Was 90s the best automotive decade?


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Apr 2, 2007
No, sleep, till, BROOKLYN
11 Xterra Pro-4x, 12 'stang GT
I was thinking the other day that 90s was the best decade for petrolheads due to the sheer number of choices in interesting cars.

Just off the top of my head and in no particular order in the US alone we had:
RX-7, MR2, Supra, 300zx in all it's trims, all the DSM craziness* (3000GT/Stealth, Eagle Talon/Eclipse GSX, Galant VR-4, Starion at the tail end), 240sx, tail end of the 190e, the B5 S4, obviously M3, the NSX. There were also the usual suspects such as the Jags, Mustang, Camaro and Vette.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some and not all of these were hugely reliable but they were certainly not exactly boring. Also I think one of the defining characteristics of a lot of 90s cars was that they can still run with modern stuff.
Skyline GT-R (R32,33&34), Subaru 22b...
NB Miata.
'90s were like a plusher, rounder '80s. Some of the cars and manufacturers reached their peak then.
Don't forget the SHO.


I believe you can make an even better case for the 60's though.
You could but.... the one, let's say uncommon, thing about 90s performance cars is that unlike 60s cars many of the more interesting cars still look and drive modern. And in some cases are actually better than what replaced them, FD RX7 vs RX8 as the most obvious example. Slightly less obvious the Turbo Z32 is in many ways a better car than my Z33 (and not just because turbos).
I believe you can make an even better case for the 60's though.

The cars looked better, but there wasn't the same diversity of sports cars.
And as much as people around here dislike it - the Volvo 850 Turbo/R - fastest wagon at the time, and fastest Volvo made to that point.
mr Regular reminded me of another awesomeness from the 90's - the SVX aka God's chariot.

I think I might have finally gotten a handle of why 90's is so far the best automotive decade, it's the birth of the truly modern car but it's also before car business became driven by the bean counters.
The 60's was the birth of the "affordable" sports car, which were essentially the pony cars/muscle cars, at least in the US since it was before globalization of brands. Then the 70's came and basically killed sports cars as we know them due to smog and CAFE regulations. Things started looking up in the 80's with manufacturers finally figuring out how to get power out of regulated engines and emergence of EFI system. 90's saw maturing of the 80's tech and also a lot of experimentation particularly from the Japanese brands that were starting to be seen as major players as opposed to cheap reliable transportation.* The 00's were all about the SUV craze and everyone scrambling to make one (worst example: Cayenne**), we are starting to see the resurgence of the sports car (finally!) but the 10's are dominated by efficiency and thus less risks are taken. Sure the 2015 Mustang is great but the only major difference is IRS, 370Z hasn't been updated in any appreciable way (and isn't THAT much better than the 350 to begin with) since it's inception really. We all love Toyobaru and the Miata but they are both somewhat limited in appeal due to lack of power.

*To be fair there were a few Japanese vehicles that have been well regarded before then but they were outliers.
**Not saying it's a bad product but an SUV from a brand that until then built exclusively road going race cars...
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The Cayenne saved Porsche and allowed them to make more sports cars.

Would it be better for them to be gone or brought under another marquee?
can i be the asshole again, and say the 90s sucked?

ok, there were lots of cool cars, but generally the cars weren't that great.

they were the first vitims of the eletronic gismos which hardly worked at the time, and are a horror by now
they were the first cars with pedestrian safety in mind, which ruined the looks
they were the first generation where the daily driver had to be comfortable, but at the same time, were the first victims of weight saving to save fuel, resulting in questionable materials in the interior etc
all this with 80s suspension layout and no electronic driver aids.

i'll taken an 80s car, which is still pure, or an '00 car, where they finally smoothed out all the glitches
the 90s were almost good, but just not yet

when i think about the 90s, these cars pop up: opel astra, ford escort, citroen xantia, nissan 100nx, ... :puke:

Would it be better for them to be gone or brought under another marquee?

You mean how they are owned by VW now? :p

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can i be the asshole again, and say the 90s sucked?
It would make you wrong :p

You are looking at it in the wrong way, the 80's and the 00's just didn't have the sheer variety of interesting cars that the 90's did.
they were the first cars with pedestrian safety in mind, which ruined the looks
I know they looked so terrible and aged really bad like:

And of course these two fugly pieces of crap

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You mean how they are owned by VW now? :p
I'd rather see a VW owned Porsche now than a non-existing Porsche 20 years ago before they developed the awesome Boxster/Caymans and the evolution of the 911.
Ohh yes, the 90s did suck massively<3
















Sorry for the picdump, but prizrak is right. I couldn't make a picdump for the 00's even nearly as big. And it's just what came to my mind right now, there's moar!
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