By on April 28, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

We’re getting to the homestretch for TTAC’s 2016 Best and Worst Automobiles Today.

Our writers have voted diligently, and a couple of tie-breaking votes were cast to give us an even 20 contestants in each category.

I present you the 20 Worst Automobiles Today, as chosen by you and our writers, in alphabetical order, along with select nomination comments for each and every entry.

However, before we get to the contestants, let’s talk about what’s to come.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be asking you to vote on the 10 Best and Worst Automobiles Today based on the list below. We are offering you a preview of the lists so that you may cajole your fellow voters into a certain way of thinking — your way of thinking. You have 24 hours to campaign your choices before noon ET tomorrow, at which time we will open the polls to the public.

Here are your contestants.

20 Worst Automobiles Today

2016 BMW X1, Image: BMW

BMW X1

If it walks like a Mini and talks like a Mini, is it a Mini or a BMW? The BMW X1 ditched its rear-wheel drive, first-generation roots to share bones with the Mini Countryman and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (that’s the BMW van, just to be clear). No longer is the X1 a 3 Series variant. Instead, it now sports all the room your foreign au pair will ever need when she’s hauling around those kids you never spend time with.

The car that says “I have an above-average income and a below-average net worth.”

—appel599

Best small SUV for canyon carving, not really good at anything else. Only an idiot would buy an SUV for canyon carving.

—Vojta Dobeš

A front-wheel–drive BMW crossover. They’ll sell as many as they can make. It’s a car that makes me hate humanity.

—s2kjames

A 10-second 0-60 FWD BMW? Sacrilege.

—Bark M.

A front-wheel-drive BMW at obscene prices. BMW needs a reality check.

—tnk479

2016 BMW X6, Image: BMW

BMW X6 (incl. X6M)

The X6 is the BMW no petrolhead asked for yet everyone is lining up to buy. Powered by a 4.4-liter V8 in M guise, its even good for 567 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. But it’s not so good that everyone ignored how incredibly stupid it is to remove half the luggage capacity of a utility vehicle.

Sports Activity Coupe? No room for Activities, Not a Coupe, not Sporty. Useless for someone, like me, doomed to have tall kids.

—Chris Tonn

What question does this thing answer? And where are your back seat passengers supposed to put their skulls?

—Sam Hell Jr

So fabulously tacky. The Ultimate Posing Machine.

—Lightspeed

Horribly ugly, hunchbacked crossover. You must be a gigantic twat to drive this.

—kyleck

Ugliness for niche-market coverage sake. It does nothing that another BMW can’t do better.

—Mexibeetle

Silly name, silly looking, poor rear visibility, poor cargo area and poor headroom. The lack of reclining rear seats limits cargo room. Price is absurd. The stupidest vehicle in the world according to Jeremy Clarkson.

—ponchoman49

For people that know nothing about cars, but daddy’s going to buy them a $100k car.

—theonlydt

All the fuel consumption and driving manners of an SUV with none of the utility, and styling in the vein of a dung beetle.

—CoreyDL

2016 Buick Encore, Image: General Motors

Buick Encore

Ever wondered what a Suzuki SX4 would look like after being fitted with a lift kit and doing a tour of China? Wonder no more.

The Encore is the antithesis of Buick’s illustrious history of large, comfortable cars. The Lacrosse may understeer like its shod with dull-edged skis for front wheels, but at least its big and somewhat luxurious to drive. The Encore is cramped, underpowered (though GM did give it a little power bump this year), and uglier than that boil you’ve been meaning to ask your doctor about.

Spiritual successor to the Pontiac Aztec. GM still makes an ugly CUV.

—Priorityboy86

 

Small, slow, ugly and gets sold over sticker price to sweet old ladies. Just a hateful little gremlin of a car. At least the Lesabre and Park Avenue had some level of dignity and history.

—ajla

It’s too cute, yes. But it’s also dreadfully underpowered, particularly at its Trax+ price point.

—Timothy Cain

Tiny and Buick can’t be in the same sentence.

—commando

2016 Chevrolet Trax LTZ, Image: General Motors

Chevrolet Trax

What’s going on here? Chevrolet has more vehicles on the Best list than the Worst list? Say it ain’t so! However, the truth is this: General Motors has upped its game significantly since bankruptcy. Some of its products are class-leading affairs. Then sometimes General Motors forgets that customers want quality products and builds the Chevrolet Trax.

After seeing some success north of the border, General Motors decided to give this lowly, dowdy ute to America sporting the same, anemic 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the Buick Encore. The Chevrolet Trax has a design that makes you think it will say “DERP DERP” when you honk its horn. Its ride quality is just on the acceptable side of an ox cart. There’s a new one coming, but this is what we have now.

One of the cheapest-looking and feeling interiors on the market meets a badly underpowered, iron-block 1.4T boat anchor. So you’d think there would be some redeeming value somewhere else? Nope. The styling is plain to the point of looking like something that should be white with corporate logos on the side, and the dynamics are sort of like the Sonic, except with extra tippiness, a stiffer ride, and worse grip.

—dal20402

Never have I seen a less trail-capable SUV. Extremely awkward proportions and woefully underpowered.

—anti121hero

You didn’t want a Sonic, so you bought a car that costs $6k more and gets worse fuel economy.

—appel599

2016 Dodge Dart Blacktop, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Dart

Never has the resurrection of a storied nameplate been sullied with such haste. The Dodge Dart is a moribund compact from a moribund brand. Which is too bad, if you think about it. It has a wallop of an engine in GT guise, and you can get it with a manual transmission. It also comes equipped with the largest infotainment screen in the segment. I guess Millennials forget the locations of their local Dodge stores.

Just basic transportation, but every owner I know likes to inflate their ego, and say its a sports car. I know this car will go the way of the Avenger and Neon.

—johnds

I got a Lyft ride in one of these. It’s a car so bad you can tell how bad it is from the passenger seat.

—s2kjames

Perfect example of not adhering to KISS. Why so many power trains that overlap? You can’t do one thing well if you try to do everything.

—Quentin

Put together a list of compact cars that you’d like to buy, from most desirable to least. Think hard about a car that slots after the Dart. No, the Lancer doesn’t count.

—I_S

2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge Journey

The Journey is the vehicle you’re forced to drive as a rental. Yes, it has three rows of seats. And no, you aren’t going to pay MSRP for the Journey in any of its trims. But, for just a few grand more, you can have a crossover that doesn’t feel like it was engineered before the advent of calculators.

Woefully out-of-date, with poor reliability and poor crash test scores. It may be the cheapest 3-row SUV available, but for a few bucks more, there are far better choices.

—210delray

A mind-numbing box of lowered expectations. Even my wife who doesn’t pay much attention to cars was able to realize how bad it was when she rented one.

—Acd

Anything with the wretched powertrain of a wheezing base Avenger deserves a spot here!

—sgeffe

Styled like a tub of margarine, it was hatched under the non-watchful eye of Daimler then developed by a private-equity firm specialized in “distressed investing”.

—SmallerisBetter

A long yawn, in vehicular form.

—Chris Tonn, Chrysler Town & Country owner.

2016 Fiat 500 1957 Edition, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 may be cheerful, but it is far from cheap (to purchase). Suspect build quality and lackluster base engines make the 500 an easy target for scorn.

It’s hard to respect a car when even the base trim can be optioned to look like a bordello inside. Interior design is very tired, and reliability scores are trending toward “the bad old days.”

—Daniel Latini

Reliability? Whatever. Good viagra commercials though.

—ACBABY

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat 500L

Yeah, another Fiat. Yeah, another product from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. This time it’s the ungainly 500L, which is produced in Serbia … in the old Yugo plant … by workers who cook with charcoal out of necessity.

Probably should have left the Yugo plant imploded.

—thenerdishere

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

—I_S

A decent package let down by its powertrain and build quality. Mine had delaminating vinyl trim on the driver and passenger doors during the test drive. What’s your horror story?

—Daniel Latini

Botched the looks, the gearbox, the build quality and the launch.

—theonlydt

What are the core virtues of a Fiat 500? Small size, cheap price, some dynamic entertainment, and charm in spades. You pay for that with a lack of refinement, questionable reliability, and strange ergonomics. The Fiat 500L systematically removes all of the 500’s virtues, while keeping all of the 500’s considerable vices, and adding a huge dose of ugly. Enough said.

—dal20402

2016 Honda CR-Z, Image: Honda

Honda CR-Z

How do you ruin all the equity bought by a historic nameplate? Derive it, limit the new vehicle’s seating by half in comparison, and put on the pounds. The CR-Z could have been a great idea had engineers kept to some key benchmarks. Instead, it’s probably one of the worst efforts ever by a company known for engineering prowess.

A FWD sport runabout without any sport whatsoever, a cute car that’s glass-breakingly ugly, or a hybrid econocar without any utility and with worse-than-normal hybrid fuel economy. Take your pick; either way this car is useless.

—dal20402

A hybrid sports coupe that is neither efficient nor sporty. If Honda insists on using a hybrid powertrain, they could at least use the one from the Accord. A sports coupe with 200 hp and nearly 50 mpg? That might sell.

—HangmansNoose

C’mon, Honda. Put a non-hybrid powertrain in it, change the name to CRX, and let us have some fun.

—Mexibeetle

2016 Veloster Turbo, Image: Hyundai

Hyundai Veloster

Don’t let the name fool you: the Veloster is not fast. The Veloster Turbo is not sporty. And, to put the cherry on top, the Veloster Rally is … a paint option, more or less.

This three-door hatchback may have done better under a different name. It may have done much better if it had a price that wasn’t on the wrong side of aspirational.

The incredible shrinking rear window. Might as well just display the backup camera on a screen full-time.

—boringbeigebuick

Reasonably robust feeling chassis let down by an unresponsive engine, confused DSG, and wonky suspension tuning. The 3 door configuration is inane.

—Quentin

An over-styled Accent priced like an Elantra GT. Weird door configuration. The turbo version is closer than a Mustang 4.0L and the non turbo is slower than a 1988 Bonneville. It’s even worse than the Scion tC, even though Toyota forgot they sell that car in 2012.

—ajla

2016 Jeep Patriot 75th Anniversary Edition, Image: Jeep

Jeep Patriot

This blocky, front-wheel drive Caliber sibling is one of two remaining Jeeps posing beside Trail Rated rocks at American dealerships. A continuously variable transmission has no place in a Jeep. And front-wheel drive should be for when the center differential fails.

It’s the kind of car that only someone ‘who doesn’t care about cars’ would drive, which goes against everything Jeep stands for. When checking out the Grand Cherokee at my local Jeep dealer, they suggested I test drive a Patriot and I left because I was so insulted that they took me for a ‘Patriot’ kind of person.

—vidkopak

Not really an SUV, not really a compact car–what is it good for, except being sold cheap?

—namesakeone

Should be renamed “Jeep Hertz.” Why sell it when you have the Renegade and Cherokee?

—gsnfan

 

 

2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45, Image: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (incl. AMG)

Don’t know what torque steer is? Go and rent a Mercedes-Benz CLA in front-wheel-drive form and you’ll learn what it is as soon as accelerate away from the Emerald Aisle. Driving dynamics aside, the CLA offers up virtually no equipment on its advertising-fodder base model. And if you do spruce for the AMG version, you still won’t be as cool as the kid with the C63, no matter how much power that four-cylinder cranks out.

The pre-O&G price crash vehicle for the under-25 office employee at Chesapeake or anyone else in oil and gas in Oklahoma who thought the 3-star emblem would bestow upon them a well-made German luxury car and the gravity to go with it.

—Tex

Mercedes knows how to downsize and keep brand values. From the bulletproof 190E to today’s superbly finished C-Class, they have shown they can design real Mercedes at lower cost and on a smaller canvas. But they decided that wasn’t cheap enough, and built what looks, feels, and drives like a Chevy Cobalt with a (laggy and loud) turbo engine and a lot of added bling. The interior is badly put together and awfully packaged, the driving dynamics are indifferent, and the exterior look is cheap.

—dal20402

Looks like a pooping dog. Base model gets a Dacia engine. Still priced like a Mercedes.

—Vojta Dobeš

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Coupe, Image: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

The BMW X6 competitor from Stuttgart is just as ungainly. All the stigma of an SUV with none of the utility, the GLE Coupe is based on its namesake, and actually drives well, but the coupe profile is retina searing, at least in photos.

What a colossal waste of engineering and manufacturing resources! This hunchbacked toad of an SUV has neither the utility of a standard GLE nor the performance of an E-Class wagon with the same drivetrain. This graceless lump excels at nothing except being the most unfortunate and mis-shapen step-child in the Mercedes family.

—fr88

It looks like an Acura ZDX that stopped hitting the gym. Why do people buy it?

—gsnfan

 

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Image: i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

How someone could cross-shop a Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, then decide to buy the Mitsubishi, is beyond my comprehension. It’s cheap inside, dorky outside, and doesn’t have the performance to make it any sort of bargain. And that’s before you talk about the fact that nobody knows how to pronounce its name.

Golf cart styling, golf cart driving experience, short driving range, long charging wait, poor ride, slow as hell, tight interior, and questionable interior material choices.

—ponchoman49

You could nominate any Mitsubishi for this list, but the i-MiEV is the worst of the worst.

—HangmansNoose

The best automotive argument for public transportation.

—namesakeone

I’ve had nicer golf carts.

—Johnster

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES, Image: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Mirage

In 2016, a subcompact car doesn’t need to cool and feel cheap even if it’s inexpensive. Yet, here we are, looking at the Thai-built Mitsubishi Mirage — a sad excuse of a car that negates any fuel economy benefit with a 12.99% subprime loan.

As Nissan proved a cheap car can also be half decent, Mitsubishi didn’t.

—theonlydt

Take a vacation in a third-world country and rent a car for the weekend. The car you’re given feels like it would have been a current subcompact if “current” meant 1997, at best. That car is the Mitsubishi Mirage. And it is here. Now.

—Timothy Cain

This exists to make Nissan Versa and Chevy Spark owners feel good about their purchases.

—N_tesla

2016 Porsche Panamera S, Image: Porsche

Porsche Panamera

The most un-Porsche Porsche, next to the Cayenne. The Panamera’s rear end looks like a filled diaper.

It’s still ugly and has too many doors.

—scottie

2015 Smart ForTwo, Image: Smart

Smart ForTwo

The Smart ForTwo is better in its second generation, but those improvements don’t include immunity from the B&B’s scorn. The ForTwo’s biggest problem now: it’s just too damn small for America.

Crummy mileage for a car that only has the capacity for two people and one suitcase.

—Mexibeetle

2015 Toyota Yaris, Image: Toyota

Toyota Yaris

The Yaris is incredibly popular in Canada. In the United States? Not so much.

Just gross. Feels like it was discontinued years ago — yet it’s still here.

—Bark M.

Why buy a Yaris when even a Nissan Versa is more fun?

—gsnfan

Volkswagen Beetle R-Line, Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen Beetle

The days of the two-door hatchback that can’t make the best use of interior space are over. The Beetle was a great initial hit when retro was the new-old cool, but now it’s just another model on a Volkswagen lot that nobody’s buying.

It was a fad and it’s over. The trunk space is nearly useless.

—tnk479

2015 Volkswagen Eos Final Edition, Image: Volkswagen of America

Volkswagen Eos

The Volkswagen Eos was supposed to die in 2015 … and then the factory cranked out a few more by accident, or something. So, the Eos Final Edition isn’t the final Eos. As far as we know, the Eos is dead now, but who knows what next year will bring. After all, Volkswagen needs something without a diesel engine that it can sell.

A car they forgot to stop making, it’s ridiculous in most ways, outdated, and much too expensive.

—CoreyDL

Notable cars that just missed the cut: Jeep Renegade, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mini Paceman, Nissan Versa, Tesla Model X, Chevrolet Traverse, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (incl. Convertible), Mini Cooper, Nissan 370Z, Ford Taurus, Lexus CT, Maserati Ghibli, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (incl. AMG), Honda HR-V, Mitsubishi Lancer (incl. EVO), and Chrysler 200.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

111 Comments on “The Votes Are In! Here Are Your Candidates for Worst Automobiles of 2016, Along with Your Nomination Comments...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Aww more people should’ve hated on the G-Wagen.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Yes! An SUV that’s terrible on-road, and amazing off, but they only send it to us in a spec that no one would dare take any further into the dirt than a middle-class suburb they turned into by accident. There’s no better way to announce to the world that you’ve got too damn much money, except maybe a cocaine addiction.

      • 0 avatar
        Spanish Inquisition

        Speak for yourself. If I had millions to throw around like the mainlanders around here, I’d buy a G65, throw some mudders on it, and go rock crawling in a heart beat. I’d be the coolest new G-class owner in all of North America.

        Sure I might run out of gas halfway up the trail, but you know, gotta have that V12.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The cheapest one is $116,000, and the range goes over $200,000 now. For something you can’t take off road and which rides like a tractor on pavement!

  • avatar

    I don’t understand why anyone buys a non-turbo CVTmatic Veloster. Driving one is like taking Sofia Vergara to your bedroom, letting her excuse herself to ‘get comfortable,’ and when the door opens – BAM – Lena Dunham.

    The GLCELCLECL or whatever never has a stock photo without a widened aspect ratio because in real life, it looks like a severely compound-curved Rendezvous from the rear 3/4.

    The Mirage is ghastly. And I dump on the f**ker constantly, yet I just bought one because it was stupid cheap ($6600 for a ’15 DE with 4300 miles) and I think I can make some wholesale $$ on it. I drove it last night. That dipstick on Jalopnik claims this car redeems itself by being ‘pure and lithe and nimble’ or some such drivel.

    Right.

    If one could drive clinical depression to work, it would be a Mirage.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Memo to self, don’t ask the B&B for their opinion on subcompact CUVs.

    The answer regardless of make or model appears to be just walk instead.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Yeah. I don’t get the hate on the X1. It’s FWD-based; get over it.

      And C&D saw 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. Not sure why Bark thinks it’s 10 seconds.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        Everyone who buys a BMW understands perfectly well we are over paying for a car…the very, *very* least we could tell ourselves is, “at least they bothered to point the engine in the right direction and it has rear/all wheel drive. Take that away and explain to me what exactly justifies the $15,000 premium over say, a Mazda CX-5? Nicer leather?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I don’t think many actual consumers buying a baby cute ute today are disappointed that they can’t spend an extra $15K to get a longitudinal engine.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            The FWD transverse platform just makes more sense in a vehicle that size. The new X1 has way more passenger and cargo room than the outgoing model, since FWD allows far better packaging in a vehicle this size. Plus it actually has the proportions of a smaller X5 rather than the long-hooded hatchback look of the old model, which actually looked awkward.

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          As a BMW fan, the revised X1 makes my heart hurt. Not that a vast majority of actual buyers know the difference (or care) which wheels drive the dang thing. And as an aside just having come back from Europe, the new 2 series “van” makes me weep…and they’ll likely sell every one they make, badge seekers and all.

          • 0 avatar
            motormouth

            I drove a new X1 last year. It’s better looking than the old one, due to the proportions of the first-gen car being compromised by being based on a 3-Series wagon platform, while dropping rear-wheel drive has greatly improved the interior space. Using a version of the same Mini platform, the car is stiff and handles well because of it. I’m a big BMW fan, but this is an improvement over the previous model, which highlights how crap that car was rather than the unseemly switch to front-wheel drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      No kidding. I haven’t driven an Encore or Trax, but I don’t think they’re terrible looking. Tall wagon on a short wheelbase, not a whole lot to work with there.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    The Porsche Panamera is ugly. Really ugly. But the worst of 2016? C’mon. Legitimate arguments can be made for all of these cars being on this list, but the Panamera’s looks aren’t bad enough to somehow outugly the Renegade and Outlander.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I didn’t think it was a beauty contest. Of the three cars you mentioned, I’d put the Panamera at the bottom, even though I like it.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Panamara is the odd man out on this list. Sure, its styling isn’t to everyone’s taste, but nothing is either. Other than that, there’s no really issue with the vehicle itself. I would bet a good chunk of the people voting against it have only ever looked a photo, let lone driven one and are as far from its buyer arena as it gets.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          Personally I actually find the Panamera to be decently good looking when I see it in person. For some reason it looks more awkward in photographs than it does on the road, at least to my eyes.

          And yeah, it’s a solid car other than the controversial looks. It just feels out of place on this list.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          I don’t mind the Panamara’s looks.

          I don’t get paying that much for a car that’s just a gas powered 4-door sedan, though. I’d be just had happy with a high trim Civic, and for a fraction of the price.

    • 0 avatar

      I can get why the styling polarizes folks, but I’ve always found it a striking vehicle. And I don’t get why it’s on this list. Isn’t having more choices for four-door sports sedans a *good* thing?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    True Believers will never accept a Porsche that’s not air-cooled with two doors – get over it.

    I like the Panamera and the Cayenne, and together they comprise 40% of Porsche sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      The interior of the Panamera is beautiful. Outside looks like a stretched out fat 911.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      The cheapest way to get into a Cayenne:
      – Buy a base model Volkswagen Touareg
      – Use a heat gun to remove the “VW” and “Touareg” appliques
      – Get “Porsche” and “Cayenne S” emblems from a junkyard
      – Super glue the Porsche emblems where the VWs used to be
      There, a Cayenne on the cheap, and no one will be able to tell the difference from the outside.

  • avatar
    5280thinair

    Is the Buick encore actually a bad car, or do TTAC writers and commenters just not have any overlap with the demographic the Encore is targeted at? GoodCarBadCar indicates United States sales have been on a pretty impressive upward trajectory over the last few years. My impression is this is a good in town car for people with mobility issues, and in that role it probably does just fine. If joint issues mean the H-point is of high concern to you, this vehicle may be just about ideal.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m a GM nut and also an enthusiastic supporter of the Encore from before it hit the streets. The thing hits all the right buttons for its demographic and the numbers tell the story – its roomy for its footprint, a breeze to park, boasts good cargo space for its size, decent on gas, has a great H-point as you mentioned, and looks premium.

      The Trax – OTOH – was deliberately drawn too cheesy and cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I can’t speak for the Encore specifically, but the Trax is pretty terrible to drive – with being tall, and having a short wheelbase, it’s stiff enough to keep from wallowing all over the place so it rides fairly terribly, but still isn’t that much fun to drive. Couple that with not that much space, a relative deficit of power, and the fact that you’re paying over $25k for a glorified Chevy Sonic (decent car, not a $25k car), the fact that it shares the same badge as some senior’s old LeSabre is about all it has going for it.

    • 0 avatar
      pbxtech

      5280thinair, The Encore was the perfect car for my wife for that very reason. Quiet, fuel efficient, 50K warranty, safe and cheap. The sticker price is insane, but it’s pretty easy to get those discounted and get 0% for 60 months. They come in interesting colors, and don’t feel like the family haulers we’ve had in the past. My only complaints are the sunroof intrudes on the rear seat visibility and there is no passenger seat armrest.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    I am legitimately surprised the frontier isn’t on this list. Just got a brand new one to replace my 14 frontier at work. I had no choice in the matter. Absolutely horrendous. I got it with 10 miles on it and it sounds tired and old and like a tractor.. Its so pitifully slow and the transmission is terrible. The interior is straight out of 2002 and makes my 98 grand Cherokee look like a rolls Royce inside. It already has to go back for two defects, and the 14 had to go back for wheel bearing and transmission issues within 1000 miles of driving it brand new. It turns like an aircraft carrier. The 4 cylinder barely gets 14 mpg. I could go on. Its a disgusting vehicle. I would rather be driving an 85 s10.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Your Frontier is still better than a FIAT 500L.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I recently drove a ’16 SV crewcab with the 4.0L/5A and was actually rather impressed. Way more refined and quiet than the Xterra Pro4X I tried out the year prior (longer wheelbase, less aggressive tires, softer shocks, more controlled rear end from the stiffer leaf pack). The interior was cheap, sure, but seemed to be well screwed together. Heated cloth seats standard on the SV, I thought the updated HVAC center stack was well done. The old school 4.0L mated to the 5spd auto really moves out, it’s the last of the unfettered-by-CAFE big bore V6s. If I had a need for a compact truck, I’d honestly strongly consider one of these over the new Tacoma with the relatively neutered 3.5L Atkinson V6, and I say this as a diehard Toyota guy.

  • avatar

    I mean, my one nitpick is that I think we should exclude the Fiat 500 Abarth. That thing is just too theatrical, too different, too ridiculous to be dislikeable. Brap brap.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      Agreed on the Abarth. It’s hard to hate a car that puts a s***-eating grin on your face every time you drive it. Added bonus for being ridiculous and having the nerve to get that exhaust past the regulators.

      I actually think the base 500 Pop isn’t a bad deal. It can be had for the same money as a Versa and is a lot more cheerful. Start loading the regular 500 with options and it quickly makes little sense, however.

      As for the Panamera, I think people hate it because it seems like little more than a big middle finger to other drivers. I think the Rolls Phantom is an uglier and dumber center digit, but they always have been ostentatious and unreliable. They followed the brand formula.

      Porsche at least made the Cayenne semi-attractive. The Panamera could have been so much more impressive. I’m sure they are amazing to drive, but I still wouldn’t care enough to find out.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Also, why is it a bad thing that the 500’s interior can be had in bright colors? Not like you’re forced to pick the bright red interior, but it’s nice someone gives that sort of variety at a relatively common price point.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I think nominating a whole model as best/worst is bad practice. The Abarth and ST siblings are all pretty good because they are fun to drive. When you pull the fun stuff out of them for the lower trims, you are left with a compact that feels like a subcompact, a subcompact that feels like a subsubcompact, and a 500.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Yaris: Why buy a Yaris when the Toymazdion iA is in the same showroom. Light weight, decent handling, and an interior that’s not bad for an entry level car.

    Smart ForTo: If you think it’s too small for America, you need to get out and see more of the US. There are parts of the US, including where I live, where the roads are every bit as narrow and twisty as anything in Europe or Japan. Two-way roads that look like someone’s driveway exist here in New England. Then again, I didn’t buy one because it was.. uh, too small. I wanted 4 passengers and space for my bike inside the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Congrats to your son for the very inexpensive IA purchase; I also don’t know why you’d buy a Yaris over an iA.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Thanks Kyree! His only issues so far with the car is that he thinks the clutch travel is a bit long. We can probably fix that. The front isn’t quite as hideous in person. From standing height view it’s better and in daylight some of the creases disappear so it doesn’t have that glued on afterwards look from the photos. Photographers using wide angle lenses and shooting from ground level aren’t doing the car any favors. The right viewing angle and lighting give it a scaled down Rapide look. The hood even has a “long” look to it.

        The interior looks nice too. Chrome accents and the stitched faux leather on the dash look pretty good. It’s black with blue stitching. The electronics and optics for automatic braking is is flush against the windshield behind rear view mirror. The trunk was surprisingly large.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      Same here in Philadelphia. Midwesterners and many others simply can neither believe, nor relate, to the layout that we have to contend with, and how ridiculously inappropriate many cars are to own here.

  • avatar
    natrat

    reads like a list of manufacturers who wouldn’t pay you scumbags for good reviews

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Disgruntled Fiat owner? Journey? Spill the beans good sir.

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Subaru, Tesla and Volvo appear on the “best” list but not on the “worst” list. Seven manufacturers appear on both lists.

      TTAC must be doing well for themselves if they’ve got six manufacturers paying them for good reviews! Out of curiosity, why comment here if the authors are all scumbags?

  • avatar
    64andahalf

    I have a Panamera Turbo, and am super-happy with it. The interior is as nice or nicer than anything i’ve been in short of a Bentley, but more importantly (to me), it has a low center of mass, and it makes me smile if not outright giggle when i change lanes or step on it. The Burmester stereo is awesome and I consider myself an audiophile, so i’m not just saying “moar bass!” To each, their own…

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      I like the Panamera. If I had the money, I’d buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yeah, count me in the camp of people who also like the Panamera.

      The 2017 looks somewhat different from the sides, with most of the changes going to the area around the C-pillar.

      http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/news/2017-porsche-panamera-looks-great-in-blue-106164_1.jpg

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    We have an EOS. For what it is- a comfortable touring sedan with room for kids, has been trouble free, and efficient. A miata it’s not, we didn’t want one-I had a track project e36 at the time we purchased it.
    Masculine it’s not either, although the black/tan combo w/ sports package wheels (basically a4 takeoffs)it’s not too bad, but you get to a stage in life that you don’t need to impress the neighbors in their leased A6s/528i’s.To each their own…

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Let’s just say I don’t agree with either of the Fiat 500 choices. That little engine is remarkably lively, making the car quite fun to drive and amazingly agile. On the 500 itself neither commenter gave a legitimate reason for choosing it.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    The Fiat 500L: If it’s good enough for the Pope, it’s good enough for you!

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    I find the GLE to be the most offensive vehicle on this list. It shows that someone has either more money than car sense or stretched their budget to acquire this zany thing that the sleazebag at the Benz dealer insisted would impress their neighbors and family.

    After my initial bemusement seeing one in the flesh for the first time, I have begun to hate the GLE for the simple fact that every time I follow one on the freeway at normal 1.5 car behind length, I can’t see around it because of its obnoxiously thick and graceless rear coupled to artificially jacked-up ride height which must have been prioritized to have the Mercedes logo at eye-level of the poor sap following it so they don’t confuse it with a Crosstour.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    This list has reached the “tipping point”, so to speak.

    Smart For Two as the winner/LOSER!

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Shouldn’t the Buick Encore/Chevy Trax be in one spot on the list? They’re the same vehicle, except that Chevy put crappier shocks on the Trax to drive Encore sales. That lets you get one more of the “overlooked” cars on the worst list.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Eye-Meeve? Eye-MyEv?

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      I believe this to be the best pronunciation:

      eye-me-ev (ev as in beverage)

      Eye-meeve (rhymes with Jeeve) is lame. It sounds like you’re saying I’m Eve.
      Eye-MyEv is lame because it has two hard “I” sounds in a row, making it awkward to say.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    For the record the Beetle is an absolute steal on the used market. You can get a low mileage Beetle turbo which is basically a GTI for the price of an Accent.

    We need a best/worst USED car list.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I can’t help but to suspect that Bark M just attacked the Yaris because on some level he knows that his Fiesta is the worst car on the market. Trying to reconcile what’s written about Fiestas with having to drive one for a few minutes is only possible with some insight into media junkets. Understanding why someone actually bought one? Impossible.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think the Fiesta is cramped even for a subcompact, but that’s about my only complaint. Really, for someone my size (5’10”, 164 lbs), it’s fine; I just like having a little more space. It certainly drives well.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Did I overlook the existence of interior door locks in the one I drove? It just seemed like a smack in the face from Ford for being too cheap to buy an F150. The seats were awful too, as was the engine(admittedly base), the transmission, the appearance of the interior, and apparently the build quality; since the driver’s door pull was missing from a year old car.

        • 0 avatar

          Hmm, I didn’t see what you did with this car Todd. I just spent a week driving a diesel Fiesta in France for work and it had 27,000kms on it (so, not a young rental, especially in Europe). It drove very well, and although the non-MFT controls are unnecessarily complicated, the interior is nicely executed and well-built for the segment. There was nary a squeak or rattle in the thing, and it just generally felt nimble yet solid. I’ve had similar experiences driving a Fiesta in Portugal, and a NA Fiesta in NYC.

          And in regards to Kryee’s comment. I’m 6’2″, 170lbs, and I fit comfortably in the Fiesta. Not sure how comfortable someone behind would have been, but that’s not really a requirement in this class.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Are you referring to ST Fiestas or regular ones? Bark has the ST, Mark has a 3-pot, so you can get some exercise going after both now. I haven’t tried the ST, but the simple 1.6 Fiesta is solid, quiet and nimble. Feels kind of like a small VW Golf, not bad for a B-segment commuter assuming you don’t need a backseat.

      We owned a 2008 Yaris sedan, which was a good B-segment back then but had some notable downsides. Downsides the current Yaris hasn’t addressed 8 years later, now making them enormous downsides and demonstrating how little they care about this car. Toyota hasn’t put any effort into the Yaris since it debuted in 2007. It deserves to be on the worst list.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Yaris definitely deserves to be on the list. It’s Mazda2 based replacement is already on Toyota dealer showroom floors. The new one is a vast improvement.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        The things I didn’t like about the Fiesta wouldn’t be improved by a powerful engine or performance tires. Maybe one could be distracted, but it would still fundamentally be the worst car I’ve experienced that has been produced in recent years.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I got beef with some of the entries. The X1 is a better CUV than the one it replaced. X6 & GLE Coupe add some much needed style into that segment. The rest is just a little generic. I’m disappointed.

    If this list says anything it’s how good cars are today. I would love to have a GLE Coupe or 370Z in the household.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Had no idea they were still making the CRZ.
    The list is a pretty good one. I only question the Panamera and the CLA. Not because I think they’re good. I actually think the CLA is awful. But both of these cars were the bees knees when they came out and it’s not like the competition has taken off. Why did nobody realize how stupid these cars were when they first came out.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    How much less reliable, relative to the competition, are 500 and Dart? I bought the Aero Dart about a week prior to Marchionne’s anouncement– to replace the PT wagon.

    May I help cover the Mopar compact DeathWatch? I feel really close to the issue.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, a glutton for punishment over here.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Feeling something– anything– is better than feeling nothing at all. If I have to pay the reliability and resale differences between a Corolla and Dart to feel emotions as I drive– then it is a tax I will gladly pay.

        I want reliability differences spelled out in financial terms– how much more does it cost to own a Dart than a Corolla? For 5 years, and 10? (they’re totally rhetorical toward you, EChid, but if anyone knows– please do answer!)

        Haven’t we had the discussion wherein luxury is argued between content/materials/cost? And, if the Dart costs more than Civic/Corolla to run– then aren’t all those ‘fools’ driving around in Darts showing the Corolla drivers up by making it rain into the ether for the same service from their cars?

  • avatar

    Tex’s comment on the CLA is hilarious. I dated a girl who worked in O&G and she expressed interest in a CLA/GLA. Steered her towards an X1 (old school, rwd based) instead. I’d suggest that even the new X1 (which IMO is not one of the worst automobiles of 2016) is far superior to these Benz twins.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea I am not understanding the X1 hate. It makes way more sense for the segment than the old one. The old one was kind of the worst of both worlds- the bad space efficiency of RWD with the driving dynamics of a high CoG CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Rode in a new X1 this weekend. The auto-stop action was abominably rough, but other than that it was as good a grocery getter as reviewers make cars like the Mazda 3 and VW Golf out to be.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’ve come here to defend the Patriot. I don’t know how they hold up longer term, but they appeal to me on a utilitarian/cheapskate level. One of the cheapest AWD vehicles you can buy, ignore the insane MSRPs on the upper trim levels, the real transaction prices are massively lower. “World” engines seem to be reliable enough, 6spd auto replaced the admittedly less than pleasant CVT on everything except the FDII offroad package. If I wanted a cheap new car/CUV to use as a winter beater/city runabout, it’d be one of these, a Rogue Select, or maybe an Outlander Sport.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Jeez, of those three I think I’d have the Outlander Sport. It’s the most modern, and the interior of the Patriot and Rogue are both downright nasty. Rogue comes in second place, I think.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Also, since you’re here – whatchu think of the Levante? I’m sorta torn.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2016/04/29/2017-maserati-levante-first-drive-review/

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Uh, it’s definitely not my scene lol. I prefer utilitarian, reliable, and affordable (if possible). In that order (if possible). The Maser is none of those in the slightest!

        I counter the feminine Levante with a Russian UAZ “Patriot:”

        http://survincity.com/2013/02/updated-uaz-patriot-and-unexpected-crash-test/

        Insanely garbled translation, but a few very impressive photos of one of these beasts nosediving into the ground and apparently shrugging it off.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Lol DUHH not your thing, Lada Niva man. I meant in the realm of the posh SUV!

          PRO:
          -Doesn’t look too bad from the front, no gaping maw.
          -Is RWD.
          -Actually has hydraulic old school steering, so it has feel.
          -Nice interior and gauges.
          -Nice power as standard (like the F-Pace will have).

          CON:
          -It won’t be reliable like German competitors (lawl).
          -Rear hatch shape ruins utility for style sake (how Italian).

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            To me the very term SUV means capable and sturdy, the ability to go anywhere and not worry about breaking down is a pre-qualifier for all other luxuries. Think Land Cruiser 200 or maybe Infiniti QX80 (ie a tarted up Patrol). All these Euro ‘sporty SUV/CUV’ things are just short lived fad-chasing pieces of junk. If we’re going European, give me a G-wagen, hopefully on some reasonably sized wheels.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hmm so then you approve of the Lambo LM002?

            I agree they’re fad-like, entirely.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Demand for LM002 was simply explosive.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_LM002

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ahead of it’s time, I say!

  • avatar

    I’m so glad we saved some of these companies from market forces.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I don’t hate the patriot. The rest though…spot on.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • redgolf: “The rule of thumb is never buy first year production cars” I disagree, I bought a 97 Pontiac GP...
  • SD 328I: Isn’t the current Ranger outselling everyone but the Tacoma? The current Ranger is nowhere near the...
  • SD 328I: You can blame VW for the larger Ranger, the next Amarok is going to be based on the Ranger, and they needed...
  • Jeff S: I enjoyed the one finger steering as well.
  • Arthur Dailey: I know that it is dangerous and downright moronic but one finger steering was one of my favourite...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

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