By on May 2, 2007

pontiac-montana-sv62.jpgSix months ago, this website published its Ten Worst Automobiles Today (TWAT) awards. While the resulting publicity pretty much killed our access to press cars, it had to be said. As we ready ourselves for readers' '07 TWAT nominations and the eventual awards dinner (yes, you're invited), let's see how last year's "winners" have fared since TTAC named and shamed the Ten Worst Automobiles Today.

10.  Chevrolet Aveo: alive and, uh, well  

"In the case of this captive Korean import, you pay little and get even less."  

Driving a Chevy Aveo5 was like pedaling a bicycle through a Hell's Angels' motorcade: slow, noisy and frightening. And yet, since scoring a TWAT, consumers have shown their desperation for cheap, high-mileage vehicles (and their ignorance of TTAC's editorial wisdom) by sending sales up 53%.  

9.  Lincoln Mark LT: fading fast

"The Mark LT is a rolling testament to Dearborn's short-term, suicidal reliance on bean-counted engineering."

In 2006, Lincoln unloaded about 1k florid F-150’s per month. Only about 700 customers per month are currently looking at $9800 worth of first year depreciation, minus a $4k rebate. Still, anyone who loves their LT isn’t likely to care. At least not yet.   

8.  Saab 9-7x: doomed

 "You know what I hate most about the Saab 9-7X? It's a Chevy Trailblazer with the ignition key between the seats."  

Badge-engineering this mutant must be a low-cost proposition; GM's still building 9-7x's despite selling fewer than 500 per month. The model will surely die with the rest of the Trailblazer clones in 2010, to be replaced by the 9-4X. With Saab's DNA DOA, can another TWAT be far behind?

7.  Subaru B9 Tribeca: struggling for survival

"The fact that the B9 is also slow, thirsty and cramped proves that repulsiveness can be more than skin deep."  

Tired of TTAC-inspired sniggering and lackluster sales, Subaru is about to modify the Tribeca's infamous "flying vagina" grill and slot-in a bigger engine. The B9-no-more (if it ever was) will still be as ugly as current sales figures. Subie sold just 3606 examples in the first three months of ‘07, down 22.8% from last year's miserable total. We reckon it's only a matter of time…

6.  Chevrolet Monte Carlo: dead

"The Chevrolet Monte Carlo is a wrong wheel-drive engineering joke from the late ‘80's." 

The darling of the NASCAR set heads for the big pit stop in the sky this June. Dale Jr. fans need not despair. Chevy has a brand new set of Impala SS decals ready to plaster on NASCAR's generic "Car of Tomorrow." How great is that?

5.  Hummer H2: doomed

"While the H2 doesn't come with hair plugs, it tells the world that the man behind the wheel has a small penis, or brain, or both." 

When gas prices went up, H2 sales went down– 27% from last year. Quelle surprise! With the smaller, less hideous H3 on the market, the H2 is destined for retirement.

4.  Chrysler Aspen: DOA

"It's a perfect example of the old adage ‘Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.'"

A huge, thirsty, expensive, poorly-built, Pacifica-faced SUV based on the Durango, one of the worst-selling SUV's on the market? I'll take two. Meanwhile, Chrysler sold just 7244 Aspens in the first quarter of '07. The just-announced hybrid Hemi Aspen won't do diddley to ressurect this stillborn syllogism. 

3.  Buick Rendezvous: dead 

"The Rendezvous embodies everything that's brought GM to the brink: penny pinching, brand dilution and chronic neglect."  

GM is shutting down the plant where this minivan-based SUV is manufactured. The dubiously port-holed Enclave replaces both the Rendezvous and Ranier (a Chevy Trailblazer with the key on the ignition column, right where God intended).

2.  Jeep Compass: struggling

"The Compass stomps all over Jeep's reputation as America's purveyor of authentic off-road vehicles."  

When a company known for “Trail Rated” off-roaders bases a vehicle on a front wheel-drive family car, only L.L. Bean fashion victims need apply. Apparently, there aren’t a whole lot of buyers answering to that description. At the start of April, Jeep had a 117-day supply of the not-so-cute-ute languishing on their lots. 

1.  GM Minivans: dead

 "For their… cancerous effect on not one but four GM brands and their abject inability to hold a candle to their foreign-owned competition, GM's minivans earn The Truth About Cars' accolade as the worst vehicles currently for sale in America."  

These vans were so bad they caused their manufacturer to abandon an entire market segment. After this year, they're toast.

Speaking of toasts, in six months time we'll be raising our glasses to TTAC's 2007 TWAT award winners. It's too early to tell if last year's survivors will make it onto this year's list. But it's not too early to begin thinking about which vehicles will become one of TTAC's Ten Worst Automobiles Today.

[NOTE: TTAC is not asking for official TWAT nominations at this time.]

Click here for all articles about the '06 TWAT Awards

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102 Comments on “TTAC’s Ten Worst Automobiles Today (TWAT) Awards: Six Month Update...”


  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I won’t argue with anything on the list. It’s a shame, but the tough part would be coming up with much more than ten 2007 vehicles that don’t deserve a TWAT.

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    The funny thing is that here in northern New England I don’t see too many of the Top 10. Some (like the Aspen) I have never seen on the road here without dealer plates.

    The only exception is the Aveo – I see more and more of them on the highway during drive time. Many of them have self-depricating vanity plates too – I saw one a couple of days ago that said “TINCAN”. Talk about truth in advertising!

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    2007 # 1 TWAT, Ford Taurus.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Can the new Camaro go on the list simply for being an unrelenting joke played on the car buying public?

  • avatar
    BlueBrat

    To point out the obvious, only 1 import is on the list.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    Will the gm 900 pickups be on the next list? They were just introduced in Jan. and now have an 85 day lot life. At least the subaru tribeca has been out a year for their 117 day lot life. No, gm will up the (already large) rebate to dump them. However, these trucks were to be sold at retail for at least the first year to bail gm out, as this was where the profits were to be. The aveo never was to make money.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Can I also add GM’s Canyon/Colorado twins? The mid-size pickup truck seems, at least in these parts, to be a popular market segment. The S10 and Blazer were pretty popular. Then GM replaces them with this anemic, uninspired duo.

    I’d also like to nominate the Jeep Commander and Nitro. Bricklike styling, cheesy interiors, and that oh-so-desirable combination of having a surprisingly cramped interior relative to it’s external dimensions. I might give the edge to the Nitro.

  • avatar
    DPerkins

    The Canyon/Colorado twins are a good candidate – Aztec inspired styling, overpriced, and disappointing powertrains. I thought the Big 2.5 knew all about making trucks. This segment is bound to heat up once again, where is the old S-10 when you need it.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    guyincognito,
    Definitely. The “Taurus/Sable” deserves to be on this list even more than the Tribeca for sheer idiotic name recall, but not quite as much as 9-7x. (Shame on you for destroying a unique brand, GM. You’re like the Borg with your soulless assimilation tactics). I’m also tempted to nail Ford and Mazda for the B Series dinosaurs.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Oh, and how about that elongated Escalade/Suburban monstrosity?

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    jerry weber, ejacobs:

    Concur with GMT-900 trucks and SUV’s, because despite all of Lutz and Wagoner’s posturing, they won’t be enough to keep the General out of bankruptcy.

    So many bad vehicles, so few spots!

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    It’s too late to nominate the 02-05 Ford Explorer, but I found out that I now know a second person who died from a rollover following overcorrecting when going off the right side of a higway.

    My family and I were given a lift in that Explorer last June – shudder.

  • avatar
    TreyV

    I’m not sure we should pronounce the Tribeca just yet. The redone exterior and improved engine fixed exactly what everyone squealed about. The exterior is definitely a huge improvement from the ‘ohgod!’ reaction the original provoked. Among the Subaru people, who gnashed their teeth and pulled their hair at the sight of the ’08 Impreza, the reaction went something like, “Huh, that’s ….not too bad. Decent looking, in fact.”

  • avatar

    Besides the Aveo and H2 (which I will hold to being good ideas for either profit or image), these are certainly easy pickings.
    The thing that will send the H2 tanking (down in sales, because it is always tanking in another sense of the word) will be the discontinuation of the beautiful business tax credits that apply to its purchase.
    While I have not driven the Aveo, I can say that I think it is attractive (the 5 door, at least–then again, I think the “B” in B-segment stands for Beautiful) and darn pretty well made (interior-wise, at least) for the price (the latest gen 4-door that I showroom evaluated). The Aveo isn’t exceptional, but it is a good entry into the “cheapest new thing on wheels” department–better and cheaper than a Reno or Rio! Encourage GM to expand their car lineup…please.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    maybe its time for the Buick Lucerne to be added to that list. The last Top Gear found it to be gutless in spite of having a V8, handling nonexsistant and a crap 4 speed auto – it was reported to be having trouble in keeping up with a Prius in normal traffic.

  • avatar
    nocaster

    The Lucerne could be added just for the name. Who decided to give a car the same name as Safeway’s store brand. Every time I see Buick Lucerne I think of milk.

  • avatar

    I second the Ford/Mazda B-Series. I honestly can’t think of a worse driving car/truck/anything that moves.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Gotta throw in the next nominee for thsi year’s TWAT awards: Ford Freestyle/Taurus X.

    With Ford already pimping the Escape, Explorer, Edge, Expedition, Expedition EL, and the new Flex, the Freestyle/Taurus X will be toast.

    Slow, boring, and utterly forgettable.

  • avatar
    Cowbell

    nocaster, I thought the exact same thing about the Lucerne the first time I heard the name. I know it as my wife’s favorite cottage cheese, not a car. It made me wonder, with no Safeways near Detroit, did they simply not know they were sharing their name with a dairy product?

  • avatar
    troonbop

    Indeed, the canyon/colarado duo.

  • avatar
    kps

    I seem to see quite a few Rendezvous around here. Or maybe I just think I see quite a few because I can’t help checking for the “.cx” trim badge.

    The Aveo… well, the engine is awful, and makes it inexcusably thirsty for a car of that size. The Kyundai twins are at least making an effort; GM/Daewoo isn’t. Its success in spite of everything shows the same thing as yesterday’s TTAC article: there’s a big bug-shaped hole in the American auto market.

  • avatar
    Hank

    On styling points alone, because it’s an otherwise excellent vehicle, the newest CR-V. Same for the new Highlander. Reliability should not make up for styling that makes Edsels look like Ferraris by comparison.

  • avatar
    labrat

    The new Sebring. ‘Nuff said.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    About the Aspen hybrid (and the upcoming Tahoe hybrid for that matter)…I think it’s going to flop. Not due to technical merit, but because 25% better mileage when you’re starting near single-digits just isn’t so great.

    I also think the public’s taste are shifting and after another summer or two of $3-$4 gas driving huge vehicles – two mode hybrid or not – will be out of fashion in favor of CUV’s and sedans.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    well i couldn`t agree on tribeca for it`s a high quality fuji heavy product. and even that grille was nice and individual, at least not worse than alfa romeo` flying vagina. now for 08 they watered down the tribeca`s daringness closer to some aspen territory.i hope they didn`t drop this star trek Zorg type dasboard with illuminated circular digital screens for A/C controls.
    And of course gm minivans are a laughing stock. they are nothing more than antique rebadged 94 opel sintra, that`s been killed in europe ages ago.Jesus Christ can`t you euthenize that agonizing minivan? the biggest so far manufacturer hasnot been able even to design a single minivan in it`s history. well you have chevy express then. still alive. but it`s not that minivanish, you know..
    well aveo has nothing to do with usa or detroit, or gm for that matter, so a spank goes to korea.
    well they have tried to make hummer look more quality oriented with new dasboard and stereo and ac controls, and hummer looks big thanks to small windows, and is as heavy as a CVS anchor.
    what comes to my mind that any american made and designed car could go for this list if it has more than 50 per cent domestic contents. except z06, maybe new cts , but it`s not 50 per cent domestic content anyways.
    I am puzzled….
    how bout chrysler sprinter van? ( those gyus even didn`t have money to change the name of the old venerable mercedes mediocrity)
    at least there are some definite symptoms how to pick a pure american vehicle- OHV, rust dipped even on dealer`s lot, 4-speed auto, fwd – even over my dead body, drum brakes ,shiny leather( paled grey, paled brown), huge ventilation gaps even where they are not supposed to be( like between fenders and headlights, etc), rubbermaid plastics, huge thick , chewed up door door gaskets, remote gas cap is a taboo, so do foldable ,painted mirrors, stereos with huge primitive rhino- paw oriented buttons with ventilation gaps around them, rear live axle ,leaf springs, metal and wood veneer is artificially flavoured as all food in usa.
    well, you can`t make a wrong choice now!

  • avatar
    AKM

    Even though I’m not an import basher, Id like to propose an import car, just because all we’ve seen so far are domestics. But except for the Tribeca and a few cases of disgusting styling/less-than-perfect-but-not-quite-that-bad cars, it’s hard….
    Mercedes class R, perhaps, a glorified 55k minivan that does not even have sliding doors.
    Oh, and on looks, the future Audi Q3 is a winner: it makes the Aztec look well proportioned.

  • avatar
    NickR

    ‘The new Sebring. ‘Nuff said.‘ Now that first place is locked up, we can focus on the other nine.

    Incidentally, any manufacturer that bans TTAC from the press fleet for putting one of their cars on the TWAT list should gracefully exit the car business and not embarrass themselves any further. Gutlessness will get them nowhere.

  • avatar
    Luther

    Had TTAC called it the “Flying Veejayjay”, would the people at bimmer be such bummers?

    The Aveo is just flying off the shelves. The profit isn’t even beer money for the Exec’s college kids let alone pay the costs for a proper engine.

    There seems to be more than a few tasteless designs for 2007 to compete for the TTAC TWAT award…The voting will be fierce.

  • avatar
    tony-e30

    Mr. Williams: Great idea and execution for the “Where Are They Now?” follow up. As long as there are 10, 20, 30, or 200 cars being manufactured by Detroit there should (has to?) be a TWAT.

  • avatar
    mikey

    AVEO number one and sales up 53%?It looks like GMs are a shoe in for the top 5 for 07.
    If that translates into sales increases I’m all for GM going 10 for 10.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    The Nitro, a bad CUV(I gues that’s what it is?) with even worse advertising to try and sell it. This car has found a way to annoy me even though I don’t own one and rarely see one on the streets where I live.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    In the battle of cars with little-to-no profits, YTD Aveo (19,944) is behind Yaris (26,418). For comparison, Corolla/Matrix sales are 120k.

  • avatar
    boredlawstudent

    Just who is buying these Aveo’s? Obviously those in favor of purchasing an inferior GM product over the better Accent/Rio twins made in the same motherland.

    And a MB R350 AWD starts at $44K, but I imagine it gets pretty close to 55K when completely optioned out.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    Kia Amanti–the Studebaker Face and Body By K-Mart make me laugh everytime I see it

  • avatar
    mikey

    Boredlawstudent I can’t see how you can state the Aveo is any better or worse than the accent/rio.
    They are what they are, litle tiny,economical cars people buy em for just for those reasons.
    Only, cause they make em in Korea[labour cost] car companys foreign or domestic are barely breaking even.
    If you compared all of the sub compacts car for car thier ain’t a whole lot of difference

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I nominate the Mitsubishi Galant, if not only for ugliness but because here is a company which should easily be churning out Camccord beaters but aren’t even in the same ball park. Pity.

    starlightmica: I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s unexpected death. But before I blame the Explorer and its design, I need a lot more detail about the accident and conditions. SUVs have a high center of gravity…..I drive probably one of the worst offenders (Trooper). I KNOW I can’t drive my truck like a sports car, and I know exactly what its limitations are. All too often I see people drive like idiots in SUVs and pick-ups. It’s just a matter of time before gravity and dynamics take over……
    the limited info in the article said his Explorer flipped over a guard rail. The vehicle had to really have been moving….

    Again, sorry for your loss….

  • avatar
    CellMan

    Tell us, which manufacturers actually deny TTAC access to press cars as a result of perhaps unflattering editorials and reviews?

    It would be interesting to see who the cowards are. If I was a manufacturer, I would sit up and take notice of the criticisms levied when conveying the truth instead of insulating myself surrounded by ‘Yes’ staff.

    @nocaster: Yep, that’s exactly what I think every time I hear Lucerne, milk. In fact, conjuring images of cows when thinking of a Buick product isn’t so leftfield after all.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    I don’t like the Lucerne name either—so many iconic Buick names could have been chosen (Electra etc) instead.

    That said—-car name is a pretty shallow reason to include the Lucerne on the TWAT list. It is actually a very competent vehicle (esp. w/ the V8)that pefroms just how the target audience wants it to perform; its competing against the Avalon not the 5 series. Even domestic basher Consumer Distorts gave it a favorable review in this months issue

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Dave M:

    Thanks, Gary Sellers wasn’t a friend, but the owner of a local pick-your-own cherry orchard our family would visit regularly which made for a wonderful outing. Last June, I got our minivan stuck in a ditch coming down the mountain, and as we were unable to get a tow that Sunday, Sellers had one of his farmhands drive our family home in that Explorer. That road he died on is a fairly straight limited access highway, some details in this obit.

    The other death was a client of our company, whose just-licensed child overcorrected to the right their brand-new ’04 Explorer merging onto a highway, resulting in a barrel roll with ejection and death of the parent.

  • avatar
    Turbo G

    Can we just vote for the Jeep Compass again? Or is this like all the other car rags whose “vehicle of the year” needs to be all new or significantly redesigned? Now that the GM vans are dead, the Compass is King (of the TWATs!)

  • avatar
    monteclat

    It’s always fun reading the editorials on this site. Thanks for the laugh.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    The Aspen deserves to be counted as DOA. Hand on heart, I can say that I have never, ever seen one other than on Chrysler’s website.

    And at a laughable $49,995 Canadian as the base price, they have little to no chance of improving that status here.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Humourless- 50 grand and 1.O7 a litre fuel. No wonder I thought they were only sold in the states.I guess why we havn”t seen one

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    How’d the Chrysler Sebring not make it on the TWAT? It’s got to be the only car out there that can’t do ANYTHING right!

  • avatar

    lprocter1982:
    How’d the Chrysler Sebring not make it on the TWAT? It’s got to be the only car out there that can’t do ANYTHING right!

    The the 2006 TWAT awards were limited to vehicles on the new car market between Jan 1 2006 and late October when the votes were cast. The current Sebring came out too late to be included in the that vote. Rest assured, though, it’s sure to be a front runner for the 2007 awards!

    Turbo G:
    Can we just vote for the Jeep Compass again? Or is this like all the other car rags whose “vehicle of the year” needs to be all new or significantly redesigned?

    Yes, there can be repeat winners. If a manufacturer hasn’t worked towards fixing whatever made their offering a winner, they deserve a second award! The only thing they can hope for is that someone has put something even worse on the market. We’ll find out in October when the next round of nominations starts.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    With its awkward proportions, inch-wide panel gaps, center-mounted instrument cluster, and low-end-of-mediocrity performance, the Saturn Ion could make the list, too.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Am I the only person that likes the look of the redesigned Tribeca? It’s got the cutest little Pokemon face now…

  • avatar
    mikey

    Pokemon?I thought that was a Jamaican proctoligist.

  • avatar
    hltguy

    I love the Lucerne..yogurt that is, specifically the peach flavored. Agree, dumb name for a car. One of my employees bought an Aveo (I guess I need to increase her wages), and hates it after a few months of ownership, too “tinny”. Agree also, the Sebring is butt ugly. Are you going to have a TTAC “worst” autos hall of shame? Seems like 2.5 continue to provide on on-going supply of candidates and joke fodder. (By the way who is the genius who thinks a hybrid in a Yukon is a good idea?)

  • avatar
    NickR

    The Aspen deserves to be counted as DOA. Hand on heart, I can say that I have never, ever seen one other than on Chrysler’s website.

    And at a laughable $49,995 Canadian as the base price, they have little to no chance of improving that status here.

    Wait, there is one! I saw it lumbering around the parking lot of Yorkdale Plaza, desperately seeking a berth.

    ‘With its awkward proportions, inch-wide panel gaps‘

    I heard was specially designed as a ‘smokers car’.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    It’s pretty tough deciding which DCX vehicle should go onto this list. They haven’t built a decent looking vehicle since the 300. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Challenger will help pull the company out of its design funk.

    Same goes for Mitsubishi and Isuzu with the exception of the Evo.

    This might sound crazy, because it seems like such a highly regarded vehicle… the G series Lexus. I never see any on the road and I don’t know anyone who would consider one. Its blowfish design, fat back-end and frumpy silhouette is just bad bad bad.

    As for the Lucerne/branded dairy comments… I equate those kind of comments with the same sort of stupidity as the “Murano” and “Moron” comments a few years ago. Unbelievable. People need to travel more. Either that, or look at a globe and study Europe for ten minutes.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    True, but then, we’ve got to take Buick’s customer base into account. What’s more likely to be a Lucerne buyer’s passion: flitting off to Switzerland, or a night in with “Matlock” and cottage cheese?

  • avatar

    +1 for the Sebring. I won’t comment on the radical styling because, you know, I don’t really consider it when looking at family sedans.

    However, the feel of the car, the interior, the ride… I just don’t know how you can look at an Accord, a Camry, an Altima/Maxima, an Impala or Malibu, a Sonata, a used low-end BMW or Audi, a Legacy, etc. and still decide to buy a Sebring.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    P.J. McCombs,

    Too funny. And unfortunately, probably true. Sorta sad, because the Buick Lucerne is a pretty sharp car for the segment.

  • avatar
    Drew

    An idea:

    How about a 10 best cars to compliment the TWAT? I know that other places already do something like this, but I think that TTAC would have a unique take.

    Other places do a best car, a best SUV, a best truck, etc. Dispense with all that and just do a ten best automobiles. A vehicle that’s true to its purpose, is well built, drives nicely, is reasonably priced, looks good, and is reliable should be all it takes.

    It would be fun to have a single list that includes such varied entries as the Miata, the F150, the GTI, the Wrangler, etc, etc.

    And then nobody can complain that TTAC doesn’t give praise where praise is due.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    No Safeway’s in Flyover Land (read any part of the US inside the coasts)…Safeway’s are primarily in California with some market penetration in DC.

    Net, I do not think the average Buick buyer…us poor,unfortunate, but pretty secure non California types could care less what brand of cottage cheese sells in the land of fruit and nuts. As I’ve said before—Lucerne is a very average name (Buick has a stable of cool retro names they could have used) for an above average car that meets the target’s need fairly well—in other words…not a viable TWAT candidate

  • avatar
    CellMan

    I agree with Drew’s idea; have a 10 best list. It would certainly lift the general tone of the site.

    It just seems there is more negativity (though sadly, the critical truth) when an emphasis on the good and positive would be as welcome as a bright spring sunrise.

  • avatar
    danms6

    Aw stop ragging on the Sebring. In case you haven’t had it hammered into your skull yet, it cools your drinks! Once Chrysler designs an auto road-head feature, they’re set.

    Can I nominate the collective group of ‘Bold Moves” CUVs? I’m not saying they’re each TWAT-worthy vehicles, but wow is it redundant X. Okay, how about the Edge-uh for having the absolute worst ad campaign of all time?

  • avatar
    nino

    The 2008 Ford Focus Coupe. Shame on Ford for not only denying us the Euro Focus, but also for killing the Focus Hatchback.

    2008 Ford fullsize vans. Vans aren’t the most aerodynamic vehicles, but with the latest redesign, it seems as though Ford tried to make it more “bricklike” than ever. Instead of the “masculine” semi look, a little nod toward aero would’ve served better.

    Any two of the following; Ford Taurus Flex, Ford Edge, Ford Fairlane. Does it make any sense that a company would sell basically the same layout CUV with the exact same powertrain in each one and doing this in the same division?

  • avatar

    CellMan, Drew: OK. You're on. Look for TBAG (Test Best Automobiles Going) to launch next week.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    nino . . . two out of the three you mentioned (Taurus flex and Fairlane) don’t even exist . . . you’ve mixed up the names. I believe you meant Taurus X and Ford Flex.

    Zarba . . . if slow, boring and utterly forgettable were adequate criteria, then why was the Camry excluded by fiat last year?

    starlightmica . . . ‘with ejection’ sounds like someone wasn’t wearing their seat belt. The trooper in the obit you linked was also ejected . . . implying no belt use. And the vehicle travelled (upright) through the median before flipping, as well.

    I think it’s kind of a stretch (and a bit of a hatchet job) to ‘blame’ these on the vehicle.

  • avatar
    hltguy

    Blue Adidas: I guess the average of six new Buicks that sell each month at the average Buick dealership are to the enlightened amoung us who get the Lucerne name. We all know what Buick meant by naming it such, it remains a dumb name for a car. But it makes for a decent rental vehicle, particularly to run to the store to get some cottage cheese.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    NickR – you should’ve snapped a pic of that Aspen. It’s like taking one of a sasquatch.

    mikey – I too had to check to see that the Aspen was even sold here. To put it another way: I’ve seen more Scions, Evos, and Sierra-bloody-Cosworths (all cars that aren’t/weren’t ever sold new in Canada) than Aspens. Pathetic, no?

  • avatar
    Mook

    As much as I love the idea of an award called TBAG, it’s always a mess trying to determine what aspects should be considered great. Should we consider cars that we’ll never be able to afford? Enthusiasts only seem to care about sporty cars as well.

    As for the TWAT, I gotta recomend the VW New Beetle. I can’t figure out how this thing has been sold for almost a decade with barely any changes. The whole “OMG SO CUTE!” thing has to have died down by now, right?

  • avatar
    Mcloud1

    I am going to nominate the Cadillac Escalade when the nominations come around. A GMC Yukon Denali has all of its equipment for thousands less. The only thing you don’t get are the Cadillac badges.

  • avatar

    Mook:

    Feel free to suggest criteria (Frank’s working on the logistics this week).

    As with the TWAT awards, no matter what guidelines we provide, TTAC readers will be free to nominate whatever vehicles they believe deserve the gong.

  • avatar

    I dont know what the ultimate criteria will be, but I’d think they’d have to be flexible enough so that the Top 10 best aren’t swept up by Supercars or “Out of Reach” cars.

    Perhaps a value per dollar?

    Yes, I know a Porsche Boxster S is better than a Mazda MX-5, but I feel like an MX-5 is a great car (for its price).

    Or perhaps a car that is so true to its purpose that it is a class leader. It’s tough to find a better, safer minivan than the Korean twins (Sedona/Entourage) for the money. I’d call it “outstanding”. Of course, I doubt anyone would nominate a minivan…

    Just some half-baked suggestions. I’m kind of excited by the idea…

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Taurus and Taurus X?

    Just a thought, but maybe we can judge them before we hang them?

  • avatar
    umterp85

    To:SherbornSean:
    “Taurus and Taurus X?”Just a thought, but maybe we can judge them before we hang them?

    If the 500 / Freestyle aren’t on the list now …then Taurus /X should be OK as they inherit a much larger engine and better (didn’t say great) styling. Different question whether they need the Taurus X and Flex—-I don’t get that one.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Along the lines of the Escalade, how about a Lincoln Mark LT truck that is exactly the same as the Ford F150 except for the badging. No gigger engine, no different transmission available, nothing that you can’t get on the Ford F150 (other than the beautiful Lincoln badging). How much does this wonderful look at how stupid I am badging cost, you ask!? A mere $4,000; what a deal!!

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    The problem with a Ten Best awards, beyond deciding on a creiteria and adhering to them, is everybody does them. To read the typical auto rag, every car is the best until the next best car comes along. I need TTAC to help balance out what I read in Motor Trend, for instance; otherwise I might suffer from a sugar overdose.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I live in the Detroit area…and I have never seen a Chrysler Aspen. Ever. On the other hand, on the way home from work, i was cut off twice-both by the ridiculous Lincoln LT. One black, one white

  • avatar

    Lumbergh21:

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.

  • avatar
    Drew


    Or perhaps a car that is so true to its purpose that it is a class leader. It’s tough to find a better, safer minivan than the Korean twins (Sedona/Entourage) for the money. I’d call it “outstanding”. Of course, I doubt anyone would nominate a minivan…

    Just some half-baked suggestions. I’m kind of excited by the idea…

    I agree. What makes this concept fun, IMO (I guess I am biased…) is that the Miata and the Sedona can appear on the same list. They couldn’t be much more different – but they’re both great at what they do.

    I understand the concern that the list will be swept by supercars that are out of the reach of most of us (damn you Shoes) but I think that the concept of true to the purpose is important. Under that criterion – I think that the Miata (no I don’t own one) would edge out the M6 for example.
    Or the Wrangler vs the H3.

  • avatar
    boredlawstudent

    I never had more respect for a car than when I rented a Wrangler to try my hand at off-roading in Canyonlands, Utah. What a truck!

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to mikey:
    Humourless- 50 grand and 1.O7 a litre fuel. No wonder I thought they were only sold in the states.I guess why we havn”t seen one

    Then it must have been my lucky day to see one Aspen here in Canada. Yeah, I took bus that day and had all the attention on the passing cars.

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    seanx37:I live in the Detroit area…and I have never seen a Chrysler Aspen. Ever. On the other hand, on the way home from work, i was cut off twice-both by the ridiculous Lincoln LT. One black, one white

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have seen -one- Aspen. It had dealer plates on it. Other than that one time, I don’t think it has moved off the lot; I went past the dealer tonight and it is still sitting there.

    I’ve never seen a LT model, but I usually see a Lincoln Blackwood on my daily commute. Here’s hoping that poor bastard didn’t pay anywhere near sticker price!

  • avatar
    nino

    nino . . . two out of the three you mentioned (Taurus flex and Fairlane) don’t even exist . . . you’ve mixed up the names. I believe you meant Taurus X and Ford Flex.

    The Flex is the one that’s based off of the Fairlane concept shown at the NY Auto show last year.

    So I meant then the Taurus X, the Edge, or the Flex.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    I still see a fair amount of Tribecas – what are they a van? – on the road. (I drove one last year and it seems like a van to me.) Who buys them, I wonder? The Subaru faithful disdain the Tribeca as much as Republicans disdain John Edwards or Democrats do the president.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    Samir Syed,

    I’d like to see supercars and the like left off the list, too. But I can’t imagine there’d be any objection to that from the TTAC crowd, who knows that such vehicles can’t be evaluated like the consumer commodities that most vehicles are; their appeal lies largely in intangibles (exclusivity, heritage, status, etc).

    Then again, maybe I’m overestimating our maturity. We are calling this thing “TBAG.”

    SherbornSean,

    I share your sentiments on the Taurus/X. Yes, the badge backpedaling was a public admission of Ford’s foolishness, and made the company look indecisive. But the cars (500, Freestyle) are remarkably good products, unfairly starved of marketing support. Their only glaring flaw is their middling power, which, as you note, will be fixed by the upcoming 3.5 V6.

  • avatar
    NickR

    TBAG – 1) how well does the car suit it’s intended purpose?, and 2) is the price reasonable for a vehicle with that intended purpose?

    Coupled with a dose of realism, i.e., nominating the Bugatti Veyron is pointless as so few people will see one, let alone own one.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    I agree with the Canyon/Colorado – the Chevysuzu halfbreed. The only thing more hideous than the “I wanna grow up someday” exterior is the fisher price inspired interior. Who needs a passenger side keyhole anyway? Proof that some people will buy anything sporting a bowtie on the grille.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I would like to see two lists, one for under $50k MSRP vehicles and one for over $50k MSRP ones. At the high end, plug ugly expensive vehicles like the current Rolls lineup would be a great example of a truely horrible waste of money whilst the current Bentleys somehow seem worth the price. The Lincoln of pickup trucks also pegs the duh meter.

    It would also be interesting to pair each “winner” with a counter example of a vehicle which serves the same general market but is clearly a winner. Thus if the GM Minivans were still around the contrast would be Sienna and Odyssey. The H2 might face off against the Toyota FJ.

    I know that nominations aren’t open yet, but I’m going to put in a word for the Nissan Titan and it’s siblings. Released before their time and earning lots of bad marks for it. They may have put the cause of Nissan’s large truck efforts into reverse for good.

    Finally, how about “TWIT” awards for the worst automotive executives? I know it isn’t a great acronym, but the idea works. Wagoneer, Ghosn, Piech ….. there are so many to choose from it might be tough to keep the list down to 10!

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “As for the Lucerne/branded dairy comments… I equate those kind of comments with the same sort of stupidity as the “Murano” and “Moron” comments a few years ago.”

    It isn’t absurd at all. Would you call a new car Parkay? No, because most people in the US associate it with margarine. Anyone who lives in Safeway heavy retail areas immediately thinks of Safeway’s house brand when they hear Lucerne. Product naming is all about the associations it brings up in the customer’s mind. Why do you think it was called the Buick Riviera and not the Buick Peoria? How on earth did GM come up with lame names like Lucerne and Lacrosse? Did they think that Lacrosse was going to bring in sophisticated international sports fans to the Buick brand? Do they even sell that model in markets where the sport of Lacrosse is popular? Ya gotta believe that the GM marketing people are paid terrific sums of money to come up with names, and this is the best they can do ???????????????

    Lucerne isn’t just a store brand for Safeway branded stores, but also for Randalls, Vons, Tom Thumb and other stores owned by the Safeway Corporation. According to Argus Research, Safeway Corp. has 1,772 stores across the US. Hardly a “California only” issue!

  • avatar
    shaker

    Despite my distaste for the acronym (maybe “distaste” is not the right term), I nominate for “The Best” either the upcoming Honda Accord or Nissan Altima coupes; but only the 4-banger models with manual trannies, as they appear to offer acceptable performance and economical operation, potentially the best in the price range. (I’m hoping that you gents get your hands on the Altima when it’s released at the end of the month… :-)

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    I like the idea of capping the TBAG candidates at, say $50 or $60 grand.

    And I’d like to nominate the Ford Crown Victoria. It is, I would say, the most recognizable car in North America, and clearly does it’s job really well, as it still has about 80% of the police fleet, a majority of the taxi fleet, and is still the quintessential American large car (even though it’s built in Canada.)

    Also, I can see the Camry being a rational shoe-in for the TBAG, but it really shouldn’t win. There are other cars out there that are about as reliable, but are actually fun to drive, and don’t bring up comparisons to household appliances.

  • avatar
    Subifreak

    Considering the revised Tribeca’s more powerful engine & transmission (running on regular fuel no less), substantial front end makeover & one of the lighter weight crossovers in it’s class….expect sales to consistantly go up by a fair margin, not drop off. I will put it this way…name another vehicle in it’s class that offers a better full time AWD system for the price? Good luck with that.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    Subifreak:
    “Considering the revised Tribeca’s more powerful engine & transmission (running on regular fuel no less), substantial front end makeover”

    Could insert Taurus X for Tribeca above and make same comment. I think both the Tribeca and Taurus X will be much improved vehicles for 2008.

  • avatar
    Kman

    I think y’all are giving the Aveo a bad rap. For an entry-level car, it is a good option. Tons of features like power windows and locks, a/c, fold-down seats, and it drives decently. And you get that New Car Warranty for the peace of mind of a “non-car” person.

    Having grown up with nothing but entry-level vehicles (68hp Sentra, Dodge Colt…) some of which didn’t even have a passenger-side rear-view mirror, I was pleasantly surprised when I drove the Aveo. I would never own one, but it has a role to play, and plays it well.

    As far as TWAT ’07: Ford Focus — it’s now three generations behind the rest of the world.

    I also support the Avalanche / Colorado nominations, adding the Hummer H3 (which is built alongside them on the same, bizarrely narrow platform). This trifecta can replace the GM minivans from last year as this year’s full-line nominee.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Power windows, power locks, passenger’s side mirror? Why would you want those things? It’s just one more thing that can go wrong. ;-)

  • avatar

    I see a lot of Aveo vehicles here as well as the Wave, think its sold only here in Canada, guess it gets sales due to high price of Petrol(Gasoline)here between 1.03 to 110 cents Canadian per litre, crazy eh? as we are the 6th largest Petrol producing Country in the World, a guy named Trudeau a few years back decided we here would pay the World price for Petrol and it makes the Province of Alberta a very rich Province ie Tar Sands!
    I still like my wife’s Camry, 4 cyl and it gets good mileage(Kms)

  • avatar
    pls

    The whole TWAT series idea was such a wonderful idea and so much fun. You may have lost access to some press vehicles but you gained a bunch of readers as I shared that series of stories with so many friends. What a blast!

  • avatar
    NickR

    Gentle Ted, think of what a hoot this list would have been when Canada was invaded by a host of Glasnost era Eastern European vehicles (Lada, Dacia, Skoda, Roc). My friend always used to joke about ‘the cutting edge of Kazahk technology’.

  • avatar
    digitalsoul

    1. Good suggestion, nominating the Taurus & Taurus X–if only they were actually on sale.

    2. Take all the flaws of the current Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon, then multiply that sum by at least three. Congrats–you’ve just described the Ranger sold by Ford, who’s only spent enough money to redesign its hood and grill scheme every few years.

    3. To lprocter1982: You like the Ford Crown Victoria. We get it. In fact, most got it the other umpteen times you slipped it into the conversation. Please, no mas’.

  • avatar
    blautens

    I’m going to go ahead and get behind the Canyon/Colorado nominations now. The Ranger has at least one excuse, its design is much older. The GM mid size entry is both awful and much newer.

    Ugly, underpowered little rattle traps, assembled by only the worst of the worst GM employees, the hood actually flutters on the thing at speed. I read this in a review and thought it was an anomaly, but our business bought two, and they BOTH do it. It’s hysterical.

    My guess it that it’s doomed – the company I work for has a track record of buying heavily discounted vehicles for fleet use just before they get disco’d (Windstars, Tauri, and now these trucks).

  • avatar
    Mcloud1

    I too have not seen a Chrysler Aspen here, and I live in the Detroit area. The only Aspens I saw were sitting on dealer lots, and there was one in the mall that they would let you evaulate. Yeah, I was unimpressed. Nothing more then a rebadged Durango, which itself is out of date and begging for a redesign.

  • avatar
    Subifreak

    “Could insert Taurus X for Tribeca above and make same comment. I think both the Tribeca and Taurus X will be much improved vehicles for 2008″

    The Taurus X does not have full time AWD…..but agreed on the much improved exterior.

  • avatar
    AKILEZ

    Me too. I don’t usually see those cars in New England or should I saw Massachusetts.
    lots of European and Japanese cars but not those cars listed above.

    I bought a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer not a great car but it’s acceptable a little noise on the engine
    that makes it sounds like an airplane taking off.

  • avatar
    chamar

    Yet I see so many of the GM Minivans on the road here in Toronto. Everyday there are more and more on the road, same goes for the Aveo.

    I had the dodge Caravan for a week and its a horrible car without the shadow of a doubt. I can only imagine the horror brought on by the GM minivans.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Yet I see so many of the GM Minivans on the road here in Toronto. Everyday there are more and more on the road, same goes for the Aveo.

    As fellow Torontonian, I agree with you Chamar. I guess all I can say is don’t underestimate the miracles that can be wrought with financing and fat rebates.

    On a different note, can I please nominate the Acura MDX based solely on the fact it looks like a Bionicle?

  • avatar
    stanpeyton

    Uh umterp85,
    There are Safeways in Colorado. Is that not Flyover Land?

  • avatar
    msmiles

    Safeway is a huge conglomerate of grocers including:
    Safeway (Bmore/DC)
    Domincks (western great lakes-chicago/michigan)
    Von’s (california)
    Randall’s (southeast US)
    Tom Thumb’s (texas)
    Genuardi’s (PA)

    there are others too…

    Is there a Dominick’s in detroit and do the other safeway stores carry the same store brand (lucerne)?


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