Top 20 Boxy Cars That Don’t Make You Feel Like A Square
There was a period when box cars were all the rage from the 70’s to 90’s. Partly this happened because manufacturing methods did not allow for the designs we are now used to seeing in modern times. Most body designs of the last several decades were made of sheet metal that had to be assembled in pieces.
The new, smoother curves of the bodywork design came much later, with the use of more exotic, lighter yet stronger materials such as carbon fibre, which could be processed into a sleek, curved auto body through an injection molding process.
Although the manufacturing process was restricted to cars with a boxy style in the early decades, it was still considered a practical and attractive style. Volvo has achieved great success with a major advertising campaign about the safety of its vehicles with the slogan “Boxy, but good ™”.
In modern times, boxy cars have moved towards SUVs. Despite this, there are still crossovers in modern production that are square “cars”, such as the Kia Soul.
The debate surrounding modern Boxy cars is to determine whether they are cars, minivans, vans, or small SUVs. The lines are blurred and the distinction is not so easy. This makes a difference, for example, in car insurance rates depending on how the “car” is classified.
Let’s take a look at the classic and beautiful box cars from centuries past to see how they compare to their modern counterparts.
20. 1967 MORRIS MINI
The 1967 Morris Mini is a fun little car that uses about the same amount of gas as a large motorcycle. It’s pretty cheap at the pump with its 34-horsepower 848cc four-cylinder engine.
If you’re a tall person, you’ll want to get a convertible with your head above the roofline. Driving this car is like driving a fast kart. Of course, like riding a motorcycle, there isn’t much to protect you in the event of an accident. Most people didn’t realize that they actually had to wear a helmet when driving the convertible version of this car.
For the do-it-yourself types, this car is really easy to repair. Since this is an artifact, many parts are no longer available. However, with advances in 3D printing technology, it is possible to create entirely new parts for this old car. An old copy of the car sold for $181,500 during 2014, Hemmings said.
19. 1973 Datsun 510
The 1973 Datsun 510 is still in operation forty years after its initial release. This vehicle is built to run. It is very easy to keep them in proper repair as there are many such cars in junkyards. He was a really popular seller in his time. For racing, the Datsun 510 has been modified to improve performance. During the 1970s this model was the East African Champion BRE 2.5.
The Datsun 510 is powerful, reliable and offers excellent handling. One downside of owning one of these vintage cars is that there are always notes on the windshield, when returning to a parked car, asking if you want to sell it.
18. 1974 Volkswagen Thing
Volkswagen took the entire auto industry by surprise when it came out with the movie “The Thing” in the 1970s. It was narrow, underpowered, and felt like you were driving a giant golf cart. However, some people liked it for its unusual design and odd shape, which was a cross between a jeep and a sedan.
Volkswagen built just 250,000 of these cars during the ten years they were in production. It was only imported into the United States during 1973 and 1974, so the American version of this car is very rare. It is possible to buy a used, still working, one for around $15,000 that its owner has put up for sale on the Hemmings website.
17. 1976 BMW 2002
This 1976 BMW 2002 featured a 1500 cc four-cylinder engine that could propel the car to speeds in excess of 110 mph. It is a durable vehicle that is easy to work on to lean mechanically. This model was first introduced in 1968 and had some problems, most notably a heater motor failure, which did not fare well in cold weather.
By 1976 BMW had fixed all the problems and through 1976 the model had become a very reliable and solid car. Much of this model is credited with creating the iconic Sport-GT and is responsible for making BMW a household name.
The 2002 BMW compact model was the company’s best seller and became popular while BMW was struggling to survive as a car manufacturer. This model is attractive to those who want a sports car, but still need to drive their family in a sedan. BMW sold 400,000 vehicles of this model from 1968 to 1976.
16. 1980 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
This 1980 Cadillac Sedan De Ville has a massive 4.1-liter V6 engine (V-8 model also available) and a 3-speed automatic transmission. It’s gas guzzler and only gets 14 to 17 mpg. The body uses a lot of steel and the car weighs over 4,400 pounds, so it’s like a tank if you ever get into a crash. Sorry for the economy car involved in any accidents with this Cadillac model. Riding in this car is huge and relaxing, like riding on a sofa from the living room.
The Cadillac is a classic, spacious American-made luxury car that still looks good by today’s standards.
15. 1987 Bentley Turbo R
In 1989, when it was first imported to the United States, Motor Trend named the Bentley Turbo R the first Bentley model in years to be worthy of the brand name. It has a 6,750 cc eight-cylinder engine that generates 330 horsepower at 4,000 rpm. Fuel injection is used for additional torque. It has an excellent suspension that gives it good handling.
The launch of this model heralded a renaissance for the Bentley brand, making it a highly desirable luxury brand in its own right after being eclipsed by Rolls-Royce long before 1987. Several reviewers rated the Bentley Turbo with the best rating of five out of five stars.
New Edition Bentleys sold for $195,000 when first introduced. Nowadays, used items in good condition are now sold for the same amount or more.
14. 1987 Buick GNX
Road & Track reported in 2016 that a 1987 Buick GNX sold for $165,000. This car originally sold for $26,000 to $28,000. When first launched, the car can accelerate to 60 mph in under six seconds and reach over 105 mph in fourteen seconds before eventually reaching a top speed of around 124 mph. Do not reach the pH. That’s an amazing amount of power for a vehicle that weighs nearly 3,500 pounds. It features a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine that makes 245 horsepower and 355 lb. -ft. of torque.
To dissipate some of the heat generated by the engine, there are four small vents on each front fender giving the Buick GNX a distinctive look.
13. 1987 Honda Civic CRX
The 1987 Honda Civic received rave reviews when it debuted. It is very well built and the 1.3 liter four-cylinder engine has over 200,000 miles. Many of these vehicles are still on the road today, thirty years after they were first sold.
Drivers of this vehicle get 35 to 45 mpg. Aside from the excellent fuel economy, there are other reasons why people like this car that it is easy to repair and that parts are not that expensive.
During the 1980s, the cars made by Japanese automakers, especially Honda, did really well in terms of producing high quality cars at economical prices.
12. 1989 Volvo 240
People who have already bought a Volvo 240 really like it. The Volvo 240 is also a great used car to buy. It gets a 4.8 out of 5 star rating from its owners on Edmunds.com. This form is almost irreversible. Owners report it has decent fuel economy at around 28 mpg. rather expensive repairs; However, it rarely breaks.
Volvo is known for its reliability and safety. Many Volvo cars are passed down from generation to generation because they are a safe vehicle for teen drivers to use. It is designed in the form of a box very tightly to protect the passengers. Volvo was at the forefront of box car design and continues to do so today.
11. 1991 Audi Quattro Sport
The 1991 Audi Quattro Sport is a fun-to-drive sports car. Its performance is good and its handling is excellent. It has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (upgradeable) capable of a top speed of 160 MPH in the standard version. It is convenient, of high quality and fast. However, there is not much space in the rear seats.
With the optional all-wheel drive system, the car was often used as a rally racing car. Although critics questioned the viability of the four-wheel drive rally car, it won its first rally in 1981 when the model debuted and continued to win races all year until 1991 when the model was discontinued.
10. 1991 BMW M3
This powerful BMW M3 special edition cost about $65,000 when it debuted. The biggest complaint from American owners about this model was the constant need to stay calm and not hover on the highway while breaking the speed limit to avoid trouble with the police.
This car isn’t just a status symbol because of the BMW brand; It’s also a very capable race car and you really need the boundless speed of the German autobahn to fully appreciate it. Many of these models have been used for modification and racing.
The unusual feature of the 1991 BMW M3 is that it has increased in value by about 27% since its introduction. One of these BMWs in good condition is now selling for about $80,000, even though it came out 25 years ago.
9. 1991 MASERATI BITURBO
This Maserati was a “lower market” version made for those who could not afford the expensive Maserati models. It featured a 2.5-liter V-6 engine, which produced 185 horsepower and was the first production car to be twin-turbocharged. It accelerates to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 134 mph.
It was notorious for electrical problems and engine overheating. The model’s first sales year in the United States was 1984 and 2,023 units were sold. In the second year of the model’s debut, US sales fell to 1,190 units. In 1986, it sold 1,298 units. After that, his popularity steadily declined. In 1990, it sold only 240 units in the United States. The 1991 model was of better quality, but few people wanted it. It was a marketing disaster as Maserati needed to build a car that could be sold due to the factory’s cash problems.
8. 1992 Dodge Dynasty
Many people consider the 1992 Dodge Dynasty to be the best Dodge ever made. It’s built to last and it’s common for an original 3.3-liter V-6 to exceed 200,000 miles before needing a rebuild. The transmission is likely to be damaged before the original engine. It has a luxurious and comfortable interior. Its design now looks archaic and some call it a “grandmother’s” car. In fact, some people inherited this car from their grandmother who originally bought it when it was a brand new car. It’s very reliable and has a good gas mileage of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
7. 1993 Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang has always been America’s favorite car. The 1993 model doesn’t have the classic Mustang look from previous years like the 1960s did. Instead, the designers decided to give him the look of a boxer. This model was sold from 1984 to 1993. It was available with a 2.3-liter, I-4 engine that produced 105 horsepower or an LX version, a 5.0-liter V-8 that produced 205 horsepower. The I-4 has a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. It averages 26 mpg in fuel economy with regular gas.
Those who purchased the LX version did so more for performance than looks. The LX version was 200 pounds lighter and about $6,000 cheaper when first introduced than the GT convertible, which was a good-looking car. It’s faster than the GT on the track by a few tenths of a second in the quarter mile.
6. 1994 Lexus LS 400
Lexus was a competitor to the Japanese automaker’s Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the E550, which has almost the same body style. The Japanese wanted to prove to the world that they could create a high-quality luxury car to rival anything produced by the Germans. This car has a very comfortable ride. It was first introduced in 1989 and became very popular by 1994.
The Japanese decided to take over the luxury car segment due to restrictions on the number of cars imported from Japan entering the United States. This high-end car was sold at a higher price and had a higher profit per unit. While Mercedes’ quality levels suffered through the 1990s, the Lexus was a vast improvement over similar Mercedes vehicles in both reliability and workmanship.
5. 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500
The E500 was Mercedes-Benz’s competitor to the Lexus LS 400. The E500 Mercedes-Benz was known for its robust engine and transmission. Most of the engines in this car can easily last 200,000 miles if maintained properly. It comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that delivers plenty of power (322 horsepower) and speed (top speed is 190 mph). Owners report that it gets a decent mileage of about 23 mpg highway. It rides at 120 mph as it does at 60 mph.
It’s possible to find a reasonably low-mileage Mercedes E500 in the $20,000-$25,000 range that seems to last forever, though repairs can be expensive.
4. 1996 Volvo 850 Wagon
Volvo makes our list again. This time with a station wagon that takes boxy looks to a new level. If you want to carry babies safely, this is the best tool for that. You can also use this vehicle to pick up supplies at the home improvement center or for a camping trip.
It has a 2.3-liter inline-5 engine that produces 225 horsepower. It gets about 25 mpg even when driving at high speeds. There’s a button that turns the car from an eco setting that saves fuel, to a power setting, which turns on the turbocharger, and then this Volvo can really go and accelerate.
Used Volvo 850s are available at lower prices when they have more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. Even with that high mileage, you can expect your average original 850 engine to go 200,000 miles or more.
3. 2015 SCION XB
One of the competitors in the boxy modern car segment is the Scion xB. The manufacturer calls the Scion xB a compact five-door hatchback. The Scion xB was discontinued by Toyota and is no longer available as a new vehicle after 2015. A used 2015 Scion xB sells for between $12,000 and $15,000 in mint condition.
Scion xB has a lot of fans and Edmunds gives it a rating of 4.8 out of five stars. Its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine responds. It doesn’t have great fuel economy (24 mpg average), the ride is noisy, and rear visibility is poor. The problem is that Toyota realized that the sales volume was not large enough to continue production of the Scion xB.
2. 2016 Nissan Cube
The Nissan Cube looks like the cousin of the Kia Soul. However, similar appearances can be deceiving. US News says Nissan Cube owners have been complaining of a lack of power and handling problems at high speeds and on curvy roads. They gave the Nissan Cube a rating of just 3.9 out of five stars.
It comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 122 horsepower. It’s designed for comfort, but it lacks acceleration and handles poorly. One of the good things about the Nissan Cube is that due to its boxy shape, the interior is spacious with ample seats and good cushioning. Due to issues with fuel safety standards during the 2010s, the availability of the 2016 Nissan Cube was limited in the USA and was replaced in 2017 by the smaller Nissan Versa.
1. 2017 Kia Soul
The Kia Soul is a cross between a car, a truck and a small SUV. The original classification, for insurance purposes, is Wagon. The base model of the 2017 Kia Soul has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 130 horsepower with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. There is a 2.0-liter automatic version with 161 hp. A turbocharged model is also available.
Car and Driver give the Kia Soul five stars out of five. They like the turbocharged version that delivers 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and accelerates to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. MSRP is $16,995. Driving is practical and fun. Chosen by Car and Driver as one of the ten best cars of 2017.