By on October 17, 2007

photo_14.jpgNominations for TTAC's Ten Worst Automobiles awards continue apace. You, our not-so-gentle readers, are cordially invited to continue submitting your ruminations on these ruinations underneath this post. So far you've nominated 118 different vehicles (give or take a few clones). While we're not keeping track of how many nominations any given car receives, there are already a few clear front runners. Here's a roundup of the "leading" nominations and their pithy proponents…

Last year, the Compass received the most nominations. Jeep's softest of soft roaders ended-up in second place behind the GM minivans. Many of you, like jayparry, still find little (as in nothing) to love: "It's not brash enough to be urbanized and not outdoorsy enough to be Jeep. It hurts the brand and my eyes. Bad execution. Let's execute it." pfingst reckons The Dodge Nitro deserves a similar fate: "Tries to be simultaneously bling and macho; the end result is neither (blacho, maybe?)."

Several other former winners have resurfaced, like a mafia hit that's rotted out of its cement shoes and floated to the surface. jthorner: "The Hummer will long be seen as the signature fad of a dying automotive era." Bunter1 on the Chevy Aveo: "The MPG of a midsize sedan, acceleration of a sloth." TomAnderson on the Saab 9-7X: "Why'd they even bother putting the ignition switch on the console?" 

Subaru's no-longer-B9 Tribeca couldn't catch a break, even after its vaginectomy. Davey49 thinks it deserves another award because it looks like a Chrysler. Ninth-place Ten Worst-winner Lincoln Mark LT luxury pickup truck is baaaaack– and it's still bad. Xantia10000 described it as "the dumbest vehicle concept since the Blackwood and SSR." Our own Sajeev Mehta encouraged us to "kick a badge-engineered turd on its deathbed."

Moving on to the new models…

Few pistonheads will be surprised to learn that the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger Chrysler clones received the lion's share of this year's approbrium. When Chrysler vomited forth the Sebring, anyone unlucky enough to cast their eyes upon this four-wheeled swine knew it was destined for infamy. David42 said "I have found better looking creations in the kitty liter box." Unterp85 elaborated: "I rented said car and it BELONGS on the list… Even a domestic bent person like me cannot make excuses for this car. It just plain stinks."  The Mitsubishi Galant received a few nominations for sharing mechanical genes with this, Satan's spawn. 

The redesigned Ford Focus is another frequently-nominated new model. Blautens: "Borrowing styling cues from the Sebring is like taking anger management classes from Mike Tyson." Landcrusher: "I am insulted by this outrageous slap in the face. Ford should just stand up and say they believe American buyers are stupid and tasteless."

Fresh from its newfound position at the bottom of Consumer Reports' reliability rankings, the Pontiac Solstice came in for some stick. Joe O: "Cursed with drop-dead gorgeous looks, thereby enticing unsuspecting victims to consider purchasing this vehicle of the damned. By actually finding buyers for this vehicle, we have all been bewitched with years more of the ECOTEC engine from the 4th circle of hell."

Subaru fans are none-too-pleased/revolted with the new Impreza and WRX. Bytor feels "while the ugly is not quite of Aztec proportions, it is a major step backwards." Red.66mustang castigated Subaru for "taking an awesome car in terms of performance and okay looks and turning it into a Corolla wannabe with a boxer engine."

The new, fatter, slower, thirstier, uglier Scion xB earned equal ire. JuniorMint says he's "waited for the 2007 Ten Worst nominations since I laid eyes on" it. Klossfam describes the new whip's story line thus: "The Brave Little Toaster xB gets a re-do by Dr. Frankenstein!" argentla sent a "memo to Toyota: Harley Earl is dead."  David Holzman suggested "Toyota should get a special Edsel award for killing the xB icon." 

No, we won't be giving the original flying V an award. Nor will we bestow a Ten Worst award upon an entire lineup, though many of you felt Chrysler and/or Dodge brand deserved a group award. And no wonder: everything that Chrysler and Dodge build was nominated individually, as were all of Lincoln's, Saturn's and Mitsubishi's vehicles. And every Toyota but the Land Cruiser and every Jeep save the Wrangler made the list in one form or another. 

In fact, practically every manufacturer selling cars in the U.S. market has at least one nominee on the list.  The only brands which have totally evaded your critical eye are Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, MINI and Volvo. So far, anyway. 

The nominations are open until next Monday. If you can think of other automotive abominations, go for it; if it's already been nominated, piling-on is allowed.  From this list, TTAC's writers will choose the final twenty for your votes for the final Ten Worst. Once again, thanks for telling it like it is. And how.

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114 Comments on “TTAC’s Ten Worst Automobiles Awards: Update...”


  • avatar
    Mcloud1

    I second the entire Dodge line (save the new Grand Caravan) getting a TWAT, because Chrysler is suiciding with it. They are trying to turn it to a niche brand, when it is supposed to be a mainstream brand. And now, they are trying to turn Jeep, a niche brand, into a mainstream brand. Just one question: Has Chrysler lost its mind?

    upon that, I nominate both the Jeep Compass/Patriot. The Compass is a horrible abomination to the Jeep name, that everybody should hate. Instead of making rugged go everywhere Jeeps, they are spitting these out, trying to make Jeeps urban flavmobiles. Then, they are marketing their vehicles as they are city cruisers, marking some of the Patriot’s pros as its small turning circle and smooth ride. I think Chrysler should have figured out that this isn’t working when the combined sales of the Patriot and Compass over the past year has been only 60,000.

    Then there is the new Focus. Ford must be listening too much to Jeremy Clarkson, thinking that we are all idiots. It is ugly, based off of 8 year old technology, and is modeled after the new Sebring. This car is horrable, and I have a feeling that Ford is going to go jeep, and market it is an urban flavormibile.

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    Would it be possible to give a dishonourable mention at least to the entire Chrysler lineup? Although, the way it looks now, the entire lineup will likely receive TWATs individually. Which is kind of unfair, since it excludes other unworthy vehicular excrement from receiving a TWAT. I’d hate to see the Ford F**kus left off the list because there were too many Chryslers.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Saturn? Wow, that’s surprising. The Aura is a really good car, even though it’s a money-losing rebadged euro-sedan.

    Lest we forget, all of Land Rover’s cars and Jaguar cars should be nominated as well. Maybe not the redesigned XF, but all the others deserve a TWAT.

    And 3 I forgot, just for the design: the infiniti M, because it’s ugly in Chrysleresque proportions, the G, for taking the crown of ugliest entry-luxury from the 3-series, and the QX56, which requires no explanation.

  • avatar
    octothorpe

    I’d like to put in another vote for the new Scion XB. I have a 2006 XB and they took everything that I love about the car and threw it away. Mine is small but fits four grownups, gets 29 MPG, is easy to park in the city, has great visibility, and might not be pretty but is charming in an industrial appliance sort of way. The new one is bloated, ugly, smaller on the inside but bigger on the outside, gets crappy MPG and has that horrible C piller in the way of your vision. What the hell were they thinking?

  • avatar
    nayrb5

    AKM, I’m glad that you mentioned the QX56, because I couldn’t remember the name of that horribly disjointed beast. As soon as I looked it up on Wikipedia and saw the upside-down spoon roofline, I knew that was the future TWAT I’ve seen all over Chicago.

    Going with the theme of meaningless names, I’d also like to nominate the HHR. Everything the PT Cruiser wasn’t and less.

  • avatar
    AuricTech

    In seconding the nomination of the Hummer H2 and H3, I’ll just repost a comment I made on Jalopnik:

    If I can’t PMCS my vehicle using TM 9-2320-280-10, it has no right to claim descent from the HMMWV. The H1 was a HMMWV with concessions made to civilian expectations of comfort. The H2 and H3 are children dressing up as “Army men” for Hallowe’en.

    Next on my list are two Daewoos masquerading as Suzukis: the Reno and Forenza. (Full disclosure up front: I own a 2007 SX4.) Suzuki’s slogan is “Way of life!”, and their ads ask “Are our [vehicles] as much fun as our bikes?” So far, so good; the SX4, Grand Vitara and XL7 all support this image (or at least don’t actively detract from it). Then there’s the Daewoo Duo. They don’t proclaim “Way of life!”; they ask “Why live?” The effect these two have on Suzuki’s attempt to build a brand would make the Baby Laura Ries cry, if she thought about it. Suzuki’s ad agency seems to know it, too. Take a look at this article about Suzuki’s new TV ad campaign, and see which vehicles are not featured in any of their spots.

    Then we have the Chevy Aveo. Given my comments above, suffice it to say that it looks like Chevy got the short end of the stick when it came to deciding who would get which rebadged Daewoos.

    Finally, a few words about the Chrysler Sebring. One would think that, if a large percentage of a given model’s sales were to rental fleets, the designers of the vehicle in question would ensure that all controls are easy to identify and intuitive to operate. WRT the Sebring, one would think this, but one would be wrong. The Sebring I rented a couple of months ago had, among other ergonomic miscues, a stalk-mounted cruise control that took me several miles of trial-and-error to puzzle out.

    ETA: Correction: I actually saw a Sebring on the road today. Having seen first-hand just how thoroughly Chrysler warped innocent sheetmetal into cruel shapes, one thing is clear. My painful Chrysler rental could not have been a current-model Sebring, as my optic nerves survived a weekend of driving whatever nameless Mopar fleet beast I had.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    I’m not surprised to see a pic of the Sebring on the page, it was the clear nomination leader from the enormous stack of posts I read yesterday.
    I would drop my nominations, but they’ve already been covered, the Compass, Sebring, xB, Focus, Impreza.
    What do all of these vehicles have in common? None of them seem to have hit their mark, Well, actually they miss the target so wildly a spectator was injured!
    Had the Compass been left for dead on the boardroom table, or the Sebring been made a baby-300, or the xB & Focus & Impreza developed on their strengths, These vehicles wouldn’t been the ‘Azteks” of todays offering.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    And Thank you TTAC, nothing seems to bring out the best, most insightful comments than these TWAT discussions.
    A very entertaining read. kudos to everyone.

  • avatar

    Hey, just for the hell of it I’ll nominate that horrible concept some design student came up with a week or two ago, the Lamborghini Embolado. It doesn’t really meet the specifications as I’m pretty sure it’s just a photoshop somebody did, but it’s atrocious. Nobody gets a free ride… although I can’t really nominate any cars from the other manufacturers listed.

    Also, I’m so, so sad about the new Impreza. So sad. I hope they fix it up over the next couple of years, at least get the dynamics back to where they should be. I still don’t think it’s a TWAT taken of it’s own merits, but it just isn’t quite what it should be given the history. Sad emoticon :(

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Ford Mustang for being an overpowered, overweight, oversized pig in really really cool clothes.

    Pontiac Solstice – voluptous body, the perfect automotive trophy wife – useless, petulant, but will make friends and enemies alike all swoon – for a while. Too bad you cant take it insde the bar with you.

    Porsche Cayman, for making me want you so bad, then going for someone with alot more money. That makes you a high priced hooker.

    The Entire Amercian Automotive Industry for not making one single damn car that I like.

    BMW 1 Series, for not importing the 4 banger engine or the hatchback body style. Shame on you.

    BMW 5 and 7 series – for being so good and so ugly. The opposite of the Solstice.

    Fiat SPA, for so totally screwin up here that we cannot get the cool new 500. Damn you!!

    Thats it for now. Thanks for the space to rant and rave.

  • avatar

    Speaking of the Solstice . . . .

    has anyone tried to open/close the manual top of this vehicle? This design is inherently flawed for a roadster. Its like they never even bothered living with one or driving it – they just built it and assumed people would deal with this issue.

    Let me outline the procedure for a non-power (my personal preference, less weight, less stuff to break) Miata or Z4 first.

    1. Reach forward and twist latch
    2. Toss top down

    Here we go with the SOLSTICE!

    1. Reach forward and twist latch
    2. STEP OUT OF VEHICLE
    3. Proceed to rear or vehicle, open clamshell in back
    4. Toss top down
    5. Close clamshell over top
    6. Get back in the vehicle

    Which would you rather deal with in the rain?

  • avatar
    peoplewatching04

    The Sebring has already gotten its share of negativity, which it deserves, so I’m not even going to touch that with a ten foot pole (which would require me to be within 10 feet of the Sebring- ugh.) The Suzuki XL-7 is a monstrosity that needs to be wiped off the face of the earth. It’s a rebadged Chevy Equinox, which, as far as genes go, is about as good as being related to Dick Cheney. Plus, it’s ugly. Suzuki almost/sort of had something with the new Vitara, but then it had to go and make that turd. Why?

  • avatar
    NickR

    The Jeep Grand Cherokee for being the antithesis of Jeep while still bearing the name. Jeeps are supposed to be rugged, simple, and off road capable. Powerful enough to do the job, but no more than necessary. The SRT8: far more power and luxury than any Jeep requires. Low profile tires and aluminum mags that spell disaster for anyone doing real offroading (no, that does not include the gravel road to your cottage) and lowered suspension combined with and airdam that is just begging to get torn off (with a replacement cost of 2k).

    In a way, I’d also like to nominate the Challenger, not because of the car itself but because it is a stupid distraction for a company with a model line up as week as Chrysler’s.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Absolutely the Ford Focus. While it isn’t downright horrendous (in a vacuum), it’s salt in the wound for the US market to see (a)its should-be platform mates from Volvo and Mazda driving around and (b) The European market get the version we should have seen, all the way up to the 300hp AWD RS version. What a slap in the face and proof of corporate idiocy. The Camel Committee strikes again!

    I’ll also wholeheartedly agree with Scion xB and Chevy Aveo, just in case they were on the verge of NOT making the TWAT cut (not bloody likely!).

  • avatar
    Kman

    ABOUT VOTING:

    Hello TTAC,

    I’ve already posted my nominations in the earlier thread. Here I wanted to bring up a point about voting for the top 10 out of the final 20.

    Last year (for TWAT and TBAG)votign for 10 out of 20 was a stretch for certain models, where my 1st choice was not as valuable to me as my 10th choice, but would be scored as such.

    Truth be told, there were only five candidates that I wanted to vote for; the others I really had to stretch to pick. In hindsight, I should have voted for only the cars that I considered to be Best, rather than force ten artifical votes.

    I suggest either:

    - Each person votes for their top-three.
    or, slightly more complex
    - Each person votes for their top ten in sequence, and points are assigned accordingly (10 for first, 9 for second, 8 for third, etc…) Max points wins. (And this way, ten 10th places won’t equal ten first places, thus tying two cars).

    Thoughts?

    – Kman.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    re: “The only brands which have totally evaded your critical eye are Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, MINI and Volvo. So far, anyway.”

    lemme fix that for ya – i nominate lamborghini’s new reventon. simply put, there is no place for that car in this world.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    Though mentioned a few days ago, we shouldn’t forget the X-Type. The only reason why it’s conspicuously absent from the comments/nomination is that everyone has forgotten about it and moved on.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    Frank/Robert -

    You did this last year, and I loved it. You created an editorial with head nods towards various commenters, thereby endearing us ;)

    But, I didn’t expect you to take the quote I gave. I was hoping my comment that the “Saturn Ion has panel gaps in a 3-year old could get their head stuck” would grab it.

    I don’t know why, but the image of a parent telling a small child to stay away from the panel gaps on the Ion, lest they have an appendage get stuck in it, makes me smile.

    I’ll go on an also nominate the Scion xB: A concept so ruined because the essence of it’s original theme (function over form) has been, in some twisted way, turned on it’s face. It now has neither an emphasis on function, nor an emphasis on form. It is ugly, to be sure. It also guzzles more gas and quite possibly stores less stuff. It’s more expensive and has worse sightlines. It doesn’t make you “the cool guy” on the block, doesn’t make others call you crazy for buying it, and doesn’t support “something diferent”.

    The xB is a pointless vehicle marketed to customers who want something pointed. I hereby nominate it’s name should be changed to the Xb, as it has so parted from it’s original ways as to deserve a name change.

    Joe

  • avatar

    On Adult Swim every night they market the crap out of the new xB, the whole thrust being “like it or loathe it”. That would have worked pretty well for the previous version, but this new one is a mass-marketed focus grouped turd. Everybody loathes turds. Except perverts, I suppose…

    (no offense intended towards those who like the new xB)

  • avatar
    slateslate

    don;t forget the x-type.

  • avatar
    ThresherK

    Speaking of the Solstice…has anyone tried to open/close the manual top of this vehicle? This design is inherently flawed for a roadster.

    I saw someone calling their spouse in the work parking lot, while standing next to a Solstice. Flat tire? Dead battery? Wouldn’t start?

    Wanted to close the roof in advance of black clouds.

    Obviously borrowed his car, and the one demo she might have had at the dealership didn’t cut it. I didn’t think about it at the time, but now I hold her totally blameless.

  • avatar
    Arkay

    My votes:

    Hummer H2

    Hummer H3

    Any and ALL future models from Hummer…

    Chrysler Sebring

    BMW 6-series

    Cadillac Escalade

    Lincoln Navigator

    Maybach

    Mercedes-Benz G-class

    Chevrolet Uplander

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    jerseydevil: Porsche Cayman, for making me want you so bad, then going for someone with alot more money. That makes you a high priced hooker.

    Truly the most insightfully funny comment I’ve read in weeks. Thanks.

  • avatar
    GEMorris

    Mazda could have easily been on the no-nominations list if it wasn’t for that damnable CX-9. So I’m adding another vote to the CX-9. They need to feel the public ire for loosing focus on their core product.

    (Also on the Mazda front, am I the only one who thinks they are the only company that could get away with only one primary engine (in turbo and non-turbo forms)? The MZR they have is excellent and can power everything from the 3, to the CX-7 and 6 wagon just fine and dandy in turbo trim. That damnable ford v-6 thrashbox is hurting their image.)

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    I nominate the Dodge Caliber.

    Yes, the Neon was getting long in the tooth, and suffered from the stigma of being a “cute” car (see, e.g., Miata) but without (1) the handling, and (2) the convertible top that would make an enthusiast want one anyway. So it was time to come up with a replacement.

    But couldn’t Chrysler come up with a design that did NOT look like a car (or Transformer) built out of lego? (Chrysler ripping off Chevrolet, very myopic!)

    Lastly, for a car with sporting pretensions, why does it have such a truck-like (look-wise) steering wheel? (This also afflicts many other American cars.) This question really boggles my mind.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Add the Pontiac G5 to the list because its 1) another uncompetitive small car from a US automaker and 2) GM’s failure to completely shake off badge engineering simply because the dealers demanded it.

    Might as well include the G6 too because if the Saturn Aura is intended to match up with the Accord/Camry, what does the G6 do? Answer: FLEET SALES.

    Shame on GM too for not bringing the targa version of the Astra to match up with the VW Eos and Volvo V70. Like anyone shopping those two are going to look at a G6. At least with the Euro based Astra, GM would have some credibility.

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    Sorry guys, I gotta defend the Jeep Patriot.

    I had one of these as a rental (ie. I beat the hell out of it) recently, and I got to say, it actually impressed the hell out of me. The size is “just right” with plenty of interior space for its small exterior. The styling actually got quite a few raves, and it actually drove pretty well. As far as its “trail-rated” cred, it handled any curb, pothole, or speedbump I threw at it without even blinking. My only real complaint was the smallish gas tank and that lousy CVT, which is, thankfully, an option.

    Currently, I have a Pontiac Montana for a rental while the Miata is in the shop. This GM Minivan is FULL of “What were they thinking” screwups. Too many to even start to mention. Compared to this piece of trash, the Patriot is automotive bliss.

    Since the GM Minivans are almost gone (But not gone enough!) Here are my votes:

    1)Jeep Compass (for being useless next to the Patriot)

    2)Ford Focus (for being the typical “New” design from Detroit.

    3)Scion xB (for completely ruining what made the original special.)

  • avatar
    Axel

    No Volvo? Allow me to nominate the S80. Boring, bloated, and outclassed by nearly everything else in its market segment.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    philipwitak :
    October 17th, 2007 at 10:59 am

    re: “The only brands which have totally evaded your critical eye are Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, MINI and Volvo. So far, anyway.”

    lemme fix that for ya – i nominate lamborghini’s new reventon. simply put, there is no place for that car in this world.

    Yes there is; in the garages of people with way more money than sense (car sense anyway). It’s the perfect car for the obscenely rich guy who has to have something nobody else has. Sure a Corvette Z06 is just as good at 8% of the cost, but there are literally 1,000′s of those. Who wants that. Even a Porsche Carrera GT or Mclaren F1 isn’t nearly as rare (or expensive); they’re just better cars.

  • avatar
    Michael.Martineck

    Of the saddest word of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, the Volkswagen Rabbit, the car that is no longer what it should be. When I was in high school, this car was fun. Tossable. The car you could afford and autocross without being too embarrassed. Looking at the ‘08 is like going to your high school reunion as seeing that hot girl from Earth Science has consumed and failed to digest, a small cow. The Rabbit has outgrown itself.

  • avatar
    kericf

    Jeep Compass “Rallye” Edition should seal the win for the Compass.

    Here is a link, eyebleach not included.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    I drove a lot of Sebring/Avenger junk this summer with rental-mobiles. They are identical in mechanical, interior, and performance mediocrity. Either one deserves a TWAT.

    However, there is a tiebreaker for the award in “favor” of the Avenger, and it is one of the funniest oversights I have witnessed on a modern car to escape the QA department.

    If any of you ever find yourselves in the unfortunate situation of driving an Avenger, try this: When you’re on the highway going about eighty or so (no hills here!) raise both the front windows completely up and lower the back windows all the way down. The vehicle’s bodywork somehow couples with the airstream in that configuration to turn the car’s interior into a resonant acoustic cavity, like being in a subwoofer enclosure. I am not kidding, I am talking LOUD shake-the-car-loosen-the-bolts ~40Hz bass note that can slosh coffee from the container while just sitting in its cupholder, its THAT bad. You can talk and it sounds like you’re talking into a box fan in this “window config.”

    You would think there was a wind-tunnel at Chrysler somewhere, but they forgot to use it for this thing. The Sebring doesn’t do that (I checked on my next rental-adventure); so it escapes the TWAT by one LOUD whisker vs. the Avenger in my opinion.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Not sure if its been mentioned before, but the Ford Explorer Sport Trac has gotta be on the list. It is, quite literally, the worst of pickup and SUV combined. And I think that small bed is plastic, so don’t overload it!

    Why Ford spent a dime on the Explorer –> Sport Track conversion when the Ranger needs a new, F-150 style interior is beyond comprehension. TWAT IT!

  • avatar
    kericf

    CarnotCycle

    The VW bugs do that too as I experienced in my sister-in-laws car. If you have the sunroof open and the windows cracked slightly, it gives your ears a brutal beating from the deep wind buffeting. It literally feels like your head is being beaten like a drum.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    1) Toyota Camry. It’s not objectively the “worst” car, but it’s arguably the most important automotive failure of the new millennium — Exhibit A of how the world’s leading automaker has lost its way.

    2) Any BMW. Every car company has an incompetent, arrogant asshole somewhere in the bowels of its styling department, but BMW’s executives deserve the vilest kind of condemnation for promoting it. For that matter, I hope the Honda Accord stylists who felt obligated to imitate them are devoured by locusts, just by association.

  • avatar
    OhMyGoat

    Late in the game, so nothing new here.

    Compass, of course. A co-worker drives one, and fortunately for the sake of my eyeballs I only work with her three days a week. Saw this road blight early in focus group form and hated it then. It went over big with female panelists though. My comment was that it didn’t look like a Jeep. Their comment, “oh, it’s a Jeep?”. Nuff said. The early concept of what became the Patriot looked like result of a three-way between a Cherokee, Element and Hummer (and a little bit o’ Xb thrown in for good measure).

    The craptacular Seb-enger twins. When they first came out, I seem to recall one of the chief “stylists” spouting a load of marketing speak about his creation. What a load of crap. These along with the Compass came under the watch of Chrysler’s then Teutonic overlords. Hopefully the Three Headed Dog will see fit to send them to scrap heap ASAP. Recent news bit brings hope.

    H2 – As others have said, “pass the Viagra”.

    H3 – For poseurs who shop WalMart.

    Amanti – The result of an unholy three-way between a Benz, Buick and Jag.

    The Suzu-woo’s (Daewoo-made Suzukis). For that matter, anything made by Daewoo.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    I nominate the Jaguar XJ, for trying so damn hard to look younger than it is. It looks as if “Pimp ye olde Ride” took a proper saloon and had their God-awful way with it.

  • avatar
    beken

    Along with the entire big 2.8 line-up, I would like to bring up the Audi Q7.

    Okay…I don’t like any SUV/CUV/XUV…UV anyways, but that BIG HUGE front air-scoop of a nose give it the look of …. (oh this is a family orient website, isn’t it?)

    It is rather ugly and I think it ranks right up there with the discontinued (thank goodness) Aztek in design.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Nominating the…

    Pontiac G5: While the Cobalt was a decent small-car effort by GM, the blatant badge-engineering that resulted in the G5 is just insulting. You could hear the GM brass groaning at the idea, but doing it anyway just to satiate the whiny dealers.

    Jeep Compass: This car literally looks like one of those friends you haven’t seen in years, then you run into him/her at the mall and now he/she’s gained about 60 pounds. The bulbous sheetmetal looks like it’s bursting out of its pants.

    Scion xB: Toyota totally Americanized this vehicle (fatter, bigger engine) and now it looks like a caricature of its former self. 600 lb weight gain?!?! C’mon!

    Chrysler Sebring: The first true challenger in years to potentially knock the Aztek off Ugly Hill (though maybe not).

    Mercury Sable: Looks just as dull as the Montego it replaces and really is the blander car between it and its cousin, Taurus.

    Dodge Caliber: Dodge doesn’t say what caliber the Caliber is, do they? Sometimes what you don’t say matters as much as what you do. Shoddy interior materials, overweight, and looks like it will be outdated last week.

    Jeep Liberty/Dodge Nitro: Chrysler purposefully went from two distinct designs to badge-engineered twins. I can’t tell the difference between the two from any viewpoint other than head-on. At least the 4-door Wrangler looks somewhat different, or we’d have the triplets from Hell.

    More to come…

  • avatar
    seldomawake

    Not a nomination, but a request for clarification:

    And no wonder: everything that Chrysler and Dodge build was nominated individually, as were all of Lincoln’s, Saturn’s and Mitsubishi’s vehicles

    The Evo was nominated? Ouch. Tough crowd.

  • avatar
    altdude

    Definitely agree with the ‘new’ Ford Focus. Looks like a repackaged 1990 Escort with cheesy shiny ‘chrome’ trim. With looks like that I don’t even care/want to know how it drives…

  • avatar
    RyanK02

    beken:
    The entire domestic line-up? Way to be objective.

  • avatar
    pdub

    Jeff in Canada speaks for many of us in summing up the models we all hate, but where is the Grand Prix? Dirt cheap interior, least back seat space (shoulder and leg) of any full-size sedan I’ve ever been inside, uncomfortable seats, terrible fabric, clunky steering columns, huge amounts of hood, terrible parking and turning radius, mediocre acceleration, poor handling, cheesy looks.

  • avatar
    passive

    Wow, I guess people hate everything. :)

    Seriously, AKM, the M and G? Both of these are commonly thought to be at the top of their segments, stylistically. The M is only a stone’s throw away from the Fuga concept it was based on, which, despite the name, is among the best looking vehicles in history, and definitely the nicest looking thing I’ve ever seen from a Japanese marque.
    The G, though I slightly prefer the old one, is still a fantastic looking vehicle. An Italian-inspired combination of sensuality and aggression, without the enormous price-tag or the impression that you are compensating for something.

    So in terms of looks, I think we are in polar disagreement (except about the QX56). But looks are generally polarizing.

    However, TWATs aren’t just about looks, and I think you would be hard pressed to find serious enough faults in other aspects of the M or G to justify the nomination. They treat all their occupants well, are decently reliable, and are 10-20% less $$$ than their competition.

  • avatar
    stimpy

    I gotta agree with the couple of posters who nominated the new Camry. That car went from bland but flawless to pimptastic in one model year. I couldn’t believe the interior on that thing the first time I saw it – all pastel-colored blingy in a Louis Quatorze era whorehouse sort of way. The exterior just reminds me of an over-fed sea mammal. Plus, the build quality seems to have taken a bit of a nosedive, which kinda takes the whole Toyota reason for existence and chucks it out the window. God knows they’ve never been about the driving experience.

    And while it may be piling on, that Dodge Caliber is one admirable ride, ain’t it? It is like the Magnum’s profoundly retarded little brother in looks and it has had to resort to the worst sort of cheap gimcrackery (REMOVABLE dome lights? lighted cupholders? refrigerated glovebox? hinged cheap-ass stereo speakers in the tailgate?) to have any sort of marketing presence, whatsoever. You sure couldn’t muster any other reason to consider one of these. Yikes!

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    pdub: Thanks!

    Ah, the Grand Prix! I can’t beleive I forgot that one! I whole heartedly agree with it’s new level of terribleness.

    The entire Pontiac line-up is a farce! GM’s sporty division doesn’t produce a single vehicle that lives up to it’s proposed image! It’s such a shame too, because the Solstice, G6, and Grand Prix have very good looking exteriors, but just awful chassis, powertrain, interior design and build quality. It’s like GM spend 90% of the budget on the exterior styling, then slapped the rest together with the remaining 10% and any change they found in the couches!

    Pontiac as a whole totally sums up my TWAT mantra: Any vehicle that totally misses the mark on it’s intention.

    The Camry may be Automotive vanilla, but thats better than the previously stated ‘Automotive Trophy Wife” called the Solstice!

  • avatar
    f8

    I can’t believe xB is getting nominated. Yeah, in many people’s opinion (which I share) Toyota screwed the xB up when they upsized it and killed the styling, but it is in no way horrendously ugly (not uglier than an Element, anyhow, and I’m not seeing many Element nominations), it’s not poorly made or underpowered, it has its place in Scion’s lineup (proven by the fact that it sells reasonably well) so it isn’t a misfit or a bad idea, it isn’t badge-engineered. I’m sorry, but the “hdurrr they done changed my favorite car’s looks and engine” argument shouldn’t be nearly enough to qualify said car as one of ten worst automobiles on the road.

    I don’t even think these nominations should be done according to popular vote. While it’s interesting to nominate cars, the writers of this site know enough about cars to make the decisions on what should be on this list. Many of the posters nominated cars just according to their own preference or opinion, regardless of any criteria. I really don’t believe that “car A is bland and boring” or “car B does not meet my arcane personal expectations therefore it sucks” are very helpful in making a useful, unbiased list

  • avatar
    compy386

    Corolla at number 1. It’s convinced people that a reliable compact must be boring and awful to drive.

    I gotta defend the Focus. It’s cheap, fun, and practical. Not really the best looking car out there, but people will notice it. If you want a bad Ford I say Shelby GT500. I’m okay with the Mustang GT having a bad suspension package, but the GT500? Those horses need more power.

    BMW 1 Series for selling out. Why anyone would save $2,000 for that POS when they can get a 3 is just beyond me.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Kericf – man…you need a bigger warning than that!!! It’s official – stop the voting now. We have a “winner.”
    I didn’t know it was possible to make a Compass an even bigger piece of worthless, vile, flimsy, buttlickin’ POS, but for almost $2,000, Jeep will help out!
    I think they will put those extra driving lights on the front to blind everyone from the fact that you are driving the “vehicle” that started the torching of Jeep.
    I wonder if the huge “rear spoiler” will help it stay planted to the packed gravel driveway that the owners consider “off-road” or maybe it will turn it into a wing that will cause it to fly into the closest lake. We can hope, right?

    kericf :
    October 17th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Jeep Compass “Rallye” Edition should seal the win for the Compass.

    Here is a link, eyebleach not included.

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    Infiniti Q56 and the old Mitsubishi Montero have to be the worlds ugliest vehicles.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Jeep Compass “Rallye” Edition

    Ha ha! You almost had me believing they were coming out with a Rallye Edition of the Compass! Um, what?

    Come to think of it, I am growing to throw a brick at the Charger too. I mean seriously, apart from questionable thuggish styling and resurrecting a name that Chrysler has already sullied more than once, what does it offer that the 300 doesn’t? I nominate it simply for the fact it should never have existed in the first place.

    Oh yes, and the Crossfire (never mind that the ones on the lots are model year 2005; they are for sale and technically ‘new’)

  • avatar
    EJ

    I’m nominating Cadillac Escalade.

    This non-PC dinosaur of environmental destruction, pedestrian crushing and eye-searing bling just got a black dot reliability rating from Consumer Reports.
    Maybe GM is employing too many Chinese workers and not enough UAW workers?

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    I don’t understand all of this hate on the new Scion xB either. Toyota is giving folks in the USA exactly what they asked for inthe new xB, a much more substantial car!
    I’m sorry but the last xB was at best cute. It was underpowered and it lacked adequate side impact protection. The xB should be looked at in a different light because it is a very different vehicle from that which it replaced.

    Think of the new xB as bargin Camry wagon that you can actually purchase with a manual transmission. It now has the power to properly move 4 passangers and a decent load and you stand a better chance of surviving a side impact collision. I looked at the last xB and the things that Toyota changed were the exact things that kept me from purchasing the last model. In all honesty the last xB was all but unusable (and zero fun)with an automatic, now its has more than adequate performance in that regard.

    I am wondering if all of these anti-xB folks has actually driven the new one because it is a much better car in everyway.

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    GMC Envoy/Chevrolet Trailblazer. Relics from a bygone era. Atrocious. Uncomfortable. Slow. Thirsty. Clumsy. Unsafe. Poorly built interior. Straight up the worst midsize SUV’s built today in the United States. And I am 102% confident in my saying that. TWAT STATUS.

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    And Isuzu Ascender! It’s still around too! The GMT-360 platform should be given the electric chair! RIGHT NOW!

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Send a message to BMW by nominating the E60 BMW M5 with the SMG transmission.

    The TWAT award must spank them hard, and without mercy.

    What we have here, is an Axis of TWAT Power. Really powerful TWAT.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I’ll pile on the nom for the xB. It’s now even more ugly and you can’t see out the back.

  • avatar
    davey49

    How about nominating the;
    Nissan Titan- for having no Reg Cab long bed model
    The QX56 for being UGLY!

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    The new xB really isn’t that ugly. Especially from the back. And if you’ve ever sat in the new XB you’d see how damn roomy it is, and quite comfortable too. Everyone’s a hater on it, but it’s a solid offering.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    IMO (and afterall, that’s all any of this is) Toyota took away what made the original Scion xB stand out and added nothing of value. I’ve got no problem with adding a more powerful engine, just make it noticeably more powerful. Then I can excuse a decrease in mpg. What they did to the exterior styling would be laughable if it weren’t so bad. At least with the original they had a quirky styling that a good percentage of people liked or at least didn’t dislike. Now they have driven away the people that liked the original styling while attracting very few if any of the people who didn’t like the original. The big no-no was how they took what was supposed to be a relatively inexpensive first car that offered good interior space and gas mileage and reduced both the gas mileage and the interior space. That’s like Porsche taking the 911 and reducing the power and making it a 4-door. While the xB may not be truly one of the 10 worst cars on the road today, in my mind Toyota deserves some award for taking so many steps backward, while trying to “improve” a car that was already one of the hottest sellers on the market.

    The Camry deserves the nomination for pure ugliness and declining build quality-at least relative to the other cars on the market.

  • avatar
    LtSolo

    After reading most of the nominations, I decided to do something unusual, and actually DRIVE the ones people nominated most, so I would really KNOW how bad the cars really are. So, since I had yesterday off (well, not really, after starting work at 130am, and getting off at 630am, gotta love the Air Force), I set out to test drive as many of the potential nominees as I could.

    I drove my Porsche Boxster S to the dealerships, so I would continually drive one of the best cars around for a true comparison on the crapiness of the crap car I was about to crap around in. And they let you test drive anything if you roll up in a Porsche…. even an old one.

    Dodge Avenger SXT, 2.4L, 4spd Auto – This car makes Baby Jesus cry. I drove the mid-range on purpose. The plastics I witnessed (at a crime scene?) were what caught me at first, especially the excess flash seams that cut my elbow on the door. Then once you sit in it, you realize you have revisited the Italian car model of “long legs, short arms” mentality of ergonomics. The rest of the cabin layout wasn’t so much bad, per se, as just boring. I’ve had more excitement creating home movies on Microsoft PowerPoint. Then I got to the drive. I didn’t think something with a 2.4L variable-valve timing 4-banger could be slower than my Jetta TDI. It had no gumption, it groaned trying to merge on the interstate, the transmission was as confused as a hippie on Wall Street. It sapped the very life from me. The car meandered around its lanes as the steering wheel gave all the feedback of a steam release valve.

    It wasn’t really really bad…. it was just…. underwhelming, so half-baked, so, “lets just get something on the market because we think people are idiots and will flock to incentives”. Worst of all, it listed for $21,435 (with heated seats, but no Satellite radio!), which is $600 less then a Dodge Charger V-6 (which comes with $2500 in incentives). So, it was so underwhelming and boring I nearly crashed it out of spite, and since Crapsyler is only offering $500 in rebates right now, more expensive than a Charger. ARGH!

    Next up:
    Chevy Cobalt LT Coupe, Flaming Orange, 5sp Manual – It wasn’t that bad really. Had plenty of pep to it, handled alright, if not inspiring, and the interior wasn’t all that bad either. The two-tone helped some…. but couldn’t entirely detract from harsh plastics. The engine note also sounded as if the hamsters in the engine bay ran their wheel so fast that they were now pinned to the rim of the wheel by sheer G-force and were screaming in complete terror….. that, or nails in a tin can. The best thing I could say was, Not bad, but not great either. It was, merely adequate

    Mercuray Milan I-4 Premium, 5sp manual – They actually had a manual on the lot! That they even offer this, I was astounded. I was also impressed by this car. Interior was OK…. green instruments aren’t my thing, and the center analog clock was cheesy, but for $23000, you get leather, heated seats, sunroof, 17-inch wheels, a decent drive train, navigation, and a car that handles as closely to a Mazda as a retiree can handle. I like this car.

    Saturn Aura XR 3.6 – This is another decent car. Reminds me of the old Audi 200′s. Accelerates really nicely, handles well, fit and finish is nice, and I like the “manual for morons” flappy-paddle auto gearbox. It doesn’t belong on this list either. It does well enough to be solid effort in its own right.

    Saturn Ion3 – AHHHHHHH!!!!!!
    Who makes suspension mounts out of marshmallows…. apparently our euthanised Spring Hill, TN design team! Boeing built better instrument panels for thier 707′s in the 1950′s….. and so did Toyota on the Tercel. Almost as underwhelming as the Avenger, but not so much as it is an old design… and not fresh off the drafting board

    SO! I drove a lot, and more will follow….. Impreza hopefully, Lancer maybe…..

    Thanks to TTAC for making my life enjoyable every morning, and to all the people who comment, some of the most intelligent people this side of Wikipedia

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Jerseydevil:

    I would have been in complete agreement with you on the BMW 1 Series UNTIL I saw the hatch. The thing is ugly. BMW made the right decision so leave this ugly duckling in the EU. This thing is just as ugly as the WRX STI hatchback.

    Ironically, the one hatch that may not come to the US is the Evo X hatch, and compared to the 1 Series and the STI, the Evo X hatch is a real looker.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    In defense of two cars, the 1 Series and the TT:

    The 1 Series won’t be available in the US until next year and we don’t know what the pricing will be. True the 1 Series isn’t that much smaller (or lighter than the 3 Series), but we will all have to wait to see how the 1 Series is priced before deciding if choosing the 1 Series over the 3 Series makes any sense.

    As for the TT, the problem with this car is that it is arguably just a tarted up GTI. Maybe not good car for the money, especially when the 1 Series and the newly civilized Evo X and STI show up, but not a bad car and certainly not in the same league with the TWATs being nominated here

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    In defense of the TT. Not true about it being just a tarted up GTI. Yes, it’s based on the same platform, but that’s where the similarities end. If you want AWD, you can’t get it on a Rabbit variant unless its the R32, also, the TT drives differently as well. Nothing like the GTI, especially with the 3.2, but the 2.0 is a great engine as well. I hate people always saying it’s nothing more than a “tarted up GTI”, because it’s coming from people who haven’t driven either of the cars. The TT drives differently, has different engine options and drivetrain layout options, has totally different exterior and interior styling, and is offered as a convertible. It differentiates itself from the GTI in almost every single way imaginable, and is a fine drivers car and an attractive one at that , with a great interior. So many damn critics!

  • avatar
    dwford

    In defense of the Focus:

    The rage over this car is totally due to the perceived slight by Ford for not bringing over the C1 chassis 3 years ago. Despite its age, the Focus chassis is no where near the bottom of its class, and the 08 update provides a much needed style make over.

    Start on the outside. The new front end looks great in person, a lot more dynamic than the old 07 grill. The side profile is fin, the unnecessary fake vent not withstanding. The back is fine, but the new rear quarter window makes the car look smaller than before.

    Inside, the new style is great, and all the flaws of the 07 redesign have been corrected. The horrible armrest that you could never get out of your way has been fixed, you can reach the cup holders, and all the switchgear has been updated to the new corporate look. Add all the safety equipment, Sirius, and SYNC, and you have a well equiped car. The only flaw on the inside is the hard plastics, which in some areas are actually cheaper than the 07 interior.

    A nice SE sedan w/ the ABS/traction control specs out under $16k.

    As for TWATs, I vote for the Ranger pickup. Never has a vehicle been so outdated and so useless. Even the aging Panthers meet the needs of their buyers, but the Ranger is overpriced, underpowered, gets terrible mileage, and is so ugly, I can’t imagine anyone buys for the style.

    Second is the Jeep Compass. From personal experience it is fugly, poor driving, uncomfortable, cheaper “built.” My friend has one as a company vehicle, and can barely stand to be seen in it. And lets not forget the CVT mated to a 4 cylinder, so you can hear the unrefined drone of that crappy “world engine.”

  • avatar
    Nemphre

    “lemme fix that for ya – i nominate lamborghini’s new reventon. simply put, there is no place for that car in this world.”

    Yes, thank you. I also nominated this… thing, but with all the Sebring roasting, it was lost in the shuffle. I don’t know if it can be considered a car though, it seems to me like more of a really expensive trophy that you can’t put on your mantle. It would be easier to just tape a few copies of your bank statement onto your car and get the same effect.

  • avatar
    wstansfi

    Let me re-iterate the nomination for the Nitro. If ever there was an inappropriately named vehicle, this is it. The name nitro calls forth images of the Fast and the Furious. In this vehicle, you push the gas, nothing happens – it doesn’t even drop into a lower gear and rev up when you’re trying to pass on the highway – instead, it just laughs at you. Interior could only be worse if it came with dog puke already on the seats. Handling only appropriate for driving styles compatible with Ms. Daisy.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    Woah, that’s a lot of responses… I’m not wading through them all, so I’ll just say this: I’ve been in both a new Sebring and and old Sebring. It’s one of the few cars that markedly degrade in important factors with a new generation. The convertable at least was clunkier, slower to convert, and went from taking up some cargo space to ALL cargo space. There were no major improvements for me to speak of – it’s still a crappy car, only now they made it uglier and crappier. Fail, Chrysler, fail.

  • avatar
    shortthrowsixspeed

    Jerseydevil / Claude Dickson:

    JD: BMW 1 Series, for not importing the 4 banger engine or the hatchback body style. Shame on you.

    CD: I would have been in complete agreement with you on the BMW 1 Series UNTIL I saw the hatch. The thing is ugly. BMW made the right decision so leave this ugly duckling in the EU. This thing is just as ugly as the WRX STI hatchback.

    Claude, I second your emotion as to the hatchback 1-series. That said, it sounds like Jerseydevil is complaining that there aren’t more weak, ugly cars on the road. I can see the MPG argument coming, but who buys a BMW for gas mileage? If it matters that much to you, go buy a Mini (they get great mileage and they are much smaller than the 3-series (unlike the 1, as you mentioned). For me, the 1 series has everything going for it. Better, if not much better looks than the 3-series (which just seems to get more and more bloated every year). What has proven to be a great engine in the twin-blown six (and the NA six ain’t bad either if you’re a purist). M styling and suspension without the M price (this thing has to come in under the 3 series in wallet thinning). No I-drive (being a cheaper model none of them will be blessed/cursed with the “upgrade”).

    Now I’ll admit being biased. I’ve loved BMWs for a long time, but found myself loving them less and less over the last few years. This move has redeemed them in my eyes and I will be buying me a 1-series next year.

  • avatar
    beken

    RyanK02:

    Sorry….I’m one of those who have been disillusioned by the big 2.8. There really are a couple of Big 2.8 cars I like, but I won’t trust them to meet my needs anymore. My current Buick just blew a water pump today. Third major problem this year.

    If I mention the Audi Q7 again, does it count as another vote?

  • avatar
    chanman

    I nominate Ltsolo to be deputized by the TTAC powers that be to test all top 20 TWAT nominees. A man that volunteers for such a sacrifice can not go unused.

    And I nominate the ‘new’ Focus for TWAThood. Some dogs just need the Old Yeller treatment.

  • avatar
    peoplewatching04

    I saw that the Isuzu Ascender was here (and for good reason). Can anyone explain to me why Isuzu even exists anymore? They make two vehicles: the rebadged Trailblazer and rebadged Colorado. Why Why Why :(

  • avatar
    shaker

    CarnotCycle :
    Believe it or not, the Buick LaCrosse and G6 sedan (rentals) both exhibit the same gut-wrenching resonance (at highway speeds) with the rear windows halfway down — I’m a (stupid) smoker, and I lower the windows for ventilation. I was surprised that something that dramatic could be overlooked in a car design. I can only assume that low CoD design is the reason.

    Oh, in order to stay on topic, I nominate the Dodge Caliber (for missing the target) and Jeep Compass (for having no design direction at all).

    …and they both share interior “appointments” that would not be out of place inside a dishwasher.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    For those defending the TT, it may be vastly different from the GTI it is derived from. It may have a nice interior. It may even have styling appealing to those with above-average estrogen ;), but when the 3.2 version starts at $41k+, would you really even consider purchasing one over the competition? It is so thoroughly outclassed as a driving machine by any number of other cars it does not even merit consideration as a potential purchase. The fact that Audi has the audacity (Audicity?) to call the TT coupe a “pure sports car” on their website further increases my disdain towards this car

  • avatar
    Ed S.

    dwford said:

    In defense of the Focus:

    Despite its age, the Focus chassis is no where near the bottom of its class

    The new front end looks…a lot more dynamic than the old 07 grill.

    …the unnecessary fake vent not withstanding.

    …the new rear quarter window makes the car look smaller than before.

    all the flaws of the 07 redesign have been corrected…you can reach the cup holders

    The only flaw on the inside is the hard plastics, which in some areas are actually cheaper than the 07 interior.

    Please stop comparing the 08 Focus to the 07 Focus, its insulting to TTAC readers. I and most TTAC readers, , and I’m going out on a limb here, don’t judge cars simply in the context of the previous generation. In fact, I might state that that’s what’s wrong with the Big 2.8; they have a poor understanding of the marketplace because they constantly put new vehicle in the context of old vehicle.

    Anyway, the Ford Focus is a disaster. How much of the “saving” did they burn doing a last-minute redo of the body work? And Mulaley is a lap dog just like the rest of the industry chiefs (Jim Press anyone).

    My votes got to:

    Ford Focus
    Jeep Compass
    Chrysler 300

    Maybe some others later…

    Oh, and I like the xB. Maybe it did loose something by moving upmarket with the larger engine, but the car will be a viable option for a much larger percent of the market now. Sales will increase.

  • avatar
    gogogodzilla

    I’ll second the new Scion xB. What the heck was Toyota thinking?

  • avatar
    ash78

    I think the BMW 1-series should potentially be in there for one reason, and one reason only: They took the hot hatch and turned it into yet another little coupe/sedan.

    I’m as big a fan of the 2002 as they come, but don’t destroy the new car’s only semblance of practicality in the name of “70s nostalgia” or veiled attempt to “get back to your roots.” BMW was “uprooted” as soon as iDrive graced the cockpit.

    Sure, many people “don’t care about practicality in their cars,” but those people almost always have to be varying degrees of both wealthy and stupid. Just like the marketeers who insist “Americans don’t like hatches.” Give me a (shooting) brake!

  • avatar
    shoopdawhoop

    -Chrysler Sebring: the clear winner here. While never a class leader, the last generation Sebring was a pleasant-looking car with a distinct face on the front to give it some character. So the obvious next step was to put the wildly popular (note sarcasm) Crossfire through a taffy-puller, keeping the awkward stance and continuing the bizarre lack of trunk. What it misses in looks, it…also misses in substance.

    -Cadillac CTS: Edging out the 300 this year for tackiest large sedan, Cadillac uses the roof of a Pizza Hut as a stencil and tacks on a larger version of that awful grill. The too-short trunk reminds me of the aforementioned Sebring. Kill it with fire.

    -Smart Fortwo: Mileage rivaling that of econo-boxes twice its size, and none of those pesky creature comforts that come with cars in its own price range. For similar safety, performance, and comfort with a bigger green factor than the Smart Fortwo, check out a Schwinn. Prius owners have every reason to be smug with this thing on the road.

    -Infiniti QX56: Even the name of the thing is awful. Combine that with the terribly-styled roofline, the front end of a train, and uncharacteristically terrible reliability, and fuel efficiency inspired by the Ford Expedition, and you have a brown stain on the reputation of an otherwise commendable automaker.

    -Toyota FJ Cruiser: If the Hummer H2 is the conservative Republican congressman who is secretly a filthy pedophile and the Mini Cooper is the poor victim of said congressman’s Myspace stalking, then the FJ Cruiser is the illegitimate offspring that nobody wants anything to do with.

    -Dodge Nitro: Proof that Chrysler is out of touch with nearly every aspect of human society. The styling is poorly-executed and looks too cartoony to be aggressive, and the dated platform was never a threat to other automakers. In fact, virtually everything the Nitro has to offer is bested by every other vehicle in its class.

    -Chrysler Aspen: Yet another “what’s-the point?” entry. While nicer to look at than the Durango (which borrows its face from a tractor-trailer), it offers no advantages over the competition in terms of fuel economy, interior fit and finish, or anything else. The same people who would buy a near-luxury SUV are not the same people who want a Hemi. Try again.

    -Kia Rio: Anyone who has ridden in this car (especially the back seat) and lived to tell about it deserves reparations.

    -Scion xB: I’d rank this near the Sebring in terms of utter failure. You know why.

  • avatar
    f8

    gogogodzilla:

    “I’ll second the new Scion xB. What the heck was Toyota thinking?”

    Toyota isn’t a charity, it’s a business. They don’t care much for your affection for the old xB, nor do they have to. They think about making money.

    Scion was initially intended to be a lineup of quirky, somewhat “experimental” cars for younger people, and as such there were two small, light, cheap, and underpowered cars in the lineup – xA and xB. Then Toyota noticed that many sales of the xB went to older people, to those that wanted a boxy, roomy car that wouldn’t guzzle gas like an SUV yet could still function as one. Since youth-oriented super-boxy look isn’t going to do much for that newly-discovered Scion demographic, xB got a facelift to make it look modern, yet more conventional. It also got more room and a larger Camry engine, which again makes sense for the new buying demographic – 110 hp may be fun for your high school aged kid and perceived as “safe” by his parents, but it isn’t adequate for a people-hauler soccer mom van thing. Which is what Toyota made xB into. That is how they plan to make money on it. Older folks can spend more than teenagers and college students, which means higher profit margins

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Lambo:

    I’ll state what I thought was clear from my statement, the Audi TT 2.0 can be accused of nothing more than being a tarted up GTI. Both are FWD, have the same engine and transmission and the weight difference is about 200 lbs.

    If you want to use the TT 3.2, I can accommodate you. The 3.2 is a tarted up R32.

    Trying to differentiate the GTI from the TT by using the 3.2 is just being intellectually dishonest.

    As for my point, a VERY strong case can be made that the TT, while a good car in either version, is not good car for the money. A decently equipped 2.0 TT will run around $40k which will probably get you the 1 Series 135, the new WRX STI, the new EVO X or the G37. Move up to the 3.2 TT and you are still 50 hp shy of the above-named competition and you add yet other competitors, the 335i and the Cayman.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Ash:

    The 1 Series is not a TWAT because they turned a hatch into a sedan. The 1 Series WOULD be a TWAT if they had brought the hatch into the US. One of the factors listed for TWAT worthiness is whether the very sight of the car makes you want to lose your lunch. This hatch is so ugly I just want to hurl at the sight of it. Makes the rest of the BMW lineup look like works or art by comparison

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    Being quoted in a TTAC article?! My life’s dream is realized! O_O

    f8 and whatdoiknow1: Comparing the new xB to a Camry in an attempt to gain favor? Look a little closer at your audience here, boys :)

    Toyota sells plenty of cars, in case you hadn’t noticed. Why’d they have to kill the one distinctive product in their entire lineup?

  • avatar
    Ryan75

    It almost seems like restating the obvious, but I have to throw in a nod for the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger. Interior quality alone should doom these two to TWAT status. In a time when virtually every other automaker (with the possible exception of Toyota) has been finding ways to improve the cabins in their midsize offerings, it looks like DaimlerChrysler entered the gunfight with a spoon. Forget using Accord, Altima, Fusion or Passat as benchmarks here. Many of the plastics found in Sebring and Avenger would have a tough time competing with those in Little Tikes’ car line. If those aren’t off-putting enough, the claustrophobic footwells easily could be. As a (happy) former owner of a first-generation Dodge Stratus, it’s sad to see how far this company has fallen in this car category.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Claude Dickson
    I have nothing against the 1-series, per se, I was helping to play devil’s advocate for the people who mentioned it.

    I personally think the style of the 5-door hatch is the best of the lot, having seen it for the first time in 2004 in England. It was love at first site, much like the M-Coupe in the late 90s. Maybe I just put a premium on unique styling…but the 5-door GTI and 5-door Mazda3 are doing well (Mazda even picked that 5-door layout for the Mazdaspeed3). I just don’t see any reason for yet another coupe/sedan layout.

    Can’t wait to drive it, though ;)

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Scion was initially intended to be a lineup of quirky, somewhat “experimental” cars for younger people, and as such there were two small, light, cheap, and underpowered cars in the lineup – xA and xB. Then Toyota noticed that many sales of the xB went to older people, to those that wanted a boxy, roomy car that wouldn’t guzzle gas like an SUV yet could still function as one. Since youth-oriented super-boxy look isn’t going to do much for that newly-discovered Scion demographic, xB got a facelift to make it look modern, yet more conventional. It also got more room and a larger Camry engine, which again makes sense for the new buying demographic – 110 hp may be fun for your high school aged kid and perceived as “safe” by his parents, but it isn’t adequate for a people-hauler soccer mom van thing. Which is what Toyota made xB into. That is how they plan to make money on it. Older folks can spend more than teenagers and college students, which means higher profit margins

    f8:

    The problem is that they added an inconsequential amount of horsepower while sacrificing some economy. If they wanted to keep the xB an economy car, they needed to keep an economy engine in it. If they wanted to beef it up, they needed to offer it with an engine that put out 160+ hp and torque. They shot for the middle of the road and now they are being run down.

    The point of the Scion brand was to attract young buyers that would move up to a more expensive Toyota as they grew up. Why would they abandon that in an attempt to please an older demographic? I think the restyle was an attempt at attracting a younger crowd, an attempt that I can’t imagine will succeed. The old xB had a certain quirky cuteness to go with its practicality. The new one lost all cuteness in toyota’s attempt to make it more in line with other car designs and lost some practicallity as well with the addition of a (still) underpowered engine that gets worse mileage than the first engine.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Ash:

    I love hatches, especially in small cars, but this one is just god awful ugly to me at least. I can only hope it looks better in person, because photogenic, its not.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    The problem is that they added an inconsequential amount of horsepower while sacrificing some economy. If they wanted to keep the xB an economy car, they needed to keep an economy engine in it. If they wanted to beef it up, they needed to offer it with an engine that put out 160+ hp and torque. They shot for the middle of the road and now they are being run down.

    While I can’t debate the the new xB styling, the thing does look like a blocky character out of a 1980s video game I disagree with your assessment of the Toyota 2.4l engine in this car. IMHO this engine is a perfect fit with the new xB, it is a rock solid design that does not break, it is reasonably powerful in this car, and I have driven both camrys and TCs equiped with this engine and it works very well when paired up with the 4spd autobox (yuck, but yeah) as well as the 5spd stick. If the 2.4l can motivate a camry full of 4 adults with no problem it will do just fine in the xB. If I remember correctly TRD does make a supercharger for this engine. The new xB is a much more substantial car in everyway and the extra weight feels much better in the crosswinds.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    A little OT, but I’d like to propose special recognition for achievements in design and ergonomics. By design, I mean styling, not engineering. Help me out here, because the acronym I’ve come up with is awkward – Ten Worst Automotive Design Disasters Left Extant – or TWADDLE. First up, flame surfaced cars. Remember when BMWs (admittedly very well-engineered cars) looked good? You can include any car that apes the look. Flame broil them, crush them, and send them back to point of origin. Next up, any car with the numb nutz knob in the center console. What a great idea – a knob with, what, about 800 connections going into it whose functions you need to memorize by touch. Its a freakin’ car, not a front-line jet fighter, and no, you aren’t a fighter pilot. Have these designers never studied William of Ockham’s famous dictum? Lastly, thank you Audi for bringing back the Edsel grille. Its been half a century and most people alive today do not remember the horror. Iconic on a Bugatti, ridiculous on anything else.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    ” … why Isuzu even exists anymore? They make two vehicles: the rebadged Trailblazer and rebadged Colorado. Why Why Why :( ”

    I can answer that. Isuzu’s official plan is to get out of the light vehicle market all together (at least in North America). They are focused on diesel engines (such as Duramax for GM and a new project with Toyota) and on medium duty trucks. Rather than spending the money to close down the dealer network they are starving it to death. When Isuzu was married to GM they cut a deal to badge engineer a few trucks so as to still have something to offer the dealers. But, there is no advertising support, no marketing, no nothing. I suspect they will keep offering the things as long as GM keeps building them. That might get tricky since GM sold it’s Isuzu stake and Toyota picked it up. Maybe we will see Isuzu Tacomas as an ongoing stop-gap.

    BTW, this model could very effectively be use to trim the bloated 2.8 dealer network. Skinny Pontiac, Buick, Saturn and Mercury down to one vehicle lineups and make sure it is the badge-slapper version of your worst stuff. GM could send Daewoo products into all of their dead-brands-walking. Over time the dealer network would wither and die without GM needed to buy out a one of them. Mercury could get an overpriced Euro-Ford import to do them in with.

  • avatar
    kericf

    To quote the Jeep website:

    ” Unique 18-inch black aluminum wheels exaggerate rally car toughness. ”

    If you put the word exaggerate in a description for your vehicle, you are obviously doing something wrong. A Jeep should never be exaggerating anything.

    Also, as for the Ranger haters, i had a 1998 and it was a very reliable truck. Just a 2.5L 4 cylinder, 5 speed, got about 27mpg and was really pretty peppy considering it only had 120hp and it had really go steering feel for such a cheap truck. It was an XLT with chrome bumpers (forgotten on most trucks today) CD player (still an option at the time) all for $10,500 brand new. There is nothing at that price that can touch it, plus you get a truck bed. I was even able to tow a 21 ft. boat with it. It was just hard pulling the boat out sometimes, but driving down the road it had no problem. There are drawbacks such as little room for more than 2 people, MAX AC really sucks power from the engine, but overall they really are not bad trucks, and they are reliable little beaters. Sold mine to my aunt and it is still going with over 200,000 miles on it and no major repairs. Clutches, timing belts, brakes, shocks etc.

    I totally agree that the truck is old as dirt and Ford should have updated it long ago, but really it still does a good job as a cheap work truck. I mean, you can’t get anything close to it for under $18,000 nowadays. Tacomas and Dakotas are way overpriced for “compact” trucks. The Colorado/Canyon are closest in size but way more expensive and boy, if you think Ranger is dated,t eh newer Colorado has an interior that screams “I’m from the 80′s”. As compact trucks go, the Ranger really does not deserve all the negativity. I would say the Dakota/Colorado are far worse vehicles even though they sit on much newer platforms with newer power plants. Where is the outrage in that.

  • avatar
    8rings

    I’m so sick of Dodge and the crap that they produce. What is maybe even more troublesome is their advertising. First there was the rednecks chasing the hemi around, then calibers driving by with V8 exhaust notes. One drove by me the other day sounding like a blender. Oh the Dakota scares the piss out of the “ferin” truck b/c it has a V8, oh but wait the Nissan puts out 26 more hp from it’s V6. Then the Nitro comes along, with fake LR3 styling cues and this supposed bad-ass image. The only selling point seems to be 20inch rims. The advertising focuses on such a small gimmicky portion of the car b/c that is all it has to offer. The mygig system in the new Avenger is an example. Did anyone see any advertising related to anything else about the car? Dodge just needs to start producing good products, people can only put up with cool features for so long….

  • avatar
    kjc117

    Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Avenger-noisy engines, bad visibility, god aweful design, and cheap interiors.

    Jeep Compass-not trail rated, noisy engine, and cheap interiors

    Chrysler PT Cruiser-noisy engine, beam rear axle, and cheap interiors

    If I could I would nominate all of Chrylser’s/Dodge lineup.

    SAAB-90′s technology, 2007 prices.

    Saturn Ion-noisy engine, bad design, and cheap interiors.

    Subaru Impreza-bad design(looks like an Hyundai Elantra) unqieness is gone and lost crisp sharp handling.

    Nissan Sentra-An abomination to the previous generation Sentra both in performance(SE-r & Spe V) and design. Goshen must go!!

    Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan/Lincoln XKZ-Ford bashes the Japanes e but hey, the fusion is a Mazda!!!!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Well, it’s been a while since I’ve roamed around these parts. Hopefully I’ll keep my boots on the dry side of the TTAC latrine with what I’m about to say.

    1. Isuzu – Isuzu is actually a very successful company. For FY 2006 they made nearly $900 million and you would find quite a few lng-time buyers at the auctions who would say that their truck and SUV line-up had been among the best for a good part of the last tw decades.

    The late 80′s Troopers have essentially become the Volvo 240 version of an SUV (classic looks, easy to maintain, durable). The Rodeo, which was the best selling import SUV for most of the 1990′s, sells extremely well at most used car lots. Finally, these days you have their medium and hevy duty truck lineups and their world class diesel engines. The American Isuzu dealer may have to be content with pushing rebadged Chevy’s and assorted oddball machinery. But that’s simply a product of Isuzu’s decision back in 2000 to have GM become the primary provider of vehicles for these dealers. Isuzu’s management knew 10 years ago that the little guy would have trouble going against dozens of big guys wh culd withstand slimmer profits and they made a very good decision in this regard (a la Volvo).

    2. The TWATS – A few months from now we may want to consider doing something in the lines of ‘Ten Worst Automotive Trends’. I see an awful lot of product heading in the wrong direction at the dealer auctions. Cars have become much less durable (tricky electric and NVH problems are pervasive these days), more dependent on electronic gadgets and mechanisms that isolate the driver and add to higher long-term ownership costs, certain manufacturers are trying to ‘size’ their product up to attract a broader demographic.

    Also many of the standard pieces of equipment have virtually no intelligent purpose (17 inch tires on economy cars like the Caliber, I-drive styled pieces of trash that keep the owners eyes away from the road, overstyling mainstream vehicles such as the Sebring, Camry and Accord, interior materials on $30,000 cars and minivans that come directly from Fisher price).

    3. Shakeout – There are at least 10 brands that can and should be axed within the next 12 months… if the dealer networks and unions would be willing to cooperate with it.

    Saab
    Land Rover
    Buick
    Pontiac
    Mercury
    Isuzu
    Saturn
    Lincoln
    Mitsubishi
    GMC

    I really do wonder whether GMC or Hummer wuld have the better long-term reputation. But I believe if GM ever considered providing a diesel line-up, Hummer could become a well defined AND popular brand. Then again, GMC already has a good reputation with none of the stigma. On my side of the business the Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealerships are usually considered to be second tier properties compared with the Chevy / Ford / Toyota / Honda dealerships. If GM could rid themselves of the BPG, Saab and Saturn brands they could dedicate a lot more resources to the bulk of their money making operations.

    I would keep Jaguar only because it may give an emerging automaker the opportunity to succeed in the luxury market at a later date. Despite their current woes the name ‘Jaguar’ is still a good one.

  • avatar
    buickgrandnational

    Scion xB, hands down. Talk about taking a unique, well-designed car and turning it into a mockery of its former self.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    My new Tshiba has persnal issues with the letter ”.

    What can I say. Everything is ging dwn the tilet!

  • avatar
    brazuca

    Ok, there are uglier cars than the Chrysler Sebring, please, open your eyes:

    1- Nissan Altima Coupe….horrible.
    2- Honda Ridgeline….God forbid.
    3- Toyota FJ-Cruiser….if you don’t like the Jeep Compass….most likely you will not like the FJ either….oh, just because it’s a Toyota, you forgive it right ? (and my wife drives a Toyota Matrix by the way, which we like it a lot, but there is a lot of prejudice against American cars here, especialy Chrysler.

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    Brazuca said “but there is a lot of prejudice against American cars here, especialy Chrysler.”

    That’s because Chrysler sucks.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Lang:

    There are 3 brands that could be saved from your list:

    1) Land Rover: if it gets back to the basics of building a great SUV. With the right owner and the right focus as a niche player, Rover could survive

    2) GMC: GM does make decent trucks, just not sure it trucks need to be a separate brand

    3) Mitsubishi: The Lancer and the EVO look to be a decent product. The question in my mind is whether it is simply too little to late or simply too late

  • avatar
    Kman

    Re: “Predujice against American cars”.

    Unfortunately, rather than prejudice, it’s “post-judice”.

    We came.
    We saw the cars.
    The cars sucked.

    I’m actually enamored by the Chrysler 300C / SRT-8, amongts others. The current Sebring is just spectacularly failed.

    Again, it’s “post-judice”.

  • avatar
    f8

    Lumbergh21:

    “The problem is that they added an inconsequential amount of horsepower while sacrificing some economy. If they wanted to keep the xB an economy car, they needed to keep an economy engine in it. If they wanted to beef it up, they needed to offer it with an engine that put out 160+ hp and torque.”

    I’m not sure what your complaint is here. It does put out 160 hp and torque (158 and 162, to be exact.) It’s the engine from the base Camry and the tC, and it’s hardly “inconsequential” to bump up hp and torque by over 30%. Go on scion.com and check it out. Base Camry is perfectly adequate for most people, by the way – did you want the 270 hp V6 in the xB? That’d be pointless, not to mention a one way ticket to torque steer central.

    “The point of the Scion brand was to attract young buyers that would move up to a more expensive Toyota as they grew up. Why would they abandon that in an attempt to please an older demographic?”

    I think I already explained that – it didn’t work so well in that way. Actually, tC worked better – but only because it was more upscale, sporty, and more powerful, so it became a hit with young professionals as well as older folks. xA and xB, on the other hand, were sparse on the inside, with not enough power to back them up. So Toyota remade the xB to appeal to the same crowd that goes after the tC, axed xA, and made xD the sort of “cross” between xA and xB, marketing it with the exclusively youth-oriented “sheeple” ads (which are terrible, by the way.)

    “I think the restyle was an attempt at attracting a younger crowd,”

    Nope, then they would’ve made it even quirkier, like the one they have in Japan. They made it more conventional. Guess who they’re aiming at (hint – not younger people)

    “that gets worse mileage than the first engine.”

    Mileage isn’t the point anymore. tC gets worse mileage than xB used to get – I’m not seeing people crying over tC. Of course the mileage is worse now than it was with the old Echo lawnmower-sized powerplant – that’s what happens with a larger, more powerful engine. xB simply moved up to tC territory.

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    You can argue every spec and commercial for the new Scion xB that you like, but the fact remains that Toyota had their first quirky, distinctive, interesting car since the “GAH, It’s Coming Toward Me!” FJ prototype, and they Camrified it in the very first redesign.

    The original xB was not only refreshingly unique, but eminently respectable for its unapologetic devotion to practicality. The new one is just another wannabe crossover. That may be an “upgrade” for the average check-out-my-new-silver-Camry automotive plebian, but to most of us it’s the xTermination of an icon.

    Engage TWAT! :D

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Land Rover would need to do a complete 180 and axe their current crop for the equivalent of a mid-90′s Disco. I don’t see any of their best and brightest doing that for the same reason why Isuzu didn’t go headlong into making basic Trooper’s and compact diesel pickups. The market is no longer willing to support it. Even in developing countries the Landcruiser and other less ostentatious vehicles have eclipsed the blinged out LR3′s and sub-standard Freelander.

    In my opinion, Hummer offers better and more unique designs than GMC. A Chevy pickup or SUV already satisfies 90+% of the demands of these customers so I don’t see why a division like GMC should be in place. Besides, if GM could axe the BPG dealerships (it would take an act of God and probably a few prophets to make that happen) GM would be in a far stronger position.

    Mitsubishi tried to make a full model line-up in the mid to late 1990′s when their resources simply could not sustaint that level of effort. Mitsubishi has worse issues than even that at the moment. Their dealer network is sketchier than a New Jersey bookie (most of them prioritize used cars over new Mitsu’s) and their financing activities have continually performed worse than today’s subprime mortgage lender. The only reasn why they went headlong into the rental market is that they needed to make their portflio far less risky while keeping their plants open.

    As far as I can see, Mistubishi’s automotive operations are bankrupt financially, product wise (for the most part), and distribution wise as well. In today’s automtive world of overcapacity, Mistubishi represents abslutely nothing of value save the Lancer and Evo. If they ceased t exist no one would miss them save the tuner crowd and some rental car executives who would promptly order more vehicles from the domestics.

  • avatar
    peoplewatching04

    Thank you for explaining the Isuzu situation. Although I now realize the reason for Isuzu’s existence as a company, I still think the Trailblazer/Ascender/Rainier/Envoy/Bravada/9-7X should be nailed inside a coffin someplace. Almost everything about the Trailblazer is out of date (and was when it was debuted). I think it shares interior components with a ’95 Lumina APV, and is probably about as fun to drive. Oh, wait, the 9-7X has a center-mounted ignition switch- they must have put some extra effort into that one.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Chrysler could almost rescue the out ward appearance of the Sebring if they turned it into a wagon (eliminating that bizarre rear roofline) and get a new hood sans the ridiculous hood strakes. Of course, that would address the handling or interior, but it would at least cure it’s odd appearance….mostly.

  • avatar
    f8

    JuniorMint:

    “You can argue every spec and commercial for the new Scion xB that you like, but the fact remains that Toyota had their first quirky, distinctive, interesting car since the “GAH, It’s Coming Toward Me!” FJ prototype, and they Camrified it in the very first redesign.

    The original xB was not only refreshingly unique, but eminently respectable for its unapologetic devotion to practicality. The new one is just another wannabe crossover. That may be an “upgrade” for the average check-out-my-new-silver-Camry automotive plebian, but to most of us it’s the xTermination of an icon.”

    Let me address your second point first – if a 110 hp subcompact economy car that was only in its first generation here was an automotive icon for you, then I believe you may need to reevaluate your priorities. GTO was an icon. Camaro was an icon. Scion goddamn xB? Are you kidding me? What redeeming qualities did it actually have, aside from good gas mileage, a retarded gauge cluster, and lighted cupholders? Some of you are acting like Toyota killed your dog and peed on its grave.

    That aside, I don’t like what Toyota did to the xB either. What I’m arguing here (and what many don’t seem to grasp) is that the remarks such as “wtf Toyota why would you do that” don’t make sense. It’s pretty clear why Toyota did it. They did it for the same reason they axed Celica, actually – and believe me, I want nothing more than to get Celica back in the States.

    Look, before the xB makeover Toyota had three models that were essentially the same – Yaris, xA, xB. Same engine, same platform, same everything. Why would Toyota want 3 models that stepped all over each other? Toyota isn’t GM, and they got to the top by maximizing their profit potential (at the expense of fun cars.) Why would they need 3 models that compete in the same class as Fit and whatever that small car from Nissan is?

    So xA is gone, xB moves up, xD comes in, and now you have Yaris as the more conventional choice for a small gas saver or xD as the “hip” choice (formerly xB’s spot.) xB is now competing with the Matrix, which leads me to believe that Toyota will soon get rid of the Matrix so as not to step all over their model line again. That’s it – that’s how Toyota makes money by getting rid of cars they don’t need, that’s what they did when they introduced tC and Celica was declared unnecessary.

    You and I may not like it, but it’s a perfectly valid business decision, and if GM made those kinds of decisions they wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in now.

  • avatar
    SAAB95JD

    I think the slamming of Saab is kind of harsh (9-7X not withstanding), but I am a 2007 9-5 owner, so I am biased. They are at least unique and quick. In the right colors the car is very attractive.

    Here are my TWAT nominations:

    Hummers: Hideous, gas-guzzling, useless mess.

    Saturn Ion: I have Gladware that is higher quality than the interior.

    Ford Focus: Uh, Ford has lost it’s focus on this one. Get a clue!

    Chrysler Sebring: I don’t need to repeat the other reviewers, but the interiors alone are SO cheap I would say they are second only to the Ion. Give me a break!

    Jeep Compass: The exterior proportions are SO wrong, the interiors are just plain hideous. Has anyone else commented on how flat and shape-free the seats are? Yuck.

    Jeep Patriot: See above.

    VW Jetta 2.5: Umm, sounds like a diesel but lacks the economy. Has the power of a 4-cyl, with the economy of a 6-cyl. And to make matters worse, it looks like a Corolla from the back. What were they thinking? I mean the GTI is so brilliant! The only Jetta worth it is the diesel, which of course they pulled from the market!

    Mercedes GL: An even bigger version of the ML? Mistake, unless you order a diesel.

  • avatar

    Lambo Reventon. The most expensive body kit for an LP640 you will ever see… For people with more money than taste.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    f8:

    I stand corrected on the power numbers. However, if Toyota felt that they had too many models essentially competing for the same customers in the same market, why not just mess with the xA, a car that did not sell nearly as well as the xB. The only car that spent fewer days on average on the dealers lots was the Toyota Prius. Why such a drastic makeover for a car that lots of people liked as it was?

  • avatar
    A2 Greg

    My two cents for TWAT:

    * ’08 Chevy Aveo 5 door. The thing looks like it escaped from some Eastern European design factory. I don’t know which car looks less safe: Aveo or Mini Cooper.

    * ’08 Escalade EXT. Is there an uglier, less useful, more overpriced (starts at 56K) vehicle on the road today? I don’t think so.

  • avatar
    1956silas9

    I was given a sebring rental,to my surprise i liked it; 32 mpg,room enough for 4 adults,some luggare room.it’s not the best looking car on the road.(300m)For under 20 thou, it’s a good alternative to non usa cars. I bought a pontiac solstice and love it .I also own a honda passport,1968 cougar and 1963 vw bettle conv. p.s. my inlaws liked the rental enough to go out and look for a new car and enddedcup with and avenger rt.

  • avatar
    jayparry

    I dont think everyone understands what makes a bad car, just because something is not a car you would buy, that doesnt make it overall bad, just bad for you. It might be perfect for someone else. For example a 7 passenger, blingy SUV might not be for you, but for someone who hauls the soccer team around and has money, it might be just the thing. What we are discussing is cars that fail at their MISSION, or fail to live up to competitors in refinement, dynamics and styling. Not just cars that you dont want. Saying ‘the solstice is small’ or the ‘the hummer guzzles gas’ isn’t the point.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    jayparry :
    October 23rd, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I dont think everyone understands what makes a bad car, just because something is not a car you would buy, that doesnt make it overall bad, just bad for you. It might be perfect for someone else. For example a 7 passenger, blingy SUV might not be for you, but for someone who hauls the soccer team around and has money, it might be just the thing. What we are discussing is cars that fail at their MISSION, or fail to live up to competitors in refinement, dynamics and styling. Not just cars that you dont want. Saying ‘the solstice is small’ or the ‘the hummer guzzles gas’ isn’t the point.

    True, but the Hummer guzzles gas relative even to other SUVs with similar hauling capabilities and it is not the best off-road vehicle (presumably one of the jobs an SUV should be built for if it wants to be called an SUV). A Solstice is small with absolutely no storage room,a s compared to other small convertibles that have at least some storage room, Porsche Boxster, or even a reasonable sized trunk with a hardtop convertible, Mazda MX-5 (Miata).

  • avatar
    kichy

    There’s no point to naming domestic cars to a worst list. We KNOW they’re garbage. And leave out SUVs too. Just do a worst imports list, starting with the Koreans.

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    f8:
    GTO? Camaro? So your definition of “icon” is, uh, muscle car? That’s…pretty special. :)

    You’re right, I forgot that performance is the only thing that matters, practicality is a myth, and things that are different are a Little Bit Scary. Thanks for reminding me.


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