The Best Cars from 2002 and Forward

2005 Bugatti Veyron, white and blue at car show,

Some cars, like the ones we wrote about in October, are known to be very unreliable, dangerous, or plain ugly. In this blog, is declaring the best cars from 2002 and forward! The cars we chose are revered for their dependability, their innovation, or their sharp looks! Above all, they are fun to drive! It’s hard to determine what cars are the absolute best compared to the absolute worst, so we narrowed them down to five different categories. These categories are luxury, sports, hybrid, economical, and hypercar.

As before, these cars were chosen using the most common criteria of what makes a car “good.” There are those out there who will disagree with our list but has taken their stand on the best cars from 2002 and forward!

The Best Luxury Car

Black luxury car, 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500
A brand and car that is synonymous with luxury and quality engineering; Mercedes-Benz.

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500

It should be a surprise to none that Mercedes-Benz shows up on this list. The most difficult part was choosing which car to feature! The CLS-Class sits between the C-Class and the S-Class series of Mercedes-Benz luxury sedans. The innovative design of the CLS-Class line of vehicles was unlike anything anyone had seen before. It served as inspiration for future generations of sports cars from many different manufacturers and pioneered the modern-styled luxury car. The CLS500 looks like a Parisian socialite on vacation should be driving this down the French Riviera. Despite it’s lack of pointy, vented detailing, common in sports cars of the time, the CLS500 is anything but slow. Containing a 5.0 liter V8, 0-60 mph acceleration clocking in at just over 6 seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour, the CLS500 can stand up to the biggest names in sports cars.

The Best Sports Car

Black sports car, 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
The 100% all-American speed demon; the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1!

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

As far as American-made sports cars go, the ‘Vette is one of the most iconic and largely considered the first 100% American sports car. The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the high-performance version of the same year’s Corvette Z06. It has the looks, the power, and the sheer attitude to have a solid place in this list.

The Corvette has a long history within Chevrolet’s catalog of cars and has been around for over 66 years! If you ask most Americans to quickly think of a sports car, odds are it will be the Chevrolet Corvette. The 2009 ‘Vette ZR1 we’re featuring has a few upgrades compared to it’s older brethren. With a 6.2 L, 639 horsepower, LS9 V8 and a confirmed top speed of 192 mph by the guys from Autoblog in the Netherlands; it’s fast, mean, and will give any other car a hard time keeping up.

The Best Economical Car

Silver hot hatchback, 2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI
This Volkswagen has that expected reliability but just a little more oomph; the Golf GTI!

2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI

I know, I know; we started expensive with the luxury of Mercedes-Benz and the speed of the Chevrolet Corvette. This spot, on the other hand, is taken by something a bit tamer, affordable, but not any less exciting to drive! The Volkswagen Golf is an unassuming car that’s dependability, driveability, and excellent engineering has made it one of the most successful models that Volkswagen has ever made. It has accumulated many awards from car associations all over the world.

The 2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI is essentially the “sport” version of the VW Golf. It has been revered by BBC’s Top Gear as the best Golf ever made and the quintessential example of a “hot hatch.” Boasting 197 horsepower, a turbocharger, and a 0-62 mph time of just over 7 seconds, this hatchback isn’t slow. It’s fun to drive, affordable, and you’ll never regret owning one.

The Best Hybrid

Green hybrid car, 2004 Toyota Prius
Dependable, economical, affordable, the little hybrid that could; the Toyota Prius!

2004 Toyota Prius

We’ve gradually descended in terms of acceleration and top speed, and are now to the slowest of our picks; the 2004 Toyota Prius! The speed, or lack thereof, isn’t what makes the Prius an engineering feat. The genius of the Prius is in its execution and economy. The Prius converts gas into electricity which powers the car forward.

The 2004 Toyota Prius is an affordable, reliable, and economical hatchback that it built by one of the finest car manufacturers in the world. The Prius has received numerous positive consumer reviews across the internet as well as receiving a positive review from Road and Track, and mentioned in Edmund’s 100 Greatest Cars of All Time list. Power is less of a concern for those who are interested in the Prius. Dependability and gas mileage is really where the Toyota Prius shines. The Prius has an insane 60 mpg in the city and 51 on the highway.

The Best Hypercar

Blue and white hypercar, the 2005 Bugatti Veyron
There is no introduction required for this car; the Bugatti Veyron!

2005 Bugatti Veyron

This list isn’t surprising in retrospect, and it’s not a surprise when you read “hypercar” in the introduction. The 2005 Bugatti Veyron was the first of its kind and is hard-pressed to be matched since its release. That’s because the Veyron has more horsepower than ever seen before and the fastest top speed recorded at the time. The 2005 Bugatti Veyron was dubbed a hypercar; the next level of car performance.

The Veyron transcended what cars were at the time by combining its 1,001 horsepower and 255 mph top speed with stunning looks and luxury matched only by top luxury car brands, like Rolls Royce and Bentley. With a quad-turbocharged, 8.0 L, W16, German engineered engine, the 2005 Bugatti Veyron held the record for the fastest street-legal car for years.

Jeremy Clarkson of BBC’s Top Gear reviewed the 2005 Bugatti Veyron here. Clarkson writes that “it makes even the Enzo and the Porsche Carrera GT feel slow and pointless.” The 2005 Bugatti Veyron is one of the the best cars from 2002 and forward, and possibly one of the greatest cars ever built! The Veyron perfectly meshed luxury with performance and created an absolute legend of a car.

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