The quintessential scene of famous Hollywood celebrities stepping out of their cars has proliferated the web. The world of paparazzi snapshots has exploded along with the internet, as fans clamor for more and more intimate views into the lives of their idols, who in turn seem to stoke the fire with increasingly revealing social media posts on a daily basis.
In the olden days of the 20th century, stars would emerge, dressed to the nines, from sparkling limousines and step their perfect shoes directly onto the steam-pressed red carpet. The whole image was as sterilized and controlled as possible and even then, tabloid magazines flaunted their aggressive pictures in magazines.
Today, even the lowest of B-list celebs can expect a flock of Canons, Nikons, and iPhones every time they leave the house to grab a cup of coffee, some groceries, or a combination pilates-spin-yoga class. Part of the information glut appeals even to the gearheads, though, because now the public knows exactly what kinds of cars the world's biggest stars drive on a daily basis.
And it's not all great. These are some of the wealthiest, most famous people in the world—with the global power to reach millions, if not billions—and yet they drive some highly questionable cars. In the end, strip away the facade and celebs are just like the rest of humanity. Their choices just go to show that, truly, there's no accounting for taste.
20 Acura MDX: Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth rocketed to international stardom thanks to his scene-stealing role in the first few minutes of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot—though most fans probably only recognize him as Thor, even in real life. But in real life, Hemsworth is married to Fast and Furious franchise actress Elsa Pataky and both can be caught roaming the streets of Los Angeles in their Acura MDX.
The fact that either has chosen the disappointing Acura SUV—from a brand that churned out so many hits in the 1990s and 2000s—is baffling. While Hemsworth can probably fly to Whole Foods with his hammer when he needs to, at the very least, Pataky should know a thing about cars.
19 Fiat 500: Jennifer Lopez
The Fiat 500 seems like the perfect city car; it's small, cute, and has a surprising amount of room on the interior. Jennifer Lopez even served as the brand's spokesperson to help bring a Gucci-Fiat team-up to the masses, but any celebrity could do better than a Fiat, no problem.
The gas-powered Fiat is ludicrously underpowered (and the Abarth is still front-wheel drive), and the build quality is more reminiscent of cheap Nike knockoffs than an actual driving vehicle for the roads. Meanwhile, the electric 500 is so shoddy, with a battery range so minimal, that the late, great Sergio Marchionne talked down on it while he was the CEO of the company that sold it.
18 Chevrolet Suburban: Chris Daughtry
The Chevrolet Suburban is an SUV that just about every celebrity has owned or ridden in at some point in their life. But the main reason limousine companies own Suburbans in their fleet is their size and the cheap entry price, so celebs themselves could probably do a little better for themselves than investing in the same SUV their chauffeur drives even when he's not on the job.
Even fourth-place runner up on American Idol's fifth season, Daughtry, who has enjoyed a bit of musical and acting celebrity ever since might love his Suburban, but that doesn't say much about the Chevy SUV.
17 Lamborghini Gallardo: Mike "The Situation"
Whether or not Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino still counts as a celebrity is probably a source of contention. He hasn't been heard of since the final season of Jersey Shore, or maybe it's that his car choices aren't hitting the automotive world in the same way that his lifestyle might be hitting the tabloids.
Either way—and regardless of how much cash The Situation actually has sitting around—the Lamborghini Gallardo is a questionable place to invest a couple of hundred thousand bucks. When someone like Danica Patrick decides her Gallardo just isn't cutting it and auctions it off online without even caring to be involved herself, it's a sign the Gallardo (which shares all the flaws and none of the style of the Audi R8) isn't in the pantheon of great sports cars.
16 Jeep Wrangler: Kevin Hart
Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kevin Hart, among others, are spotted driving around Los Angeles in their Jeep Wranglers on a daily basis. But while the Jeep Wrangler is a national masterpiece—so much so that Enzo Ferrari once declared it the only real sports car made in this country—these celebs aren't putting the Wrangler through its paces.
Just look at Hart's Jeep, done up with all kinds of custom details including wheels, tow hooks, a light bar, and check up on how many specks of dirt have ever lasted more than six hours on the bumper before someone took a warm chamois and polished it back to better-than-new condition.
15 Lexus RX 450h: Charlize Theron and Sean Penn
Lexus builds the RX 450h, which is essentially a Toyota Prius with a bit of a lift and some nicer amenities. Think of the shoe-shaped hybrid crossover as a remedy for those celebrities that couldn't quite take the drop in luxury required to make that quintessential Prius statement.
But the whole point of the Prius is better gas mileage and cleaner emissions—both of which the Lexus can't quite match. Clearly, the likes of Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are more willing to let the Earth suffer rather than forcing themselves to suffer through the bad design and cheap interior of the Prius.
14 Land Rover Range Rover: Kendall Jenner
As with many vehicles built in the UK, Land Rover's Range Rover is still struggling to overcome the notorious rule that potential buyers should buy two—since one is going to be in the shop at any given moment.
But Land Rover has parleyed the Range Rover's former ruggedness into a seriously luxurious SUV, and in some way, it's the luxury SUV that's paved the way for the rest of the market. Though the Range Rover may still be able to off-road if given the chance, it seems pretty clear that most Range Rovers in LA—especially Kendall Jenner's sparkling clean blacked-out example—never see so much as a gravel driveway, much less a dirt trail.
13 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: Jamie Oliver
If ever Land Rover needed a way to show the world they'd 1,000% lost their off-roading mindset, the Range Rover Evoque was just such a car. And yes, it's closer to a car than a true off-roader—though, at the very least, it's still better than most crossovers out there these days.
And it could be argued that a celebrity chef like Jamie Oliver may, on rare occasions, need to go off-roading to visit the farm where his restaurants find their humanely-raised, grass-fed, free-range, cage-free, pesticide-free, happy Cornish game hens. He's even got the mandatory leather boots, but this Evoque looks cleaner than it was when it left the dealer floor.
12 Jaguar F-Type: Michelle Rodriguez
Much like Land Rover and the Range Rovers, Jaguar has suffered through decades of notoriety regarding their inability to engineer cars that won't break down constantly. And yet, the conglomerate continues to maintain a strong presence in the niche market of celebrity car-buyers because their vehicles are, in fact, pretty awesome to look at and reportedly, pretty awesome to drive when they will drive.
But picking up an F-Type, even in the potent SVR trim, is a waste of time because there are plenty of sports cars that will drive better, with more power, for less money. Of course, celebs like Michelle Rodriguez aren't worried about how much their car cost initially—or how much it will cost to maintain—but at the very least they should want a beastly driver.
11 Bugatti Veyron: Floyd Mayweather
Ever driven through Las Vegas during rush hour? It's pretty brutal and rivals the hometown of most celebrities, Los Angeles, in its downright frustrating sluggishness.
And just like the celebs in LA that own Veyrons, Floyd Mayweather should stop buying the Bugatti supercars (notice his second one in the background) because for about 99% of the time behind the wheel, that quad-turbocharged W16 engine is probably only cranking out 30 or 40 horsepower (out of a peak well above 1,000) while still sucking down enough fuel to power the 600 Priuses that are causing all that traffic to begin with.
10 Tesla Model X: Jaden Smith
Falcon wing doors have been popular on high-end sports cars ever since the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL—the original Gullwing—hit the market in 1954. In the interim, butterfly, rear-hinged, and even dihedral doors have made inroads, as well, and Benz has even gone back to the gullwing layout a couple of times.
But even Elon Musk will admit that the decision to add the notorious setup to his Model X SUV was questionable, at best. Despite everything great about Tesla, Jaden Smith would have been better off going for the Model S and its lower aero profile (and normal doors) or even better, waiting for the forthcoming world-beater, the Roadster.
9 Bentley Bentayga: Cardi B
Bentley catapulted itself back to the forefront of the luxury automotive world with the resurrection of the Continental GT in 2003. The big, beefy coupe paired perfect styling with a seriously beefy, twin-turbocharged W12 engine sending 552 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Throw in the heights of opulence on the interior, and it's no wonder celebrities and the wealthiest people in the world ate the Continental GT up.
But Bentley's latest creation, the Bentayga, is just bad. Billed as the world's fastest SUV, the Bentayga actually shares its platform with a host of other Volkswagen-branded products, including the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg SUVS—and, crucially, Audi's A4, A5, A6, A7, and A8 sedans.
8 Porsche Cayenne: Hayden Panettiere
Porsche probably never shocked their snobby fans more than when they unveiled the Cayenne SUV. Following stunners like the front-engined 928 and its siblings, the water-cooled Boxster and 996-generation 911, P-Cars aficionados just couldn't handle the concept of a Porsche with ground clearance. (They'd reach even higher crescendos of outrage with the Panamera, but that was later.)
To Porsche's credit, even the most ardent hater has to admit the SUV looks good—and the driving experience has proven pretty stellar over the years. But really, the Cayenne is but a reworked Volkswagen Touareg, and its engine has to be dropped to perform anything but the most basic maintenance and repairs. Celebs like Hayden Panettiere should get a 911!
7 Aston Martin DBS Volante: Jason Statham
Hollywood and Los Angeles have been home base for top-down cruising just about since the convertible automobile was invented, but celebs need to get real with themselves and stop buying convertibles, in general.
Stars like Jason Statham, who owns an Aston Martin DBS Volante, aren't about to put the top back on a beautiful LA day because paparazzi everywhere will be able to document every step of their daily lives (more than they already do). And specifically, Jason Statham probably should ignore his ingrained sense of patriotism and find himself a better ride than the DBS Volante—even sticking with Aston Martin would be okay, as some of their other cars are definitely better.
6 Toyota Prius: Jason Sudeikis
The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular cars on the streets of Los Angeles, and that extends to celebrities, as well. Toyota was able to leverage the Prius to great success early on, especially compared to Honda and their hybrids, because they realized that making a car that looked weird made it stand out.
Even though the Prius isn't as expensive as plenty of cars seen around Hollywood, it's still a certain type of status symbol. But even though everyone in one may be snobby about just how much more 'eco-conscious' they are than other drivers, they probably haven't taken into account the rare metals required for their batteries, the disposal of used batteries, or how bad it looks to valet park a Prius.
5 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Usher
Usher may have stepped in as a spokesperson and model for Mercedes-Benz's newest release, the diminutive A 45 AMG, but that doesn't mean it's a car celebs should buy. Usher himself has an SLS AMG, yet another in a long line of cars that Mercedes has released over the last two decades to top their lineup of sports cars.
But other than the SLR, SLS, and now the GT in all its forms, the rest of Mercedes-Benz's sports cars are sedans and coupes that focus more on luxury than legit performance. The sad fact is that despite Benz's commitment to powerful engines, their cars are too heavy (and don't ship to the USA with manual gearboxes) to command such high prices as sports cars.
4 Ferrari GTC4Lusso: Rob Dyrdek
Professional skater Rob Dyrdek may be better known as the smaller half of Rob & Big, but every kind of fame he's managed to achieve clearly hasn't led to good taste in cars. Dyrdek allowed himself to get suckered into buying a Ferrari GTC4Lusso—a hatchback from Marinello. And then he let himself be photographed celebrating the buy.
The fact that anyone actually purchases the GTC4Lusso is almost as confusing a mystery as the fact that Ferrari made an all-wheel-drive hatchback with a V12 under its hood in the first place. And that's not to mention the GTC4Lusso name (or the fact that a twin-turbo V8 has replaced the V12)—clearly, Ferrari is struggling to nail this one down properly, and for good reason.
3 Hummer H2: Laird Hamilton
The Terminator made Hummers famous when he started cruising around Los Angeles in the massive, SUV rather than on his iconic Harley. And the Hummer was perfect for a man raised in Austria and accustomed to piloting military vehicles, but no other celebrity has earned that right and certainly, celebs should do themselves a favor and skip over the Hummer H2 altogether.
A mash-up out of the GM parts bin that was intended as a marketing ploy, the H2 has become synonymous with gas-guzzling, incapable off-roaders, and even though Laird Hamilton might need a big SUV to get to those hard-to-reach beaches (not to mention the headroom his friend Joakim Noah might need), there are plenty other, more practical, options out there.
2 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen: Steph Curry
Like the Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz's lineup of G-Wagens has slowly but steadily infiltrated the ranks of celebrities the world over. From Hollywood to the mean streets of Toronto, where DeMar DeRozan lived when he owned his G-Wagen and before being traded to the San Antonio Spurs, the G-Wagen maintains a solid presence.
Even Steph Curry has one for the hills of the East Bay, but celebs need to take a step back and just look at the boxy exterior of their uber-luxury SUV to see that it's a waste of gas and would only be at home off the tarmac, a place they never seem to drive.
1 Maybach 57 S: Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson tops a very specific list of actors: the movies he's been in have, together, grossed more money than the filmography of anyone else, ever. But that's what happens when you jump aboard hero franchises like Star Wars, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shaft, and now, the Unbreakable trilogy—which M. Night Shyamalan meant to be a trilogy from the start, for sure.
Jackson famously owns a Maybach 57 S, which along with its sibling, the 62, was the ultimate in luxury when it arrived in the early 2000s. But imagine the nightmare of parking, let alone driving, the enormous Maybach on the busy streets of LA!
Sources: IMDB and Autoblog.