By on May 30, 2010

The only “real car” on Forbes’ most overpriced list is the Chrysler 300. Really. Despite being based on the compact Cobalt, Chevy breaks sales of its HHR out as a “truck,” in search of improved CAFE performance. And despite an MSRP of under $20k, the PT Cruiser-inspired wagon was still one of Forbes’ most overpriced vehicles of 2010. The rest of the list’s 11 models are unquestionably trucks, or truck-based utes, and save for Nissan’s Titan and Armada, they’re also all from Detroit automakers as well. If you’re looking for more reasons to build a cheap, utilitarian compact pickup truck (ahem, General Motors) this list has got ’em. Hit the jump for Forbes’ list of most overpriced vehicles, and the magazine’s formula for deciding who makes the cut for this dubious distinction.

Forbes’ Hannah Elliot explains the process of finding the vehicles that are least worth their asking price:

To find them and others, we looked at April market price figures. This data, supplied by automotive industry analysts at Vincentric, is updated each month to reflect marketplace inventory, demand, rebates and incentives, and to represent the price that a buyer actually pays for a given car. We ruled out any vehicles where the gap between market price and MSRP was less than 15%–a natural breaking point in the data that left a list of about 40 overpriced models (with trim variations making it 150 total vehicles) to pare down.

We then used 2010 customer satisfaction information from Consumer Reports to better determine whether certain vehicles meet the expectations their brands promise–essentially, whether they justify their sticker price.

The data considers a wide range of factors, including price. Vehicles that scored 65 or less (on a scale of 100) made our list. We then ranked the remaining 11 vehicles according to their market price vs. MSRP ratio.

The list is as follows:

  • Ford F-250 XL Regular Cab 2WD: Worth 25.2% less than its $25,300 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 58
  • Nissan Titan XE KingCab 2WD SWB: Worth 23.6% less than its $26,320 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 63
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab 2WD: Worth 23% less than its $20,850 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 58
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Regular Cab 2WD SWB: Worth 22.8% less than its $27,465 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 59
  • GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab 2WD: Worth 22.6% less than its $20,850 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 58
  • GMC Sierra 2500 Regular Cab 2WD LWB: Worth 22.5% less than its $27,465 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 59
  • Chrysler 300 Touring: Worth 21.1% less than its $27,260 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 52
  • Nissan Armada SE 2WD: Worth 18.9% less than its $37,210 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 65
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD: Worth 17.3% less than its $30,710 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 64 (V8), 52 (V6)
  • Jeep Commander Sport 2WD: Worth 17.2 percent less than its $31,575 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 54
  • Chevrolet HHR LS: Worth 15.8% less than its $19,030 MSRP, CR satisfaction score: 61

Check out mealy-mouthed responses from the offending OEMs’ PR guys here.

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18 Comments on “Forbes: The “Most Overpriced Cars of 2010” Are Trucks And Utes...”

  • avatar

    I’m rather a fan of Consumer Reports in their analysis of the kinds ofcars commonly used by their subscriber base.

    When those same subscribers go out to buy a 3/4 ton pickup, they are likely to have had no need for it in the first place and no experience with truck ownership to compare it to.

    Satisfaction with even the best truck is unlikely under those conditions.

  • avatar

    This list is dominated by base model trucks and it makes me suspect, particularly with the pickup trucks, that the number is skewed by fleet sales. Utility companies, landscaping companies, construction companies love the base model 2WD trucks and the price is probably lower due to them buying multiple trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      I just logged into say the same thing. I would bet some cash that >50% of the 2WD regular cab trucks sold are white. Even the Titan on the list is essentially a regular cab because the King-Cab is Nissan’s base level cab.

    • 0 avatar

      You hit the nail on the head. Nobody buys F250 Regular Cab XLs retail. I think my dealership might have sold one truck like that total through the retail channel this entire past year, they are pretty much only sold through fleets to businesses. An XL trim regular cab F250 is a pure work truck, vinyl bench seat, crank windows, AM/FM radio (no CD), and almost exclusively seen in plain white with grey vinyl interior. Considering there is $5,000 worth of rebate on the hood right now (due to the all new 2011 models) it isn’t unexpected that the 2010s are selling at such huge discounts.

      As far as customer satisfaction goes, everyone bitches about their work truck. It’s a no-frills get the job done type of vehicle, it’s not meant for comfort.

      As far s the non-trucks on the list –

      The only reason to buy a 300 is to get one of the loaded up models with the Hemi, without that thrust and the almost acceptable interior that comes with the loaded models, the car is crap (roomy, but still crap).

      The Armada has the worst ergonomics by far of any of the big SUVs, awful seats, poor visibility, and some of the worst gas mileage. Anyone with half a brain would buy the Expedition, Tahoe, or Sequoia.

      The Jeep Commander somehow manages to be tiny inside despite its pretty big exterior dimensions. Driver footwell space was especially poor in the last one I drove, which would make it a no go for me.

      The current Grand Cherokee has a crappy V6, no so surprises that that models fairs poorly, and is very long in tooth, and about to be replaced.

      The HHR suffers from poor visibility, a craptastic interior, and aside from the SS version, anemic engine options, again, no wonder people hate it.

      As far as the article’s assumption that this somehow means a cheap utilitarian pickup is a good idea, I fail to see it. People don’t dislike these trucks because they are big or expensive, most of the people driving them aren’t paying for them, they dislike them because they are basic work vehicles and it’s hard to excited about the truck you get into to go sweat your ass off all day doing hard labor.

  • avatar

    I remember reading a Consumer Reports rating of a Corvette a few years back. They dinged it for not having a back seat. How can they possibly rate a truck?

    CR’s Consumer Satisfaction data allegedly comes from customers but is the sample of truck owners who read CR and participate in their surveys representative of the universe of truck owners?

    I doubt it.

    Porsche also gets a high CR satisfaction rating; I also doubt they sampled many 911 owners with grenaded M96 engines.


    • 0 avatar

      I remember them also giving the corvette a best buy rating in its segment.
      Love it or hate it, CR is the closet there is to bias free car reporting among mainstream mags.

    • 0 avatar

      “I remember reading a Consumer Reports rating of a Corvette a few years back. They dinged it for not having a back seat. How can they possibly rate a truck?”

      Some of the Corvette’s competition are 2+2’s so it is a valid thing to complain about. The 911 and Nissan GT-R off the top of my head, going back a ways the 300zx and Supra.

      The lower priced Mustang, Camaro and RX-8 all have 4 seats.

    • 0 avatar

      bucksnort is right. A large part of what defines the Corvette in the 1st place is that it has only 2 seats, then to turn around and complain about that? CR should stick to the Camcord stuff.

    • 0 avatar

      They didn’t ding it, the commented on it. And it’s a far comment, because it does lack a back seat while some of it’s competitors don’t.

      They can similarly review a truck: for sure, a super-duty truck might ride badly and/or have poor ergonomics. Again, it’s a fair point: it’s competition might ride better and/or not have a Nixon-era interior design. But hey, if the trade-offs are worth it to you, then by all means, buy an F350. I personally wouldn’t be surprised to know that, day-in and day-out, driving an F350 really does suck.

      It’s like eating Kellog’s Bran Flakes every day. Sure, it’s healthy. Sure, it does the job. But you’re probably not going to get the same satisfaction out of a bowl of it as you would from, say, a nice steak and eggs. I’m sure that Colon Blow Monthly rates Kellog’s Bran Flakes highly vis a vis Post Grape Nuts**, which has slightly less soluble fibre. But you’ll have to forgive Consumer Reports for saying that it tastes like shredded cardboard, or that all of them aren’t the favourite of most people who eat breakfast.

      ** Personally, I hate Grape Nuts, but bear with me, here.

    • 0 avatar

      They can similarly review a truck: for sure, a super-duty truck might ride badly and/or have poor ergonomics. Again, it’s a fair point: it’s competition might ride better and/or not have a Nixon-era interior design.

      I can’t think of anything in the competitive set for HD trucks that doesn’t ride poorly.

      I guess the Ram RAM 1500 comes the closest.

  • avatar

    Recently bought a leftover, but new, 2009 HHR SS 5 speed for about ~$21K after all the discounts and rebates. Excellent car for the money and IMHO the best GM car (or truck) for the money ever. Of course, GM has stopped making the HHR SS.

    • 0 avatar

      Couldn’t agree more Freddie. We bought a left over 2008 HHR SS also. Great handling, acceleration when you want it, with good gas mileage when you don’t. Lots of room for hauling stuff inside and trouble free for 2 years. We got a heck of a deal it, which is probably why it was discontinued. Too bad GM couldnt afford to promote the SS version a little more.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    Welcome to capitalism. Somebody creates a product that gets an above average markup and //Forbes// complains? When did they get all communist?

    • 0 avatar

      Capitalists are all for socialism when they’re the ones falling head-first towards the social safety net.

      Similarly, I’ve met more than a few hard-core socialists who won’t lend you a quarter for a phone call.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Anyone with a spreadsheet program can crank out a list of “best” or “worst” anythings. In this case, Forbes used the average percentage discount off MSRP as the key data with which to generate their list. At that point, they could have published a list of “vehicles you can expect to drive the hardest bargain on”. But no, they then muddied the water by blending in some Consumer Reports raw customer satisfaction rate numbers to come up with a final splashy story.

    Forbes’ story is a load of &*^&.

  • avatar

    You taught me the correct word for this information: meh.

    A base Silverado for that money is a steal. Here they run for considerably much more money than that.

  • avatar

    All are 2wd ?

  • avatar

    The narrower the tube you give someone to peer through, the easier it is to get them to see what you want them to see.

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