Category: Ten Worst Autos

By on October 18, 2006

toyota2222.jpgThank you for helping The Truth About Cars select the Ten Worst Automobiles Today: The TWAT Awards. We’ve been most gratified by your enthusiastic participation in this important exercise in automotive criticism. Although RF has been busy deleting over-zealous nominations and flame-broiled retaliations, the vast majority of you have made strong and eloquent arguments for a whole mess of incredibly weak products. The nomination process will continue for the remainder of this week. To help avoid carpel scroll syndrome, please continue to submit your nominations underneath this post. Meanwhile, a quick summary of the action so far…

As of last night, our gentle readers have nominated 115 separate vehicles for a TWAT. (Yes, anal retentive car hack that I am, I’m making a spreadsheet of all your nominations, including your main objections to each vehicle.) The early results have been a bit surprising, in the sense of a Hellfire missile streaking off a Predator out of the clear blue sky. While the selection process is not a one-man, one vote process (I refer you to the Rules of Engagement in yesterday’s post), check out fourth place in our top ten most nominated list.

Jeep Compass
Subaru B9 Tribeca
GM Minivans (joint)
Toyota Camry
Chevy Impala
Chevy Monte Carlo
Chrysler Sebring
Chevy Aveo
Chrysler Aspen
Hummer H2

Who’d a thunk it: a completely unrepresentative sample of pistonheads considers one of the most popular cars in America a TWAT. The most common complaints surround the Camry’s faux-Chris Bangle style and its utter lack of dynamic character. Clearly, our esteemed [unpaid] contributors haven’t pulled any punches in their assessments. Here are a few of the many comments made so far:

Jeep Compass:

This insult to a legendary brand’s image has got to be one of the dumbest and poorly executed vehicles out there, and will eventually prove to be Jeep’s biggest mistake. – Hutton

Saturn Ion:

I actually felt sorry for the earnest Saturn sales associate riding with me who had to sell this clunker against a Civic, Corolla or Focus – geeber

Chrysler Crossfire:

Looks like they took a 1967 AMC Marlin and put it in the hot-wash for too long, then into the dryer for too long, badge-engineered a Chrysler grill, slapped ‘er on there and shazam, y’all. Lookidad! Wow, UGLY. – Glenn

Monte Carlo:

That thing could handle like a lotus and wail like a ferrari and it still wouldn’t be able to get past its looks. Let’s not forget, though, that it in fact handles like a wheelbarrow and wails like my lawnmower. – Mitch Yelverton

Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky:

It’s like that beautiful supermodel who has to ruin it by opening her mouth, at which time you realize she has a less than room temperature IQ – nweaver

Saab 9-2x:

In a drunken stupor, Saab said “We need an entry-level model capable of attracting young buyers to Saab’s sporting nature, but we don’t want to actually develop anything.” That’s verbatim, or so I’ve heard. – JoeO

Toyota Camry:

In every form it has taken, it has progressively destroyed the soul of anyone who dares sit behind its rudder. – murphysamber

Cadillac Escalade:

Oversized for those with undersized original equipment – alanp

Jeep Compass:

Why do they need the Compass and the Patriot in the lineup? Wasn’t one road-bound Jeep vehicle enough of a disgrace? – gotsmart

GM Minivans:

It looks like the designers could not figure out if they wanted to design a minivan or a SUV. So they took the worst parts of both and stuck them together. – gcmustanglx

Ford Focus:

Once a proud contender for the most recalls on record award, now a forgotten out-of-date bargain basement sedan/hatch. – KurtB

Acura RL:

This vehicle has the uncanny ability to suck the soul right out of my body in the same way as a trip to Costco. – Austin Green

Ford Freestar:

One can see the lack of refinement just with one glance. The metal parts and whatnots underneath the car were jutting out at weird, oblique angles. And even though I’ve only witnessed the Ford Freestar as a passenger and not as a driver (thank you jesus) I can say with confidence that I’d rather ride in a ‘92 Toyota Camry. – Nam Duong

International MXT:

It’ll get you looked at! Just like if you stuffed a potato in your Speedo. – Ty Webb

Mitsubishi Raider:

Didn’t care for the new Dakota, so the Raider is like salt-dipped burning shards of glass in my eyes. Ugly. – lambo

Onward and downward! There are a lot of truly, madly, deeply horrendous cars out there just waiting for someone to recognize them, or add fuel to their pyre. Let us know what they are and why they deserve a TTAC TWAT. Remember: a nominee must have been offered for sale (if not actually sold) as a new car sometime between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006.

Since this article was written, we've begun voting on the '06 TWAT awards.

Please click HERE to cast your vote on the final 10. You will be returned to the TTAC home page.

By on October 17, 2006

pontiac_aztek_2001_01_b22.jpgLast month, I wrote an editorial suggesting that Car Of The Year awards were little more than an advertiser-pleasing circle jerk. After sharing my dismay, several diligent readers pointed out that none of the buff books or fraternal orders of automotive junketeers dared name their “worst car of the year.” RF immediately decided to create TTAC’s first annual Ten Worst Automobiles Today (a.k.a. the TWAT awards). The TTAC team felt strongly that you, our esteemed visitors, should play an important role in this infamous endeavor. We’re asking you to nominate vehicles that deserve a TWAT. Please read the rules and instructions before posting your selection or selections.

 2006 TTAC Ten Worst Automobiles Today (TWAT) Award

Rules of Engagement

1.  A nominee must be a vehicle that was on sale as a new vehicle in the US market between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006; regardless of price, builder, country of origin, production/sales numbers, domestic content or thinly-veiled threats from manufacturers.

2.  Nominations may be deleted without prior warning or explanation for any of the following reasons: insufficient justification, excessively verbose or boring prose, foul language, patent absurdity or flame throwing.

3.  NO PERSONAL ATTACKS ALLOWED Flaming or trolling is strictly verboten. Offending comments will be deleted. Persistent violators will be permanently banned from this site. No joke. 

4.  Poorly badge-engineered twins (or triplets) can be nominated for a joint TWAT if they all suck equally. If the twins or triplets qualify, they will enter the final selection and judging process as a single vehicle.

5.  TTAC staff will select 20 finalists from the nominees, taking into consideration the number of nominations received, how well the nominations were justified, our personal opinions of the vehicles in question and how much we’ve had to smoke or drink beforehand.

6.  Readers will vote (via an electronic survey) on the 20 final nominees to determine the top ten TWATs in America. Bribes and multiple votes are allowed and encouraged, as long as you don’t use a nominating software bot. (Anyone who crashes our server will be banned from the site for all time.) Although it’s highly unlikely, the selection committee reserves the right to throw out any winner and substitute another vehicle if we don’t like what you choose, or for reasons relating to personal payback.

7.  We will present the 20 finalists for e-voting as soon as we can find the appropriate software, and think the time is right. Less specifically, the "winners" will be announced on this site sometime before the annual deluge of awards bestowed on some decidedly mediocre machines by the usual suspects. Winning manufacturers will not be notified of their nomination or award, and we will not create a goofy looking statuette to dishonor the winning TWATs.

Although we have no doubt that our highly informed and deeply passionate readers are fully capable of identifying  automobiles that should have never seen the light of day, machines that often sit on dealer lots with ten foot pole marks littering their sides, here are some factors that may help your decision making process.

1.)  An aesthetic affront. It would certainly help if the nominated vehicle is at least slightly ugly.

2.)  An overall lack of quality in design and workmanship. Cheap materials, poor ergonomics and/or lousy fit and finish all increase a vehicle’s chances of victory.

3.)  Technological insufficiency. An underpowered, harsh and/or noisy engine, outdated transmission, inferior brakes or fear-of-God handling will add to the vehicle’s overall undesirability.

4.)  Despicable parentage. Your choice of automotive abomination could be the result of poorly executed badge engineering– slapping a new grille and a few body and trim modifications on an already mediocre vehicle and trying to pass it off as an exciting new model. Or it could be a vehicle that’s just a dumb idea, a market segment misfit or an answer to a question no one asked (or ever will).

Of course, an ideal TWAT would be a synergistic combination of all of these factors. Those are the miserable motors we’re looking for. If someone has already nominated your favorite, please don’t add a “me too” comment– unless you provide additonal reasons why the vehicle is a really good (bad?) candidate for a TWAT. 

OK, go on now: tell the truth about cars. Thank you, in advance, for helping TTAC launch its TWAT.

Since this article was written, we've begun voting on the '06 TWAT awards.

Please click HERE to cast your vote on the final 10. You will be returned to the TTAC home page.

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