QOTD: The Most Exciting Car of Them All?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Right around this time last week, we featured a QOTD about the most boring car you’d ever driven. Searching through your memories for a boring car was apparently very easy, as nearly 200 comments quickly gathered together to cover all things boring and car.

Today, we’ll head the opposite direction and talk about driving excitement.

Think about a car you looked forward to driving whenever possible. The one car where everything felt right as rain. Nary a gear change was botched, the brake pedal was a familiar friend, and the steering spoke to you with intelligent feedback. You’ve thought about that car often, perhaps even after it exited your life. Passion and soul! And whatever else.

Here’s driving excitement for me. As a fan of sedans in medium or larger guise, luxury appointments, and cylinders of eight or more, the Lexus GS430 fit the bill. I always looked forward to sliding into the very comfortable driver’s seat, starting up the whisper-quiet 4.3-liter as the steering wheel motored down to meet my fingers. The steering, while a bit numb, was accurate and quick. The brakes were the strongest I’ve ever experienced in a sedan, and the power was always more than adequate. Shifts were smooth, and it was hard to catch the transmission in an unprepared moment (unlike a certain Infiniti). The whole car shrunk around you, feeling nowhere near the size it was. The one I owned was a 2001 model, painted Moonlight Metallic silver with a grey interior. I owned it from October 2010 through November 2013, when it was replaced by the current blue Prince-Datsun sedan in my garage. It just so happened that the exciting GS ended up being good value as well, as after three years of usage, I sold it for $700 less than I paid.

Since then, I don’t think I’ve encountered another sedan which combined exciting characteristics that way. Let’s hear your picks for most exciting car you’ve actually driven.

[Images: GM, Toyota]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Dividebytube Dividebytube on Oct 30, 2018

    In no particular order: 2004 BMW 325i - so balanced, so connected. It felt like the car was part of your body. Not the fastest thing around but so right. I thought it was the best handling car ever until I drove a... 2003 MINI Cooper S - yellow with black stripes. That supercharger whine, the go-kart handling. Again, not the fastest drag racer but it can chew through corners like nothing I've ever owned. 1994 Buick Roadmaster - not a handler, and not really a muscle machine but, for its era, one heck of a sleeper. Surprised a lot of cars in that brown grandpa bomb. 1986 Monte Carlo SS - 305 pulled and replaced with a "370hp" 355 with a ZZ4 roller cam and Vortec heads. It made the car scary as hell - a wet pavement and the non-posi rear would want to swap directions with the front. Very tricky to drive, a case where the engine overwhelmed the stock chassis and brakes. My current ride: 2014 Mustang V6 with a 6-speed manual. Yeah, there are a lot faster cars out there but this is perfect for me. Can drive like a grandpa, or you can stretch out the 3.7L engine and get some really nice performance. If you turn off the traction control, watch out, since the car wants to go sideways. A good bargain performance machine, just wish the steering had better, BMW E46 like feedback.

  • Artie Artie on Oct 31, 2018

    1996 Nissan Maxima SE, part of the legendary 4th (and 4.5) generation of Maximas. It was black, with a full Infiniti I30 leather interior swap, Stillen intake and exhaust, and clear sidemarker/tail light conversion. It was agile, fast, great steering feel, perfect throttle response, great brakes (with the right rotor/pad upgrade), reliable, roomy, had the perfect seating position, great visibility, easy to work on, and there was a great owner community across a few websites. The spoiler wasn't pretentious, the fog-lights had these beautiful yellow PIAA bulbs, and I had a fantastic Panasonic CD/EQ setup, with RF amps, Infinity sub, and POLK speakers, that was clean but not overwhelming. It's the one car I miss the most, and it's been my baseline to compare other cars against. Every car I've driven since gets compared to it, but none are as good.

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  • Michael Gallagher I agree to a certain extent but I go back to the car SUV transition. People began to buy SUVs because they were supposedly safer because of their larger size when pitted against a regular car. As more SUVs crowded the road that safety advantage began to dwindle as it became more likely to hit an equally sized SUV. Now there is no safety advantage at all.
  • Probert The new EV9 is even bigger - a true monument of a personal transportation device. Not my thing, but credit where credit is due - impressive. The interior is bigger than my house and much nicer with 2 rows of lounge seats and 3rd for the plebes. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, around 300miles of range, and an e-mpg of 80 (90 for the 2wd). What a world.
  • Ajla "Like showroom" is a lame description but he seems negotiable on the price and at least from what the two pictures show I've dealt with worse. But, I'm not interested in something with the Devil's configuration.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I really like the C-Class, it reminds me of some trips to Russia to visit Dear Friend VladdyPoo.
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