Cars only … If it’s the same car, then great. If it’s two cars (one best driving and the other best ride), then please share both models. And do you regret not having the car now if you no longer have it? Thanks!
Mine best ride: 1988 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
Best drive: 1989 BMW 325i convertible
These were old cars when I got them but still rode/drove very well. They are missed.
Tough question. I’ve driven a lot of great sports cars, but bought only economy cars.
I guess the best for me in both categories might be my current car, the Scion tC (with upgraded sway bar). But all my first cars were RWD and all my cars since '82 have been FWD. They’re different animals. RWD cars tend to handle more responsively, but improvements in tires and suspensions have more than offset the difference. In the '60s and '70s we were on bias ply tires with solid rear axles held on by leaf springs, and recirculating-ball steering.
I guess the bottom line for me would be my tC in both categories. That doesn’t speak well for my ability to live life to its fullest.
The best driving car was a 1976 Porsche 914 2L. The best ride is the 2003 Olds Silhouette Premium. The Olds has a long wheelbase and comfortable captains chairs (4). The front seats are heated. Even the rear bench is comfortable.
The best I’ve owned in the past and currently own is the Lincoln Mark VIII. In a word; superb.
I’ve got a bad back (3 surgeries long ago) so me and car seats don’t agree on a long drive.
I’ve driven the Marks for 400 miles in one shot without a stop and have no discomfort. They loaf along at 70 MPH turning 1800 RPM and getting 25-30 MPG while doing it.
One thing I loathe is riding in the backseat of anything but I’ve been on an extended trip in the Mark and found the backseat to be perfectly comfortable with plenty of legroom unless the front seat is all the way back. Move it forward 2 inches and everything is great.
The most uncomfortable back seatt was a new Mercedes on an out of state trip. Sheer torture and obviously the Gestapo had a hand in the design…
Probably the harshest is an old '59 Corvette I had. Super cool car and fun to drive but in the summer it was an oven on wheels and rides like a lumber truck. Any of the old Corvettes are glamorous but they also let your spine know it. I’ve ridden in a variety of 60s era Vettes and you feel every crack in the pavement right in the backbone…
Never mind the Gestapo has been out of business for some time . . .
Best riding car, 1970 Cadillac CoupeDeVille.
Best driving, too many to say for sure.
The vehicle I owned that gave me the most comfortable ride was a 1990 Ford Aerostar Eddie Bauer extended version. The front seats were super comfortable for me. A close second is our 2003 Toyota 4Runner. The ride is firm, but the driving position and the front seats are very comfortable on long trips. I could drive both of these vehicles 400 or more miles and not have my legs cramped or be tired.
I had a 1961 Corvair Monza coupe that I thought handled well. I put a camber compensator leaf spring kit between the two rear swing axles and it had almost neutral handling–no understeer and just a trace of oversteer. The car did really well on snow and ice.
Picking my 68 cougar xr7. Ice was a little tough, 3 360’s luckily no other traffic,heading up to St Louis to get my bud to his wedding, pulled it straight eventually on the hwy and kept on going at 35 mph. Remembering also a guy on my tail, wanting to push me, recall seeing his headlights sliding off the road in a curve on a backwoods gravel road. Backed up he was ok so I moved on down the road. One other stupid move, misjudged oncomong traffic while doing a left turn on to the major thoroughfare, floored it, and even I was impressed, threaded a needle that was one in a million.
I envy you guys. The best riding cars are my newest and the worse were the old ones for me. That tells a lot about the “crappy” cars I owned when younger. Several Short bed Toyota 4 wd trucks were the absolute worse ! Every thing else since is a dream boat ! A lot has to do with the seats for me and wife’s Venza has great seats.
I guess my 81 Olds 88 Brougham was the best riding and most comfortable. You could drive it all day and never get tired and quiet as inside a living room. I guess my best driving and also very comfortable was my 89 Riviera. I got 480K on the one and 520K on the other so I really don’t think I would still want them back. They lived a good life but time to go.
@db4690, aged Gestapo officers who were never caught and moved into other but similar fields.
Having fingernails pulled, sitting in the back of that Benz; all the same.
Before we got to our destination the A/C quit (upper 90s outside) and the auto transmission was getting pretty balky about shifting. The thought of having to hitchhike was mentioned a few times and there was a lot of grumbling about whether the car would make it through the break-in period…
As for fun driving, I liked my SAABs, The turbochargers, shifting gears manually, and overall feel was a blast; and especially on curvy roadways.
1996 Mazda Miata hands down. Amazing handling, lightweight (2250lbs). Ride firm but not at all punishing due to 195/60/15 Dunlops. Comfortable seats. Perfect driving position. 100% reliability. Practical? Hell no! It didn’t have to be. 90% of the time no passenger. One of less than a handful of my cars I would take to my favorite “twisties” and make lap after lap on a 5 mile loop for the sheer joy of it!
Only on my fourth car but the 1987 Olds Cutlass Ciera drove and rode the best of those in large part due to the 3.8L engine and the bench seat along with interior size and proportions.
Minor honorable mention, despite being a bare bones hamster powered econo box, goes to the ability to create inventive parking spaces with the 1973 Toyota Corolla due to its tiny turning circle.
Best car to ride long trips in the back seat was parents’ 1965 Olds 98. It was rather a sweet car to drive too and amazingly easy to snake in and out of tight parking and parallel park.
^Gad, my lower back STILL has nightmares about the overstuffed sofa that masqueraded as a front bench in my '92 Cutlass Ciera! The only car I had to schedule “stretch stops” into the itinerary…and it wasn’t until I started a weight training regimen that my back strengthened to the point I could ride in it for a full tank of gas!
I guess a “comfortable” seat to me is pretty damn firm…as long as it’s just yielding enough to not bruise my “sit bones,” it’s just what I want! I think that’s why I like the seats on my Cobalt so much.
My idea of a “good riding” car is performance biased…what most people find a “comfortable” ride, I liken to being chauffered around by a drunk, while lying on a waterbed full of pudding. A car yawing or wallowing is really quease-inducing! I’d give the nod to the aforementioned Cobalt, mostly for the seats, partly because every other car I’ve owned was “well-used” by the time I got it!
The best-driving car was probably my WRX.
@meanjoe75fan – Despite a preference overall for bench seats I will say that some were as you describe and barely tolerable. The power bench in parents’ 1983 Olds 88 was a lower back and hip killer no matter how adjusted. I passed on the power seat in my 1987 Ciera as miserable and opted for the manual bench seat as far more comfortable despite the hassle involved when moving it forward or back.
The best riding was my mom’s Renault Alliance, a wretched piece of engineering, but remarkably comfortable (when it was working.) Luckily, not my car, but still the best riding I’ve lived with, and the seats were excellent, too, so long trips were very pleasant. If it didn’t break down. Our current Hyundai Elantra is quite nice, too. On the performance front, none have been remarkable. I (and everyone I’ve lived with) have always chosen efficiency and practicality over performance.
Best riding would be either my first car, a 1974 Cadillac DeVille, or a 1987 Ford LTD I had. Best handling (if one I’ve actually driven) would be either a VW GTI I had as a rental, or (if it has to be one I’ve owned), my 94 LHS. My current 300C rides pretty good, but it would be a major stretch to say it handled as well as my old 94 did.
Let’s add the worst handling–a 1979 LeBaron I had briefly–it handled okay, but the tires would screech on all but the gentlest of turns. Or my ex-gf’s 2000 Kia–that car wanted to dart off the road as you approached 80MPH. For such a little car, it handled awful. One more–the 2003? Buick Regal I had as a rental once–a highway entrance ramp that would have been nothing exciting at 40 in my LHS ended up being a tire screeching, body-rolling adventure that almost put me into a ditch–didn’t try that a 2nd time. Worst riding would be a 1980s Subaru I was was an unwitting passenger in for a road trip once. It brings back that old Yugo joke: “What do you call the shock absorbers in a Yugo? The passengers.”
I shamefully owned a Yugo that was less than a year old in '87-'88. It gave me what we came to call “Yugo knees”. It was the only car I’ve ever had that caused knee pain. I drove it all that winter, even though I was practically crippled by the time I got to work. In its defense, it pushed 30 MPG and never broke down, but it was one awful car.
Until very recently, my favorite car of all time for both ride and handling was a V-8 1997 Taurus SHO. We drove that car for four years. I don’t usually do that.
Six months ago I got a 2008 Chevy Impala SS. It out handles and out accelerates the SHO. It should. It has 303 HP compared to the SHOs 230. It flattens mountains and straightens twisty roads, sometimes at the same time.
@Bing I agree that Oldsmobile had some nice cars. I had a 1980 Olds Delta 88 with the F-41 handling package, the quite ride package, and the optional larger tires. This car was smooth, quite and handled great.
We took a cross country trip with it and at the end of the day I was not really tired.
The most fun to drive car is our 2012 Mazda3 Sport, but it is noisier on long trips.