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Guide to Vehicle Selection in Grand Theft Auto Online

With limited space to store your vehicles in Grand Theft Auto Online, it pays to know the strengths and weaknesses of the different cars and trucks. Here are a couple vehicles to consider for your time in Los Santos.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

I posted an article yesterday about some beginner tips for those that have not yet gotten a chance to play Grand Theft Auto Online.  However, after playing Grand Theft Auto Online today, I quickly started to realize how important it was to select your group of vehicles wisely.

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GTA Online allows you to have one vehicle before you decide to purchase a Garage or an Apartment that will allow you to store other vehicles.  And while that first vehicle you own is important, your other cars should be just as important to you.  After buying a six-car Garage today in GTA Online, I realized the different possibilities those other cars would allow me.

Some cars are nimble and fast while also being very maneuverable.  Other vehicles accelerate and are faster than most, but are tougher to slow down and much harder to manuever.  Each vehicle in GTA Online fits into a category and my hope is to help you better mix-and-match your vehicles so that you have a vehicle for every need.

Muscle Cars

The muscle cars of GTA Online are usually two-door cars that accelerate quickly and have a high top speed, but are also harder to handle than the other cars.  These include the Declasse Sabre Turbo and the Bravado Gauntlet and various others, and these excel at making quick getaways while being able to withstand punishment.

In front is the Sabre Turbo while the Gauntlet sits just behind.

Even in real-life, muscle cars tend to be bigger cars that are fitted with large engines and tend to weigh a hefty amount.  The large engines are needed to move the heavy cars at high speed and there lies one of the big problems with muscle cars.  Driving them at high speed can feel haphazard in GTA Online, and making tight turns requires you to slow the car down or risk slamming into various things.

However, the muscle cars of GTA Online look and sound fantastic, and have an added advantage to them as well.  Because muscle cars are so heavy, they can handle off-road driving better than most cars and they are also able to withstand hits better.  If another driver tries to run into you while you behind the wheel of a muscle car, then odds are good that your muscle car will shrug off the hit.

Out of my six cars, I currently run three muscle cars because of their overall power and toughness.  While it is true that they do not handle or brake well, the extra weight of the car allows me to go off-road where others may not tread easily.  Ironically enough, muscle cars handle much better off-road than most other cars and that can be a huge advantage if another player is heckling you while in a sports car.

The Albany Buccaneer is a worthy match to the Declasse Sabre Turbo.

Try it out for yourself: Take an muscle car in GTA Online and go off-road, and then do the same with a sports car for example.  Odds are very good that the muscle car will outperform the sports car in this area. 

My recommendation:  Have at least one muscle car in your Garage at any time.  Even if you only have a two-car Garage, that one muscle car will help you out in more ways than one.  The Sabre Turbo, the Gauntlet and the Dominator are all relatively easy to find on the streets of Los Santos, and those three are all excellent muscle cars if you are looking for a good car.

Just remember to start braking a little earlier than in other cars…just because your car can take a little more damage does not mean it should!

Sports Cars

The sports cars of GTA Online are similar to the muscle cars in that they accelerate quickly and tend to have higher top speeds.  However, where muscle cars can be unwieldy, sports cars tend to be lighter which means they handle and brake easier than muscle cars.  Not only that, but some sports cars are actually faster than some of the game’s muscle cars.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…the Annis Elegy RH8.

At the moment, I currently run only one sports car and that is the Annis Elegy RH8.  For any car enthusiasts, this is the Grand Theft Auto version of a Nissan GT-R and I knew immediately that I had to have one.  Statistically, the Elegy RH8 matches the muscle cars in my Garage, but actually the RH8 is probably faster on the road.

Sports cars in GTA Online are much easier to handle in turns and while braking compared to the heavier muscle cars, and that is important when it comes to racing through the streets of Los Santos.  If you need to make several sharp turns while maintaining a relatively high speed, then having a sports car is a must.

However, remember how I said that muscle cars can go off-road with some success?  Sports cars do not handle nearly as well because they are lighter and have less traction than muscle cars.  So do try to keep your sports car on the paved surface when possible.

My recommendation:  If you have a muscle car stored in your Garage and you have room for another car, then I suggest looking into a sports car.  Personally, I waited until I was able to purchase a bigger Garage before I got my Elegy RH8 because I had two muscle cars.  However, if you want an extra car then think about owning a sports car.

Four-Door Cars and SUVs/Trucks

The biggest drawback of the previous two categories was the fact that all of those cars typically have only two doors.  Which could be a huge problem if you are working in a group of more than two players and everyone wants to ride in the same car!

The first car I owned in GTA Online was a Cheval Fugitive which was a four-door sedan and was a good “all-around” car.  The Fugitive was not particularly fast and did not accelerate very quickly, but it did handle well and could stop easily for a car its size.  Which is similar to other four-door cars of GTA Online.

It may not be particularly flashy but having the extra space is nice while playing with my Crew.

There are quite a handful of cars in GTA Online that can act as good “all-around” cars that carry more than two people.  And to be honest, the only time I will probably use my Fugitive is when I am playing with my Crew members.  There is nothing wrong with four-door cars in GTA Online and then serve their purpose well, but if I do not need to carry more than two people than I am going to pick a faster car.

The same thing can be said for the various SUVs and trucks in GTA Online because they too tend to be good “all-around”, but lack the speed and quickness of sports/muscle cars.  However, there is a huge advantage to driving an SUV or a truck while in Los Santos…

The Bravado Gresley, the only SUV/Truck in my Garage…for now!

Naturally, SUVs and trucks weigh more than the cars do in real-life and in GTA Online, and that is an advantage to driving one.  If you are in a Race and using a Gresley, then the odds are good that you are going to lose.  However, if you are being chased by someone in a sports/muscle car than you have a weight advantage over them!

That means that when they slam their car into your SUV/truck then they stand a good chance of bouncing off, and you will remain mostly intact.  The added weight gives you added security which is one of the few reasons to use one in GTA Online.  Also, SUVs and trucks are going to have the upper hand in any off-road driving as well; which is something to consider depending on where on the map you are going to be driving.

My recommendation:  There is almost no need to have a SUV or truck in GTA Online except for the added security they provide.  They tend to be slower than the other vehicles and they also do not handle well at high speed.  (Admittedly, the Fathom FQ2 is actually pretty quick for an SUV.)  I got my Gresley only after upgrading to a bigger Garage and that is my recommendation to you.  If you have a two-car Garage, save the space for a faster vehicle unless you really want an SUV.

One of the “rare” cars in Grand Theft Auto Online.  The Vapid Bullet.

Hopefully, this little guide will help you choose the vehicles that will help you succeed in Grand Theft Auto Online.  The list of vehicles does not include the “premium” cars that Rockstar has included only through purchase such as the Bravado Banshee or Vapid Bullet.  However, it will give you a basic idea of the other cars in Grand Theft Auto Online…of which, there are many.

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Public Relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Fan of all types of video games, old and new.