A Guide to 1991 Cars

From long-time favorites to collector classics, these are the best cars of 1991.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The Honda Accord takes the prize as the best car from 1991, but the Nissan Pathfinder and Ford F-150 dominated in other categories. 
The new decade brought forth some worthy upgrades from trusty favorites as well as new models hitting the scene. 
To walk you through the top dogs of the 1991 auto scene is
car insurance
super app
. We’ll go over the best picks in each genre of 1991, from SUVs and pickup trucks to luxury rides and family haulers. 

The best cars of 1991

Out of all the options of vehicles in 1991, these seven dominated their competition and stood the test of time. 

The best car of 1991: Honda Accord

Fair market range: $1,206 to $1,884
Powertrain: 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 4-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission
What makes it special: 
The trusty
Honda Accord
was 1991’s best-selling vehicle. Even in ‘91, the Accord was the go-to for an affordable, dependable, and comfortable sedan fit for daily drivers or family cars. With a smooth ride and decent gas mileage (combined 23 mpg), the Accord was almost certain to last over 200,000 miles. 
Accords also benefit from lower maintenance costs and lower
car insurance
costs. When it comes to all-around reliability and value, it’s hard to beat the Honda Accord no matter what year model it is. 
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The best luxury car of 1991: Mercedes-Benz 500E

Fair market range: up to $17,987
Powertrain: 5.0-liter V8 with four-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
500E was one of the brand’s first ventures into the luxury performance sedan sector—and it was actually built by
. Every 500E was hand-built in the Porsche plant, taking a full 18 days each. This created a limited number of cars, leading to its rare and desirable status. Despite a heftier V8 engine, the 500E was lighter with great throttle response, making it a decent daily driver and racer
Eventually, Mercedes switched over the name to the current
E 500
and reworked the vehicle, turning the 500E into a distant memory. With a few styling differences and plenty of luxury features, the 500E was an enviable luxury option in its day—but is even more popular today as a classic

The best SUV of 1991: Nissan Pathfinder SE

Fair market range: $1,807 to $2,932
Powertrain: 3.0-liter V6 engine with five-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
In 1991, the
Nissan Pathfinder
was breaking the mold for SUVs. With a refined body, smooth ride, and agility on the road, the Pathfinder was ideal for handling any terrain—rough or paved. It was one of the first of its kind to perfectly balance the comfort of car-driving and the grit of truck-driving—a privilege today’s SUV drivers take advantage of.
Not only was the 1991 Pathfinder absurdly capable for its day, but it still rakes in top reviews for its reliability, cost-effectiveness, and toughness.

The best luxury SUV of 1991: Land Rover Defender 90 

Fair market range: $29,997 to $42,000
Powertrain: 3.5-liter V8 engine with four-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special:
Land Rover
is well-known for their luxury SUVs, but this status was solidified over decades through models like the 1991 Land Rover Defender 90. As is the case with vintage
Range Rovers
, the Defender 90—named after its 90-inch wheelbase—was a massive hit due to its blend of chic and rugged appearance. After all, there’s a reason why the Queen herself prefers them to other SUVs. 
The 1991 model came standard with coil suspension, upgrading from the previous leaf-spring suspension, boosting the Defender 90’s capability for off-roading. Paired with its powerful V8 engine, the Defender 90 was unstoppable. 
Note: While Defender models under 25 years old aren’t available in the US due to safety and emissions regulations, the 1991 model is totally legal now—but its desirable status will cost you a pretty penny for a 30-year-old vehicle. 

The best family car of 1991: Toyota Previa

Fair market range: $1,906 to $3,028
Powertrain: 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder with five-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
Before the popular
Toyota Sienna
existed, the
was the top dog in the minivan segment. With its distinctive, futuristic appearance and spacious interior, the Previa was all the rage for families. In order to make more space, Toyota tilted the Previa’s four-cylinder engine under the front seats. 
Between all of this and Toyota’s top-rated reliability, the Previa was 1991’s ideal family ride. The Previa was discontinued in 1997 to make way for the Sienna, but it was reworked and released (and in some cases, renamed) in other countries with a hybrid powertrain in the mid-2000s. 

The best sports car of 1991: Nissan 300ZX Turbo

KBB fair market range: $1,615 to $12,948
Powertrain: 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with five-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
Nissan was having a moment in 1991, and the
played a big role in that. With a twin-turbocharged V6 and four-wheel drive, the 300ZX Turbo was the top-rated sports coupe after being on the market for just two years. With 300 horsepower and 283 lb-ft of torque, the small 300ZX packed quite a punch. 
In speed tests, the 300ZX Turbo managed a zero-to-60 time of just 5.0 seconds—beating out the ever-iconic
Chevrolet Corvette’s
time of 6.2 seconds. The 300ZX lasted until 2000 when it was replaced with the 350ZX, but the 300ZX Turbo will never be replaced in our hearts. 

The best truck of 1991: Ford F-150

KBB fair market range: $1,923 to $3,277
Powertrain: 4.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine with five-speed manual transmission
What makes it special: 
By 1991, the
Ford F-150
had remained the best-selling truck for five consecutive years. In fact, this all-American classic is the second best-selling vehicle of all time. Throughout the years, trims, configurations, and versions, the robust nature of the F-150 holds up—and the 1991 model is no exception. 
The 1991 model stood out largely due to its wide range of available trims and all-around functionality. This model, however, was the final version of the eighth generation, marking the end of an era for more utilitarian pickups. After this year,
ushered forth the idea of more luxurious pickup trucks, an ideal that still dominates the pickup truck segment. 

What cars came out in 1991? 

The beginning of the decade saw the continuation of dozens of classics—like the
Toyota Camry
, the Ford Taurus, and the Honda Accord—but there were a few new kids on the block. Check out the table below for some of the new cars that were introduced in 1991.
Vehicle type
Fair market range
Full-size sedan
4.6L V8
Sports sedan
2.0L inline-four
Pickup truck
4.3L turbo V6
GMC Typhoon
4.3L turbo V6
Around $8,959
1.5L inline-four
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The ever-popular Honda Accord was the #1 seller in 1991, with the Ford Taurus a close second.
With a top speed of 224 mph and a lightning-speed 0-60mph time of just 3.65 seconds, the
Ruf 911 CTR takes the prize as 1991’s fastest car.
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