What Car Defined the '90s?

A teal green Chevy Caviler
A teal green Chevy Caviler

The dream of the ‘90s is alive on Jalopnik! A recent dive into cars that don’t deserve their bad reps got me thinking about this glorious decade when the economy was good but the cars really weren’t.

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I mean, they were fine. But with the benefit of nostalgia and 30 years, it was a quaint decade with cars that, while not good in the traditional sense, defined the era with their quirky colors or smooth, round styling. It was just a friendlier time, and the cars reflected that. In this era of aggression and space-age design a little Geo Metro or Chevy Cavalier in that most ’90s of shades — teal — can be downright comforting. It just seems like the last era where cars were, on the whole, fun to look at even if they were tedious to drive.

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Of course, it wasn’t all bright colors and peeing Calvin decals; the ‘90s also saw the rise of the SUV, which have taken over our roads just 30 years later. And how great can a decade really be when auto designers were frequently reaching back in their own history to bring forward retro designs, like the Chrysler PT Cruiser? But this is the era of the pop up headlight, tri-spoke wheels and graphic decals — even with a few missteps, there’s a lot to love and appreciate from this iconic decade.

Tell us what car screams ‘90s to you — it doesn’t have to be the most powerful, or the sexiest or the best selling or most technologically advanced. I’m looking for the definitive car for that time and place. Something the stars of Saved By The Bell or Buffy the Vampire Slayer would drive as their first cars. So, pop in that Third Eye Blind CD (using a cassette adapter, of course) and tell us what is the most ‘90s car of all time.

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