Wouldn't it be nice if some things would just stay the same? Maybe, like certain cars we have all come to adore. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in the automotive world. Perhaps you have fallen in love with a particular year of sports car, truck, minivan, or maybe even a tractor (if that's your thing). It is not uncommon for later generations of that same model to be a source of disappointment.
The reasons for these tragedies often pertains to the major restructuring of the manufacturer, transfer, or consolidation of ownership, bankruptcy, or something else entirely. Whatever the reason may be, they still don't heal the wounds of all the purists out there. We may not be able to solve this issue, but we would like to share our list of 10 New Cars That Don't Live Up Their Predecessors (and 10 That Do).
20. Does Not Live Up: 2006 Pontiac GTO (400 HP)
The grand daddy Pontiac GTO got its start in 1964. Today, it is viewed as one of the most iconic muscle cars ever made. The latest addition of the GTO does not mimic the sleek and classy look of its grandfather at all. In fact, it looks rather plain. One could even say that it is not a GTO at all. Rather, it is just a rebadged Morano from Australian car manufacturer Holden that was created to help save Pontiac’s failing brand.
19. Does Not Live Up: 2015 Dodge Dart GT (184 HP)
The rebirth of the Dodge Dart has not followed suit with Dodge's popular Charger and Challenger. It is not a bad looking car overall. It comes with all the basic options you would expect from a basic car today.
This compact sedan puts out 184 HP from a 2.4 L. This is a far cry away from the original output of the V8 in the Dart of old. Sadly, it did not match up to competing small sedans either and was discontinued.
18. Does Not Live Up: 2020 Mazda 3 (186 HP)
Whether you are an intern trying to make it in the big city or are trying to start a family, the 2020 Mazda 3 is a great car. Thanks to Mazda's Skyactiv technology, Mazda 3 is great on gas, getting 40+mpg. It has received top ratings for safety by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, making it safer than ever before.
Despite the new Skyactiv technology, the most powerful 2020 Mazda 3 makes 186 HP. For seasoned racing enthusiasts or lead-footed 20-year-olds, this does not compare to the Mazdaspeed 3 that was recently discontinued. Maybe we will see another Speed 3 soon?
17. Does Not Live Up: 2002 Ford Thunderbird (252 HP)
Your grand poppy calls it a "T-Bird." The Ford Thunderbird reboot receives brownie points for its retro looks. It receives even more brownie points for it having a V8, being RWD, and being available as a convertible. The Thunderbird looks great on paper. It even won Motor Trend's car of the year in 2002. Sadly, due to plummeting sales, the Thunderbird was discontinued three years later, in 2005
16. Does Not Live Up: 2007 Honda Civic Type R FN2 (198 HP)
Purists love the Civic Type R for it dedicated build toward track racing and its stunning looks. This edition of the Type R that was only available in the European market is anything but beautiful. Many reviews from top critics show that the performance aspect of this generation of Civic Type R to be quite underwhelming. Maybe it is not such a bad thing that this was not made available to other markets.
15. Does Not Live Up: 2019 Chevy Camaro SS (455 HP)
Since the late 1960s, the Chevy Camaro has always been a car in which great things have been expected. The 2019 Camaro SS is not a bad car my any means. It has all the good features such as Android Auto, Parking Assist, and a good sound system. It produces 455 HP, which is more than enough to get your blood pumping.
Despite all of these features, the recent Camaro looks more like a sports car than a tribute to famed muscle cars of the past.
14. Does Not Live Up: 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse (152 HP)
The market for fun fast cars is not what it was decades ago. The 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a prime example of this. Prices start at around $23,000. It is available in FWD and AWD. It has all the features you would expect from a modern car like Bluetooth and back up cameras to name a few.
Yet, we must acknowledge the elephant in room, which is that the original Eclipse became famous as an affordable street racing car, not the responsible crossover that it is marketed as today.
13. Does Not Live Up: 2019 VW Beetle (174 HP)
The 2019 Volkswagon Beetle is available in S, Final Edition SE, Final Edition SEL, and SE trims. All models include the turbocharged 2.0 L TSI engine making 174 hp. Yet for such a small car, it weighs in at 3,990 lbs. It also features various safety features like a blind spot monitor.
VW has skillfully intergrated modern innovations into the new Beetle, but they have deviated by putting the engine in the front, rather than in the back like the original.
12. Does Not Live Up: 2019 Nissan Sentra NISMO (188 HP)
Nissan’s in-house tuning division, NISMO, has accomplished some amazing feats for the brand. The 2019 Nissan Sentra NISMO boast features like a reinforced suspension, bigger brake rotors, up-sized wheels, chrome exhaust tips, and a sportier interior. Interestingly, this version makes only 188 HP from a 1.6 L turbo, while the earlier Sentra SE-R Spec V output 180 HP from a naturally aspirated engine. Not much improvement in over 10 years.
11. Does Not Live Up: 2019 Buick Regal GS (310 HP)
Buick hasn’t always been a car just for “older people” per se. In 1982, Buick introduced a special version of the Regal called the GNX. This car was quite the hotrod; it even made an appearance in The Fast and the Furious movies. The newest performance Regal GS does make 300+ HP. This is nothing to look down on. Yet, being that it is a FWD sedan, it does not capture the true essence of the GNX.
10. Lives Up: 2019 Dodge Charger Hellcat (707 HP)
The new Dodge Charger is a respectful successor to the original Charger from the '70s. They are big and bulky (in a good way) like the first editions. They make bigger power, but they do it more efficiently, saving you money at the pump.
However, gas mileage may not be the first thing on someone’s mind when they buy a Charger. The Hellcat makes an insane 707 hp on a street legal car.
9. Lives Up: 2019 Dodge Challenger (797 HP)
The original Challenger was nice to look at, powerful, and within reach of the average consumer. The new Challenger is all of these things and more. Dodge has been killing it in the last decade. The new Challenger looks so close to the original, it's insane.
They are also super affordable. Base Challengers start at $28,000. Top of the line 800 hp Challenger SRT Demon edition start at $86,000. That is cheap compared to more expensive cars with less power like the Lexus LFA or the Porsche 911.
8. Lives Up: 2019 Toyota 86 (200 HP )
Many know it as the Subaru BRZ, the Scion FRS, or the Toyota GT86. All of these different names can be quite confusing. All of these cars were inspired by the late '80s RWD Toyota Corolla or Toyota Sprinter, often called AE86 in short by fans.
Many who are not aware of these roots are quite critical of the GT86. Yet the truth is, that the GT86 carries on the legacy of it ancestors as a light, slightly-under powered car with a perfect 50/50 weight balance. “If you don’t know, now you know.”
7. Lives Up: 2019 Subaru WRX STI (306 HP)
The Subaru WRX STI is a great example of the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. The STI has been popular since the early '90s because it continues to build on the same platform that so many have fallen in love with.
Subaru has essentially put the same turbocharged 4-cylinder boxer motor into the same AWD sedan with amazing success. The version 11 Impreza WRX STI outputs 306 HP.
6. Lives Up: 2019 Ford Mustang GT 350 (526 HP)
Not many cars are as recognizable by even non-car people as the Ford Mustang. The new GT 350 produces a ton of power. It comes track ready with Brembo 6 piston brakes in the front and 4 piston brakes in the rear. It also includes a super responsive dampening system to help in handling. The GT 350 has been made available with white and blue stripes, a fitting tribute to the famous 1965 GT 350 fastback.
5. Lives Up: 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 (755 HP)
The Corvette is not exactly a muscle car. Many have considered it like an American made sports car that loves to play in super car territory. Chevy has continued to solidify the Corvette’s lineage with the latest 6.2 L supercharged V8. It does 0-60 in 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 212 mph. Whatever your opinion is, the new ZR1 is a force to be reckoned with.
4. Lives Up: 2019 Nissan GTR (565 HP)
The Nissan GTR (R35) has proven its dominance for nearly a decade as a supercar killer from Japan. The Skylines of old have won countless racing championships. The GTR continues where the pedigree has left off. The GTR has deviated from the turbocharged straight 6-cylinder engine found in older Skylines, in favor of a twin turbo V6 making 565 hp. It maintains the AWD configuration, and it inherits heaps of on-board controls to aid in controlling the vehicle's high performance nature.
3. Lives Up: 2019 Toyota Supra (335 HP)
The famed Toyota Supra of the past was a powerful straight six RWD grand touring car. In the past couple years, Toyota teamed up with BMW to revive the long-dead Toyota Supra. Many fans have criticized it as being simply a re-badged BMW Z4, yet they ignore the fact that amazing sports car don’t just appear out of thin air. They require time and money.
At the end of the day, the GR Supra carries the spirit of it’s predecessors as a powerful straight six RWD grand touring car.
2. Lives Up: 2019 Ford GT (647 HP)
Where should we begin? The new Ford GT carries all the rich heritage of the old one while tastefully adding the improvements of modern technology. It has retained the original body shape, MR drive line configuration, and its dedication to being unbeatable on the track. All of this awesomeness comes at a hefty price tag that starts at $500,000. Perhaps just watch the new Ford vs. Ferrari film instead.
1. Lives Up: 2019 Acura NSX (500 HP)
Few cars say Japanese racing legend like the Acura NSX, also known as the Honda NSX. The NSX has won many championships from renowned leagues such as the Japanese Grand Touring Cup (JGTC). The new NSX is fundamentally the same as the old.
The new NSX still takes styling ques from famous Italian supercars. Honda has kept it mid-engine and RWD. The most notable difference is that the NSX is also a hybrid, outputting an exhilarating 500 HP.