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.

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125 Comments on “TTAC’s Ten Worst Automobiles Today (TWAT) Award Continued...”


  • avatar
    1984

    I did not participate but…The Camry?… Really?

    I don’t particularly like the car at all but… the worst car of 06?

    I guess it’s always fashionable to hate on the NY Yankees.

  • avatar
    Snowdog

    I’ve really got to disagree about including the Aveo. Yes it doesn’t have all the gee whiz gizmos that most cars have nowadays. But i’ve owned one since May of 04, and use it hard in my job as a field tech. After 67,000 miles so far, (around 3000 miles per month) averaging 30mpg in town, with the only problem i’ve encountered was a hose burst around 60k, I’d say it doesn’t deserve to be on the list of the worst cars by a long shot.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    I don’t believe for a second that either the Camry or RL belong in this Rogue’s Gallery. Honda…err Acura is famous for making very proficient vehicles that fail to inspire the soul. Uninspiring does not equal bad. The Camry commits the same sin, but really cannot be condemned for it. In this car, Toyota is giving America what it wants: a generally well-executed mid-family car. The Camry is no worse that its main competition: the Accord.

    The biggest reason for leaving both on the list is that Subaru would be the only foreign representative left on the list if the RL and Camry exit. But haven’t we been saying for AGES that the fundamental problem with Detroit is that they build cars no one wants to buy???

  • avatar
    Zarba

    The Camry and RL may be boring, soulless appliances, but thay are not bad cars. Nor are they particularly ugly. Just forgettable.

    Now the Ion, on the other hand, is ugly, poorly designed, cheap, noisy, and slow. There’s your benchmark.

    The GM Minivans deserve the place of honor. I thought that nothing could top the original “dustbuster” front ends, but then GM surprises me.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    Although I totally agree with many of the Nominations yesterday, I feel most of them stem from folks who won’t remove their gearhead cap! Although the Camry is not the sportiest car around, it is utterly fantastic at what its purpose is. I feel that any car nominated should be so because is fails to achieve its own inherent goals. A “performance car” that fails to perform should get nominated (Crossfire, Solstice/Sky), an SUV that lacks Sportiness or Utility (Buick Rendevous), or an economy car that cannot compete (Chevy Cobalt & Siblings). These are the kind of conditions that warrant a nomination. I think the Solstice/Sky are some of the best looking cars for sale today, at any price, but their complete lack of build quality (Rubbermaid interior), performance (Go ecotec go!), function (Trunk, what trunk?), or value ($35K??) deem them to be giant TWAT’s.
    A TWAT is a vehicle that fails to live up to it’s purpose. If it’s purpose is to be the most comfortable, reliable, and vanilla way to get from point a to b, then the Camry is no TWAT.

  • avatar

    I think given all the unconstructive criticism by everyone here (including myself) that a TBAT (Ten Best) would be more interesting.

    What do we aspire to?

    What is(are) the ideal car(s) that TTAC holds in high regard?

    As bad as the cars we hate are how good are the cars that we love in relation?

    If the Camry is such a bad family sedan, then what is the ideal family sedan (if it even exists)?

    If it doesn’t exist, what would we like to see?

    I think TBAT would be a worthy follow-up or even precursor to TWAT.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    Does Chevy still make the SSR? That car is the pinnacle of botched product planning. Remove all the advantages of a truck (utility) and of a sports car (fun to drive) yet keep the disadvantages of each (poor handling, no utility), price it way out of reach of the demographic that may like that kind of stuff, and voila! SSR.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    On the Monte Carlo:

    Look at the design closely. It is a retro-inspired muscle car. It was the FIRST retro-inspired muscle car on the market. Yet, as usual, GM product planning made a critical mistake (FWD) and handed over all media buzz and ensuing sales to its competitors (300C, Mustang, Charger). Poor, poor GM.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    There are a lot of good cars out there. There are also a lot of awards for them, usually predicated on an editorial staff’s opinion and the advertisers’ budgets. The world doesn’t need another “however many best” award.

    What the world does need, though, is someone with the cojones to show the other end of the spectrum. That’s where the TWATs come in. We want to find the bad cars – cars that don’t live up to expectations or stated purpose, are overhyped, are poorly conceived or executed, or that elevate mediocrity to an art form. The advertisers and manufacturers need to know there’s a very vocal group of enthusiasts out here who don’t buy into their spin-doctored pollyannish view of the automotive landscape.

  • avatar
    artsy5347

    I’d vote for the Camry because it gets bigger and uglier every generation and it is to cars what novocaine is to gums. Old people want boring soulless cars thast start every day. They don’t want to love their cars, they want a tool. That, in a nutshell is what the Camry has become… a dull-as-dirt, pillowy riding, hideous lump of steel that gives no joy and shouts to other that this owner plays it safe at all costs.

    If you want to wear a big sign that you know and care NOTHING about cars, ecept what Consumer Reports tells you, just buy a Camry or Corolla and it’s mission accomplished!

  • avatar
    gunnarheinrich

    This seems to have gone from a hate DCX list to a hate GM list. I’ll back the Jeep Compass’ nomination, though. It’s a pity the Mercedes-Benz R-Class didn’t make the ignominious cut.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    Actually gunnar, if you dig through the 168 responses to the original call for nominations, you’ll find 2 nominations for the R-Class. The 10 listed are just the top 10 nominees. There are 117 nominees right now (many with just one nomination). If you feel the R-Class is worthy of a TWAT, nominate it! We’ll be giving you a list of 20 finalists from the nominees later to vote on for the final 10 winners. (The 20 nominees may or may not be the top 20 by number of nominations as stated in the original posting.)

  • avatar
    jaje

    I second that the Camry or RL should not be nominated as their designs do not fit the criteria for TWAT. Being solely boring should never be the sole factor in this determination. In no way are these 2 cars the worst of 2006 – they are just average where they should just be better.

    A TWAT has to be a car so irreprehensible in looks, quality/reliability, powertrain, execution of the final vehicle, and detriment to the brand it sells under. That is the “J-Cheap Compass” – badge engineering at its stupidest.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    artsy:

    You have given the reason why the Camry shouldn’t be on the TWAT list. The Camry delivers the boring vehicle that people who buy them want. It’s not a bad car, just a case of giving people what they want. The Camry is not ill-conceived or poorly executed.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I have to defend the Impala.for all the same reasons folks are defending the Camry.Bland should not =TWAT.
    I don’t think the SSR was sold in 2006. I guess mdanda didn,t read the rules.

  • avatar
    radimus

    Wow. The International MXT and the rest of the XT line border on the absurd. No, I’m sorry, they past that border several miles ago. They almost make an H2 look like a reasonable vehicle.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    If half the list isn’t SUVs we’re useless.

  • avatar
    artsy5347

    claude: let me be the judge of what I said. I think a car with no soul, no excitement and no personality or input to the driver deserves to be on this list. Now, be a good boy and tell somebody else what they said about Toyota.

  • avatar
    radimus

    No, the Impala and Monte are right on the list where they should be. Bland is not the issue. Any maker who builds a car with such a ludicrious amount of horsepower going only to the front wheels deserves to be on that list. Especially in a vehicle that is supposed to be built for performance.

    I will agree that the Camry doesn’t belong there. Yeah, it’s a bland transportation appliance but that’s exactly what Toyota intends it to be and it tends to be reliable. In that, they executed it perfectly whereas GM has only managed to come up with a go-fast car that will likely gravitate towards FHO’s that lurk off the shoulder of a corner.

  • avatar
    Ron

    Did Pontiac loan its Azdrek designer to Subaru? How else do you explain the Tribeca? And naming it after a funky neighborhood in lower Manhattan where almost no one owns a 7-passenger vehicle, let alone find a space to park?

  • avatar
    Commuter

    Remember one of the most hideous automotive mutants of all time – the Pontiac Aztec? Well it’s slightly better looking little brother is still out there – the Buick Rendezvous. Now there is a vehicle that should be on the top of the list, it’s neither fish nor fowl, its just foul.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    I was one of those who nominated the Camry…

    The reason I feel the Camry is deserving of the nomination is the styling. They have taken what was supposed to be a boring family sedan and attempted to add style to the exterior… It’s like putting a tuxedo on a pig… It looks stupid and makes the pig mad.

    The bangle-esque styling does not fit the utilitarian montra of the Camry… whether this is enough to warrant it being a TWAT is for the TWAT committee to decide… in the mean time, I’ll just wretch every time I see one… which is pretty often considering how many of them Toyota is selling.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Welcome to the Camry defense page. As we know, these vehicles are boring and souless, but now we learn that they also garner strong maternal instincts.

  • avatar
    kasumi

    No car shocks my conscience like the Mercedes R Class Grand Sport Tourer. Everytime I see one I assume the owner won some kind of contest. At $50K couldn’t they find something better to buy? Were Mercedes dealers turning away people in droves who just wanted a Mercedes “sporty” minivan? I didn’t see any highly-tuned Odysseys or Siennas sitting in front of mansions. That’s all it is, a sporty minivan.

    Even worse is that Mercedes keeps marketing this dog, like its some great, imaginative design. Haven’t the numbers indicated no one is interested- that the sport van market died in the 70s (or maybe with the A-Team)? Apologies to Mr. Farago, but minivans aren’t crazy or cool. They allow you to move a lot of equipment or children without: a) the child straining to get into the SUV or b) driving around with your trunk tied down with a bungee cord to hold the hockey gear.

    Everyone knows its silly, but not in the Bugatti “we’re totally crazy check this out” sort of way, but the we believe in aliens Heavens Gate sorta way.

    K.

  • avatar
    dean

    Too bad montess isn’t around to defend his TWAT-nominated Monte Carlo. It could’ve been entertaining.

    With respect to a previous comment, the critical mistake with the Monte was not making it FWD (mistake, yes, but not the critical one) but rather making it so ugly that very few people would want to be seen in it. If it looked good, fewer people would care that it was a front-driver. If this were football, the Monte would be flagged for piling on.

    Having just had another look at the Compass review, I have to add another nomination. If not one of the ten worst vehicles, it certainly qualifies as one of the ten worst ideas for a vehicle.

  • avatar
    sillyspheres

    This thread should be about nominating your TWATs, not discussing the merits of other nominations. Being nominated doesn’t mean the car is crappy, rather it simply means that one poster simply spent some time intelligently arguing why THEY feel the car deserves to be a TWAT.

    One of the reasons I like TTAC so much is that every car is fair game. TTAC rarely gushes over cars unlike the main stream automotive press.

    So let’s keep the TWAT on topic and in the spirit of TTAC.

  • avatar

    I used to own a camry (it was free). I got rid of it to get my automotive soul back. The car is first class boring. It has no road feel, it has nothing to make a pistonhead smile.

    That being said, the car got decent fuel efficiency, had a quiet interior, and a whisper quiet four cylinder. While I hated the car, I would by no means say it was a bad car. In fact, for those who are not a bunch of car guys/gals (like us here, gals included ’cause I’m sure there is one around here somewhere) the camry has everything for someone who wants a car that is an appliance.

    I have owned an Accord, and it does have that problem too, but a little less so. The accord is stiffer and sportier than the Camry, but again, it is the appliance to those who want to get from point a to b. Both the Camry and the Accord sell well, so they have no business being on the TWAT list.

    As for the RL, it is a big Honda, for better or worse. It is not for us, as in people who want a car that is fun and has a personality. However, for what Honda wanted to build, the RL hits all its goals. It also sells. There is no way I can see this car on the TWAT list.

    That leaves the only foreign car as the B9 Tribeca. As a Subaru owner, it pains me to say this, but that car absolutly belongs on this list. Mechaniclly, it is probably a fine car, and the Subaru AWD is always good. However, that car is UGLY. Like I said in the previous thread, Robert Farago so elloquently compared the front end to a part of the female anadomy. However, beyond the sheer uglyness of the B9, as well as the fact I do not like SUVs, I can find nothing else truly wrong with it that isn’t a general gripe about all SUVs.

  • avatar
    Rakinyo1

    (throwing hands in the air)

    Artsy5347
    “In every form it has taken, it has progressively destroyed the soul of anyone who dares sit behind its rudder”.

    Toyota Camry has been the best AMERICAN automobile in its segment for 9 years running.

    So let me get this right Artsy…millions of Americans have succumb to purchasing a Camry because they are settling?

    If ANY vehicle deserve to be at the top of the list it would be the Subaru Tribeca (“Flying Vagina”).

  • avatar
    veritas399

    I can’t see how the Ford Crown Victoria/Marquis is left out.

    1.It’s been years (1998) since it’s last update. So much it is even being used as a verb to mean leaving a product to wither on the vine. “We won’t crown vic the Ford Ranger”
    2. It is rated as having the worst predicted resale value by Forbes.
    3. It has poor side impact ratings by the iihs, and has a recall on its electrical system for causing fires.
    4. It is the only mass produced vehicle other than the Lincoln Town car using the ancient “Body on frame” construction instead of the newer unibody construction. This design dates back to the 1979 Ford Panther platform. This makes it heavier and have horrible body roll when turning corners.

  • avatar
    maxo

    I also nominated the Camry, it didn’t offend on all 4 points listed in yesterday’s post, but it is a serious offender in points 2 and 4.

    #2 – The new one looks eye-poppingly awful from the outside, like really really bad, worse than 96 taurus bad

    #4 – Bad business decision. Camry is the unassuming everybody car, its a nobrainer for Toyota, it totally dominates the car market. Why, then, did they decide to get adventurous in the design? They thought they would pull in a 100k more buyers in order to try and challenge the F150 sales?

  • avatar
    mikey

    The facts folks,not every Impala has 300 hp installed.The 3800 does a great job and works well with FWD.
    Yes I am pro G.M. ,somebody has to be. Having said that I won,t blindly support a product I don,t like.
    I agree the Monte Carlo should be on the TWAT list its ugly and a perfomance car should not be FWD.
    I dislike minivans in general, but the GMs qualify for a TWAT
    The Camry does not.and believe me I detest Toyotas with a passion.The sales figures alone for the Camry should knock it off the TWAT list.

  • avatar
    rashakor

    The Camry is a souless drone of a car but it is absolutely flawless piece of machinery made to accomplish what it was designed for: A to B anonymous dependable transportation. You can hardly qualify a best seller that consistently fullfill that niche, forbiding any competition (except the Accord which should then be nominated as well!) a bad car or a TWAT.
    The hatred some people are displaying to japanese cars should not cloud a judgement of what makes a WORST car!
    A twat should be a car that is totally wrong in its niche, price point, brand identity, use. The Aveo for instance IS expected to be a cheap POS, as well a the Rio. Both are very similar and none is a TWAT because there is nothing to compare them with. So there is no worse or worst!

    Examples of a good car but wrong niche: R-class and CLS
    An example of Triumph of function over style: Aztek, Xb, Tribeca, Element (these are so fugly that they are stylish in a sick-sort-of-way). Are they Twat? probably not!

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I’ll third the R-class’s nomination. Another example of a brand overextending itself for no good reason. And those atomic dog headlights?

    I didn’t vote for the Camry, but since I tested the LE model and found land-yacht handling thresholds (unacceptable for Soccer Moms, don’t even let pistonheads get in the equation), misaligned interior panels, RATTLES, high asking price (24k and its a 4-banger?) and one butt ugly design…well, I’ll nominate it too. :-)

    I really think the Jeep Commander needs to make the cut. Help me out people, every Jeep fan I talk to find this wannabe Expedition shameful. It does nothing to help the Jeep Brand, and its far from nice inside.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    veritas399,

    The Crown Vic/Marquis has been nominated. It just hasn’t been nominated enough times to make the top ten.

    The list here shows the TOP TEN nominees by number of nominations, from a list of nominees that now numbers 120. Just because any given car is listed here now, it doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily show up in the list of 20 finalists we’ll be posting in a few weeks. Conversely, a car that isn’t named here could just as easily end up on that list. Like they say, it ain’t over till the corpulent damsel performs her final aria.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    Sajeev,

    The Commander is on the list — just not in the top 10. With your endorsement it has now been nominated 5 times.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    I have a suggestion for streamlining the nomination process: atomically nominate every vehicle that comes with plastic wheel covers with widely spaced spokes that allow the black-painted steel rims underneath to be seen. Do the auto manufacturers really think that they are fooling anyone with this crap?? Any car so equipped is a disgrace and is clearly TWAT-worthy.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I’d like to also nominate the Linconl Mark Lt for the same reasons as the Zephyr, except exchange glued on and sure to fall off and fade faux chrome plastic siding for glued on Hundai tail lamps. But, I have to say the Jeep Compass is the new Aztec and deserves the top spot.

  • avatar
    salokj

    Ok, I’m going to [sort of] defend the Camry here: It’s an appliance and a f–king dependable one at that. Most of the people (and that precludes most of the people on this list) who buy one don’t give a horse’s ass about the styling or whatever. They want their toaster to make toast on the medium setting every freaking morning of their lives and they want their car to bring them to their office just after they finish their toast. I disagree completely with making this a TWAT nomination for this reason. The Camry has a job to do, and it does it in the best possible way. Yeah, you can hate the Camry, fine, I hate Tom Cruise, but that doesn’t make Tom Cruise a bad actor and the Camry is by no means a bad car.

    Now: My number one TWAT of the year (yeah, really original I know) is of course the Jeep Compass. I had seen pictures and thought it was ugly, but I went to the Mondial de l’Automobile last week and saw this thing in person. Holy shit. Ugly has a new name. All of the other problems too (non-trail rated, prostitution of the corporate name, etc) count in my decision. Plus, what the hell is DCX’s problem. You couldn’t sit in any of their vehicles. They all had “don’t mess with me, I probably have a gun” black-tinted windows which allows you to see your own face when you try to catch a glimpse of what’s inside. Christ, BMW was letting little kids with ice-cream cones sit in the new 3-series coupes and DCX wouldn’t even open the doors of the Compass.

    Other than this, I can’t really weigh in. Living in Europe makes me pissed off at a whole different set of cars. I guess I nominally nominate the Saturn Vue. I rented one when I was back in the states over the summer and spent two quality weeks with this full-sized matchbox car. I have never, ever, in my life see cheaper faux-wood. This stuff must have been grown by Dow Chemical’s cheapest Asian competitor. The fit-and-finish was second only to my new $5.00 coffee pot from French wannabe Walmart (Carrefour). The V6 did give it a nice kick, but come on, it should get better than 19/20mpg on the highway for a long trip (~500 miles) at 70/75mph. Plus the styling, god how could anyone, ever, in their right mind like this thing? It is, for me, the ugliest SUV on the road today in the USA.

  • avatar

    “There are also a lot of awards for them (good cars), usually predicated on an editorial staff’s opinion and the advertisers’ budgets. The world doesn’t need another “however many best” award.”

    Mr. Williams,
    Umm… Your first sentence kinda argues FOR a TBAT award doesn’t it?

  • avatar
    Aric124

    now that sajeev brought it up, i too will nominate the commander. when i first heard about it, then saw it in a missy elliot video, i thought hmmm they want in on the bling. unfortunately when i saw one in person and learned about what it really was… I drive around in an ’05 grand cherokee which is quite handsome, cruises great… yada yada. the commander is a GC with another half ton piled on, a crappy third row, and detuned style and aerodynamics. they killed the origional cherokee just to reincarnate it as THAT!?!

    the R-Class AMG sounds pretty awesome. too bad i would have to save for… probrably most of my life to be able to haul 7 people around comfortably at an obviously illegal 155mph. so in the more “affordable” 50k+ iteration… mmm not convinced. if its purpose is to add sport to the mini-v… its hard to put my rationale into words so just consider this a nomination.

    Yeah CSV for the win…democratic nominee anyone?

    Aspen as well. consider me joining the band-wagon with this one. i’ve witnessed and experienced the recent durango. why would you ruin a completely sub-standard suv by raising its price then releasing an awfully confusing and incoherent commercial about it? theres two sides to my SUV? wth are you talking about? shoot for the commercial alone i would nominate it. lucky for me, the idea/product sucks at what its suppose to be- a DCX Escalade.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    Why does the world need more “Ten Best” awards? If TTAC did a TBAT it would just be another one, even though would be untainted by advertising bias. There are so many “best” awards no one pays much attention to them any more, so why bother?

  • avatar
    dulcamara

    I drove a rental Chevy Cobalt last week. It’s a TWAT. Consider this a nomination.

    The whole design is cheap. I had it for three days, and soulless/ugly/flimsy are the kindest things I can say about. It reminds me of the 62 Ford Falcon my mother used to drive.

    Driving a POS like this makes you wonder how this country ever won any wars.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    I find it difficult to take seriously any survey that sees the Toyota Camry in that light. it is absurd to say the least. The Camry is a highly evolved vehicle that gives it’s buyers EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. I would guess that a person’s hatred for the car has more to do with the crap-kicking it’s given and continues to give to it’s ‘domestic’ competition. It is an excellent car and no way should it be in this list.

    my $0.02 worth!

  • avatar
    MW

    I’m surprised no one has yet nominated the Dodge Ram SRT-10 or whatever it is they call their pickup with the Viper 10-cyl engine stuffed into it. At $50K, it’s the perfect vehicle for anyone who needs to haul mulch blindingly fast (in a straight line only, of course) while achieving less than 10 mpg doing so. For the money, you could just buy a sports car AND a truck, each of which would be better at doing what they do well AND get better mileage doing so. Of course, that would negate the one benefit of the Ram, which is making the driver look like a hyper-macho idiot.

    On another note, what’s with hating on the Xb and the Element? It seems like some folks just can’t stand styling that isn’t traditionally “flowing.”

  • avatar
    nweaver

    A couple more from me:

    The Zephyr: Take a nice streached Mazda6 (The Fusion, or the nice interior option of the Milan), and put some tasteless blinging and an outragous pricetag on it, and wonder why nobody buys it?

    The H3: An even more wussed out Hummer that’s a modded Colorodo (complete with I5 engine), which is nothing more than a rebadged pickup from the Thailand! market!

    One more vote for the R-class.

  • avatar
    Matthew Neundorf

    I support the Jeep Commander nomination.

    The need to move seven people in an offroader is quizzical to say the least. And don’t try to squeeze anything bigger than an Oompah-Loompah into the Commander’s rear, you’ll just get angry dwarves in return.

    Simply a waste of time, money, fuel, thought…

  • avatar
    MW

    More on the SRT-10 … I’ve never understood the “I want to hurt you” school of styling that these trucks epitomize so well. Whenever I see one, I don’t think “ooh, that’s one tough dude.” I think “wow, what an obnoxious looking truck.” They seem like the automotive equipment of those “Big Johnsons” T-shirts that were popular with the overgrown fratboy set a while ago. Except you can throw the T-shirt away once you realize it makes you look like a loser, and you’re only out 15 bucks for your mistake.

  • avatar
    msowersone

    The BMW 5 and 6 series are literally and figuratively butt ugly. If they did not have that famed marquee on them, it would be a horserace for number 1 and 2 on the list.

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    I have never seen these cars, with the exception of Chrysler Sebring and Toyota Camry. Toyota doesn’t market the Camry in Sweden anymore, because…?

  • avatar
    msowersone

    and Hummer H3 and every Jeep sans Wrangler

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    msowersone:

    I fully agree. Again: I fully agree. That’s why I am maintaining my E39 in absurdum.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    Did I read correctly that you can now get a wrangler in 2wd?
    Put it on the list.

  • avatar
    BlackFin

    let’s call for 55 seconds of silence sor the sorry state of design from american carmakers, only mitigated by the testosterone-addled and hard-to-get (imho) sportscars like mustang, camaro or challeger. like the still-living yet disconected heads of a hydra, designs from amercan carmakers look into many directions at once, not been able to follow any.

    gm:
    -i’ll stop felling sad for buick some day. the Lucerne’s fascia looks carbon copy of Its Royal Lameness Corolla.
    -hummer h2 & h3: impractical, air-killer, oil-czar-pocket-fillers. they just work as bling-mobiles. and the top of the impracticality is what they call SUT, the Stupid Ugly Truck. that cargo bed can’t hold a cooler.
    -cobalt and impala: unworthy of attention, even with an SS badge stuck to them.

    ford:
    -the ‘tarded triplets: zephyr, milan, fusion. lincoln lost the rights to fight fot King Of The Hill because of the zephyr! no matter how much options they can cram into the zephyr, i might turn my money into the fusion. the milan isn’t good for killing the rumors of Mercury’s impending death (bring back the old logo, wouldya?), and doesn’t help to establish Mercury as “ford-for-ladies” brand. (they look better in volkswagens). fusion… the burden of hopes is killing you.
    -any car ford puts high hopes on, inmediately turns into TWAT.

    chrysler:
    -compass and patriot: ’nuff said.
    -aspen and avenger: ditto.

    mazda:
    -cx7: answering a question no one ever asked. no 4×4, no wagon, no racer. what is it then?

    enough anymosity for small hatches and 4-door muscle car heritage. stereotypes aren’t good fot your heart.

    /maybe reads too much jalopnik

  • avatar
    CellMan

    My nominations:

    Jeep Commander. Great timing for (yet) another enlarged SUV with unusable third row seating, paltry fuel economy and ‘The Thing’ styling. Seriously, it looks like it could have been penned in some Chinese sweat shop, or built by the Bangla Bangers for one of their shows. I remember seeing one commercial for this on TV and it was just insulting. This has been selling for about a year I believe, but here in SUV and pickup country, I have only ever seen one on the road.

    Jeep Compass. Every time I look at it, I instantly throw up a little in my mouth and my stomach churns. What the hell is going on with that front end?? A primordial soup of design ideas, angles, curves, bulbous grafts and edges slapped together in some witch’s cauldron to create a vehicle that is in every way NOT a Jeep. What a massively obtuse rear pillar. I watched Blade 2 last night on TV and the front end just reminds me of those zombie creatures when their face splits open to reveal their innards. Gross man, gross.

    Mercedes Benz R-Class. Where oh where do I start here? Mercedes wants to build a car for everyone. Sure, continue to dilute your brand in North America. Churn out vehicles to cater all niches, keep loading them up with useless electronic gadgetry and keep fumbling the quality ball. And their worst effort thus far, the R-Class. Marketed as a minivan for upper class adults. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Like the owner is going to take this colossal machine with toad-like styling to the opera hauling his five bestest snobby friends every day… And really, who honestly is going to pay 88K for the AMG version? What an utter waste of space, energy and time.

    Mercedes Benz GL450. So this deserves a TWAT award too. For many of the same reasons as for the R-Class, but also that it is completely invisible. Looks like the most plain jane vanilla SUV ever. In fact, it could be a poster child for the generic SUV. Without the three-pointed star up front, it doesn’t look that different from any of Toyota’s SUVs, any number of Korea’s finest, or the Honda Pilot. Again, it should get a TWAT for being ungainly in size, me-too third row seating and well, being a me-too large SUV just because there are twenty people who would buy one.

    Mercury Milan / Lincoln Zephyr (not named MKZ on website yet). Why do these cars exist? Badge engineering overkill. Just what exactly does buying a Mercury or Lincoln get you over the regular Ford Fusion? And is it really worth that extra cash? What exactly do those cars stand for? Any buyer will simply be throwing money away, considering the depreciation hit. I just don’t get these cars and their raison d’etre.

    GM minvans (all). As someone else said, the worst of both a minivan and a SUV, joined together. A Bart Simpson effort. Under achievement in all respects, at it’s finest.

    Pontiac Grand Prix. They still make this car?? I drove this a few years ago and from what I can tell from the website, not much as changed. It was horrible to drive, steering was numb, handling wasn’t, acceleration was glacial, stopping made me a religious man, seats were uncomfortable, and ergonomics is just a word Pontiac designers don’t have in their vocabulary. After all, this is GM’s excitement division. ‘Nuff said.

    There are many more, but these are the biggest offenders to me this year. Give ’em all TWATs I say!

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I would like to to demonstrate why the Porsche Cayenne is the biggest TWAT there is. If the Hulk were a vehicle, that is what he would look like. The V6 is underpowered because the beast is so overweight and the V8 is overpowered because it cannot haul a semi-trailer. Driving one says I have lots of money but no taste and no sense.

    The Lincolm LT is also a worthy nominee. A Lincoln pick-up truck. A completely moronic idea.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    If it hasn’t been nominated yet, I’d like to.

    Chevrolet Malibu/Malibu MAXX. Too much cheap technology jammed packed into one mediocre vehicle, and if I recall correctly, still has a 4 speed automatic, and the OHV 60 degree V6 engines. If it is supposed to compete directly with the soulless Camry, Then the Malibu must be comatose inducing for people. Not including the fact that the MAXX has to be the single worst interpretation and execution of a station wagon ever.

    It’s a good thing our forefathers didn’t use Chervrolet’s
    interpretation of an American Revolution…

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Jan Andersson: The Camry may be the best selling car in the US, but Toyota sells very few of them in Europe. I suppose that says something, but I don’t know what. It can’t be gas prices, because the 4cyl (24/33) and hybrid (40/38) versions are fairly economical.

  • avatar
    artsy5347

    Far more compelling but even uglier than the Camry is my second choice: the Tribeca. The front looks like an ox collar and the interior is funky. Also, the car has some good torque but the mileage is almost poor enough to put this visual abortion into SUV territory.

    Also, the Crown Vic is really in a class by itself among vehicles that are two generations past just being normally dull mastadons. If it weren’t for their admirable service as police vehicles and cabs the Crown Vic would get the nod.

    Far scarier for an automaker than having a TWAT, is introducing your pride & joy to a collective yawn. The Ford 500, Chevy Uplander and the Buick Lucerne are such invisible vehicles. Almost anything made by Mitsubishi is also in this class. How about the Mercury Marauder? Did they ever produce that POS? If not, DON’T do it.

  • avatar
    tulsa_97sr5

    The Chevy HHR suffers similar issues as the Solstice. Appealing at first glance, it disappoints in every other way.
    Poor ride quality – check. Clunky automatic – check. Noisy, cheap feeling, mediocre gas mileage – check. The interior is almost nice. But even with all those cubic feet of space it still manages to feel claustrophobic. Put a couple adults in the rear seats and their heads fill in the gaps between the B and C pillars, making lane changes scary. Flawed to start with, it it’s all downhill for the HHR. Another pretty face that will sell well for a bit, till folks catch on and it hopefully goes away.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Another vote for the R-class, how could I forget about this disaster.

    And nobody who had voted for the Camry has been able to back up their vote with anything other than “it’s souless” and “it’s an appliance”. So what. It’s designed to be a souless appliance. I think they have the souless appliance market pretty locked up. You criticism isn’t with the vehicle, it’s with the market segment. I hate the Camry, but it’s not a TWAT.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Artsy, the Marauder has come and gone.

    The Crown Vic may have an excuse, but the Town Car doesnt. The Town Car should be a thing of beauty, a showcase of what American Luxury is all about, but it’s not. It showcases what happens when a car manufacturer lets a car go for 15 years+ with few advancements. Still chugging around the same engine since ’91, possibly the same transmission(I could be wrong, regardless, it’s still a 4 speed…), and virtually the same dash layout.

    The best we can do is that? So if I may add another notmination, I nominate the Town Car/Grand Marquis/Crown Victoria.

    A few other vehicles I forgot about in my last post:

    Ford Freestyle. It has got the ability to be a great car, but an anemic 3.0 V6 coupled with the CVT? Toss the 500/Montego in the batch, too; and file it under “What the Hell were they thinking!?”

  • avatar
    dulcamara

    Here’s another vote for the R class.

  • avatar
    GodBlessTTAC

    hhr
    and buick terraza. they both make me want to stab my eyes.

    but the hhr is terrible for driving on any freeway. i had the privilege of driving one when my sister came into town. driving down the 1o in la was a nightmare. bindspots the size of hummers. so lane changing was an interesting experience. but the brakes seemed good. long story short. everyone who saw/sat in that car deemed it the ugly “Clown car”

    thats all i got, sorry dont get into enough new cars

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    I’ll give a nod to nominating the Panther triplets, the car that belongs in The Land Before Time. FoMoCo should have given the triplets an up to date platform a long time ago, and saved the body-on-frame just for fleets. Oh, wait a moment, they did! The Five Hundred and Montego, in case you couldn’t tell – I guess that warrants a nominee, too. And Freestyle, for sales going down when gas prices went up, unlike other crossovers.

    Most of the top 10 are truly class lagging – well chosen, fellow posters. I would say Camry is the exception, it’s a fine appliance, nothing more. At this rate, more cars will have been nominated than not.

    The International MXT is so outrageous that it deserves its own award, independent of TWAT. How about, “Best Truck If You Were Castrated”?

    R-class? Sure! Minivan without sliding doors, humungous swing-out doors that trap you in the car if you’re parked too close to another vehicle, SUV that looks like a minivan, so far below consumers’ radar that rebates approach $10k to get them off the lot. Nodded.

  • avatar
    Glenn

    Jeep Commander.

    Sorry I left it off in my earlier nominations, but I purposely attempt to NOT think about this – THING.

    Ugly is way too polite for a description. Huge, ponderous. May I borrow a commentary from a write-up in “Automobile” magazine I saw the other day, describing SUVs?

    I’ll paraphrase it as “Steamroller agility”. As in road dynamics, handling “capabilities” and might I add, fuel consumption.

    Wow, if that doesn’t sum up “Steamroller utility vehicles” then nothing does.

    May I also nominate the “CARTOON-MOBILE”? A-yep. Another DCX product, which assults my visual senses every time I see it and likewise with it’s big brother, I truly would have nominated it earlier but I truly also try NOT to think about them unless they’re in front of me – and then, what I think is not printable in a family web magazine.

    The Jeep Liberty. Ugh and aaaaack are in no way descriptive. How about “gag a maggot”? Too tall, looks like it was designed by a 3 year old, gas hoggish, stupid, irrelevant, wasteful, ignorant, and an awful replacement for the old Cherokee uniframe vehicle (designed by AMC guys, no less, including an ex-Packard designer, AMC’s whoops I mean Jeep’s last competent head-designer).

    How about another nomination?

    Hyundai’s new Santa Fe. My Sonata is in for a mystery fix and they lent me this “Steamroller utility vehicle” with the same 2.7 liter V6 my wife’s ’02 Sonata has. Thing is, the Santa Fe weighs in at about 800 pounds more – (can’t get out of it’s own way), has massive tires (hence bouncy ride), has no more interior room than my Prius (but a bit more luggage area), gets 19 MPG (PATHETIC especially compared to 49 for my Prius and 25 for the Sonata), has mystery rattles (car had 15 miles on it when I drove it away), they still haven’t fixed the fact that when the seat belts aren’t used (as in nobody in passenger front seat) the belt buckle rattles against the plastic B-pillar just like in the ’02 Sonata.

    In short, it’s not ugly to look at, it’s just offensive to drive or ride in. Does that count for a TWAT?

  • avatar
    Glenn

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention two other interesting design faults in the new Santa Fe.

    EVERY time I get out of the vehicle, my trouser legs get dirty on the back, between my ankles and knees. I’m no shorty, I’m an exactly average 5’9″ guy. I have to semi-jump/roll out and dirty my clothes on wet – trim? What is that on the Santa Fe? Then, when I’m trying to hoist my @ss INTO the “THING” there is no grab handle above the door, as there is in all other seating positions.

    When I went to fill it up with gas (again, again, again, again) the little plastic button on the driver’s door which electrically released the gas cap, stuck. “click – click – click – click” until I figured out what the matter was.

    My wife looked totally disgusted. All I could mumble was “well, it’s made in America, dear” and avert my eyes.

    So people wonder why I love my fault-free Toyota and have stricken Hyundai off my future-purchases list?!

  • avatar
    taxman100

    If the Panther platform (Crown Vic, GM, Town Car) is my favorite car currently in production, does my vote somehow cancel out someone else’s negative vote?

    I love the old lugs – big, inexpensive to keep and maintain, comfortable and they will run forever. A bonus is women and metrosexual men hate them.

    I work with all dudes who buy european vehicles (BMW, Audi, blah blah blah), but they love talking about my Grand Marquis.

    Guess who drives to lunch?

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    I’ll add that the Grand Marquis is the vehicle most likely to be piloted by a senile driver into a farmers’ market or other crowded pedestrian situation. Hate to be on the wrong end of those 2 tons.

    Camry has not been sold in Europe for a few years. Too big, too mushy for EU tastes, which is why the smaller Avensis (Scion tC in a sedan) is top of the Toyota sedan lineup there.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    The Camry is NOT a twat. It is a boring, soulless machine, but that is EXACTLY what its supposed to be. Even the minor Faux bangling/L-finess lite is what the customers want (even if Hyundai does that better)

  • avatar
    mantarayvette

    Wellll, since I posted last night I see that there has been much discussion over this most excellent of topics. Thanks to the staff at TTAC for obviously scratching an itch that really needed to be scratched. Comments:

    1. To all of you that have defended the Camry, I must agree with you. I hate this car. I really hate this car. Did I mention that I hate this car? Looks like a kid who got hit in the face with a sledgehammer. It has as much passion as the local DMV clerk. God I detest this bleepin’ car. But how can you possibly vote for the reiging sales champion? Is all of America really that stupid? Completely deviod of any driving enthusiam, perhaps, but lemme tell ya they bought those babies for a reason.

    1b. On that same note, the Chevy Impala. The number one selling car made by any of the big three. Big, roomy, comfortable, reliable…I could go on. And if one more person yabbers on about the front wheel drive V8 I might just lose it. This car goes unbelievably well in the snow. All that weight up front is a big plus come slush time. Try that with anything that cooks the rear rubbers. And someone also mentioned that this car is slow. Drive it. I assure you sir that it is not. The kiddies driving Jettas and Civcs will grudginly concur.

    And the other noms?

    Compass: If you stopped the conversation right now and declared this the winner without any further explanation or reason, I doubt anyone would even make a whimper.

    Aspen: What happens when you wreck a Durango into Charlie’s Chrome Shop and keep driving until you total it at Barney’s Bar-B-Q Grill Bazaar.

    GM Minivans: If you guilotined the front off, let Pininfarina redesign the entire body, gave it an Audi interior, and placed a Honda engine in it, it would still be a TWAT contender.

    Lincoln Mark LT: Verbatim from the Detroit Auto Show 06′

    Me: What is this?
    Lincoln Rep: Our newest truck, the Mark LT. It is the latest installment in the Mark Series.
    Me: Have you ever seen another Mark?
    LR: Of course!
    Me: Did you learn nothing from the Blackwood?
    LR: Officially, we sold every one of those!

    It was like talking to the Iraqi Information Minister. Oh Lincoln, how I miss thee!

    Hummer H2: GM realized that there were lots of people that wanted to buy a Tahoe, but were far more stupid and had far more money than the average Tahoe buyer. So they set out and succeded to prove thold axiom that a fool and his money are soon parted.

  • avatar

    Frank:

    You’re missing a bet. You need to add a “10 Worst Cars of the Decade” and perhaps “10 Worst Cars of All Time” so that pass atrocities can be properly recognized. For instance, I was an owner of a 1980 Chevy Citation. It’s one of the reasons I will NEVER own another GM vehicle. The fragile heater core (that could only be replaced/repaired by removing the engine) was a tribute to piss-poor engineering. I’m keen to see what the other readers would nominate for their picks for worst cars – no matter the year.

    And if you want to make it interesting, I think you guys should design a trophy, call a press conference, and make the awards, much like they do with the Golden Turkey awards in the movie biz. Could get some publicity for TTAC.

    For this contest, I nominate the Ford Five Hundred. It’s styling appeals only to the comatose, and those that have find Buicks too exciting. It is to “Bold Moves” what a banjo is to a symphony orchestra.

  • avatar
    msowersone

    What about the KIA Amanti? Design stolen from a aging Lincoln Towncar

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Chevy Monte Carlo – Not a bad car at all… if it were 1976. But in 2006 this anachronism should be on the TWAT short list. I hesitate to say it should win because it is so beneath the radar of anyone shopping for a coupe today. I’d hate for this irrelevant vehicle to take the TWAT award when one of the next two vehicles on the list are more modern and more visible on our roadways.

    Subaru Benign Tribeca – This vehicle should be on the shortlist. What a disaster. What a snout! Who signed-off on this?

    GM Minivans (joint) – Absolutely awful and uncompetitive in every way. Whoever is responsible for its poor crash test results should be in jail. Not only should this vehicle be on the shortlist, production should stop immediately.

    Jeep Compass – I think that people are over reacting to this vehicle. Since most sport-utes aren’t even taken off road, it wasn’t a completely irrational decision to build it. I know I know, its ruining Jeeps brand integrity because it’s not a “real” Jeep. Get over it.

    Toyota Camry – Okay, I despise this vile car and I take every opportunity to mock and ridicule the pleated-chino-wearing housepoor middle managers that drive them. And these people have been brainwashed to think that they run on happy feelings, gumdrops and never fall apart, which evidently means that everything else is inferior. Whatever. But it’s not the “worst” car per-se. Bores need cars too. Off the list.

    Chevy Impala – If we were talking about the last gen Impala, I’d agree. The current Impala is fully competitive with all the other vanilla mainstream cars on the market. The interior and exterior styling are actually quite smart looking.

    Chrysler Sebring – This is no worse than the Camry. It might be dull compared to the 300 and what we’ve come to expect from Chrysler. It might flop considering the competition. But it’s not the worst on this list.

    Chevy Aveo – The new Aveo sedan is pretty nice and one of the least dorky cars in this class. For the price, it’s fully competitive and shouldn’t be on this list.

    Chrysler Aspen – It’s better looking than the awful Durango. For that reason alone, it’s an improvement and shouldn’t be on this list.

    Hummer H2 – Until some of these things are sent to the mid-east and a few of them get blown-up, it has no cred and will remain a poseur-mobile for rap stars. And the General should offer a diesel. Still, it’s kinda cool because it’s big and conspicuous. Off the list.

  • avatar
    pfingst

    Re: The Chevy SSR.

    The Chevy dealer by us has SSR’s on the lot, which I know are new and I assume are ’06 models.

    For today’s nomination, I would like to second the nomination of the Chevy SSR. The styling is, well, different anyway, but it has the same problem most American cars (and all Chevy’s) have: cheap, spartan, plastic interior.

    Bad gas mileage, poor handling, no cargo capacity, all that is bad enough, but this clinches it: the damn thing is $40,000! For a poorly appointed, poorly handling truck that doesn’t even give you the advantages of a truck! At least the Escalade and Lincoln pickups are half-way useful (even if they are also stupid ideas). Chevy tried to make a “Corvette-truck” with the SSR, but they just didn’t seem to have any idea of how to do that. Obviously.

    Yesterday, I nominated the Pontiac GTO, and I stand by that nomination (my error about the manual vs automatic transmission options notwithstanding). To the poster yesterday who called the GTO the ultimate sleeper, I agree completely. I start to nod off every time I see one.

    The reason I and others mentioned the GTO is not so much that it is a bad car, but because it is a decidedly mediocre car, in form and materials, that commands a premium price based on the legacy of its name alone. The GTO should have been so much more, and could have been so much more. Instead, it looks like a 2-door Cavalier (which is not a good thing for your premium performance car; Cavaliers were the ultimate in “cheap American transportation”). Had Toyota, or Honda, or VW produced the GTO, I can’t help but think they would have gotten it right (and no, I can’t picture a VW GTO any easier than you can – just stay with me).

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    captaindigital,

    For now I think we’ll just deal with this year’s dogs. I don’t know if the servers could handle the traffic a worst of the decade or worst ever award would generate! However, I’ll talk it over with RF and see what he thinks.

    msowersone,

    I always saw the Amanti as Kia’s tribute to the 1964 Studebaker Lark.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    VW made the GTO 2 years ago, and they did a good job of it. Well, they called it an R32, but it follows the GTO recipe. Take an unassuming economy car, and add a big engine, big wheels, big brakes, and a six speed. Throw in a benchmark interior, a sweet exhaust note and AWD, and you’ve got yourself a winner. It’s a really great car.

  • avatar
    Ar-Pharazon

    Defending the Camry because it ‘gets you where you need to go’ and is the sales leader and is like calling Kelly Clarkson the world’s greatest singer because she can carry a tune and won American Idol. And yes . . . I do think that for the most part America *is* that stupid.

    It’s amazing that just because a beloved Toyota makes the list, we get to start seeing ‘jingoistic Japan haters’ thrown about . . . at a basic level, is a blandly styled, boring-to-drive Ford 500 really *that* different from a blandly styled, boring-to-drive Camry for the purposes of this exercise? You can argue one has better quality, but neither is a POS by any stretch. But the 500 is here . . . so why not the Camry?

  • avatar
    Rodney M.

    I’ll submit a few noobs to the list (I think they’re noobs – forgive me if not).

    First off – the VW Jetta (Corolla). What genius at VW decided that the previous Jetta was a little too relevant stylewise to their target marget? At one point, VW products resonated warmly to their customers and to those who wanted one. It seems that now their designers want to emulate the best of (which is the worst of) Japanese design – boring and bulky. I jonesed (is that a word) for years to own a Passat, but VW now makes nothing I’m at all interested in.

    Next, the new Nissan Sentra. I’m not sure if this new model has hit the lots yet, but if it has, maybe the lots should hit back. The Sentra has never, IMHO, made anyone green with envy, but the new version has to make one green with car-sickness. Not motion sickness from being in a car, but sick from the blandness of it’s design. It’s as if Nissan decided to take a new approach – design for brand invisibility. I wish the new Sentra were invisible – that way I wouldn’t have to look at it.

    Now to the already mentioned candidates…

    The Chevrolet HHR. I don’t care how good it is. It’s just too much of a me-too PT Cruiser. And who really likes it’s looks? They’re different, yes, from any other non-domestic-retro-smallish SUV out there, but is that praiseworthy?

    The Dodge Caliber. I imagine that when the designers got the requirements memo for the Neon replacement, it had to have read something like “Any craptastic, quasi-macho looking styling with loads of bad plastic for the interior design will do. Don’t bother with anything else, or we’ll ship you to Honda.”

    The Mazda B series trucks. Is there a more ill-placed vehicle in any company’s lineup? In a family of sporty vehicles of all types, the B-series fits in like Kirstie Alley in a size 12.

  • avatar
    pfingst

    I’ll add a vote for the Mercedes R Class, too. Why in the hell does Mercedes make a minivan? Is there really that many soccer-moms out there that need a minivan, but refused to drive one because they wouldn’t give up their Mercedes? Not a bad vehicle necessarily, but very expensive, and the answer to a question that nobody asked. I saw one at my local Merc dealer, and it’s nice inside, but not 50-grand nice. The exterior styling is nothing to write home about, either.

    Along those lines (and upon further review) I’ll nominate the Lincoln Mark LT and Cadillac Escalade EXT, two more vehicles that exist for no good reason.

    Is it too early to nominate the Mercedes MLK Class for next year?

  • avatar
    pfingst

    I forgot about the VW Golf R32. So how sad is it that Pontiac botched the GTO formula, but VW didn’t?

  • avatar
    artsy5347

    Rodney, Rodney, Rodney,

    Nominating the new Sentra when you haven’t even seen one is beyond glib on your part. I just saw the first one this weekend and I was impressed well beyond the photos. What next – a review of a movie based on its poster? Rodno sounds like a certified Nissan basher to me!

    Also, the Caliber is one of the few winners DCX has right now. It’s a better car than the Vibe ever was.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Rodney M:

    I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but Kirstie Alley has actually lost a lot of weight. At this point I think a 12 would be too big. Never thought I’d type that.

    Back on topic, I think you’re spot on with the Caliber, I can’t believe I forgot that thing.

    +1 for the Caliber.

    As for the GTO, I think GM purposely didn’t put a lot of effort into it. For years, people were begging GM to import some of its Holdens and make them into Oldsmobiles or what have you. GM finally listened, and so they brought over the Monaro and did a few tweaks here and there and called it a GTO. Suddenly, this just wasn’t good enough for people, and next thing you know it’s a disgrace to the GTO nameplate. The car would have been a rose by any other color, but slap a “revered” moniker on it, and suddenly it’s crap.

    Honestly, I’m suprised that GM still plans on bring back the GTO in a few years. Then again though, this will supposedly be a fresh, ‘merican design.

  • avatar
    Rocketeer

    Not sure if this has been said already, however if we are doing the TWAT awards, I would think the B9 Tribeca would win by default.

  • avatar
    NamDuong

    Ya. Check it out: the R350 has like a 10,000 buck discount from MSRP! They’re so hard to move off the lots! The discounted ones don’t have that cool chrome outline around the side windows, which add so much panache to the car.

    But I don’t get why the R would be even considered for a TWAT. It’s not that expensive with the discount, it has a standard 7-speed auto, there’s comfortable room for six (everyone gets a full seat next to a window, too), and the ride is amazing.

    Basically for approximately the same price, you can either get a nicely (not fully) equipped Toyota Sienna or a base R350 (after you take in account the 10k discount). You can’t deny that having the R is much more tempting!

    I think the base R still has leatherette, but even if it did, the three-pointed star on its hood makes it all worthwhile! XD

    Oooya. I also LOVE the styling! It’s so bulbous and organic and flowing and the subtle curvature makes for long-term aesthetic appreciation. Kinda like the CLS, except preggers… or something. Cupid’s arrows don’t really bite deep into the greasy skin of a lonely nerd, but burned into my memory was this one time when I saw a new R350 in the lot. Looking at it was like reading the preface to a really good book. It led me to anticipate an overwhelming world of refinement, elegance, and luxury. When I peeked through the windows, I think I forgot to breathe. The interior was so sumptuous and… words can’t describe the feelings!!!!

    Anyway, w/e. The point is that R is an amazing machine that captivates me and I don’t think it deserves a nomination in the least!

  • avatar

    My vote goes in for the Aspen because its late to the party, its butt ugly, it sucks gas, and did I say it ugly?

    Pretty much any SUV that goes on the list my vote is for.

  • avatar
    walt501

    While some auto models are ugly because their parent company didn’t have the funds to either do proper design either in-house or to purchase a design house to do the work for them, in the case of the 2007 Toyota Camry that is simply not the case. The Camry has been the best selling car in America for several years, so one would think Toyota would have lavished styling resources on such an important model and produced something at least reasonably attractive. They didn’t. As such, I believe that based on an equation of resources available divided by the end result, the 2007 Camry is the ugliest vehicle in the history of the automobile.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    R63 AMG? okay, interesting vehicle, if even more pointless.

    R350? A stripper is still about $5k more than a fully loaded Sienna LTD AWD (street price) and half as reliable. You’ve got to be hypnotized by the 3 pointed star to go for it. I guess there’s only so much the market is willing to bear for a minivan, even if it lacks sliding doors.

    Then again, I’m someone who thinks the CLS is merely an E-class left in the dryer for too long. That’s okay, got 3 kids to put through college, no big loss.

  • avatar
    xargs99

    Congratulations DCX, for misreading your target market so very very badly. Was the focus group you used to come up with the Compass made up exclusively of city dwellers? People who saw a Grand Cherokee once and thought “hey, that could be cool if it was a car…”

    My 1987 Toyota 4wd station wagon was a better offroader than this abomination.

    Vote 23rded for the Compass.

  • avatar
    Rodney M.

    >>

    Artsy, Artsy, Artsy…

    Maybe I am being too quick to judge the Sentra, but all the photos of it that I’ve seen have indicated a design that is completely forgettable. In fact, I can’t even picture in my mind now what it looks like, and I’ve seen it a few times. That, my friend, is a problem. What I do remember is some wheel gap that rivaled 4×4 vehicles. I’m certainly no Nissan basher. I’ve gone on several test drives of the Nissan Frontier in the last year – I’ve been seriously considering getting one.

  • avatar

    The Camry and Avalon are appliances, and certainly not the worst out there, given that US attempts in that category are even more pathetic.

    I think Hummers belong on that list. The Mercedes R-class for sure.

    I think also (although this is going to be controversial) the Maybach is definitely a poor execution of a uber-luxobarge. The derivative styling and horrid styling makes one think it is just a bloated S-class. Having been in one, I can definitely say the luxury is there, but frankly a Lexus LS is almost there, and if they come out with a higher end version, it will be superior. Not that Mercedes is at all competitive in luxury anymore anyway except for the brand name.

    Jaguar X-Type- complete disaster…

    Mitsubishi Eclipse/Toyota Celica- sold on ridiculous styling, poor performers, not even RWD…

    Toyota MR2- although parts of it (the vents) have presaged the Boxster’s evolution, this car needs a redesign to really compete with the bland, but well-executed Miata.

    Another controversial pick- the Ford Mustang. I want to like it, but frankly it is not as good as it should be. Style over substance.

    Jeep Compass- talk about pissing away all your heritage in one swoop. Even if American car companies are brand managers, nobody should misstep this far.

    BMW 5-series- iDrive. Bloat. Mediocre plasticky styling.

  • avatar

    While I enjoy this contest, I strongly object to using an oft-derogatory piece of slang for the female tunnel of love as the acronym for poor qualities.

  • avatar

    Since many people have nominated the Toyota Camry for inclusion in the TWAT list, I hereby nominate the Lotus Elise ;-). For a $45,000 car, you sure don’t get a lot for the money. You don’t get power steering, power windows, leather interior, or carpet. The fit and finish and materials used for the interior are nothing to write home about. The lack of bumpers on the cars result in expensive repairs after an inattentive SUV driver hits your car. It’s difficult to enter or exit the car. The trunk doesn’t hold much. Etc. Etc.

    Most regular people will dismiss this car for its faults (lack of practicality), as much as we pistonheads will dismiss the Toyota Camry and the likes for its faults (lack of personality).

    If you are looking at the review and rating in Consumer Reports, then you will agree that the Lotus Elise is a terrible car. However, if you love to drive, you’ll dismiss most of its faults, especially after driving one.

  • avatar

    F. Williams said: “If TTAC did a TBAT it would just be another one, even though would be untainted by advertising bias. There are so many “best” awards no one pays much attention to them any more, so why bother?”

    Umm… again I’ll just have to use your own point to argue against yourself.

    We should do it ‘cos it’s 1. untainted by advertising/editorial bias and 2. an aggregate opinion of people who care about cars (i.e. TTAC community).

    Is it because of attention that we’re doing a TWAT? I’m interested to see the results.
    I’d be interested in seeing the results of a TTAC TBAT too.
    Of course the acronym could be changed to something more attention-worthy. =)

  • avatar
    mpls244

    You know I’ll have to add a vote for the Maybach – a poorly executed failure, it counts.

    I would also vote for the VW Phaeton, assuming that any were for sale in 2006. Total failure to connect with what the market wanted.

    And I would add a vote for the Mercedes R-class.

    As a Saab guy, I think it’s fun to watch all the votes roll in for the Subaru B9 Tribeca — a vehicle which was offered to Saab as the basis of a badge-engineered cross-over tentatively named the 9-6x, and which Saab turned down.

    Yes, the people who did the 9-7x do have standards, and the B9 Tribeca did not meet them.

    (In fairness to Saab, the 9-7x is pretty good, even if it doesn’t fit the brand very well — it’s already the second-best selling Saab in the US, outselling the 9-5, so it hardly counts as a failure).

  • avatar

    It’s fine to blast the Camry for having no soul, but worse than all the other souless cars out there? I think not. For that matter the Impala doesn’t belong on the list. Sure it sucks, but worse than the Suzuki Forenza or Reno? Worse than the Hyundai Accent? Than the Kia Rio?

    I still think the Ford Ranger/Mazda B have to be on this list.

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    I look at the Top Ten TWATs thusly:

    I have a ten car garage I plan to torch, just ‘cuz, to make a statement. This list is pretty accurate, but I’d probably drive the Camry out and park an Escalade EXT in its spot, because only God knows why that stupidass thing exists, and at least we can logically understand why a Camry exists.

    Then again, I’d probably also save the poor little Aveo, and stuff an intentionally ostentatious and unnecessary Navigator in its spot, but I’m like that.

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    NamDuong,

    Force your head to turn away…now…before it’s too late. Train your gaze away from the R-Class, and never let it return. There’s a good reason why they’re going for $10k under sticker.

    Kinda like the CLS, except preggers…

    She looks pregnant because, well, she could give birth to twin homely SLK’s.

    Take this as the reality check your best friend could never quite tell you about the ugliest fat girl in class you were falling for, thinking she at least has a nice rack: One day, you will open the door to the garage and yell, “Damn! What was I thinking? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

    Thank me later.

  • avatar
    Mervich

    Hang on…I’m gonna do this in all caps…FOR THE CAMRY BLEEDING HEARTS! YOUR ARGUMENTS ARE NULL AND VOID. FIRST, CONSIDER: JUST BECAUSE TOYOTA MAY HAVE INTENTIONALLY SET ABOUT TO DESIGN THE CAMRY TO BE BORING AND UNEVENTFUL DOES NOT DISQUALIFY THE CAR FROM BEING ON THE “TWAT” AWARDS LIST. CHEVY COULD MAKE A SIMILAR ARGUMENT FOR THE AVEO…”WE MADE A CORPORATE DECISION TO MAKE A CHEAP POS TO FILL A CONSUMER SPECIFIC NICHE.” I’M SURE THERE ARE PLENTY OF AVEO OWNERS OUT THERE WHO WOULD BE SHOCKED TO SEE THEIR CHEAP POS ON THE “TWAT” LIST. SECONDLY, THE SALES VOLUME HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, EITHER. WAY BACK IN THE 60’s, JOHN LENNON PROCLAIMED THE BEATLES COULD RECORD NEARLY ANYTHING AND PEOPLE WOULD BUY IT…THE SAME APPLIES TO TOYOTA IN MANY WAYS. IN 2006, THE MASSES HAVE BEEN LULLED INTO BELIEVING CAMRY EQUALS GOOD CAR, DEPENDABLE CAR, PRETTY CAR. TOYOTA DOESN’T NEED TO OFFER ANY POSITIVE DRIVING EXPERIENCE OR EVEN AN ATTRACTIVE BODY STYLE IN THE CAMRY…JUST MAKE THE CAMRY AND PEOPLE WILL BUY IT, SO LONG AS IT’S NOT TOTALLY OFFENSIVE.

    I respectfully submit my vote for the 2006 Toyota Camry for the TWAT awards.

    Additionally, I submit the entire product line of BMW for nomination. Every series is strikingly butt ugly. The lesser of all is the new 3 series coupe (specifically, the 335i)…and at least it can be had without the I-Drive fiasco…but when compared to the car it replaces, the new coupe also is just butt ugly.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Well Mervich, I hope you are feeling better after that rant. You happen to be wrong on all counts. The sales, reliability, quality and owner satisfaction stats of the Camry speaks for itself. It does not need me or anyone else to defend it. Comparing Toyota’s design criteria to a stupid dead rocker’s comment is plain silly. Any survey that lists that car as one of the 10 worst cars ever, does not deserve to be read much less believed. Next thing we will see is JD Power assigning ‘soulness’ scores to it’s ratings. I am all for looking at vehicles in new and interesting ways but really, it ought to have just a teeny bit of common sense.

    Rgds

  • avatar
    agmathai

    In no particular order: 1. jeep commander – not much to be said here. its the kind of car you thats so hopelessly pointless and outdated already that you KNOW you wont be seeing them on road 5 years from now. 2. honda accord sedan – if the camry is on the list because of looks, I have to nominate the acccord sedan as I think its wayyy uglier. The rear end evinces garfields fat face and the interior, though functional, is utterly drab and pretty ugly in its own right, particularly the jarring placement of the the shift knob. 3. bmw 525 – a 40k+ car that will hopelessly fall behind a v6 camry in a drag race that is unforgivably slab sided and ugly with a disfunctional and unappealing interior to match. Why would anyone buy this car over a G or M35? 4. caddilac escalade ext – i don't know if they still make them, but this has to be the single most offensive vehicle on the road today. 3. subaru tribeca – never driven the car and it may not be half bad mechanically but has to be listed for not only introducing that hideous "grille" but for infecting the rest of the subaru brand with it. 4. dodge durango/aspen – 10mpg, no 3rd row space, drives like a horse & carriage, looks like a diseased rhinocerous. 5. porsche cayenne turbo S – if for nothing else, giving rich wannabes the satisfaction of drivng a turbo porsche without having a whit of appreciation for what thats supposed to mean. 6. hummer h2 – again, not b/c of the vehicle itself, which is very capable in many aspects, but more due to the people its marketed to. 7. saab trailblazer – a cringeworthy effort from any prespective. 8. chevy impala – even if its better than a kia, it deserves a TWAT for tarnishing a great name with a mediocre product. 9. lincoln pickup truck – there should be a special award for being stupid enough try this again. 10. caddliac SLS – corners like a pig on skates – I don't know if they still make this but its hopelessly behind the competion. On another, somewhat unrelated note, the Caddy Deville is a surprisingly good handling ride and is supremely comfortable. I’ll also nominate the mistubishi gallant – the 97/98 model was a reliable car that was fun to drive – the new one is a slow, slopply, plasticy POS…and the honda ridgeline – never driven one, but it would fit in perfectly with a herd of hippos. Re the other pics: I can't include the new camry – I just followed one on long trip at triple dig speeds in my e46 330i for almost 20 miles. Respect. Neither can I include the prius – I drove one and in an alternate reality sort of way, it was actually kind of fun – it had a kickass navigation system, the keyless entry thing was cool and trying to keep the mileage up was addicting in a video game sort of way. I agree that many of the owners are probably ******** but I think on its own it makes an interesting commuter car.

  • avatar
    idahoivan

    Great Post. In my mind, the TWAT can’t be in its last model year ’cause obviously it’s outdated, so I picked cars that strive for greatness and fail badly – my 2 cents in no particular order

    1. Jeep Compass / Dodge Caliber – I am astounded that this is outselling the Mazda3 wagon
    2. Kia Amanti – How does the same company that makes the Azera come up with this car?
    3. Saturn Ion – I was able to insert my hand into the steering column at our local auto show – I’m sure that’s not supposed to happen
    4. Saturn Vue – the Opels can’t get here soon enough
    5. Mitsu Galant – bad Passat copy with the hardest interior plastic I’ve ever seen
    6. Mitsu Endeavor – I’ve never been able to get over the Mech Warrior interior
    7. Dodge Dakota – I remember the 5.9L R/T; where have you gone?
    8. Lexus GX470 – $50K 4Runner
    9. Honda Ridgeline – just Bugly and already done better by GM
    10. Lincoln Zephyr – this is not American Luxury and I still don’t understand who brought back the ’70s boxy interior design

    BTW – I’m not a big GM fan, but the new Impala is a perfectly fine car.

  • avatar
    Mervich

    oboylepr: I did not say the Camry is not a good car, I said the Camry is boring and uneventful. Just because it was intentionally designed to be that way, it is still boring and uneventful. My point is simply that intentional design does not exempt the Camry, or any car, from this list.

    Many here have referred to the Camry as an appliance, which is exactly correct. It is an appliance, not an automobile.

    If you enjoy boring and uneventful, that’s your concern.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    Mitsubishi Galant:
    For starters, I bet you forgot they even made them.

    Meciocre styling, milquetoast interior efforts, middling engines…If Camry is novacaine, the Galant is whatever Kevorkian dispenses. Buying one means you’ve just, well, given up.

    And $23-26K? I’ll take an A3 2.0T instead for my dose of practicality.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    I think I’d take a Galant over a Malibu, though… heh

  • avatar

    It just amazes me how many poor cars are made today and that people even buy these things. I did forget the Porsche Cayenne- sure it makes money, but everytime I see one, I just wonder at the kind of idiot who bought one when they could have bought a Cayman and a Mazda CX-7 or something similar instead.

    Frankly all performance SUVs and Trucks belong on there, from the Ford Lightning to the Infiniti FX.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Mercedez “4 door coupe”.

    This car is so ugly it is like a cockroach, I wouldn’t mind driving it if it is less than 20k, but damn, you got to really have no style and lots of money to drive an expensive car that ugly.

    The same goes for G glass (that jeep like Mercedez that is uglier than a jeep).

  • avatar

    dulcamara:
    October 18th, 2006 at 12:11 pm
    I drove a rental Chevy Cobalt last week. It’s a TWAT. Consider this a nomination.
    The whole design is cheap. I had it for three days, and soulless/ugly/flimsy are the kindest things I can say about. It reminds me of the 62 Ford Falcon my mother used to drive.

    HEY!!! It’s fine if you want to nominate the Cobalt, but don’t compare it to a ’62 Falcon. Yes, the Falcon had the kind of power where you floor it and it feels like another person has started pushing, but that Falcon was my dearly beloved first car (in 1970). It looked good, and it took me from Boston to SF and back, hitting 100k (which was a lot in those days) in Lovelock Nevada,and passing many newer cars sitting by the side of the road with their hoods pointed heavenward in supplication.

  • avatar

    i’m shocked by the omission of any of the Equinox clones or the subaru baja.

    Add the Grand Vitara to your list. Awful name, shoddy engine, questionable parentage (VUE by way of Equinox???) and vomitous headlamps.

    1.) The Equinox, Torrent, and Grand Vitara are HIDEOUS, bordering on the grandeur of the aztek

    2.) Plastics and interiors are SHOCKINGLY cheap. The upholstery was some unholy fishnet/leisure suit offshoot. Seating position and rear visibility was a joke at best. Gaps between the giant, hard plastic panels point out that it *IS* the cheapest way to build it.

    3.) Noisy, underpowered engine, crazy windnoise.

    4.) All of these are mutant forms of the lackluster, but at least unique Saturn VUE.

    The baja also deserves dishonorable mention. The legacy of yesteryear continues to wheeze on, masquerading as a trucklet without the space, power, or versatility of any other crew cab option.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    I can see how the R-class is worthy of a TWAT nomination, but at the same time, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling that Benz actually went to the effort of trying to sell soccer moms something other than an SUV.

    I can’t believe I forgot the CX-7, one of the most useless SUVs made today.

    The Compass is pure crap, DCX would be far better off shipping over the Chinese-built XJ Cherokees.

    GM’s “minivans” are worthless, just a lazy attempt to instert themselves into the market, just for the people who’re too lazy to shop around.

  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    Has nobody noticed the insipid white collar transport known as the Avalanche? Copious amounts of hideous plastic adorning a chopped up Suburban. I shudder at the sight.

    Probably the only vehicle on the road that makes an Aztek look good.

  • avatar
    Bubba Gump

    The Scion XB and The Honda Element. The virtual kleenex box twins underscores the fact that the world has seccumbed from the last bastion of good taste. When I see the one of the veritable brick on wheels twins rolling down the road I gawk in bewilderment and the only phrase that can be purged from my mouth is ” You Gotta be Kiddin Me.” Those qualify as the absolute bottom of the barrel and I would proudly drive an azzcrack before stepping permanent foot into one of those mindless creations styled after the residence of the unfortunate homeless.

  • avatar
    Bubba Gump

    The Ion also gets a vote to, Time to go Elvis! Its to bad that new releases aren’t in the running because I whole heartedly believe GM did some under the table deal with Nissan. Have you seen the new sentra. I swear you would think they sold spring hill assembly to nissan and nissan hung an emblem on the front of an ION. Wow did they go to ugly. Go hunt one down in a photo release you will swear its the same car.

  • avatar
    allen5h

    I have a total of four nominees, listed here in descending suckiness order.

    1) I nominate the Toyota Prius: I am at a loss of words to explain why a significant portion of a continental population is irrationally exuberating over this vehicle.

    To begin with, this has got to be one of the most unsafest vehicles ever pushed onto the American consuming public by the global automotive industrial complex. Ralph Nader, eat your heart out. I would not want to be the one caught in this thing during a downpour. Do you really want to navigate the Interstate with these pairs of water skis?

    Also, it looks lots like some Rube Goldberg contraption on wheels, kindas like the convoluted vehicles in the “Mad Max” series of films.

    Then there is all of this hype over Toyota’s hybrid gasoline saving technology. Take any 4 cylinder mid sized sedan; put these ridiculously thin tires on it and reduce it’s horsepower output by half, and presto; you have the mileage that is within 95% of the actual mileage of this joker without the premium price, complexity, and battery replacement expense.

    Um, come to think of it, the Prius is a Rude Goldberg contraption on wheels.

    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

    Arthur Schopenhauer – German philosopher (1788 – 1860)

    Thirty, fifty, seventy years from now, people are going to look back at the Prius with bewilderment. By then they will all know that the Prius was not the gateway to 21st century motoring.

    But for the time being, we will have to call to task those who would worship this big bucket of stupid like a congo cult by placing it at the very top of the TWAT list.

    2) I nominate the Chevrolet Cobalt because mechanically this car is not that much better than my ’97 Pontiac Junkfire. (At least the sheet metal on my Pontiac looked good. RIP.) I think this car covers all three TWAT suggested bases:

    1.) An aesthetic affront. It would certainly help if…

    2.) An overall lack of quality in design and workmanship….

    3.) Technological insufficiency. An underpowered….

    In short, this one is a finalist contender for all of the above.

    3) I nominate the Subaru B9, err Tribeca, err B9 Tribeca; because this one does not know who it is. The General couldn’t decide to name this thing after either random alphanumericals or a complete multi syllable word. True to GM’s bureaucratic form of a bipartisan national legislature, it used both.

    Well executed TV commercial though, complete with a nice Kansas karaoke song: D-u-u-u-u-st in the w-i-i-i-i-i-nd…

    4) I nominate the BMW 5 series because of that dang I-Drive! I don’t care if the rest of the car is purdy good, take the I-Drive out! Just the thought of changing radio stations increases the risk of a cardiac infarction. Too many people in America with borderline arterial blockages for this.

  • avatar
    agmathai

    I’d like to amend my previous post and replace the hummer h2 with the saturn ion. Any car that is clearly built for people who hate cars must be a TWAT. At least people can get some sort of satisfaction from a hummer.

  • avatar
    f8

    I only registered to nominate Dodge’s new Nitro. Seriously, people nominate Aspen and Durango, but not the butt-ugly Brinks-truck-inspired Nitro SUV that’s available with “performance suspension” and 20 inch chrome rimzz? At least Durango is pretty much a Ram made into an SUV; Nitro is a whole new breed of ugly.

    And as far as other criteria go, Nitro is based on the much-hated here Jeep Liberty. And like the Liberty, Nitro was never designed to go off-road.

  • avatar
    allen5h

    veritas399 wrote:

    “I can’t see how the Ford Crown Victoria/Marquis is left out.”

    I agree with you, veritas399. This pair of dufi belong in anybody’s TWAT list.

    The only reason Ford continues to build these dated cars is because of fleet sales, and no other reason. Now that DCX is seriously “Challenging” for fleet sales to law enforcement Ford may be motivated enough to change the hood ornament one of these years.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    So many TWAT-y cars, so difficult to pick one.

    Do I nominate the Ford Focus, which (despite being being a pretty good car to drive) is so horribly outclassed in every meaningful metric by the Focus they sell in Europe that it begs the question of “how gullible are we North Americans, really?”

    Do I nominate the Volkswagen GTI, which has so much going for it under the hood, yet which is saddled with an anonymity of styling that compares unfavourably with a 1994 Civic hatchback, possess an interior that is actually a retrograde step from the Mk4 Golf, and which weighs over 3,100 lbs? It used to be that a GTI was about brisk pace through the combination of light weight and a overachieving motor. Now it only has half that equation, and to say VW’s reliability numbers are in the cellar does an injustice to people everywhere who live in their parents’ basement.

    No, I nominate the Ford Five Hundred. A rolling testament to alliteration over substance. Styling inspired by an unholy alliance of the Buick Roadmaster and Audi A6, mixed and placed in the oven until it came out as amorphous, puffy and doughy as a muffin. I have to remind myself that someone actually decided to style the car this way; it wasn’t just the vagaries of wind, rain and plate tectonics that made it so uninspired. Mated to (perhaps cursed with is more appropriate) an undersized motor, it has all the faults of, say, a Camry without the redeeming virtues of exceptional reliability and a powertrain that fills one with confidence. It’s as if the design brief of the Five Hundred essentially said to create a three-box design that consumes a lot of space but does precious little else. And you know what else? This is the car that helped kill (along with the somewhat better Fusion) the Taurus. 20 years ago the Taurus was a design icon, a blockbuster, something so apatated that it needed no more than a coat of flat black paint to be featured in the first Robocop movie. No one will ever claim that of the Five Hundred. It’s over before it began.

  • avatar
    Ar-Pharazon

    oboylepr,

    I’m afraid that sales figures and various owner-generated stats (like quality and customer sat) help to prove Mervich’s position, they don’t refute it.

    When sheep move in a herd, they also do a great job of justifying their directional changes. Any customer-generated metric is a measure of this in addition to (or perhaps moreso than) that of the underlying subject.

    I just (theoretically) bought a Camry, and I’m a SMART guy, so of course there are very few flaws with it.

    While this is true of most purchasers and thus should be equally valid for all cars, it seems more likely to attach to the product that is often viewed as ‘perhaps passionless, but undeniably smart’. Toyota owners seem to pride themselves on their inarguable smarts for buying one . . .

  • avatar
    EJ

    The Camry a TWAT? Shouldn’t it be Car Of The Year instead?
    I love my Camry (in V6 version). It’s fast and fun. Not boring at all. The only boring part is that so many other people own the same thing, that I keep seeing myself when driving down the street. But then again, talking about boring, how about all those Ford, GM and DCX pickup trucks and SUVs that all look the same and handle like crap?
    So, here’s my TWAT nomination: all the pickup trucks and SUVs that are “made in America”!
    At risk of stating the obvious, some Camry pluses:
    – the drive is comfortable, smooth and quiet, even at high speed
    – it’s beautiful inside (I also like the outside of the remodel)
    – it’s fast and quite sporty (V6 version)
    – it’s big
    – it’s one of the safest vehicles you can buy
    – it has among the best fuel economy of any vehicle
    – it’s inexpensive (entry level less than $20K)
    – it’s reliable
    – there’s a hybrid version
    Put the Camry on your TWAT list… and make yourself look ridiculous!
    Do I sound like I’m defending my daughter’s honor?
    Cheers,
    EJ

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    I’d vote the CX-7 off the island. True, there is no need for the thing to exist. But at least it is not huge and stupidly expensive. Even in its class, the RDX and X3 are more deserving of TWAT inclusion because they are no more useful and cost much more.

    Not that I’m nominating either the RDX or the X3. There are so many choices in the dumb SUV category and these two cars just can’t compete with their bigger, more expensive competition (ie Cayenne, et al)

  • avatar
    DrVali

    No Corolla/Jetta? Who can tell those two apart from the ouside.

    I’m convinced they’re built in the same plant.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    A note to all the Camry haters out there. If the Camry makes the Top 10, that means that the following cars (which don’t make the list) are much better than a Camry:
    Kia Optima
    Suzuki Forenza
    Pontiac G6
    Chevy Malibu
    Chrystler Sebring
    Dodge Stratus
    Do you truly believe that? Or do you just not like Toyota because people like to buy competent vehicles?

    I hereby nominate the Mercedes G. Sure, there are lots of 30 year old designs out there, but this is the only one that some loser could drop $100K on, and that really says something to me.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I guess i should have scanned all the articles since I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. Copied from the previous TWAT article, my nomination:

    I haven’t bothered to read any of the comments yet, but I would like to nominate the Honda Element (tupperware car as my wife calls it). I suppose the rear seating is nice for those who have a strong stomach and enjoy looking down on those around them. They have made improvements? to the exterior appearance, but I still hark back to a comment i read on another site: “What element would that be Buttuglium?”

  • avatar
    nino

    The criminal R-Class. The worst and ugliest beast of a car to plague mankind and automotordom since the 80’s AMC Eagle.

    Here, here!

    A few more;

    The Cadillac Escalade – Excess at its revolting worst without even the merit of competence.

    The Jeep Commander – Who wanted this thing built?

    The Lincoln Navigator – An ugly Escalade.

    The Lincoln Blackwood (or whatever they call their pickup truck) – I mean, isn’t a luxury pickup an oxymoron?

    The Range Rover – overpriced SUV for people that need to spend too much much for a car. Wouldn’t be a bad ride…if it cost $40,000.

    Porsche Cayenne – the answer to the question that nobody asked.

    Hummer H2 and H3 – particularly offensive vehicles while brave soldiers are dying in REAL ones.

    Any BMW that charges $1000 for PAINT. That goes for Porsches and Mercedes too.

    While I’m at it;

    Nissan Armada/Infiniti QX56

    Toyota FJ Cruiser

    Chevy SSR (can’t carry a load, can’t tow, doesn’t handle)

    Suzuki Aerio (can’t they just put bigger wheels on this thing?)

    Toyota Solara Convertible (the coupe is slightly better, so I’ll let it slide)

    Chevy Malibu Maxx (I really love the concept, not so much the execution)

  • avatar
    nino

    Oh, I forgot the Chrysler Pacifica.

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