10 Living Cars from Movies and TV

We tend to dote on our cars a little—we think of them as friends or as having personalities. So it’s no surprise that for decades, film and television have depicted cars as living, occasionally talking creatures. Here are some of the most memorable sentient cars.

1. Lightning McQueen (Cars)

lightning mcqueen from the movie cars

Lightning McQueen may be the most popular talking car on screen these days, but he raises a lot of concerning questions. Where are all of the people in this universe? Who built these cars – or if nobody did, where do more cars come from? And what’s up with the trailer for Cars 3, where the lovable goofball race car with Owen Wilson’s voice is horrifically torn apart in a realistic, slow-motion car crash? That’s the stuff nightmares are made of.

(image via Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar Animation Studios )

2. KITT (Knight Rider)

KITT from knight rider

The Knight Industries Two Thousand helped Michael Knight in his missions as a crimefighter working for an eccentric billionaire in Knight Rider. It also helped David Hasselhoff onstage at his musical engagements. This 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was voiced by William Daniels and sported more gadgets and abilities than an entire Justice League’s worth of heroes.

(image via Glen A. Larson Productions; Universal Television)

3. Optimus Prime (Transformers)

optimus prime from Transformers

The Transformers are robots from the distant planet Cybertron, who for some reason can shape-shift into modern cars from the Planet Earth. Even with the in-universe explanations, it doesn’t make a ton of sense. But it doesn’t need to. All that matters is that this Kenworth K100 truck gave his life to save his planet and his people.

(image via Sunbow Productions; Marvel Productions; Toei Animation)

4. Turbo Teen (Turbo Teen)

turbo teen from turbo teen


(image via Ruby-Spears Productions)

5. Christine (Christine)

christine from the film christine

Steven King and John Carpenter sound like a dream team, and depending on who you ask, they are. But this odd movie about a murderous 1958 Plymouth Fury is one of the more divisive Steven King adaptations out there. Like Herbie, Christine doesn’t talk, she just does what she wants. Unlike Herbie, what she wants to do is murder.

(image via Delphi Premier Productions; Polar Film)

6. Herbie (The Love Bug)

herbie from the love bug

Herbie the Love Bug doesn’t talk, but he definitely has a mind of his own. This Volkswagen Beetle appeared in the last live-action film that Walt Disney ever had a hand in making. He escaped from an abusive owner and went on to win races, bring true loves together, and star in five sequels and a short-lived TV series.

(image via Walt Disney productions)

7. The Talking Car (The Talking Car)

the talking car from the talking car

This baffling 1969 public service announcement sees a little boy almost get hit by a car after running into the street. He’s visited in a dream, Scrooge-style, by three cars (from the 1920s, ‘40s, and ‘60s, respectively) with terrifying animated faces that teach him (and his dog, for some reason) the “see and be seen” rules of road safety.

(image via AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; Alfred Higgins Productions)

8. Benny the Cab (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)

benny the cab from who framed roger rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Is a masterpiece, and Benny the Cab is a standout part of it. This worn-down cab has exactly the attitude you’d expect from a car that’s been working the streets of LA for 37 years. Voiced by Charles Fleischer, the short-tempered taxi helps Roger and Eddie Valiant escape the murderous Judge Doom. Benny’s not front and center like Herbie, but he’s every bit as memorable.

(image via Touchstone Pictures; Amblin Entertainment; Silver Screen Partners III)

9. Speed Buggy (Speed Buggy)

speed buggy from speed buggy

Speed Buggy’s main character was voiced by legendary Looney Tunes voice actor Mel Blanc, and that’s sort of the most memorable part about the whole show. One of Hanna-Barbera’s less ambitious efforts (let that sink in) Speed Buggy basically cloned the Scobby-Doo gang, replaced the dog with a car, and dropped them into plots recycled from a third Hanna-Barbera show, Josie and the Pussycats.

(image via Hanna-Barbera Productions)

10. Creech (Monster Trucks)

creech from monster trucks

This one’s sort of odd. Lucas Till and Jane Levy are in a movie called Monster Trucks, about a truck with an actual (friendly) monster inside it. We can’t say more about this one yet. It doesn’t come out for another couple of weeks, so we can’t say how it all goes over. But even though the movie has everyone from Rob Lowe to Danny Glover in it, but Paramount doesn’t seem incredibly confident about it.

(image via Paramount Animation; Nickelodeon Movies; Disruption Entertainment)