By on November 16, 2012

Our preliminary shortlist for the Ten Worst Automobiles Today award ended up garnering even more nominations, and some questions about the process. In the interest of transparency, we’ll tackle some of those below, as well as post an updated list.

1) One of the best questions raised by the readers is how to deal with cars that are rebadged versions across multiple lines, or variants with changes that are substantial enough that they bear little in common with one another. For the first example, think of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. For the second example, think of the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Evolution. One reader raised the possibility of a car like the Lancer potentially being on both the Best and Worst car lists this year, when arguably, only one variant deserves the respective honor. For the sake of clarity, I will allow nominations based on whether the car is listed on a manufacturers website as part of a broader product range, or as a separate line. For example, the Lancer and Evo are listed individually on Mitsubishi’s website, while Ford lumps all Mustangs, from the lowliest V6 to the baddest GT500, as one range. Will some models get caught in the crossfire by this rule? It’s possible. However it is the most equitable and neutral way to draw the line, without any undue accusations of bias or favoritism.

2) Since we last published the our preliminary list, 18 new nominations have been added, for a total of 53 vehicles. We need to pare this down to 20 finalists by December 1st, and it’s up to you, the Best & Brightest, to get us there. I will post the revised list below, and finalists will be determined based on your well-reasoned arguments. We want to hear why this car is a standout in a crowd of generally competent vehicles. Saying “it’s boring” is not a real reason. Plenty of people like boring. Is it a vehicle with no discernible reason to exist? Does it lag behind every single competitor in its segment? Is it outrageously overpriced? The more detailed and well-reasoned answers will be given precedence over the one-line snarky comments.

2a) DO NOT ask for a vehicle to be removed from the list. If you feel it doesn’t deserve to be given a TWAT, don’t vote for it and make your case for another vehicle.

3) Polls open on December 3rd. At that point, the editors, at their discretion, will have selected a short list of 20 vehicles, with your input being the determining factor for what makes the final list. On December 10th, voting will be closed and we will prepare out in-house polling software for voting. You will be able to vote starting December 3rd, with polls closing on December 10th. Winners will be announced shortly after.

Here’s the list, including new nominations

Acura ILX

Acura RL
Acura ZDX
BMW 3-Series
BMW 5-Series GT
Cadillac Escalade
Cadillac XTS
Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Sonic
Chevrolet Volt
Chevy Express
Chrysler 200
Dodge Avenger
Fiat 500
Fisker Karma
Ford E-Series
Ford Expedition
GMC Canyon
GMC Savanna
Honda Civic
Honda CR-Z
Honda Crosstour
Honda Ridgeline
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Infiniti EX
Jeep Patroit
Kia Sedona
Land Rover LR2
Lexus GX
Lexus HS250h
Lincoln MKS
Lincoln MKT
Lincoln Navigator
Maybach
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Galant
Nissan Juke
Nissan Murano CC
Nissan NV
Nissan Sentra
Nissan Versa Sedan
Nissan Quest
Porsche Cayenne
Porsche Panamera
Scion iQ
Scion xB
Scion xD
SmartForTwo
Toyota Camry
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Toyota Matrix
Volvo XC90
VW Beetle

 

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155 Comments on “The TWATs Keep Chugging Along...”


  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Matrix, so crappy it gets on the list twice…

    • 0 avatar
      Wraith

      Ah, the poor Matrix. With the death of Pontiac (whose Vibe was the other half of this joint venture), I suppose it’s not long for this world. I thought it was a pretty practical, spacious vehicle for the price, even if I preferred the Vibe’s look over the Matrix’s. At least we have some better options for compact hatchbacks in the U.S. than we did 5 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        I know a couple of people with them; they love ‘em.

        I also thought the Vibe was the better looking car but to get one, you had to go to a Pontiac dealership. That’s a pretty severe penalty.

      • 0 avatar
        jandrews

        I have a matrix. I absolutely love it. 200, 000 miles and never a single repair. 33mpg highway with enough space and seating to get 3 people plus their camping a rockclimbing gear to wherever they’re going. Or lay the backseats down completely and move a double bed box springs, mattress, and frame with everything closed. The back is also plastic, so feel free to use it to move firewood or other messy shit. It cleans up easy.

        Oh sure, there’s nothing there for enthusiasts…its ugly, has more wind and road noise than modern vehicles in the segment, has a basic drivetrain and suspension. The interior is plasticy and overtough.

        But the problem with silly enthusiasts is no one builds cars for you. You don’t spend enough money. Appliance shoppers do, and the matrix is a fantastic appliance.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “But the problem with silly enthusiasts is no one builds cars for you. You don’t spend enough money. Appliance shoppers do, and the matrix is a fantastic appliance.”

        Why don’t we just move Whirlpool or Maytag into the Guggenheim and toss Cézanne into the trash? Fine art should all around us including the road. There was a time when the ‘appliance automobiles’ of Europe and the United States still possessed an element of style, but this hasn’t been true since the late 1970s. I see the proliferation of appliance automobiles as a sign of the decline of culture in society.

      • 0 avatar
        jandrews

        Yes, you’re right, the change in perceived “style” is due to degradation of “culture” and had nothing to do with market segmentation to maximize sales.

        Pardon my mistake :rolleyes:

        By and large the problem with art has always been that very few people want to buy it and it does not make for lucrative industry. Hence the starving artist stereotype. Publicly help auto companies run by Professional Businesspersons who got their degrees in businessing aren’t going suffer art-like endeavors.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        So pandering to shared ignorance to move product is preferred over building artistic product and marketing it as refined?

        This may be the case today but it wasn’t always, why is it the 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air -appliance of its time- has more style and taste to the eye than the entire 2012 Toyota lineup?

        You can’t built something tasteful and reliable for the masses today because they won’t ‘get it’, they have been programmed to buy bland. You’re entitled to your opinion but I maintain its a symptom of the general decline of culture and education in US society.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        ALL CROSSOVERS deserve mention as TWATs.

        I’m not speaking of true SUVs, whether midsized such as the Jeep Grand Cherokees of the world, nor of full size SUVs that haul tons of gear and have at least moderate off road capability.

        I’m speaking of the true CUVs, which are modern day versions of station wagons, yet typically hold less cargo, offer less headroom/shoulder room/legroom/other room all things being equal, and…

        …almost without exception, given the dynamics of unsprung mass and their general design as cars on stilts, drive like rubbish.

        Whereas true SUVs have a dedicated capabilities that few other categories of vehicles can fill (even if many who buy them don’t utilize those capabilities), CUVs provide all the far worse driving dynamics of (for the most part) the jacked-way-up-with-stiff-and-quite-large-wheels cars they are based on, yet offer nothing in the way of extra utility or space, but just “look cooler” than station wagons or sedans according to soccer moms everywhere.

        The CUV craze is the worst thing to happen to the auto world since…I’m not sure that I can recall a worse trend off the top of my head.

        All CUVs must die.

      • 0 avatar
        jandrews

        “So pandering to shared ignorance to move product is preferred over building artistic product and marketing it as refined?”

        If you’re a shareholder? Yes, absolutely.

        I think what you need to be mad at is the profit motive, not “culture”.

        “This may be the case today but it wasn’t always, why is it the 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air -appliance of its time- has more style and taste to the eye than the entire 2012 Toyota lineup?”

        Because you have rosy colored glasses. Go look at the fuel economy, power output, NVH, and reliability situation on the 1960 Bel Air.

        Sure, classics have more cachet now that they’re classics. In their own right, they were unreliable, underpowered, noisy, rough, fuel hogs compared to the vehicles of today. And they should be, because technology marches on.

        “You can’t built something tasteful and reliable for the masses today because they won’t ‘get it’, they have been programmed to buy bland. You’re entitled to your opinion but I maintain its a symptom of the general decline of culture and education in US society.”

        No, they can’t build something that will satisfy YOU, because you thrive on being an automotive elitist. Well, congratulations Mr. Automotive hipster, you’re right: the market has moved on from your “refined” taste, so either get with the new program or accept that you’re irrelevant and stop whining. In fact, stop whining either way.

        No one has been programmed to buy anything. Automobiles are appliances and people are buying based on needs, not wants. I’m sure there’s a tiny subset of refrigerator collectors out there somewhere bemoaning the fact that they don’t do it like Kelvinator used to. The successful fridge companies don’t give a shit about them either.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        This is a hilarious attack on Toyota. GM was all about planned obsolescence and dressed up leftovers in 1960. They replaced engineering with regular styling changes and played on the ignorance of their customers. The ‘appliances’ that people denigrate here have substance lacking in the garbage that the Big-3 put out when their customers didn’t have the alternative offered by a mature Japanese auto industry.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ deadweight I drive one of your detested CUV’s. I had a Ranger before that. I gave up 6, yes 6, inches of uncovered hauling capacity to gain two more seats and slightly less covered hauling capacity. By getting rid of my Ranger I did give up my lock it in low and haul out dead animals capability. With my Escape I have light off road capability and I open the back glass to put my creel in. It got muddy going to the fishing spot? Bwahhaha it;s a Ford. Worried the interior plastic might get scratched while you’re packing it full? Bwahahaha it’s a Ford. It’s not outstanding at any one thing but it does several things well. I really don’t understand your less headroom etc comment. Compared to what?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Well as I said everyone is entitled to an opinion, I’m just a little taken aback by some of the opinions expressed.

        Marketing sells product. Without marketing you don’t have Camcords dominating the market, you don’t have sparkly vampire movies breaking box office records, and you would not have purchased half the consumer junk in your home. If you spend thirty years building/marketing refrigerator autos you effectively create the market and perception refrigerator automobiles are what people should want.

        The truth is the appliance builders are laughing at us, no matter how badly they screw up, the marketing machine always has customers. Multiple recalls? Significant de-contenting? Failing CVT transmissions? No problem, the sheeple will continue to give us their money, we’ve got them hook, line, and sinker.

        Am I an automotive elitist? Probably, but I look back at my anti-Camcord rides and they please my eye and I don’t blend into the beige in the parking lot.

      • 0 avatar
        jandrews

        @ CjinSD -

        Exactly. No automobile with class-leading reliability, fuel economy, cost of ownership deserves a “worst-of” list.

        Don’t like it? Fine. That I can accept, because taste is subjective. Though my Matrix has endeared itself to me with gobs of utility and reliability, I accept the same would not be the case for everyone. The basic interior and rougher ride might turn some off.

        But then, it never claimed to be a luxo car, did it?

        @ 28-cars -

        Oh I’m not saying there’s not a place for non-vanilla vehicles. They’re out there, as a niche market, like they’ve always been. But you’re never going to be able to build industry success on low-volume, high-”art”.

        Or are the Italian and English supercar marques all mistaken?

        I daily drive a Matrix, but my other vehicles are far from vanilla. They aren’t, however, supposed to be daily drivers. Pick a purpose, pick a vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Pick a purpose, pick a vehicle”

        I like that, words to live by… short and sweet.

  • avatar
    Mark Stevenson

    Sad to say, but the worst car I have driven in recent memory is…*drumroll*…the Mazda 2.

    I drove one in rental car spec (no options save A/C, automatic transmission) and it was such an anemic piece of garbage. Considering it shares a lot with the Fiesta, I was surprised how horrible it truly was.

    First off, it is noisy. I wouldn’t call it the noisiest in its class, but it’s up there. Most small cars are chuckable, and – even though they may not have towers of power – they are at least zippy in the city where it counts. The Mazda 2 is not one of those cars. The price commanded for one of these cars versus a Fiesta…it just doesn’t add up.

    Have you seen the B-segment cars available lately? There are some fantastic options out there. The Mazda leaves a lot to be desired compared to the competition and I would definitely put my money elsewhere.

    Edit: I forgot to mention the interior. While Mazda has pretty good interiors in the rest of their vehicles, you can tell the bean counters went to town on the Mazda 2. It looks like a first generation Toyota Echo inside, and feels it too. It is not a pleasant place to be.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      I’ll differ with you and nominate the M2 for a ten-best list.

      I agree with you about the 1.5/100/automatic powertrain. It should be manual-only.

      It feels like an old Honda Civic. One of the good ones. Every control is easy-to-use, the visibility is excellent, and there’s enough room for four skinny six-footers. More importantly, this is a car that’s intended to connect you to the road rather than to isolate you from it. Real steering feel! Road noise! Attitude adjustment at decent speeds!

      All that for under fifteen grand in a proud-to-be-small bright green wrapper.

    • 0 avatar
      bluetick

      IAWTP. I had one of these in rental spec too a couple of months ago. It had been years since I had been in a Mazda. I’ve read nice things about the brand here and elsewhere lately, so I was thoroughly disappointed by the tepid performance and downright yucky interior. The ergonomics from the driver’s seat were a little odd too. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly, but it was just off.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If this is the worst stuff on the market, then I’d say that we’re all pretty blessed. Most of the cars on that list are perfectly acceptable, and some of them are pretty damned good.

    I nominated the Eclipse before, and I was going to nominate it again. But production ended last year, and as of now, the car isn’t even mentioned on Mitsubishi’s US website, so perhaps it shouldn’t have been on this list in the first place.

    I’ll vote for the Galant, not because it’s an awful car (it’s so-so), but because it is so badly outclassed by its competition that it can’t help but be at the back of the pack. It had a long production cycle, and was long in the teeth some time ago. It was also in production until a couple of months ago, which I suppose qualifies it for the vote.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’d have to say the Ford Edge Limited – at least in terms of what I’ve dealt with at the rental car counter.

    The Focus is fantastic, the Fiat 500 is fantastic, the 300 is incredibly nice, the Kia Optima is everything the old SAAB 9-5 wished it could be. The Ford Edge however, is an abomination

    It’s loud, slow, rough riding, the interior is incredibly cheap and the Sony touch screen thing is horrific. The software and hardware combine into a truly awful user experience.

    Contrast this to the touch screen in the 300 which works brilliantly.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Interesting point on MyFord vs. Uconnect. A former colleague at Ford who actually works on the MFT system in service engineering bought a Journey with Uconnect instead of an Edge.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Definitely the Nissan Sentra for me. Automotive valium at its worst.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      So you’ve driven the 2013 Sentra? I’d agree the previous version was one of the least compelling cars in its class, but the new model at least looks decent (I haven’t been in one yet).

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Everything about the 2012 Sentra says that it’s owner has just given up. The cvt transmission is exhibit A for why these things should be avoided at all costs. The interior has all the warmth and charm of a DMV office. The most solid piece of metal on the whole car is the license plate that’s bolted to its flimsy trunk lid. It makes a Mitsubishi Galant seem exciting and makes a Dodge Caliber look upscale. The thing will probably last forever, dooming its poor owner to years of blandness and automotive mediocrity. A company like Nissan is capable of much more than this bland little box.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    My votes go to the Honda CrossTour and the Nissan Murano CC.

    The CrossTour isn’t just ugly, it is beaten in nearly every specification by legitimate crossovers like the Edge and the Venza, and also by legitimate wagons like the Outback. Compared with the Edge, it’s underpowered AND gets worse fuel economy in both I4 and V6 versions, has less cargo room, and costs significantly more comparably equipped. And you have to option the hell out of it to get a backup camera, which should be a basic feature on anything with rear visibility that terrible. This is a kinder, gentler Aztek for the new decade.

    The Murano CC — do I even have to justify this? Who decided it was a good idea to make a convertible crossover? Yes, sir, I’d like a rollover-prone drop top! While you’re at it, can you throw in doors so big I can’t open them in a parking lot? And please, give it an awkward soft top with the rear window split in two. If this thing were a shoe, it’d be a peeky-toe combat boot with fur trim.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Stevenson

      “If this thing were a shoe, it’d be a peeky-toe combat boot with fur trim.”

      You win the Internet.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Re: Crosstour. It’s not a cargo van. It’s a more comfortable albeit uglier Accord with AWD. Measuring it by numbers on the brochure is missing the point.

      At the end of the day it’s a pleasant car to drive. The Edge isn’t. No matter what the brochure says.

  • avatar
    imag

    A lot of the cars on that list look like they came from a vendetta. I look forward to the editors separating the ones people merely dislike from the ones that are actually bad vehicles.

    I tend to agree with Pch – if this is the worst of the lot, cars are pretty darned good today.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “A lot of the cars on that list look like they came from a vendetta.”

      I can’t agree. This list represents quite a few vendettas, not just one…

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Vendettas? No kidding. The “haters” were out in force, apparently.

      Toyota Camry? Chevrolet Volt? BMW 3 Series? Honda Civic? Toyota Matrix? Chevrolet Impala?

      How are any of these vehicles the Worst of Today? Good lord. Seriously, the Toyota Camry?

      This list makes me very doubtful that the commentariat on this site should be known as the “Best & Brightest”.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        I agree with you, except for the Volt. If that makes me a hater, then I wear the crown with pride. The Volt is car that makes sense for only one class of drivers: those who have a round trip commute to work which doesn’t total more than 20 miles and who own their own home so they can charge up the battery. For everyone else, it is a fuel-inefficient hybrid which carries fewer people than a Prius and costs significantly more money. And even for the 20 mile round-trip commuters, the savings from making their rather short commute on electrons rather than dino juice are so small in absolute terms that they will never own the car long enough to justify the lofty purchase price.

        I didn’t see the Leaf on the list, but I would be hard pressed to say which car is less useful: the Leaf or the Volt.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        DC Bruce,
        I would have to say that you would be a hater. It is a perfectly fine automobile. I am not going to buy one because it doesn’t make economic sense for me. But, a BMW M5 doesn’t make economic sense for me either. I wouldn’t put either on the list for me. To me, this list should be about bad cars. Most of this list is not about bad cars, but about car companies that people don’t like. There is nothing wrong with a Camry, Volt, the Caddies, BMW 3 series and I could go on. Off the top of my head, only a few cars would qualify for this.

        Honda Insight
        Nissan Versa
        Chevy Impala (in rental car trim)

        But really, these cars aren’t that bad either. Given the cars available today, nothing is terribly bad.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Agreed. How on earth did the BMW 3 series make it there? The Camry is a boring car, but let’s not insult our fellow americans like this. The Camry is and has been the best selling car in America for the last at least dozen years. There is a reason for that. Likewise the new Sentra- it’s not meant to be a sports car. It is a roomy, comfortable car that gets great gas mileagae and lots of luxo touches for its price. The Malibu, Volt, Sonic and Fiat 500 don’t belong on there neither.

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      WADR this list is just Silly, I was going to use a stronger word but don’t want to get banned. Death Watch for TWAT

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Vendetta would be a cool name for a car: the BMW Vendetta.

      And i agree that while mildly diverting, the TWAT is silly. We are voting on cars we have only rented or possibly never sat in? From a list of not-too-terrible automobiles? I recuse myself.

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        BMW Vendetta: successor to the Isetta?

        But anyway, I agree. This just gives voice to haters, who sometimes just hate a car because it’s not what he’d want. A car like the Acura RDX, Toyota Camry or Honda Crosstours are hardly “the worst car”, as it will give its owner a ride from point A to point B in comfort and reliably too, while providing them with adequate room, style, what have you. You guys in the U.S. are way too spoiled!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Well, I did just see a new commercial for the BMW 3 series today where the singular, only trait that BMW apparently felt like emphasizing was…

        …34 highway MPG.

        No mention of driving dynamics, comfort, quality or any other attribute whatsoever, but a pure and singular campaign based on the 4 cylinder motor and start/stop technology allowing for really good fuel economy.

        So, there’s that.

  • avatar
    sexyhammer

    I’d like to nominate two cars for consideration:

    1.) The Scion TC. From it’s inception, it’s been an answer to a question nobody asked. Toyota’s offshoot brand seems to cater exclusively to people who don’t know a lot about cars but have a vague understanding that performance = cool. So to capitalize on that ignorance, we have a FWD coupe that “looks cool” by the modern douchebag/teenage girl standards but severely lacks in actual substance. Scion badging and a bunch of tacky factory bolt-on accessories seem to be effective at hiding the fact that this is basically a 2-door Camry with a body that was apparently designed by the 13-year-old Juggalos that pull double-duty as the company’s marketing and advertising divisions. Never in my life have I seen a TC driver and thought to myself, “Man that guy looks cool, I wish I could have his life…” but maybe that’s also because I’m not the type of dude that enjoys contracting herpes from “import models” I hire off craigslist to lean on my car while I photograph them for my blog.

    2.) Altima coupe. Nissan’s version of the Scion TC. The Altima has been around in 4-door version since the 90′s and has always been what I would consider “adequate” transportation; nothing more, nothing less. It was a step up from the compact Sentra sedan but fell short of the company’s “4DSC” Maxima, a car that had sporting aspirations but never quite made good on them. Well there’s the Altima in a nutshell, devoid of any aspiration whatsoever. A car for people content with their station in life, whether it be shift manager at Burger King or lead telemarketer. The problem with the coupe is, you’re taking away one of the only things the poor bastard had going for it – functionality. Now if you’re a logical person, you’d think nobody would be stupid enough to actually buy into the poseur sports car image they’re hawking it with. But people do every day, and that’s fine because maybe they’re the HEAD manager at Burger King or maybe they’re low-tier customer support instead of a cold-calling zombie. But all the same, that’s what they’ll be in 5, 10, 15 years and they need a car that conveys their *perceived* slightly elevated position but otherwise total lack of potential.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      In regards to the Scion tC- I completely share your sentiments but I also understand something about it that you seem to be missing. Form and functionality don’t matter to the target audience. All that matters to the key tC demographic is “How does this car make me look? How long ago did I update my Facebook status?”.

      Sure… it serves no significant purpose on this plane of automotive existance, but the validity of that car can be answered by the same question of “Why is Justin Beiber famous? He offers no real contribution to any musical society.”

      Plainly answered… because they both make teen girls (and some questionable teen guys) all wet. That seems to be enough motivation to drum up success.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The tC comes standard with 180hp, 6MT, double wishbone rear suspension, and full glass roof for $19,500. The liftback allows for quite a lot of rear seating space and cargo area. Disliking the looks of a car doesn’t make it a bad car. For a car to be truly a bad car, it must miss the target by a mile. tC target: inexpensive, sporty looking coupe with reliable Toyota bones at the core. How does it miss that target?

      If we are calling out cars that look sporty without really being sporty, the new Fusion belongs on the list. The base model rides on tiny wheels against a high shoulder line attached to that Aston Martin face looks forced. Ford went all in with style over substance as the Fusion doesn’t really stand up to the competition when you look at the core purpose of a FWD, midsize sedan: carry people and stuff from A to B. (specifically, I’ve read that the back seats and trunk lack compared to a large chunk of the competition)

      • 0 avatar
        sexyhammer

        It’s a lie that, prior to the release of the FR-S, kept auto manufacturers content to churn out hammered dogshit with a racing stripe on it to keep the masses quiet while the more discriminating made due with dated 90′s machinery. It’s a bad car in that it has always been marketed as something it’s not, as evidenced in the computer-animated drifting commercial and the RWD converted versions that competed in drift series because Toyota bribed the officials to let them sneak under the rule book on a technicality. It’s a rolling disclaimer reading, ‘Your actual experience may vary. Warning! Do not attempt to drive this car in a sporting manner lest you be severely disappointed and suffer from suicidal thoughts and shunning from your peer group. Sexual impotence, nausea, diarrhea and increasing lapses in judgement have also been reported. Ask your dealer if Scion TC is right for you before buying…’

        I’ll admit calling it a ‘bad car’ without qualifying it is subjective, but you can’t really call it a ‘good car’ and expect it to fly for the same reason. Things like HP ratings are notoriously misused in marketing. I can throw out an arbitrary number for peak hp, not release whether that was measured at the crank or wheels and on what dyno, not specify what RPM it was measured at or include a graph that would make that number useful to anyone other than paper racers. 6MT? Is that any better than a 5-speed with proper gearing and final drive for this car/engine combo? Double wishbone rear suspension? Yeah I have that on my car that was made over 20 years ago too, and it’s actually beneficial as opposed to just being line-item dressing for the window sticker.

        I’ve ridden in one plenty, driven one too many times for my taste, and watched one slide off the road trying to follow a stock NA Miata around a curve. Watched one get left behind from a roll by a fully loaded Suburban. Watched one get smoked at a light by a ’95 V6 Mustang and a janky Saturn. Not very impressive from a performance standard, and hard to look cool while you’re having your ass handed to you everywhere you go in every category.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        There is an SAE standard on how horsepower is measured. Despite you thinking I’m a “paper racer”, I generally agree that the number of gears should reflect the chassis and engine rather than what the marketing department says it needs (cough cough most of the subcompacts out there with 6 speeds). My comment was more on that it came standard with a stick shift with ratios that are less about gas mileage. As far as the rear suspension, the Veloster only comes with a semi-independent rear suspension and it looks like it should be way faster than it really is. If these are guilty offenses, there are cars far more guilty than the tC.

        Your examples of superior cars are pretty arbitrary and anecdotal. (Racing a suburban from a roll? am I getting trolled here?) Ermagherd, someone wrecked one chasing a Miata! Must be the car’s fault! You act like a stock Miata isn’t a fantastic handler that would probably leave most sport sedans off the side of the road taking the same turn at a given speed. For what it was meant to do, the tC is a fine car. It wasn’t meant to be the sports car of the Scion lineup. If you simply hate cars that are a little sporty looking without a ton of sport to back it up, just say so and damn the whole segment.

      • 0 avatar
        blppt

        I’m calling BS on two things: 1. Losing to a fully loaded Suburban from a roll and 2. Losing to a 95 Mustang 3.8. Is the tC fast? No, but even with the old 4 speed automatic with the old 2.4, it was a low 8 second 0-60 car. Neither one of those cars can do that (even if the stang had a 5 speed, and not the 4 speed auto most of them came with), and certainly not a ‘fully loaded’ monster SUV. And like somebody else said, losing to a Miata in the twisties is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. I will agree that the tC looks a lot sportier than it actually is, but lets not go off the deep end here.

      • 0 avatar

        Blppt, I have to stand up for the honour of Suburbans. Some loaded late-model examples sported 8.1l engines and have sub-8-second 0-60 times. This doesnt make the tC a bad car, but tC owners should be wary of drag racing giant SUVs.

        And as Baruth has pointed out, be very wary of any diesel trucks, since easy and popular upgrades can take those into some ludicrous performance territory.

      • 0 avatar
        blppt

        2 things rcousine…He said “fully loaded” which I assume means lots of people inside, in which case no *stock* recent vintage Suburban is doing an low 8 second 0-60. Even with the beastly 6.0.

        Secondly, even if it did, the much lighter, less wind resistance, better power to weight tC is going to pull away from a giant brick like a Suburban.

        And remember, that low 8 seconds quote for the tC I gave was for the old 2.4/4 speed auto tC. The new one has a 2.5 and 6 speed auto. Or, the old 2.4 with the stick was in the 7s.

        But no, I would not mess with one of the new TD trucks from Chevy or Ford…I would definitely agree with you there.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        A stock 496 Suburban most assuredly does not run in the 7s. Closer to 9.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      sexyhammer, well articulated argument. I’m not even being sarcastic. That wasn’t sarcasm either.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    The Cadillac XTS deserves to advance to the title round because it is a category error by General Motors and Cadillac. It is not a Cadillac.

    The knocks against it:

    1) It is yet another Epsilon II baby without any performance improvements.
    2) It is too narrow to fit three adults or large children across the back seat of the inheritor of the “Sedan de Ville” market position.
    3) I didn’t find it that comfortable when compared to my Malibu.
    4) I had more room as the driver in my Malibu.

    This car would make an excellent up-trim on the LaCrosse, or even make a viable “Lucerne/Park Avenue/Electra” position to make a Maxima to LaCrosse’s Altima. It is not a Cadillac, and they know it, and they built it anyway.

    (By test drive comparison, the other new Cadillac, the ATS, is a beautiful and competent update of the Cadillac brand promise. It had hustle when you wanted, it flowed over the pavement, it handled in a commanding fashion, and it otherwise made me want to spend the money.)

    • 0 avatar
      BrianL

      The rear seat is two inches narrower in shoulder room than the Avalon and one inches narrower in the hip. Divided by 3, you aren’t looking at much difference really. Did you actually try to sit 3 people in there and the same 3 people in cars that are deemed acceptable? TTAC had an article no long ago about an Avalon sitting 5 adults comfortably. Seems like the XTS would be marginally smaller.

      But seriously, the XTS has no business on this list no more than a Lexus ES 350 should be on this. Both are based on siblings, but a very different.

      Who said that the XTS was about performance? Is the V6 in there not enough? Again, go back to the Lexus comparison of the ES.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        To your direct question: I actually gave it a try; no pretend spec sheet trip through the posies.

        I did not compare against an Avalon, because there is not a Toyota dealership within driving distance, and nobody drives a Toyota Avalon here. I benchmarked against a Lincoln Town Car and a 500-body Taurus. It did not seat two as comfortably and with as much extra room as either; it was not possible to get three into it. It felt less roomy side-to-side than the outgoing W-body Impala.

        I have an Epsilon I Malibu. It felt like the same side-to-side room in the back. I’m sure it will seat four in comfort, because longer wheelbase Epsilon Is and IIs do that, but not five.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed with you MrGreenMan, XTS is no Cadillac by any stretch of the imagination. I thought one of the things they should have learned was to not simply clone a platform up model lines as they had done in the past.

      CTS for all its shortcomings as a Cadillac, enjoys the distinction of an equivalent not being available from Buick or Chevrolet at a much lower price, why buy an XTS when a LaCrosse or later an Impala are available with V6? Sure sure there will be so called ‘Cadillac exclusive features’ but I doubt they will be worth their weight in salt.

  • avatar
    James2

    The Ford E-Series? Really? It’s a *van* and it does what *vans* are supposed to do: carry stuff. Besides, it’s not long before it will be replaced by the Transit.

  • avatar
    rnc

    All of the current lincoln models, they may be nice to drive, well built and appointed, but they are ugly and even if not ugly are a ford buick.

    Honda was able to pull of a FWD drive luxury brand (and then promptly went about killing it), Legand was beautiful car, NSX was the best sportscar of its generation.

    Have driven a Ruf(sp)911 and an NSX, same model year, NSX was amazing, my girlfriend, at the time, dad’s, one night when out of town she wrapped the 911 around a tree, I had to run a few miles in my bare feet, get hammer and flathead screwdriver, ripped out stereo and anything apart that made it look like someone may have hotwired it, he got his insurance), but knew we did it, never visted again. (where I grew up there was a weird mix of middle class, Rich and Super-rich, her family was in the third catagory, remember pulling up to her house first time and thinking that it was an apartment complex, nope just a multi-level house built into hills, some parts 2 stories (master bedroom had private pool), some 4 + the 3 level basement (1st level full chef kitchen and maids/servent quarters, 2nd level game room, bowling alley, etc, third level wine storage and a bunker), 3 elevators, one for the residence, another for the lowly servents and another small one from the kitchen (there was a second family kitchen as well) to the entertainment dining room and the private dining room above it) I was driving a B2200, felt alittle out of place. When offered caviar and turned down I received the looked down upon “you don’t like caviar”, “No mame, I never really cared for fish eggs in sperm sauce”)

    Sometimes wonder if Ford really wants to save lincoln or is just going about starving the dealers into BK to avoid the billions in fee’s from breaking franchise agreements. (if that is the case than its a smart business move). In earlier post I listed my plan for rebuilding Lincoln as a true luxury brand using platforms/engines they already have and a pathway for bringing those cars into foreign markets to amortize them.

  • avatar
    glwillia

    3-series and Civic? They may not be as good as previous generations, but to call them the worst cars available today?

    I agree with some of the previous posters, if these are the worst cars available today we really are blessed. Even compared to 5 years ago, when you could still get the PT Cruiser, Caliber, Sebring, Forenza, Cobalt, Aveo, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      I agree. I think the current 3 series is borderline great. I prefer the straight six in my E90, but they made it bigger, faster and way more economical. Civic remains at least a good car. Worst? Really? Same with the Camry…pretty nice car, and the new one is better than the last generation.

      Even cars like the Infiniti EX, are merely pointless (the G37 is roomier, faster, cheaper, nicer…and still has AWD). The Murano CC is equally stupid.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Man my opinion on all these vehicles could be the length of a novel. Thankfully I will spare you that rant. Anyway, the two vehicles I feel that deserve some a TWAT are the Maybach and Smart.

    1) The Maybach may be a nice luxurious car. However, for a veheicle that STARTS around $350,000, it better be a pretty damn nice car. This 10+ year old vehicle sadly does not nearly deserve this price tag. Why would you spend all this money on an aging car (wrapped in leather and wood albeit) when you could get an S 600 which has newer technology and saves you $200? I mean, if MB really isn’t exclusive enough, just get a Bentley or Rolls, both much better vehciles.

    2) The Smartfortwo is a piece of crap. Worst transmission of this whole lot. Bad driving characteristics, overpriced for a glorified golf cart and it doesn’t get nearly good enough mpg you would expect. The only ONE good thing that a Smart car can do is squeeze into parking spots in dense urban areas, such as San Francisco. However, with the Scion iQ and even Fiat 500 (both shorter than the Mini), it is basically irrelevant now.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The Smart is far shorter than the 500. You cannot park a 500 perpendicular to the curb.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Speed3…

      You said: “The Smartfortwo is a piece of crap. Worst transmission of this whole lot. Bad driving characteristics, overpriced for a glorified golf cart and it doesn’t get nearly good enough mpg you would expect.”

      Agree. This car appears to have no “socially redeeming value” whatsoever. There is no single BIG virtue (other than its questionable and dangerously small size) that sticks out, about which an owner can crow, and say, “Well your big ole’ tub does xxxx, but my beautiful little Smart does yyyy”.

      And yes, the mpg rating is a joke. For what you get otherwise, that car should give you 60 mpg!

      ————
      Note to Mercedes: If you do come out with the “Smart-For-Four” stateside, AND get 60 mpg, then you might have something.
      http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2013-smart-forfour.htm
      ————

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    It strikes me that one of the most credible points that Derek and others can use for final election is Direct Experience, coupled with good, well-docmented argument. Nothing provides the emotional energy for a commentary better than having actually owned or leased a poor vehicle. And that would also reduce the one-line snarky contributions, because the owner of this questionable automotive blessing would obviously have a lot to write about!

    ————–

  • avatar
    brettc

    So have the Suzuki nominations all been removed? I know there were some Suzukis nominated originally. So I’m nominating the entire current Suzuki model range even if the company is technically defunct.

    • 0 avatar
      Carl in NH

      brettc, I bought a 2012 Kizashi for the wife and she has been extremely pleased with it, and I am impressed with how well it is put together. I also hear great things about the SX4. I am not really bothered by the Suzuki announcement, since for all cars I have owned I normally take advantage of other options for maintenance and service than the dealer, getting Suzuki parts will not be a problem for at least 20 years by law, and the Kizashi’s 100k/7year warranty will be covered in full, by law.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. Cadillac XTS for being badly proportioned and poorly differentiated. It’s a luxury car that screams “we didn’t have any money to build anything better, so this is what you get”. The CUE system is also going to tank GM’s rankings in JD Power and Consumer Reports.
    __________________________________
    2. The Honda CR-Z for not being very sporty or giving hybird-like fuel economy numbers.
    ________________________________
    3. The Smart fortwo for having a transmission so terrible it makes the Powershift look good.
    ______________________________
    4. Colorado/Canyon (deserves to win). I believe these are truly bad vehicles.

    The I5 gets the fuel economy of a V6, but also manages to feel much less powerful than its specs suggest and has the legendary smoothness of an Iron Duke. The available V8 is down on power, expensive, gets worse fuel economy that a 5.3L Silverado.

    Build quality is awful. Interior bits creak and break off in your hand, the paint is too thin, the plasti-chrome wears off the grille, the door seals fail, the headlights/tailights/CHMSL allow tons of water to collect in the housing, and the throttle body on the I4 and I5 versions need to be cleaned all the time.

    The margins are such that discounts aren’t very large and it’s often CHEAPER to get a full-size truck.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      As someone who’s considering a V8 version (maybe an I5 if I find a good deal), have you owned one of these trucks or is this all just perceptions based off what you’ve read/heard/seen/etc.? I’d really like a crew cab truck and don’t want to buy foreign… and the Dakota is just attrocious. Size constraints don’t allow me to easily own a full-sized truck either.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        My brother-in-law had a totally loaded I5 SLT Canyon crew cab 4×4. I used an I4 regular cab Colorado at my old job.

        They were both terrible. Both had the same type of troubles. Don’t buy one. You’ll be happier with the Frontier, Tacoma, Explorer Sport Trac, or Dakota.

        Or, just wait for the next-gen version to come out.

        I’ve driven a V8 Colorado and H3 Alpha, but never owned one. IMO, the V8 doesn’t make up for the rest of the issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I have ridden my cousin Colorado and a Friend’s Dakota.

        The Dakota beats the Colorado hands down.It my not have the best quality plastics of all time, but it is functional and durable.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Acura ILX – Acura’s Cimarron.
    Dodge Avenger – Terrible style, too small inside, no claim to fame, please end the pain.
    Fisker Karma – Too expensive for too little performance, and a very dim future.
    Scion iQ – You can pay compact car prices for a 2-seat joke.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      I thought the iQ was a four seater? I have no idea where you’d put them, but apparently according to Top Gear (Rut Wood tested it), there’s four seats in there.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yes the iQ has a back seat, an imitation back seat. If you put the front seat all the way back it touches the rear seat bottom. If you put it all the way forward then yes there is room for legs in the back seat but not in the front.

    • 0 avatar

      As far as the Karma was concerned, I always thought it would have done a lot better if it had…say…a bespoke V12 attached to a mild hybrid system.

      I know, slightly unimaginative. On the other hand, it just might have been the thing that caused the Karma to really take off.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Are sales the Karma’s problem? I thought it was that they cost far too much to produce and they’re running out of tax payer money. That it is also the worst car CR ever tested is just gravy. Would a mild hybrid system have allowed them to get their graft from the DOE? Without the public till to loot, there would be no Karma.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Agreed. I have hardly ever seen an Avenger in traffic. I swear no one buys them.

  • avatar
    tatracitroensaab

    Both of the mitsus need to be on the list – they were uncompetitive and outdated when introduced, and now they’re the auto equivalent of dinosaurs, relics of the pre car-calypse era when mediocrity was more tolerated. Most of the cars on this list are distasteful and undesirable, at least to a few people, but few of these other cars are as genuinely uncompetitive and mediocre as these.

  • avatar

    I know its been mentioned before but the Honda Crossturd (and the Acura ZDX) “wins” this dubious award.
    There are many cars out there that I hated when introduced,such as the Venza,Outback,etc,but eventually got used to them and they don’t seem so bad.
    The Crossturd is another story, easily the ugliest, most oddly proportioned car Honda has ever made and a comment on what happens when the jacked up wagon faux SUV wannabe craze reaches it’s nadir.
    Luckily I don’t see a lot of them but still cannot get used to the shape of that car.
    It truly represents the “what has Honda thinking?” moment for me.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    Haha, “Maybach”.

    Aren’t they discontinued?

  • avatar
    stevejac

    This list is absurd in most respects. No Yugos or VW microbusses or Fiats from the ’70′s, etc exist anymore. Looking at this actually show how blessed we are. There’s hardly any real dogs on the list. The only one I could see was the Smart, and that’s only because it clearly isn’t set up for the US market.

    As for the crosstour, It’s not my cup of tea, but my neighbor loves hers. I can’t see what’s actually wrong with it except there are so many better alternatives.

    Anyway, as a magnet for user interaction, this subject wins! It got me to post even though I’m basically a lurker.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      I would agree with you for the most part. However I think the Colorado and Express are also awful. Read the review of the Express on this website. It is unstable and dangerous to drive.

      Some like the Ford Expedition and Escalade really don’t deserve to be on this list. The Escalade may have a drug dealer perception about it, but it isn’t a bad vehicle.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Hmmmmmmmmmm let’s look closer at this… If I feel it deserves to be there I’ll comment, if I don’t think it deserves to be there I’ll leave it alone.

    Acura ILX – Honda Cimmaron, need we say more?
    Acura RL
    Acura ZDX
    BMW 3-Series
    BMW 5-Series GT
    Cadillac Escalade
    Cadillac XTS – I’d rather roll the dice on a used Northstar equipped DTS, at least it has Cadillac width and length
    Chevrolet Colorado – phoning it in to the compact truck market? YES WE CAN!
    Chevrolet Impala
    Chevrolet Malibu – 4 cyl and hybrid only, makes me weep to be a family man if that is the state of the Family Sedan
    Chevrolet Sonic
    Chevrolet Volt
    Chevy Express
    Chrysler 200
    Dodge Avenger
    Fiat 500
    Fisker Karma
    Ford E-Series
    Ford Expedition
    GMC Canyon – see Colorado
    GMC Savanna
    Honda Civic
    Honda CR-Z
    Honda Crosstour
    Honda Ridgeline
    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
    Infiniti EX
    Jeep Patroit
    Kia Sedona
    Land Rover LR2
    Lexus GX
    Lexus HS250h
    Lincoln MKS
    Lincoln MKT
    Lincoln Navigator
    Maybach – wait isn’t this like nominating the Chrysler Crossfire after production had already ended?
    Mitsubishi Eclipse – If Barbie designed the Camaro…
    Mitsubishi Galant
    Nissan Juke
    Nissan Murano CC
    Nissan NV
    Nissan Sentra
    Nissan Versa Sedan
    Nissan Quest
    Porsche Cayenne, Porsche Panamera – let me combine the Porsche selections and say that Dr. Ferdinand’s coffin is likely filled with his bitter salty tears by now.
    Scion iQ
    Scion xB
    Scion xD
    SmartForTwo – as my wife says when we see one; “Hey look, there’s a DumbCar.”
    Toyota Camry
    Toyota FJ Cruiser – So when does your Viagra arrive in the mail?
    Toyota Matrix
    Volvo XC90
    VW Beetle

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    Ten worsts twits today:

    Anyone who picks: 3-series, 5-series, Fisker Karma, Ridgeline, Mayabch, Nissan, Paner, Camry, Cayenne is a twit today

    This is basically _List of cars we once had a thought about_ It lacks meaning. Why is the FT-86 not on this list? Are TWATs this meaningless a process? Really not seeing the value in the list

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’ll take a swag at handicapping the list

    Acura ILX – Acura’s answer to the Cadillac Cimmaron – well deserved
    Acura RL – haters be hating
    Acura ZDX – Acura’s answer to the Pontiac Aztek
    BMW 3-Series – I want to say haters be hating but the new 3-series sure isn’t on par with previous generations
    BMW 5-Series GT – haters be hating
    Cadillac Escalade – some rapper going to pop a cap in ‘yo ass
    Cadillac XTS – sad excuse for a flagship car
    Chevrolet Colorado – well deserved to be on this list
    Chevrolet Impala – WTF?!? The leaving us forever Impala is the best ever, even TTAC gave it farewell praise – haters be hating
    Chevrolet Malibu – belongs here – in all flavors
    Chevrolet Sonic – HATERS BE TOTALLY HATING
    Chevrolet Volt – haters be hating
    Chevy Express – curious on why this is here, journeyman and child molester van of choice
    Chrysler 200 – you know, I had one as a rental and it wasn’t ‘that’ bad
    Dodge Avenger
    Fiat 500 – haters be hating
    Fisker Karma – it belongs here, overpriced, cramped, and tends to burst into flames when fans fail, low voltage sources fail, or comes in contact with sea water
    Ford E-Series – see Express van above – another winner with journeymen and child molesters
    Ford Expedition – so haters be hating on CUVs but apparently hating on true SUVs too
    GMC Canyon – belongs here
    GMC Savanna – See Express above
    Honda Civic – controversial – Consumer Reports would agree, I would be quicker to nominate the Toyota Corolla
    Honda CR-Z – belongs here – Honda’s answer to the Pontiac Fiero
    Honda Crosstour – belongs here – Honda’s answer to the Pontiac Aztek
    Honda Ridgeline – haters be hating
    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – haters be hating
    Infiniti EX – haters be hating
    Jeep Patroit – belongs here – just a sad awful excuse of a Jeep
    Kia Sedona – belongs here – a disposable minivan
    Land Rover LR2 – haters be hating
    Lexus GX – haters be hating
    Lexus HS250h – I believe this is defunct, this is darn close to Lexus’ answer to the Cadillac Cimmaron, take one JDM Toyota Corolla, make it left hand drive, put a Camry hybrid powertrain in it, and tart it up and try and sell it as a Lexus – so belongs on this list
    Lincoln MKS – really? REALLY? Ten worst?
    Lincoln MKT – see above
    Lincoln Navigator – yo yo yo yo – don’t be dissin’ my ride dawg
    Maybach – an epic fail – I guess I could argue it belongs here given the price
    Mitsubishi Eclipse – belongs here
    Mitsubishi Galant – belongs here
    Nissan Juke – haters be hating
    Nissan Murano CC – belongs here – If Pontiac could have made a convertible Aztek
    Nissan NV – haters be hating
    Nissan Sentra – the current boxy Sentra – completely agree
    Nissan Versa Sedan – a big step backwards from the original – good call
    Nissan Quest – haters be hating – not a fan – but it’s not that bad
    Porsche Cayenne – haters be hating
    Porsche Panamera – haters be hating
    Scion iQ – Given the price point, what you get, and the question it answers, it is a stretch, but could argue it belongs here
    Scion xB – oh for the love of God, haters be hating
    Scion xD – belongs here – but no longer in production
    SmartForTwo – belongs here – bad MPG, impractical size beyond urban cores, ridiculous price – buy a Chevy Spark and pocket $4K
    Toyota Camry – HATERS BE HATING HATERS BE HATING HATERS BE HATING
    Toyota FJ Cruiser – slated for execution – rear visibility rivals a tour bus, rough ride, not a great interior – you could argue it belongs here
    Toyota Matrix – haters be hating – at least it is a FUNCTIONAL Corolla
    Volvo XC90 – haters be hating
    VW Beetle – haters SO be hating

    I’m going to nominate…

    Toyota Corolla. Yup sales leader. I so get it. As reliable as an anvil, and based on the same technology. But the Corolla is so far behind the competition in quality, ride, refinement, power, MPG, features in the segment. Everything is head and shoulders above the current offering. This is the one car I see on top sellers list that I am 100% convinced sells only because the spawning salmon return to the dealer, based on their experience from their 1999 Corolla ready for trade and don’t cross shop for one second. It is for a similar reason I agree the new Malibu belongs on the 10 worst list. On its own, it isn’t that AWFUL of a car. But compared to the rest of the class, it stinks. The Corolla is in the exact same boat.

    I’m also going to nominate…

    Buick Regal. Sandwiched between the LaCrosse and the Versa, the Versa has a near equal trunk, larger back seat, and better performance in a tighter package. Spend a hair more cheddar and you’re into a LaCrosse. It has no reason to exist in the line up.

    I’m also going to nominate…

    Nissan 370Z. A step backwards from the 350Z, a sales dud, the NISMO package doesn’t add a lot to real performance other than emptying out your wallet. When the conversation rolls about Camaro vs. Mustang vs. Genesis you don’t even here 370Z mentioned in the debate for the most part. Heck, finding a used RX-8 in conversation will come up before the 370Z is mentioned. It’s not that it is an awful car – it just isn’t what buyers want and the competition offers more for less cheddar.

    As I pondered all the cars being built today I feel even more so that we’re in a bit of a golden age. There really aren’t a lot of awful cars, trucks, CUVs or SUVs being built if you look at things objectively. The bar is really high – and we are all winning.

    A lot of the duds that do belong on the list above, are in the middle or new product releases or end of life (Malibu not included). So the bar is set to get even better.

  • avatar
    Theophilus138

    Voting for the Toyota Matrix because it represents a regression from the preceding generation, for the following reasons:

    (1) The styling is terrifying. It combines a linear greenhouse with organic body panels in ways that don’t make sense. It also has opera windows for the rear glass, apparently going for the same effect as the Jaguar XJ’s C-pillar blackout panels but with an actual (though useless) opening that doesn’t blend into the whole pillar and ruins the otherwise linearly-styled greenhouse. The dash is irregularly shaped for no readily apparent reason, which makes the double-DIN head unit look silly. The old car had none of these vices. Seriously, I would love to see Sajeev do a Vellum Venom piece on the Matrix, just to see him really rip into an awful design.

    (2) The driving environment and interior packaging is inferior. The lack of glass between the C- and D-pillars creates huge blind spots, and the rear opera windows do precisely nothing to mitigate this. My six-food-five self cannot get comfortable behind the wheel of the Matrix, which makes no sense considering that I can do so in a Corolla that is 3.5 inches lower. The top of the windshield is dangerously low and obscures the view out of the car, a problem the Corolla doesn’t have. The rear seats are cramped compared to the Corolla and the old Matrix, and the luggage compartment is smaller than the old car too, on account of more intrusive wheel wells and suspension hardware.

    (3) The car doesn’t have the virtues it should. The Matrix generally doesn’t hold up as well as the Corolla, which doesn’t make much sense. And the new XRS model, claiming to be sporty, simply replaces 1.8 litre four with the 2.4 litre “big block” four from the Camry. And finally, in order to get a Matrix, you have to walk past a Scion xB, which has most of the same bones as the Matrix and doesn’t cost much different on a feature-adjusted basis, but which looks far more coherent and is much more spacious.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    This is a list the Ten Worst Automobiles Today that someone doesn’t like. Smart for Two, any electric car, any tiny car built for city driving? Why hell, it won’t go through the woods when the zombie apocalypse occurs. Any truck, C/SUV, muscle car you don’t like? Why they’re driven by mouth breeders waiting for a mullet comeback. Disdain for a people mover, van, or mini van? Why don’t they just paint ‘em school bus yellow. Doesn’t have sublime handling, engineering, or interior? That matters sooooooo much in stop and go traffic and a mall parking lot.
    People buy their ride for what they need/want. 15 YO boys want a Lamborghini and a supermodel. In the real world I have a GF with two teenage children. Kinda nice to have something where everyone and everything fits. If we get married, one of us is getting a tiny car for a DD.
    Don’t be hating on a vehicle because it doesn’t meet your perceptions, not cool; if you hate it based on facts, that’s cool. Sorry if I’ve pretty much pissed everyone off by now.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I nominate the Veloster.

    It looked fun, it was priced like it actually was fun, Hyundai’s internet shills wouldn’t STFU about it, it’s an Accent. Or for $25,000 there’s the turbo which is also an Accent but now includes torque steer.

    If a good economy car marketed as something it isn’t makes the TC a TWAT, what’s a bad car marketed as something it isn’t?

    A Veloster.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Dan…

      Agree on the Veloster. What was Hyundai thinking?

      If you’ve ever driven one (I have), you’ll find that the interior quality, ride comfort, steering feel, and lousy low-end torque are a disaster. I just don’t understand how this review gave it 4-out-of-5 stars:
      http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/hyundai_veloster_2012.
      Its sales have been declining since August, and its October sales are the 2nd lowest of the year so far:
      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/hyundai-veloster-sales-figures.html

      —————-

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        I’ve driven one and its not bad – especially for the money – costs thousands less than a MINI of comparable equipment / performance.

        I would not consider it a TWAT nomination over the pathetically slow and disappointing all around Honda CR-Z. Hell even the CRX HF was a lot more fun to drive. I’ve driven the CRZ and owned a stock CRX HF.

        Also the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic? They are made for mass market, point a to b drivers who look at cars as appliances and not driving machines. It does well with its intended audience and why it’s on this list is simply people who just don’t like them. That doesn’t make them a TWAT when they sell 25k + a month on average.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I forgot the buy it cheap and keep until it dies crowd/I trade every 2-3 years folks. I’m thrifty/I like a new ride more often debate.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    Acura ILX = expensive and pointless
    Cadillac XTS = antique
    Chevrolet Colorado = rolling junkpile
    Dodge Avenger = aspiring to be aspirational
    Fisker Karma = huge cost for what will soon be an orphan
    Ford Expedition = 12 mpg? That’s so 90′s
    GMC Canyon = rolling junkpile
    Honda Crosstour = a car this ugly should get much better mileage
    Honda Ridgeline = a wannabe Tundra for those who wanna F-150
    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid = EPA caught you!
    Kia Sedona = killed in action
    Land Rover LR2 = a level of reliability that makes British Leyland look good
    Lincoln MKS = MKT = dog poop is more stylish
    Maybach = German interpretation of the conversion van
    Mitsubishi Eclipse = Galant = no redeeming social value, like the clap.
    Nissan Quest = the pinnacle of Stupid Useless Vehicles
    Porsche Panamera = $100,000 Ford Taurus exterior
    SmartForTwo = Possibly the worst car since the Yugo. The champion of worst.
    Toyota FJ Cruiser = a rolling blind spot
    Toyota Matrix = another rolling blind spot, hopefully quickly crushed by an FJ
    Volvo XC90 = ugly, even for a Volvo
    VW Beetle = even more dumb than the previous version

  • avatar
    mazder3

    1ST-ZDX hands down. Ugly, heavy, poor sight lines, poor fuel economy and no room. Closest thing to a 70′s coupe on the market today. The UnHonda.

    Runner up- Toyota Camry. Driving it back-to-back with a Sonata, Altima, and Accord the Camry looks and feels ten years older than the rest. Sort of fun in the slalom because its limits are low. It actually wants to swap ends at 35 mph! Certainly wouldn’t want to take one back-roading.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I rented a Camry a few years ago and vowed never to rent one again because it had the driving dynamics of a 1992 Buick LeSabre.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I agree that the prior generation Camry out-Buicked Buick, but with even worse interior trim and materials, as a kick-in-the-balls bonus.

        I rented what I think was a 2008 Camry (no matter, it was the last gen) that had all of 27,000 miles on it, with some of the worst heat/AC knobs to have ever graced a mid-sized sedan of any country of origin, and that a motor so tepid, steering so numb and a suspension so flaccid that I was shocked that this vehicle was the best selling in the United States; Shocked, literally.

  • avatar
    mikey

    As a guy thats been around TTAC forever,I’m going to voice my opinion.

    The TWAT awards go back to the time of Farago. I didn’t agree with it then, and my opinion hasn’t changed. Correct me if I’m wrong,but I think the Saturn Ion won the first TWAT?

    Many of an Ion is still on the road,giving thier owners lots of returns on thier buck.

    I think a Smart 4 two is a glorified golf cart. I also believe an Acadia is an over sized,ugly station wagon,on stilts. I also believe that two door coupes,and convertibles,are the pinnacle of automotive design.

    I’m with “el scotta” the whole concept is just to subjective.

    Don’t ban me, Derek and Bertel. I just thought I would voice my opinion.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I also believe an Acadia is an over sized,ugly station wagon,on stilts.

      ALL CUVs are oversized ugly station wagons on stilts. I told my mother-in-law that her FWD Pontiac Torrent was just a station wagon in hooker heels. Fortunately her sense of humor is as twisted as mine.

    • 0 avatar
      Conslaw

      To make the finalists, my votes would go fro the Lincoln MKS & MKT. Overpriced and overweight vehicles that are helping to kill the brand with their not-exactly-attractiveness.

      The Fisker Karma belongs on the list, but I want one anyway.

      Vehicles that I hope don’t make the list are the Chevrolet Sonic and Volt. Both of these vehicles are fine for what they are, the Sonic – inexpensive transportation, and the Volt –overspending for MPG is no worse than overspending for speed. Also not worthy of TWAT are the Hyundai Veloster, a fun reasonably-priced runabout, and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid,which is a pretty balanced vehicle for a hybrid.

    • 0 avatar

      No bans for voicing your opinion, Mikey.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Unless it’s blasting a fellow TTAC member or author with an ad hominem attack, I think.

        I’ve been on a tear as of late blasting what I see as a mostly unacknowledged or recognized era of new automotive malaise that we’re currently living in, although I assume fellow TTAC members such as Pch101 will strongly disagree with me (not sarcasm, but based on his comment in this thread that he thinks that we’re living in good automotive times).

        I will admit that automakers have upped the game in terms of squeezing fairly incredible levels of horsepower and torque out of motors that are most often installed into vehicles such as Mustangs, Vettes, exotics and the like.

        However, when it comes to the meaty part of the auto market, that contains the vehicles that 95%+ of the public buys/leases, we’re now in a time of bland appliances that are worse than vehicles of 5 or even 15 years ago, in terms of quality, interior materials, and even driving dynamics (especially now that the tragic CUV is the “new sedan”).

        It’s not just the new Corolla, Jetta, Civic or Passat that’s worse than the prior iterations, but the Acura TL, Lexus LS, and BMW 3/5 Series, too.

        We hit peak automotive goodness some time ago. Now so many are just content to de-content. All the electronic gadgetry that’s added to vehicles in this iWorld of data/information/distraction saturation doesn’t change that fundamental truth.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      “Correct me if I’m wrong,but I think the Saturn Ion won the first TWAT?

      Many of an Ion is still on the road,giving thier owners lots of returns on thier buck.”

      Much to the chagrin of anyone with any sense of style or taste. The Ion was truly an awful car well deserving of a TWAT from the goony plastic panels stuck on like fake tattoos to the incredibly stupid ‘Onacle’ speedo setup in the center of the car that 99% of America hated instantly because it left the driver holding on to the golf-cart-esque steering wheel staring ahead at a wash of cheapo plastic wondering where the speedo go?

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Never drove either of them but to me the Nissan Juke and Versa sedan are two of the ugliest styled current cars . At least the Juke is so-unique- looking in the Nissan tradition of the Datsun F10 , etc. I have to take it off the list for standing out in a sea of blandmobiles . The Versa sedan on the other hand is simply ill-proportioned and even more so than the last generation . It always reminds me of the quote from whoever it was that designing a small car is like tailoring a suit for a dwarf . It always reminds me of a wretched scrunched-up looking nineties rental Geo Metro sedan the insurance company gave us after my wife totalled her car.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I know that this isn’t a USA production car, but I would like to Suggest the Aston Martin Cygent as a symbolic TWAT.

    A Range Rover Evoque is able to keep the company’s emissions down and still manage to be a good car. The Cygnet fails completely. It takes one of the greatest names in the automobile world and sticks it on a crap-box to meet a law.

    • 0 avatar
      luvmyv8

      Oh yes… this one is so egregious that words cannot describe the fail this one is.

      It’s not in America for good reason as it quite literally is a Scion iQ dressed up as an Aston Martin. No joke. Same running gear and all.

  • avatar
    markholli

    Put my vote down for the Murano CC.

    What was the opportunity cost for Nissan to produce this? In other words, what didn’t get made because the development money was put in to this?

    Murano CC: the answer to a question that nobody asked.

    • 0 avatar
      Conslaw

      Yes, yes, the Murano CC, absolutely, maybe even #1.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        markholli, so torn at the Juke or the Murano CC as Uber-TWAT. I cannot abide gazing at the sickly lines and the questionable value of the Juke, wanting to bash on it with a shovel like Woody Harrelson in Zombieland. But I must go with the Murano CC, who’s designers and engineers must have had posters of the AMC Pacer, Yugo Convertible and Pontiac Aztek on their walls, filling their dreams full of good ideas.

        Murano CC wins the TWAT handily. Nothing else comes close.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I nominate the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ for TWAT status.

    It is overweight, and not by a little. The Subaru salesman’s book curb weight is 2810 lbs for the auto. The Impreza is 2912 lbs. How do you jettison AWD, delete a back seat, two rear doors with electric window lifts and ALL sound-deadening, give the car an aluminum hood and trunk lid, make the roof out of special thin gauge steel, and save maybe only 150 pounds of road-hugging weight?

    Answer. It takes talent!

    The engine is harsh, extremely noisy, and unwilling to rev happily.

    Quality problems are rife. I mean really bad. Go to:

    http://www.ft86club.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

    There’s a whole sub forum on the quality gaffes that make it the biggest piece of dross recently foisted on the car-buying public. Of course, the young fan boys inhabiting the site tend to gloss over the problems until it hits them personally. Then some freak out.

    I own a 2008 Subaru Legacy GT, which has been great. TTAC had me freaking out about the FR-S until I drove one. I rapidly got back in my LGT and departed the dealer at full boost. Smoothly and quietly.

    What a major disappointment to drive! That ridiculous clutch. Even for those whose FR-S or BRZ has been trouble-free, wait until the door rubber pulls apart at the window tops after heavy overnight frost following milder temps. Apart from needing ear-plugs to drive the vehicle with any semblance of decorum, I find the vehicle to be a cynical attempt at marketing, and a major engineering disappointment from Subaru. Nobody sweated the details.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I find this post amusing because my brother’s ’05 Outback XT is falling apart around him (terrible build quality) and my best friend’s 05 Legacy GT has already eaten a turbo along with all sorts of phantom misfires. Sweating the details, indeed.

      My 01 Impreza 2.5RS was a champ over the 9 years it was in the family. 1 O2 sensor and 1 knock sensor. I sold it to my Legacy GT owning friend and he was impressed at how well the interior held compared to his LGT despite my youngest brother doing his best to destroy the Impreza over the last 5 years.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    Hmmm I’ll shall disect the cars I have actually driven/owned

    Cadillac XTS – 85 Year Old Grandfather Owns One…In fact a majority of senior citizens near me own one. Not exactly the buyer Cadillac had in mind. Feels more like a Ponitac Torrent/Equonox than a Caddy

    Chevrolet Impala – My father had one as his undercover car on the force. I actually loved this car…why the hell is it on the list?

    Chevrolet Malibu – Just as exciting as deciding on the chinos you’re about to buy at Banana Republic. Would rather walk to work than have to drive one.

    Chevy Express – They still make this?! Drove one for my uncle’s alarm business, I felt like it needed shag rug and perhaps a lava lamp.

    Dodge Avenger- Had it as a rental car…wasn’t bad at all!

    Fiat 500 – got stuck in the back after trying to see if it was worth taking for a test drive…instant nomination coupled to an anemic engine and questionable packaging makes my Fiero seem that much better suited for a daily driver. Also pretentious dealerships that kill any interest in the vehicle.

    Fisker Karma – Yes I have driven one…way too much money for an underpowered, cramped, and generally problematic vehicle…buy a Fusion Hybrid and put a down payment on a house.

    Ford Expedition – Years from now when analyists study the 20/21st century they will blame this vehicle for all that was wrong with SUVs and Mommy ineptitude syndrome (why yes I need a two ton SUV that gets 5 mpg for my child when there’s a dusting of snow on the ground. Who cares if I can’t see out of the damned thing?!)

    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – By far the UGLIEST car ever. I’d buy an AZTEK at full retail before even considering this monstrosity. Every time I sit in the driver seat of my aunt’s I want to purchase the aforementioned Expedition and run the engine at idol days at a time to offset the “environmental gains” of owning a hybrid.

    Jeep Patroit – drove one at my old security…was a pretty good vehicle! does not deserve to be on the list.

    Mitsubishi Eclipse – the answer to my generation’s credit problem…also the reason a majority are turned off auto enthusiasm

    SmartForTwo – double edge sword: tell me you can’t look at it without laughing/ one of the worst packaged cars of all time. NOMINATE

    Toyota Camry – I’d rather have a Fusion and not drink the Toyota Kool-Aid. An interior that only a blind person could love.

    Toyota Matrix – the original along with the Vibe were great…the refresh is so far behind the competition I feel like it needs to come with a “Remember When Book”

    VW Beetle – Not Impressed, slow, overpriced, expensive to maintain. Things that I’d Rather Do Than Visit The Local Dealership: Have a Root Canal, Lay in a coffin and be covered with tarantulas, Drink my own urine, perform in front of an audience nude, Listen to a Prius Owner brag about fuel savings and efforts to be green.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      kjb911….

      Nicely done, kjb911. I was laughing the whole time.

      On the VW Beetle: agree. This is now TWO times in a row that VW got it wrong. I wrote a “Letters” submission to “Autoweek” magazine about a year ago on this very topic. Now, if VW actually put the engine back in the back (see what I did there?) where it belongs, restored some decent performance, and increased the fun factor, then maybe we wouldn’t have this “Pretender to the Throne” to contend with!

      Of course, that would mean that VW would have to eat crow over the FWD commitment its been wallowing in for the past 30 years. Thank God they have Porsche on board now to help straighten them out.

      Beetle sales have now been declining since a May-to-August summer high:
      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/volkswagen-beetle-sales-figures.html

      Right now, you’d be better off buying a Passat or GTI, if you feel impassioned about FWD VW’s.

      ————-

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Listen to a Prius Owner brag about fuel savings and efforts to be green.

      This one is the worst punishment of all.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    The Toyota FJ is idiotic for so many reasons…it’s supposed to compete with the Wrangler, but the top doesn’t come off (like the original FJ-40) and it has IFS, which makes it a “soft roader” in my book.

    Visibility is horrible, the mirrors are an odd and non-useful shape, you sit on the floor, and the horrible rubber flooring puckers in places. The dashboard is overstyled and silly looking, the shifter handles are also overstyled and the radio looks like it came from the Kraco display at K-Mart. Let me not forget the silly storage compartment whose door opens into your field of vision. Put the visor down with the compartment open, and you have a gunslit to look out of for forward visibility.

    The exterior styling is contrived and ridiculous – this is a case where they made too much of an effort to presever the show car styling for no good reason. Three wipers for the windshield? Ugh. Those faux-tough bumpers are dumb looking, and I love the fact that they had trouble with the inner fenders tearing when they first launched and Toyota blamed it on people taking them off road or putting real bumpers on the vehicle.

  • avatar
    ajla

    With the greatest of respect to the commenters on here, I feel that some of you are taking this exercise more seriously than it needs to be taken. This isn’t an official “WORST VEHICLES OF 2012!” list that’s going into the National Archives.

    It’s just meant to be an entertaining distraction and a foil to the “10Best” and “COTY” awards that are always handed out. Kind of like the Razzies do with the Oscars.

    If a movie blog asked readers “what are the worst films you saw this year?”, I wouldn’t expect people to complain about the question because nothing in 2012 was as bad as Battlefield Earth or Troll 2.

  • avatar

    I really hate to do this, because I do like the car and it is a good drive.

    Volvo C30…Here is the why.

    Focus in a frilly frock at a price premium. Yes it looks better, the interior is better.. but under all that skin. C1 platform with some upgrades. It is just a Focus under the hood (or is a Focus a Volvo under the hood) Sure nothing interchanges but it is just the most pointless waste of money for something that is the same for less. Badge engineering? Dunnoooo. Or is it the Focus ST for North America? (EU got the T5 in the focus, why did America not get it. Engine passed CA emissions already..)

    Open to negotiation on this one.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Acura anythings, but especially the TL, because it represents the furthest drop in terms of what it now is versus once was.

    Smart Fortwo: Those that have driven in them, especially at real world speeds and in real world conditions, can’t possibly have anything positive to say about them.

    Hyundai Genesis Sedan: Even at what’s claimed to be a relative “bargain” price, Hyundai can’t apparently design a suspension properly come hell or high water, and the Genesis Sedan, even shod with an alleged new and improved suspension, is a mess that makes for a discombobulated ride quality, where the car literally moves laterally in ways that seem to circumvent the laws of physics.

    Mercedes E class: Worse than last Mercedes E class in every way, but more expensive, possibly less reliable, and another example of Mercedes faux douchery commodity status.

    Honda Insight.

    Toyota Prius C.

    Nissan Maxima: A car that’s ugly, has a smaller rear seat than many compact cars, a rubber band transmission that is symbolic of all that’s wrong with CVTs, and has no purpose, especially at its price point (where has the 1990s Maxima gone? You are so missed).

    BMW 3 series with the 4 banger. BMW took its ace card, a silky smooth inline 6, and dissed it for all the wrong reasons, relegating it to optional status, and then had the temerity to make the 3 even more of a porker than it had already become.

    Cadillac ATS. Everything a Cadillac should not be.

    So many choices!

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      DeadWeight….

      You said: “BMW 3 series with the 4 banger. BMW took its ace card, a silky smooth inline 6, and dissed it for all the wrong reasons, relegating it to optional status, and then had the temerity to make the 3 even more of a porker than it had already become.”

      Amen!

      The 4-cylinder turbo N20 engine is a misjudgment, in my judgment. Try doing a demo run with the vehicle in “Eco-Pro” mode and “stop-start” engaged. Vibrates terribly. The sales people will, of course, tell you to leave the car is “Sport” mode for your test drive. It seems that forced induction accentuates any vibration/imbalance issues beyond what could be felt in a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine.

      Yes, I know that all car makers have that 54.5 mpg mandate looming on the horizon. But I would think that BMW, of all people, could have done something magical** with the venerable 6-cylinder to get 25/35 mpg (EPA) during this current development cycle. The EPA for the 2-liter N20 is not that great: 23/34.
      http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2012_BMW_3_Series.shtml

      After all, I am getting 34 highway, with 29.4 in mixed driving with the 3-liter, 6-cylinder N52 engine in a 2006 325i sedan with manual transmission.

      ** Like what about direct injection with multiple spray into the N52, and cylinder-deactivation at cruising speed (where you don’t notice vibration as much), like the the new Audi V-8 engine?

      —————-

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      I disagree on the E-Class. They are quite nice. My uncle had a 2010 and it was a superb car (interior, comfort, ride).

      I don’t think it was less reliable either, probably more so than the old one.

    • 0 avatar
      oldfatandrich

      DeadWeight, did I hear you say the current iteration of the E-class Benz should be on the TWAT list ? You really ought to leave the composition of fiction to the writers of novels. Or could you be, heaven forfend, a peu jaloux of those to whom God in his wisdom has accorded the resources to drive them ?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        peu jaloux?

        More lame ad hominem garbage from yet another who apparently can’t effectively rebut the merits of the criticism.

        The current E class is worse than the last in terms of handling, interior noise and ride quality, not to mention there’s probably more rear seat room in a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Ford Fusion than in the E class. In fact, it’s probably the worst E class Mercedes has ever produced (the 2000 E class was superior in every way).

        As far as jealously, that’s not plausible. I could buy an E class tomorrow for cash without any hardship. You know why I would never do that? Because there are better cars at half the price or less, and unlike fools and their money who are easily parted, I have no desire to fall into that category.

        I’d much rather have a Toyota Camry or Chrysler 300 in any trim level than the overpriced, douche-trash that MB is producing.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      “Smart Fortwo: Those that have driven in them, especially at real world speeds and in real world conditions, can’t possibly have anything positive to say about them.”

      Been there, done that, still have some parts.

      The seats are fucking amazing. All cars should have those seats in them.

      Also, the usual stuff re: pleasures of manual steering, tight turns, windy roads, and maintaining momentum. At the end of the day it was a very small European car: fun to drive and not fun to own.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You must have driven it on really smooth roads.

        Try driving it in Michigan, over frost heaved concrete, keeping up with traffic.

        It’ll knock your fillings out and give you a bloody migraine.

  • avatar
    Mike.S.

    The only one on the list I’ve experienced is the Dodge Avenger, and I think it’s probably to worst car I’ve ever been in.

    My sister in law had one as a rental when her Cavalier got totaled and I got shanghaied one evening after work to go to the dog park with her and my wife. I got crammed in the back of that thing and then the nightmare began. I’ve driven HMMWV’s and LMTV’s and 5-ton’s off road and on, and I remember how bad the seats were (mostly the HMMWV’s The other two were almost okay), but the Avenger was worse. Yes, the ride was smoother and quieter, but the seats themselves were as offensive as politics at the dinner table. The back window was so small and far forward that I couldn’t see anything on the horizon to stave off motion sickness. There was no place to put either of my arms that wasn’t tiring after a minute or two. I was so miserable in the back of that car I had the girls drop me off on the side of the road so I could finish the journey on foot.

    Riding back home in that miserable excuse for a car was even worse. The sun had gone down and the interior of the car was inky black, so my eyes were straining to see anything at all. The tiny windows and high door sills made sure that my pupils had to open as far as possible to have any hope of letting enough light in. Then we’d pass a car. Now, because I couldn’t see a damn thing through the tiny windows, I’d have no warning at all that my straining eyes were about to be assaulted by xenon death rays, so every time another car went by in the opposite direction their headlights would flash just right through my tiny vision block windows and it was like staring into the sun before being thrown back into outer darkness. I still reflexively rub my eyes when I think about the ONE time I rode in that car.

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    I have a Civic for a daily driver. It starts, stops, and turns. Other than that, there’s nothing I like about it. It’s a reliable crappy car that only sells because it has a Honda badge. Fortunately, it’s an employer-subsidized long-term rental and when I no longer need it, I can walk away from it.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    From my experiences involving driving and riding in I have these to pick from:

    Toyota Corolla: Unresponsive gas pedal, cheap interior, but its really just an okay car if you want to get around.

    2013 Dodge Avenger: Nice interior materials, but it has a very stupid “sunglasses inspired design” which translates to “you will back into something”, the Charger-inspired bits of styling for its face-lift are just lazy, its hard to get out of the back due to its stupid design, the engines gutless, the transmission hangs onto gears too long, the rear doors had very noticeable panel gaps, the gas door didn’t fit on the car properly, and it had weird works abound in it.

    I’d accept these issues on a 30 year old K-Car, but not an Avenger that just rolled off the assembly line.

    Heres my list of cars that I haven’t driven but don’t care for:

    Smart ForTwo: Noisy, ugly, not efficient, dangerously slow for US drivers, and expensive to keep going.

    Nissan Juke: Its only awful in visuals, as an SUVCUV thing I’d expect more practicality.

    VW New New Beetle: So the beetles bigger and gets the same gas mileage as an old Volvo? Why not just buy a Jetta?

    Chevy Spark: Ugly, slow, cheaply made, and its Daewood derived. You can have all of that with the Chevy Sonic!

    Fisker Karma: The Ford Pinto caught fire if you hit it, this catches on fire in a car wash. Ugly car with a terrible design.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    From my experiences involving driving and riding in I have these to pick from:

    Toyota Corolla: Unresponsive gas pedal, cheap interior, but its really just an okay car if you want to get around.

    2013 Dodge Avenger: Nice interior materials, but it has a very stupid “sunglasses inspired design” which translates to “you will back into something”, the Charger-inspired bits of styling for its face-lift are just lazy, its hard to get out of the back due to its stupid design, the engines gutless, the transmission hangs onto gears too long, the rear doors had very noticeable panel gaps, the gas door didn’t fit on the car properly, and it had weird works abound in it.

    I’d accept these issues on a 30 year old K-Car, but not an Avenger that just rolled off the assembly line.

    Heres my list of cars that I haven’t driven but don’t care for:

    Smart ForTwo: Noisy, ugly, not efficient, dangerously slow for US drivers, and expensive to keep going.

    Nissan Juke: Its only awful in visuals, as an SUVCUV thing I’d expect more practicality.

    VW New New Beetle: So the beetles bigger and gets the same gas mileage as an old Volvo? Why not just buy a Jetta?

    Chevy Spark: Ugly, slow, cheaply made, and its Daewood derived. You can have all of that with the Chevy Sonic!

    Fisker Karma: The Ford Pinto caught fire if you hit it, this catches on fire in a car wash. Ugly car with a terrible design.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    I realize that these are no longer current cars that could be considered “worst”, but Fox News just listed a group of the 5 best “flops” for everyone to think about, and see which cars are their automotive descendants….

    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/11/16/5-best-automotive-flops/?intcmp=features

    ——————-

  • avatar
    mannerlymoron

    Have not personally driven a lot of the vehicles on this list, so i won’t directly go into what models i think belong on here or not since it would largely be speculation-based from info gleaned on reviews and what colleagues think.

    That being said though, my only criticism of this list is that it seems (imho) that there are many vehicles on there that are actually pretty decent, but just have questionable/controversial styling…and determining what the “worst automobiles of today” are based on the most subjective of categories (styling) seems besides the point

  • avatar
    oldfatandrich

    MrGreenMan, GM should hire you for product planning in the Buick Division. The XTS is truly this generation’s Electra.

  • avatar

    In conclusion, the best and the brightest thinks highly of Audi, Jaguar, Lotus, Mercedes, Subaru & Tesla.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I would add the VW Jetta to the list. They took the decent German Jetta and de-contented it for American tastes as if us Americans needed a de-contented German Wall-Mart version. Cheaper interior furnishings, standard rear drums, optional discs and agricultural like base 2.0 or 2.5. If they kept at it it would sink as low as a Caliber/Avenger/Sebring. The sales figures could attest that we were quite satisfied with previous generations of Jetta, reliability notwithstanding. A decent German sports sedan for folks who can’t move up to an A4 or 3 series but might someday. Thankfully you can still go for the Jetta Sportwagen which is based on the previous generation of Jetta. Or if you like hatchs there is still the German based Golf/GTI.

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    TWAT? Because its that time of the month? Because 12% of the internet is porn fueled? Because some here are going through nasty breakups? Hey whatever,I’ll go along.I have to begin by addressing the “Do not remove from list part”. Two entries simply qualify as flogging a dead horse(Lexus HS250/Maybach.). Others as being comparable to caring about who wins best supporting actor/actress(Full size FUVs.)…Work Vans,really? Unless anyone here has been,or is currently a plumber,florist,carpet cleaner,or serial killer,is it really fair to judge? As for what I think what’s TWAT,I nominate the following. The Hondura ZDXtour,and BMW 5GT.Three vehicles long enough to be better styled,yet tall enough to look thick,clunky,and awkward. A stylistic triage executed by a cabal of auto industry hatchback haters.I imagine Honda & BMW will respond to slow sales with a statement along the lines of,”We tried making hatchbacks for you people,but you just turned your noses up at them.” The Fisker Karma is pretty,but like Facebook or Angie’s List,it too is another example of Siliconned Valley’s insular and unrealistic efforts geared towards a ROI, for all that freewheeling venture capital they’ve been afforded.Then there’s the NEW Chevy Malibu.Well,no one who’s graduated to Alize (Quad City DJ’s,’member?) will be lookin’ to go back to the nu’Bu. At least ’til the low residual lease returns breeze in. Finally,there’s the itsy-bitsy,teeny-weeny trio, of too much to pay for so much to sacrifice-ride,useability,false sense of being safer than a motorcycle.Not to mention so little in return-slightly better MPG,one less go around the block for parking-The Honda CR-Z,Scion iQ,and Smart Fortwo.

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    Oh,BTW,is TATA-Ten Autos To Admire,too vague a companion to TWAT? Or will the Indians get pissed and sue? I can’t come up with any other comparable acronyms.Send me a check if ya use it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Seattle Auto Show yesterday…here is what I learned.

    1) The Acura ILX truly, really, is the Japanese incarnation of the Cadillac Cimarron.

    2) The Honda Civic really does belong at the bottom of the C-sgement pile. As much as I bag on the Corolla and it is technology about as modern as a Conestoga Wagon, it is better packaged. The interior of the current Civic is a disaster and that same jumble of bad angles goes right to the ILX.

    3) Buick has a winner with the Encore. It is WAY bigger than that I thought. I was absolutely shocked on how well it was put together. The spokesdrone made a point to let everyone know that it was a pre-production model and that the fit and finish isn’t up to production standards. Seriously, if you saw it you would be say what?!? Apparently they want to build this to military fighter aircraft tolerances. Definitely plan to drive one for giggles when they come out. Expect it to be anemic with the 1.4 and AWD.

    4) It’s true, a 6 footer can fit in the backseat of a Chevy Spark. Way more rear seat room than the Volt.

    5) The Lincoln MKS is a damn good looking car, much better in person than in pictures.

    6) The Ford C-Max is much better in pictures than in person. Tons of interest but the idiots at Ford had it locked up – no one could go inside.

    7) The Focus ST is one heck of a package

    8) The Lincoln MKX has no reason to exist. At all. Ford doesn’t seem to even remotely try to hide the fact that it is a Ford Edge. I say save $6k to $10K and get the edge.

    9) Mazda has some of the best damn cars that no one buys.

    10) Seattlites are crazy about Subaru – I gave up getting any time in anything in the booth.

    11) Judging from the floor traffic Kia customers either don’t care about the MPG scandal, or didn’t hear about it.

    12) You would need to have a low iQ to buy a Scion iQ when looking at all the other A and B segment offerings. The one on the show floor stickered for just under $17K. Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic, Fiat 500, Mazda2, all immediately come to mind for the same or less cheddar.

    13) There is a war going on to see who can install the largest display into the dashboard. Dodge seems to be winning.

    14) The Dart looks WAY WAY WAY better in pictures than in person.

    15) When did a Jeep Wrangler cost $41K?!?!?!

    16) The Malibu LTZ – damn good looking car.

    18) I get now why TTAC says the Ford Fusion changes the game. It does. In a parallel universe, the Malibu is considered a great car – the Fusion is one of the best looking bread and butter sedans I have ever seen.

    19) The Kia Soul’s shown in the ads with the spokesrodents – highly equipped – not stripped. A stripped one is pretty – errrr – Spartan.

    20) Every wanna-be boy racer was climbing all over the FR-S – but not sure how many of them will be actual buyers. Scion marketing has done an AMAZING job.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Thanks for that on the ground report.

      It would seem your personal observations and opinions mesh with mine in the following respects:

      1) Acura & Honda continue their tragic fall (Acura even more so);

      2) Japanese vehicles, in general, have lost much of their competitive edge when it comes to exterior styling, interior materials, interior fit&finish (though Japanese model reliability still seems to be better,generally speaking, but even this may be giving up ground);

      3) Lincoln has absolutely no reason to exist given how little Ford is doing to distinguish its products from its Ford counterparts (true badge engineering, and price mark-ups that are an insult to thinking human beings);

      4) MSRP is shocking, and anyone who pays anything close to it (except for certain and few exceptional, extremely high demand vehicles, is brain dead);

      5) Even after Toyota assimilated Subaru and has begun the process of wiping out Subaru’s uniqueness, the granola crowd on the left coast proves that accumulated goodwill from years past has genuine residual power;

      6) Mazda is one of the most underrated & under-appreciated vehicle makers in the United States, for whatever reason .

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      ” The Acura ILX truly, really, is the Japanese incarnation of the Cadillac Cimarron.”

      I disagree, not because I think the ILX is awesome, but because the Acura brand itself never had the lofty reputation Cadillac did.

      They went from building some of the finest vehicles in the world to rebadging a J-body.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, people miss this. Acura’s rep was built on cars like the Legend (aka TL) and the Integra, which was a gussied up Civic. When the Integra left, people whined and moaned about the lack of a dressed up Civic, and then whined and moaned when they got a dressed-up Civic. I’ve driven the ILX. Its interior is really quite well done, its nicely packaged, and Honda’s 2.4 engine/6-speed manual is an absolute gem of a powertrain. No, its not the most refined. Not, its not the absolute funnest car to drive, and yes, it is overpriced. But overall, its a nice small car. I won’t buy one because, IMO, cars that size should always be hatchbacks, but thats a personal preference thing.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Fisker Karma.

  • avatar

    I like to nominate Mini Countryman which defeat the purpose of owning a Mini. The base Countryman weights 3,000 lb with 121 hp.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I never realized it was that heavy until just reading your post. I guess I was just never interested in the Minis enough to bother delving into their specs.

      You make a good point.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Well for one, I doubt the Camry can be considered the worst -anything- while the current Lincoln lineup still exists.

    Second, nobody thought to put the MASSIVELY overpriced BMW X6 on this list? The X6M starts at over $92,000. The base price is nearly $60,000.

  • avatar
    protomech

    I nominate Honda Crosstour and Toyota Venza. Little storage, huge wheels ($$$ tires). Nothing to recommend them over the wagon versions (Acura TL wagon) or SUV variants (Pilot, Highlander).

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    I will continue to press for the Toyota Corolla, because the current version is a mid-pack also-ran that is a shadow of its former dominant benchmark status. I nominate it not because it is a bad car but because Toyota can and did do so much better.

  • avatar
    Nick

    Glad the Juke is there…some vehicles are so ugly they deserve to make it on the list alone.

    I’d like to add:

    The MINI, simply by virtue of being a) expensive for what is, and b) being a garage queen that, as an added bonus, is outrageously expensive to repair.

    The BMW X6 because it’s hideous, has a terrible ride, devours fuel, is remarkably lacking in room despite its bloat and because it’s hideous.

    The G class Benz because it is a one giant oxymoron on wheels, an expensive one at that, and because the drivers all seem to fit the same mold (douchebag). Looks like a rough tough offroad vehicle, but will never go there. Has tons of power, but isn’t really sporty. It costs a fortune but does nothing well. And because everyone I see driving one has the look of some selfstyled entrepreneur (which in this case really means scam artist) with a gold tie, slicked back hair, black suit, and spends 100% of their time behind the wheel talking on their cell phone and 100% of their time in the line up (wherever) shouting into their phone and holding everyone up.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    if you guys don’t include infinity qx56 and toyota 4runner – i am not reading on this site again


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