part 3
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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 list of cars that DRIVEN considers 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…
12. Mini Cooper
Along with the Beetle, the modern Mini was part of a retro movement; launched in 2000, it introduced a whole new generation to the Mini name. It may be bigger than the 60s classic, and owned by BMW, but the DNA is still there. The early 1.6 and supercharged versions had a real whine to them (mimicking the gearbox whine of the ’60s version), before offering a turbo, Countryman, Clubman, JCW and plenty of limited edition versions… and still living large in 2020. More power to the little one.
The new era of petrol-less motoring started with the Tesla Roadster in 2008 (effectively an EV Lotus Elise), and what a wave it’s been over the past 12 years. Elon Musk might be a few cans short of a case at times, but the whole world knows Tesla cars and their EV nature. Model X, S, 3 and Y are simple, easily remembered (kind of) and insanely fast, heralding in a new era of performance car. And then there’s the Cybertruck…
10. Porsche 911
It’s somewhat of a joke that the 911 designer’s is the easiest in the world. A tweak here and there and bingo, early lunch! But it’s become one of the auto industry stalwarts, a sports car icon, and look what the last 20 years has brought us: three iterations, including GT3 RS, Speedster, GT2, lightweight, coupe, targa, convertible, all-wheel-drive and even a one-make racing series that is regarded as the global standard and a breeding ground for world class racers. Thank you 911, may you live on for another 20.
9: Suzuki Swift
Small, cool, cute and popular, classless and aspirational (yes, to many!), it’s unassuming, non-threatening and so much more, including the choice of almost every teenager with the shiny new licence. It’s popular for a reason and launching in the mid-'80s, that it remains one of the best-selling passenger cars, with turbo and Sport options - and a bit of World Rally heritage. The Swift is a David among Goliaths.
See the countdown continue from cars ranked 8th-5th tomorrow - and don't forget to comment with your choice on our Facebook page.
Just joining us? See Part 1 of our countdown ranking here.
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