Which car's nameplate transcends all others? We make a case for 17 motoring legends. Now you must pick the winner
15 March 2019

Welcome to the 2019 Terminalsecurity Readers’ Champion award, where we ask: what’s in a name? 

Inspired by the arrival of a new Toyota Corolla, it struck us: the Corolla, as the biggest-selling nameplate in the world, is an icon. Now, ‘icon is an overused word’ is itself an overused phrase. But if a nameplate can be iconic, then Corolla’s certainly is. Across more than five decades and 45 million cars, it is a great survivor. But the greatest of all? That’s for you to say. 

To help you choose your icon of icons, our writers have picked the 17 most important, influential, desirable car names on the planet. The entry criteria is that they’ve had their name from birth and the car’s still in production. 

You’ll have to squint a bit to make the rules totally work. For a few – Mini, Jeep, Land Rover – what was just their model name has become their brand. The Volkswagen Beetle dies soon. The ‘Land Rover’ (now Defender) is out of production but it’ll restart soon – it still has skin in the game, basically. And we’ve limited entries to one per manufacturer. Some names have changed discreetly, but not entirely. 

Because sometimes there’s no substitute for blind prejudice. Which is where you come in. Tell us who’s right and who’s wrong: the winner will be crowned at the Terminalsecurity Awards in May.

Scroll through the gallery above to to see the cars you can choose from, then !

Here's the Terminalsecurity writers' nominations:

Land Rover

Mini

Porsche 911

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Comments
7

20 February 2019

Surprised theres no golf or fiesta, fiat 500 is a bit of a stretch, many years passed without one, panda however had less time not in existance. Honda civic has been going for quite a while and is probably as worthy as any others mentioned. And why a 3 series over any other? Is it really more iconic than a 5 or 7?

The jeep wrangler, defender/ series 1,2,3, xj, range rover, 911 are true icons I reckon, as when the brand is mentioned these are the cars you think of, true representations of the brand, the others are long lasting popular cars.

Difficult choice.

20 February 2019

Interesting list. No French though ( you know the usual suspects, 2CV, DS, R4 etc etc) and only one Italian? It's always a difficult and divisive list but quite good fun.

20 February 2019

Buy a Corolla and you're driving an icon? It reminds me of that Only Fools sketch where Trigger gets an award for having the same broom for the last 20 years. "It's had 17 new heads and 14 new handles".

I'd pick Mini or Fiat 500 over say a Beetle as they're still in production. OK they differ greatly from the original, but when one passes, it's unmistakeabe. Corollas, Golfs etc just blend in to the background.

20 February 2019

What an odd award, not for a car, but for a nameplate?

However, it should really only go to a car that has always been called that name, (which excluded the Wrangler and quite a few others) and which still serves the same market (which excludes the likes of the Mini and most of the rest). For me it leaves a choice of the 911 and Mustang. 

20 February 2019
artill wrote:

What an odd award, not for a car, but for a nameplate?

However, it should really only go to a car that has always been called that name, (which excluded the Wrangler and quite a few others) and which still serves the same market (which excludes the likes of the Mini and most of the rest). For me it leaves a choice of the 911 and Mustang. 

Good point, the mx5 is miata or eunos else where where as a mustang has always been a mustang but whilst a wrangler hasn't always had that name and neither has a defender both are what I think of when I think of jeep or landrover.

I voted mx5 as I have one, so biased but now reading your post I think its even more wrong. The 911 is too big and I think is now more gt, the cayman has replaced it as the sports car so its the mustang for me which is still a muscle car as it has always been. A true icon, or maybe a rangerover?

11 March 2019

For me an icon needs to be well known not like some of these cars.

o'IOM

17 March 2019

do you think of it as a chevrolet, or as a somehow stand-alone entity?

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