Here in the U.S, you don’t need to be law enforcement or Batman to profile a drug dealer. Mainly because the dealer wants people to know his status, and the biggest status symbol of all it the vehicle they drive. This begs the question in my mind… what would a semi-smart or even a smart drug dealer actually drive?
Of course, if a dealer was smart he wouldn’t need this guide. We know he isn’t smart because the risk vs reward aspect of drug dealing makes it a terrible life choice, and because he is not smart he won’t be reading this. With all that in mind, I think we’re good to go here both morally and ethically:
1. Subaru Impreza WRX/STI
One of the biggest problems for a drug dealer is when the cops roll up on him and a quick getaway is in order. I’ve seen enough episodes of Cops to understand that a prolonged chase leads to inevitable capture. Once the helicopter is up and the K9 units are out it’s just a formality.
Our bad boy needs something that can get out of the hole quick and get around the first corner to start leaving the weighty Crown Vic behind. Forget that nonsense about police patrol vehicles being tuned, they aren’t. The suspension is higher than standard to deal with curbs easily and the engine is nothing special, plus the car is carrying a whole load of heavy equipment and quite possibly some stale donut jokes.
Get on the long open roads and that V8 is going to stretch its legs and catch up, but in an urban environment with side alleys and ninety degree corners, the turbo four-cylinder matched to four-wheel-drive has enough punch and corner grip to get out of the line of sight and allow a sharp driver to disappear.
Stealth: 3/10 - An Impreza will always draw a cops eye and witnesses will remember it.
Speed: 9/10 - With quick acceleration, it’s fast enough out of the hole to gain an important edge.
Handling: 8/10 - With the Impreza's all-wheel-drive and rally heritage corners aren’t a problem, and there's the added bonus of being able to off the pavement and use dirt roads to leave the cops behind.
Usefulness: 7/10 Four seats and a trunk so the crew can ride along.
Pimp level: 7/10 - This is no bling car but it’s badass, and that puts it above the midway level.
Overall score: 33/50
2. Toyota Camry
If casual violence and the constant threat of jail or prison was a way of life, a Camry won’t let you down and leave you in the wrong part of town with your stash. It’s going to blend in to just about anywhere, there’s plenty of room, and it’s perfectly comfortable for those long nights sitting in dark alleys or those busy nights running all over town.
Stealth: 10/10 - No one will look twice and it’s instantly forgettable.
Speed: 3/10 - You’re relying on stealth here.
Handling: 2/10 - Still relying on stealth.
Usefulness: 8/10 Four seats and a trunk so the crew can ride along in comfort. Plenty of room in the trunk for hardware when there’s a turf war going on.
Pimp level: 0.5/10 - This does not need explaining.
Overall score: 25.5/50
3. Cadillac Escalade
It's a classic gangster ride but takes either bravery or stupidity to use an Escalade now. Stupidity, as it’s the stereotypical dealer's car. Bravery because it’s hiding in plain sight. You would be operating under the theory no one would be dumb enough to actually carry their supply around in one.
Stealth: 0/10 - You might as well just strap on those spinners on the wheels and get the huge subwoofer in the back because nobody is missing you anyway.
Speed: 3/10 - You’re not out running anyone here.
Handling: 1/10 - I’ve honestly driven more responsive boats.
Usefulness: 9/10 - The whole crew will fit comfortably. The shotgun seat can be taken literally and have someone with a pistol grip pump in his lap at all times. Enough hardware can be carried in the back to make a small dent in a cartel before being killed.
Pimp level: 8.5/10 - This is a baller statement. Someone may question it but they better jump behind the bush when you see you driving by.
Overall score: 21.5/50
2. Toyota Prius
Drug dealers make nowhere near as much money as people think. In his book Freakonomics, economist Steven D. Levitt demonstrated your average street dealer made a little less than a burger flipper at McDonald's. If a street dealer survives long enough to move up a rank he’ll be earning a little less than a shift manager at the local fast food place, and that’s the guy we are talking about here.
That means fuel economy is something your urban drug dealer should be bearing in mind on top of the reliability that isn’t going to need to make his drop offs on time. If you are running a small business, then being on time with the product is important. Also, some of the savings can be used to buy a big gun to point at anyone making snide remarks.
Stealth: 10/10 - As nondescript as a Camry with the advantage of sneaking up silently on just electric power for a drive by.
Speed: 2/10 - Spend some time at the gym because running is a better option.
Handling: 2/10 - It's a Prius.
Usefulness: 8/10 - Small enough to park anywhere, comfortable enough for an all-nighter with a few passengers and mom could borrow it during the day.
Pimp level: 0/10 - There’s zero street credibility here. Those drugs better be good and the penchant for casual violence high.
Overall score: 22/50
1. Ford Flex Ecoboost
A minivan that doesn’t look like a minivan might be the perfect drug dealer vehicle. Kept stock, it has Suburban Parent written all over it. However, shine it up and add some rims and the bling factor can be raised. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque along with all-wheel drive can be economical, but that kind of traction and power could be the difference between a close shave or taking a long hot shower with Bubba and his pals.
Stealth: 9/10 - Throw a baby on board sticker at the rear window and you’re good to go.
Speed: 8.5/10 - It weighs a little, but it's definitely a sleeper and it’ll get up and go when you need it.
Handling: 5/10 - The four-wheel-drive helps but it’s still big.
Usefulness: 10/10 - It’ll carry the whole crew and all the drugs and guns that can be stuffed in with room to for some scantily dressed young ladies of negotiable affection.
Pimp level: 6.5/10 - It’s not ballin’ but people will get it. It might take while but the dawning of understanding will come when they are tied up in the back with a couple of shovels heading out into the desert.
Overall score: 39/50