The 6 Most Overlooked Cars on the Market

Posted by: Lydia on 24/09/2019

Category: General


One of the best things about cars today is the wide variety on offer. There’s so much choice when it comes to picking your next vehicle. For any petrolhead old enough to remember a different era where options were far more limited, there’s no question this era really is our best ever. 

And yet, there can be downsides to it, as well. Because there's so much diversity in the Aussie car market, it’s easy for some real gems to get overlooked – cars that are fantastic, but for whatever reason don’t win the attention they deserve. Knowing which vehicles fall into this category can be really helpful when it comes time to buy your next car, as many of them offer great value for money. Here's a look at the 6 most overlooked cars on the market.

1. FIAT 500

Italy is the land of Ferrari and Lamborghini, of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Each of these manufacturers has a terrific reputation in racing, making it easy to explain why the FIAT has often been overlooked outside the Mediterranean nation. It’s a real shame too, because the FIAT 500 is a beautiful vehicle. 

Like the very popular MINI, the 500 is a compact car that is perfect as a commuter. With a small profile and sleek handling, it makes navigating the inner city easy. Possessing beautiful Italian design inside and out, it’s also a true pleasure to drive – giving you that taste of La Bella Vita all FIAT owners know well. 

2. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

The Lancer is sometimes seen as an ‘also ran’ to the Toyota Camry. While the Camry doubtless has the edge in popularity, the Lancer has a great racing history abroad. Anyone who drives a Lancer knows it should never be overlooked. 

To those who know and love it, driving the Lancer really does feel like a video game on wheels. It's a car that feels super light but is sharp and responsive, and is a terrific vehicle to take on the open road, with performance that will delight any driver who gets behind the wheel.

3. Skoda Octavia

The Octavia has some fans in Australia due to its fun ads, but is often overlooked due to its competitors' market dominance. It’s no secret that car loyalties die hard, yet the Octavia’s brilliance means it warrants a serious look for anyone buying a new car. It offers the beautiful handling and ease-of-use that compact cars are renowned for, while also delivering some real oomph with a 2.0L turbo diesel engine. There's also a roomy 5-seat interior to guarantee there’s plenty of room for a young and growing family, or weekend warriors devoted to regular road trips.

4. Hyundai Sonata

Like the Lancer, the Sonata has often sat in the shadows of giants. It’s a shame, as this vehicle is terrific in its own right, and the Sonata range has recently gotten a big interior upgrade. It combines the best of the sleek style European manufacturers are renowned for with cutting-edge technology that offers every driver a personalised experience, in addition to seamless integration with phones and other mobile devices.

5. Peugeot 2008

The Peugeot 2008 is a fantastic but often overlooked SUV. At its core, this is an auto for those who want a straightforward and pure driving machine. Certainly it's a sleek ride with a solid fuel economy of 4.9L/100km, but its smaller steering wheel and scaled-back interior mean drivers who have been longing for an auto that just lets them drive will adore the 2008. Alongside the driver’s experience, the roomy interior and sporty profile of the 2008 mean adding a roof rack or a rear bike rack is easy. This auto has some real sophistication behind its minimalist profile.

6. Kia Stinger

It may seem hard to imagine that this Kia is overlooked, given that the Stinger has won lots of kudos and is very popular overseas. Yet within Australia, the dominance of sports cars from Europe and Japan has meant this South Korean auto hasn’t yet won the attention it should – especially because it's hard to shake the perception that the best sports cars come from these markets, given their rich heritage. 

It's also true that the Stinger’s stablemate, the Cerrato, has dominated the attention Kia has won among car fans in recent years. It’s a shame, as the Stinger is undoubtedly one of the most exciting vehicles to arrive on our shores in recent years. With a potent V6 engine and laser-sharp braking, this is a vehicle with a race car’s soul that you can drive each day on city roads.

Connecting the dots

There's a common theme to this list that car fans may notice – with the exception of the Mitsubishi, all of these cars are made outside of Germany or Japan. 

There’s no question that these two nations are manufacturing powerhouses, home to many of the car world’s most beloved brands like Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. With Japan producing 8.4 million vehicles last year, and Germany putting 6.3 million in production so far this year, it's easy for other manufacturers to be overshadowed and their cars to be overlooked – especially because the distance between Australia and other regions of the world means many of those vehicles are a rare sight in Australia. 

While this fact may be a little frustrating to fans of these cars, it does mean that it can be easier to get one of these vehicles for a real bargain, and also to find a car club full of really passionate enthusiasts. 

However, even if you find one of these overlooked cars on offer for a great price, it's important to check out the insurance premium before you buy – it might be higher than expected. You should also consider the costs of parts and repairs, since there may be fewer mechanics available locally who can maintain it. 

Provided you can clear these hurdles, go ahead with the purchase knowing you’ve got a really fantastic vehicle that may be overlooked by others, but is one you’ll love every time you start the engine. 

What other cars do you think are overlooked? Let us know in the comments below:

Image: Pixabay