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This article is about a usable vehicle in Diddy Kong Racing. For the Yoshi transformation from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, see Car Yoshi. For the obstacle from the Mario Kart series, see Car (obstacle).
Not to be confused with Kart.

Cars are one of three ridable vehicles in Diddy Kong Racing and Diddy Kong Racing DS, along with hovercrafts and planes. Cars are land vehicles, and they are used for racetracks set on the road.

In the original version, every character's vehicle has their own unique color, including cars, though each one's tires are always red. In Diddy Kong Racing DS, every character's vehicles are yellow by default. The player can access Taj's Wishes Menu to purchase upgrades for a car's speed, handling, and acceleration. They can also customize a car's paint color from a slider or put an emblem on it, much like in Mario Kart DS. While the cars are modeled in-game in the original Diddy Kong Racing, their wheels are prerendered sprites set to always face the camera (a rendering technique called "billboarding"). The vehicle colors in the original version are as follows:

The player can select a course's available vehicles to race in from either the "Tracks" menu or by completing a Silver Coin Challenge (or Balloon Touch Challenge in the DS remake).

Cars are usable in every level except Hot Top Volcano, Whale Bay, Pirate Lagoon, and Boulder Canyon, where the player must use a hovercraft or plane instead. Cars are usable in Everfrost Peak in the original Nintendo 64 version, but since the course's icy pond is thawed in the DS release, cars cannot be used in the stage. Cars are most commonly the default vehicle compared to hovercrafts and planes. Cars and their availability status in the courses are as follows:

Course Availability Default vehicle
Dino Domain
Ancient Lake Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Fossil Canyon Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Jungle Falls Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Hot Top Volcano X mark.svg X mark.svg
Boss level: Tricky the Triceratops Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Challenge Level: Fire Mountain X mark.svg X mark.svg
Snowflake Mountain
Everfrost Peak Check mark.svg (N64)
X mark.svg (DS)
X mark.svg
Walrus Cove Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Snowball Valley Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Frosty Village Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Boss level: Bluey the Walrus X mark.svg X mark.svg
Challenge Level: Icicle Pyramid Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Sherbet Island
Whale Bay X mark.svg X mark.svg
Crescent Island Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Pirate Lagoon X mark.svg X mark.svg
Treasure Caves Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Boss level: Bubbler the Octopus X mark.svg X mark.svg
Challenge Level: Darkwater Beach X mark.svg X mark.svg
Dragon Forest
Windmill Plains X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Greenwood Village Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Boulder Canyon X mark.svg X mark.svg
Haunted Woods Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Boss level: Smokey the Dragon X mark.svg X mark.svg
Challenge Level: Smokey Castle Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Future Fun Land
Space Dust Alley Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Darkmoon Caverns Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Spaceport Alpha Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Star City Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
First race Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Second race X mark.svg X mark.svg