The Tesla Model S may be the original electric luxury car. But the Nissan Leaf “was the first electric car to target the masses.” That's according to Autotrader.
“Think of it as the modern Ford Model T of electric cars,” the third-party listings brand said in a news release about the Leaf.
Autotrader recognized both of those vehicles as being among “The 15 Best Cars of the Decade.”
The Toyota Prius, Acura NSX, Mazda Miata, Toyota RAV4, Genesis, Kia Telluride, Ford Mustang, Ford F-150 Raptor, Porsche Macan, Chrysler Pacifica, Jeep Gladiator, Volvo XC90 and Dodge Hellcat are the additional vehicles to make Autotrader’s list.
Autotrader noted that as the 2010s have come to an end, the company felt now is a good time to review the cars that it says had the most impact over the past 10 years. The vehicles on the list stand out in various ways, Autotrader says.
“Some pushed boundaries with electric powertrains, mind-melting performance, and ultramodern designs, while others kept it simple, sticking to the basics and improving upon formulas that have worked now for decades,” Autotrader wrote.
The company continued, “A few even created entirely new segments.”
Discussing the Toyota Prius, Autotrader writes that the vehicle faced new competition as the hybrid-electric segment was growing quickly. Therefore, it needed to make improvements, Autotrader said.
“The third-generation Prius was more aerodynamic than the previous model and included a bigger engine and rear disc brakes,” Autotrader wrote.
About the Acura NSX, Autotrader wrote that when Acura finally released the second-generation NSX for the 2017 model year, it did so “with a price tag that is hardly as relevant to everyday buyers as the other vehicles on this list.” Autotrader notes the NSX's “impeccable handling from its sophisticated AWD system.”
Regarding the Mazda Miata, after the vehicle debuted in the 1990 model year, Autotrader said Mazda has “stuck to the same general winning formula throughout the years.” The fourth-generation Miata now features “a much more refined and polished package,” Autotrader writes.
“No other vehicle will put a smile on your face quite like the Miata,” Autotrader writes.
Autotrader praises the Toyota RAV4's "spacious cabin, good cargo volume, efficiency and reliability."
A sampling of Autotrader comments regarding additional vehicles on the list: The Genesis is a “full-fledged luxury nameplate” and “deserves a spot on the shopping list of any luxury buyer.” Autotrader describes the Kia Telluride as “featuring an extremely attractive, chiseled, boxy design that undoubtedly appeals to moms and dads who grew up with SUVs in the 1980s and 1990s.”
And the sixth-generation Ford Mustang, released in the 2015 model year, turns the Mustang “from a snarling muscle car to a fun, lightweight autocross champ,” Autotrader writes.