Curbside Crap: 2006 Zap Xebra

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
curbside crap 2006 zap xebra

Is the owner of this Zap Xebra hoping the trash collector will take away this pile of junk? He may as well, because it’s been sitting there with a For Sale sign for well over six months. When I finally decided to stop and take a look at what he wants for it, I found out why. He’s been Zapped!

In my scathing review of the Xebra (here) I pointed out the harsh truth: these pieces of junk cobbled together in Chinese sweat-shop “factories” sell for about $3K in China. Zap asks $12K for them stateside and brags about the Xebra’s operating costs of “about 3 cents per mile”.

When I looked at the seller’s flyer a little closer, I began to wonder: He/she spent a total of $14.5K for the 2006 sedan and its upgraded batteries, etc. It has 3,360 miles on it (that tells you something right there). They are “hoping for $7,500.” Hopes are going to be dashed on the cruel rocks of eBay.

eBay’s listing for completed sales of Xebras are an eye-opener: A new ’08 Sedan just sold for $3550; a new ’08 pickup for $4200. Water eventually finds its level. And on Xebra forums, owners are offering ’06 models for “parting out.” Speaking of the forum, here’s a recent sample:

    These cars are pieces of crap! While working on mine to try to figure out what is wrong with it this time, I have discovered that the metal parts on the underside even after wire brushing, painting and undercoating last summer are rusted beyond repair, THEY NEED TO BE REPLACED. This POS is less than 18 months old and it has broken down on me and had parts break almost a dozen times. Out of that time it has been undrivable for 4-5 months. Not to mention the $2000.00+ dollars spent on batteries, heaters, and parts and towing. I AM DONE WITH THIS POS.

If this owner is lucky and can get $2K for it, they will have spent $3.75 per mile to “Save the Planet”. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it. Interested? I can put you in touch with them.

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2 of 41 comments
  • Davemurphy Davemurphy on Aug 27, 2009

    Hm, this is all great to know, especially since most of the feedback I've heard regarding the xebra has been positive (a few people in my neighborhood have one). I have heard, however, that they have plans to start manufacturing the cars here in the US (didn't they recently partner with a factory in Kentucky)? I'd be interested to test drive one of those models.

  • on Feb 13, 2011

    [...] Chinese mid-seventies POC! I’ve had an inexplicable compulsion about finding a Chinese car (no, a Zap doesn’t count) for decades; it’s been a Niedermeyer family obsession since I sincerely offered my kids [...]

  • Norman Stansfield This is what you get when you run races to keep the cars bunched together for more excitement. F1 doesn't seem to have this problem after the first few laps.
  • SCE to AUX Too many cars = more wrecks. With today's speeds on essentially the same old track, starting with half the cars could reduce the congestion at the end. Or maybe it would increase the problem because the herd wouldn't thin early on.I say no overtime - finish at 500 miles and no more.
  • Garagezone There was an Indy 500 yesterday? Hmmmm...
  • Mark Morrison Sad it just reminded me how good TTAC once was … required daily reading.