We expect the rich and famous to drive cars that are as ostentatious as they are. It’s pretty normal to see photos of celebrities riding around in candy-coloured cars that cost more than a whole house. But not every actor, athlete, or singer goes big, bold, and flashy. Some of them either don’t care about a fancy ride or just think it’s a better idea to stay under the radar with something more common and more understated. Here are eight celebrities who drive normal cars, trucks, or SUVs instead of some kind of luxury exotic.
This story started with a tweet from comedian Hasan Minhaj. The award-winning comic and writer was on The Daily Show for four years and has had specials and a series on Netflix. You might expect someone with that level of success to drive something high-end, but instead, Minhaj said in the tweet that he drives a black Toyota Camry, also clarifying that he wasn’t someone’s Uber driver. We thought it was a joke, but you can see parts of the car in some of his social media posts. Minhaj also owns a black Honda Odyssey, which is probably perfect for blending in in New York City.
Rapper and Fast and Furious family member Ludacris gets to drive loads of sweet rides in real life and in the movie franchise, but what does he actually drive? A 1993 Acura Legend that he bought back in 1999, just before his career took off. Luda is such a fan of this Acura that after a 2015 crash that left it in sorry shape, he, along with Acura, completely restored the car, adding new paint, but also new suspension, new brakes, and a new sound system. The car has even made it to an album cover and a load of Instagram posts, and is said to have well more than 350,000 km on the odometer.
What does multiple Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton drive as his company car? He drives for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, so you’d think he’d have full access to any AMG model in the lineup. What about an AMG GT, GLS 63, or even a G 63? Nope, Lewis has been spotted on multiple race weekends driving a much more sedate Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. It might even be a four-cylinder diesel model, and not one with a big V8. Speed getting to your hotel is probably less important than comfort when you’re carving up the field on Sunday afternoon.
Actor Zac Efron was known around Hollywood for driving a particularly normal car. His choice of wheels all the way until 2014 was a turn-of-the-century Oldsmobile Alero coupe. The actor was photographed all over town in this car, though if you’re trying to stay anonymous, it’s hard to find a better choice than one of these Oldsmobiles. Efron ended up auctioning the car for charity, with a fan taking the winning bid and the car. What was the replacement? Now he drives a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, which has been posted to his social media accounts multiple times.
Actor, producer, and director America Ferrera starred in Ugly Betty as well as the NBC comedy Superstore. What does she drive? After buying a BMW with her first acting cheque, she said on the Late Late Show that she went too far and couldn’t afford the car. So she bought a Toyota Prius instead, which she has driven for more than 10 years. She has also been spotted around Hollywood with a current-generation Toyota Highlander, and when the family moved last year, they drove their own Chevrolet Express U-Haul rental van.
Tom Hanks seems to have a huge love for oddball European cars. A look at his social media feeds shows a Fiat 126 and other similar cars. Some fans even tried to give him one a few years ago. What does he drive at home, though? How about a Scion xB? That’s about as normal of a car as you can find, though his model is actually a version converted by eBox to run as an electric vehicle. It’s actually going up for auction this month if you’re interested. Staying in the boxy theme, Hanks can regularly be seen in a dark blue Ford Transit Connect van. He has also posted photos of himself towing a custom Airstream trailer around the country to movie sets in a first-generation Toyota Tundra pickup.
New York Giants running back Alfred Morris has a soft spot for his classic 1991 Mazda. The player bought the 626 from his pastor for $2 while he was a junior at Florida Atlantic University, and has driven it ever since, even after becoming famous. The car’s name is Bentley, and Morris says he keeps it as a reminder to remain humble. In 2013, he was playing for the Washington Football Team when local dealers found out about the 626 and brought it back to like-new condition. It was fully restored including a repaint and new trim that had to be made from the original moulds. It might not be the fanciest car in the player’s lot at the stadium, but it might just be the coolest, and it definitely has the sentimental value of a thousand real Bentleys.
Singer Billie Eilish looks like a villain driving around L.A. in her car, but look closely and it's much more normal than you might think. Plenty of reports call it a 707-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat, but the look and sound of this car hint that it's a V6-powered base-level SXT trim car, or at least one that's disguised to look a lot like it. Eilish posts plenty of photos of her and her Challenger named Dragon; the flat black car has even been in Eilish’s music videos. The singer might be getting ready for an upgrade, though, since she's not a 17-year-old anymore and because Eilish has just launched a new campaign with Dodge that uses her song “Oxytocin” to sell the big-power SRT Hellcat cars. On the other hand, it's hard to say goodbye to your first car. Especially when it was your dream ride.