The USA is spoilt for choice when it comes to vehicles, with a seemingly infinite array of options from every classification and price point offered for the masses. Crossover SUVs and pickup trucks have become the most popular classifications in the US and most automakers have pulled back investment into their more traditional car ranges as a result. In either case, many people may find that the designs and styling of most vehicles have become monotonous in recent years. Fortunately, there are still a handful of new cars, such as the Chrysler 300, Fiat 500, and Mercedes-Benz G-Class, that each bear a novel, old-school, and attractive aesthetic that’s difficult not to appreciate in a market flooded with cut-and-paste offerings.
The All-American Chrysler 300
The Chrysler 300 is the American brand’s flagship and despite the declining sales of sedans in the US, it carries plenty of appeal for its attractive pricing as a full-size executive cruiser. The marque debuted in 2008 and Chrysler has kept the sophisticated yet menacing aesthetic that it held even back then. This gives it a unique and nostalgic feel that perhaps only a select few will appreciate. Beyond its appealing style and pricing, the 300 also comes outfitted with either a V6 or V8 engine both of which deliver powerful and refined performance but just mediocre fuel economy returns.
The Retro-Italian Fiat 500
From the European market comes the famed Fiat 500, known mostly for its standout and iconic retro-Italian design. It’s a two-door compact hatchback punted for the youth and was typically equipped with a small turbocharged engine and front-wheel-drivetrain for city-optimized driving characteristics and decent gas mileage returns. Of all the various models, the Abarth is perhaps the best, offering slightly improved acceleration and handling dynamics over the regular 500 thanks to a little more horsepower and a few other sport-tuned features, too. It holds a sportier aesthetic, too, that complements the inherent retro styling.
The Classy Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Another vehicle that has retained its look since its inception, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a standout SUV honored as a design iconic with an aggressive and utilitarian, yet high-end, impression. It’s a premium cruiser that turns heads anywhere it goes, and it can go just about anywhere, offering balanced and refined drive qualities on road, and compliant and capable dynamics off of it. That’s by virtue of a high ride height and a masterfully crafted and sturdy body-on-frame chassis. On top of those notable perks, its cabin is upscale and commodious, too, with supportive seats and plenty of cargo space.
So while the automotive world turns to embrace an often bland and uninspiring direction in design and style, there are still automobiles out there that have the cool and nostalgic looks of old. And, considering that these are more contemporary and high-tech creations, most of these automobiles carry those impressions along with more up-to-date creature comforts and conveniences and safety standards. They are, perhaps, the underrated autos of our time.