The Best Starter Cars in Need For Speed Unbound

Image credit: Electronic Arts

Another Need For Speed, another choice of starter cars to choose from. Need For Speed Unbound returns to its street racing roots by emphasizing the rags-to-riches story line by letting you choose a junk car to build from the ground up, only this time with a rather clever twist.

In this article, we will be looking at the best starter cars in Need For Speed Unbound and we will be comparing all the starter cars against each other to decide which one truly is the best.

This article will be containing story spoilers, so if you want to go at the game blind, you have been warned and it is best to turn back. Otherwise, let us go right in and check out those cars.

Pick a Junker to Restore

Right as you start the game, you are presented with three cars in a state of disrepair to choose to restore. For older Need For Speed fans, you will notice that these three cars represent three types of cars, namely muscle, tuners, and exotics, calling back to Need For Speed Carbon’s car types.

For the tuner (or Japanese car), you have the choice of the 1998 Nissan Silvia K’s (S14). For the muscle car (or the US representative), you have the choice of the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T. And finally, for the exotic (or the Euro representative), you have the choice of the 1988 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition.

All three of these cars have the same rating of A+ 251 but they differ a lot in terms of handling style as well as overall performance.

The Nissan Silvia, at least according to the statistics presented, holds the best top speed at 195 MPH. Oddly enough, it is the car with the least BHP with only 394 under the hood. Its driving dynamics also leans more towards the drifty side of things so it is a bit tricky to control. It is also the worst car in terms of acceleration with a 0-60 MPH time of 4.3 seconds.

Next, we have the Lamborghini Countach. Definitely a car you would not put in as a starter car for any game, but it makes sense in Need For Speed Unbound’s story context. This car is the most balanced of the three, with a top speed of 193 MPH and 492 BHP from the engine. Its handling is a bit more on the grippier side of things. It is also the best car in terms of acceleration with a 0-60 MPH time of 4.0 seconds.

Lastly, we have the Dodge Charger. A classic through and through, this car holds packs a whopping 667 BHP under the hood and yet it has the worst top speed at 179 MPH. This is due to its gearbox having only 4 gears instead of the expected 5 or 6. With the amount of power this car produces, it is also the trickiest to drive, offering a very drifty handling model. Its acceleration is pretty good with a 0-60 MPH time of 4.1 seconds.

Which Prologue Car is the Best?

Yes, you read that right, the car you will be picking on this screen will be the car you will be using throughout the game’s prologue so the car you will be picking here you will not be able to keep story wise.

However, the prologue car choice does give us something to strive for as the car you will be choosing here will be the grand prize of the story so eventually, you will be driving this car by the end of the game.

Having said that, the most logical choice here would be the Lamborghini Countach as it is the most expensive car of the bunch since it costs $216,500 when you buy it from the shop while the Nissan Silvia and Dodge Charger only cost $45,000 and $41,500 respectively.

But really, it is up to you which car you think would make a great antagonist car as you will be seeing it a lot of times in the story.

The Real Starter Car Choices

Once you finish the rather lengthy prologue, you will be given a starting bank amount of $37,500 and this will be the time you will be able to finally choose your real starter car.

There are 11 cars to choose from and it is a pretty varied list. From Euro hatchbacks to classic muscle cars, and some retro classic Japanese cars to boot. The cars are as follows, with their respective prices:

  • 1963 Volkswagen Beetle – $29,500
  • 1971 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG – $32,500
  • 2014 Subaru BRZ Premium – $33,250
  • 1996 Mazda MX-5 (NA) – $33,800
  • 1965 Ford Mustang – $33,980
  • 1977 Pontiac Firebird – $34,120
  • 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 – $34,470
  • 2000 Honda Civic Type-R (EK9) – $34,500
  • 2008 Ford Crown Victoria – $34,600
  • 2015 Mazda MX-5 (ND) – $34,700
  • 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX – $35,000

Which Car is the Best Starter Car?

Right off the bat, I will say that the Ford Crown Victoria is not a car worth getting as you will be getting a Legendary Build version of it later in the story.

If you plan on creating a grippy car, the only real choices from the list are the Honda Civic EK9 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse as they are front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) respectively. These cars will pose a problem when doing drift and takeover events though as these drivetrains do not lend themselves well to sliding.

If you think that would be a problem, the Subaru BRZ and Mazda MX-5 ND are also good FR (rear-wheel drive, front-engined) alternatives for grip builds as they are cars that are more suited to the road according to their statistics. Them having FR drivetrains also make drifting a lot easier.

In terms of stats, the Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Honda Civic EK9 are once again the creams of the crop as they both have a rating of B 123, the best out of the 11 cars.

The only problem these cars have is that they are pretty expensive, with the exception of the Subaru BRZ which is the third cheapest car on the whole list. With money being quite hard to get early in the game, it might be wise to choose the cheaper cars instead of the outright best ones.

With that said though, these 4 cars are definitely the best when it comes to stats, cost, and flexibility in terms of builds.

Online Starter Cars

Unique to Need For Speed Unbound from the other Need For Speeds is that the online mode has its own separate garage, so any car you have unlocked and built offline will not appear in your online garage.

With that said, the game also gives you the choice of three wholly different cars to choose from as your starter car for your online garage. The choices are, to say the least, rather interesting.

Like the prologue cars, all these cars have the same rating (this time a rating of B 134), but missing is an American representative. Instead, we get an SUV. Unlike the prologue cars, you will be able to keep this car in your online garage after picking it.

First, we have the 1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec (R32). With a top speed of 152 MPH, this is the second-fastest car of the choices. It would also be the most balanced as it has neutral handling and an AWD drivetrain that makes its acceleration pretty good with a 0-60 MPH time of 5.5 seconds.

Next, we have the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport (Mk7). The fastest of the bunch with a top speed of 156 MPH, this car has been tuned to be the grip handling choice of the bunch. It will also do better on the road thanks to its suspension. Its acceleration is pretty bad though with a 0-60 MPH time of 5.8 seconds as it is the only car with a 2-wheel drivetrain hence the reduced launch capabilities.

Lastly, we have the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G 63. The slowest of the pack with a top speed of only 149 MPH, this starter car was made more to be driven off-road. It can also be used to bully rival racers with its weight and heft. Its acceleration is not too bad either considering its heaviness, with a 0-60 MPH time of 5.4 seconds.

Which Car is the Best Online Starter Car?

The choices for the best car to start with online on NFS Unbound are definitely more of what your preference would be than the offline choices, with the VW Golf Mk7 being the grip car, the Nissan Skyline R32 the all-rounder, and the Mercedes G 63 the off-road car.

If we would look at cost, the Mercedes G 63 would be the logical choice if you wanted to complete your online garage more easily as it costs $95,000 to buy from the shop compared to the VW Golf Mk7 and the Nissan Skyline R32 being $51,500 and $72,000 respectively.

But other than that, since their purposes are very different from each other and their stats are pretty identical, just get what car or driving style you would prefer to be doing for the first few races and fill your online garage with more diverse cars along the way.

Final Thoughts

Building a stock car into a street racing machine is one of the sensations Need For Speed has always gotten right, and with NFS Unbound, it is once again done in a great way.

With money being tight early in the game, and events being rather tricky, your choice of starter car is very much as important as ever as you would want to win in order to gain more money quickly.

But again the choice will always be yours if you want to build up an American muscle car into a grip monster or a Beetle into a track demon. That is what makes Need For Speed games fun: the freedom of choice when it comes to customization.