We’ve already determined what cars defined the 2000s. Now we need to make a definitive ruling on what car best represents the decade after the aughts and past the Y2K scare, when the U.S. dusted itself off and tried to recover from the Great Recession. What car do you think best defined the 2010s?
Is it some big SUV from Jeep like the four-door (ew) Wrangler Unlimited, which picked up steam around the Obama era? Or was it one of the pony cars from the Big 3: the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, which brought their rivalry roaring back to life during the 2010s, when all three cars were sporting throwback redesigns?
I would have to say the Dodge Challenger best defined the twenty-teens for me. I have a love-hate relationship with the Challenger because I love its design but am not a fan of the way it drives. It’s a powerful car, but it feels too nose-heavy for my taste; then again, I’m used to a much lighter and — in the interest of fairness — slower type of car, like the Mazda Miata or Toyota 86.
Still, the Challenger seems like it was a catalyst for a renewed popularity of all three American sports cars. In the end, I think all three were winners in their own way, but the Camaro and Mustang didn’t seem to capture the spirit of the decade as well, what with the Challenger SRT Hellcat coming out in the middle of the decade. And don’t forget those yellow bumper strips, which were all the rage.
Truly, nothing could say that America had shaken off the skittishness of the previous decade and its fear of high price of gasoline like a bonkers sports car powered by a Hemi V8. That same engine would go on to power the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, another good avatar of the reckless teens.
Hell, maybe FCA or Stellantis deserves an award for waving its freak flag during the 2010s, but I’m positive that spirit trickled out to many other makes and models. Which do you think best represents the release of the pent-up frustration following the aughts? Which car do you think defined the 2010s?