TTAC's Ten Worst Automobiles Today (TWAT) Award

ttacs ten worst automobiles today twat award

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

2006 TTAC Ten Worst Automobiles Today (TWAT) Award

Rules of Engagement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments
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  • Cayman Cayman on Mar 08, 2007

    Is this poll entirely based on personal styling preferences or does it just seem that way? In order for any such a survey to have any meaning, i recommend that the nominees of the 2007 version of this poll be filtered by our esteemed automotive journalists as fitting two or more real scientific, objective, easy-to-verify criteria. Each TWAT nominee must be in the lowest 10% of all new production vehicles offered for sale in North America in ANY two or more of the following: - any measure of dynamic performance - fuel economy - total cost of ownership - reliability ratings - highest mass, or - a worst-in-test finish in any automotive journal's multi-car comparison test. There is no room in the TWAT awards for subjective price judgements, because while some people (like Walmart customers) will sacrifice anything to save a dollar at the cash register, even as the sh!t they buy falls apart as they leave the store, true quality is measured with objective measures. And true quality should, IMHO, trump petty cheapness and subjective measures of current styling tastes and trends. As it is, BS like people claiming that the Saab 92X is inferior to a WRX because Saab installed higher quality materials inside and out, plus a lot of subtle refinements no one seemed to write about in their auto reviews, and then Saab actually charged customers for it, does not make it a worthy TWAT nomination. Both the WRX and 92X are far, far too good to even be listed in the TWAT awards. That is all.

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Mar 09, 2007

    Your suggestions would certainly create a more scientific award process, but that was not our intent.

    If you look at the eventual winners, you will see that there were a number of reasons we chose any one "winner." Many of these justifications were not scientific (i.e. brand betrayal).

    I think the most important aspect of our selection process was/is its transparency. We stated the criteria and selection process in its entirety, including the role of subjective bias.

    It's also worth noting that many of our selections have been removed or are about to be removed from the marketplace.

  • Cprescott Look for this to be called a human right and for Washington to make it their business to run these places and charge you based upon your income.
  • Renewingmind The idea of a silent smell free world of vehicles sounds wonderful from a quality of life standpoint. Start with diesel trucks. Especially big ones. They are the worst offenders for fumes and noise.
  • DenverMike Pininfarina I know it's not related to this, I just like saying it.
  • Matt Posky I don't understand the appeal of fake meat and this seems to operate under a similar premise: You don't want the V8 because someone says it's bad for you. But you can have something designed to mimic the experience because that's what your body actually wants. The styling is cool I guess. But I don't understand why EVs don't just lean into what they are. Companies can make them produce any wooshing or humming noises they want. Buiding an entire system to help you pretend it still has a combustion engine seems a little lame.
  • DenverMike I'm sure it would have a volume control. It's nice to sneak into my neighborhood at 2am quietly. Or creep out, 4am. I don't get much sleep OK, but I always keep my V8 exhaust stock, as much as I love the sound of others loud. My stereo would make it pointless anyway.
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