By on June 13, 2012

 

Every auto journalist that is worth a damn in this business has a bit of brand bias.

Passion always leads to prejudice.

I consider it a good thing, that occasionally needs to be kept in check. There have been times where I’ve written a car review and had to re-evaluate my thoughts.

“Would I be criticizing this model’s weaknesses so sternly if another emblem was on the front of it?”

The car may have been boring, or exceptional, or simply be good without anything noteworthy to report about it. The hardest vehicle to write about is almost always the first one mentioned. The boring one. Which is why most veteran auto journalists despise having to write about full-sized SUV’s.

Those vehicles I could easily live without. But as for companies…

I have to keep my poker face. But thankfully, the Best & Brightest have the opportunity to tell the world about their prejudices.

It may come from personal experience. Or an inherent hatred for a brand’s design elements. A prejudice may even come vicariously through the unpleasant experience of a road trip with a car that inflicted Grizwold like consequences on the mind and the wallet.

Everyone who is an auto enthusiast has a company that, to put it lightly, wouldn’t be missed.

Which one is yours? Why? Besides Saab?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

162 Comments on “Question Of The Day: The Company You Can Live… Without...”


  • avatar
    vwbora25

    Suzuki, their models are boring and soulless

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      I beg to differ, the Suzuki Swift ‘Ring rental that I had was a great handling and fun car, and could take a bunch of abuse, according to the shop owner. It’s a shame that we don’t get them in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        The Suzuki SX4 Crossover would be perfect for out here, not too big, not too ‘hard-core’, just right for folks around here that live well beyond where the asphalt ends and need something other than the big-honkin’ work truck to make the 20-mile grocery run to town..

        But, the nearest Suzuki dealer is over 120 miles away, in a fairly big city just on the outskirts of Dallas/Ft. Worth.. where nobody needs or wants anything like that.

        And Suzuki wonders why they’re having poor sales.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    GM, via Pontiac.
    1987 Grand Am was a black-smoke-belching, perpetual-check-engine-having, gas-guzzling, transmission-stuttering, heap-o-garbage. That 2.5 L 4-cyl was slow and thirsty. Perhaps my particular example was bad but…
    Then there was the 1990 Pontiac Sunbird GT (Turbo). Boy oh boy did I waste money and time on that heap of garbage. I was young and dumb, it was fast (when it worked) and pretty. First, turbo siezed despite having plenty of oil. Then the AC died. Fixed both, paid an arm and a kidney to do so. Had a good year of driving, then the radiator leaked, started overheating. Fixed that, then the head gasket started leaking. By then it needed ANOTHER turbo. Shortly after the headgasket and turbo, the timing belt broke (thankfully non-interference) and left me stranded in a west Cleveland ghetto. AC broke again (left it broken). Would stall when it got wet and did so in an East Cleveland ghetto (twice, same ghetto). Had to pay a hobo $5 to help me push it off of Euclid during rush hour. Windshield wipers decided to go on auto-pilot and wipe at random periods when they were turned off. EVERYTHING rattled. My family gave that car a wonderfully appropriate name of “the greedy whore”.
    I’m sure GM is much better now, but for those early examples, I have a hard time believing that they could produce a quality car.

    • 0 avatar
      Yeah_right

      +1. Mine was a 2005 GT with a supercharger. After two years, the finish of every surface you touched, like radio buttons, had worn off. The exterior clear coat and paint flaked off, leaving the primer. It blew a head gasket, even though it got the regularly scheduled maintenance. It even satarted to rust in NE Tennessee, where even Chevy Vegas don’t usually rust. I so wanted to drive that car into the block wall of the local GM dealer, but I didn’t for a second believe that the airbag would actually work.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Steve, speak for yourself. I, for one (only?), miss Saab. There, I said it.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      I was being facetious… driving one right now… make that, one is parked in front of my house.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        Sorry, overly sensitive Saabophile here. I can understand the hate and/or apathy others have for the brand, but I’ve owned (and loved) 6 Saabs over the years (including my current 9-5 Aero). They’ve always been fun, interesting and reliable (no, really). I miss the Saab that made Viggens, Aeros and SPGs, the scrappy little bastards.

        To answer your question – I wouldn’t miss GMC. Seems like a waste of space when all of their products are rebadged/rebodied Chevys.

      • 0 avatar
        bill h.

        Schmitt would not approve one would think! But tough luck.

    • 0 avatar
      itsfred

      NOT ME. I inherited a sexy Porsche 912 in 1973, but as a young impoverished, “sensible” graduate student I tragically decided to trade it in on brand new “practical” Saab 99. What a crappy, unreliable, thoroughly unredeemable piece of dogdoo that car was, supported by a network of dealers in MA and RI who all should have been behind bars for the way the treated their customers. Good riddance to Saab.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Vehicle I could live without… CUVs, go back to your minivans and station wagons and stop pretending you are a rugged adventurer.

    Company? Toyota. One of the world’s finest appliance manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Company? Toyota. One of the world’s finest appliance manufacturers.”

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dan…

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      What’s wrong with a company that makes good, well made, reliable appliances that do exactly what they are supposed to do? Say what you like, but sometimes a good appliance is exactly what most people need and want.

      • 0 avatar
        Dawnrazor

        Yeah, the Toyota bashing is getting REALLY tiresome at this point (not restricted to TTAC BTW).

        Folks worship at the alter of engineering for the purpose of driving “performance” (and often rightly so-there’s some amazing stuff being done right now), but then hypocritically, completely fail to show any respect for the similarly-accomplished engineering necessary to build cars like Corollas and Camrys which have consistently been about as reliable as the rising and setting of the sun.

        The sad fact is, probably 90% of our driving is done in very poor conditions for anything remotely resembling “sport” or “performance”. Driving at 45mph in town, on crappily maintained roadways, among clueless fellow motorists, and in heavy traffic, it makes no difference whether one is driving a Corolla or an M3 (actually the Corolla would probably be more comfortable and less fatiguing than the high-strung M3 in these conditions).

        Also, don’t forget that the Prius is among the absolute best of the best in terms of reliability, and it’s chock full of recent technology and is considerably more complex overall than the average ICE-powered vehicle. If we’re truly honest, we must acknowledge that what Toyota has done with this vehicle truly rises to the level of a genuine milestone in the engineering profession.

        I’m having a really hard time thinking of an answer to the original question. I’d really hate to lose ANY car maker, even if I’d never buy a car from a given marque. Losing even one would diminish the variety of vehicles on the road, and I find that sad on some level. I even miss seeing “misfit” cars like old Fiats, Renaults, Sterlings, and even Yugos; most of these vehicles were complete crap (at least in the US), but it’s a little more boring out there on the streets without them. Then again, I admit I’m a little weird.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @Dawnrazor

        What’s wrong w/ “Toyota-bashing” esp. if one is purported to be an auto-enthusiast?

        There’s a reason why Toyota has been referred to as “appliances”, “beige”, etc. by countless articles/reviews in auto publications.

        These days, there are other automakers who do the reliability thing as well as adding some life to driving enjoyment or to the style dept. (or both).

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Agreed, but this in my mind is the one would would least likely lose.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      CUVs are station wagons. If you want to suggest that a soccer mom shouldn’t be driving a 4Runner around town, ok, I get that. But a Highlander? That’s the modern version of a Ford Country Squire wagon. Since nobody makes station wagons in the U.S., and Minivans have become gigantic, I can certainly see why CRVs, RAV4s, and loads of other CUVs are popular. That rugged adventurer element is not relevant to the crossover space, I don’t believe those that buy them think otherwise. The ride height is merely a function of practicality. It is much easier to get into and load kids and groceries into a modern CUV, than it is in a low to the ground Euro wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        dgb100

        I have an 01 Subaru Forester, great vehicle, drives like a car but can go just about anywhere you’d want any time of the year short of boulder strewn inclines.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        I think many, many people (women in particular) buy CUVs for the “rugged adventurer” image. Nearly every day there are comments on this site lamenting the fact that wifey would not go for car X because it is too mom-like and don’t present the rugged outdoorsy image that a CUV apparently does.

        I wonder who they are fooling? Each other perhaps? I’ve never seen a 35 year old woman in a Hyundai Santa Fe with 2 kids and thought of Indiana Jones, fly fishing, or the Rubicon trail. I don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Dan,

      Until manufacturers market decent wagons, I’d like the option to at least buy a good CUV. I need something with more cargo room than a sedan but I don’t want the expense and thirst of a fullsize SUV or pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        And I hate CUVs because of the lack of wagons caused by CUVs and SUVs. I wish women would wake up to the fact that CUVs and SUVs are NOT the most efficent way to satisfy their transportation needs. I single women out because they seem to be the ones who have the most influence on what the family buys for the primary kid mover.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        @Dan

        My sentiments exactly although I am on the flip side and hate CUVs for killing off or watering down real SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        +1

        I’d love to see a real body-on-frame Ramcharger, Bronco or Blazer 2-door make a return. Enough with the mommymobiles already.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Which one? picking one is really hard. Suzuki is a good one. (Do Dodge, Buick, GMC, and SEAT brands count?), M&M, all state-owned Chinese companies, Isuzu, Mitsu, Fisker, PSA,…

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    GMC – what might have made sense 40 tears ago does not make any sense today. What do they bring that Chevy doesn’t have?

    Lincoln – unless they come up with something decent real fast they are just another Lexus wanna be.

    Suzuki – Need I say more?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      GMC – what they bring is better exterior styling, but I know that is subjective and completely my opinion. Every year that GMC and Chevy Truck have been clones of each other, I like the GMC’s styling better.

    • 0 avatar
      Dukeboy01

      GMC brings in money for free, since all the R&D work has to be done anyway on the Chevrolet side. There’s virtually no cost to them and it keeps the Buick- Cadillac dealers happy by giving them a “premium” truck that they can sell next to the CTS and Lucernes.

      And, subjectively speaking, the slightly different styling makes a difference to some consumers. I’ve owned both Chevrolet and GMC pickups, both new and used. Right now I’ve got a Chevy, which I bought used, but if I was planning to buy brand new again I’d go for a GMC. I’ve loved that big red logo ever since I was a kid watching the A-team.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Agreed. I would lump in all the ‘duplicate’ brand names like GMC, Plymouth, Mercury, Oldsmobile…. thankfully they are all dead now.

      oh yeah -nobody has brought up Saturn. Now there is a forgetable car brand.

      • 0 avatar
        Lampredi

        “oh yeah -nobody has brought up Saturn. Now there is a forgetable car brand.”

        So forgettable, in fact, that prior to your post, nobody had even thought of bringing it up… ;)

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Lincoln used to be a proud brand and then they turned it into Mercury II. Would love to see a real revival of this real American brand but I doubt its in the cards.

  • avatar
    CdnExPat

    Mitsubishi.

    The entire lineup is dated, the EVOs future is uncertain. Their future product strategy depends on small cars and EVs. The iMiev is selling poorly and the new Mirage appears to be a subpar effort in a newly-competitive B-segment.

    If Mitsu disappears, I won’t even notice.

  • avatar

    Mitsubishi. Aside from the Evo (and I could always buy an Sti instead to scratch that itch) the product line is dull, ugly, and has questionable reliability.

    Volvo could disappear for me as well. The idiotic numbering system leaves me completely baffled, and if I’m spending as much on repairs as I would with a Volvo I’d rather be driving a BMW.

    re: prejudices. I loathed Chrysler and it’s entire product lineup for years. I just bought my wife a Jeep Patriot. Nobody is more stunned than I. Upside: with such low expectations of the brand I’ll likely never be truly disappointed no matter what ills it develops.

    • 0 avatar
      Strippo

      I second Volvo. No matter what schizophrenic priorities I emphasize lately, Volvo never bubbles to the top of the list.

    • 0 avatar
      quoteunquote

      I agree with you on Mitsubishi, but am surprised that you wouldn’t mind it if Volvo disappeared. An idiotic numbering system seems like a weird reason for wanting a car company to disappear in my opinion. Also, Volvo’s “Safe + Secure” coverage program that comes free with all new Volvos includes 5 years / 50K miles of warranty, wear and tear, maintenance, and roadside assistance, so for the first 5 years of ownership of a Volvo you’re basically only paying for gas.

      Besides the exterior and interior styling of their new vehicles (particularly the XC60, XC90, S60, and V40), what else I really like about Volvo is they’re one of the few companies — the only other one that comes to mind would be Mercedes… maybe VW too — that go the extra mile when it comes to safety. Whereas the other companies seem to handle safety like it’s something they “have” to do (due to market demand)… Volvo and Mercedes treat it like it’s something they truly want and love to do, and I respect that.

      Yes, as it stands today most of the other car companies have for the most part finally pretty much caught up with Volvo’s safety performance (save for City Safety) at least in the IIHS/NHTSA crash tests, but if the past tells us anything they’ll have some more catching up to do when Volvo comes out with some new stuff, like the new XC90 in 2014 for example.

      So that being said I think the industry (and consumers) as a whole would be much worse off if Volvo disappeared.

      Also I for one am looking forward to seeing how Volvo intends to keep its “no people seriously injured in our cars by 2020” promise…

      • 0 avatar
        Strippo

        Yeah, safety never bubbles to the top of my priority list. Safety is me doing the driving. Safety is assuming everyone else on the road is a moron and adjusting expectations accordingly. And whether the engineered safety is born from passion or obligation, it’s there in sufficient quantity for me. Obviously there are lower end manufacturers that could be more easily written off (and have been in the comments), but of the manufacturers that aren’t yet reduced to desperate bottom-feeders in this country Volvo comes out at the bottom for me. It’s the new Saab.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Hating on BMW because of their owners, who are either obnoxiously aggressive or timidly creeping around turns. Combine this on road behavior with the marketing that convinces these worthies that they’re driving the ultimate in motoring, and well, yeah, there’s some hating going on.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    Audi.

    Yeah, they’re a media darling. Their showrooms are beautiful, and the cars are incredibly good looking.

    But they’re good at raiding the parts bin of the VW empire, doing some nice styling, and calling it good, with little or no lip service paid to reliability, even within the warranty period. If GM cars were as awful as Audis, the mainstream media would absolutely bury them.

    Granted, the other German car companies like BMW and Mercedes have had their fair share of issues – most notably the BMW turbo cars, which kill fuel pumps early and often. But those don’t measure up to Audi issues. A friend of mine was looking at a CPO S5, but decided to call off his search for them after reading about transmission replacements in as little as 20k miles and the 4.2 FSI V8’s tendency to have carbon buildup issues.

    • 0 avatar

      LOL!

      Agreed. Don’t understand the media love either.

    • 0 avatar
      THE_F0nz

      I’ve read a bit about that issue and it was shocking to me. People were throwing down 70+k on an RS4 and seeing serious engine issues before 50k. Unbelievable! I’ve read forums and people have just taken the attitude that this failure occurring is just a matter of time for every owner… Wow…

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      I have a friend who owned a 4.2 S4 that was consuming a quart of oil every 200 miles – with only 70K on the clock. He traded up to an RS4, and while driving from Boston to the New York dealer to trade in the S4, he had to stop halfway to add a quart! He kept at least 6 quarts of oil in his trunk at all times. Unreal.

      The RS4 is now burning oil at a rate of 1 quart every 2,000 miles. Audi has told him that this is normal.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        1 quart every 1,000 miles is supposedly normal oil consumption per VW. Of course, my thought is that it’s a way for VW to weasel out of warranty work and cover their rear end when a VW owner failed to check the oil for several thousand miles and blew an engine.

        http://volkswagenownersclub.com/vw/showthread.php/24653-2.0T-Burning-oil…?p=396321

      • 0 avatar
        schmitt trigger

        Stop replacing crankshaft oil and just add it to the gas tank, just like a proper two-stroker should!

    • 0 avatar
      vwbias

      It’s quite simple, vw/Audi build cars that develop an enthusiast following, they drive well and have that European car feel that the Media loves. Basically some car guys love what VW/Audi produces, I’ve owned 3 vw’s and an Audi all had minor issues here and there. And yes a toyonda would likely be more reliable, but not one of them were as trouble prone as people on here seem to think ALL vw’s and Audi’s are.

      I would gladly drive a car I enjoy to drive and put up with some minor issues, than drive something that’s just an appliance but never breaks.

  • avatar
    david42

    Audi, for the reasons that Sam P described.

    And VW, because that’s where Audi’s sins come from. (And VW has plenty of its own sins, too.) I’d miss the GTI and Touareg and Phaeton… but those don’t do enough to mitigate their aggressively crappy products. I think their engineers must have the same mindset as GM designers in the early 1980s.

  • avatar

    Unlike you Steven I don’t mind taking off my poker face. I think it helps my readers understand where I’m coming from. Of course I try to be objective.

    My prejudices change over time. For instance, for all my life I disliked Chevy. They had absolutely nothing for me. Now they’re changing their line up in Brazil and, sincerely, I’m impressed and would buy one now.

    VW had been a mainstay of my dislike. Never saw anyhting in them. Still don’t like them. And hate the media infatuation with them.

    But the company I most despise now is HyunKia. Their propaganda in Brazil is ridiculous as is their pricing. Don’t like the smugness many of their buyers display. They all seem to be people who’d rather have a TeutonicUber machine but can’t muster the cash. Yuck.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTheDriver

      This! I’ll go you one further … HyunKias suuuuuuuuuuuuuuk! Their engineering is bad, the parts that aren’t bad are stolen, and their designs are nothing more than copies. I know, people on TTAC like to think of them as “derivative”. Uh yea, thats a fancy word for COPY!

      There is some kind of mass delusion that these cars have good reliability. They don’t. Their supposed 10 year warranty is a lie. Read carefully their warranty is no better than the industry standard and good luck actually getting dealers to honor them. Oh, and the dealers! Worst in the business (OK tied for worst with Honda.)

      Now that the price on these Korean krap wagons is heading north I say “sayonara”! Send more kimchee but keep your kraptastic krudmobiles.

      • 0 avatar
        VA Terrapin

        First, “sayonara” isn’t a Korean word. Different Asian nationalities aren’t interchangable.

        Second, survey after survey shows that Hyundai is pretty reliable, no worse than Chevy and a lot better than Chrysler. If Hyundai is crap, most of the Detroit Three is worse than crap.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @JohnTheDriver

        Funny, Hyundai rates higher than all the Japanese brands (Honda is the only one doesn’t rate BELOW the industry avg. by hitting the industry avg.) in JDPower’s CSI rating index which ranks owner satisfaction with dealership repair and service.

        Hyundai – 791
        Honda/Industry Avg. – 778
        Nissan – 774
        Toyota -766

        http://autos.jdpower.com/content/press-release/2IC11L1/2012-u-s-customer-service-index-csi-study.htm

        Also, Hyundai not only does well in industry reliability studies such as JD Power and Consumer Reports in the US, but they have been listed at the TOP spot for the past 2 years by AutoBild (Germany) which is known for doing one of the most comprehensive analysis of reliability in the industry.

        And Honda and Toyota have lifted just a much, if not more styling cues than Hyundai (even today); it was the former head of Mercedes design that publically called out Toyota/Lexus for copying designs (that’s practically unheard of in auto
        design circles).

        Seems to me that your assertions are nothing but vapid hot air with no subtance.

        @Marcelo de Vasconcellos

        Sounds like Toyota/Honda in the States.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        And oh, Hyundai is the 1st Asian automaker to win the prestigious Golden Award at the EuroCarBody Conference in Germany (for the i40 touring) – so again, actual people in the industry would disagree.

  • avatar
    raph

    Mercedes – I will never forgive them for what they did to Chrysler and as a result the american people (Chrysler could have weathered the meltdown had Mercedes not raided thier cash reserves). Instead, we had to bailout not one but two companies (for the record, I see the bailouts as anessecary evil, it would have been nice if it only had been 1)

    • 0 avatar
      jimboy

      +1. I have long (and often), said that the folks in Stuttgart are morally and ethically challenged, both in the way they conduct their business and their treatment of other companies they have raided, Chrysler being the most recent and notable, but not alone on that list. They have arrogantly coasted on their reputation for way too long, and the only people that actually buy them are poseurs and wannabe’s. I drove one of their cars in the ’90’s and it had horrid driving dynamics, sucked gas like an alcoholic and was ugly to boot. Never again, I won’t even ride in one now!

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Woah- don’t blame Mercedes. The Private Equity fund Cerebus is the one that raided Chrysler’s cash and killed off all its R&D.

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        What?! Cerberus came to the party way too late to do any real product damage. All they did was lose their shirt. You can’t blame the Crossfire, Pacifica, ComPat, Caliber, the interiors of the 300 & sibs, the chronic worst-in-class quality ratings, the lousy warranty service, nor any of the other failings of Mopar post-‘merger of equals’, on Cerberus. Stuttgart FTL.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Didn’t Cerberus end up with Chrysler Financial as part of the bailout… IIRC this is the only part of Chrysler they ever wanted to begin with.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      Agreed. Mercedes is a very overrated company. They make automobiles that should be nice – for the (high) prices they charge. When they owned a volume car company (that would be Chrysler), they failed. They have an economy car (that would be Smart) that is a failure – the economy is poor considering the size of the automobile.

    • 0 avatar
      genuineleather

      Purchase Price: $37 billion
      Selling Price: -$650 million

      Now, who exactly bled who dry?

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Let’s not forget that they co-opted Chrysler’s cash hoarde when they “merged”. There’s also lots of creative ways to make it appear as though a particular division was bleeding money. How about shoving manual transmissions down your “partner’s” throat that are almost triple the cost of the one they were buying from a US supplier? How about finding a way to get some cash for your old SLK tooling that was otherwise worthless (Crossfire anyone?). How about making the subsidiary use higher priced German suppliers so you can get a volume deal to reduce the cost on your cars?

        There are a multitude of ways for the parent company to effectively screw a subsidiary and make them look bad…the list goes on and on.

      • 0 avatar
        jimboy

        Mercedes used Chrysler’s cash (8 billion +) to redevelop their own vehicles, which were hopelessly over engineered, to save their own product line, while starving Chrysler of ANY money for its own product. When they had spent all of Chryco’s money they they sold the carcass to Cerberus. BTW, the M class, SLS, and the new merc V-6 are based on CHRYSLER engineering, not the other way around, as mercedes would have you believe. Do some research before you start b.s. ing around here.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I don’t know much about accounting for how businesses use their money, but if the Germans paid $37 billion in I suppose cash and stock to acquire Chrysler and $8 billion cash to spend on their products, how is that a wise investment?

      • 0 avatar
        jimboy

        @28 cars later – If you think the Germans paid anything for Chrysler you’re mistaken. Who can forget “The Merger of Equals”. It was a simple stock trade, Mercedes had NO money, that’s why they needed Chrysler. Essentially, Robert Eaton and the Chrysler board of directors gave themselves to mercedes. They were suckered, and Juergen Schremp gloated over it until he was fired. The deal was valued @37 billion, not the ‘purchase’ of Chrysler. Does that help your math problem?

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Which automobile company could I live without? General Motors–after enduring some of their junk vehicles from the ’70s and ’80-more precisely a Vega and a Buick Skylark I vowed never to drive another GM car. Despite good maintenance on my part these things broke down land left me stranded repeatedly. Even after bancruptcy and reorganization, I still have reservations about the company and its products.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      I don’t care for GM much, but those cars were produced before many of us posting here were born (1981 for me). At what time does one move on from past history?

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    Scion. Just badge them as Toyotas and be done with it. The idea of having a youth oriented brand that doesn’t include a convertible, a jeep like mini- ute, or a hybrid (Aren’t hybrids what all the cool kids want nowadays?)in the model line-up, but instead has three (one of which, the iQ, was designed and meant to be a second commuter car, the buyer of which is probably not going to be in the “young” demographic since he’s able to afford a second dedicated vehicle to fit a small niche in his life) coupes and two station wagons (Let’s be honest: the xB and xD fit the “station wagion” template better than the hatchback template)in the line- up is dumb.

    • 0 avatar
      hidrotule2001

      +1. The xB could probably be re-worked into more of a wagon/van ala Mazda5 and fill in where the Matrix lived, and the xD could probably be folded in with the Yaris or the xB.

      It would be nice to see the tC live on as a Celica, though the FR-S is probably a better fit there. Perhaps just fold the tC in with the Corolla for a Corolla Coup.

      More likely than not though you’d axe everything but the FR-S and keep on rolling.

  • avatar
    GD3FTW

    i’ve really been mission Plymouth lately. Prowler, Voyager, Breeze… those were the good ol days

  • avatar
    lon888

    I think the world is OK without Trabant.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Besides Toyota, companies I could do without:

    1. Chia -anything
    2. Whoever makes the junk “As Seen On TV”
    3. All cheap China manufacturing.
    4. Apple

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      If you could do without all cheap Chinese manufacturing, I hope you’re ready to pay notably higher prices for nearly every category of consumer good. Especially electronic devices.

      Besides, China is viewed as “expensive” these days. Southeast Asia is the new hotness as far as low wage, low cost manufacturing goes.

      And I’m not giving up my iPhone for an Android device any time soon. Tried one, hated the user experience.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Dude you read my mind.. add Honda/Acura to the mix along with Allstate, Sears, Sprint…should I go on..lol..Although without Honda and Yota the American car Manufactures would have continued to give us junk for about 20 more years, but I still wish they would go away. I am willing to pay more if its something is quality however the companies that do business with China are not.

    • 0 avatar

      I used an Apple IIe and supported Macs for a while so I’m no anti-Apple bigot but I’ve never been a member of the Apple religion. Still, the company has pushed a lot of other companies into making their products more intuitive. In general Apple has been a good thing for product and industrial design.

      BTW, I once participated in an inventors’ day at Telebrands. A.J. Khubani, who owns the company, was driving a dealer loaner Gallardo that day. Actually all that “As Seen On TV” stuff is not necessarily junk and almost all of it originates with small American entrepreneurs. Companies like Telebrands are always scouting for new products to sell. I had a great time that day talking to the people trying to pitch their products. Some had some rather silly ideas, others were already successful and looking for another distribution channel, but all represented to me the classical American dream.

      • 0 avatar
        Lampredi

        “Actually all that “As Seen On TV” stuff is not necessarily junk”

        It doesn’t really matter, as that’s nevertheless the impression one gets when companies choose this type of distribution channel for their products.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Subaru.

    Darn near mandatory AWD, low displacement engines, CVTs, crummy factory tires, generally ugly styling, and their owners are masters of the humblebrag.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I have a special place of contempt for the X6. Neither utilitarian, practical, or as truly sporty as one of the blue propeller’s sedans . (Although I blame the Cayenne for this genre). Fastback luxury SUV’s are the worst example of conspicuous consumption, the silly kind, that is. No body says that a Quattroporte is practical, but the beauty of it is it’s redeeming quality. Likewise the 911 for heritage and performance, or any of the Teutonic flagships for top level comfort. But cars like the X6… why do they even exist?

  • avatar
    Mark_Miata

    Actually, it’s easier for me to list the car companies I would miss: Mazda (I like pretty much all their cars, not just the Miata), Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. Any one of the rest could vanish and I’d care not a bit.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    Not so much a particular company per se, but mindsets that can be characteristics of certain companies, but for which probably EVERY car company can plead guilty at some time or another–

    –Mindless horsepower wars, in an age where traffic and fuel costs make the whole idea laughable (do you really need more than 300hp for that middling sedan’s commute?)

    –Excessive numbers of proprietary tools for servicing, and/or inaccessible owner-maintenance items. I am flabbergasted that a friend’s VW Beetle has to be taken to the dealer to have blown light bulbs replaced.

    –Sealed transmissions or gearboxes that have “lifetime” fluids in them. This tells me that “lifetime” means “until the gearbox breaks down due to because the original fluid no longer can do its job”.
    Same for cooling systems, etc.

    –Cost cutting that plays out in such obvious, brand-laughable ways, such as plastic triangles in place of proper glass window sections.

    –Companies that play into the ridiculous oversized wheel fad by offering them as optional equipment, thus undercutting their own design teams.

    –Companies that insert more electronic ‘geek’gaws into a vehicle without proper testing, proper ergnomic evaluation, and ensuring that the drivers won’t be distracted into a guardrail.

    –Companies that don’t do manual transmissions.

    Anything else?

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Well, the brand I really hate on is gone . . . but I still hate on it. (Guess that makes me a real hater.) Hummer. It’s not that I am an eco-weenie (although the H2 is pretty high up in the gas-sucker rankings). It’s that the Hummer reeks of the “let’s play soldier” ethos with its faux-Humvee styling. More than any overpowered sedan, this thing telegraphs its owners deep psychological need to show the world the he’s one tough sumbitch . . . and I’m not an armchair shrink either.

    But what other rationale can there be for owning something that looks like that?

    Yeah, I had a terrible experience with an Audi 30 years ago that makes me deeply suspicious of the brand, but I certainly don’t hate VAG products. Audis have nice interiors and I’d be happy to own one so long as it’s covered by a comprehensive warranty and the dealer has a liberal “free loaner” policy.

    But Hummers . . . good riddance!

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Looks like if everyone here had their way, and all these despised brands were gone, we’d be down to Ford, Honda, Nissan, Jeep and Mazda. Are these the best makers, or simply the least controversial? Glad we have a few more choices than that.

    As for my personal hate, I’ve already got my wish since Hummer folded.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Toyota=cars for people who hate cars built by people who hate cars.

    A special shoutout to Southeast Toyota, the nastiest people in the car business.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I build Toyotas and I love cars. Quite a lot of my coworkers love cars, too. My 4Runner is a blast off road and the FR-S I drove a week ago was the most fun I’d had in a car since I had a mini track day in a 911.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        As a former service writer for an all makes shop, Toyotas are cars built by people who know how to build cars and bought by people who know quality when they see it. Only Honda compares. Every good mechanic knows that the only rational reason to buy other manufacturers’ products is as toys.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Today’s 4runner is perhaps the ugliest SUV ever made, the Soviet Union couldn’t have made an uglier vehicle. The should give out car covers to protect the eyes of innocent when thesenastylooking vehicles are parked. The new Grand Cherokee kills the 4runner. Jeep has been gaining marketshare against the JapanInc flagship zaibatsu all year and ZF 8 speeds on the way will only make the SUV’s from TRD even more backward and obsolete.

        That FDS car looks like Pixar designed it and would lose to many minivans in a drag race.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        FWIW, I think the JGC looks really nice inside and out. The poor reliability (even current gen), lacking cargo space, IRS, unibody, and heavy weight (4900lbs v 4600lbs) of the JGC make the 4Runner a better buy for my purpose. Probably not worth discussing with you, though, because you’re clearly biased and unpleasant. I’ll keep enjoying my 4Runner and dreaming of adding an FR-S to my garage. :)

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    If you drive a Mercedes or a BMW, you owe Audi a thank you note, even if you never intend to buy one. Why? Go back just ten years, and look at the difference in quality between Audi interiors and the rest. Mercedes interiors in those days SUCKED, and BMW’s weren’t that much better.

    Mercedes interiors were tired and their switch gear and electronics were laughably bad, even the S and CL class. BMWs were spartan and drab, with similarly bad controls. Audi showed them how its done. Lights behind the door handles, interior ambient lighting, interior style, reasonably easy to use NAV and entertainment controls, support for USB devices and other electronics besides the cursory iPhone port, B&O stereos, etc. In pretty much every single case, Audi got there first, and the other two looked at Audi’s work and put their own stamp on it.

    And of course, if you drive a BMW with xDrive or a Mercedes with 4Matic, guess who made them produce that car. Guess who pushed forward with LED lighting. Guess who is pushing for lightweight materials and cars with lower weight and smaller, more efficient engines. Guess who is the only one to challenge the Porsche 911 on its terms.

    The automotive world would be a much poorer place without Audi in it, even if you’ve heard a few stories about reliability issues. Also, the “gussied up VW parts bin cars” argument is BEYOND tired. Why not back it up? Show me the percentage of components that the A4 shares with the Jetta and Passat.

    The brand I could definitely do without is Acura. I don’t really care about Suzuki or Mitsubishi or other brands that are already in nursing homes. Whether they stay or go is irrelevant.

    Acura on the other hand is actively annoying. Acura’s mantra seems to be “never learn from success, always repeat failure”. Acura started things off pretty well. The original Legend was a genuinely good car that people liked. A success, in other words. So what do they do? Change everything about it. Turn it into a pathetic, V6 FWD Lexus LS clone, which itself was/is an S-class clone. It bombed. “Always repeat failure!” is the Acura mantra, and repeat it they have. The RL name stays. The stodgy styling and lackluster performance stay. It bombs again. Acura refused to learn anything. Now it will be called “RLX” because clearly what was missing before was “X”. People will not buy cars without the letter X. Otherwise, keep it the way it was, all that was working fine. Styling meh, peformance meh, interior meh. Always repeat failure!

    After bumbling around with the Vigor and the first gen TL, Acura actually seemed like they were learning something with the ’04 TL and TSX. They were on to something, critically praised cars that looked good, drove well, and sold. What does Acura do? Refine things, keep the attractive shapes, focus on performance and actually start to take the fight not to Lexus but to *gasp* Germany? NOPE! They SCREWED IT UP! Change everything! V6 TSX! Awful styling! Failure!

    The “Advance” brand with the 5-speed automatics and the port injected, SOHC V6s irritates me like no other.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I am a former acura and audi owner (enjoyed them both) and had to reply/expand to a couple pieces of this.

      “The automotive world would be a much poorer place without Audi in it, even if you’ve heard a few stories about reliability issues. Also, the “gussied up VW parts bin cars” argument is BEYOND tired. Why not back it up? Show me the percentage of components that the A4 shares with the Jetta and Passat.”

      This is a holdover from that same 10 years ago era. The B5 A4, B6 A4 and the C6 A6 all shared significant componentry with the B5.5 Passat. The Phaeton was also an A8 in drag. And the TT was a GTI with the R32 drivetrain hooked up to it. the 1.8T and 12v and later 30V V6 were used liberally throughout the lineups as well.

      In 10 years, much has changed. The only Audi sharing significant componentry with VW is the A3 (which is basically a GTI or Golf R depending on trim). All other models are engineered wildly different from their like-sized VW counterparts

      As for Acura, I agree with you that they have chosen every wrong decision that they can, but have a different take on it.

      -The Vigor was a strange animal. Longitudinal engine, FWD like the B5 passat. IDK if honda never thought it should be RWD, but they could have added a driveshaft and moved the drive axles back a couple yards.
      -Sizing/branding has been out of sync since the Integra disappeared. 1st gen TSX filled the gap of 4-door integra, but the upsizing in the 2nd gen plus the V6 made it too big, and too close to the TL, but still not as good.
      -ILX, TSX, TL overlap too much. I know the TSX is going, but the ILX needs to be the 1st gen TSX, and it’s not that.
      -RL has never been an executive car no matter how much acura has tried.

    • 0 avatar
      glwillia

      > If you drive a Mercedes or a BMW, you owe Audi a thank you note, even if you never intend to buy one. Why? Go back just ten years, and look at the difference in quality between Audi interiors and the rest. Mercedes interiors in those days SUCKED, and BMW’s weren’t that much better.

      Erm, I don’t see anything wrong with the interior in my ’94 E420. It’s comfortable, ergonomic and well put together, with high quality materials. I will grant you that BMW interiors from back then sucked (especially the E36).

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Mitsubishi. Does anybody actually buy one of there vehicles anymore? Now with the Galant, Eclipse and SUV being pulled from NA after 2012, there relevance in the States is even more questionable. I’ll never forget years ago being in a vast new car lot of Mistus seeing a brand new DE Coupe which we abbreviated as decoup smoking the parking lot full of oil smoke for the first 5 minutes of running as they were re-arranging the cars around. Needless to say a nearby salesman that was trying to sell my best friend a Mistu SUV was totally embarrassed. He instead purchased an S-10 pickup which he kept and loved for 10 years.

    Also on my list is today’s stupid fads and design flaws that every designer thinks they need to follow of which most every company is now guilty in one way or another such as-

    1) Gun slit windows followed by massive over-sized A-pilars
    2) Massive over-sized rubber band tires that reduce MPG, cost a small fortune to replace, generate more road noise and impact ride harshness all to appeal to the mindless younger set
    3) Plastic black triangles to finish off the rear window glass
    4) Huge over kill my grilles are bigger than your grilles
    5) De-contented bodyside door protection moldings on cars. The obvious spin is it makes the cars look cleaner. Sure for the first 3 months until aunt Gertrude whacks her big SUV door right into your unprotected door and dings, dents etc make your new ride look like a POS. The only thing this accomplishes in more green in the corporation’s pocket and a car that will be worth less at trade in or lease turn in time.
    6) Gadgets galore at the expense of the vehicle. Sure blind side alert, rear view cameras, radar cruise control etc may be usefull for some but I don’t want to give up my glovebox light/lock, my trunk lock cylinder, lighted visors, remote start, seat fabric etc to get them
    7) Sand paper fake synthetic cloth seat material that brushes up against my legs, is all but impossible to clean, collect lint like crazy and makes the interior feel like an econobox
    8) Black, tan and gray interiors. Enough already with the colorless soulless bland interiors. There needs to be a return to some color to today’s car interiors. While the bizarre and colorful nature of the 60’s and 70’s may not cut it today there is no reason whatsoever why Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus etc can’t be ordered with a nice light blue or green or wine interior color on the seats and door panels at least
    9) Lack of option flexibility. Why can’t I order that V6 on a base model CamCord or Malibu? Why is cruise control not offered on a Cruze LS or base Focus? Why do I need to spend 31K sticker to get a better sound system on an Impala?
    10) Companies that are all but eliminating the manual transmission.

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    I don’t mind Suzuki and Mitsubishi although they aren’t even relevant brands at this point… I would lose Kia. Why? Kia is a redundant brand to me, sure so is GMC to Chevy, but GMC is faux luxury Chevy trucks and personally I prefer GMC’s styling to the bowtie. If Kia were the core brand and Hyundai came later, you could make the argument Hyundai is the luxury brand, but this isn’t the case, as Hyundai is no luxury brand and never will be. The Korean H could take lesson from Chevrolet and dump Kia, it is possible to have higher end roadsters and pony cars sold alongside work trucks and econoboxes, with all models still succeeding.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Would you have dumped Mazda when Ford owned a similar ownership stake in Mazda?

      Or how about one of Nissan or Renault?

      Kia and Hyundai share platforms and powertrains and that’s it; but if one had to get rid of, I’d get rid of Hyundai since Kia has the better design language.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTheDriver

        Hrm, I didn’t realize barf was a design language.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @JohnTheDriver

        I’d take the opinion of auto designers who have awarded Kia numerous design awards over some no-name punching away at his keyboard.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        +1 Good one John.

        With regard to auto designers giving each other awards given the puke that’s being turned out from 2010 onward for all brands, I’m not sure I trust their opinion.

        Giant wheels, thin tires, high belt-lines, less greenhouse and the infamous black plastic triangles, they all need to go back to design school.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Chrysler/Dodge

    Their vehicles look a lot better now but from 1999-2009 they were just spitting out pure crap.

  • avatar

    It’s easier for me to think of government agencies that I could live without than car companies. Unlike about 2,000 car companies, government agencies rarely go out of business. I’d rather see business enterprises succeed than fail. It’s nice when they make good products and are solid corporate citizens.

  • avatar

    Mitsubishi (excepting Evolution) & Suzuki are the Seinfelds of autodom; they’re brands about nothing and should be put out of their misery, along with Morgan, Tesla and TVR.

    • 0 avatar

      How can you complain about “brands about nothing” and then mention Morgan in the same breath? If there’s one car company with a brand that means something, it’s Morgan. You may not like what the brand stands for, but there isn’t a company in the world that has a better handle on what their brand means than Morgan.

      Like Derek’s unnamed Honda exec said, “In the end, there will be three car companies. One of them will be Morgan.”

  • avatar
    slance66

    Chevrolet for me. I always saw Chevy’s as the worst of a brand of clones. In my life, that’s what’s they’ve been. You want a GM, there were three versions of the same car better than the Chevy version. Plus I hate the Bow-Tie logo. It stands out as the worst logo in the industry. With some of the changes @ GM, this may no longer be entirely fair, but I still dislike the brand.

    #2, RAM. While I could imagine owning a DODGE truck, I could never drive anything as absurd as a RAM truck. The fact that a marketing campaign took over the brand itself is pathetic.

  • avatar
    carguy

    That’s a tough choice, there is a number I could think of:

    Suzuki
    Have made themselves irrelevant with unremarkable cars

    Mitsubishi
    Much like Suzuki

    Scion
    Great idea for a brand has ground to a halt under the crushing weight of its parent companies conservatism. Just call them Toyota’s and be done with it.

    Acura
    Honda Accords and Pilots with nicer interiors but nothing anyone would miss.

    Chrysler/Dodge (minus Jeep)
    Abused by Mercedes and now bereft of brand identity they seem to have little in the way of product vision except to force domestics to breed with Fiats.

    Buick
    Once a great brand but now GMs Mercury. Let Cadillac handle the luxury market and offer more upmarket options for Chevys to fill the gap.

    Smart
    One small terrible golf cart does not a brand make.

  • avatar
    Bill Steege

    Company I can do without? Government Motors formerly known as General Motors.

    Why? Ford is the only American major car maker left in America and their products are consistently superior to the ones from GM and Chrysler.

    For those not inclined to buy a Ford product, the foreign brands, imports and transplants provide a field of excellent vehicles to choose from.

  • avatar
    Cleatus

    Bias journalism on The “Truth” About Cars?!! Impossible!!!

    Paid for by GM, Ford and Chrysler.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Buick needs to go, and this is coming from a buick LeSabre owner. Yeah, I’m biased, it has the worst seats I’ve ever had the penalty of sitting on, I can guarantee you once the 3800 dies, I won’t be buying another one (only 120k to go!). Chevy can continue to put out junk or they can move upmarket and kill buick’s reason for existance. It looks to me like GM is choosing the second strategy.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Automotive brands don’t upset me. There isn’t any one of them in particular that I’d like to see banished from the face of the earth.

    I do think that Suzuki, Mitsubishi and probably Mazda are fated to disappear from the US market, but I bear no grudge against them.

    I do think that GM’s decision to maintain three US channels, instead of two, was a mistake, but again, it’s nothing personal.

    I would also say that Ram was a bad idea and that Chrysler trucks should have been continued to be branded as Dodge Ram, but again, that comes from a business perspective.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I wouldn’t miss Scion. Their logo is silly-looking, their image is trying too hard (and rarely accurate, from all the elderly folk I’ve seen in xBs) and there isn’t a single Scion that wouldn’t sell as a Toyota (and in Japan, they ARE Toyotas.)

  • avatar
    Volts On Fire

    General Motors. Forever General Motors.

    Bitch and moan all you like about how devastating it would have been to our entire economy to have one million UAW members sent packing in the darkest days of 2008. I don’t believe it would have been that devastating, but fine. It still would have been worth it, to rid us of one of the most miserable automakers in the world and one of the world’s most corrupt labor organizations.

    I firmly believe the long-term benefits — killing the UAW, forcing accountability, and serving notice to other companies that failure is always an option — would have far eclipsed any short-term drawbacks. I also think we’ve only delayed this choice for GM by about another 4-5 years, anyway.

    Some things will ALWAYS be wrong. Forcing the taxpayer to bail out a company we have already determined should be allowed to die – with money we don’t have, to boot – will ALWAYS be wrong.

    That’s the problem with our country. We only think about today, and we’re thoroughly unwilling to accept short-term inconveniences in order to make difficult, but correct, choices. It is already our downfall, and we’re not coming back from it. Brush up on your Mandarin; maybe the ChiComs will have pity on us, and we’ll all be grateful to work in their sweat shops…

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      All the foreign car companies are government subsidized. You do know that? Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, the UK all have national healthcare and social safety nets. Asian corporations (zaibatsu and chaebols) are configured differently with little barriers between government, banking and manufacturing. Japan has bought down the yen for half a century to subsidize their exports. They now have the highest per capita debt in the world, worse than Greece.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        I’m not talking about Germany, Japan, South Korea, et al. You do know that?

        In America, you should be allowed to survive and fail by your own merits. If an individual or company wants to help you out, that’s their choice… but such charity should not be forced by the government. Simple as that.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        “I’m not talking about Germany, Japan, South Korea, et al. You do know that?

        In America, you should be allowed to survive and fail by your own merits. If an individual or company wants to help you out, that’s their choice… but such charity should not be forced by the government. Simple as that.”

        YEAH WITH BIG BROTHER BACK HOME HELPING JAPAN INC AND KOREA INC COMPANIES. WITH YOUR THINKING, SOME DAY AMERICANS WILL WAKE UP AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OWNED BY ASIAN STATE SOCIALIST CORPORATIONS INCLUDING THE WATER YOU DRINK.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        My my, such a temper! Lower your voice, you’re in a public forum.

        You’re correct about your outcome, but completely blind about the reasons for it. We’ve given our country away thanks to wasteful Big Government spending (again, of MONEY WE DO NOT HAVE) to artificially prop up those that aren’t worth the effort – be it welfare recipients or major corporations.

        Seems to me that we’d have more money, fewer deficits, and less risk of being conquered economically if only we decided to adopt a “sink or swim” mindset. But that’s just me. Also, logic.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    I think most of us get our bias from our parents. My father was in sales and drove a lot of company cars. He always said Chryslers were crappy cars and he never bought them as a personal car. Guess I just took his word on that and haven’t owned one myself. My brother has had bad experiences with a POS Caravan and all the rental Chrysler Co. products I’ve had have always dissapointed…even their “new” stuff, so I guess my bias still stands. (In the 90’s I was impressed with the direction they were heading but we all know how that turned out.)

    I’m a Ford guy, mostly because my dad was a Ford guy, but I’m a Ford guy that hasn’t owned one in over a decade. Same with my old man, but the memories are fond even though the last one I had did leave me stranded once or twice.

    GM cars have given me some problems over the years but I never found a hatred of them for that, similar to Ford. I’ve never been a fan of Chevy trucks. I hated their “like a rock” marketing. Then the bailouts happened and well, without going into a rant, I’ll never ever buy a GM vehicle again.

    Growing up I never liked the Japanese cars. They were little boxy appliances. Not until the 90’s did I really start to like what they were doing. Still drive an Accord every day and it never has given me a problem. Toyota is bland, but I can deal with that. Did shortly own a Mazda 6 for the “zoom-zoom” fun aspect. Terrible car IMO. Just cheap and tinny. The Fusion feels much more solid for being basically the same vehicle, but that may be my bias. I wouldn’t shed a tear if Mazda went away. Ditto Subaru. They had a thing with the wagons but AWD is overrated and a fuel suck. Add on that they are huge today, blah, go away. I actually like most Euro cars but am allergic to the people who drive them. I despise the vanity of having a Bimmer or what have you. Ok, rant off.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    RAM:
    Its just Hummer all over again.

    Volvo:
    Their cars used to be well built, now they’re mediocre luxury items/Fords with weird styling.

    Lotus:
    I love almost every Lotus, but I’d rather that they die than live long enough to become a villain.

    Dodge:
    They don’t make anything, they just leech off of other companies and ruin them.

    Korean cars:
    They’re ugly, lying, cheaply built, and ugly.

    CUVs:
    They’re just an idiotic way of selling station wagons.

    Porsche:
    All that they’re doing is ruining their image at this point.

    To be honest, I do miss the old and stupid GM, they taught us what no to do and they’re fun to mock. Then again, they are STILL building Aveos.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Let me just add a few more:

      Mini:

      All that they make is one delicate, poorily designed economy car that features 55 or so variants, all with the same engine and a few with a fire-prone turbo.

      Smart:

      Same thing as Mini, except its the gear boxes that are troublesome.
      Smarts have their place in the city but here in the US they’re broughten by idiotic “trend setting socialites”.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Korean cars – “ugly”

      While I can understand some people not liking Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language (I don’t particularly care for it myself, but now other automakers like Mercedes and Buick are now using similar elements), Kia is a whole different matter.

      Most of Kia’s lineup has won numerous numerous auto design awards.

  • avatar
    dts187

    The only thing Chevrolet has made in my life that I found remotely interesting was the turbo Cobalt SS. I’ve only ridden in a vette once. The car drove like hell but the interior quality seemed on par with my grandmother’s cavalier of the same year. I’d never want to drop that much coin on a rather impractical car anyway.

    The whole bowtied fleet of bland, soulless vehicles could disappear like a fart in the wind for all I care.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “As a former service writer for an all makes shop, Toyotas are cars built by people who know how to build cars and bought by people who know quality when they see it.”

    You’ve obviously never owned a Toyota. Toyota’s strength has always been in their manufacturing not how they engineer and design cars. I’ve owned 2 and the last 3 vehicles we bought have all been GM. I guess if I thought Toyota’s were as great as you say they are, there would still be at least one parked in my garage.

    The first brand new vehicle I ever purchased was a Toyota. Currently they don’t make a thing that interests me. After owning that road disaster Highlander it will be a long, long time if ever that I walk into one of their dealerships. So they could go away.

    The comment above about the current 4Runnner being “gouge my eyes out ugly” is spot on. The 4Runner has mostly been one of the better looking sport utes on the market. What happenend???….LOL

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      What happened with your Highlander?

    • 0 avatar
      VA Terrapin

      Toyota is strong in engineering. Toyota is one of the first to have a successful gas direct injection engine. Toyota is the first to have a successful, mass produced, gas-electric hybrid. Toyota had some very good sports cars in the GT2000, Supra Turbo and MR-2 Turbo, and the LFA and FR-S show that Toyota still knows how to build sports cars. The Hilux is legendary for its durability. Your Highlander not withstanding, Toyota has a deserved reputation for reliability. These things don’t happen if Toyota isn’t strong in engineering.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    Acura and Lincoln I could do without. Few of their cars seem to be very competitive in their classes (and in the case of Acura most of their cars overlap with one another) and the styling is sorta incongruous, among another annoying li’l things that bug me about them. I’m not even talking about the rebadging, but these two companies just can’t seem to make up their minds on who they’re trying to sell to, or what to sell to these people.

    While we’re on the subject of Acura, I find it hilarious that they killed off the Integra/RSX because they didn’t want to appeal to younger buyers and then a few years later we now have the ILX which will probably appeal to younger buyers.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    What brand would I not miss?

    -Smart. Really, absolutely 0 appeal of any sort.
    -GMC: Look, I can appreciate that Buick dealers want trucks to sell. But there’s nothing to miss.
    -Acura: nothing there to actually miss. No more integra/RSX. TSX soon to be gone, replaced by an overpriced Civic. No more wild turbo RDX. Fake NSX coming out. Why buy one of these? What would I be sad about if they left?
    -Lincoln: but I AM curious about what they’ll do in the next few years, since they don’t have to share funding and R&D money with Mercury/Volvo/Aston/Jaguar/etc any more. There’s potential, and a lot of heritage.
    -Mitsubishi: You’re killing the Evo? Why should I continue to G.A.F.?
    -Scion. Just no.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    “You’re correct about your outcome, but completely blind about the reasons for it. We’ve given our country away thanks to wasteful Big Government spending (again, of MONEY WE DO NOT HAVE) to artificially prop up those that aren’t worth the effort – be it welfare recipients or major corporations.

    Seems to me that we’d have more money, fewer deficits, and less risk of being conquered economically if only we decided to adopt a “sink or swim” mindset. But that’s just me. Also, logic.”

    GIVING OUR COUNTRY AWAY TO WHO? JAPAN HAS A FAR HIGHER DEFICIT PER CAPITA FROM BUYING MARKETSHARE. CHINA IS COMMUNIST NATION THAT IS ALREADY BUYING UP ALL THE MARKETSHARE IN SOLAR POWER. GERMANY IS STILL THE WORLD’S STRONGEST EXPORTER AND IS THE MOST UNIONIZED NATION ON THE PLANET AND HAS HEAVY GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN BUSINESS.

    IT’S MORE SOCIALIST NATIONS WE ARE LOSING TO NOT MORE CAPITALIST ONES. THE ONLY SUCCESSFUL CAPITALISTS WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT ARE THE SOMALI PIRATES.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    I’m not going to name a whole brand but I will single out one specific vehicle: the Toyota FJ Cruiser. What an ugly, poorly conceived vehicle. It looks like an elephant trying to balance itself on a roller skate. The only positive thing that I can say is that they stayed true to the concept vehicle – unfortunately that’s where everything goes wrong…sometimes it’s a good thing to tone down a show car for production.

    Let’s see:
    – Poorly proportioned mirrors that are great if your’re checking for a 747 making a landing behind you, but useless for anything else
    – Silly 3 wiper arrangement on the front windshield
    – Complete lack of rear visibility
    – Seats sit on the floor
    – Hideous looking dashboard made from cheap rock-hard plastic
    – Factory stereo that looks like it was made by Kraco and purchased at K-mart
    – Interior filled with over-styled details such as the shifter knobs
    – Goofy looking bumpers
    – Top that won’t come off like the original FJ-40’s
    – IFS
    – Inner fenders that crack if off-roaded vigorously
    – Storage compartment on the top of the dash with a lid that blocks your field of view when open

    I could go on, but this vehicle just plain makes no sense. If you really want to go offroad, stop being a poseur and just buy a Wrangler.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Wouldn’t be missed? I don’t have one, shrunk significantly in size, oh yes.

    VW/AUDI/SKODA etc etc. I firmly believe this company more than any other in the past 5 years has done more blatant badge engineering than any other company out there and NEVER EVER is called out by the press about it.

    That irritates me to no end. When I can see a SKODA Superb, next to a VW Passat, next to an Audi A4 and if you black out the emblems. except for the slightly longer roof in the back of the Superb probably 90% of people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Same from the interior. That really gets me going especially when GM is routinely criticized for this and yet I see more effort to differentiate the vehicles from GM.

    Better yet put an Audi A8 next to a VW Phaeton and I dare you to point out the differences besides some strips of chrome.

    I truly believe that this company is getting undue praise for some pretty bland designs to the point that they are making Toyota’s designs look interesting to me, and trust me, that is hard to do.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    Hyundai and Kia. I know it’s just me, but no matter what they put out, no matter the new ever-higher quality rankings, no matter the audacious styling and class-leading performance and 100,000-mile warranties, their cars have an air of disposability to me. As I said, it’s just me.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    To all those who dislike SUVs. I went from a 4X4 Ford Ranger to a Ford Escape. I lost 6 inches of load capacity and ride height and handling are about the same. Also, the mullet factor on the Escape is much, much lower. My Escape also has its normal share of DC scrapes, scratches, and dings.
    In the flyover states a lot of Buicks are sold to clientele who think Cadillacs are too “flashy” and ole Donnie sells GMC trucks at the same place. IMHO, GMC trucks are just “nicer” than Chevrolets and are rarely used as work trucks. I’d also like to see statistics showing how many Buicks and GMCs are sold for cash.

    I miss AMC. A hybrid Pacer would just be bitchin’

  • avatar
    el scotto

    No Telebrands? Vince would be unemployed!!

  • avatar
    nrd515

    For me, it would have to be Honda. I’ve never been even slightly interested in anything they make. Boring. Toyota and Nissan had at least one vehicle I liked, but not Honda. I never understood the love some people, including a friend of mine who will soon be buying a Fit. Hideous little tin box of a car. Another friend’s daughter bought one that got smashed by a Dodge Ram. That she survived without any real injuries other than being scalded by the Ram’s coolant that sprayed on her, was pure luck.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I’m thinking high-end cars like Rolls Royce are meaningless for me and would not be missed, but someone keeps them in business. On the Mitsubishi subject: I bought a Ralliart about 3 months ago and I am happy with it…so far. As long as the buyer knows what they are buying, it’s all good. I wanted a fun car with at least a nod to being pratical, so it has 4 doors. Handling is beyond any limits I will demand, and it is quick…so for me it a great fit. Oh, it cost 25K…not bad in todays market. The interior is bland, dark, hard, all the things that todays writers complain about…but I don’t care; those items were way behind the handling and “fun” requirement. As far as sub-prime credit, again, I don’t see that as a problem, just some people trying to put themselves above others, that will always happen in any market/product.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      The Ralliart really is a blast to drive and, in my eyes anyway, decent looking on the exterior.

      The interior is hard and plastic but it’s not too often I rub my face up against the dash for pleasure. I didn’t find it offensive to look at.

      I just wish they would have made a proper hatch rather than the sportback. I think the odd slope and bulge around the tail lights looks pretty awkward.

      The Ralliart was on my “give it a drive” list here recently. The AWD and quickness made a compelling argument but I decided on a new GTI for the proper hatch and lower insurance costs. I’m sure a Ralliart would be a blast to wring out on some backroads, though.

  • avatar
    bodegabob

    Based on real-life experience over the years: GMC does quality control on their vehicles before they leave the production line. Chevy does it through a series of extremely irritating service visits after the sale. That’s the difference, and how GM further spreads misery around the globe.

    Thus making all of GM the company I can live without.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Smart. It’s not the ’90s anymore – there are plenty of other subcompacts to choose from that beat the Smart car in efficiency and practicality and aren’t much bigger on the outside. Also, most don’t have a gearbox actively trying to make you crash. In fairness, I can see the advantage of the Smart car in European city centers, parking nose-in – and that’s about the only redeeming quality I see.

    Also, I couldn’t remember any of Land Rover’s models (other than the Evoque and the “classic” Range Rover)! Range Rover Sport, LR2, LR4…I forgot these even existed!

  • avatar
    bkrell

    Besides Saab? Well, honda…

  • avatar
    Les

    I personally could do without any and all brands that try to sell themselves either through their marketing or through their fanboys with things like ‘extreme-conditions handling’, or ‘an out-doorsy, adventurer lifestyle image’ or even a ‘Rally Pedigree’….

    ….then concentrate all but a handful of their dealerships in the biggest, densest urban areas while leaving those like me who live out in the country where there still are a large number of un-paved roads to scrounge-out what we can from the local Big-3 Dealerships that haven’t had serious competition encroach on their turf in 40 years.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • B-BodyBuick84: Buy the Sentra- fun to drive with the 6 speed and great greenhouse visibility. Drive the Corolla,...
  • rudiger: I’m with Syke. In fact, could be good opportunity to pick up an older, used Bolt with a brand-new...
  • ToolGuy: This is a good writeup on some bad legislation, with some thoughtful comments❗ Does this site still exist?
  • ajla: Seems like Acura missed the mark with the new TLX. Neither the 2.0T nor the Type-S are quick enough to draw in...
  • VWGolfGuy: The ancient Q50 is the better buy in the sort of sport luxury market

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber