By on January 17, 2013

Ladies and Gentleman, TTAC is glad to announce the winners of the Ten Worst Automobiles Today, as voted by you, the reader. The Smart Fortwo took the top spot – but what about the others?

Second place was the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet

In third, the Chrysler 200/Dodge Avenger

Fourth went to the Honda Crosstour

The BMW 5-Series GT was fifth

In sixth place, the Acura ZDX, which will take this dubious honor to its grave

Seventh place is the Cadillac Escalde – still numero uno for rappers and Texan housewives

The Jeep Patriot was eighth

The poor Fisker Karma can’t catch a break – it didn’t even win the TWATs, settling for ninth place

And finally, the Chevrolet Volt may be the EV sales champion, but it had to settled for a lowly tenth

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111 Comments on “Announcing The Winners Of The 2012 Ten Worst Automobiles Today...”


  • avatar
    skakillers

    I saw a murano crosscabriolet a couple months ago and did a complete double take, I couldn’t believe someone had actually bought one. In Massachusetts, too!

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I saw one yesterday on the drive home. How this thing made production is beyond me. Ghosn’s wife must have insisted.

      Then again, car mag readership is probably 99% guys, so we could never understand what women see in a car like that.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I don’t understand what women see in Volkswagens and Volvos either but whatever it is they clearly see enough of it to buy a lot of them.

        I’ve seen one of these Nissan’s, ever. Ghosn’s wife must have been driving.

    • 0 avatar
      yesthatsteve

      I saw one this morning for the first time in the wild. I did a double-take, and thought to myself, “Oh, so some people do buy those. I wonder who.”

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I’ve never seen one on the roads, myself. I consider that luck.

      I can concede that somebody, somewhere wants a larger convertible. And I can concede the idea of a crossover SUV into a convertible is unique and “quirky” (Nissan is full of gross quirkyness lately).

      What I *can’t* concede to is why somebody would pay FIFTY GRAND for this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      The Murano CC is going to make for the most awesome LeMons racer in about two decades :)

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      The Murano ragtop is weird enough that I would actually want one. Not for $40K though, perhaps at $10K from Bob’s Used Cars.

  • avatar
    Boxofrain

    It always amazes me that certain vehicles, such as station wagons or vehicles available in other parts of the world aren’t sold here or are not made at all, yet some of the monstrosities we see here see the light of day.

    So we can’t get decent wagons because they “won’t sell”, but the Crosstour and ZDX are for sale!

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      +1.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      The reason that NA doesn’t get decent wagons isn’t that they “won’t sell”, but rather that they might sell too well, cannibalizing the sales of more profitable CUVs. Those CUVs also help mfr’s CAFE numbers where wagons would hurt due to the convoluted CAFE rules.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Right, they’re “won’t sells” with big smarmy quotes. A hypothetical as if we don’t know the answer.

      We do know the answer. Wagons didn’t sell and the very few still on the market still don’t.

      Seeing some kind of pro-CUV conspiracy when the wagon had died of consumer disinterest long before the CUV was even invented takes some serious blinders.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Dan, was also going to post this. Volvo is a perfect example, they offered both a wagon and CUV/SUVs at the same time, and look which product was dropped vs. which they still sell.

        Truthfully, I don’t think where was much to differentiate them anywy aside from slightly different appearance.

        The same goes for most CUVs and the cars they’re based on. Just be happy there is something offered with a hatch and lots of interior space if that’s what you desire.

        You could even buy a new Explorer, replace all the badges with “Taurus Wagon”, and I wouldn’t even call BS.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Agreed, the CAFE as impetus for wagon-non-adoption is silly. Wagons started dying off on their own even before the SUV craze and certainly before the CUV craze.

        It’s not that wagons “won’t” sell. It’s that they *don’t* sell — I don’t see a line out at the door at GM for the CTS wagon, or one at Acura for theirs, and there wasn’t one at Volvo or Audi either.

        If the diesel wagon people were serious and not cheap bastards, you’d be buying VW Sportwagens with diesels, despite the fact that you think they’re unreliable just to voice your opinion. But you don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        As the driver of one of the last American wagons produced (Merc Sable) I have to defend wagons. It’s very hard to say that wagons won’t sell since hardly any mfr has tried in a long while. It’s true that wagons became unsellable when minivans hit the market, just as minivans became declasse when SUVs came on the scene, but so few wagon options have been offered in the past decade that it’s hard to know whether tastes have changed sufficiently to make them viable again. Most models available (Cadillac, BMW, Jaguar) are out of the mainstream due to price. I believe that an Accord or Camry wagon would be a very different story. Certainly the Chevy HHR (basically a Cobalt wagon) did well enough.

        As to the CAFE effect, go back and review Derek’s piece from Oct 2012:
        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/how-cafe-killed-compact-trucks-and-station-wagons/
        Between CAFE and profit margins, I can see why the mfrs are less than interested in bringing to the US market the wagons that sell so well in other markets. Take the Volvo example; the wagons outsold the CUVs globally while both were still offered. It’s only in the US where it makes more sense to offer CUVs for people who want more carrying capacity than a sedan.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Wow, I’m surprised that Nissan Puke didn’t make the list. I’d rather drive/look at 200/Avenger than Joke.

    • 0 avatar
      piggybox

      Nissan Juke actually sells well. I’ve seen them every a while on road

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        Not sure where you live, but the 200 is the new bad credit history buyers car of choice they are buying down to a 620 and you get 25% off just for buying it. At that price level I have considered buying a top of the line one with the Chrysler lifetime warranty total cost should be 18.5 that ladies in gents is a smoking deal.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Would you please post the remainder of the list? I’m curious how it sifted out. Thanks.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    I disagree with most of this list. It isn’t so much a Ten Worst list, as a “Ten autos the TTAC B&B don’t like list.” I can think of a worse car for pretty much every one.

    Objectively, is the BMW 5-series GT a worse car than say, a Mitsubishi Galant?

    The Escalade may be an exercise in hideous excess, but it’s still way more functional than say a Mini Countryman, and it’s probably the best value in the luxury SUV segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      “Objectively, is the BMW 5-series GT a worse car than say, a Mitsubishi Galant?”

      Maybe not, but it is much, much worse than a BMW 5 series non-GT.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Oh yeah, this whole effort is strictly an unpopularity contest. There are no objectively “bad” cars left in the US market anymore, so selections are made on wholly arbitrary criteria. The F30 is a piece of crap because it’s not a 2002, etc.

  • avatar
    niky

    Seriously… two cars on that list shouldn’t be there. The Volt only gets grief because somehow, a car in development since 2006 was created to steal bailout money from the American people. There are a number of GM stinkers, but the Volt isn’t one of them.

    The Smart ForTwo… maybe tenth, but doesn’t deserve first.

    I’m shocked at how anyone could NOT vote for the Murano… Doesn’t look good? Check. Doesn’t drive well? Double-check… the already tippy standard car gets wobblier and wonkier with the roof cut off. The answer to the question nobody in their right mind would ever dare to ask, not even if they were utterly Jerseylicious? Triple check.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Nah, the volt gets grief for being an epic bad value. It then gets extra grief for political connections. At the same time, I never drove a murano at all, and if the reviews ever said anything other than “it’s ugly” or “why?” I don’t recall. So I didn’t vote for it.

      I didn’t vote for any cars which I thought might please someone else’s aesthetic view just because they were ugly to me. I sure as hell didn’t vote for something because, “Nobody needs…”

      Why more votes were not placed on bad value or quality just shows the voters weren’t serious enough about voting. For more info, see Washington, D.C.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Agree on Volt (disliked for illogical reasons), disagree on Smart ForTwo. The Smart is a crappy short-wheelbase car with crappy ride, no cargo space, and worse gas mileage than many real cars with trunks.

      • 0 avatar
        tobias89

        Name one car with better mpg that isn’t a hybrid. Right there isn’t one…

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Don’t forget that both the handling and transmission are probably the worst of any car made since at least 1980.

        I voted for the Smart because there was nothing else on the list that I wouldn’t prefer to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Yeah, until the Scion iQ came around, there wasn’t a non-hybrid or diesel that got better city or combined fuel economy than the ForTwo. Considering its mission in life is to be a city car, that’s not so bad. Admittedly, its highway fuel economy could be better, but with an aerodynamic profile like that, what do you expect?

        Likewise, the “no cargo space” complaint is more than a little hyperbolic. That cargo hold is a straghtforward usable box, and plenty for a load of groceries, or luggage for a weekend. The ride is an unfortunate function of the short wheelbase, and making it stable for its height. And of course, the transmission is less responsive than a three-toed sloth. On the other hand, it’s a great little way to zip around big cities – the microscopic footprint and great visibility means there’s just about no gap you can’t squeeze into, and no parking spot too small. Plus, it has character, something you won’t get from most compacts. It’s the wrong car for just about everybody, but to call it one of the worst cars available today would be like me demanding a diesel dually be on this list because it’s too big, inefficient, noisy, and uncomfortable.

      • 0 avatar
        trainorster

        In response to Tobias89, there are at least a half-dozen cars with higher Highway MPG than the Smart. But that’s not the point, is it? iI’s one of the best City MPG, and stupidly easy to park. The only gas, non hybrid I could find on fueleconomy.gov that had better city was the iQ, which I have similar issues with (not available with manual trans, too small for practicality, ect). I think the car would have a greater adoption in the US, if it cost a few grand less/was available with a manual transmission/had more power. Pick two. I’d actually consider a Smart convertible (since I live in NYC) if it was faster, handled better, and I could shift my own gears.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The Volt definitely has enough shortcomings to make this list.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Not compared to other like models like the Nissan Leaf, the Prius-C and the Mitsu i-MiEV.

        At least the Volt has been lauded for its driving characteristics (compared to the others), the Voltec system is superior to both a hybrid and an all-electric powertrain and hasn’t had the issues like the Leaf has had w/ heat.

        Funny how an auto site geared towards enthusiasts picks the superior driving Volt to be on this list instead of picking the aforementioned others which have all been blasted for being a worse drive than a Corolla (but then again, this is TTAC).

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Slow, lousy gas mileage for its size, poor ride and handling pretty much sums up the Smart (or is that smart because it is much more hip not to capitalize the first letter) that makes a new s/Smart the worst new car buy of today. In 1986 the Yugo made a two year old Chevette look like a good buy and in 2013 there are much better used car buys.

      A two year old Corolla or even Sentra (the worst car not on this list) seem like a brilliant buy compared to a Smart. Unless you live some place where space is at a premium almost any other car would serve its owner better than one of these.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    All very subjective to an author’s/owner’s likes/dislikes.

    I suppose you just – with apologies to ancient Packard advertising – have to ask someone who owns one of the “hated” cars to see just how bad a car is.

    Nowadays cars are like booze – there is no bad booze, just that some are better than others.

    BTW, I’d be owning and driving a Volt if I could have afforded one, a red one. Just saying…

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Once again my friend I agree with your post. And, I too, would be driving a Volt had my last several years’ gone differently.

      Oh well. I’m above the dirt and looking forward to rocking my 29″ mountain bike as soon as the weather clears…

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    I’m just going to repeat something I’ve posted before about the TWAT.

    I think TWAT is a stupid list, IMHO. Let me summarize the absurdity of the nominations by forgetting about cars and making a list of hypothetical objections using a similar consumer good. Say, smart phones.

    -Palm ABC sucks because they built their heritage on PDA’s, won championships with their sleek PDA’s, and I had wet dreams about their PDA’s 10 years ago. Now they’re in the smart phone business, and its a dilution of everything Palm stands for.
    -Toshiba DEF is for boring people who eat vanilla. I want to manually shift my own buttons. Even though I take mine to the shop every second week.
    -HTC GHI sucks because it’s antenna is on the wrong end. I only buy mine with antennas on the rear like God intended, not on the front. And adding antennas to the front and back adds weight, complexity, and shortens battery life.
    -Samsung KLM is a monster phone for people with small members. Who needs a 5 inch screen? They’re just compensating for something.
    -Vertu NOP is blatant bling, and totally distasteful. Bring on the rap stars and housewives of Anchorage.
    -LG QRS isn’t even a smart phone, and it’s tiny. It’s marketed to the Millenials, and costs $30, but who would buy this crap? They can just buy a 1-2 year old used smart phone instead. Loser!
    -Asus TUV is great, and they should bring it back. It’s a 15 year old design, I can wrench it myself, parts are cheap, and it’s easy to mod.
    -Zenith XYZ sucks because they sold crap in the 1970′s and 80′s, and never again will I buy that brand. The imports are better!
    -Apple 123 sucks. One word: maps!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Two cars on that list that I would not be ashamed to drive or own.

    Patriot – must be the 4×4 version would prefer “Trail Rated” package, the reviews I’ve read have praised the things that Fiat has done to improve the interior and quiet the CVT. Plus if you read the Jeep forums Patriots seem to be cockroaches and can’t be killed.

    Avenger/200 – again, interior much improved, 200 actually looks nice with the new LED taillights. With the 3.6 V6 and six speed auto either one could haul butt and achieve decent fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      There are some impressive YouTube videos of Patriots doing things offroad I never would have given them credit for. None of the severe rock crawling that a Wrangler or FJ Cruiser is capable of, but terrain that certainly would dent the floorpan of a RAV4 or smash in the ridiculous snout of an Outback.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I’ve driven the new Avenger and while the interior is nice, the exterior had a good share of body-panel gaps at just 1000 miles, even one of the rear doors didn’t line up with the body..

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      The 200/Avenger is much improved over the old Sebring/Avenger but when faced with writing a check each month for a car these only become desirable if they are cheap.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    The chopped top Murano somehow looks a tiny bit better in person than it does in pictures. It also rides buttery smooth and is reasonably pleasant to drive, however, I wouldn’t buy one.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    With the Crosstour, ZDX, and 5 Series GT on here, it’s apparent that many of us here don’t like the entire segment of 4-door coupe-roofed stilted hatchbacks. And while that may just be bias & personal taste, it is bias I certainly agree with. I think it’s a stupid class of vehicle.

    The Smart ForTwo is the one objectively horrible car on here.

    I feel some empathy for the Patriot. Yeah, it’s a nasty-driving econobox with the world’s worst cheapo seats, but with the optional Freedom Drive offroad group, it is a surprisingly capable and affordable off-road trucklet.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    The patriot is the car that nobody wants, but a few people need? I suppose if you bought one for a really big discount, then the value is okay. Did Chrysler make a profit on it though? And, if you can’t kill one, is it really durable, or are the repairs just cheap? Or were they such strippers that there is nothing to break?

    Are the owners really hoping the car will die because its such a penalty box?

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      The rear seats could be more supportive, but other than that I quite like it. 4WD lock option. Much more useful around town in the coming years with the four cylinder engine too. Affordable trucklet.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I have no idea what the margins are on the Patriot (or Compass) but they did sell a lot of these twins last year. So at least 102,245 people felt the value proposition of the Compass/Patriot was good enough.

      The Patriot in reality acutally ticks off quite a few of the enthusiast boxes. Affordable AWD/4WD stick shift wagon that is surprisingly capable off road.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Try to find a stick on dealer lots with 4×4… although the CVT has been the more trouble free choice if you read the forums.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Of course the stick shift isn’t a popular option like on most other cars. But it’s there for ordering or dealer trade from the dealers who do have them that are eager to ditch stick shift lot poison.

  • avatar

    I think the ZDX is actually one of the best four-door-coupe implementations out there, and it’s on the already-stellar MDX platform. I wouldn’t think the Volt should be on that list, but it’s probably politics that got it there. And how did the Escalade make the list and not the ridiculously-subpar Navigator…

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I don’t get all the hate for the Escalade. Forget its stigma and pricetag, as a vehicle it isn’t bad. It has a big V8 and is damn quick. It can seat 7/8 and tow a huge amount. It is mechanically reliable and has a noce interior. Sure it may not be the most fuel efficent, but it isn’t the worst either. This is the last real Cadillac left.

    How is this worse than a Chevy Colorado?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      This is the last real Cadillac left.

      For those of us who still stare lustily at 60s Cadillacs that statement brings tears to our eyes with the sting of cold, hard, truth.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …How is this worse than a Chevy Colorado?…

      That’s a good point, didn’t think about that.

      Same acid test – if you had to drive cross country and your choices were an Escalade or a Colorado, the straight faced decision is a Colorado? REALLY?!?!

      In its ever narrowing niche its a dinosaur and not all that competitive, so in that apple to apple comparison, it probably does belong here. But the TWAT list didn’t seem like an apple-to-apple exercise.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “How is this worse than a Chevy Colorado?”

        Cost, I suppose. Though I’d have other personal reasons, as described below.

        “Same acid test – if you had to drive cross country and your choices were an Escalade or a Colorado, the straight faced decision is a Colorado? REALLY?!?!”

        The Escalade would probably have a better stereo so that would seal it in the summer. But right now? I’d take a Colorado with a manual transmission. I wouldn’t want to drive on icy highways with a powerful road-isolating vehicle utilizing any sort of electronic AWD system. With a manual transmission, real 4WD, and the ability to feel what the tires are doing, it’s no problem at all to use cruise in even the worst road conditions. That would be Canada I’d be driving across, BTW!

      • 0 avatar
        potatobreath

        rpn453, I don’t see how the Escalade’s full-time AWD system differs very much from the Colorado’s part-time 4WD. From what I understand on Wikipedia and GM’s website, the Escalade has all four wheels driven through an open centre differential, relying on the brakes to prevent excess wheelspin. Is the Colorado less prone to wheelspin and getting stuck?

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      I haven’t been in one lately, but when I was last, it rattled, had horrid plastics (for the price) and build quality was disappointing for something that you pay luxury money for.

      I honestly don’t see why you would ever buy one over a Suburban or Tahoe. And the owner at the time agreed. His next car was a Tahoe. The Escalade is not a bad car by most metrics, but a bad luxury car? Yes.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “The Escalade is not a bad car by most metrics, but a bad luxury car? Yes.”

        Yeah, but you can get tacky white leather seats that reflect sunlight in your eyes and 22s from the factory, so the bangers love it.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “This is the last real Cadillac left.”

      I’m not particularly sympathetic to this belief, even though it’s commonly expressed around here. Cadillac had to evolve too, and some traditions need to die.

      If all they had left were pseudo-luxo-barges, Cadillac would have gone the way of Pontiac in the bankruptcy. People under the age of 70 stopped buying that crap ages ago, and rightfully so. And there won’t be enough people who like that sort of car around soon enough to sustain the sales (besides, so many of them are buying Corollas, Camrys, and Avalons now).

      In order to survive as a brand, they need something younger people will buy, and that’s why Cadillac is smart to have the ATS and the CTS, despite many TTAC’ers complaints about Cadillac running the Nürburgring. Oddly, youngsters also buy the Escalade, but for different reasons than “it’s a real Cadillac [under some outdated definition].”

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Escalade has been nothing more than a “tarted up” Chevy (or GNC) SUV w/ that garish, overly “blingy” grill.

      Now, having said that, it’s no worse than the Lincoln, Lexus or Infiniti versions of their pedestrian full-size SUVs – so doesn’t belong on this list.

      The new Escalade should be a huge improvement – not only having a more differentiated sheetmetal, but a more luxurious interior.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Really?

      The Escalade is nothing more than a “tarted up” Yukon or Tahoe (granted, it’s the same deal w/ the Lexus, Infiniti and Lincoln full-size SUVs).

      Having said that, it’s been a long time since there has been a “real” Cadillac (not since the 50s-60s).

      The new CTS and the Omega flagship should change all that.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I can’t say any car on this list surprises me – and the hate for the Volt is well known on this site.

    I’m surprised the Volt made number ten and other duds like the Leaf, ILX, or iQ didn’t.

    Given the choice of driving cross country in a Volt or an iQ – people here would pick the iQ?!?! It scored a “29″ on Consumer Reports, coming in by one point as the second worst car you can buy from a driving dynamics standpoint behind the Smart.

    Not a shock it made the list – just think there were some better tenth place choices.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      I’ve seen a surprising amount of iQs on the roads in sparsely populated Maine. I can’t say the same for the Volt. Of course the Volt costs twice as much. But I guess the iQ does have its buyers even though I thought they’d never sell when I first heard of it. I’m sad that no Suzukis made the list. My local dealer still shows 16 new cars in inventory. I’d say all 16 of those are TWATs.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        That’s surprising. I’m not even sure I’ve seen an iQ on the road here in California. I may have seen one parked somewhere once, but not sure.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        I’ve never seen a Volt on the road in Hampton Roads. Saw quite a few (probably half a dozen at least) in just one day near DC last summer.

        I saw what *might* have been an iq this week, but wasn’t close enough. I see so many cars that I usually only notice something that my mind doesn’t immediately register. That’s why the Murano CC stuck out like the sore thumb it is yesterday.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Not only the Leaf, but the Prius-C (says something when the Corolla is a much more fun car to drive) and the Mitsu i-MiEV.

      And agreed, the iQ should be on the list.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    *complains about BMW*

    *swans*

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’m surprised that two or three of my picks made the list, I have to say that I agree with this list as most of these vehicles have issues that are simply unacceptable in this day and age.

    Though I’m not sure about the Volt, I like GMs idea of an electric drivetrain that charges itself via a gas generator but I don’t like the price nor the typically hybrid roof nor the styling nor the 2014 Chevy Corvette tailights…

  • avatar
    tobias89

    I seriously don’t get the smart hate other than people being insecure in their manliness. Sidenote: If people are ignorant and believe everything on the internet is true atleast put a picture of the updated smart, not an older one in a color they haven’t made in 4 years… Fact: It has better EPA rated mpg than any other gas powered nonhybrid in America. Yes new cars are coming closer but the smart is a 6 year old design and is soon to be replaced. Its received highest crash test ratings in every category and has 8 airbags and a roll cage. It has more trunk space than my Z4 but no one ever complains about the Z4 being to small do they? What car for under 20K do you get leather, power windows/locks/wipers/headlights, pano roof, heated seats, surround sound,paddle shifters, sat nav, auto climate control,5 year warranty, replacable and dent proof panels that don’t need to be painted and a drop top? Everyone that has never driven one says ohh the transmision… Its an automated manual. It drives different, but if you just keep your foot still and don’t floor it mid shift it will not “buck” any more than any other car would. I also don’t get why people throw safety into the mix for the smart but not for every single motorcycle. Motorcycles are fine but ohh no 8 airbags and doors! DEATHTRAP!! The car has sold over a million units and sales are up something like 96% this year. Its at the end of its lifecycle so yeah it needs some work. But everyone thats never driven a smart and blindly shoots it down gtfo….

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      It may get better mileage than other non-hybrids but not enough to justify its other shortcomings. Toyota dealers should keep one on hand as a way toi sell two and three year old Corollas.

      Since when did a Z4 become the standard for cargo capacity? Compared to an MGB its huge. People don’t complain about a Z4 being small because it is a fun car; there is nothing fun about a Smart.Dodge

      Base model Grand Caravan bumpers from the late 1990′s didn’t have any paint on them and they look great now don’t they? Kind of like the body side moldings on my kid’s Volvo 1995 850.

      For those looking for an upright two seater with marginal power that isn’t offset by substantially incresed fuel economy the Smart is the car for them, a market that apparently is less than 1000 cars per month. For 2012 Smart sold approximately what Alfa Romeo did in its best year in the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        joeveto3

        When the smart’s arrival in the US was announced, I was very excited. I had seen them in Toronto,and I wanted one badly. Mabye it’s the motorcyclist in me, or the minimalist, but the smart just made sense.

        I saw one in person, at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, loved it, and put down a deposit.

        Then they announced we wouldn’t get the diesel. And cruise control couldn’t be had. The mileage was less than expected.

        Fine.

        But then I drove it. Honestly, the transmission wasn’t the issue. For me, it was the handling. The wide rear track and resultant slow responses killed it for me. It felt like a large car, not a small, fun, tossable go-cart.

        So I yanked my deposit and the wife and I bought a Fit Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Have you driven a Corolla lately? That should’ve been one of the winners – gutless, soft, horrendously cheap, numb, and just worse in every possible way than the much maligned 2012 Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      tobias89

      Your argument is that the bottom trim isn’t painted on base models? Really? It’s not like Buick or Subaru do the same thing with clading. And the mid and upper levels all have that painted. I’m talking about the body panels themselves are molded in color so in the event of a crash you can replace the body for a fraction of the cost, you can pull em off and replace them in your driveway with a wrench, no paint required. Last time I priced it you can replace the entire front end, fenders, bumper, and hood for around 1200. And btw cruise control is an option. I love the handling on mine. And as far as poor mpg when the smart came over the highway mpg was rated 41 and I consistently get that at 80 mph. Compared to the other cars that start at 12k its a hell of alot more fun than a Versa or a Rio.

      • 0 avatar
        joeveto3

        Cruise is an option now, along with some other fun stuff that wasn’t available 5 years ago. Surround Sound anyone? At what point is a car so small that the audio option amounts to a

        Better pair of headphones? Our car has active noise cancelling! Seriously, I read the extensive list of speakers they are throwing in the smart car’s Surround Sound package, and wonder where they find room for it all. But good for them. It probably sounds amazing given the relatively small space.

        After reading these posts, I went back to the website, and built another smart. It reminded me again, why I wouldnt buy one, even if the car does appeal to me. After adding only a wheel option and the cruise control package, I end up with nearly a $17,000 car, or roughly what we paid for our 09 Fit Sport brand new.

        From a value standpoint, the smart falls on its face.

        Does anyone know why they never offered a traditional stick shift for what is essentially a manual trabsmission? I thunk it would make the car more fun and address what appears to be a significant objection to the car.

      • 0 avatar
        tobias89

        I still don’t see why the smart is less of a value? The base Passion level smart is 14,900 + 750 delivery= 16,000. The most expensive wheel package is 550. So let’s compare 17k dollar cars. For 17k you can get a stripped base fit for 17,015 after delivery. For 17k you can get a smart with heated seats, fog lamps, sur. sound, security system and led running lamps.
        So for 17k in the Fit vs smart advantages you get:
        *A backseat
        *More storage
        *steel wheels
        *30 mpg combined

        In a 17k smart vs Fit advantages you get:
        *Panoramic roof
        *Rims
        *Surround Sound
        *Fogs
        *Led running lamps
        *heated seats
        *36 mpg combined
        *Auto wipers
        *Auto lights
        *Auto climate control
        *twice the number of airbags
        *paddle shifters
        *Full security system
        *locking gas cap

        The smart may not be for everyone, but features for the money its hard to beat. Especially since most options are a lacarte and not some huge expensive package full of crap you don’t want.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    I’m not sure what livery company has them, but I’ve seen 535 GTs as black cars (although it’s possible it’s the same one I’ve seen 3-4 times). I guess the hatch allows better cargo space for suitcases for the airport runs?

    Ugly as hell, but then again, you have the MKT Town Car edition as the other choice.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It has the room of a 7-series for the price of a 5-Series, and yes, more room for bags in the back than either sedan. And the elevated seating and longer rear doors make it easy to get in and out of. Very practical, but still very ugly. But I too see no reason for it to be on this list. The X6 is FAR more deserving, if you need to bash a BMW that thing has no Earthly reason for existing!

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The Escalade makes the list because rappers like them? This is the only real Cadillac left for gods sake. Yes it’s over priced but so are most of it’s competitors. A better nomination would be the Tundra which is in it’s 7th model year unchanged save replacing the old timing belt 4.7 with a more modern 4.6. The odd ball elongated hard to see out of rear window, the lowest mileage ratings (aside from the Titan), the worst dash ever to grace a pickup truck, the weaker C-frame with resulting quivering bed and the light hollow tinny sound doors relegate this turd to last resort status in my book.

    I would also replace the Volt with the fugly useless Nissan Puke(Juke)

  • avatar
    jcisne

    Honorable mention for Honda for making the same mistake twice, first with the ZDX and then with the Crosstour.

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    My sister has had a Patriot for the past 4 years (purchased new) and it has been nothing but dead reliable. Hasn’t has a single issue with it.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Well, at least my choice, Fisker Karma, made the Top Ten.

    And P.S. +1 on the ZDX…

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Looks like we voted purely on exterior styling. That’s kind of embarrassing.

  • avatar
    Patricio la Estrella

    I thought this was supposed to be a humorous bit?

    Seems like you put about six seconds of thought into it.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I’d have to disagree on the Patriot and the Volt.

    The Patriot is roomy, decent-looking, and a good value for 4WD.

    The Volt may be a bad value, but it isn’t a bad car. It only suffers from guilt by association with GM.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The Volt isn’t merely suffering guilt by association. The bad value you mentioned is picked up by the country as a whole, whether we want it or not. We subsidize GM for making it. We subsidize $170K income households for buying it. We subsidize drivers with charging stations that cost so much that we’d be better off buying their gas and their groceries and paying their mortgages. On top of that, it really is a cramped, heavy car that doesn’t use electricity or gasoline efficiently.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Several of those things don’t apply to the Volt alone.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Same thing applied when Toyota 1st launched the Prius.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The US government bailed out Toyota a decade ago for squandering all their money on non-profitable activities? The US government gave $7,500 tax breaks to households with an average income of $170K to buy Priuses? Various local governments spent millions on chargers for Prius drivers that can never be utilized in a way that makes the expenditure rational due to charging rates, while the federal and state governments did the same through tax breaks to crony companies? The Prius wasn’t a plug-in hybrid, so you’re obviously willing to say anything with no regard for broadcasting your ignorance or the truth.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @CJinSD:

        I agree with you most of the time, but not on this one. The only criticism of the Volt that applies to the car itself is the tight interior and alleged inefficiency. The rest of your complaint really is assigning guilt by association.

        There are Volt owners who fall into the ideal circumstance, who haven’t bought gasoline in months by running only in EV mode, which is very efficient.

        I was no fan of the Volt, and I’m still dubious of its value, but this article is about the cars themselves.

        As for charging stations, I bought my Level 2 charger from Home Depot for $750. In PA, it has no subsidy. I don’t know what the average income is for Leaf drivers, but ours is much less than $170k.

        For perspective, US farm subsidies (of which I am no fan) have averaged $21 billion annually for the last 17 years, in 2011 dollars. The subsidies for the 50k EVs sold in the US last year totalled $0.5 billion. That’s what a single flight of the Space Shuttle used to cost.

  • avatar
    agent534

    The Patriot does not belong on this list.
    It is the best compact suv out there. Factor in the cost it is a hands down winner compared against the competition. In a world of overpriced Escapes and Rav4s, the styling alone was enough to make me consider it as a new suv for the wife and soon to be kid ( make no mistakes though, I’d drive it everyday myself no questions asked). One qualifier is it needs to be the manual transmission, my wife has no problems with a standard, so we were set. The 2012s have $2500 cash back on them, with that money on the hood its an unbeatable deal! We got our 2012 with 4wd, power windows/keyless, A/C, & the wheel and tire package for under $18k. I couldn’t find a used 2012 Escape near that, forget the 2013 restyle Escapes, fugly. We purchased out of state and got about 29.5 mpg on the over 500 mile ride home. The seats never felt uncomfortable on the whole trip. If you are shopping, start with a Patriot Sport and add what you want to it, the Lattitudes jump up in price for no real reason I can see. The only option we wish we got was the uconnect system for bluetooth handsfree calls, we’ll be adding an aftermarket stereo with it but it’ll cost close to the factory option when we are done. I wasn’t a fan of the auto trans CVT, the mpg goes down, and it keeps the engine in a noisier power range, but the 2014 with the 6 speed auto would fix that. This is a brand name suv, its not a Kia or Hyundai ( :P I know who they shared platform and engine development with). Sure people will try and say its not a real Jeep or really trail rated, but it is the only cuv even worthy of the argument.
    Seriously, the Patriot is on the list, but not the Compass which is the same truck with a lot uglier sheet metal?
    The Patriot is a winner in my book.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Unfortnately the vast majority of Patriots sold have the cvt transmission which makes them absolutely miserable. To spend 50 or 100 thousand miles in one of these would be horrible.

      • 0 avatar
        potatobreath

        Acd, did you drive the Patriot for very long? I haven’t had any driveability problems with the CVT. I have gotten the Caliber to spin the front wheel too. True, the transmission is slow to kick down when you stomp on it, but there’s a low range selector or AutoStick if you have to get going in a hurry. I wouldn’t mind driving fifty thousand miles in a CVT car. Great for hills.

        For what it’s worth, I quite like Ford’s PowerShift transmissions, Nissan’s Xtronic CVT and Toyota’s oft-maligned four speed automatics too. Plus, I like shifting on my motorcycle.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Agent– Hate to break it to ya, but that 6-speed automatic is from Hyundai.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    The Murano convertible must be an epic flop in the marketplace . Here in Houston I have seen exactly one . I’ve seen more Fisker Karmas – two of those . The Murano convertible , the Juke and the Versa sedan are some of the ugliest cars on the road , IMHO , the worst Nissan styling since the F10 .

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I don’t get it, what’s so wrong with the Fisker Karma? To me it’s a much better car than Teslas.

    It looks better to me both inside and out. It’s range extended and is going through some teething issues. I still like it with, and if I could afford one, there’s a good chance I’d put one in my garage today.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Not a gd thing other than some development issues, which are tiny compared to what that thieving filthy scumbag Musk pushed out the door with ridiculously priced Teslas (which insult the great man they’re named after).

      Frankly, it’s one of the sexiest 4-doors since the original XJ-6 back in the day. I truly hope everything on it breaks and they end up selling for pennies on the dollar.

      I’ll rip everything out and stick 800HP of some MB V8 gas in it, or 1000+ HP of electric motors and a total loss battery system with a range of maybe 20 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        I don’t know what you’re talking about. Musk is getting it done; Fisker is a mess. Tesla is an American car company; do you know how hard it is to start and maintain a car company in the US, or anywhere? Tesla’s already sold over 5000 cars, well on their way to passing Delorean’s 9000 mark. Meanwhile, Fisker’s factory hasn’t produced a car in 6 months.

        Just how would you price a car that can go from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, such as the Tesla Roadster?

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        Musk has never run a company that was profitable by virtue of sales -ever.

        PayPal was a money loser until well after he sold it, Tesla is at least $200MM in the hole even after Toyota’s PR gift, and SpaceX is just Military Industrial Complex largesse writ semi-small.

        Musk has proven a very successful BSer, but he has NEVER made money selling product. Ever. Fisker is a real company trying to make money selling boutique cars – which is far harder than being an ever moving target flim-flam man.

        You’re right, selling cars is hard. And were Musk/Tesla to live and die by their P&L, they wouldn’t have sold the cars that Tucker did. He’s a Bricklin-esque pile of bovine excrement that makes old theivin’Malcolm look principled.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I agree with porschespeed about Musk, but I’m not sure why he thinks more highly of Fisker, who contracted the Fins to build absurd cars until OPM ran out.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        CJinSD,

        I think more highly of Fisker because they actually designed a whole frakkin’ (IMHO sexy car) they didn’t just electric kit-car convert a Lotus.

        You’re right, they weren’t building it here and they had some OPM. But the amount of OPM (let alone their debt) pales in comparison to Musk’s pile of Barnum. He’d have to sell 500K to break even, and he never will.

        That’s why I think like that.

  • avatar
    rporter

    Not going into a long rant but the Smart Car is not the Worst Car in the World. It’s not for everyone but it does what some people want very well. It will cruse in comfort all day at 80 plus and give mpg in the 40s. It can climb Pikes peak with no difficulty faster than a Jeep. Is not faster at stop lights than a Ferrari but using the paddle shifter it is in no ones way other than children in muscle cars. It is a bit goofy looking. It will take a rear end hit from a Camry and drive away while the Camry bleeds coolant. Owned one for 3 years and traded for a 3 series BMW because tired of comments from wife and others but would take it back.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Do you mean a WWII Jeep? Any Jeep sold since about 1987 is faster, at least in markets where diesels haven’t been offered. The US ones don’t return 40 mpg at high speeds, since our gallons aren’t imperial. Whatever they have going for them, you’re not describing it accurately.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    If they could give me a smart with a 55mpg diesel for 15k I would buy one, here they are offering them for lease @ $99 a month.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Were they available in the US, they would have sold 100K per year…

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Where is here? They offer diesel Smarts for $99 a month? How much is due at signing for 55 mpg diesel smart? Where I live, one can rent an electric Smart by the minute. I turned down 30 minutes for free, but a super efficient diesel for $99 a month is tempting.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        CJ, I really want to believe someone is somehow getting the diesels in.

        But according to their website and every non-blackmarket Smart I’ve ever seen, or heard about, there is no Smart diesel available through conventional channels in the USA.

        The $99 lease is on the website, but it’s for a US spec 3-pot gas engine.

  • avatar
    JeganV

    I’ve had the displeasure of driving 2 of these entries. The Avenger/200 and Patriot and they’re very deserving of worst automobiles today. Although I’d personally pick the Compass before the Patriot because that’s actually a pointless vehicle. If I had my way I’d probably find a way to add the Journey, its worse than a Caravan or for that matter any van in every single way). People who say there isn’t a actual bad car left on the market haven’t driven a Chrysler/Dodge designed during the Daimler Chrysler days. Ignoring the Ram and maybe the Wrangler, the rest were dreadful, pick a aspect you desired in a car and they did it badly. The day the 200/Avenger, Compass, Patriot, Journey are completely redone or removed altogether, that’s the day there are no actual bad cars left in the traditional sense.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    Say what you will about the Smart Fortwo; having had the chance to drive one recently, I love the little stinker. Before I even started and drove the car, I appreciated the narrow cabin for allowing me easily to lean over and adjust the passenger mirror. Visibility is pretty good, except around the thick B-pillar and the top of the windshield, which is too low. Ergonomics are nearly faultless. The climate controls are easy to use. The shifter feels nice in my hand. The ignition slot between the seats is kinda fun, as is the gentle clatter of the 3-cylinder engine behind you (especially at startup). Yes, the transmission is profoundly terrible, but the learning curve for smooth driving is pretty shallow. Did I mention that I actually like the engine note? Handling is surprisingly composed for such a small vehicle. The seats are very supportive and comfortable (although, again, the high hip point leaves me craning to see stoplights sometimes). The Smart Fortwo makes a lot of compromises for the sake of being small and seating just two people, but it’s a much more pleasant drive than, say, the outgoing Nissan Sentra or Honda Insight.

  • avatar
    rporter

    No I mean a modern US jeep. Did it and the two guys in front of me were in my way. Say what you will I regularly got in the mid 40s on long 80 mph crushing w/o ac on. I like cars but would never comment in detail about one I never owned. Don’t know anything about Jeeps for example. Had a 5 liter Mustang great fun but assembed by monkeys and designed by people who did not know how to spell ergonomics. Another story. In the Rockies on dirt roads I was on a BMW SUV ass on every corner. He lost me on straight but I always caught up until we hit long pavement no surprise he had 3 times the power but Smart was great fun and I don’t think he expected me to stay with him as long as I did. I do know about British sports cars. Own TR6, GT6 and MGBGT v8. All great fun but Smart in many ways more comfortable, corners as well or better and in many situations is as fast or faster. It’s the future and not the worst thing out there.


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