These cars are generally disliked, but we secretly love them.
Everyone has their automotive guilty pleasure. That one car that you know is terrible, but you have always wanted. You never tell your car-loving friends that you like it, and you'll probably never own it, but you are entitled to your opinion. Visualize which car this would be for you, and leave it in the comments. We will be doing our top five list which features several cars that we consider to be a guilty pleasure. All of these cars are generally considered "not-so-good" or even flat out bad in some cases. Despite this, we still love them, for some reason.
The Chevrolet SSR was far from a sales success. SSR stands for Super Sport Roadster, which in no way defines what this car is all about. What GM actually built was a pickup truck with a retractable hardtop roof. The truck had retro styling which was supposed to hark back to the 1950s. The end product was a vehicle that was not very functional as a pickup truck, and terrible as a sports car because it was based on the Trailblazer EXT's platform. So what could possibly make us love this thing? Well, in 2005 and 2006, GM offered the SSR with the LS2 V8 from the Pontiac GTO and C6 Corvette. This bumped power up from 300 to 400 hp with the six-speed manual. It may be weird, but it was a cool idea.
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a car that many people in the US shunned because of its looks. We would never call the R-Class beautiful, but it was basically a minivan so by those standards, this thing is absolutely stunning. The R-Class was classified as a sports tourer by Mercedes, but it was really just a minivan without sliding rear doors. The V6 R350 produced 305 horsepower and it did come with RWD, but this wasn't enough to get it on this list. What did impress us was the very limited edition R63 AMG. Yep, Mercedes packed this minivan with AMG's hand-built M156 engine which produced 503 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. The R63 could hit 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, and is definitely a guilty pleasure.
You may be thinking, "What is the Mazda RX-8 doing on this list?" Before you get upset, we'd like to remind you that there is a large part of the automotive community that can't stand this car. Judging by Mazda's current offering of rotary-powered cars today, it really isn't that hard to see why. Series 1 RX-8s commonly suffered engine failures from cold temperature wear and lack of rotor lubrication. It isn't uncommon to find used models with only 60,000 miles that are on their third engine. Mazda even had to issue an extended warranty for all 2004 to 2008 models to cover the engine core for US models. At least the RX-8 was fun to drive everywhere else in the world.
The Cadillac Escalade was GM's answer to the Lincoln Navigator. Like Lincoln, Cadillac decided that it also needed a luxury pickup truck so it decided to add a ton of chrome to the Chevrolet Avalanche. Thus, the Escalade EXT was born. Like the Avalanche, which also no longer exists, the Escalade EXT wasn't that good of a truck. The bed was much smaller than most full-size pickups, although it did have the unique ability to fold the rear seats down to allow access into the cabin. The idea of a luxury branded pickup is currently extinct, but Mercedes-Benz could be bringing back the trend. Even today we loved the idea of super-comfortable pickup truck designed for "the boss" of a construction job.
The Volvo C30 is an interesting little hot hatchback. It is on this list because we really like it, but would probably never buy one. We really enjoyed its funky looks, but it was far less practical and more expensive than the car we would have bought back in 2013, the Volkswagen GTI. Still, the C30 did have a lot going for it. Mainly, a limited edition (250 units) Polestar model with a turbocharged inline-five producing 250 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Even though we probably wouldn't have bought one, we did always enjoy seeing the C30 on the road. Did you enjoy our list? Which of our guilty pleasures do you secretly like? And which car is your guilty pleasure? Let us know in the comments!