Geezer
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10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:51 pm

Since everyone seems to enjoy discussing their "favorite" car, their "best ever" car, here's about 1,500 people who are discussing their "worst ever" car, all of which is in reply to an article written to "reveal" the "10 worst cars of all time" (or something like that)

I have spent the last two hours reading the replies, and it's a fantastic combination of, "funny", "sad", "ridiculous", (and a few more adjectives !) ( but worth every minute of the time spent !) In fact, I'm still only up to about 300 (or so), so I'm going back to laugh some more.

It points something else out too; namely that this isn't the only place where people don't always agree with each other.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11381...ars-of-all-time.html#disqus_thread

The auto writers who conducted the so-called "survey" to "identify" the "10 worst cars of all time" contend that the over-all "worst ever" car is the Pontiac Aztec; needless to say, this has not set so well with many current and former Aztec owners.

It will be fun to hear what our resident car experts say about all of these peoples opinions. ( Hope you enjoy it as much as I have)

Charley

P.S. Now if I can just get the damned link to work...........
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Jetsgo
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:29 pm

The Aztek was an eyesore, there's no doubt about that. But the worst car ever? Please. Pontiac died because it offered nothing substantially worthwhile that couldn't be gotten in another GM product, minus the G8 of course.

As for my vote... Pinto. The car that can't.
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BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:06 am

Let's see: (in no particular order)

Pontiac Aztek
Chrysler Sebring
Dodge Caliber
GM cars with the Olds diesel engine
Cadillac Cimarron
Cadillac Allante
Ford Edsel
Ford Mustang II
AMC Pacer
Chrysler TC
Pretty much anything ever made by British Leyland
Aston Martin Lagonda (cool looking, but flawed)
Renault LeCar
Yugo
A lot of Chinese made cars (those crash test videos are terrifying)
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Revelation
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:20 am

Not an expert by any means, but my parents did get some of these cars.

They bought a Vega brand new in 1974. Since I was a youngster at the time I thought it was pretty cool, but even still its shortcomings were obvious to me. It was underpowered, and had an aluminum block that the owner's manual warned you that could overheat with as little as five minutes of idling. It also 'pinged' no matter what kind of gas we used. It was already rusting within 2 years, until its stay with us ended after a tree branch fell on its roof. My dad got the insurance money but still drove it with a plastic bag as the rear windshield for a few months till even he admitted defeat.

The parents also owned a mid-70s Pinto (which didn't make the list but should have) and my Dad bought a late 70's Mustang II, which did made the list.

If I was making the list, I'd limit it to cars that were mechanical failures and not include cars whose main flaw was how ugly they were.

My first boss at my first hourly job (after the paper route) owned a mid 70s AMC Pacer, which was cool as Wayne and Garth's Mirth Mobile, but was butt-ugly otherwise.

From what I'm told the Aztec is OK mechanically, but yeah, it's butt-ugly.
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GuitrThree
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:38 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Let's see: (in no particular order)

Nice list, but where are the Pinto's, Vega's, and ALL of the GM X cars? Oh, and let's not forget, the newest members of the list, the Smart line up and the Fiat 500. Man, are those bad.
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srbmod
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:51 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Yugo

There was a guy in my neighborhood whose first car was a Yugo. The funny thing was he had a stereo system in it that was worth more than the car was so he had a car alarm on it.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Pretty much anything ever made by British Leyland

Very true. They designed some good vehicles, but that's where it ended. When it came time to build them, that's when it went all pear-shaped. I'll let Jeremy Clarkson sum it up with one single car:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGJty_Rdp1U

The entire episode is quite interesting and you see some similarities to the troubles in the US auto industry:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc7CtwKVuZ8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=gnL3msYD_9M
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:54 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Chrysler Sebring
Dodge Caliber

Perfect examples of the "that'll do" mentality that existed in Detroit for so long.

I'd also like to throw in a vote for about half of Nissan's current lineup, especially the Cube and new "Pathfinder" (admittedly that's only opinion though).
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lewis
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:55 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 4):
Smart line up and the Fiat 500

For the market and use they are made for they are both pretty good and reliable cars. Their styling is only considered weird in the US.
 
Okie
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:57 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Yugo

The best way to make a Yugo go was to hook it to a tow truck.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
The parents also owned a mid-70s Pinto (which didn't make the list but should have

There were some conspiracy theorist that thought the Murrah Building bombing was actually caused by a Pinto backing out of a parking space hitting the side of a Chevrolet CK pick-up.

You have left the Chevrolet Vega out of the list so far, what a mess that was.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
GM cars with the Olds diesel engine

Rudolf Diesel is still laying in his grave laughing at that attempt to make a gasoline engine a diesel.
For all intents and purpose GM set the concept of a US built diesel automobile back 50 years or more.

Okie
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:52 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 4):
Nice list, but where are the Pinto's, Vega's, and ALL of the GM X cars?

The Pinto was a bad car, but it's reputation is even worse than it actually was. As far as the Vega and X platform go, you could probably make a "worst car" case for most of the compact cars designed in the US from the 1970s and 1980s. Even into the 1990s there was a lot of crap.

The Chevy Aveo probably belongs on the list too.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 4):
Oh, and let's not forget, the newest members of the list, the Smart line up and the Fiat 500.

They aren't really that bad, they just don't appeal to mainstream American tastes. The Smart is kind of overpriced too, although for the price of either I'd just as soon buy a used Mustang and a bunch of gasoline. I'd take a spin in a 500 Abarth though.

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 6):
Perfect examples of the "that'll do" mentality that existed in Detroit for so long.

I'm not convinced it isn't gone yet. After all, we do still have the Chrysler 200 and Cadillac XTS. Seriously, Cadillac came out with another interim model to replace their last interim model.

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 6):
I'd also like to throw in a vote for about half of Nissan's current lineup, especially the Cube and new "Pathfinder" (admittedly that's only opinion though).

It's like Nissan is trying too hard to be quirky and overtly Japanese. The little Japanese car is not awful for a model or two, but you cannot have an appealing lineup with that formula. Especially when Japanese cars in the US are largely bought by people who buy cars like they are appliances.

Quoting lewis (Reply 7):
Their styling is only considered weird in the US.

I doubt many people over here even realize that the Fiat 500 is a retro design, since the original was never sold here. That alone puts it at a disadvantage compared to the Mini and New Beetle, although those are both more upmarket cars.

Quoting okie (Reply 8):
For all intents and purpose GM set the concept of a US built diesel automobile back 50 years or more.

That's very true. My grandfather was a brakes engineer for many years and he went to his grave believing automotive ideas that had long since ceased to be true. He thought British cars were all unreliable and diesel engines were awful. One misstep and perception is hard to change.
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ltbewr
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:22 am

An interesting list and pretty much spot on as to cars sold in the USA.

Another 'worst' car(s) the 1976-1981 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare. I had a 1978 Dodge Aspen that was 1 year old when I got it and it was a total dog. Awful carburetors. Engine hoods that could pop open (happened to me at 50 MPH), weak front suspensions, all kinds little problems that nagged your wallet and patience. They also had fenders that rusted out in a few years prompting a recall.

Other 'worst' cars in term of bad design, bad engineering, rust/corrosion, ugly, bad workmanship:
Any and all Fiats sold in the USA until the 1980's.
Any and all Renault or designed models made in the USA (Alliance/Encore based on the 9, the 11, and others)
A number of early Japanese (pre early 1970's) and Korean models (Hyundai to the mid-1990's, KIA until about 2000) in the USA; The worst was the about 1967-68 Subaru 360, one of the only cars ever condemned by Consumer Reports, a car like the size of the BMW Isetta with a 360 cc engine, brakes that fell apart and way too small. Still all those brands got past their bad starts and are successful today.
 
lewis
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:48 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
I'd take a spin in a 500 Abarth though.

Have driven it when I was back in Europe. It is pretty impressive for a small car, a lot more than you would expect.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
I doubt many people over here even realize that the Fiat 500 is a retro design

True. I personally prefer it to the Mini as Fiat has done a very good job modernizing the design while keeping it as close as possible to the original lines.
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:02 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 11):
Have driven it when I was back in Europe. It is pretty impressive for a small car, a lot more than you would expect.

I'm sure it is, but I'm not sure I'd buy one. It's only about $1400 cheaper than a V6 Camaro, $3000 cheaper than a Scion FR-S, $1700 less than a Focus ST and $2000 cheaper than a GTI. All of those are more car than a 500, and that's before you consider used cars.

Quoting lewis (Reply 11):
I personally prefer it to the Mini as Fiat has done a very good job modernizing the design while keeping it as close as possible to the original lines.

The only style problem I have with the 500 is that the wheels are too small and cause it to resemble a golf cart. It needs bigger wheel wells and then fill those up to get a better, more muscular look. Just because it is a city car doesn't mean I want it to look like a city car.
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lewis
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:13 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):

I'm sure it is, but I'm not sure I'd buy one. It's only about $1400 cheaper than a V6 Camaro, $3000 cheaper than a Scion FR-S, $1700 less than a Focus ST and $2000 cheaper than a GTI. All of those are more car than a 500, and that's before you consider used cars.

Cars like the 500 Abarth don't make much sense in the US. In Europe, a fast and bigger car with all the taxation that goes on big engines will easily cost almost double what the 500 does. Hot hatches and small "tuned" cars with smaller engines (below 2lt) are the fun cars that most Europeans can afford to buy and run with all the taxes and the fuel prices. I agree, in the US there is no reason to buy a car such as the Abarth, unless you really like the design or the small car/performance combo.
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:19 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 13):
Hot hatches and small "tuned" cars with smaller engines (below 2lt) are the fun cars that most Europeans can afford to buy and run with all the taxes and the fuel prices.

Yeah, leave it to Euronannies to ruin the fun. The price of a Camaro in the UK is eye watering. It costs about $20,000 more than a similar US model.

Quoting lewis (Reply 13):
I agree, in the US there is no reason to buy a car such as the Abarth, unless you really like the design or the small car/performance combo.

For my money I'd just look for a Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S and tune the hell out of it. Or find a nice used Porsche or M3.
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YVRLTN
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:21 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
The Chevy Aveo probably belongs on the list too.

Used to be a Daewoo that why - Kalas it was called (in Britain anyway).

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
It's like Nissan is trying too hard to be quirky and overtly Japanese

I agree on the styling, the only one I can marginally accept is the X-Terra - and of course the gorgeous GT (not fussed on the 370Z). However, they are boringly reliable and Nissan's fortunes have turned around incredibly in the last few years under their new Brazilian CEO and you can not deny such success would not be possible unless the products were quality enough - this is not the 1970's anymore when the BL stuff sold.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Pretty much anything ever made by British Leyland

   The Allegro, Maxi, Princess, Ambassador, Marina, Ital, Maestro & Montego were all dire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UJfbunHVuc
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bohica
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:39 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 10):
Another 'worst' car(s) the 1976-1981 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare.

Which was replaced by something even worse: The "K" cars. The Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, Dodge 400 and Chrysler LeBaron. They were cheaply made with plastic interiors and body panels which did not align properly. Also the engines were very noisy and had a bad reputation for head gasket and timing belt failures. I used to work for a Chrysler/Plymouth dealership and I could tell you first hand these cars were pieces of junk.
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:51 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 15):
Used to be a Daewoo that why

True, but some of GM's domestic efforts weren't much better.

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 15):
and of course the gorgeous GT (not fussed on the 370Z).

The GTR is a bit too portly for me. In real life, it is not a small car at all and I'd frankly rather have a 911 or, even better, one of those new SRT Vipers. But that's just personal preference. The Z looked alright initially, despite being a bit bulbous but later iterations have become more muscular on the plus side, but the gains are outweighed by increasingly busy designs. The Nissan boomerang light thing just doesn't work for me.

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 15):
However, they are boringly reliable and Nissan's fortunes have turned around incredibly in the last few years under their new Brazilian CEO and you can not deny such success would not be possible unless the products were quality enough

They are, but I don't see why Nissan feels the need to try and offset the dullness of their products with styling. It's okay for your conventional normal car to have conventional normal looks. For most customers that is exactly what they are looking for. You don't need your midsize family sedan to be edgy, it's just weird and disjointed.

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 15):
Ambassador

I believe these are still being produced in India. At least they were as of a few years ago.
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seb146
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:55 am

Quoting Geezer (Thread starter):
the over-all "worst ever" car is the Pontiac Aztec

I have never owned an Aztek or even driven one, but I think they are cute. I don't understand the hatred of the Aztek. I am not fond of the HHR but I don't hate it like how people hate the Aztek. The new Fiat comes close, though...

Quoting srbmod (Reply 5):
Yugo
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Yugo
Quoting okie (Reply 8):
Yugo

I drove a Yugo once. Never again.

I have a book of the worst cars ever. One thing about the Yugos said something about "When civil war broke out in Serbia, the people had the good sense to burn down the Yugo factory first."

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
The Smart is kind of overpriced too

I have seen them here for $99 down and $99 a month, so.... no. They are not for road trips with the family. Which I love.
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zippyjet
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting bohica (Reply 16):

But, a lot of people fell for their charms and bought them up like In and Out Burgers. They were a slight step up from the Mopar turkeys of the 70's. And lest we forget the God Awful Omni/Horizon Twins, Fugly and problem laden.
Don't forget most if not all US cars from 1972 through the mid to late 70's (pre-downsizing) were saddled with all the myriad of environmental pollution controls. Look under the hood of almost any US car from 1972 through 1975 and it looks like a spaghetti maze with all the controls. While (in the case of the big three large cars) remained bloated but the performance tanked and gas mileage went into the toilet.

I had a 1974 Mustang II Ghia Coupe. The inside looked like a mini continental interior but, even the V6 was underpowered and gas mileage for it's size was less than impressive. And then when they shoehorned the V8 under it's hood that presented problems. Sadly the Mustang II was based on the Pinto. This car had the alternator from hell...kept crapping out.
My dad swore off of Ford products the rest of his life because of the fun with this car. I wish I'd known how to fluidly drive a stick back then. The Pinto and Mustang II were really cars mated for manual transmissions. This was the height of the myriad of pollution controls and even the V6 with Automatic and A/C was a turtle off the block.

The Blue Oval wasn't the only carmaker to spin off "small cars" off their economy line. The General dressed up the Vega Chassis and spun off the not bad looking but mediocre at best Monza and the other divisions had their versions.

Also, the General took the ancient Nova platform and gussied them up with the Buick Apollo, Olds Omega, Pontiac Ventura and yes the Caddy Seville. However, I must give GM/Caddillac credit for really distinguishing the first generation rear driver Seville. I got to ride in them and drive them and for mid to late 70's American Autos they drove and felt even better than the hippo sized DeVilles. The only way you knew it's heritage was Nova was the same hood design. But 99% of Seville drivers didn't catch that one.

Also in mediocre to drek cars were the Ford Granada and Fairmont which were up marketed and spun off into such marques as the Lincoln Versailles. Not a bad looking car but the first few model years it looked too much like a 4 door Granada.

Some others:

In No order
Ford LTD II 1977-1979
(At least the T-Bird spun from them were distinct) At first I hated their design but, as I get older am liking their looks. However, if you went with the base Bird from that era it still felt, rode and drove like the lower end LTD II's. Sluggish lack of feel steering, space shuttle power brakes that hurled you forward and seats that were a torture chamber on wheels if you had to drive or ride for more than an hour or 2.

AMC Gremlin, AMC HOrnet, AMC Concord DL-Retro for all the wrong reasons (a turd to drive) Air Conditioning that was weak and wimpy like it was designed in 1962. AMC Pacer

1979-1993 Mustang, A Fairmont made into a pony car   
Pontiac Aztec
REnault Le Car
Renault, Fuego,Alliance
Breezeway Mercurys, Out of proportion wierd looking hippos, However, the 1958-1960 Continental Breezeway Convertibles
are quirky but I appreciate their design as I get older.

Most of the Mercury line from 1958 through 1960, the dark ages of auto styling.

The Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler "Forward Look Cars" from 1957 thru 1959. Cool looking even by today's standards but, they were in such demand that build and quality took a nosedive for Mopar who never seemed to get their act together in regard to quality and finish. My dad had a Plymouth Suburban 1957 Forward Look wagon that whenever it rained and in Maryland we get a lot of rain was a pain in the ass to start. I was little but, I remember my dad having to spray silicon on the contacts to get the finned Manatee to start. These cars also had a lot of leaking and rust problems.

I'm glad the Corvair did not make the lists at least not here; Ralf Nadir unfairly made that car the center of his crusade. Actually, it was a pretty good car for most.

The unhappy marriage of Daimler with Chrysler: The Mercedes of that era were plagued with poor build, quality and even handeling. Uncharacteristic of MB. Many of the Benz of that ilk were Chrysler technology which was a step down for Mercedes.

Jaguars were nice looking but, in many cases were nightmares when it came to reliability.

Though not a car but, the Grummand Flxible transit busses of the early through late 70's had that uncanny characteristic to break down at the same time. And their air conditioning systems were plagued with problems.

Also the last transit bus GM made originally with fixed windows were known for their Air Conditioning to do an "Anna Nicole" on the hottest days. There were cases where drivers broke out the windshields to get some air!

And of course it was laughable that Detroit's answer to the Japanese fuel thrifty good quality cars were the Pinto, Vega, and Gremlin back in the 70's.   

Fiats back in the day became so bad they were known as Fix It Again Tony! And thus left the American market till
recently.

Design and looks wise such Nissan abortions as the Cube, RWD/AWD Pathfinder that looked like a 1950's Rambler wagon.

Suzuki: They were mediocre at best and gave up at least for now on the US market. No great loss.
Also Mitsubishi which used to be one of the prime Japanese imports have lost face here in the USA. For example each successive generation of the Eclipse has taken a nosedive in reliability.
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Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:24 am

Quoting Geezer (Thread starter):

"Worst" in terms of reliability or looks?
Of the cars I've owned, the most unreliable car was one of the best looking cars. I used to own a 1987 Chrysler Lebaron convertible. It was beautiful. Red with charcoal grey Corinthian leather seats, high-gloss simulated walnut grain wood applique, fully digital electronic instrument panel with verbal alert system. Black convertible top with glass rear window with defrost, concealed headlights and vertical chrome grille.
The problem was that the little 2.2 liter turbocharge 4-cylinder engine was under-powered for such a heavy car.
All of the fancy gadgets were very reliable. The problem was with the powertrain and other mechanical issues. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong with that car. I had to replace the heads, transmission (twice), water pump, alternator, fuel pump, radiator, spindle, main axle, and the entire front frame (busted for turning a corner too fast).

Other than that, it was a good looking car and I was able to pull a lot of babes with that car......

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cargolex
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:52 am

These lists are sort of silly, and though they often include some famous bombs, they rarely actually touch on the worst cars ever made, nor does any car made in America in the last 20 years really come close to that, certainly not the Pontiac Aztek. Most of these "worst cars" lists are made by a beat writer being paid very little who really doesn't know much about the subject. It's easy to poke at a car like the Aztek or the Cimmaron, because they honestly weren't very good, or were sort of silly, but worst cars ever? No.

You wanna hear about some bad cars? Well gather 'round, it's story time.

I'm not going to rank these, just describe some of the issues. It's fair to say that the American market is very demanding, and some of the world's worst cars were never sold here, nor would they have even gotten close.

Lancia Gamma. This 1970s flagship was meant to replace the Flaminia and the Flavia, and top Lancia's range in the new era of Fiat ownership. Lancia had built very high quality cars until 1969, but often at a loss, since they had no economy of scale and were turning out cars in a sort of semi-artisan way that they always had. The Gamma and Beta were supposed to bring Fiat's economies of scale to bear on Lancia's great designs and good execution. In reality, what happened was Fiat's dulling influence and a series of calamities, the most serious of which had to do with the Gamma's engine.

The Gamma was designed to be a luxury car, but Fiat already had a BMW Bavaria-style car with a powerful V6, the Fiat 130, and a big family car with a four, the 132. So the gamma was designed with a really big flat four, just like the Flavia had been, but the Flavia's engine was smaller (and alot better...). Similarly, an aborted merger with Citroen had seen the sedan get a fastback, like the Citroen CX would later have. The gamma's flat four handicapped it in the market from day one - as did the styling. It simply wasn't taken seriously against the BMW, Opel, Mercedes, and even Citroen and Rover competition. But worse was yet to come.

The Gamma's cambelt also drove the power steering pump, and if the steering was turned to full lock when the car was cold, the belt could jump, resulting in a nasty collision of valves and pistons that would put your brand new luxury ride in the shop for weeks, with a substantial bill. Eventually, this was fixed, but not before word got out. Even the addition of a very pretty Pininfarina Coupe and the rust and quality failings of the smaller Beta could not save the Gamma from being remembered as Lancia's most dyfunctional product.

Standard Gazel. What's a Standard Gazel? Our Indian friends know. It was a license-built copy of the Triumph Herald made in India from the 1960s until 1978. It had all the flaws of the Herald - though it did have the crazy camber of the real wheels tamed by using a different rear suspention, shakes and rattles galore, virtually no rust resistance, and to boot it was heavier and slower. At some point, the Gazel was turned into a four-door car and even a four-door wagon - the Triumph Herald was only a two-door, resulting in a very, very, very cramped little car with tiny doors. In 1980, India's car market was dominated by long obsolete European designs produced locally like the Premier Padmini (1964 Fiat 1100) and Hindustan Ambassador (1956 Morris Oxford). This car could not even compete very well in that market.

Zaporozhets 968. First off, totally unrelated to the Porsche 968.   The little Zapo was a Russian microcar originally in the mold of the Fiat 600, but this later model was inspired by the Chevrolet Corvair, at least in terms of how it looked. It was slow, unreliable, and deadly in a high speed crash, although you probably would have to be hit by something else moving at high speed because these little cars needed a tailwind to hit 55 mph. Later models had some safety improvements, but this very basic car was not even close to as good as the west's version of a very basic car, the Citroen 2CV.

Moskvitch/Izh 412. Another Russian superstar, this 1960s design was aging even when it was new, and it wasn't very good then. Poor to drive, poorly made, devoid of any creature comforts or features you might want, it's sole merits were that it was fairly hardy in winter and the waiting list wasn't that long. Today best remembered for the antics of U.K. racer Tony Lanfranchi, who raced one in a series who's parameters were set by price. It was one of the cheapest cars you could buy in the U.K. (yes, they did export them), and for its price it was reasonably powerful (when pitched against cars like the Fiat 127 and Honda Civic).

Vanden Plas Allegro. A plush version of British Leyland's Austin Allegro, this pricey turd replaced the rather nice Vanden Plas 1300, even though all pretension of these being real luxury cars was basically just a visit to the land of make believe. Poor dynamics, poor quality, odd styling, and terminal rust brought many an Allegro to a not-entirely-undeserved early grave.

The Copper Chevy. It's a little unfair to put this car in this company, because it came out in 1922, and back then automobiles were still developing. Knight Sleeve-valve engined cars would be available for another 18 years back then, and that's a technology that is today all but forgotten. The Copper Chevy didn't have a Knight engine, rather it had an air-cooled engine with some copper internal components, which were supposed to dissipate heat. The engine was designed by Charles Kettering, who also invented the electric self starter - not exactly a lightweight. But sadly, it didn't work, and very early on the cars started cooking their engines. Chevrolet recalled every single one it could find, and only two complete cars survive today. The experiment was a disaster for Chevrolet, though they recovered quickly in the boom times of the 1920s.

As I said, it's a little unfair to lump this car in with really bad modern cars, because technologies were still developing then, and metallurgy wasn't what it is today. In 1923, front-wheel brakes were considered radical.

Alfa-Romeo Arna. Nowadays, when the Dodge Dart shares components with the Alfa-Romeo Giulietta, things are pretty good with merged DNA like this. In 1983, however somebody had the brilliant idea of putting Alfa-Romeo mechanical pieces into the shell of a Nissan Cherry. The resulting car was pretty much the worst of all possible worlds - dull, boring, rusty, and unreliable. The Arna was replaced by the 33, which still had all kinds of quality problems, but at least it was all Alfa.

Renault 14. Of all these cars, this is the one I like the most, and it feels bad to bash it, but it was not a good car. It's a very strange machine, aimed at the VW Golf and cars like it, but oddly avant garde in a very 1970s kind of way. An early ad campaign likened its shape to that of a Pear, and as you can guess, things started to go Pear-shaped pretty quickly for this little car. It quickly gained a reputation for being rusty, unreliable, and sometimes hard to start and possessing an electrical system possessed by demons. Nor was it by any means a fast car or the most efficient car around. It was just very unusual, and even disco-era French car buyers had limits.

The Monza cars. What if you could have a small car like a Vega, but with real power? How cool would that be? what if it looked exotic? In the late 1970s, GM felt that meant a Vega with a V8 engine, or at least a big V6, and styling that resembles the Ferrari 365 GTC/4. GM recycled most of the Vega running gear into four quite attractive cars - the Chevy Monza, Pontiac Sunbird, Oldsmobile Starfire, and Buick Skyhawk. The H-body cars were quite possibly the worst cars GM ever made - and because they looked so great, there were tons of them piling up in scrapyards in the 1980s as they gradually fell apart. The Vega chassis wasn't designed for the 305 V8, so cars like the Monza Spyder, which promised alot of performance with all that style, usually had vibration problems and all sorts of driveline issues. The manual transmission cars had tons of problems, and all of these cars were plagued by spectacularly poor quality. Interestingly enough, the plants where these cars were made were later reformed into some of GM's best plants, but that was far in the future back then. Today, these cars are mainly preserved by drag racers - who find the small platform very useful. But as regular transportation, they were very bad indeed.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):

I believe these are still being produced in India. At least they were as of a few years ago.

He's not referring to the Hindustan Ambassador, but to the Austin Ambassador, part of the "Princess" line of British Leyland mid-sized (1800/2200) cars, introduced in 1975 (though the Ambassador was part of the final revision of this line, introduced in 1982).

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):

I doubt many people over here even realize that the Fiat 500 is a retro design, since the original was never sold here.

Actually it was, from 1957 to 1962. And it's larger sibling, the 600, was sold here from 1955 to 1967.

[Edited 2012-11-27 23:27:27]
 
Kiwirob
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:08 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Pretty much anything ever made by British Leyland

Not true, Jaguar XJ-6 was a fine car, as were the Triumph 2500, Dolomite Sprint, Stag (once the engine malidies were sorted), Mini, Rover SD1, and the original Range Rover.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 4):
the Fiat 500. Man, are those bad

The 500 is an excellent car and a smash hit for Fiat, they can't build them fast enough

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Aston Martin Lagonda (cool looking, but flawed)

The only real problem with them was the way to advanced for a small British car company electgrics, once they sorted them the car was fine, now they are worth a bit of dosh and very hard to find.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
REnault Le Car

Yup it was a turd, but Renault managed to sell 5.5 million of them

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
It needs bigger wheel wells and then fill those up to get a better, more muscular look.

Then you need to buy the Abarth version, problem solved.

 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:21 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 18):
I have a book of the worst cars ever. One thing about the Yugos said something about "When civil war broke out in Serbia, the people had the good sense to burn down the Yugo factory first."

Actually I'm pretty sure we bombed it during the 1990s.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 18):
I have seen them here for $99 down and $99 a month, so.... no.

That's a lot for what it is. You'd be better off buying a slightly used normal compact for that price.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
He's not referring to the Hindustan Ambassador, but to the Austin Ambassador, part of the "Princess" line of British Leyland mid-sized (1800/2200) cars

You're right. Hindustan knocked off a different bad British car to make the Ambassador. The Morris model was eventually replaced by the Morris Marina. Suffice to say, the Indians got the better end of that deal.

And while on the subject of bad British cars that were made into worse models elsewhere long after they should have been scrapped, I think I should nominate the Paykan. When the world was screaming for more Hillman Hunters, the Iranians stepped up to the plate.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
Actually it was, from 1957 to 1962. And it's larger sibling, the 600, was sold here from 1955 to 1967.

I never knew that. Shows how much market penetration they managed.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
Not true, Jaguar XJ-6 was a fine car, as were the Triumph 2500, Dolomite Sprint, Stag (once the engine malidies were sorted), Mini, Rover SD1, and the original Range Rover.

There were some winners in there, but BL's batting average is overall rather poor. Granted, American car companies weren't doing much better at the time. The SD1 wasn't so hot though, especially the uglier, 135 horse V8 American version. And it's hard to say how much credit BL should get for the Mini.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
The only real problem with them was the way to advanced for a small British car company electgrics, once they sorted them the car was fine, now they are worth a bit of dosh and very hard to find.

I saw a story a few days ago about one that was trashed by Sandy. My first thought, and about 3/4 of the comments, was that now they can finally do the thing the right way.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
Then you need to buy the Abarth version, problem solved.

Even on the Abarth the wheels are proportionately too small. The whole wheel and tire package needs to be larger, or alternatively, chop the top to make the proportions look better to me. Granted, it's not really Fiat's fault. Most city cars do have that too-tall, golf cart like look to them.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:25 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
Yup it was a turd, but Renault managed to sell 5.5 million of them

Sounds like The Backstreet Boys.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
cargolex
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:40 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):

You're right. Hindustan knocked off a different bad British car to make the Ambassador. The Morris model was eventually replaced by the Morris Marina. Suffice to say, the Indians got the better end of that deal.

In 1956, the Morris Oxford was actually a fairly decent, if very conventionally British, car. It was not exactly in it's first flush of youth, but it wasn't a "bad" car. In 1980s India it was hopelessly outmoded. The Oxford that became the Ambassador, however, was phased out of production in 1960, more than a decade before the Marina debuted.

In the 1980s, Hindustan added an upmarket companion to the Ambassador with the Contessa - itself a license built version of the discontinued 1972-1978 Vauxhall FE Victor. That car was actually pretty good when new - but the Contessa was in production until 2002, long after it had been passed over by more modern alternatives. It was also a big and pricey car for most people in India. It is, however, well liked by some there because of it's 1970s looks, which appear a little like Holden HQ (in fact a kind of distant relative) or 1970s American cars.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):

I saw a story a few days ago about one that was trashed by Sandy. My first thought, and about 3/4 of the comments, was that now they can finally do the thing the right way.

As Rob said, it wasn't necessarily that it was a bad car, it's just that a tiny outfit like Aston couldn't make such a high-tech car work reliably back in 1976. Much of the computer related stuff, which would be complex even by 1990s standards, had to be replaced with conventional items, which added to it's already prodigious weight (it makes a Fleetwood Brougham look svelte) and delayed the car. What was cutting edge in 1976 was oddly dated by 1985, although to be honest the car's radical style held up pretty well in the 1980s, like the Lotus Esprit. Even after some of the early bugs were worked out, there were still electrical issues every now and then. A story I've been told by somebody who was present includes a test drive with an older British couple where the car, with it's voice warning system, began speaking loudly in Arabic instead of English and would not shut off. The cars were programmed with several international languages because the majority of Lagonda buyers were in the middle east, particularly Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

[Edited 2012-11-27 23:46:21]

[Edited 2012-11-27 23:48:23]
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:25 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Cadillac Cimarron
Cadillac Allante
Ford Edsel
Ford Mustang II
AMC Pacer

I disagree with these entries. Those are all good cars.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
I'm not convinced it isn't gone yet. After all, we do still have the Chrysler 200 and Cadillac XTS. Seriously, Cadillac came out with another interim model to replace their last interim model.

Agreed. What is up with Lincoln with their new line of alphabet soup cars? The MKS as a Town Car replacement? Are they really serious or just playing a real bad joke?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Kiwirob
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:34 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
The Morris model was eventually replaced by the Morris Marina.

Again another car that sold in the millions yet it's reputation was trashed by Top Gear, you gotta stop basing you opinions on what Clarkson has to say.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
And it's hard to say how much credit BL should get for the Mini.

Quite a bit, most mini's were built under BL's watch.
 
flanker
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:36 am

Honestly, IMO anything made by Detroit in the 90s and early/mid 2000's. I would take a Yugo, Moskvich, or a Lada over that crap any day.

Aztec, grand am, cavalier, monte carlo, etc.. the list just goes on with these cars that are an INSULT to the automotive industry and anyone who cares about it.
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
Geezer
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:40 am

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 6):
I'd also like to throw in a vote for about half of Nissan's current lineup, especially the Cube and new "Pathfinder" (admittedly that's only opinion though).

Damn ! I KNEW I'd have to go to bat for my "Cubie"! Guess what.... we LOVE that little bugger more every day; just drove it up to Chicago area for thanksgiving............filled up in Rockville, and again in Mazon, Ill. 183 miles up the road.......took all of 4 gallons to fill it up; damn near 46 mpg; and that's cruise control all the way, between 62 to 65 mph.

Since I bought the thing 6 months ago, it's well on it's way to paying for it's self, just in the diesel fuel it's saved me from having to buy. (not to mention the 10K miles I didn't have to put on my 1/T Dodge/ cummins.)

We had the little sucker pretty full too; two adults, both cats, (plus 1 cat litter box, one 40 lb box of cat litter, one fold-up wire cat cage ( which we didn't have to use, and shoulda left at home), 5 cartons of dialysis solution, one rat terrier, (Peabody), one plastic bucket for dog food, cat food, plus 4 bowls for same, plus water; one "take apart" i-V "tree" (for dialysis bags), 1 large camera back pack, plus Gitzo (in bag), a BIG suit case (clothes), and one "mega-mouth" canvas tool bag, (complete 3/8" drive set of metric "extended length" sockets, and assorted other tools; also, I always keep a 2 gal plastic bucket in the back end, with windex, Armorall, rainX, roll of paper towels, etc.
(but what people don't realize.........Cubes are only small on the outside; on the inside, they hold a LOT !
And best of all.......they're FUN ! ( Miss Arlie must have "offered" to drive 25 times, but I never would let her; )

Here's what I'm starting to worry about; at the rate I'm going, I'm gonna need another Cube in about 3 1/2 to 4 years; and I'm worried that Nissan might quit making the things. So I'm thinking about buying another one in about a year, and just leaving it in the garage until this one gets a bunch of miles on the clock; maybe start it up a time or two a week, maybe drive it to TH once a month, that way we'll have a "fresh Cube" when this one starts showing signs of "age".

And Nissan..........I bought the Cube with 15K on it; it's got 25K on it now; the AC condenser "quit" at about 20K; the dealer ran us to Enterprise, rented us another Nissan, put a new condenser on the AC, 3 days later, took the rental back for me....all for N/C. A funny little light came in the inst. panel a week or two ago, said "service engine soon" (right after I had changed the oil and filter); stopped by the dealer, the guy comes out with an "analyzer", fumbles under dash a minute, the light goes out; guess what caused the light to come on? Topping off the gas tank ! he says, "when the auto shut-off shuts off, THAT"S IT ! Do NOT put one more drop in ! ( and wouldn't take a cent !) also, a little "squiggly" looking icon-looking thingie had lit up......he says, "your tires need a "pound or two".........runs it back, puts TWO POUNDS of air in each tire, the "icon-thingie" goes out ! I swear, I think the thing might even tell me when it needs washed ! (Smartest damned car I've ever owned !) So Cubes are GOOD!
And they're NOT "ugly"..........they're "CUTE" !

Charley ( delighted Cube owner )
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:35 am

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 25):
It is, however, well liked by some there because of it's 1970s looks, which appear a little like Holden HQ (in fact a kind of distant relative) or 1970s American cars.

There was an article I saw a few weeks ago about Nissan's collection and some of their cars from the era would quite easily pass as American.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 25):
As Rob said, it wasn't necessarily that it was a bad car, it's just that a tiny outfit like Aston couldn't make such a high-tech car work reliably back in 1976.

If my aunt had nuts...

There are some other bad cars that fall under the category of "they just couldn't make it work right." The Vector W8 comes to mind.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 27):
Again another car that sold in the millions yet it's reputation was trashed by Top Gear, you gotta stop basing you opinions on what Clarkson has to say.

Sales success does not necessarily mean a car has any automotive merit. Lee Iacocca credited the K car with saving Chrysler, but people aren't lining up to collect them.

Sure, there are other cars every bit as crappy as the Marina that Top Gear hasn't sadistically destroyed despite deserving it every bit as much. But the Marina was still an awful car. Then again, when you're talking 1970s, it might be easier to list the cars that weren't garbage.

Quoting flanker (Reply 28):
Aztec, grand am, cavalier, monte carlo, etc.. the list just goes on with these cars that are an INSULT to the automotive industry and anyone who cares about it.

No winners there. The Grand Am possibly had the worst body cladding to come from a factory. That along with the Monte Carlo seem to be popular in trailer parks for some reason.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 29):
.filled up in Rockville, and again in Mazon, Ill. 183 miles up the road.......took all of 4 gallons to fill it up; damn near 46 mpg; and that's cruise control all the way, between 62 to 65 mph

Gee, just think what the mileage would be if the aerodynamics were better than a brick.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:59 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
But the Marina was still an awful car. Then again, when you're talking 1970s, it might be easier to list the cars that weren't garbage.

I'm pretty confident that prior to Top Gear you had never heard of the Marina let alone seen one.

IMO there is no such thing as a bad car especially when compared to the alternatives, walking or public transport  
 
Type-Rated
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:01 am

In college I had a Corvair Corsa, the high performance version of the Corvair complete with turbocharger. Very reliable car as long as you kept the carbs in synch. But the thing always leaked oil like mad. And the gasket redo job was about $350.00 at the time and would only last about 3,000 miles before it needed to be redone again.
A couple of years ago I saw a large group of Corvairs at a car show and not one of them dripped oil. Amazing. I asked one of the owners how they managed that and he said that in the 90's they came out with new high temp gaskets that solved the problem once and for all. Once installed they'll never leak again.

I only saw one person who owned a Gremlin. I bought a 72' Gremlin in 74'. Within a year the tops of the front fenders rusted through, a year later the passenger floorboard rusted through. I actually had this mess while I was starting my career and even though the body was falling apart it always started and got me to the airport in the morning. Finally one day on the way home from work the oil pump failed and that was the end of the Gremlin. Other Gremlin owners used to love to tell stories along the lines of "Where were you when your Gremlin stranded you?".

I was in Denver one time picking up a rental car in the late 70's and they gave me a Le Car. I went back in and told them I wanted a real car. They said that's all they have left, take it or leave it. The lady at the desk said they are a fun car to drive, so I took her word and tried it out. I actually liked it. It was a fun car to drive, for a week.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
na
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:15 am

In the 80s my brother had a Citroen Visa. After 6 years and much less than 100.000 kms it was such problem-ridden rustbucket with holes everywhere, even in the middle of the doors, that he scrapped it.

Another very bad car was the Lada Nova. I recently spoke to someone who built it in Togliattigrad who told me things how horribly it was produced, and especially, how negligently it was checked before delivery. Some where stored for long periods before being sold, and sometimes they forgot to put oil into the engine, resulting in engines rusting on the inside! It was basically an old Fiat from the 60s still built in the 90s, but with much lower quality than the Italians did it 3 decades before.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
Lancia Gamma.

Among the 10 worst? The I.E. Coupé at least was a very beautiful car, and a car more pretty than its competition shouldnt have a place in the list. The Gamma had a bad and unreliable engine, yes, but that was it, everything else was up to standard. Same could be said about the NSU Ro 80 btw, a milestone of the German motor industry which influences the Audi design up to today.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:05 am

Quoting na (Reply 33):
It was basically an old Fiat from the 60s still built in the 90s, but with much lower quality than the Italians did it 3 decades before.

It's not the Lada Nova, no such thing, you problably mean Lada Niva which was a small 4x4 or the Fiat 124 based Lada Riva which they made about 17 million in Russia along with a bunch in Turkey, Egypt, Bulgaria and India.
 
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mad99
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:13 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
Yup it was a turd, but Renault managed to sell 5.5 million of them

that's a r5 here in europe and i owned 2, both second hand. Both were vary good cars, simple and cheep to run.

Also, i got to drive the turbo version (mid engine rwd not the fwd) and it was a blast!

Quoting na (Reply 33):
Citroen Visa

i worked with a guy who had the gt version and it was loads of fun.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:37 am

Quoting mad99 (Reply 35):
Also, i got to drive the turbo version (mid engine rwd not the fwd) and it was a blast!

Turbo I or Turbo II.
 
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mad99
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:53 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 36):
Turbo I or Turbo II.

i'm not sure but i'd say the 2

if i remember it had about 210hp
 
na
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:40 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 34):
It's not the Lada Nova, no such thing, you problably mean Lada Niva which was a small 4x4 or the Fiat 124 based Lada Riva which they made about 17 million in Russia along with a bunch in Turkey, Egypt, Bulgaria and India.

No, I mean the Lada Nova. At least thats the name it was sold under here. Somewhere else it was named Riva, thats true.
 
offloaded
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:33 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 15):
The Allegro, Maxi, Princess, Ambassador, Marina, Ital, Maestro & Montego were all dire.

   ... ah, childhood memories! We had a Maxi 1750cc, and I seem to recall it was really fast. So was my cousin's 2L Maestro.

My neighbour in Portugal actually had an imported RHD Marina out here until a couple of years ago. It would probably have rusted out 2 decades earlier if it had never left England.
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
sw733
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:29 pm

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 1):
The Aztek was an eyesore, there's no doubt about that. But the worst car ever? Please.

It was good enough for Walter White  
 
rfields5421
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:20 pm

Quoting Geezer (Thread starter):
contend that the over-all "worst ever" car is the Pontiac Aztec; needless to say, this has not set so well with many current and former Aztec owners.
Quoting seb146 (Reply 18):
I have never owned an Aztek or even driven one, but I think they are cute. I don't understand the hatred of the Aztek.

The problem with the Aztek is that up until that time - Pontiac made some cool niche automobiles. The Aztek was not cool and the amount of money poured into the project hurt the company ability to go forward. It permanently damaged Pontiac's ability to be innovative in a market where standing out was essential.

GM had to sell 30,000 per year to break even - and projected the car at 75,000 per year sales.

The real numbers were bad - less than 28,000 per year. Pontiac lost money on every Aztec it sold - all 108,493 that were sold.

Interestingly a near identical vehicle - the Buick Rendezvous - is considered a success. It brought a lot of young Crossover customers to Buick with its more 'luxury' image. Built at the same factory as the Aztec - on the same basic body.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:12 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 15):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Pretty much anything ever made by British Leyland

The Allegro, Maxi, Princess, Ambassador, Marina, Ital, Maestro & Montego were all dire.

You've forgotten the TR7, especially the convertible which had a nasty habit of folding up in the middle.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
Moskvitch/Izh 412

Probably the one car available in the UK in the 1970's where Skoda and Lada owners considered themselves fortunate

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 21):
Vanden Plas Allegro. A plush version of British Leyland's Austin Allegro, this pricey turd replaced the rather nice Vanden Plas 1300, even though all pretension of these being real luxury cars was basically just a visit to the land of make believe. Poor dynamics, poor quality, odd styling, and terminal rust brought many an Allegro to a not-entirely-undeserved early grave.

One model in the range even had the innovative square steering wheel.

The Lancia Beta, mostly suffering from terminal corrosion on delivery.

Early Datsuns, nasty plastic seats and terrible rust problems. Amazing though how a make whose first imports to the UK were so dire could be industry leading within a decade.

Reliant Robin - three wheels at best.

Reliant Kitten, only plus point was that it initially had four wheels !!
 
PHLBOS
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 1):
The Aztek was an eyesore, there's no doubt about that. But the worst car ever? Please. Pontiac died because it offered nothing substantially worthwhile that couldn't be gotten in another GM product, minus the G8 of course.

It's worth noting that the Buick Rendezvous (one of the first CUVs on the market) utilized the same exact platform as the Aztec and had respectable sales. The main issue w/the Aztec was its looks in the eyes of most people.

That said, the Aztec alone didn't kill the Pontiac brand. IMHO, the only reason why GM killed off Pontiac rather than Buick was due to the latter make's success in the Chinese market. Strip away the Chinese market and one would have seen higher Pontiac sales numbers than Buicks.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
The parents also owned a mid-70s Pinto (which didn't make the list but should have) and my Dad bought a late 70's Mustang II, which did made the list.

Given the much-publicized gas tank fires from being rear-ended ('71-'76 Pinto/Bobcat sedans & runabout models only); I'm surprised that the Pinto wasn't mentioned either.

Interestingly, despite utilizing the same platform & components as the Pinto; the Mustang II was not reported to have such issues (maybe Ford resolved the matter by then). While the Mustang II was ultimately viewed as a let-down (its first year sales broke the 300k figure) in the eyes of most Mustang enthusiasts; at the time it rolled out, it became more than clear that its larger, early-70s predecessor wasn't going to cut it anymore.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
They bought a Vega brand new in 1974

One early 80s Motor Trend article phrased the Vega as such in its Best & Worst Used Car Review (the Vega was listed #1 under the Worst category), "They rust, they overheat and that engine has the durability of a potato chip."

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Chrysler Sebring

To be fair, prior to 2007-2008; the Sebrings weren't that bad. Competitors upping their game along with the Sebring's mediocre restyle was what did it in IMHO.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
GM cars with the Olds diesel engine

Sadly, the #1 reason why diesel-powered car fell out of favor in the U.S. even to this day.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Cadillac Cimarron

My brother & I were just talking about the Cimmarron the other day. Had Cadillac upsized the J-car platform a tad and styled it more uniquely; it might've had a better overall sales reception.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Cadillac Allante

Yes, this type of car should've been RWD but I don't believe that alone makes the Allante one of the worst cars of all time. Cadillac's last attempt on a 2-seater, the XLR, utilized a Corvette platform and still bombed saleswise.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Ford Edsel

Actually, the brand was simply known as Edsel. While it still was part of Ford Motor Company, the Edsel was a completely separate brand... like Lincoln and Mercury. IMHO, the main issue w/the Edsel's bombing was the fact that it first rolled out during a recession year for the auto industry. 1958 seemed so bad, at the time; that even then, GM actually pondered killing off the Pontiac brand and didn't even bother freshening up the '58 styled models for '59 but instead went with all newly styled (tailfins and all) and longer platforms and bodies.

IMHO, had Edsel rolled out either a model year earlier (1957) or later (1959); it might've survived at least a few years longer.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Ford Mustang II

See above one this one. It's initial sales success had more to do w/the timing of its roll-out. For the 1974 model year; nearly any 4-cylinder powered car was selling like hotcakes due to the high gas prices and long lines at the pumps.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Renault LeCar

   More like LeJunk, espeically w/its paper-thin doors. My cross-country/track coach owned 2 of these.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Yugo

A car that had a starting price of $3990 back in 1987. For that money, one could get a decent used car that wasn't too old back then.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 4):
ALL of the GM X cars?

Truth be told, for the final model years (1984-1985); the majority of the X-body related-issues were resolved/addressed but given the bad reputation & publicity of the earlier models, the X-body was still considered damaged goods. IMHO, many of the models weren't that bad looking. And it's also worth noting that the A-body platform that rolled out 2 years later (1982) shared a lot of components w/its smaller cousins but survived a decade later with some of its later models being viewed as very reliable.

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 6):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Dodge Caliber

Perfect examples of the "that'll do" mentality that existed in Detroit for so long.

To think that the Neon died for this car still blows my mind to this day.

Quoting bohica (Reply 16):
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 10):
Another 'worst' car(s) the 1976-1981 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare.

Which was replaced by something even worse: The "K" cars. The Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, Dodge 400 and Chrysler LeBaron.

It's worth noting that the Aspen/Volare platform lived on as the M-body (actually a spin-off of the Aspen/Volare) lived on through the end of the 80s as the Dodge Diplomat, Chrysler LeBaron ('77-'81), Chrysler New Yorker (1982), Chrysler Fifth Avenue ('83-'89), Plymouth Caravelle (Canada-only '77-'81), Plymouth Gran Fury ('82-'89), Chrysler Cordoba/Dodge Mirada ('80-'83) and the Chrysler Imperial ('81-'83). Most of those vehicles did not suffer from the same level of recalls and relibility issues as the Aspen/Volare.

Love them or hate them, the K-cars were one of the reasons why the Chrysler Corporation survived after its near-death in the late-70s.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
The Pinto and Mustang II were really cars mated for manual transmissions.

   Both of my father's Pinto wagons (a '74 Squire & a '72 base model) were equipped w/manuals. I First learned to drive a stick in my father's '72 (which he bought for $300 back in 1983).

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
Ford LTD II 1977-1979
(At least the T-Bird spun from them were distinct) At first I hated their design but, as I get older am liking their looks. However, if you went with the base Bird from that era it still felt, rode and drove like the lower end LTD II's. Sluggish lack of feel steering, space shuttle power brakes that hurled you forward and seats that were a torture chamber on wheels if you had to drive or ride for more than an hour or 2.

Those weren't that bad. I took my driver's test in my mother's '77 LTD II 4-door. The main issue w/those (IMHO) was that the hoods were longer than that of the full-size LTD (even the pre-downsized models) and the trunk space was lacking (compared to full-size models). The LTD II was essentially a revamped, more angular Torino with a longer hood. Though the large gas tank, 26 gallons, translated to a longer cruising range.

The T-Birds of that era turned out to be the best selling T-Birds per model year ever.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
1979-1993 Mustang, A Fairmont made into a pony car

Sorry, but if it weren't for those Fox-based Mustangs (especially when the High Output GT model rolled out in 1982); the current Mustangs, as we know them, probably wouldn't even exist today.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
Most of the Mercury line from 1958 through 1960, the dark ages of auto styling.

Those were the only years when Mercurys weren't merely stretched and/or dressier Fords. The '58-'60 Edsels filled the Ford-Mercury gap at the time.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
na
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:52 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 42):
The Lancia Beta, mostly suffering from terminal corrosion on delivery.

To single out this really nicely driving car isnt quite right (I had one, although a sports version, back in the 80s). There were many cars in the 70s to mid-80s which were rustbuckets, including almost all Italian, French and British cars, even Japanese, and quite a high number of German ones, although the Germans fixed the problem a few years earlier than the neighbours. The problem was that almost all car companies used recyled steel back then which wasnt really "cleaned" from the rust of the cars it formed before, while at the same time they "forgot" to seal sills etc.
 
cargolex
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):
My brother & I were just talking about the Cimmarron the other day. Had Cadillac upsized the J-car platform a tad and styled it more uniquely; it might've had a better overall sales reception.

The very concept of the Cimmaron was really doomed to failure. But exacerbating the situation was the last-minute nature of the decision to go ahead with it.

A fair amount of time was given to differentiating the Buick and Oldsmobile versions from the Pontiac and Chevrolet versions of the J-car. At that time they were not working hard enough to distinguish the cars from one another, but at least you could tell which ones the Buick and Olds were, and they put time into comprehensively restyling the front and rear of those two cars. Cadillac's last minute decision to go ahead with the Cimmaron meant that kind of time could not be applied to it's version - and so the early Cimmaron was virtually indistinguishable from the the Cavalier at a glance.

It wasn't until 1985 that the car got the V6, and 1986 that the car was facelifted to differentiate it a little, and even then, too little, too late. The car went into production because dealers were screaming in 1980 about how they had nothing to sell against smaller imports, in a year when large car sales totally collapsed (1980 was a very, very bad year to have a showroom stocked with traditional detroit full-sizers, kind of like 2008 for large SUVs).

Worse than this though, should be the realization that Buick wanted to bring over the Opel Senator and Monza and this idea was vetoed by top brass. Had these cars been marketed by Cadillac, chances are the story would be different. They would not, of course, have fit in at all with the rest of the Cadillac lineup at that time and would have embarrassed most of the domestic models across all five divisions.

Quoting na (Reply 33):
The I.E. Coupé at least was a very beautiful car, and a car more pretty than its competition shouldnt have a place in the list.

I do agree about that, and I do like the Gamma, particularly the Coupe. But it also did terminal damage to Lancia's ability to compete with the top-tier luxury brands, and having had the option of owning one of the few that found it's way to the U.S., the ultimate test for me was "Would I?" And I wouldn't.

Quoting mad99 (Reply 35):
that's a r5 here in europe and i owned 2, both second hand. Both were vary good cars, simple and cheep to run.

The R5 is not well regarded in the USA, but it wasn't a bad car. Renault, like Fiat, had a pretty awful dealer network in the United States and support was very poor, as was management's ability to judge what cars Americans wanted and how to properly support them. Since quality in the 1970s was never that great in either France or Italy, all those problems compounded on one another. The Le Car, as the R5 was marketed here, was not very good for US needs. Too small, too small an engine, crappy support, all the hassles of other 1970s cars with very little benefit. In Europe, where it was marketed with a much wider range of engines and options and where dealer support was quite good, it did much better.

The R5 doesn't really deserve to be on this list, but many Americans have bad memories of them. Renault effectively bailed out of supporting the French-built products once it bought American Motors, and focused instead on building the 9 and 11 here. This meant that owners of the French-build Renaults faced even more hurdles at the dealer, and certainly at AMC dealers who were selling the new Renaults but wanted nothing to do with the older ones. The R5 therefore had a very rough time as a used car in 1980s America. Then Renault bailed out of America altogether after 1988, and AMC/Jeep/Eagle dealers really decided they wanted nothing to do with the orphaned Renaults, which they hadn't liked in the first place. AMC's build quality on the Alliance and Encore was very poor as well, and cost Chrysler millions in recalls.

Renault as a brand is essentially permanently tainted by these developments, even if the final french Renaults that were sold here, the R18 and the R21, weren't really that bad, and Renault has been a very good brand for years in its non-north-American markets. It was also a Renault expat, Francois Castaing, who helped build Chrysler Bramalea, Ontario plant that eventually produced some of Chrysler's best 1990s cars.

It isn't just Renault that couldn't plan it's U.S. product strategy properly, either. Peugeot offered a wide range of quite good cars in the 1970s and 1980s, including a car that could have faced off against the XJS and American personal/luxury coupes at the height of their popularity - the 504 Coupe - but you'd never have known that from the U.S. lineup, which year after year consisted only of the 504, 505, and 604. Finally, in 1989, they brought over the 405. But in Europe the 405 was a Honda Accord type of car. In the U.S. it was sold and priced against the much nicer BMW 3-series "because it was European." I loved the 405, and I've owned two of them, but this strategy was a disaster for Peugeot - people know the difference between an Accord type of car and a 3-series type of car, and in the recession of 1991, they threw in the towel - right when they were to introduce the 605 and 306 over the next two years, cars that would have done alot of good for the brand if they'd stayed.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):
Actually, the brand was simply known as Edsel. While it still was part of Ford Motor Company, the Edsel was a completely separate brand... like Lincoln and Mercury. IMHO, the main issue w/the Edsel's bombing was the fact that it first rolled out during a recession year for the auto industry. 1958 seemed so bad, at the time; that even then, GM actually pondered killing off the Pontiac brand and didn't even bother freshening up the '58 styled models for '59 but instead went with all newly styled (tailfins and all) and longer platforms and bodies.

IMHO, had Edsel rolled out either a model year earlier (1957) or later (1959); it might've survived at least a few years longer.

More or less. The Edsel was really no better or worse than some of the competitors. Dodge and Plymouth, which were selling really well at the time thanks to the "forward look" restyling, had quality ills that were arguably worse than anything at Edsel, but are not remembered as lemons the way the Edsel was (though Mopar people know that the '57-'59 Chrysler models are prolific rustbuckets).

The Edsel was a victim of two things - entry into a crowded market during a severe (but short lived) recession that hit that market really hard, and controversial styling up front. It was not really a bad car - just not a great one, and poorly timed.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11099
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:47 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 31):
I'm pretty confident that prior to Top Gear you had never heard of the Marina let alone seen one.

I had actually, thanks to a combination of boredom and internet access, but never paid any attention to it since it was just another crummy seventies car. It was probably better that way.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 31):
IMO there is no such thing as a bad car especially when compared to the alternatives, walking or public transport

That's kept quite a few less than stellar cars on the market.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 32):
I took her word and tried it out. I actually liked it. It was a fun car to drive, for a week.

That's the thing. The list of cars I'd drive is way, way longer than the list of cars I'd actually spend money to own. I'd love to go for a spin in a Fiat 500 Abarth or most other hot hatches, but I don't think I'd write a check for one knowing that the same money could buy a used M car, Japanese sports car, or a nice enough Boxster.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 36):
Turbo I or Turbo II.

Now that is a car for the list of "fun cars Americans never got." I think there's a few that managed to sneak over on the grey market.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 41):
The real numbers were bad - less than 28,000 per year. Pontiac lost money on every Aztec it sold - all 108,493 that were sold.

A lot of those Aztecs ended up as company cars for GM employees.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):
To be fair, prior to 2007-2008; the Sebrings weren't that bad. Competitors upping their game along with the Sebring's mediocre restyle was what did it in IMHO.

They still never seemed to get up to the Japanese or European standards, and it got worse as competitors marched onward.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):
Yes, this type of car should've been RWD but I don't believe that alone makes the Allante one of the worst cars of all time.

It will make worst cars lists, but not ugliest cars lists.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):
Cadillac's last attempt on a 2-seater, the XLR, utilized a Corvette platform and still bombed saleswise.

I've heard few complaints about the XLR itself. I think it just would have been dumb to lay out money for an XLR when you could have a Corvette instead.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
dtw9
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:34 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):

Love them or hate them, the K-cars were one of the reasons why the Chrysler Corporation survived after its near-death in the late-70s.



The K-cars and the Chrysler minivans were both conceived at Ford Motor Co at the time Lee Iacocca was President. The minivan concept was known as the "MiniMax Project" at Ford. Both the Mini-Van and K-car were Ideas that Hal Sperlich and Lee Iacocca presented to Henry Ford ll, who upon seeing the designs, wanted nothing to do with them. After Lee was fired by Henry and hired by Chrysler he brought over with him the designs for both vehicles. Hal Sperlich joined Chrysler shortly after and the rest is history. In 1985 I was talking with a Ford Engineer and he was telling me the story. I really didn't believe him until the next day when he showed me photos of both concepts with the Ford Blue Oval on the grilles.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting na (Reply 44):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 42):The Lancia Beta, mostly suffering from terminal corrosion on delivery.To single out this really nicely driving car isnt quite right (I had one, although a sports version, back in the 80s). There were many cars in the 70s to mid-80s which were rustbuckets

In my experience it rusted even faster than a Dagenham dustbin (The UK Ford assembly plant in the 70's was at Dagenham, thus all Fords were known as Dagenham Dustbin)

It ight have driven well, but that only meant it reached the scrapyard faster !!
 
MrChips
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey)

Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:26 pm

There are a lot of vehicles mentioned here that don't really deserve to be on the list; just because it looks weird or is bad by today's standards doesn't mean it's a bad car. What makes a "bad" car in my mind? Well:

-Unsafe for any reason, be it poor design or cost-cutting: Here we find vehicles like the Pinto, the 1995-2001 Ford Explorer, the current Jeep Grand Cherokee, early Mercedes A-Class and a number of others.

-Badly built: Kind of self-explanatory; either the manufacturer cheaped out at the parts bin (speccing cheap parts), or they just didn't care enough about what they were building to make it better - the classic GM "good enough" attitude. Here we find lots of things from GM, Chrysler, Renault, Peugeot and the Italians.

-Not competitive in its market: This gets a bit more complicated, and is often very subjective. There are lots of cars that are good from a safety, performance, comfort and reliability standpoint by themselves, but when compared to their competition, they simply doesn't measure up. Again, lots of cars are on this list, but recent additions to this list include the 2012 Honda Civic and the 2013+ Chevy Malibu (a car that finished dead last in a number of recent auto magazine comparisons despite being the newest in the segment, and in fact would have finished behind the previous generation Malibu).

Quoting Geezer (Reply 29):
Charley ( delighted Cube owner )

Yeah, I agree on that one; the Cube is "bad" in many people's minds because it's so odd-looking. Once you get past that, it's a pretty good car. There are far worse products in Nissan's lineup anyways.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 43):

To think that the Neon died for this car still blows my mind to this day.

It sort of didn't. Daimler killed off the Neon replacement for reasons that aren't really clear; probably a combination of trying to re-position Dodge's market niche and a desire to keep as much of Chrysler's cash for themselves as possible. The Caliber was an afterthought given to the compact car market, and it showed in nearly every aspect of the Caliber's build quality and dynamics.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 46):
I've heard few complaints about the XLR itself. I think it just would have been dumb to lay out money for an XLR when you could have a Corvette instead.

The biggest problem with the XLR was it's price - it was pushing deep into territory occupied by the likes of the Mercedes CLK and SL, BMW 6-Series and the Porsche 911, only the Cadillac didn't have the chops to back up the exorbitant price. Also, the engine choice in the XLR was troublesome; while it was once state of the art, the Northstar engine was hopelessly out of date by the time it found itself in the XLR. Even the LSx engines in the Corvette were better overall.
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