There comes a time when you are in high school, wishing you had a $60,000 car to show off to your friends. But due to pay rates for high school kids and young adults, budget is limited, which renders a certain vehicle to be obtainable. These are not in any chronological order, but rather just listed simply. These are the ten vehicles that are worshipped and beloved by millennials and high schoolers. And by that, I mean vehicles that tend to be owned by them as well.
I may not exactly be mechanically inclined, however, the best of information can be handed to my knowledge, especially with the help of Wikipedia (yep, I’m cheating). And THANK GOD this isn’t one of these damned sites with more clicks than actual reading.
1. 2005-09 Ford Mustang
In many high school parking lots, there will always be a small handful of Mustangs throughout. However, a large amount of these have the 4.0L Cologne V6 motor in them. As much of a meme a Mustang can be, the Mustang has been known to be a generic kids’ dream car, especially the fact that many of them just want things that are fast and quick.
One known issue about this generation of the Mustang is its “natural ability” to eat up crowds of people. As a matter of fact, there have been a few personal experiences to such a mess. I do have to hand it, however, that the Mustang is fairly ahead of its time in terms of overall design. It also is an eye-candy for youngsters, considering it’s a pony car. In addition, most Ford vehicles lose value pretty quick (other brands being BMW and Dodge/Chrysler), making them easily affordable.
2. Bugeye & Blobeye Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Having three facelifts within the course of 2000 and 2007, both the bugeye and blobeye STi’s are “kill-to-have” vehicles for many millennials and high school kids who are more interested in the tuner group. They are also popular for Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system.
The bugeye STi (in which is not shown) may not be as sporty nor aggressive as the blobeye STi, but both variations of the STi’s are mounted with an EJ20 H4-Turbo block, although there are cases where they have the EJ25 H4-Turbo, but to the knowledge I hold, this is unknown to me.
For the most part, the second generation Impreza’s are bought and insured by their parents, but all of the tune-ups and customisations done to the vehicle, which do include things such as a bigger wing, upgraded turbo, and endless amounts of window tint and “smoked out” taillights.
3. 1996-2000 Honda Civic
The hilariously engineered generation of the Honda Civic is highly affordable AND popular among high school kids, due to the low insurance rate, price they are labeled for, and their flexibility for customisations. They also tend to have an unrealistic amount of “upgradeable features,” meaning that many basic features such as tilt steering, power steering, and AM/FM radio were upgrade options for some trim levels. However, some of the “upgrade features” can easily be installed, anyway.
There has been numerous running jokes about “Honda owners” that claim they have beat a Ford Mustang in a race, when in reality, the Mustang driver wasn’t even trying, but rather laughing at the incompetency of the Honda owner.
Now, before anyone attempts to set some sort of “Foreign Mob,” credit can be given for the unrealistically awesome fuel economy, thanks to their D13B4 inline-4 motor. Although, there are way too many variations of motors available, nearly all of them hold the glorious fuel economy, anyhow. The fact that many older generations of the Honda Civic have the widest variety of aftermarket parts make it easier to make your car yours. However, it also shows you have to buy aftermarket parts that’s worth more than the car’s worth.
4. 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
Although, the Grand Am isn’t popular among many high school kids, they were still known to be a common car in high school parking lots. However, most of them tend to be the SE models with the 4-cylinder motors.
Including myself, a large amount of young adults and high school kids find their car to be something as generic as a Grand Am, generally by females. For the year I owned one of these transmission-failure-prone cars, they were ironically stylish for the time period it was launch. Unlike many GM vehicles, they weren’t slapped with plastic pieces in the interior hard enough to injure yourself easily.
Despite the size of the Grand Am, they were slapped with either a 2.2L L61 Ecotec motor (weirdly, rare and only on SE models) or the 3.4 LA1 “3400” V6 (most SE models, standard on GT models). GT models were equipped with a “RAM AIR” intake, which only adds another five horsepower. Not very impressing, but are still surprisingly quick and agile.
As mentioned before, despite it’s very stealthy design (for its time period), the car was prone to mechanical issues, including transmission and cooling system.
5. LB7/LLY Chevrolet Silverado HD
Cars are boring, why not get a vehicle that works with you? At least in many high schools, a large amount of Silverados, generally with the “Angry Split” eyes are popular among high school kids that love the great outdoors, off-roading, and rolling coal. Weirdly enough, of the three American trucks, it’s said to be the most appealing.
Besides the “second gens (which will be mentioned next),” the LB7 and LLY Silverado HD’s are flourished in high school parking lots and numerous young adults. Despite their motors having various issues that I cannot exactly name, many of them are equipped with the Allison 1000 automatic transmission. Do note that Allison makes transmissions mainly for tanks and other military applications.
A large handful of them are owned by “wealthier crowds,” considering their resale value is much better than its competitors (the only competitors being the Dodge RAM 2500 & 3500, and the Ford Super Duty F-250 & F-350). However, it is the most expensive of all three truck variations for insurance rates, resulting in their parents to pay for it instead. This is all generalized, however.
6. “Second Gen” Dodge RAM Cummins
Unlike the LB7/LLY Silverados, the “Second Gens,” as I should name them, are available in a manual variant for the Cummins variant. Often in many high schools, the second gens are generally parked next to each other in the parking lots. They’re so common in the ownerships of high school truck owners, many high schools have a truck club specifically to the Second Gen Cummins.
Hilariously, the Second Gen Cummins is known to be overpriced when placed for sale, regardless of the damage, mileage, title, and replacement of its transmissions (notice the plural). It can, at times, even out-do the prices of the LB7/LLY Silverado HDs.
Despite the plastic-infested interior and awkward layout of certain elements, the 2nd Gen Cummins were still highly attractive to many truck enthusiasts, especially those who prefer older trucks than the current “efficient” versions of each respective trucks. When it comes to the aftermarket world for trucks, the 2nd Gen Cummins has by far a larger selection of turbo upgrades, as well as suspension and transmission, interior parts, and lighting.
If you didn’t mind doing a lot of auto-body repair, this truck would be a great fit.
7. 2006-11 BMW 3-Series (generally 328i)
If you’re feeling like a snobby generic suburban high school kid that feels underprivileged, yet, gets everything handed off to them from their parents, this is the car suitable for you.
From at least where I attended, the BMW 3 series were very common, though most of them didn’t obtain the 3.0L nor the X-Drive drivetrain, but were the basic variants with the 2.5L. These cars are, although somewhat appealing, they were nothing more special other than its badge, considering most of what’s found in the high school parking lots are the older versions from the mid-2000’s.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re way nice cars ..until you have to beg mommy and daddy that something in your beloved 3-series stopped working and would have to pay 3x the price the part is actually worth for repairs. Trust me, I work in a parts department.
8. 2000-06 Nissan Sentra
Because of Nissan’s relatively high loss of value, the Nissan Sentra tends to find a home in the generic high school parking lot, and quite common actually.
From what I’ve personally seen in my high school days, the Sentra’s are generally owned by the more “entitled” groups, though, this is just an obvious generalization. The Sentra has a 1.8L 4-cylinder, mated with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. Hell, you might get lucky to get the SE-R Spec V, which has a 2.5L 4-cylinder mated with a 6-speed manual with a limited slip differential. No wonder a lot of Sentra owners drive like absolute crap.
9. Ford Crown Victoria (Former Police Interceptors)
First and foremost, screw all of the kids who drive a Crown Vic, making myself and virtually every other nearby vehicle suddenly slow down and “behave” on the roadways. Secondly, the Crown Vic, albeit its atrocious & elderly-appealing design, the Crown Vic is a badass full size sedan that comfortably seats five passengers in five full seats. You’ll be lucky enough to have some of its equipment retained if you obtain a former Police Interceptor, as it comes with the rather obvious lights, cage split, and spotlights.
With the 4.6 Modular V8, the Police Interceptors have a trim-specific intake, a slightly modified idle speed by 40 RPM, a better gear ratio (3.27:1 rear axle), and some of the others I cannot exactly name as it becomes rather too technical.
The Crown Vic, alone, can withstand crashes far better than most other sedans within its competitors, namely the Dodge Intrepid and the Chevrolet Lumina (later the Dodge Charger and the Chevrolet Impala, respectively) of its similar time frame. This is highly ideal if you are searching for a cheap but durable vehicle for yourself or you child. I personally would purchase one. In addition, drivers nearby will “selectively drive safer” when nearby.
10. 1998-2004 Honda Odyssey
Your mom probably purchased herself a newer Odyssey, or grew more into the Chevrolet Suburban at her local Chevrolet Dealer, so she gave you her old minivan. The Honda Odyssey is another common large vehicle that’s found in most high school parking lots. The primary reason why I say this is because they’re superbly easy to fix, maintain, and is relatively cheap to own altogether, especially considering it’s rather a larger vehicle that seats up to seven passengers very comfortably. Not to mention, despite its size, it’s a rather safe vehicle to own, based on crash ratings.
For a short period, however, they were notorious for serious transmission problems due to their “lack of durability,” which is caused by a bad ball bearing breaking apart, causing fragments to scatter throughout the transmission, spelling erratic shifting.
Nobody takes minivans seriously, and would view them as sluggish drivers. Knowing that high school drivers tend to drive aggressively, these vans can take off and drive relatively quick, with a 3.5L V6 mated with either the (unfortunate) 4-speed automatic at 210 horses or 5-speed automatic transmission at 240 horses.
Is your typical high school car not listed?
Post on the comments on what vehicles you tend to find at your local high school parking lot!