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The 10 Best Characters In The Cars Franchise

Disney Pixar's Cars franchise has become one of the most popular and successful in the history of the company, spanning three different movies and over $10 billion in merchandising sales, the franchise is simply a juggernaut.

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Whilst sometimes the franchise has come under flack for its stories, all three movies are great animated films and because of its popularity some of the characters have gone on to become incredibly iconic in movie history, especially within the Disney bubble.

Within this list, we will rank the 10 best Cars characters in the franchise, looking at some of the fastest and brightest cars to those that help bring the heart and comedy to the popular movies.

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10 Cruz Ramirez

Cruz Ramirez may have only joined the Cars franchise in the final instalment of the series, but the car quickly became one of the most popular of all time as she took on the mantel from Lightning McQueen to become the next big race car.

Cruz initially starts the movie as Lightning's trainer, but it quickly becomes clear he is no longer able to compete at that level and the roles are reversed with Lightning taking up the coach role, allowing Cruz to live out her dream as a race car.

Whilst Cruz doesn't quite connect with an audience on the same level that McQueen does, mainly because the car doesn't quite get the same level of attention, it is still a brilliant character.

9 Mack

Mack is a character that often goes underrated by most people in the Cars movies, as he is normally overlooked for some of the flashier cars that are in the film, especially since Mack's main purpose is looking after Lightning McQueen.

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Mack is reliable and dependable and is always there for McQueen, a fantastic trait that everybody can respect, whilst Mack also provides some great one-liners throughout the films.

He isn't a main character in all three films, but the fact that Mack has remained as popular as most characters is a major sign of how iconic the big truck is.

8 Holley Shiftwell

Cars 2 is arguably the weakest of the three movies in the franchise, with the spy storyline not quite connecting on the same level as a simple racing storyline, but that doesn't mean that the film didn't introduce some fun new characters to the world.

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One character that was a success was that of Holley Shiftwell, which was portrayed by a Jaguar XJR-15 and was one of the spies throughout the movie, working alongside Mater in some hilarious scenes.

Holley was a likeable character, although she didn't quite reach the levels of Sally, she certainly served a purpose in this movie and helped make it that much more appealing.

7 Sheriff

It might seem strange that out of all of the brilliant characters in the Cars world, Sheriff is one of the top characters, but the Radiator Springs law enforcer really is a fantastic character in the original movie.

Whilst at first the character really does not like Lightning McQueen and comes down hard on the race car, Sheriff eventually warms up to him and plays a big role in helping change his characteristics.

It is a shame that Sheriff wasn't featured more in the sequels as it was a character that could have been fleshed out a little more and made into something.

6 Finn McMissile

Voiced by the legendary Michael Caine, Finn McMissile was one of the real redeeming qualities of the Cars 2 movie, as the main British Spy car, Finn took major inspirations from an Aston Martin DB4, and was a clear nod to the James Bond world.

Equipped with unique technology to help enhance the car, Finn instantly became one of the coolest cars to have appeared in the Cars world, mixing great, high-speed driving with other thrilling elements.

Whilst Finn only appeared in that movie and none of the others, it instantly became a popular character that is well remembered.

5 Guido And Luigi

Whilst this is technically two different cars, Guido and Luigi spend almost their entire time together throughout the movies as the two race car loving pit stop vehicles, which provide some fantastic moments throughout the franchise.

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At no point are Guido and Luigi the main focuses of the Cars franchise, yet whenever they are on screen they really do steal the scenes with their fast-paced Italian accents, talking as quick as they work.

They aren't anything special in terms of their car designs, but that doesn't take away anything from their characters, which are jam-packed with personality.

4 Doc Hudson

Doc Hudson, who is also known as The Fabulous Hudson Hornet is, without doubt, one of the best characters in Cars history, appearing in the first and third installments of the franchise as the popular retired race car.

Voiced by Paul Newman, Doc is one of the most important characters in the original Cars movie and is influential in helping McQueen become the elite racer that he has always been capable of becoming.

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Lightning saw the racing world through Doc's eyes after he became jaded with the racing world, although the two ended up teaching each other, with Doc becoming a beloved character because of that.

3 Sally

Sally Carrera is one of the best characters throughout the Cars franchise who is based on the Porsche 996 and becomes the girlfriend of the main character, Lightning McQueen, towards the end of the very first film.

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Whilst Sally is mainly featured heavily in the first Cars movie, she does appear in all three films, providing lightness to each movie when she appears as the perfect character to go alongside McQueen's bigger personality.

Sally is passionate about Radiator Springs and bringing it back to its former glory, which she manages to achieve alongside her partner.

2 Mater

Voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, Tow Mater, who is more simply known as Mater throughout the franchise is often the fan-favorite in the Cars movies due to his comedic nature.

Mater, who is inspired by a 1951 International Harvester tow truck might not be the flashiest or fastest vehicle in the films, but he really is the heart and soul of all the movies, whilst providing all of the comedic relief from some of the heavier, more emotional moments.

Despite the fact that Mater is portrayed to be dumb, it is often the tow truck who comes up with the answers to the movies major questions, even if he doesn't actually mean to do so.

1 Lightning McQueen

Kachow! Who else could be top of this list other than Lightning McQueen who is the crucial character in the Cars franchise, being the lead name in all three of the movies as one of the most popular characters in Pixar history.

McQueen's character goes on an interesting journey, from being rather self-centered and focused on only his racing career to learning there is more to life and that helping and caring for others is just as important.

As well as the life lessons that are taught through his character, McQueen also brings a large portion of the movies fast-paced action throughout his race scenes, which help keep the film moving on at a good pace.

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