10 Cars to Drive Before They Were Cool
Do you like Wes Anderson movies? Do you listen to your Neutral Milk Hotel vinyl on a vintage Marantz turntable you found at Goodwill for 75 cents? Are you wiping craft-beer foam away from your ironic mustache while reading this? Well, we’ve got some cars for you. What we have here is a collection of vehicles that are perfect for expressing your individuality. “But cars are so bourgeois,” you may say to yourself. Well yeah, that’s the irony of it.
Hipsterism is becoming very popular. (Insert your own meta-ironic joke here.) People are trying to look beyond what gets traditionally marketed in the hope of finding something new and different. And marketing teams from all over are trying to jump on this idea of breaking away from the mainstream to bring something different to the table. Cars are no exception, with many marketing teams attempting to appeal to the growing hipster demographic. Whether it’s a vehicle that’s truly unconventional or one that’s trying to make consumers rethink what’s popular, our list will definitely appeal to those who just want something a little unconventional.
10. “Don’t you know about the new fashion, honey? All you need is looks and a whole lotta money.” It’s clear, today, that in “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” Billy Joel was talking about hipsters and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. It broke onto the scene in 2012 like hairy ankles sneaking out of a pair of skinny jeans, and it’s still going strong. For the more affluent hipster, this is a vehicle that looks as good car camping in the Muir Woods as it does blasting Bon Iver through the streets of Portland.
9. The Dodge Dart is a perfect example of a car marketed directly to hipsters. The compact is a throwback to a classic in name only. The 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger is a hipster favorite: It was a big, brown, powerful, masculine, ugly car that perfectly expresses the irony of driving it. Hipsters love it. So Dodge decided to piggyback on the popularity of its name. The new Dart is quite a bit different than its namesake, but that shouldn’t stop it from a being a perfect fit for all the string instruments in your post-punk bluegrass band. Dodge is marketing this car right by bringing the name of a formerly popular Dodge relic to this modern compact. But have no fear, this car is plenty good enough to travel to free trade farmer’s markets for organically grown produce and cask beers from your local brewery.
8. Nothing says “hip” like the classic look of wraparound glass. While countless Porsche 911s can be seen touring the streets on any given day, this generation of hipster appreciates the rarefied (and fresh) air provided by the throwback Porsche 911 Targa, re-designed by Porsche in 2014. Like fresh-brewed, artisanal kombucha in a Mason jar, some things are better with a removable top. Complete with a fully automatic retractable roof, the Targa gives you an open-air feeling while also providing a unique flair not available in your typical convertible.
7. Hipsters are all about staying ahead of trends. Hybrids have become mainstream on today’s highways, but purely electric cars like the Nissan Leaf are still fairly uncommon. Add the Leaf’s unusual profile to its rareness, and you’ve got an EV to love before EVs become cool.
6. Let’s be honest, the Chevrolet Suburban is not normally shopped against old Volkswagen buses and fixed-gear bicycles. However, if you’re considering the latter, you might want to add a Suburban to your list. It’s big—really big—and it’s from Detroit, the same city you’re probably thinking of heading to since Austin has become too mainstream. If you don’t want to join one of the many colonies squatting in Detroit’s abandoned homes, buy a Suburban. It’ll be like squatting, but not really, since it’ll actually be your car. And don’t worry, with seating for 9, a 110-volt outlet, a happily absurd amount of USB ports and loads of cargo space, you’ll still be able to charge your ancient flip phone (along with the iPhone you own ironically) and be able to host traveling artists with enough room left for your vintage typewriter collection.
5. With trim names like “!” and “+” and the handlebar mustache on the front grille, the Kia Soul is a hipster.
4. The Audi A3 doesn’t scream “hipster,” but hipsters are exactly who Audi wants to buy them. Rich hipsters, to be specific. Audi launched the A3 in April of this year with a slew of lavish parties aimed at bringing hip, young urbanites to the brand. With a starting price of $29,900, you won’t even have to give up your Nolita apartment to buy one. Sure, it will drain your trust fund a little faster, but what is money anyway? With leather seating standard and quattro all-wheel drive available, you’ll never have trouble getting you and your banjo to the Hudson Valley for your recording session, even when the snow starts to fly.
3. The Ford Transit Connect is the appropriate millennial ode to your father’s Volkswagen Type 2. Picture this: When your main homo sapien Atticus is tasked with transporting the remains of his collection of first-generation iPads across town for deconstruction and repurposing, the Transit Connect will be the perfect tool for the job.
2. The marketing team for the Honda Fit (or Jazz, as it’s known in Australia) definitely had hipsters in mind. Just watch the video to see what we mean:
1. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, offered in brown and with a diesel, is the perfect car for a cross-country road trip to LA for your very first urban taxidermy class, an idea that came to you while standing in line for a perfect latte, sourced from the nearest steward of single-origin, shade-grown coffee beans. It even comes with a manual. ‘Nuff said.
Do you own any cars ironically?
-jharrington, jhughes, lrosenberg, msmith and zwaller
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Used Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Used Dodge Dart
Used Porsche 911
Used Nissan Leaf
Used Chevrolet Suburban
Used Kia Soul
Used Audi A3
Used Ford Transit Connect
Used Honda Fit
Used Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen