The James Bond Franchise is known for many things, but one thing it’s known for is the vast amount of luxurious cars that 007 will utilize and possibly damage for Queen and Country. Several companies like Lotus, BMW, and especially Aston Martin have gotten a higher degree of attention by featuring their cars in Bond films.
That said, some cars are more appropriate for Mr. Bond than others. Some cars remain timeless, some are instantly forgotten as soon as the film ends, and some belong in the scrapyard as opposed to Q Branch.
10 Best- The BMW 750iL
At first glance, this car may seem to fit with Bond’s most beloved cars, but it isn’t all about looks in this case. In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond uses The BMW 750iL to escape from a parking garage in Hamburg that is crawling with henchmen working for news tycoon Elliot Carver. 007 jumps into the backseat and uses his fancy GPS enabled cellular phone (remember this was 1997) to control the car from the backseat.
The 750 iL may seem more family car than playboy cruiser, but its usefulness in one of the best scenes in an underrated Bond film gives it some major cool points.
9 Worst- The AMC Hornet
To be fair, the stunt that this car is involved with, the “aerial twist” off of the broken bridge is one of the most impressive stunts in the franchise. However, the car just feels more Dukes of Hazzard than Bond.
8 Best- The Lotus Esprit S1
From a poor Roger Moore car to an amazing Roger Moore car. During a chase between The Esprit and a helicopter in The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond drives off a bridge, hits a button, and The Esprit transforms into a submarine. Bond and his companion Anya use this opportunity to fire a sea-air missile at the helicopter, destroying it.
While the car is certainly very much of its time, the revelation of its second use as a submarine remains one of the most fondly remembered moments in The Bond Franchise.
7 Worst- The BMW Z3
Although it’s in one of the best Bond films, The BMW Z3 is one of the least memorable things in the movie. What really hurts this car is that it doesn’t really do anything in the film. In Goldeneye, Q mentions that the car contains features such as missiles and a self-destruct system, but none of those gadgets are used. Towards the end of the film, Bond and programmer Natalya Simonova are driving around in Cuba when Bond trades the car to CIA agent Jack Wade for a plane.
Apparently, there was a scene planned for the film that would have showcased what this The Z3 was capable of, but unfortunately, that scene never happened.
6 Best- The Aston Martin Vanquish
One of the best Bond cars features in one of the worst Bond films. The problems with Die Another Day are numerous and well-documented, in fact, many would argue that The Vanquish (or Vanish as Q calls it) is one of those problems. However, given the correct mindset, the infamous disappearing car’s chase with a stunning green Jaguar in an ice hotel is one of the best parts of the film.
Along with the camouflage feature, The Vanquish is also augmented with an ejector seat which Bond uses to flip the car back around after it was flipped on its head during the chase. Arguably one of Q Branch’s more overlooked accomplishments.
5 Worst- The Sunbeam Alpine
While Dr. No kicked off Bond’s cinematic legacy, there were still some elements that needed work, and the car chases were certainly among them.
4 Best- The Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Much like Timothy Dalton’s tenure as Bond, The Aston Martin V8 Vantage from The Living Daylights is a hidden gem that has received far more mainstream attention in recent years. In the film, Bond must get cellist Kara Milovy across the border between Russia and Austria. When they are attacked by The KGB, Bond puts the car’s gadgets such as a heads-up display and a pair of retractable skies to good use.
The scene really does a solid job making The Vantage look awesome that it is rather tragic when Bond is forced to blow it up. Don’t be too sad though, as the car will be making its return in the upcoming No Time To Die.
3 Worst- The Lotus Esprit Turbo
There are two Lotus Esprit Turbos in For Your Eyes Only and while the other isn’t used too well, it certainly looks a lot cooler than this one. All this car is used for is to drive up to hitman Hector Gonzales’ home in Madrid and then explode after a thug breaks one of its windows.
While this does lead to a witty response by Roger Moore’s Bond, The Lotus Esprit Turbo’s destruction in For Your Eyes Only doesn’t do much to make its appearance memorable.
2 Best- The Aston Martin DB5
Easily the most iconic car in the entire series. The Aston Martin DB5 is as associated with James Bond as his Walther PPK and is coveted by many fans. Introduced in the most beloved film of the franchise, Goldfinger, to attempt to list everything that The Aston Martin has been done in the series would be a near-impossible task.
A true highlight came when DB5 came back in Skyfall. The DB5’s reintroduction was treated with the care and respect that the car deserves. The DB5 is a staple of The Bond Franchise that has appeared and will appear in many films.
1 Worst- The Moon Buggy
Many would say that the Roger Moore era of Bond was when things got campy, but an argument could be made that the trend of ridiculousness began with Diamonds Are Forever. Released after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever isn’t as good as its predecessor, even with Sean Connery making his return. One of the biggest problems with the film was its attempt to up the silliness and the worst of that came in this scene.
While trying to escape from a lab owned by Blofeld, Bond hijacks a moon buggy from a moon-themed film set and escapes into a desert in Nevada. Totally ridiculous and unforgivably stupid.
NEXT: Which James Bond 007 Movies To Watch Before No Time To Die