Blah. Even researching cars of the 1990s is boring.
While the 1980s gave us everything we could ever want in cars, the ’90s took it all away and replaced it with the Chevy Impala, the generic brown bag of cars.
If the ’90s are known for one thing, though, it’s the beginning of excess. The Ford Explorer, Expedition, Excursion, and Lincoln Navigator were introduced, along with the Dodge Durango. There’s no denying the Explorer’s significance, as it is the SUV that popularized SUVs and led to many years of ever-growing road behemoths.
Want more examples of boring cars of the 1990s? Yeah, I really don’t, either, but I’m proving a point. I submit as evidence the Dodge Neon, Pontiac Trans Sport, Chevy Lumina, anything with an Oldsmobile logo (R.I.P.), as well as the Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler Concorde, and Dodge Intrepid. I could keep going, but I’ll spare you.
What I will do is mention the few bright spots of the 1990s:
In 1992, the Dodge Viper was introduced, giving Chrysler a V10-powered challenger to the Chevy Corvette. Chrysler also went out on a limb and introduced the Plymouth Prowler before permanently shutting down the Plymouth brand. While I didn’t like the Prowler, I did like that Chrysler stepped out of the norm to build it.
The ’90s also saw the birth of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The little roadster was priced right and became an immediate hit for people who loved to drive.
GM introduced a radical new brand called Saturn in 1990. Promising a no-pressure sales environment, Saturn quickly grew and enjoyed a cult following before the General let the division wither on the vine in 2009.
Finally, in another example of forward thinking from GM, it introduced the EV1 in 1996. This could have been the groundbreaker for electric vehicles, but instead GM pulled the plug and focused on producing big, high-profit SUVs. And we all know how that turned out.
Do you have any favorite cars of the 1990s?