Today’s “new” 1991 Saturn for sale just begs the question: What car from 1993 would you buy now in factory-new condition to be your daily driver for the next ten years or so? It’s not about making money off some exotic that might have appreciated. It’s your money, although like the Saturn, you get it for 50% off the inflation adjusted price. And then you get—and have to—make it your daily driver.
QOTD: Which Car From 1993 Would You Buy In New Condition To Be Your Daily Driver?
– Posted on March 9, 2023
+1, I’d still be driving my ’96 if it hadn’t been hit and then died while I was wrangling with the other drivers insurance company.
Toyota MR2, Miata, BMW 3 Series
Back then, I would have chosen a Mercury Sable, which had standard dual frontal airbags starting that year (IIRC, the Taurus still had the passenger airbag as an option).
But since I would get burned by the unreliablilty of my actual 1990 Sable, in hindsight, I’d get the Toyota Camry, which only had a driver airbag. This is of course the “fat” Camry so lauded all these years later.
Lexus ES300; still see a few around in decent shape!
I know its a FANCY Camry to some, but that extra price tag seems to have worked in staying power!
93 Toyota Camry. I still see them driving daily 30 years later.
Yes and they don’t look dated. Pleasant but plain . A car for every season . I’d take one out of practicality.
The Imperial. Assuming some basic reliability. Which I realize is a ridiculous assumption.
My ’93 but I would probably pick something more pragmatic for a DD. I like the ES300 comment. Or maybe an LS400? I would also be tempted to say a 4×4 Toyota Pickup or Nissan Hardbody but they sure were spartan back then.
The Hardbody SE-V6 was hardly spartan. It would have power steering, brakes, mirrors, windows, A/C and a sunroof. What more do you need?
It could also be a na diesel with 5 speed tree shift
Cougar XR7 with the 5.0 H.O. I’d prefer a Tbird SC with the 5 speed manual from a right brain point of view but no way would I depend on that engine for daily usage
300ZX, twin-turbo please. Still the best Z.
Easy- The last of the O.G. Saabs. Make mine a 900S 3door turbo, manual transmission. Black, tan interior.
I was thinking the same thing.
I’d say the same but I’d skip the turbo in the name of greater potential engine and transmission reliability. Also, I’d choose the 4 sedan with a 5-speed to reduce the rattles as the big hatchback made for a bit of a loose structure after years of driving.
Easy indeed, my current 3 season daily driver is a 93 900 convertible.
I’d take a Jeep Cherokee XJ, two doors, 4.0 six and 5 speed manual.
I like the baby Cherokee. I almost bought a 1984 when they were introduced. I currently have a 2001. I’d go for a 1999 Cherokee.
This, though I’d probably go for the 2.5 instead.
Oh boy, I was ready to pick a Town Car until you reminded me of this. I am with you on the 5 speed, but make mine a Cherokee Sport in dark green, just like the one my sister bought that year. At this stage, it would last me the rest of my life and then pay the nursing home bills when I can no longer drive and sell it. 🙂
1993, lots of good japanese stuff at that time
Toyota Supra twin turbo
Toyota Soarer with the 1jz-gte/manual combo
If Im forced to buy the usdm version Lexus SC400
Or maybe a nice bubba truck
K5 Blazer or reg cab/short box z71 Chevy
Ive owned enough boring sedans that nothing from 1993 really does it for me.
Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Midnight Black w/ Mocha interior) and Cadillac Allante (pearl Red) for fun driving. Chrysler Imperial (dark Green) for daily drive and when I need a roomy interior.
The LSC is still a good looking car
It would have been a Plymouth Voyager or Dodge Caravan back then, but if I could do it over, a Chrysler Intrepid.
It depends on if I’m in a Ford or Chevy mood, but I’d take a Camaro Z28 with a six speed, and I might choose that purple pearl color. On the other hand, a Fox Body Mustang Cobra in teal might be a cool daily driver.
I’ve owned two MY 1993 cars, both Toyota’s though only one bought new. Ownership coincided with some great years of my life … a lot of career success, a second home in the mountains, kids growing from infancy to driving age, and some great family road trips. Plus they were reliable and at least the Corolla wagon just sipped fuel. The 80 Series Land Cruiser did guzzle gas though. But the former is a bit mundane to make my daily driver, and the latter wouldn’t be cheap to buy, even at 50% off, nor to run. So I don’t know, maybe a last-year Fox Mustang, 5.0LX or like DougD, a Jeep XJ. Or a Suzuki Sidekick 4 door. Not the identical Geo-branded Tracker, just because. All with manual transmission of course.
I wouldn’t even care what color it is:
Ahh totally forgot I also had the SC400, black of course!
Judging by the manual shifter, that is an SC300, no manual with the 400, which is why I’d take the 300 with the 5-speed. Unless gearbox swaps are part of this equation…
This one is too easy for me. Even though I’m not longer a truly Certified Volvo Nut™, if you give me this time machine I’m buying the last of the Volvo 245 5-speeds.
Although the 245 was pretty outdated – basically unchanged since 1975 – and ridiculously overpriced* – you could buy a pair of Saturn wagons for the same dough – with a modicum of care and rust prevention I could still be driving it to this day.
*really. MSRP on the 245/stick was $22,820, and the Saturn SW1 was $10,895
Damn, yes! ’93 245 would be the dream!
If I were spending new Volvo money in 1993, I’d be going with a 940.
I had the SHO and I had the 5th Avenue with the covered headlights. SHO was fun, Chrysler was super comfy and very reliable. Mom had the Camry which was of course super reliable. Almost forgot, I had the Camry as a TWO DOOR for my stepdaughter’s first car. But to start fresh ‘now’ with a ’93, it has to be the Limited Edition Miata, black with that luscious slutty red interior:
Another I really loved was my Mitsu Diamante but that may have been a ’92……
Honda Civic VX. Manual. With that tiny tailgate.
1993 Toyota Camry Wagon
This is the most practical car ever and there will never be anything like it again.
That’s a ’91 at latest. The ’93 was the next generation.
If it had to be a 93, would probably be a RWD FLEETWOOD Brougham like the one I once owned. Actually prefer others I have owned ,but for the 93 model year that Cadillac would be the one. Unfortunately though dependable and a beauty, it had some issues. Of the vehicles shown, would choose the Imperial, though again not true to Imperial image.
Honda Accord EX coupe
Lots of interesting to me vehicles from 1993. Something like a Miata would be a good choice with a hard top for the winter but I’d probably go with something like a Nissan NX2000 with the 5 speed and t-tops. Sporty, economical and a little unique.
My next door neighbor in the mid 90’s had a Mazda MX3 with that tiny V6 and a 5-speed. I was so jealous. The NX2000 would be fun, but for that time and in that segment I’d go with the MX3. The exhaust note was like music when he came home every night. Drove me nuts.
I had a 93 Sentra SER in the late nineties, it would either be that or a Civic SI Hatch.
Honda Civic Si hatchback in metallic teal and yes, I’d keep it stock.
Here’s one from a BaT auction a couple years ago;
Early build 1994 Chevrolet Impala SS.
It’s the first vehicle that popped in my mind. I like the ‘early build’ excuse to skate under the wire here! I wanted one desperately as a teenager back then and I still would love one now 30 years later.
+1 Under the wire. Agree. The 90s seemed at the beginning a bit boring, or didn’t appeal, but the ’94-’96 Impala SS was both modern and a throwback–definitely the grandson of the ’65-’66 Impala SS. In black it was mean looking with a touch of evil. The digital dashboard was not my choice, but the exterior and the LS engine, oh my.
If you bought a 93 Toyota pickup truck I would bet people would stop you on the street and offer cash right there to buy it off you for twice the price you paid for it. Get it with the 5-speed and the 4, but RWD, SR5 ExtraCab, not PreRunner.
Similarly if one bought a Chevy Astro minivan, though that might not be so comfy as a daily-driver.
Ford Crown Vic with the Handling and Performance Package.
Alfa Romeo 164 with the V6.
The Imperial would be a fun if quirky choice. Was the automatic reliable by then?
A Camry. Could drive it for 30 more years, if you could still buy gas then.
A 1993 Buick Century with the largest V6 would be a relatively bulletproof “sleeper”.
1993 was the very last year for the Volvo 240, if I remember. Now that’s a classic!
Funny about the Astro, I just got back from a week in CA and saw several in great condition. There aren’t many survivors in the northeast at all and as I recall they were derided back in the day.
It would be a Camry V6.
Porsche Carrera 2.
The first “modern” 911.
Something like this. First date of registration April 15, 1993. Manual transmission, good! I don’t mind its (lack of) speed any longer. And in this case, the trunk spoiler is definitely cosmetic…
Bingo! But a 2.3-16v for me, alstublieft. If waiting for next year’s 1.8 MX-5 is out of bounds, that is.
I would probably either buy a Saturn or a Plymouth Acclaim. I had a 1994 Saturn SL-1 car with a five speed that was a nice car and was reliable. I’ve always wanted to try a Plymouth Acclaim or Dodge Spirit. A kind of “no frills” car in a Dodge Dart kind of way. A 1993 Ford Taurus would also have been good. Liked the styling of those cars and my folks had a 1990. Was a nice car!
I had a deluxe trim Acclaim . 3.0 V6 dark cherry red with dark red interior. A comfy cocoon it was . Ran like a scalded ape. Not too big. Not too small. Comfy AF. Miss it dearly to this day. Traded it for a used 91 Dakota in 93. My life was a disaster next 6 years. Met the future ex wife not long after & In hindsight? Keep Acclaim & pass on wife AND Dakota.
Nice question – easy (for me) answer – I’ll take a 964 RS 3.8, or Turbo S Leichtbau, please!
Believe it or not I actually daily a 1993 Q45 with 172,XXX miles when I’m in California. Of these if I had the choice it would be the E36, fantastic car. I actually had a
‘94 E34 525ia from 2007 – 2016. My favorite COAL so far.
And the picture:
93 Honda Accord EX 4-door sedan. Those were peak-Honda and Honda has been on the downswing ever since.
Why not the 1993 Accord SE? It had nicer wheels, leather, color-matched body trim and Bose audio over the EX for that last year.
As a daily driver, I’d rather not have leather seats (and the EX cloth of the CB Accord is no sacrifice), but you have a point about the wheels.
The SE was stuck with an automatic only. I’d get the EX with a 5 speed manual.
Right on. I’m lucky enough to have one, 5-speed in Arcadia green. Some might be tempted to plump for the SE, but I refuse to own anything with a slushbox, and I don’t like leather either, and I prefer my wheels, never cared for even-number spokes (unless it’s a set of Libres on a Triumph). Got mine from a Honda tech who owned it for over 20 years. Even has a Honda battery, and a brand new ABS pump and distributor. I still need to find and squirrel away an NOS A/C compressor.
Easy answer: My daily driver is (still) my 1993 Audi 100 V6. Enough room, sufficient motor, good reliabilty, and: no rust at 320k. Was a good buy. I do not need anything else.
But yes, in summer we’ll unwrap our rear engine VWs.
I’m really intrigued. When I sold my ’87 Audi 4000 quattro in 2015, it was because parts were getting harder to find. At the time I was working 25 miles from home, and working from home wasn’t a thing. A major criterion for the replacement car was that if I needed a part, I should be able to get it in a day or two without beating the bushes. How are you making this work?
To answer the original question, my 1993 car of choice would be an Audi 90.
I’d probably go for a Mazda Astina, the 323 hatch’s pretty cousin.
Though what I’d really like is a ’94 with the 2 litre V6. 🙂 Make mine manual.
My ex and I bought a ’94 T-Bird back then, but that was the first year the T-Bird got the 4.6L-V8.
Although I didn’t like its styling as much, I’d pick the ’93 T-Bird… the last year for the 5.0L.
Having put 236K on my ’88 T-Bird with that drivetrain, I would feel very comfortable with the ’93 as a daily driver. That engine was indestructible!
At first, I thought we were being asked to choose from the picture of those 4 cars. Then I read the comments, and realized it was about choosing any 1993 vehicle.
So from the pics of those 4 cars above, it would absolutely be the Chrysler for low cost to own and comfort.
From a list of any vehicles and based on having to keep it for 10 years with upkeep and costs in mind, along with thinking about comfort and reliability, I would choose a 1993 Buick Skylark GS sedan.
Mercedes W124 300TE or 300CE 24V?
BMW 530i or 530i Touring?
It’s the 10 year rule that guides me.
Dan: For a short period, we had a 1993 Dodge Dynasty. Not long enough to judge on cost and reliability, but I’d second that these gave a very comfortable ride. In some style, too. Maybe I’d buy one as a Sunday driver now.
Joe: That Imperiial (as far as I know) would have had the Chyselr 3.8L V6 and 4 speed auto. By then that was a good trans as long as you did the trans service when required or sooner. That engine was a very good one. Of the 4 cars shown in the pic above, my first thought was the Ford until I noticed it’s an SHO. They were a lot of fun, but the upkeep and costs due to being the SHO would have pushed it behind the Chrysler.
I’m kind of surprised at some of the answers people are giving based on the pretend to keep the car for 10 years as a daily driver. Personally, I wouldn’t pick anything from Saab, Volvo, MB, BMW or any European brands. That’s why I picked a Buick sedan for the low cost and reliability. But if I could have anything for free with totally free service and zero repair costs to me, then I’d probably pick the Jaguar XJ6 or a Saab.
Oh my, spoiled for choice.
Honda Del Sol or Civic, Nissan NX2000 or Sentra SE-R, Mazda MX-3, Toyota MR2 or even a Paseo, Saturn SC1, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Ford Escort GT or Probe. I’m probably leaving several out that I can’t remember now.
I can’t think of one vehicle on the market now that I even want. But from ’93, definitely.
Saab or Volvo, which way do I go. Well I can’t have a new Saab of any description, so it has to be the 900. Having said that, I am here in Britain, and in 1993 I was driving a Rover 200, which was a great car
I’d want both the Imperial and the BMW 325i, for different reasons. The Imperial to make a grand conspicuous entrance at the hotel/restaurant valet parking, and the BMW to drive for simply the joy of driving.
Wow, reading these comments I am seeing that was quite the golden age. Such freedom of choice and solid offerings…
It was a pretty good moment in automotive history: Many small cars had a decent level of comfort and luxury, most big cars were no longer hopeless barges, and coupes had not yet gone the way of the dodo. You could have your choice of pretty decent four-, six-, or eight-cylinder engines, and almost all now had reliable electronic fuel injection and engine management, which meant they could finally combine decent performance, fuel economy, emissions, and driveability. Safety had improved, you could get ABS on at least some models of most cars, and most U.S. cars were finally getting airbags rather than the awful passive restraint belts.
This was about my favorite era. I had an Acclaim I just loved. I to this day would love love love a 91 Dynasty or a Plymouth Breeze. Or even Caravan. Chrysler was on top of it’s game then . Would flat Love an Intrepid. As long as I could have them with the non OD 3 speeds. (Or a recalled fixed 4 speed) . Or God help me a clean used 80s Ford aerobird. I have very fond memories associated with my Acclaim and a (then) 10 year old 91 Caravan in 2001. (Both had the Mitsu 3.0 V6)
There were no Plymouth Breezes until the 1996 MY.
My choice would be a fifth-gen Toyota Celica GT-S.
Or how about an Eagle Premiere or Monaco!
These Renaults were last built for the 1992 MY, no 93’s. But, there were many unsold leftovers.
The rules said we have to make whatever car we pick our daily driver, but do we get to keep whatever we have now as our weekend fun car? I see a lot of people picking sporty cars, but I already own a Miata. If I’m allowed to keep that as my weekend car, then I would pick something that’s the polar opposite as my daily driver.
I am leaning towards the 1993 Buick Park Avenue. Good old traditional American luxury, all about comfort. And the 3800 engine had a reputation for being reliable. If I have to go back to working from the office the smooth ride would be prefect for my pothole ridden commute.
1993 Maxima SE with every option
My answer too. Easy choice. ’92 on had the upgraded 190 hp engine and of course that timeless shape which lasted one more year. Last good looking Maxima IMHO and the moniker “4DSC” fit.
One has to keep in mind that finding parts and service on some nice cars from ’93 would be an issue. I come up with several candidates:
From the heart: ALFA 164, forget the parts and service problems today, I had a ’91 and it was a true gentleman’s express.
More practical: Lexus SC 300. I’ve long been in love with the styling of the first gen SC and, from everything I’ve seen the 6 was more balanced than the V8.
Most practical: Honda Civic SI Hatch. I’m a sucker for small hatches and this was back when Honda was still hitting them out of the park.
So many good choices from that era, but I’d have to go with a 911.
If I were buying in 1993, it would have been either the Taurus, or the Chrysler Concorde – which I actually bought new in 1995. I shopped it against the new ovoid 1996 Taurus, which just didn’t do it for me. .
Buying today, I’d prioritize likely reliability and serviceability in a 30 year old car. The Lincoln Town Car and Lexus LS come to mind quickly.
While I would have bought the Lincoln handily in 1993, I’d probably give the Lexus the nod today – gotta drive it for 10 years!
A Mercedes W124 E320 would tick the largest amount of boxes for me.
But a Toyota Supra Turbo would be hard to resist as well
So many choices in every automotive genre. My shortlist would be
– Chrysler New Yorker. Last year to buy a traditional American plushmobile, and for ’93 (its last year in this form) you could finally get the over-the-top Landau/5th Ave. interior without a vinyl roof.
– Chrysler NYer 5th Avenue. Same as above with longer wheelbase, but alas these still had to have vinyl roofs, which I obviously don’t like. A Buick Park Avenue is a reasonable substitute, and I’d choose it if it were a ’95 or ’96 with the Series II 3800.
– Saab 9000 CS Turbo hatchback. Incredibly practical and roomy car, both sporty and luxurious. ’92-93 were the sweet spot for these, after key mechanical upgrades like the 2.3L engine, but before the available models shrunk down and it just starting seeming behind the times.
– Saab 900 Turbo hatchback. Last chance to get Saab’s greatest hit. The 9000 was a better car in most ways but less distinctive.
– Honda Accord EX or SE coupe. I always liked this generation and the attention to details, and the roomy back seat and trunk despite being a coupe.
– The Audi A6 from this generation were very, very nice, and the related Allroad was what the AMC Eagle wanted to be when it grew up.
– Chrysler Town & Country, as I like road trips with friends and often want/need to carry lots of stuff.
Time to choose; I’ll go with the Audi Allroad and hope it doesn’t break too often, but would be happy with either of the New Yorkers too.
Audi during 1993 was still firmly in 100-series C4 territory; the Allroad more than half a decade away.
Yikes, my mind wandered into the wrong decade for that one…
Much less of a fan of Audis of that era, they were expensive, unreliable, and the interiors weren’t as good as they’d later become.
Being as how the operative phrase here is “daily driver” and not “that would be a fun car to have” I would need a car good for daily activities. Can be easy to get in and out, quick and pretty nimble, good mileage, reliability, and a 5 speed. That puts Accord, Camry. last of the Volvo 240 series, last of the Saab 900 series, Protege, The fun car list is a lot longer but using if for supermarket runs, commuting every morning, dropping the kid off at school, and other mundane tasks could wear their fun off. A Porsche 911 on one hand and a Fleetwood Brougham on the other are those fun cars that aren’t the best for my daily tasks.
RX-7 FD Type R or Touring, it doesn’t matter.
So tempting, but they’re thirsty, fragile, finicky, and demand care in the wet. It’s up there with the better Alfas in the “Yeah, but want it anyway” category, though.
1993 Acura NSX in red and black with the 5 speed
+1 on this one – daily drivable like a 911 and the pleasure you would get from it would make every day the best day of your life!
If it wasn’t for rust, I might still have the ’96 I had 5 years ago.
Mustang LX 5.0. 1993 was the last year for the Fox Body. Bulletproof, readily available parts and reasonable repair costs. The only disadvantage is that it is not good in the snow.
This is easy. Lincoln Town Car. Luxury, comfort and room galore, eats up the miles, parts easily available, dealers are probably still servicing many of them, the 4.6 with the all-metal intake will run forever, gas mileage is not too shabby for a big car.
Since I still own a 1993, I suppose I’d buy this same car again. 1993 Nissan 240SX Convertible. It now has 36,000 miles and is garage kept.
Mmm, I’d choose a Range Rover Vogue LSE. Elegant styling and go-anywhere ability.
The E36 3-Series would be tempting, but as a daily driver, the high cost of parts and service would be a downer ($25 oil filters in early ’90s dollars, ouch). I love the Z30 Lexus SC, but it’s a little bulky and more thirsty than I would like. Likewise the Acura Legend coupe.
A 1993 Honda Prelude Si would be a more practical alternative (the VTEC is fun, but its franticness would get old in daily use), although the interior design is a step down from the third-generation cars and I’m not sure how much the dashboard would vex me.
So, I would probably also go for the Honda Accord EX sedan with five-speed, last of the CB generation and finally free of the awful mouse belts. Decent to drive, high-quality materials, generally reliable, and its weak spots are at least known quantities for me.
Hey, they still made the full-size Bronco then, didn’t they?
I’ll take a loaded one with a 351 and alloys in that dark red color, please.
And let’s go all the way and install those real glass headlamps that Daniel Stern mentioned the other day.
This will do…
Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis, but I also love the Chrysler AA bodies (Spirit/Acclaim) and C body (Dynasty/New Yorker) and GM A bodies (Century/Cutlass Ciera). I hate these kind of cars aren’t available today.
As 1993 was more than both 15 (Canada) and 25 (USA) model years ago, I’m summarily deciding the question is not constrained by original sales market. So, here’s my list:
• Chrysler Saratoga, Euro version of the AA-body Mopar with higher specs and better equipment inside and out. Since we’re already in dreamy-dream land, skip the 3.0/ProbleMatic and make it a Mexican-spec 2.5 Turbo II. 5-speed or 3-speed auto, depending on my mood at the moment.
• Mazda Millenia, 2.5/5-speed (Euro market again).
• Volvo 240, because this car’s presence on the list is mandatory under local, federal, and international law as well as my sincerely-held religious beefs.
• Saab 900 turbo/stick/4-door because I kinda wish I hadn’t missed out.
Order of the list depends on who’s paying for repairs and whether the time-capsule car also comes with time-portal access to parts.
Your 3rd choice is the obvious and correct answer.
Daniel, I agree with your choice of the Chrysler Saratoga. Outside of the Duster, that would be my other choice for 1993.
I’d take a top of the line Buick Roadmaster, or a Dodge Dakota 4×4 V8.
Dodge Intrepid. Only because there wasn’t a Plymouth version
E34 M5 Touring
I would pick the only car that I’ve really regretted not buying, a ’93 Acura Legend coupe with a six speed manual transmission. I waited too long and now they’re mostly just beat up junk. Where did they all go? Second choice would be a Honda Prelude.
If it’s a DD for me that means there are going to be kids in it, which means I’m picking the safest car I can. By my reckoning that’s gotta be a Volvo 850 wagon, on only its second model year and with (I believe) the only available side impact airbag system at that time. Shame the prompt wasn’t 1994 so I could get the turbo…
Edit: just looked again and side airbags weren’t offered in ‘93. Still picking the 850 though.
Dodge Intrepid. That may seem an odd choice in reality but a 1995 Dodge Intrepid (two years newer but the same car, actually) shares my daily driving duties. I drove it to and from work today! It has the base 3.3L OHV engine which has proven to be durable and reliable, but it won’t pin you back in your seat past its torquey tip-in.
Easy, a 93 Buick Century Wagon with the 4 cylinder engine. Perfect ratio of interior volume, fuel economy, seatbelts, and parkability. I’ve already been daily driving a 94 wagon for the last ten years and hope to keep daily driving it for the next 10 years. Recently added some wire wheels to mine.
Back in 1993, I would have picked a 1993 Camaro Z/28 six speed. If funds were not limited, maybe a 1993 Mustang Cobra. Either would have to be red. Today, I’d need something more practical. I’d consider a 1993 Caprice LTZ. It was a nice driver’s car and a bit of rare and unusual machine which makes it more appealing to me.
However, I am not sure a car would fill my use. I actually owned a 1993 vehicle and it was one of my best ever. My 1993 Chevrolet Suburban C1500 was an awesome vehicle, practical, durable and comfortable. I would probably slightly prefer the pickup variant today. So my pick will be a 1993 K1500 Ext-Cab 6.5′ box with the 350 TBI.
This is great, Vince. I know we have some things in common, but this is my response above:
It depends on if I’m in a Ford or Chevy mood, but I’d take a Camaro Z28 with a six speed, and I might choose that purple pearl color. On the other hand, a Fox Body Mustang Cobra in teal might be a cool daily driver.
I guess great minds think alike! Other than the color, we were pretty much identical in our answer on pony cars.
1993 Ford Mustang Hatchback, now worth a WHOLE lot more money.
I had a 1993 Corolla that was just about perfect as a daily commuter. I often thought a Camry would have been better since a I had a toddler and a newborn in the house at the time and I knew they would be growing up quickly (did they ever!) but the Corolla was totally reliable and economical too.
It is amazing that we were able to transport two young children and their accoutrements in the Corolla sedan and a 1996 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) instead of one of the current behemoths. I guess we just suffered and didn’t know it. [grin]
Mercedes W124 500E
Make mine a Mustang LX coupe with 5.0 and five speed stick. Also the nice aluminum wheels all the cop cars had, only not painted black. All the State Police units here in Indiana miraculously seemed to lose that coating pretty quickly.
Cost no object – Acura NSX or Lexus SC400.
Cost an object – Acura Integra, or can I wait for the 1994 Accord Coupe to come out?
1993 Taurus (or Sable) wagon for utility, smooth cruiser, decent mileage, parts availability–rather than taking the “fun car” approach (resale/collector value in 2023 not a factor for me, either):
Bought a ’92 Lumina Euro 3.4, best car I’d ever owned to that point. When a 15-year-old kid pulled out in front of me, I bought a 100K mile ’93 Lumina Euro 3.4 to use as a parts-car for the ’92. Same paint codes.
Swapped front fenders, grille, bumper covers, and hood. Had the subframe pulled back to position by the Dealership service department. SWMBO drove the ’92 as her daily for years thereafter.
The ’93 “Parts car” ran so well, that I flipped the crumpled ’92 fenders and hood upside-down on my lawn, and jumped on them to push the dents out. Got a bumper cover from the Treasure Yard, along with a steering column. Put something more than 50K miles on the “parts car” before the head gasket failed. Repaired the head gasket issues by rebuilding the top of the engine…but while the engine ran perfectly, the transmission was damaged by the tow home from where the head gasket had failed. It’s still sitting in my back-yard waiting on transmission overhaul. The ’92 is also back there, waiting on it’s turn for the top-end overhaul with head gaskets and valve-job.
So this is really easy: If I were buying a daily-driver ’93, it’d either be another Lumina Euro 3.4; or–this time around–the Lumina Z34 two-door version of the Euro 3.4. With CD player instead of Cassette.
Fabulous cars. Power, handling, comfort, and–up to about 150K miles–reasonable if not perfect reliability. But shave the head and slap a couple of head-gaskets on it, and it should be good to go.
Strictly car? Caprice wagon, solid color(maroon) with 350, posi, tow package, and top of the line interior. Loaded. I’d slap a set of cream steelies on it with dog dish and beauty rings. Done and done.
If suvs count as ‘cars’ fullsize Blazer it is for me, 350 again, 5speed. Posi. 4×4. Silverado package with that lovely red interior and all one color maroon, silver mirrored tint windows.
If trucks were allowed it would be a coin toss between the blazer and a centurion conversion extended cab long bed F250 with the turbo IDI 7.3l
I had a 1994 BMW 325is when they were new. It drove very nicely, although driving BMWs lost its luster once I drove a car that didn’t have its steering column installed at an angle which drove just as well. I wouldn’t want another BMW that I was planning on keep though. The 1994 aged like milk, eating transmissions as the sun caused its interior panels to warp and fall off. Sold it with 92K miles, as its third transmission was on schedule to fail. I also drove an SC400 during that era. I didn’t care for the packaging, but I think I would have been quite happy with a Lexus LS400. A Land Cruiser would be nice, although they weren’t quick back then.
I was a fan of the Chrysler P-bodies when they first came out. I really would like a Turbo 2.2L/5 speed 1986 Dodge Shadow ES (with the crab wheels), but by 1993 those were long gone from the line up…
Instead I would go with the 1993 Plymouth Sundance Duster with the 3.0L/V6 and autobox. It must be in the green they all came in along with the gray interior and the gold painted lace wheels on the top spec.
I can deal with the issues of the Mitsu motor and the trans, but something that small with a lot of punch is a lot of fun.
The pic I forgot to load.
Full size GM pickup, GMT-400 series, like I did buy new in 1993. Regular cab, long bed, 4×4, V-6, automatic.
It could also be a na diesel with 5 speed tree shift
Cavalier wagon with 3.1 MPFI V6. Those engines will run forever. Nice small wagon, can haul things when needed. I had one, I fit in that car better than anything else I’ve had.
To me this is the golden age of cars. Reliability of fuel injection, but without the complexity of OBD2 systems and everything being controlled by a computer module. And with the clean lined 80s styling, before everything started looking like a jellybean.
Mustang LX 5.0 2dr sedan. Black on Black with the 5 spoke rims.
The legendary Acura Legend LS Coupe
SUV is already posted: XJ Cherokee. Base (SE) model with 2.5, 5-speed, 4WD, 15×7 wheels, 4.11 gears, rear limited slip, A/C, cruise, AM/FM/cassette, tinted glass, and gauge package (I want a tachometer). No other options.
Truck: Dakota. It’s the second year (and last for the hot engine) for the Magnum engines, and I want a hot rod. So…2WD Dakota Sport (can’t get the 318 in base trim) with the 5.2 Magnum, 5-speed manual, 3.55 limited slip, rear ABS, A/C, tilt/cruise, and probably buckets and console. Swap stock skinny wheels for 15×8 NASCAR steel wheels painted either black or to match the truck.
Car…this is tough. New F-bodies are nice, but very impractical, not well built, and I barely fit. So…Mustang. LX 5.0 hatch, 5-speed. Base model with crank windows, solid roof, no options except limited slip, A/C and cruise control.