The Best Cars We've Ever Driven

Quarantine Has Got Us All Nostalgic


Over decades of combined experience and hundreds of thousands miles driven, the Edmunds editors have had the opportunity to drive a broad spectrum of vehicles. Some are impossible to forget, for better or worse. We've tasked a handful of editors to come up with a list of their favorites of all time, regardless of age, price or rarity. Some picks are objectively great vehicles to drive, while a few have been selected for purely sentimental reasons.

Caterham 7

Alistair Weaver, VP editorial, editor-in-chief
Caterham 7
The Caterham 7 has been in production since 1973 and continues the tradition established by the Lotus Seven that was introduced in 1957. It's an extremely lightweight two-seat roadster that prioritizes performance above all else. Throughout its history, the Caterham 7 has accepted a variety of engines, from traditional four-cylinder powerplants from the factory to somewhat less sanctioned alterations that included big V8s and motorcycle engines. They're sold in the U.S. as kit cars through www.caterhamcars.com/us with prices that range from around $38,000 to $66,000.

Alistair's take: "A Caterham 7 is arguably the purest form of driving available. You have an H-pattern stick shift, no antilock brakes, no stability control, no power steering — just a level of intimacy that's impossible to replicate elsewhere. My race car version only had 140 hp but it only weighed a little more than 1,000 pounds, which is less than a third of a Porsche 911. To get the most out of it and to succeed, you had to drive it well, which in turn bred a sense of personal satisfaction. The Caterham 7 teaches you to be a better driver."

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB
The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB (for short wheelbase) debuted in 1959, and over the ensuing years, only 176 examples were built. The wheelbase (the distance between front and rear axles) was almost 8 inches shorter than the one on previous Ferrari 250 GT models that had been in production since 1952. The smaller car weighed less and cornered with greater speed than its predecessors and went on to enjoy many racing victories. In 1963, the 250 GT SWB sold for $14,000. Nowadays, it fetches over $10 million at auction.

Alistair's take: "There's that old adage about never meeting your heroes. I've driven a few classic cars that disappointed — where the myth was greater than the reality. The Ferrari wasn't like that. To drive it was to be transported back to the set of an old movie on the French Riviera with Brigitte Bardot. It hailed from an era when cars were genuinely beautiful, before the demands of aerodynamics demanded more and more complexity. The V12 engine remains an aesthetic and aural masterpiece, while the cockpit is a hymn to elegance and simplicity. If a car can ever truly be worth $10 million, this is it."

Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride
Kia introduced its Telluride for the 2020 model year. It quickly captured Edmunds Top Rated status in the very competitive three-row midsize SUV class. With a powerful V6 engine, a spacious interior, up-to-date tech and abundant comfort, it's easy to see why. You also get a lot of features for the money, with the price ranging from $32,000 to $44,000.

Alistair's take: "A contemporary three-row SUV from a mainstream brand might seem like an odd choice in this context, but I've been in this game for 20 years and only a couple of cars have ever been so holistically brilliant. It's stylish, practical, high-quality and drives well. It's a vehicle without an obvious flaw that's been a huge success. The Stinger sport sedan was supposed to be Kia's breakthrough vehicle, but it's the Telluride that's the real change agent. Who would have thought it?"

1972 Chevrolet C10

Carlos Lago, manager, Feature Content
1972 Chevrolet C10
The Chevrolet C-Series of pickup trucks were produced from 1959 all the way until the replacement Silverado came out for the 1999 model year. The generation that Carlos picked ran from 1967 through 1972. The C-Series trucks were rear-wheel-drive, while four-wheel-drive models were named K-Series.

Carlos' take: "My most favorite car is the one I currently own. After all, why own something you don't love? That leaves my pickup in the top spot, which is strange because it's objectively bad. It smells like unburnt hydrocarbons and has the suspension refinement of a Radio Flyer wagon, but with less travel. It's downright scary at 55 mph. On the other hand, it reminds me of why I love driving. This truck requires constant interaction, and there's a feel to the widely spaced four-speed manual that's just sweet. Plus it's bright red and massively loud. I love every pound of it."

2015 Ferrari LaFerrari

2015 Ferrari LaFerrari
Originally, the Ferrari LaFerrari was named the F150 until Ford slammed on the brakes. The name LaFerrari translates to "the Ferrari" but in spirit it means "THE Ferrari." Built between 2013 and 2016, only 499 coupes were produced (Enzo Ferrari insisted that they build one fewer than they thought they could sell). An open-top version called the LaFerrari Aperta was made for an additional two years with only 210 examples made. When the coupe was introduced, it was listed at $1.4 million and all examples were spoken for by existing Ferrari customers. Recent auctions have placed its value over $7 million.

Carlos' take: "With the 48-year-old V8-powered U.S.-made truck out of the way, let's talk about a million-dollar Italian hybrid hypercar. The Ferrari LaFerrari was such an important name for the company that they named it after the company. I had the good fortune of driving it twice, and both provided the most memorable driving experiences I've ever had. The kind where you can still recall the smell of the air. All the flowery stuff aside, this was a mid-engine Ferrari with a V12 that revved to 9,250 rpm and had an electric motor bolted on to it. Total output? 950 hp. I did the quarter-mile in 9.7 seconds, making this Ferrari the quickest new car I'd ever tested."

1975 AMC Gremlin

1975 AMC Gremlin
The AMC Gremlin was produced between 1970 and 1978 and was essentially an AMC Hornet with the trunk lopped off. During the gas crisis during that decade, the Gremlin was a standout for its relatively powerful engine and fuel economy. Initial prices started under $2,000 at the time. Thanks to its current cult status, perhaps due to a prominent role in the 1992 movie Wayne's World, prices are several times that now. It's often referred to as one of the most unfortunately named vehicles of all time.

Carlos' take: "The Gremlin was not a great car, but what I recall the most about driving one in the 2010s was how frequently people would stop and comment about the one they had or their family had while they were growing up. Despite how funky this thing looked (and the name? Come on!), it obviously made for a lot of fond memories in those whose lives it touched. Note: In retrospect this should've been the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster I spent a day in a few years ago, but for some reason I didn't think of it until after we finished filming the companion video to this article."

2017 Dodge Viper ACR VooDoo  II

Elana Scherr, special correspondent
2017 Dodge Viper ACR VooDoo II
The Dodge Viper was introduced in 1992 and production ran until 2017. From the beginning, the Viper was a ridiculously powerful coupe with a massive V10 engine under the lengthy hood. The fifth and apparently final Viper generation ran from 2013 to 2017 and had as much as 645 horsepower and was notorious for being challenging to drive at its limit. The ACR (for American Club Racing) was even more focused on performance, shedding things such as sound insulation, carpeting, power seats and a decent audio system to save on weight. The VooDoo II was a send-off of sorts for the Viper and limited to only 31 examples and was only offered in a unique black and red color scheme.

Elana's take: "I know Vipers are a love-it-or-hate-it kind of car, and many of the criticisms of them are valid, especially with the earlier generations. They did get hot! They are loud, and it is easy to be overconfident and get in over your head with one. But there are a lot of different kinds of perfect driving experiences — some are all about confidence and handling and a kind of surgical perfection, but others are more visceral. I imagine the Viper appeals to the same kinds of folks who in the old days would have been cowboys or astronauts. When you drive a Viper, you feel like you, personally, did something impressive. As for comfort, I've spent a lot of time in Vipers, especially the fifth-generation cars, and I found them totally usable, even as a daily. The ACR might not be the most sensible of the trim levels, but I drove one for a week in Detroit and I got marriage proposals every day from total strangers. So, like, it's cheaper than plastic surgery ..."

2019 McLaren 720S

2019 McLaren 720S
The McLaren 720S was introduced in 2017 as a coupe and later as a Spider (convertible) in 2019. This mid-engine supercar boasts 710 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Acceleration is otherworldly, reaching 60 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds. Unlike other supercars, the 720S wasn't punishing to drive — it rode more smoothly than rivals. Pricing starts at around $315,000.

Elana's take: "The only thing possible to dislike about this car is the price, which would buy you a nice house in most of the country. The 720 is the opposite of the Viper in terms of raw feel, but it also has an otherworldly spaceship kind of vibe to it. It's also the easiest supercar I've ever driven in terms of ride height, maneuverability, visibility and parking. It has these glass rear pillars so you can see right through the blind spot, and the cameras and nose-lift system are excellent. So you can actually parallel park it somewhere busy, and then go somewhere empty and do launch control launches   till you barf from laughing."

2016 Dodge Hellcat Charger

2016 Dodge Hellcat Charger
The Dodge Charger was introduced in 1966 and is in production to this day, though there were some gaps in its history with some very regrettable generations in the 1970s and 1980s. The current model is in its seventh generation that debuted in 2011, though some of its underpinnings can be traced to the sixth-generation model from 2006. This generation of Charger includes many variants with different levels of performance, but the Hellcat was the top dog when it showed up in 2015.

Elana's take: "I clearly have a type, and that type is 600 horses and up. That said, my favorite Hellcat isn't the Redeye or the Widebody, but just the regular old 707-hp Charger. It's big; it's comfy. If you don't get on it, it drives just like a regular car, and if you want to go racing, that's just a set of sticky rear tires away."

Porsche Carrera GT

Mark Takahashi, senior reviews editor
Porsche Carrera GT
Porsche hasn't been known as a supercar manufacturer on a regular basis. There was the 959 in the 1980s and the 918 that was produced from 2013 to 2015. In the middle was the Carrera GT that debuted in 2003. It was a product of race-car development that ended due to rule changes handed down by the governing body. It had an as-new price of $450,000 and came with a 5.7-liter V10 engine good for 603 horsepower. It could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Only 2,270 were made, and they were notorious for being difficult to drive.

Mark's take: "The first supercar I ever drove. My goodness. It barked sharply instead of revving. The clutch had a friction zone narrower than a sheet of tissue. This car kept you on your toes and it was uhhh-mazing. I braked so hard into the first turn that the visor on my helmet popped open. This is the first car I get if I ever win the Powerball. Silver, with red leather. Done."

BMW M Coupe

BMW M Coupe
The BMW M Coupe is a hardtop hatchback version of the Z3 roadster and coupe. Production of the first generation started in 1997 and ended in 2002, but it wasn't offered in the U.S. until 1999 even though it was assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina. From the beginning, it was known for its love-it-or-hate-it styling and giggle-inducing driving manners. Initially, the M Coupe had a 246-hp inline six-cylinder engine from the contemporary M3. Later, output climbed to 315 hp. Prices started around $43,000 when new, and now an M Coupe could fetch as much as $60,000.

Mark's take: "An Imola Red M Coupe used to occupy my driveway. This was a car that I could make dance. I had the confidence to slide and drift it like no other car since. Just enough power to get you in trouble and ridiculously fun in the rain. My girlfriend at the time crashed it a few times, though. Funny thing, it boomeranged back at an Edmunds company picnic. A new employee showed up in the exact M Coupe and I knew it was the same one from the rust bubble from some body repair. He was not amused by my tales of the car."

1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome  Roadster

1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster
The 1941 BMW 328 Berlin-Rome Roadster tells a story just with its name. It's based on the 328 of the time and was intended to participate in a race from Berlin to Rome that never took place. It looks nothing like the 328 of its time as the bodywork was done by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan. There were only two 328 roadsters and one coupe built, and only one of each survives today. It's difficult to put a price on it with this kind of rarity, but it's easily worth untold millions of dollars.

Mark's take: "This is also the most expensive car I've ever driven. On a drive from Lake Como over the Alps into Switzerland, I was very, very cautious. Then we hit the switchbacks and I started gaining confidence and started driving it like the Elise I had at home. Sliding it through the hairpins and hearing the glorious old machinery growl. Deathbed memory."

Of course to every best car we ever driven, there are some worst cars too. Look for that story and video soon.