Maybe it’s a reaction to today’s swoopy styling, but many rectangular rides are gaining a cult-like following. The simple designs and big windows, juxtaposed to today’s sleek cars with high belt-lines that better protect occupants, but make visibility an issue, are in some cases even reaching the status of collectible. Modern crossovers with sloping rooflines, also leave something to be desired in the rear seat headroom and interior volume categories.
The cube-esque cars, trucks, and SUVs on this list are catching the eye of a generation that is supposedly killing the auto industry (and so many others, if you read the internet). Many of these cars are making appearances in popular movies and TV shows, increasing their popularity. This list will run through a sampling of rides that prove boxy is foxy, read on for 10 right-angle rides to keep an eye on.
10 Ford Bronco
Vintage Broncos are one of the best examples of a simple shape creating classic beauty. These rides have seen a jump in value in the last few years, starting with the first gen, but the generations that followed also have that boxy appeal, and may get pricier in the near future as well. On the very high end of Bronco collecting, ICON customers are paying well into the six digit range, to get the classic Bronco look with modern touches, only leading to a further increase in the cost of a clean example. Ford is reviving the Bronco name for 2020, and all signs point towards throwback styling.
9 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Nicely kept and restored examples of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are reaching into the high $30,000 dollar range and may continue to climb. Possibly due to being a feature in many popular shows and movies, like it’s impeccable casting as Skyler White’s ride in Breaking Bad.
That is just one example of the Wagoneers appearing in current pop-culture. The wagoneer combines all the right angles with the much lusted after wood paneling, reaching full boomerang potential to come back around, and Jeep is hoping to cash in. Rumors point to Jeep reviving the name for a big luxury SUV coming in 2022.
8 Mercedes W114/W115
The W114/W115’s from Mercedes encompass a large number of cars built from 1968 to 1976, but they all share a similar square styling which fits right in on this list. With wagons, sedans, and coupes on the menu, the W114/W115 offers something for every box-enthusiast. One thing these cars don’t have in common with their list-mates is price, as prices remain relatively reasonable. Put them in the “get ‘em while you can" category because these cars have a lot in common with pricier entries on the list. One commonality is a feature roll in entertainment, including a prominent place in the well-loved, but now canceled Netflix series Love.
7 Volvo 240 Wagon and Sedan
The Volvo 240 series is another ride that offers a wagon and sedan for the square aficionado. Volvo is THE boxy brand, probably curating one of the boxiest lineups in history, and even today that is echoed in the stunning V90. Volvos are known for comfort and safety, but as they age they are also becoming cool. The 240 has great visibility, and spacious interiors with handsome angular exteriors. A 1980’s ad for the Turbo Wagon called it the world’s fastest baggage handler. You can get a fun, boxy, fast-ish wagon, and luckily Volvo produced millions of the 240 series over the nearly two decade run.
6 Subaru Forester
The Forester is all practicality, but as it ages its looks become more endearing. It’s a safe reasonably economical adventure mobile, and to this day it maintains some of its box appeal. The first generation is by far the squarest, and lucky for you, Subaru made tons of them. If you want something sportier, the second generation offered the XT trim with a turbocharged 2.5 with as much as 230 horsepower, and a sweet (and square) hood scoop. Really any generation of Forester fits in on this list, and offers all of the off road capability even an adventurous driver would really need.
5 BMW E30
It should come as no surprise to see the E30 on this list. With E30 M3 prices skyrocketing into the ridiculous, attention has spread to the more mundane 3-series of the generation. Nice examples are seeing an uptick in value, especially because some see them as perfect budget drift cars, meaning many are being destroyed. The E30 has a look that is absolutely, classically BMW. With current Bimmer’s kidney grills growing larger and larger, to the point of being obscene, the eyes of millennials are looking to the past. The E30 has that simple squarish design that will look just as good in 20 years as it does now, and did when it was new.
4 International 1210
This spot on the list should also be shared with the International Scout. In a time of very square trucks, International made the squarest. That in combination with being a more obscure brand should pique the interest of any millennial hipster. If you can find a decent example of a period International pickup or Scout, snatch it up, these things are getting hard to find in good shape. As a majority of old International's continue to rust in pastures, the collectability of these classic cubes is only likely to continue skyward.
3 Suzuki Jimny
The Suzuki Jimny scores double points for being both boxy and a forbidden fruit for those residing in the USA. These capable compact SUV’s have a tough look in a tiny package and are quite good off-road as well.
Trading off styling cues of the past, and backing it up with off-road prowess the Jimny really is a complete package, That is why they have earned a cult following of Americans waiting for the 25-year import clock to run out. When they eventually reach American shores, these pocket-sized off-roaders will probably be quickly snagged by quirky collectors.
2 VW ID Buzz
Volkswagen has never been shy about reaching into its retro bag of tricks, to pull in buyers looking for something new but still familiar. In that same vein, VW is teasing a rebirth of the venerable (and boxy) “bus”. The ID Buzz is retro in styling, but forward thinking in motivation. This ride all electric, and will appeal to millenials stylistically, and environmentally. The one thing that remains to be seen, is whether this van will ever see production, as VW has teased us with bus-like concepts a handful of times in the last two decades, none of which have reached showroom floors.
1 Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is hardly bringing boxy back, it proves boxy never left. Jeep has had sales success for decades with a design that only sees modest change with each generation. So much so, that most people would have no problem identifying a Wrangler of any year as a Jeep. With the latest generation also lending its shape, and most of its parts, to the new Gladiator pickup Jeep has known for a long time that simplicity sells. Keeping the key features the same from year to year, has kept the Wrangler popular with both the rock and mall crawling crowds, even as most other manufacturers have cycled through dozens of designs.