Famous Cars in Movies & TV Shows (2000 – 2019)

Movie clapperboard showing famous cars

There have been some pretty famous cars in past movies and TV shows but what about some more recent ones? As another decade draws to a close, we’ve compiled a list of the most famous cars from the 21st Century so far. How many of these do you remember and which ones did you fall in love with the most?

Aston Martin DB5

First appearance: ‘Goldfinger’, 1964

Owner: James Bond

Fame rating: 10/10

Okay, so we might have bent our own rules a little for this one but could we really leave it off the list? It’s comeback appearance in ‘Skyfall’ technically makes it eligible as a 21st Century movie car and it’s aged well – just like a fine wine. We thought we had seen the last of Bond’s DB5 after ‘Skyfall’s’ explosive finale but it’s been driven on the set of the upcoming 25th movie. You just can’t keep a legend down…

Did you know? Aston Martin is so synonymous with Bond that the car company have dedicated a third of their website to their involvement in the film franchise.

An Aston Martin DB5 in famous grey

Audi Quattro

First appearance: ‘Ashes to Ashes: Season 1, Episode 1’, 2008

Owner: DCI Gene Hunt

Fame rating: 8/10

‘Fire up the Quattro!’ This rallying icon helped Phillip Glennister’s bad-mouthed policeman fight crime on the streets of London for three series of the detective show. It was the wrong model for the early-1980’s but, in the words of the production team, ‘who cares? It’s a cool car!’

Did you know? The Quattro won 27 rallies and 2 World Rally Championship titles in the 1980s. It also finished as a runner up twice in the decade.

Audi R8

First appearance: ‘Iron Man’, 2008

Owner: Tony Stark

Fame rating: 6/10

Robert Downey Jr’s arrogant playboy, Tony Stark, helped bring both the Marvel Cinematic Universe, (MCU), and the stylish R8 into the spotlight. The billionaire chose the Audi as his ride of choice throughout the film and it appeared in each subsequent Iron Man and Avengers film. While ‘Avengers: Endgame’ may have been the end of Iron Man, (if that’s a spoiler, where have you been all year?), the legacy of the R8 lives on. Even though Stark showed up at Avengers HQ in an all-electric Audi e-Tron GT as his last ride, we’ll always remember the R8 with fond memories.

Did you know? Rarely has a car been so closely tied to the development of a single character as the R8 mirrors the development of Tony Stark in the MCU. Robert Downey Jr even unveiled the e-Tron GT by driving it to the ‘Endgame’ premiere.

The Batmobile

First appearance: ‘The Dark Knight’, 2008

Owner: Batman

Fame rating: 10/10

Arguably the greatest Batman film ever made, the first instalment of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy introduced us to the evil-looking ‘Tumbler’ Batmobile – a far cry from the first evolution. It’s a bruising, flame-spitting, six-wheeled juggernaut which helped Batman take down Heath Ledger’s Joker. While there were certainly other star performers in this movie – Ledger received a posthumous Oscar for his beautifully twisted performance – the dark and dangerous Batmobile certainly made its mark.

Did you know? A road-legal replica went on sale in 2014. While you got luxuries such as a CD player and Bluetooth integration, it did set buyers back $1 million!

Famous Batmobile design

Chevrolet Camaro – ‘Bumblebee’

First appearance: ‘Transformers’, 2007

Owner: Sam Witwicky

Fame rating: 8/10

The lovable ‘Bumblebee’ introduced us and Shia LeBeouf’s to the ‘Autobots’ and ‘Decepticons’, two warring robot races seeking a power source buried on Earth. Michael Bay’s reboot restarted the ‘Transformers’ franchise and there’s now six live-action movies and an animated series. This film had plenty of potential famous cars but the Camaro is cool in itself. A bright yellow American muscle car that can also transform into a 5-metre tall robot from outer space? Yes, please.

Did you know? Bumblebee was originally a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. In his 2018 spin-off film, ‘Bumblebee’, he returns to his original shape which is still cute, but far less cool.

Dodge Charger

First appearance: ‘Fast Five’, 2011

Owner: Various

Fame rating: 9/10

A film franchise about driving cool cars incredibly fast had to feature on our list and we had to find space for the Dodge Charger. It’s one of the most famous cars in itself having featured in classic films such as ‘Bullitt’, ‘The Dukes of Hazard’ and ‘Vanishing Point’. The full-throttle American muscle car tore up the streets of various cities in its ‘Fast and Furious’ outings as well, further cementing its place as a legend of film and TV.

Did you know? The famous car enthusiast Steve McQueen tried to buy the Dodge Charger he drove in the film ‘Bullitt’. However, he had not one, but two bids rejected and never owned it!

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

First appearance: ‘Parks and Recreation’; 2009 – 2015

Owner: Donna Meagle

Fame rating: 6/10

‘Parks and Recreation’ was the show that made the local government look fun. Every character was lovable in their own way and Donna’s Mercedes had a character of its own. While it’s certainly not as cool as some of the other cars on this list, everyone knew not to mess with this white SUV because it didn’t end well for those that did!

Did you know? The Pope drives around in an M-Class! You won’t find him in Donna’s model though. We don’t think bulletproof glass comes as standard…

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Fiat Cinquecento

First appearance: ‘The Inbetweeners: Thorpe Park’, 2008

Owner: Simon Cooper

Fame rating: 7/10

We’ve all quoted the classic ‘ooh, friends’ at our mates – and probably a few other quotes from this tongue in cheek comedy! The Cinquecento worked so well because it was so ugly. The yellow monstrosity was loved and hated in equal measure by Simon. The Cinquecento has only become famous because of the outrageous adventures the lads went on – but what adventures they were!

Did you know? The production team designed the ‘Hawaii’ model for Simon specifically. As a result, this one of a kind vehicle raised nearly £1 million for Comic Relief in 2011.

London Taxi

First appearance: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, 2014

Owner: Various

Fame rating: 9/10

The London Taxi is one of the most famous cars in its own right but the array of gadgets added by Britain’s unknown spy network added an extra element. The death-defying car chase through the streets of London at the start of the second ‘Kingsman’ film cemented the iconic nature of the London cab. And, when you throw in the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes uses a humble cab to get to crime scenes, its fame only increases.

Did you know? As part of ‘The Knowledge’, London Taxi drivers have to memorise every possible route around London. There are over 27,000 and they have to recite a random selection to pass the test.

A London taxi

Lightning McQueen

First appearance: ‘Cars’, 2006

Owner: Himself

Fame rating: 8/10

Disney predicted automated cars long before they became a reality with this cocky Nascar racer. When McQueen gets stranded in the long-forgotten town of Radiator Springs, his fortunes are turned upside down. In typical Disney fashion, his journey of discovery leads him to return to the race track as a more rounded person – well, car. His catchphrase ‘I am Speed’ accompanied by the catchy ‘Life is A Highway’ by Rascal Flatts was the soundtrack to many of our childhoods.

Did you know? Ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and 7-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher both made voice cameos in the film!

Pontiac Aztek

First appearance: ‘Breaking Bad: Pilot’, 2004

Owner: Walter White

Fame rating: 7/10

The battered, run-down Pontiac perfectly reflected the career of Walter White. The former scientist turned high-school Chemistry teacher drove a car that perfectly encapsulated his downward career path. Weirdly, the title of worst car ever made hasn’t dented the Azteck’s popularity because of the success of ‘Breaking Bad.’ More and more youngsters are driving Azteks than ever before. It can only be popular because of the show because it doesn’t work as a mini-van or an SUV – so there’s no good reason to buy it!

Did you know? The choice of the Azteck is even more symbolic because ‘Breaking Bad’ was set in New Mexico. The Aztecs lived in the state centuries ago, while it was still a part of Mexico.

Plymouth Junkerrolla

First appearance: ‘The Simpsons: Simpsons Roasting Over an Open Fire’, 1989

Owner: Homer Simpson

Fame rating: 8/10

It’s not the coolest car on this list; it’s not the most stylish car on this list but it’s a car that has endured for so long at the hands of an incredibly incompetent family. We reckon it’s famous just for its lifespan alone! Besides, the Simpsons have ‘predicted’ so many famous events, we could end up driving a Junkerolla in the future. It’s even more likely if Elon Musk keeps taking car production tips from the Simpsons.

Did you know? The Simpsons didn’t reveal the name of this car until 2017 – 26 seasons after the hit comedy started!

Subaru WRX

First appearance: ‘Baby Driver’, 2017

Owner: Baby

Fame rating: 6/10

This car only makes a brief appearance at the beginning of Edgar Wright’s masterful heist film, but its enough to leave its mark. Baby drives his red WRX at high speeds, drifting around to the music in his earbuds like a ballet dancer. As the WRX is just a souped-up version of the rallying machine the Impreza, we reckon it could take on the toughest rallying course with him at the wheel.

Did you know? This film took Edgar Wright 22 years to create from start to finish but, thanks in part to the WRX, it was certainly worth his while.

Subaru WRX

Volkswagen T2A

First appearance: ‘Lost – Tricia Tanaka is Dead’, 2007

Owner: Various

Fame rating: 7/10

‘Lost’ wasn’t the first show we thought of when we started making a list of famous cars. It was mainly because you don’t often find a fleet of Volkswagen campervans on a remote, deserted island! However, the popularity of the T2A and the TV show itself convinced us to give this machine the final spot on our list. The plucky nature of the battered, rusty vans give them a character of their own and, considering ‘Lost’ ran for 6 seasons, we reckon any vehicle able to survive that long without proper care and upkeep should get some recognition!

Did you know? This famous car didn’t actually appear in the TV show until the 59th episode! Nevertheless, it was so well-loved by fans that it sold for twice as much as a vintage Camaro at auction.

Have we missed any famous cars from this century off our list? Let us know your favourites in the comments below!

Drew Hickman

Drew Hickman

Drew works for BookMyGarage writing blogs, website content and almost everything else in between. He works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts. When he’s not helping you save money on running your car or making your driving life easier, he can be found either with his head in a book or with a golf club in his hands (usually looking for his ball in the woods)

2 Replies to “Famous Cars in Movies & TV Shows (2000 – 2019)”

  1. Get your spelling correct, Cinquecento – five hundred; Pontiac and Aztec. What about the cars like the Peugeot 406 V6 in Ronin a film with the best car chase ever. Some on your list pale into insignificance compared to this great film.

    1. Hi Geoff,

      Thank you for pointing it out 🙂 This is definitely not a full list of the awesome cars seen in movies and TV shows and we know there are many more to add to the list. What would you say as the all-time famous car?

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