Need for Speed Underground is one of those car-racing games that are fun to play and deliver on what it offers from the word "go." The game is designed with much accessibility compared to simulation aspects, so it's one of those you can easily pick up and play, though some of it requires more of a pro to tackle. Depending on how you drive, you get to earn style points like those in the Project Gotham Racing series, but NFS Underground is more lenient and awards points for simple acts, and these points accumulate regardless of the mode you're playing. Plus, you get to unlock rewards each time the points meter fills up.
NFS Underground also features a great car roster, from the Honda Civic, one of the most popular, a VW Golf, an Acura Integra, a Ford Focus, and many others, all of which are differently rated in terms of their speed, handling, and acceleration. However, in reality, the cars aren't that different. In the game, upgrades are in two parts: visual and performance. The latter comes in multiple levels, which you have to unlock prior to buying them, like turbocharge, enhanced braking, and nitrous oxide boosts, plus much more. Visual upgrades like spoilers, body kits, neons, and window tinting, among others, are also awarded based on your style points.
But in reality, these guys just needed a good budget and plan on how to mod their NFS Underground kind of cars, and here are just 25 who aced it.
25 Acura Integra Type R (2000)
This two-door car was the most expensive and fastest model in the DC Integra generation and was also known on the import tuning scene. The technology within the car was inspired by NSX and was designed to be of high performance, targeting enthusiasts looking for fun while driving.
Under the hood is an all-aluminum 1.8-liter engine that produces 195 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque.
The 53rd unlocked car in Need for Speed Underground had a 4-cylinder VTEC engine and was the most powerful in the USA that provided plenty of power in its time. Vortex, as commonly known in the game, features high-compression, high-performance camshafts and valve gear, low-friction pistons, a large throttle body, and a close-ratio 5-speed manual clutch fitted with a heavy-duty clutch that takes charge of the power.
24 Acura RSX (2003)
In Need for Speed Underground, The Eastsiders are seen enjoying the performance of this two-door car that offers great handling and strong acceleration, which is also true in real life. This car, which could only be unlocked after completion of the Underground Mode challenge 46 in the game, is North America-built and powered by 200 bhp 2.0-liter inline-four engine. The RSX sport coupe has a good gearbox that's easy to handle and offers quick shifts. The car’s interior is also exceptional, from the beautifully integrated lines and texture to extremely comfortable seats. The RSX boasts of being reliable and has a better fuel economy; it takes in 33-35 mpg, generally.
23 Dodge Neon (1999)
At a price of $8,500 in Need for Speed Underground, the Dodge Neon is an amazing car whose main strength is top speed. One thing that made Klutch love this vehicle was the fact that it would have the fastest acceleration once it's been upgraded. Away from the game, the Neon is powered by either a 2.0L (A588) SOHC and (ECC) DOHC inline-four engine with power output ranging between 100 and 200 horsepower, and both engines are mated with a five-speed automatic transmission.
The Neon isn’t a sports car but is a great budget racer and favours those looking for a sporty compact.
The drive is immensely fun and has great handling with basic suspension mods. The setback with the car, despite having some good features, is the safety since they've done poorly in crash tests.
22 Honda Civic Si Coupe (2000)
Wondering why Samantha chose a modified White Kitten (Civic Si) that she took from TJ in the game? Then take a look at the car’s features in real life to know her reasons. The Civic Si is a two-door sport coupe powered by 1.6-liter inline-four engine, which is known for its 8,000 rpm redline and its special VTEC variable valvetrain system. It takes in 35 mpg. But what's even more interesting about the car’s fuel economy is the 41 mpg on the highway. Apart from the good fuel mileage, this car is perfect for a city ride coming up from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Plus, it has a lower maintenance cost.
21 Honda S2000 (2003)
If you've ever driven the S2000 and also played Need for Speed Underground and unlocked this car at event 70, then you'll understand why Chad - a member of Eastriders - trades the Toyota Celica GT-S for the Honda S200. This roadster is a real machine on the road, delivering great performance, and has won many awards for its genuine driving quality and reliability.
This car is a rear-wheel drive and powered by a powerful naturally aspirated inline-four engine.
S2000 allows for high-speed cornering, making it more effective in corners than straight lines. Some of the benefits include its light weight. Plus, it's tight and ready to fight and comes with an easy to remove top. Under the hood is a DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter beehive that turns 4,500 to 5,000 rpm.
20 Hyundai Tiburon GT (2003)
The Hyundai Tiburon GT is a front-wheel-drive sports coupe powered by a 2.7 L V6 engine that produces 181 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. If you've played Need for Speed Underground, you must've realized that this car appears at level 17 and features a decent acceleration and grip performance. Away from the game, this car has a base price of $17,945. It's only after a series of redesigns that Hyundai produced the GT that was edgier with sharp creases in the front fenders and smooth, tautly stretched skin. It also features a long hood with a short rear deck. The interior is simple but functional and has all of its surfaces painted black with expensive material, but it lacks accents to make it look beautiful.
19 Mitsubishi Lancer ES (2003)
The best words that can be used to describe this car are "great," "reliable," "nice," and "pocket-friendly" since its fuel economy is perfect, and you don’t have to worry about continuous maintenance costs. Generally, this car is perfect for young college students since it's economical and is powered by a 2.0-litre l4 engine, making 120 bhp and 130 lb-ft.
It can sprint to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds and has a top speed of 120 mph.
The Mitsubishi is fitted with a front-wheel drive with a five-speed manual. The car features in the game after the completion of event 4 and possesses great acceleration and a competitive average top speed, though it's tough to handle since it has a front-wheel drivetrain.
18 Nissan 350Z (2003)
Just from the design of this car, you'll definitely exclude the Nissan 350Z from being a family car and will instead classify it as a sports car. The 3.5L V6 engine is placed under the front hood and makes 287 bhp and 268 lb-ft of torque, while the energy produced is taken to the rear wheel through a 6-speed manual. The car sprints to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, and its handsome design was inspired by the Datsun 240Z. This car is made available in Need for Speed Underground upon finishing underground event 74. The 350Z is loveable with its power and handling, and more noticeable is the driving dynamics on slimy roads. The problems within the car, however, include its Bose stereo system, which has horrible sound quality.
17 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec-V (2004)
The design and the features this car displays just go to show that it's ready to go. The Sentra appears in Need for Speed Underground after completing event 24 or after collecting 170,000 style points. This car comes with a starting price of around $17,875 and is powered by a 2.5-liter engine making 170 hp, but it lacks sport-tuned suspensions or a six-speed manual. It does the 0-60 mph sprint in the high sixes, making it a second quicker than its predecessor.
16 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) (1999)
In Need for Speed Underground, Eddie, who's the antagonist, is seen driving a dark-orange Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec that would only be unlocked after earning 3 million style points. The character believes that he can win a race with the sports car and even underestimates the quality of other racers. Like Eddie, most people who've driven this car before would all agree that it's a serious racer in the streets not only in the game but in real life, too. This car was built using Nissan parts, and it features a side skirt, a front bumper, and a Tune hood.
It's powered by a 2.6-liter twin-turbo mated with a six-speed gearbox.
It also features a stiffer body together with improved aerodynamics that add weight to its performance on the track.
15 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS (2003)
Within the game, this car is unlocked in Underground Mode event 22 and boasts of competitive handling compared to the Mitsubishi Lancer ES and other cars in the game. Away from the world of games, the Impreza comes at a price of about $24,995, and it's stylish, tough, and durable. The Impreza comes standard with a full-time all-wheel-drive system. When you order it, the basic color is either blue or black. The Subaru is powered by a 2.5L boxer engine, which has a power output of 165 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, and the engine is mated to a five-speed manual and runs from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 110 mph.
14 Volkswagen Golf GTi (2003)
The Golf GTi is powered by a 2.0L l4 engine, and in Need for Speed Underground, it's unlocked by default and therefore, can be selected by any player as his first car.
The problem with it in the game is that it has slower acceleration with the lowest top speed.
In reality, the Golf GTi would be everyone’s first ride after high school, as every teenager would wish to spin the over-engineered 1.8L turbocharge four-spot engine with five valves mated with a five-speed manual that transmits power to the front wheel through well-sorted locking differentials. Inside, you'll find Recaro seats, automatic climate control, an adequate trip computer, and an optional sunroof. Optional features with the Golf GTi include heated leather seats and traction control.
13 2004 Audi A3
The Audi came into the market with an estimated price ranging from $37,000 to $75,000, depending on the model. Having come into the market as a competitor for other German machines such as BMW’s 1 Series and 3 Series compact and Mercedes-Benz’s A-class and C-class, it came with one problem: being similar to the older models. The comfort features within the car are extraordinary, and they include adjustable driver’s seat for height, squad slide that makes a driving position easy to maintain, a steering wheel that can tilt, and a telescope. The problems with the car included the leather seat, which was firm and flat and therefore lacked side support. At the same time, the headroom was small for someone with average height, though it had plenty of legroom.
12 2004 Audi TT
Though small in size, this car does a great job on the road. The handling around the corners is great, and it's also designed to tackle winter snow with ease. Apart from the exterior curving that catches the eye, the Audi TT is also phenomenal in performance, with a well-designed interior. The maintenance cost for this German machine can bring some trouble since it's quite expensive, apart from the low roofline that makes it hard to view traffic lights. Under the hood of the Audi is a 3.2 L VR6 and a 6-speed manual with an all-wheel drive. In Need for Speed Underground, the Audi TT appears upon completion of the eighth URL race and has an excellent acceleration. Plus, it can reach a higher top speed.
11 2004 Cadillac Escalade
In Need for Speed Underground, the Cadillac has been featured as multiple models, which include the GMT 800 and the GMT K2XL. The SUV is powered by a 5.4L V8 that makes 300 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque. The Cadillac accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph, while the energy produced at the front engine is taken to the rear wheel through a four-speed automatic.
In the game, compared to the Hummer H2, the Cadillac has a higher acceleration.
The comfortable heated seats fitted in the Cadillac can be adjusted to wrap the one on board, and the clean body lines and the chrome touches on the SUV attract major attention.
10 2005 Ford Mustang GT
Ford introduced the Mustang GT with a lot of improvements, which range from the fab retro/modern styling to quantum improvements. The interior of the GT is a masterpiece featuring aluminum on the steering wheel and the dash, and a chic, woven headliner. Mustang also features four-wheel-disc brakes that boast 18 percent more swept area, but it feels terrible on the pavement. Cruising in the car is quicker, and it's easier to offer a smooth ride. It's fitted with a 4.6L V8 (modular) engine that produces 300 bhp and 320 lb-ft of torque. It runs from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds, but in the game, the car tends to oversteer in corners due to its high acceleration and heaviness.
9 2004 Hummer H2
If you're interested in an SUV that has it all, then the Hummer truck would be your best bet. Everything in the Hummer is exceptional, from comfort to the styling to the roomy interior that's all leather with heated seats to the navigation system and to the AC that works perfectly. The Hummer is just itself — not a muscle car nor an exotic car. This vehicle has good fuel economy and is powered by a 325 bhp, 6.0L V8 engine that's connected to a 4-speed automatic. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds with a top speed of 93 mph. Its weight of 29,000 kg makes it the heaviest truck in Need for Speed Underground and the least powerful SUV in the game, and with its big size, it understeers in corners in the game.
8 2004 Infiniti G35
The 2004 Infiniti G35 has been known for its performance, styling, and comfort. Both inside and outside, the car looks great and offers a near-luxury feel of comfort for those on board. The G35 gives out great power with easy control and also drives beautifully at low speeds.
One of the setbacks that the Infiniti has is poor gas mileage, which is, at an average, 18 mpg.
Under the hood is a 3.5l V6 engine making 278 bhp and 269 lb-ft of torque, and the car runs from zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds with power from the engine transferred to the rear wheel through the six-speed manual. The stage 4 car in Need for Speed Underground is considered a torquey car with minor handling problems.
7 2002 Lexus iS300
The IS 300 is a mid-sized car featuring luxurious bits and pieces designed to give Lexus a good reputation even though it has poor performance. For better performance, the IS 300 was later fitted with a 2JZ 3-liter 6 cylinder engine that replaced the existing 2-liter. The vehicle is mounted on 17-inch wheels with low profile tires that stick the car to the road. For comfort, the car has a big soft leather seat that's electronically adjusted. The engine that's placed in the front pushes the power to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual, and it runs from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds with a top speed of 139 mph. In NFS Underground, it features average performance and handling compared to other cars that are unlocked in stage 3.
6 2004 Mazda RX-8
The 2004 Mazda RX-8 is priced at $27,590 and came into the market with redesigned features, which include two extra rear hinge doors and four seats. It also rides on a new flex-free sport chassis with power from a cleaner 1.3 L rotary 13B-MSP engine that makes 232 bhp and 159 lb-ft of torque. The energy from the engine pushes the car’s 1,347 curb weight from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and it has a top speed of 150 mph. In the game, the vehicle is introduced upon the player completing the URL event in stage 4 of career. The Mazda RX-8 boasts exceptional handling, good acceleration, and a modest top speed.
5 1999 Mitsubishi 3000 GT
This car has built a reputation for being a silent sleeper and can easily please. Its performance is exceptional, what with the 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 engine and AWD that made it a real threat to other cars during its time on the road.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual that pushes it to a wonderful acceleration and top speed.
The performance of the 3000GT might be good, but it also has some drawbacks in handling. Apart from being on the heavy side, another setback of the car is the costly rate of repairs, but despite the setbacks, it's worth every dollar.
4 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII
The Evo is one must-have car. In fact, this vehicle has once been regarded as the savior of Mitsubishi from its earlier problems with its performance and purity. Evo is powered by a 2.0L Turbocharge l4 engine making 261 bhp and 272 lb-ft of torque. The power from the engine is transmitted to either the front- or the all-wheel-drive by a five-speed manual and pushes the car from zero to 60 in 6 seconds. The EVO came in many trims, which included the MR and the FQ400 (the most powerful model in the Evo VIII range) and appears in NFS Underground in level 4 on career mode. You have to complete URL race 15 to unlock it. It's considered as one of the best cars in handling, and since it's a four-wheel drive, it's capable of accelerating faster than cars within its class.
3 2003 Peugeot 206 GTI
If you only know the French for their good wine, then you're short in terms of the list of what they're good at. To maintain the tradition, the French produced a smart, stylish Peugeot 206 GTi. The two-door car is sleek and well designed but, at the same time, has some faults, which the owner has to keep in mind. Under the hood is a 2-liter 4-valve engine producing 102 kW at 6,000 rpm and 194 Nm of torque at 4,100 rpm. The body is fixed on sixteen-inch alloy wheels, with other features including a four-wheel disc and a sport suspension. In Need for Speed Underground, the car is unlocked from the beginning, and it provides quick acceleration with good handling, placing it at the same level as the competitive Mazda MX-5.
2 2004 Pontiac GTO
With a base price of $35,000, the 2004 Pontiac GTO is worth spending money on. Its curb weight makes the GTO’s handling quite sluggish as compared to its competitors, such as the Audi A4, the 3.2 FSI Quattro, and the Cadillac CTS.
The two-door coupe is powered by a 6.0L LS2 V8 engine that allows it to have excellent acceleration with a decent top speed of about 157 mph.
The overall performance of the GTO is the same as that of the Ford Mustang GT. Though the GTO lacks in later stages of career mode, it’s durable in pursuit because of its high weight. The GTO made its debut in Need for Speed Underground as a Tier 2 Muscle car coming with two variants with the same performance — one being a stock while the other being visually modified.
1 2004 Subaru WRX STI
The 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi boasts of being the first STi to be introduced in the North American market and comes with different specifications compared to its counterparts in Europe and Japan. Instead of being powered by a 2.0-liter EJ207 flat-four engine, it was powered by a new 2.5-liter version codenamed the "EJ257." This car appears in Need for Speed Underground 2 and is unlocked in the early stages of the game after completing all URL events and is one of the fastest cars in the game. In real-life events, the STi comes with a base price of $36,955 and produces 300 horsepower with the same number in the torque column. The power produced by its engine enables the car to sprint from 5 to 60-mph in just 5.8 seconds.
Sources: caranddriver.com, roadandtrack.com, nfs.wikia.com, thecarinvestor.com