These lists are a plague on modern internet “journalism,” they’re low effort, often times only exist to create controversy and stir discussion, they can be patched together in minutes, and by their very nature have click-baiting titles. The fact you can get away with having a 10 car list, with each entry taking up two separate pages with nothing more than a sentence and a photo means you can maximize your ad revenue while minimizing effort investment. It just so happens that these types of lists are also a great crutch to fall back on when you have several article deadlines due on the same day with no forethought put into what you actually intend to write. So, without further adieu, here are the Top 5 cars that always seem to find their way onto “Top X” lists.
1. Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
Enjoying a decade of production, the Veyron has been plastered all over the backgrounds of rap music videos, the bedroom walls of 11-year-old boys, and terrible internet lists for a longer period than most of the other cars on this terrible internet list. In its prime the Veyron was found looking like a Halloween decoration, dressed in black with orange accents, and brandishing a Super Sport badge which I’m pretty sure was taken off the back of an old El Camino. With 4 turbos, 16 cylinders arranged in a W shape, and 8 liters of displacement, the Super Sport made 1200 horsepower. It’s bullet inspired slippery design allowed the engine to push the car to over 267mph, a record-breaker at the time. The window sticker just said NOPE, but the elite few who could afford one had to shell out around $2.2M USD. The Veyron has found itself included in countless “Most Expensive...”, “The Fastest…”, and “The Most Powerful…” lists over the years. We’ve even read lists dedicated entirely to the Veyron, ticking off crazy facts about how it can drain a tank of fuel and vaporize it’s own tires in mere minutes, which is rough because everyone loves to bring up how those tires are worth ten grand, or how the cost of a transmission replacement is a 6 figure number, and how they can cure cancer and reverse the gravitational pull of the sun when they go top speed in reverse.
The Veyron is slowly getting phased out of these cheap lists in favor of the new Chiron, which promises to be faster, more powerful, and more expensive, but I decided to use the Veyron on this list because it’s been headlining similar lists since I was still in elementary school and stood the test of time for list potential.
2. Mazda Miata
This horse has been beaten to death, resurrected as a zombie horse, then beaten to death again. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 1989 or a 2017, what options it is equipped with, what sort of condition it’s in or the price it carries, the Miata will always wriggle its way into a list. Whether you’re asking a forum for a practical and fuel efficient daily driver for your mother, you want to know the greatest sports car from any given decade, or want the perfect toy to trash around a track with, every suggestion list is going to have the Miata on it. It is perfect for any situation, even if you have 3 kids, a Great Dane, and live in Alaska there are lists on the internet telling you it’s the greatest at everything and you need to own one. List of best sports cars under $35K? New Miata. Under $20K? Used Miata. Under $5K? That beat up old junker with the faded FOR SALE sign in the windshield just happens to be a Miata so it is literally the best option with that budget. They also seem to show up in lists with titles like “Top 10 Cars you thought were for women/ hairdressers/ homosexuals, but are in fact very manly and you should not be ashamed of owning one,” alongside Mini Coopers and Audi TT’s. If anyone ever made a list of cars that seem to require the most self-validation on the internet, the Miata would take half the spots.
3. Hellcat Twins
These things are just rolling spec sheets. The second it was announced that they would be packing the now-famous 707 horsepower supercharged V8, it’s all we’ve been seeing. Between Dodge's marketing and the (relatively) affordable price point of these cars, it’s been getting rammed down our throat whether we want to hear about it or not. Most powerful muscle car ever, fastest sedan ever, quickest drag times, most powerful mass produced V8, yadda yadda yadda. Then there was the other camp, listing them as being the heaviest, worst handling, FCA-built, junk on the market. Somewhere in between are the “Top X Roadtrip Cars” or “X Best Cars to Scare Your Passengers!” The hype, hate, and controversy was just barely starting to die down when a cheesy, CGI infested video of a caged robot cat eating a tank full of antifreeze turns into a devil, announcing the Dodge Demon. In what will no doubt be a too-long, over-hyped process, Dodge is releasing weekly teaser shots of this Demon until the full reveal at the New York Autoshow in April. Right now, it’s looking like a Hellcat cranked to 11, with more power, less weight, and bigger tires confirmed so far, expect to see “Demon” replace “Hellcat” on any list from now until about 2020 or so. Well, the Hellcat might show up in the seemingly weekly “Top 10 Used Performance Car Bargains” that slop across my Twitter feed or YouTube subscriptions, as I’m sure the market will get flooded and drive prices down when the better model goes on sale.
4. Tesla Model S
Ah yes, the anti-Hellcat. Well, in many ways it is very similar to a Hellcat, as much as it would pain any Tesla or Mopar fanboy to admit. Both are large American sedans known for their ridiculous straight line acceleration, both have a near-cult following, and both generate tons of debate and controversy on the internet. As a matter of fact, that is a large part of the reason why I’ve included both these cars on my list. The Model S does have ground to stand on though. It shows up on just about any “Fastest 0-60” or “Fastest ¼ Mile” list in existence, or even just video lists of all the times a P95D smoked an Aventador with a highway pull. Lists of most practical cars will reserve a spot for the Model S and first place will almost undoubtedly go to the Model S for a list of Best Electric Cars of 201X. Loving Tesla is about as savvy as hating Donald Trump, so a lot of list-crafters will throw the Model S into their lists just for the brownie points from Tesla nerds. Speaking of nerds, the Model S really got gadget review websites interested in cars, so now we have the Tesla popping up in “Best Tech of 2016” videos and articles; websites who didn’t even acknowledge the car industry a few years ago are now making “Best/Most Important/Fastest Growing/Etc. Car Brands/Models of 2016” list articles, with Tesla and their Model S consistently topping every list.
5. The Minivan
I couldn't choose just one, but regardless of the list, there always seems to be one. It makes sense, minivans are usually fairly inexpensive, practical, safe, and get decent fuel economy when you consider their size and capabilities. 5 Best Cars for a Mom? A Honda Odyssey better be on that list. The 8 Cars You Should Give Your 16 Year Old? The Toyota Sienna is safe and reliable transportation. The dorkiness of giving your kid a van will prevent them from wanting to attempt any shenanigans, and there’s lots of room for all their friends! Best Vans for a young family? The tried and true Grand Caravan is cheap and is full of tricks to make living with a couple of toddlers an easy experience. The 11 Best Road Trip Cars would be incomplete without the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, with the extreme range and miles per gallon. A van has a quiet and comfortable interior that's stuffed to the brim with entertainment and time wasters, and the capacity to hold half the soccer team. There’s no better car for taking your kid to the tournament 150 miles away. The minivans versatility makes it an easy pick for a ton of different scenarios, which is why it shows up on so many lists.
What cars are you sick of hearing about in “Top X Cars in Y Category”? Tell us in the comments below! Or don't, I'm indifferent and your comments on this article will ultimately have no effect on how we make future articles.