By on April 25, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

… a person I will announce after the jump.

First, here are some stats from all your nominations.

You nominated …

  • 165 different vehicles for Ten Best, not including derivatives.
  • 174 different vehicles for Ten Worst, not including derivatives, entire brands (of which there were many nominations), technologies (lookin’ at you, diesel) and platforms.
  • 12 of you nominated the Jeep Compass for Ten Worst.
  • 15 of you nominated the Jeep Patriot for Ten Worst, and one of your nominated it for Ten Best.
  • Products made by companies that were either part of the former Diamond Star Motors alliance or DaimlerChrysler locked out the six top spots of Ten Worst. One of them is the Dodge Journey … but it isn’t the top pick.
  • Sportscars took three of the top five spots in Ten Best.
  • There are only two FCA vehicles in the Top 20 Best autos. Yes, one of them is a Hellcat and the other one is a Jeep.

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for …

Daniel Latini, you are now $100 richer. We will email you shortly.

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65 Comments on “And the Winner of a $100 Amazon Gift Card is …...”

  • avatar

    Looking forward to the lists…and not surprised that Chrysler was so, um, prominent in initial voting. How does that square with “there really are no bad cars anymore” narrative??

    • 0 avatar

      There are definitely some bad cars out there, and the B&B did a good job of nominating them.

    • 0 avatar

      Compare the worst car for sale in the United States today with the worst car for sale in the United States in 2006, 1996, 1986, & 1976. For me that is where the “there really are no bad cars anymore” comes from.

      • 0 avatar

        But compare an extry-level Mercedes today with an entry-level Mercedes from 2000, and I bet the older one feels better nailed together.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah but it lacks a radio.

        • 0 avatar

          From 2000? You mean the beginning of the low-point of Mercedes design, reliability, materials, and build quality? Nah, I think you’ll do better with today’s version.

          Was this comment in jest, Mark?

          • 0 avatar

            I was going to post the same thing. Mid 90s? Yup, much better. The 2000s when Mercedes dipped their toe – no, body, into the design to a price point instead of MB’s traditional design to a standard? No thanks. The quality of Mercedes dove fast….

        • 0 avatar

          “But compare an extry-level Mercedes today with an entry-level Mercedes from 2000, and I bet the older one feels better nailed together.”

          Depending on manufacturer, the best vehicles from most in terms of motor, reliability, durability, chassis, etc, were made from 1994 to 2008.

          We’re now in a new malaise era of angry jelly bean (with warts, appendages and gaping maws) CUVs, sedans and coupes with tragic hamster mill, turbo spooled 4 bangers (where inline and V-bank 6 cylinder and 8 cylinder motors once resided), with CVT and tragic dual clutch transmissions attached.

          You can get high horsepower and big, proper motors still, but in niche vehicles and often without a manual transmission option AT ALL now, with the 4 banger, FI motors often as the standard one.

          Lexus, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, Audi, Porsche, etc., all made their best product from 1993 to 2008, depending on make and model.

          • 0 avatar

            You can’t be serious about Benz hitting their peak from ’93 to ’08, can you? For the bulk of that period, anything good they had was a holdover from before then (the W140 was the last good car they brought out for about 15 years).

            In fact, with your hateboner for the CLA, tell us how it’s different from the W203 C230 Kompressor hatch except that it might actually be more rust resistant.

            And let’s be serious, Audi has been perpetually finicky. They had tons of problems then, and today’s stuff isn’t much different. The market just caught up with 90s Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam Hell Jr

        Fair to say that “bad” in this context means “overpriced” or “mismatched to its ostensible intended purpose” or “generally driven by horrible people”. Certainly that’s how I took it, e.g., “the Audi S3 is probably a hoot and a half but it’s a tarted up, less useful hot Golf owned almost exclusively by unlikeable dudes wearing $1000 quartz movement watches.”*

        *Is one opinion that a person might hypothetically express.

      • 0 avatar

        The Chevy Express is the same as it was in 1996 (hasn’t been updated in 20 years).

        • 0 avatar

          No, it got a new grill about 2000 and the Gen III/IV “LS” engines about that time.

          My brother-in-law owns a GMC version to haul expedited freight nationwide. It replaced an ’05 Express van that lost its 5.3 to low oil pressure… at 575,000 miles.

      • 0 avatar

        True that, PrincipalDan!

    • 0 avatar

      “There really are no bad cars anymore” is a meme espoused by Motor Trend and other auto “journalists” dependent on money and good will from the OEMs. Same as it always has been.

      Good question though as to whether the worst of 2016 are better than the worst of 2006 or even 1996. No contest though with 1986, when the Yugo was available!

      • 0 avatar

        The worst of 1996 would include such gems as the Kia Sephia. No contest.

      • 0 avatar

        “No contest though with 1986, when the Yugo was available!”

        I see you never had the misfortune of purchasing a new 1978 Buick Turbo Regal Coupe.

        • 0 avatar

          I feel your pain Mr General. I had a similar misfortune, an 83 model.

        • 0 avatar

          I knew there were terrible cars offered in the 60s and 70s, such as the horrible Plymouth Volare/Dodge Aspen twins starting in 1976, which shared the Motor Trend Car of the Year award.

          This is why I only went back as far as the 90s in my original comment.

          Also, good point about the Kia Sephia. But is the Mitsubishi Mirage all that much better except for added safety features such as side airbags and electronic stability control?

    • 0 avatar

      If you find reliability-ratings based on percentages, the top spot and, say, number 90 may just be a 5-10% fault rate apart for three year old cars. That’s not marginal, particularly for those affected, but it’s no crisis either. But then there are cars that are bad by design, or just uncompetitive…my nr1 choice was the DS4, a lousy “premium”-Citroën with a bad ride and rear windows that can’t be opened. This is bad.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It is true, where “bad car” = “catches fire in a blizzard while fleeing half a dozen ISIS Hiluxes.”

  • avatar

    15 of you nominated the Jeep Patriot for Ten Worst, and one of your nominated it for Ten Best.

    Who is going to ‘fess up to nominating this for a Ten Best?

    • 0 avatar

      I know who it is, and he’s a regular commenter.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m guessing a big fan of all things FCA – no need to answer the question.

      • 0 avatar

        I had one as a company truck. It was comfortable, reliable, well equipped and quiet. I personally think they look distinctively American. They’ve been around a while so people know how to work on them. They are discounting the heck out of them and trowing money on the hood too. They are rough on gas and have a small tank, but I drive stuff pretty hard so that may not all be on them. If you put them against stuff in their real price range, they fair well. Certainly well enough to keep them off of the naughty list.

        • 0 avatar

          16 MPG from a 3.7 – not good.

        • 0 avatar

          I had one as a rental recently. I did about 600 miles in a 2016 High Latitude edition. I was surprised at how much I liked it compared to the internet hate these models receive. This did have a proper 6 speed automatic and the larger 2.4 engine. I found the CUV composed,comfortable, and dare I say enjoyable to drive.

          For the record, I do own a CR-V and had a RAV4. Does the Patriot compare to these in terms of overall quality? Nope. However, I found this a a perfectly fine inexpensive CUV. Apparently, these are still selling quite well.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        My bet is on johntaurus3.0x.

        • 0 avatar

          Right, because I just love the Patriot/CompASS, the latter of which I once described as looking like the Wrangler’s mentally challenged sister before they grafted the Grand Cherokee’s nose on it…now it only drives like the Wrangler’s mentally challenged sister.

          If you think Id throw those horrible things a nomination for best, you may belong on the short bus as well. Ive mentioned several times my distaste for them, including a comment recently where I expressed my discontent of the impending death of the 200 (and, to a lesser extent, the Dart) while those rolling turds have hung on for so long.

          Anyone who thinks theyre good vehicles has never driven a newer Escape, CRV, Rav4, Sportage, or hell, an Equinox. They were worst in class when they debuted, and havent exactly improved with age (with the exception of the CompASS’s nose). The horrible world engine, the CVT, Im not sure they could be worse if they tried harder at failing.

          But, its okay, people who are feeling insecure just need someone to pick on so they can feel better about themselves, so with that in mind, Ill give you a pass.

          • 0 avatar


            Dude was obviously trolling you and you took the bait something fierce.

          • 0 avatar

            With the exception of the Mustang, Ford/Lincoln is producing more and more garbage, $hitty a$$ vehicles now than at any time in a while.

            Escape, MKC, Edge, Fiesta, Focus, MKS, MKZ – garbage motors (ecoboost crap), garbage transmissions (Power$hit, especially), garbage interior plastics, garbage assembly quality (exterior panel fit and paint is pathetic), etc., etc.

          • 0 avatar

            Boy 1: What’s this stuff?

            Boy 2: Some cereal. It’s supposed to be good for you

            Boy 1: Did you try it?

            Boy 2: I’m not gonna try it. You try it.

            Boy 1: I’m not gonna try it.

            Boy 2: Let’s get Mikey to try it.

            Boy 1: Yeah!

            Boy 2: He won’t eat it. He hates EVERYTHING.

          • 0 avatar

            May I introduce you to Mattwc1 who rented one and owns/owned a CRV and a Rav4.
            I wonder if the B&B must have driven their entry on the worst list yes the list may be smaller but more real world.

          • 0 avatar

            I drove a Fiesta and a Focus back to back yesterday. I have to agree with DW. The Fiesta had 29,000 miles and the driver’s interior door pull was missing. I don’t know why it failed so soon, but it was gone. Also missing were interior door lock switches; apparently by design. I’ve been in some Eastern Block effluvia, but the Fiesta is more of an impoverished POS relative to its contemporary competition than a Trabant was thirty years ago. The Focus merely had a garrote cutting into my lower back that made me uncomfortable the instant I sat down and a cold idle that would have embarrassed an emissions-carbureted Fairmont. When I see a new Ford driver, I look for the lobotomy scar.

    • 0 avatar

      A SUV that starts around $15k (street) is going to be on the crude side. It may not be fair to slam a vehicle for being what it’s supposed to be.

      • 0 avatar

        Im not sure any car designer ever said “lets make these horrible and see how many people dont know any better and buy them anyway.”

        Even if they are “supposed” to be terrible, theyre still terrible. No reason to not call a spade a spade.

        You can say that some of my choices in vehicles are terrible, but thats only when theyre not considered in context. Compare a Tempo to a Fusion? No, compare it to a Reliant. Having owned both, one was much worse than the other. The Tempo drove decent, was reliable and comfortable compared to the K car. The only advantage the K had was its 6 passenger capability…but five of those six passengers needed to be nine year old Korean girls in order to actually use all six seatbelts.

        The Aspire was terrible? Ill take it over a Metro anyday. Its not like my contention was that either it or the Tempo (or the 6000, my 2nd gen Taurus or any other decades old car Ive mentioned) were stunning, brilliant examples of the automobile for all time, only that they had their good qualities and I happened to like them. I dont care if Im the only one, although I know Im not.

        • 0 avatar

          I’ll give you the second gen Taurus/Sable; mine is but 8 months away from its 25th birthday. But a Tempo more reliable than a fuel injected K? My quarter million mile experience says otherwise. But since we have a sample size of one each, who’s to say.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Semenak

            Having owned a 1994 Tempo with the 3.0; my car was reliable until 2008 and 389,000 miles when the trans failed.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe they put it in the wrong category by accident?

    • 0 avatar

      Someone probably got the best and worst lists mixed up, so it was like a typo.

  • avatar

    “Sportscars took three of the top five spots in Ten Best.”

    Assuming we stretch the definition of “sports car,” I’m guessing these are Miata, Corvette, and Mustang.

    “Products made by companies that were either part of the former Diamond Star Motors alliance or DaimlerChrysler locked out the six top spots of Ten Worst.”

    I’ll guess:


    • 0 avatar

      You’re damn good. If we stretch the definition, the top five are all sportscars.

      Golf (a lot of GTI nominations)
      Tesla Model S

      You got two out of six for Top Losers.

      • 0 avatar

        Of those top 5 vote getters for the good list, I matched on 4. I left the Mustang off my best list.

      • 0 avatar

        Only two of six… need to up my game! :)

        Hopefully one of the ones I didn’t get was my own pick (500L). It’s hard to imagine three other FCA, Benz, or Mitsu products that are worse than those I listed, unless you cheated and chose the Compass/Patriot.

        • 0 avatar

          500L is tied with CLA for top spot. Dodge Journey is tied with Smart ForTwo for second (or third?) spot. Jeep Patriot (on its own) is tied with Mirage for third (fifth?) spot.

          • 0 avatar

            Oh, Smart. I didn’t even think of it as a worst contender because it’s so much improved from the last generation (as in, it now has a transmission that doesn’t make you curse every time you accelerate) and as a city resident I love its mad parking sk111z.

          • 0 avatar

            The smart has a turbo now and I’m assuming more torque and I think 0=60 is down to 10 seconds or so. I wonder how many of the voters knew there was a new model?

          • 0 avatar

            I picked all of those cited by Mark as the worst except the Smart, figuring the new manual transmission rectifies the weakest point of the old model.

    • 0 avatar

      Mirage was never DSM affiliated, its 100% Mitsubishi crapbox.

      EDIT: I was referring to the sixth and current generation.

  • avatar

    The smart car may be junk, I’ve never driven it. But I just got back from Europe, and they are everywhere in Rome and Paris. Everywhere. Something to be said, I guess, for a car that can be parked perpendicular to the curb.

    On the other side of the quality coin, you’ll never find a city with more Teslas than Oslo. They even use them for taxis there.

  • avatar

    Is there any fancy macro/algorithm/filter to identify which person either picked all 20 right; or the highest number picked correctly? I’d find that interesting.

  • avatar

    It is not the critic who counts; not the weasel who points out how the designing or engineering man stumbles, or how the assembler of cars could have built them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… on that factory floor, whose face is marred by dust and grease and sweat and blood; whose mind is flying on eleven different herbs and spices, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause: the contemporary automobile… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid Kings of the Keystroke, who neither know victory nor defeat.

  • avatar

    “12 of you nominated the Jeep Compass for Ten Worst.” How is that possible? Only 12 of us nominated that shit box? I thought it was going to win the whole thing.

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