The Need for Speed series, one of publisher EA's best-selling franchises, has been around since the '90s and is usually a blast to play, despite lacking some realistic driving in some sections. While the series hit a bit of a rough patch following the release of Need for Speed: Payback, things seem to be improving again when Need for Speed: Heat.

The game has a car catalog that is worthy of some of the best games in the series. There are also a good amount of cars so it can be hard to identify which is the best. This list will help you identify some of the better cars in the game that will help you speed through the challenges the game has to offer you.

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Updated on November 12, 2021, by Joseph Metz Jr.: Need for Speed: Heat offers players a South Florida-esque setting that features plenty to explore from the beaches of Palm City to swampy areas reminiscent of the Everglades. Thankfully for you, the game has a variety of different cars to explore the map.

Cars ranging from the most modern sports cars to classic speedsters of the past, there is a car for just about most car aficionados anywhere, be it on the road or off of it.

15 Ford F-150 Raptor '17

A grey Ford Raptor Drives down a rainy street.

Ford has a lot of cars in the game, but one that surprisingly provides a good amount of versatility is actually the F-150 Raptor. While it may not have the best speed, the truck has a great power rank at 2.7 without modifications. It is also a good car for holding cops in high-speed pursuits.

There are two versions of this vehicle in the game. The default version, which can be purchased for $54,000 once you reach rep. level 20, and the legends edition, which can be unlocked once you complete all the off-road story missions.

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14 Subaru Impreza WRX STI '10

The Subaru Impreza WRX STI 10 in the garage

For a good and reliable rally car, look no further than the 2010 edition of the Subaru Impreza. Though not as sleek-looking as its 2006 counterpart, it does have better base stats, which can let you customize its performance better, and is cheaper.

The car is the one Lucas provides for you in the first off-road race in the game which gives you a good idea as to the car's capabilities. It is available to purchase at rep. level 24 for $50,500. Not a bad deal all things considered.

13 Porsche Panamera Turbo '17

A charcoal black Porsche Panamera in the garage

If you're looking for a car that is balanced and can excel at whatever you assign it to, the Porsche Panamera Turbo is the car for you. It is a car that can dot across the game's locations on or off the road extremely well, depending on what type of thing you want the car to focus on.

The car is a bit pricey with it costing $137,500 to buy but only has a rep level requirement of 18 to buy. It is a good car to buy if you are stuck on a particular story mission.

12 Mazda RX-7

Wayne's Mazda RX-7 is lined up and ready to take on a drift event

A car that has been featured in multiple Need for Speed games, the RX-7 returns for Heat and is arguably the best pure drift car in the game. It is the car you learn how to drift in after all and is great for any number of the game's drift events and sections in free roam.

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The car is also one of the easiest to purchase as well. It only costs $59,500 to purchase along with a rep. level requirement of only four. Though drifting is its biggest strength, it is a great car for other areas as well making it a great car to use in the earlier parts of the game.

11 Polestar 1 '20

The Polestar 1 hero edition drives at night with cop behind it

Need for Speed: Heat's cover car shows why it deserved to be on it with it being a solid car in Need for Speed: Heat. It is a fast car with a default performance level of 247, has great power and acceleration with a 5.0 and 4.6 respectively, and can be purchased upon reaching level 22.

What makes the Polestar 1 one of the best cars in Need for Speed: Heat is the Hero edition which is the car on the cover and the one driven by Joe in the game's prologue. You have to complete the main story and any side missions, alongside a $1,461,925 price tag, but is definitely worth the purchase with its speed and flexibility.

10 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (2014)

A black Camaro Z28 drives down a sunny street

A car that is an icon in the American automotive industry, this version of the Camaro offers great acceleration at 3.6 in stock along with a power rating of 2.8 in stock, as well. The car itself can be purchased from the car dealer for $93,000 and a rep. level of 18 is the requirement.

A car that is both fast for races and can take a beating from some pesky cops. It is easy to see why Danny Shaw, a cop and one of the game's antagonists, uses it as his car of choice.

9 BMW X6 M '16

BMW X6M driving off-road on the beach during a sun shower

The X6 M is perhaps the best off-road vehicle in the entire game and is a must to own for those looking to dominate in off-road races. It has a stock acceleration of 3.4 which is high for its class along with a stock performance rating of 188. A great starting point, given that off-road parts don't increase your performance rating as much as on-road parts.

This beast can be unlocked by reaching rep. level 16 and having $107,500 to purchase this German SUV.

8 BMW M3 '06

The iconic BMW M3 GTR from NFS Most Wanted stands recreated in Heat

Arguably the most recognizable car in the entire series, the 2006 edition of the M3 comes in both a regular stock version and the gtr that is a recreation of the version of the car first seen in the original Most Wanted. The car has some decent speed and acceleration which can then be tuned into an absolute monster on the road.

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The stock version of the car has a rep. level requirement of 7 with a $70,000 price tag. The gtr version is given as a reward for completing the game's main story.

7 Aston Martin Vulcan

The Aston Martin Vulcan in the game's loading screen

The Vulcan, named after the Roman god of fire, is easily one of the absolute fastest cars in the game even at stock. This anomaly from the Aston Martin brand has a stock acceleration of 6.4 and has more power than it looks with a stock power of 5.1.

This car takes a bit of grinding to unlock as you need to be at least level 40 to buy along with having at least $1,467,000 on hand to buy it.

6 SRT Viper GTS

The SRT Viper goes for a drive on a cloudy day

The successor to the Dodge Viper, this car is easily the best muscle car in the game. It has a high acceleration stat of 5.1 at stock with a starting performance rating of 283. Plus it is also a great car for drifting which can be used to provide the perfect balance of both speed and drift.

The car is available to purchase upon reaching level 28 with a price tag of $121,500. A price that is easy to get to by the time you reach that level.

5 Corvette ZR 1 '19

The Corvette ZR1 drives in front of a ramp

Arguably the best muscle car in the game, the ZR1 is as good as it gets to American muscle cars and with its stats, it's easy to see why.

The ZR1 in Need for Speed: Heat has a default performance rating of 315, 5.7 power rating, 4.2 in high speed and 5.8 in acceleration.

This makes it a great car for helping you increase your rep. level during later parts of the game as with upgrades it can keep up with some of the higher performance ranked races. Overall a great car to begin the end game content as it only costs $142,500 with a level requirement of 32.

4 Ford GT

A Ford GT at a gas station

One of the few American exotic cars, the Ford GT in Need for Speed: Heat is a great way to introduce yourself to the end-game's high-performance cars without getting too overwhelmed with its power. It has some good stats too with a default acceleration of 6.1 that will help you reach over 200 mph quickly.

Though it may not stand up as to others of its class, it is a reliable car to help outrun the cops and with the grinding process of reaching the set levels of better-rated cars.

3 Ferrari FXX-K Evo '18

The Ferrari FXX-K Evo being customized in the garage.

Probably one of the hardest cars to unlock in the game, this Italian beast can only be unlocked by being a part of a level 50 online crew. It also has an expensive price tag of $2,177,500 but boy is it worth it.

The car has a default performance of 363 along with a stock acceleration of 8.4 and a stock power rating of 6.9. This car is the vehicular embodiment of the horse featured on the Ferrari logo.

2 McLaren P1 GTR

The McLaren P1 GTR in the car select screen

If you're more of a solo racer, then a good alternative to the FXX-K Evo is the McLaren P1 GTR which is arguably the better car. The British beast has the same default rating of 363 but has a higher stock acceleration rating of 8.6 with higher stats in power and high speed as well.

It also costs slightly less as well but still costs a whopping $2,120,500 with a rank acquirement of 40. Once you do get it though, it is the perfect car to help grind your way to level 50 and have a good chance against the competition along the way.

1 Koenigsegg Regera

The Koenigsegg Regera when viewed at the car dealership

As great as the FXX-K Evo is, it is ultimately outclassed by one car. That car being the Swedish monster that is the Koenigsegg Regera. With a stock acceleration of 400+, the highest in the game, and a 10 rating in both power and high speed, this car is the fastest in the game.

It comes with a cost of $1,227,500 and the trouble of reaching the game's highest level of 50. But reaching that level and having the cash to purchase the car also means you will be able to definitely fulfil the need for speed.

Next: The Best Cars In Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Ranked

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