this week, the window shop crew was tasked with looking for online listings of underrated cars. as defined in the brief, an underrated car is one that was reviewed poorly and unappreciated in its time but that now seems like something you'd want to own. after all, time heals all wounds. we set a $20,000 budget for no other reason than it would make our search a little easier and off we went.
contributor jonathon ramsey's pick is the oldest of the bunch, but even after nearly 40 years, not enough time has gone by to make any of us reconsider the amc spirit. sure, the pride of kenosha, wisconsin, might have predated turning cars into four-wheelers, and its legacy can be seen in today's crossovers, but the spirit's performance—it takes 20.0 seconds to hit the quarter-mile—remains comprehensively terrible. our other contributor on this episode, the excitable john pearley huffman, chooses a late-model buick lacrosse, which he declares to be the last buick car. senior editor joey capparella points out that his buick, the final regal, is actually the last car to wear the tri-shield. does it matter that the regal was also an opel insignia? does it matter that deputy testing director k.c. colwell's mother-in-law owns one? does any of this matter?
speaking of colwell, still reeling from an uncharacteristic ws loss last week, presents a car that c/d rated quite highly—even giving it a 10best award—but that never caught on with buyers and should therefore be considered underrated. a debate about what it means to be underrated breaks out. watch the entire episode and you might learn something useful, like that ferdinand piëch hated illuminated steering-wheel controls and also where capparella went to college.