By on July 5, 2017

2017 Ford GT - Image: Ford

Even for a dyed-in-the-wool fanatic of a particular car, said fanatic is likely reasonable enough to see one or two flaws somewhere in their beloved ride of choice.

Conversely, the biggest consumer of Haterade for the very same car is often able to see a couple of good qualities or features in the vehicle they despise. Other times, the losers and haters passionate individuals on either side of the automotive aisle (road?) can come together and agree certain vehicles are just not that great, overall.

Today we ask: Which current vehicle has the fewest redeeming qualities?

Though it seems easy enough on the surface, today’s question might take some critical thinking to answer. The popular phrase to throw around — “There are no bad new cars today!” — is generally true. We are living in a time of reliable, affordable, safe, powerful, long-lived, and efficient vehicles across the board (notice I did not say beautiful there). Picking a vehicle worthy of your disdain is much more difficult than it would’ve been in, say, 1980, when the obvious correct answer would be the awful Ford Thunderbird, specifically in top Town Landau trim.

But I digress. It’s time to get the ball rolling with the vehicle I’ve selected in response to today’s question.

2016 Veloster Turbo, Image: Hyundai

And there it is, the Hyundai Veloster. To my mind, the Veloster doesn’t have many redeeming qualities. It’s not very good looking, it’s not spacious, it’s not comfortable, nor is it particularly sporty. Starting at over $18,000, it isn’t cheap, and its 35 mpg highway rating isn’t great for such a compact car. The exterior and interior are both dated, having gone through only minimal changes since its introduction in 2011. You can check out the Veloster for yourself at your local Hyundai dealer (where options will likely have it up to $24,000), or in parking lots of whichever stores still sell white sunglasses.

What’s your pick for least redeeming vehicle on sale today?

[Images: Ford; Hyundai]

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146 Comments on “QOTD: Which Current Vehicle Has the Fewest Redeeming Qualities?...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    smart for2.

    A phone booth on wheels, perhaps only good for San Francisco and NYC, but I can’t think of anywhere else it would be good for. There is one in my neighborhood, and I shudder every time I see one on the highway.

    No way would I ever consider one.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      True dat.
      A Smart is good for one thing, and that is fitting into the smallest parking spaces that no other vehicle on the market can.
      For the same price range, one can get a far more capable vehicle, the Honda Fit, and score a whole three MPG less (per Consumer Report’s testing).

    • 0 avatar
      Yankee

      I’m going to second this choice. The list of drawbacks to owning one of these is longer than any other car made, in my opinion: Expensive for what you get, too small to function for things like even minor shopping trips and other errands that require a car, requires premium fuel, gets less MPG that many cars double its size and a fraction of its price, has different sized front and rear tires which prohibits rotation, has been proven to have horrible reliability, and even consumer reports complained how it was not any fun to drive given its terrible transmission and driving dynamics. There just isn’t any justification for buying one of these cars unless the only criteria you care about is easy to park.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Naah, they do fine on the highway. The front end does feel a bit floaty past 70 mph, since most of the weight is in the back. Otherwise, it’s a street-legal go-kart, and there are even a few manuals floating around now if all-electric thrust doesn’t suit you.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I even see a few smart cars (or as my wife says “dumb car”) in my area. What mystifies me is why you’d want to drive one in an area where the average distance between major population settlements is 30 to 60 to 90 miles.

        A smart car makes a Fiat 500 look like a 70s Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Actually, I’d argue that the Smart car delivers on what it promises – a city car – and nothing more.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I know two people with Smarts, one has a bad engine AC fan (which requires removal of the engine to access), the other is having transmission issues.

      You cannot go to a shop to repair these cars either, Mercedes or Smart dealers only, so be prepared to spend whatever fuel money you’ve saved up.

      Honestly I’d sooner buy a Scion iQ, an obvious knock off sure, but it’s much better executed (and won’t require specific dealers to repair).

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Smart’s do have a redeeming quality, and that is the ability to baja-ize them into something almost awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      This was going to be my response as well.

      The MSRP starts at around 15k, I think? For that, you could get a Fit, deal down on a Corolla, or hell, possibly even a Jetta, and get a better ride, more room, and possibly equal or better gas mileage to start.

    • 0 avatar
      jrf6

      But if you’re one of the many tens of millions of people that do live in SF, NYC, DC, Chicago, Boston, or any other big city in North America or Europe, the car is awesome. They’re all over DC, and I’ve used Car2go smart fortwos for years. They’re incredibly handy.

  • avatar
    Clueless Economist

    I personally like the Veloster’s coupe door on the driver’s side and the two doors on the passenger side. If it was a better all-around car, I might consider it.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      its 7 yrs old… an eternity, i cut it some slack because it feels like they’re about to pension it off as an experiment gone wrong

      if i was to complain, i’d say the entire class of car thats under say a Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4… is anyone truly buying subcompact CUVs? Mazda CX3s and that sort? Why?

      • 0 avatar
        Rasputin

        Why is anyone buying subcompact CUVs?

        Here is the only answer I ever get to that question: Ride height.

      • 0 avatar
        King of Eldorado

        I see quite a few of these where I live, mostly HR-Vs, Encores, and Jukes. People buy them for the obvious reasons: lower price than the CR-V segment, small footprint = easy parking, high seating position for better visibility and easier entry/exit, better ground clearance, and more useful cargo room. Oh, and perfectly acceptable ride, handling, and fuel economy as compared to more car-like vehicles. Most people are not purists in this regard and will happily give up a few hundredths-g on the skid pad. I’m thinking of buying an HR-V next spring; wouldn’t mind if they added about 20 hp.

  • avatar
    FOG

    This looks like it could be educational so I will just comment so I can get all the other posts.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Mitsubishi Space Star is pretty horrible, or was at least before the facelift this year. Uncomfortable, feels very cheap, bad steering and suspension. Really the bottom of the barrel.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Toyota C-HR. Every review seems to damn it with faint praise, and finds loads of fault. And it meets the “ugly as sin” test as well. I’m sure it will have classic Toyota reliability, but since most cars are at least reliable enough, that is not a saving grace anymore. Second to the list would be the Compass, though I’m thinking of my rental of last year of a 2016 model.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I loathe the Encore with my entire soul, but even that hateful little Easter egg has some redeeming qualities.

    So I choose the Mercedes CLA. It’s a thrashy, cramped, poorly-built “luxury” car with styling that manages to both look low rent but also close enough to the CLS to cheapen the more expensive car. It also doesn’t sell particularly well so Mercedes cashed a lot of brand equity for nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      ttaclogin

      Just for the badge alone, CLA is attractive to many.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Not *too many* people though. CLA and GLA sales have been floundering this year (and they’ve never been especially great over a full calendar year) so it seems like badge chasers have limits.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I think that the initial sales rush was due to the novelty of a “cheap” Mercedes. Except…when you option the CLA up properly, it isn’t cheap. Most sticker for around $45,000, and the C-class is VASTLY better for a touch more money.

          The next CLA needs to have a truly premium interior and build, and sell for $40,000 max. Executed properly, it’d be a long term win for the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      On point, but the GLA could be worse with its insect-like rear lights, cheap styling, tiny cargo space, and whopping 1.7 inches of ground clearance over the CLA.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Agreed, I find the CLA to be a clear badge grab for people who can afford a Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      W210Driver

      I disagree completely. This board is very anti-CLA as I’ve seen, but how many of you have driven one or lived with one? I have.

      The CLA is actually a very nice and good car once you get to know it better. I speak from experience since my boyfriend has one, a CLA250 (FWD), which I have gotten to know over thousands of miles and years of driving it. I consider it to be a wonderful little car that’s both agile and enjoyable to drive in its own right. The biggest drawback of the CLA is headroom and legroom space at the rear, especially if the two front occupants are tall and have the seats slid back all the way.

      Some quick, jumbled up thoughts on the car. The CLA feels sporty, but not too sporty. I find the steering feedback to be nicely weighted and communicative, and it inspires confidence. The ‘250 motor and automatic work great together. FWD is not a bad thing here (the CLA handles better than my RWD E420 and E300 Turbodiesel). In fact roughly speaking the CLA250 feels quicker and livelier than my V8 E420! It’s a really nimble car. Gas mileage is better than what the EPA claims when you drive intelligently. My boyfriend’s CLA has also been trouble-free. The cabin layout is logical, functional and the cabin materials do look and feel premium. Is it on the same level as the current C-Class? Well, no, but you still get an all-around feel of quality. Remember that interior quality is also very subjective. A lot of people find the current BMW interiors to be cheap-looking; I disagree with that (good quality interiors that just look and feel different from its competitors, but they are still high quality).

      The target market of the CLA hopefully know what they’re getting into; a budget Benz. Budget does not mean bad in this case. Remember Benz products like the C-Class Sportcoupe or the early C-Classes of the late 1990s with the horrifically cheap interiors? Those were bad budget Benzes. The CLA is at least competitive and offers a good entry-level product, if you ask me. Because seen from the viewpoint of the average consumer, the CLA drives confidently and has good performance. The cabin looks good and premium. Honestly, the CLA is a nice car when you try to understand its purpose. It’s aimed at younger buyers. Yes, a lot of badge whores will also go for it, but at its core the CLA is intended to catch the attention of youngsters who want something stylish and premium.

      The average consumer will be happy with the car. And if their expectations are higher then they can go for a C-Class or another premium car. Nobody is forcing you to buy a CLA if you don’t like it. Don’t like 4-cylinders in luxury cars? Don’t buy one. Although I would personally never buy a CLA, I have experienced it enough to appreciate it and understand it.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        I have to disagree on the CLA. I’ve got some decent seat time in it and there is very little redeemable about it. Interior materials are subpar for a luxury brand, it is cramped, the transmission is unrefined to say the least and the ride is choppy at best.

        Yes, it’s a great way for someone to get into the 3 pointed star brand, but no, it’s not a good representation of what Mercedes can produce.

        Audi did entry level premium right with the new A3 – it is far more refined than the CLA, albeit a much more bland design. That said, the Mercedes design language does not work very well on transverse mounted, short wheelbase product like the CLA, whereas Audi’s (granted, rather generic) design language looks tidy and proportionate on the A3.

        The CLA is not a horrible car, but it most certainly is not “good” by brand standards.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        I’m sure the CLA is a perfectly fine car to live with but not when you take into account its price. And looks.

        I’ve only driven a GLA and enjoyed it but not when I looked at the sticker.

      • 0 avatar
        sylva143

        I have to agree that CLA and GLA have a lot of detractors. I can’t speak for CLA, but I own a GLA and love it! Now on vacation, I’m averaging 34 mpg, and the stability and control at highway speeds are great. The car is feels very rock solid, and not as flimsy as some of the Japanese contenders.

        I tried some light off-reading last weekend, and everything worked great. GLA is a bit of a higher ground clearance than some luxury competitors, and this comes in handy when on a fire road trek. I personally love the interior styling…lots of personality and a youthful vibe. The seats are comfortable, and after experiencing the MB Tex upholstery compared to leather, I won’t go back. The MB material looks just like leather, and is much easier to clean and maintain. I’m counting on the seats looking almost new when I go to trade.

        GLA does get some dings for a tight back seat. Guess what? I don’t have kids and could care less about rear seating space. However, when folded down, I was able to get a 6 drawer dresser in the back with room to spare. Cargo room is great for me.

        Transmission? Yes, some reliance in staying in a higher gear to conserve fuel, but after a few weeks, you learn how to handle the accelerator to make everything work great.

        Price? I see many folks lamenting a subcompact selling for 50K, but most of the new offerings are listed around $41K well optioned. I paid $34K for a CPO with 5K miles on the clock, with all the options I wanted, so the the value is great for me. 208 HP with loads of torque for that price seems like a great value.

        Glad that is off my chest.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      CLA’s not a bad drive, and to my eyes, it’s good looking. The main thing that lets the car down is that it’s so downmarket inside. If Mercedes had made the interior quality / styling comparable to the C-class, it’d have been able to sustain the “hey, it’s a Benz I can afford!” initial sales bump.

      The manufacturer that is able to produce a compact luxury car that truly looks and feels luxurious for +/- $40,000 will have a winner on its’ hands. I think there’s a market for this car that no one’s been able to truly tap into.

      (ahem…Cadillac…)

    • 0 avatar

      Absolutely agree. Well said.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

    High price, poor reliability, no cargo space, not particularly fast, attractive, fuel efficient, luxurious, or off road capable.

    There may be some virtues I missed but it’s hard for me to imagine a vehicle I’d less want to own.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      It’s virtue? The real or imagined statement the owner is making by buying such a vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        The only statement the owner of a JLR product is saying to me is “I could have bought a better vehicle for the same money”

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Range Rovers have very, very good outward visibility. Courtesy of a properly tall greenhouse. Instead of the slits that passes for windows in many cars, even SUVs, these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez_Returns

      Except that it’s your only choice if you want a convertible SUV. That alone makes the non-convertible the better choice to answer this question, since it has all the same issues you mention without the open air benefit.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I picked the convertible because it has even less utility than the regular Evoque and looks worse. I don’t consider a convertible “SUV” to be a virtue, but if you do, then feel free to substitute the regular one as you said.

    • 0 avatar

      I see what you’re saying, but I think it actually does the vast majority of what lux buyers want (unlike the CLA). The interior is nice, the ride is quiet, there are tons of features available, and it’s a near-concept style statement vehicle (for better or for worse). If you want more utility, LR will happily sell you a Discovery or Discovery Sport (which is virtually the same vehicle in a higher, more squared-off package). If you want something faster well there are a plethora of other options in the JLR catalog to chose from. It has a niche and it fills it well.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Honda CR-Z. I drove one before I bought a Veloster, which was great car for me at the time because I wanted plenty of tech and the ability to hypermile using a manual transmission. The CR-Z was too small, too cramped, and neither a performer nor an impressive fuel sipper. I assume both the Veloster and the CR-Z are both basically the same cars now that they were in 2011. Faint praise, but the Veloster makes more sense than a CR-Z for almost everyone. Also, you can still buy a new CR-Z, so it counts.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Meh, I like it. I see it as not a CRX sports version (Si, SiR), but an HF, or the “DX” (unnamed base model equivalent to a Civic DX). A version with the Civic’s turbo 4 would be cool, but I like it as is.

      Yes, there are hybrids with better mileage, if that’s all you care about. But give me a little two seater Honda with a true stick shift over any Prius ever.

      Kinda like the Ford C-Max, I like it even if it wasn’t a Hybrid, but being one is just a bonus.

      I would gladly buy a remaining new manual trans CR-Z if I had the means.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Tomorrow’s QOTD, What Past Vehicle has the Fewest Redeeming Qualities?
    I think that topic would garner far more comments.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I think I’m just going to go ahead and agree on the Veloster.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      It is/was available with a proper transmission. That in and of itself, gives it more redeeming qualities than most.

      A coupe sized driver side door in a small car, is also about as close to genius as any automotive development over the past decade. It is “exactly” what the BMW 3 series, as well as any other so called “driver oriented” smaller sedans needs, to fulfill their dual mission of catering to the driver, and passengers, at the same time. The fact that it is also properly subtly old school chauvinistic (daddy is taller and drives, mommy needs a rear door to put kiddo in the child seat…), ought to be something even Jack Baruth could appreciate :)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It’s hard to think of a car that fails more obviously than the Veloster. It’s designed as an “affordable performance / economy car” that offers little performance, subpar economy, and a high price. An Accent with a manual and the “sport” package is a far better choice if you have to have a Hyundai.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        “if you have to have a Hyundai.”

        I’ve never read this combination of words together….ever.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Don’t knock Hyundai. If you’re after a basic in-town car that will go 150,000 miles, an Accent will do just fine. My GF’s on her third one.

          I tried out one of those Accents with the hatch, the sport package, and a manual. Decent little car, and cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I will indeed knock Hyundai. The Theta engine scandal is a peak behind the curtain. They care more about profit than building a decent long term car. I see so many of their cars ending up in the sub-$2k category well before many others, including GM, Ford, and non-Mitsubishi Japanese.

            If the Accent is a worthy long-term consideration, why can I buy a 2009 model with 85k on it for $500?
            https://neworleans.craigslist.org/cto/6164861344.html

            Never seen a modern Honda timing belt break at 85k. And if you did have it happen at the same age/mileage on a Fit, you’d get a HELLUVA lot more than $500 for it. You’d be having people wanting to give you $500 down, maybe, lol. But seriously, that’s pathetic, and its not the only one.

            An 07 Accent with *nothing wrong* and in two weeks time, he can’t squeeze $1500 out of it? I bet he could out of a Focus or even a freaking Cobalt in the same shape, to say nothing of a Honda. Again, the asking price here is a decent down payment on a Honda in the same condition/miles/age.
            https://mobile.craigslist.org/cto/6186839201.html

            You *might* get 150k out of one, but it’ll be a used up worthless pile at that time (if not before), just like a Suzuki Reno or Forenza, first Chevy Aveo (our Sonic is sold elsewhere as Aveo still, so that’s why the distinction) or a Dodge Caliber/Avenger/related.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            BREAKING: Automaker cares more about profit than quality; film at 11.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Lol point taken 28, but some are worse than others, and the Koreans seem to lead the way in that respect on a lot of their products.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Perhaps you’re right. I would add, never buy a cheap used car in the Big Easy. Go there to see why, it is the most wretched hive of automotive scum and villainy. See new a definition of beaters in Naw Orrlans.

  • avatar
    slap

    Fiat 500L. Bad design, poor reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I like the funky, cavernous style of the 500L. The powertrain and reliability suck from what I hear…

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Don’t rely on hearsay, Dave. While I admit I don’t own an L, I’ve owned a 500 Pop (their base model with options) and now drive a Renegade, which is on the same basic platform as the 500x/L. Granted, I have the 9-speed in the Renegade but it is remarkably peppy for that little engine (2.5L) while the 500 Pop with a six-speed was outrunning bigger cars up to 55mph despite having only 101 horses (and not even using Sport mode.)

        Any car with an automatic will show some sluggishness at certain speeds; that can’t be avoided. But when you give the transmissions time to learn your driving habits (takes about 2-3 months depending on how much you drive) and they prove surprisingly agile. As for reliability, I had no problems with the 500 Pop over two years and I’m approaching one year with the 9-speed Renegade with no issues. Those “reliability” complaints are more from people either looking for something to complain about or not giving it a chance to be properly broken in to their particular driving style.
        Note: I strongly recommend having any used model with the 9-speed get flashed back to factory stock so it doesn’t have to un-learn its previous owner’s habits.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    My vote goes to BMW X6. Looks bad. Can’t carry as much stuff as it’s brother X5, and has a complete image problem.

    • 0 avatar
      NOPR

      This gets my vote too. Not only is it awful, but it’s unfathomably expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      This is likely going to be the correct answer*. Most of the B&B seem to be focusing on cheap(er) stuff, which flawed as it may be, has inherent cost limitations, and pretty much works out to punching down (also, lots of it is stuff that either fills a very specific niche, or was a failed experiment that’s going to fade away without our snark).

      But the X6 is an awful, stupid vehicle that’s relatively popular, and sells to people who should know better (and have the means to make better choices). It’s massive and heavy, but not exactly usefully so, it’s hideous, and it’ll be hell to own out of warranty. It’s literally the 4-wheeled equivalent to a McMansion.

      *its Mercedes equivalent is equally terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’ll play devil’s advocate: the X6 may be ugly and I have no idea who would buy one, but you can bet it’s very well equipped, luxurious, high-quality and good to drive. I’d say those are redeeming qualities.

      To me, the question is “what car fails most obviously at its’ mission,” not “what car makes the least sense to you.”

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        Right. I hate the X6 too, but it is luxurious, and seems to have positive drive reveiws.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Fine, but how is an X6 better than a Grand Cherokee SRT-8, except in brand snobbery?

        We could boil every single car down to being good because it’s a step up above a horse and carriage, that it’s got a roof so you don’t get wet when it rains, and a functional heater, so you won’t get cold. What a miracle! This is a brilliant vehicle above reproach!

        No, it’s a bullshit question if the answers all boil down to “HURR CHEAP CARS IS SHITTY.” You’re probably a soulless husk of asshole if you see an X6, and think that’s a good use of $70k. An X5 is marginally less ugly, more useful, and has whatever other “merits” the X6 has.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      I detest the X6, but “I paid more money for less practicality” is a redeeming quality in the eyes of a certain buyer, and even I will admit that I look twice at them when I pass them, for better or worse. You might have made the same points about the X4, which has all of the form-factor compromise and none of the what-the-heck absurdity.

      Honestly, what lower-trim BMW model *isn’t* sorely lacking in redeeming qualities? For the price of a nicely equipped BMW, you could buy any number of more comfortable and capable competitors. The whole range exists mainly to make you wish you’d spent more money, and to assure onlookers if you did.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    $18K isn’t cheap? 35MPG isn’t efficient? A bit of a reach no?

    Biggest ding against the Veloster is that if Hyundai put the 1.6T and any effort whatosever into the Accent/Rio’s designs it would be rendered completely useless.

    Veloster is a great demonstration of how much Americans are willing to give up for style. They are very popular in my area.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      I remember thinking they were kind of cool when they came out, and you have to admire Hyundai for doing something different. Just not an especially well-executed vehicle to begin with, and a pretty old one at this point.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I’ll refrain from just answering “any Nissan”, and move on to the Mitsubishi Lancer. I’m old enough to remember when Mitsubishi had competitive cars – their current compact should just be taken out back and shot.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I was scrolling through the posts, with the intention of saying “anything Nissan”. You refrained from beating me to it.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I’d amend that to say any FWD Nissan. I don’t mind the Titan, even if the styling does look like something that was found on the floor in a Ford F-Series design studio.

        From what I understand, the RWD Infiniti cars are not bad. Too bad the I-actually-dont-hate-the-styling Maxima couldn’t have migrated to a RWD platform to go with its newfound reinvigoration.

        I would accept a 6MT in the current car as a substitute, but oh well. Its actually the first Maxima body I like since the beautiful 1995-99.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          I hope the RWD Infinti’s have improved over the last several years. I worked for a company that owned two Infinti dealers. I wasn’t impressed with the quality. Neither were the Service Managers and neither were the customers (loved to drive them, but hated the frequent dealer visits).

          Maybe it’s gotten better.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Chevy Trax. It just kind of exists, without garnering any praise or even notice.

    • 0 avatar
      MudFlap

      Agreed. I didn’t even know these existed until a co-worker bought one. As a regular reader here and other outlets, I was amazed by the fact that I’d never even herd of one before she bought it. I’ve seen all of three in wild. I feel like it’s one of those models that only exists so they can upsell you into something else.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “I feel like it’s one of those models that only exists so they can upsell you into something else.”

        That has been GMs business model for over 50 years.

        “Should have bought a real car. Can I show you a Malibu/Impala/Silverado?” – Every GM Salesman since the 1960s to the Present

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        “I feel like it’s one of those models that only exists so they can upsell you into something else.”

        While I don’t disagree, I think it might serve as the upsell from a Sonic, a budget vehicle that looks (to a lay person) more upscale, trendy and advernterous than a used Cruze Limited or a new Sonic.

        Given the unfortunate styling of the front of second gen Cruze, the post-refresh Trax is actually better looking IMO. I dig the Cruze hatch with a diesel and a manual…if it wasn’t all Special Ed. in the front.

        This coming from a Real Person, Not a (paid) Actor.

        What would be cool is a GMC Terrain Diesel 6MT AWD. Aww hell, I’d rather have a real GMC truck, a Canyon diesel 4×4 with a manual if it can be had that way.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Believe it or not, Chevy sells 70-80,000 of these a year.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I see the Buick version, the Encore, with some frequency around here. It starts $1,990 more, but looks better and probably comes with a better dealership experience…well, maybe.

    • 0 avatar

      I drove a rented first-year Trax from Raleigh, NC to Orlando FL and back in the spring of 2015. The trip convinced me of two things: 1) I liked the idea of a subcompact CUV as a family car, and 2) I did not want a Chevy Trax.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Mitsubishi Lancer. For obvious reasons.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Hyundai Crosstour Velostich POS edition.

    Apox on it!

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Let me just add any CUV with a Chevy Citation-hatch on the back.

      The only CUV that did this well was the AMC Eagle, well that and early Subarus.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        I owned a Saab (NG)900. I liked my Saab. I do not understand the popularity of crossovers that look like a fat, angry Saab with, somehow, less sport /and/ less utility.

        “Chevy Citation-hatch” made me bark-laugh.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Depends on what you value. For me, it would be a Mazda Miata.

    The Veloster and 500L are also excellent choices.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Great to drive” isn’t a redeeming characteristic? I mean, seriously…a Miata wouldn’t fit my needs either, but there’s no arguing it excels at its’ mission.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Fiat 500L. Awful quality, awful driving experience, and awful styling. It delivers nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I was thinking a restyled and updated version could work as a PT Cruiser replacement, or sold under the Dodge name. Assemble it in Mexico, that should improve the build quality. (Lol)

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      It has character, is available in nice colours, and occupies a fairly unique niche (the Soul is about its only direct competitor other than the Rondo in Canada). Those are the only positives I can come up with.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        It would be a good alternative to the Soul, if it was as cheap. Really, I don’t know what they go for.

        Could be an interesting choice for Uber/Lyft. I actually found a 2012 Taurus SEL like my parents for under $9k, 69k miles. I would love to get it for that. It has black interior and has the sportier dash (sans the woodgrain theirs has), no MyFordTouch.

        I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the current Taurus here, given the popular opinion of it around here.

        In a preemptive defense, it drives well, gets decent mileage (the one my parents have averages 25-27 MPG in mixed driving), and is a looker (I love the 2010-12 more than the 2013+).

        Once the seat is adjusted properly, its comfortable and not tiring to spend all day eating up highway miles in.

        No one has complained about a lack of room, despite some claims from the B&B that its cramped inside. It may have less room than the bland 08/09, but it has substance and style that the “generic large sedan” styling of the 08/09 and Five Hundred lacked.

        The 3.5L V-6 and the 6 speed AT is reliable, the car is well built, and in 98k miles, their car has had only one or two minor issues (blendor motor for the passenger side temp selection failed, it was inexpensive and I replaced it myself, that’s all I can think of).

        It isn’t perfect, but I think its better than a lot of the B&B typically give it credit for. Dynamically superior to the W body and Avalon that was current when it was introduced, more reliable than the LX cars so far as I can tell. The Avalon and old Impala ride a little better, but I’d take the Taurus’ better handling any day.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          The current Taurus was poorly executed, but it’s not unredeemable.

        • 0 avatar
          baggins

          it’s cramped. The freaking center console is huge. I am a former Taurus owner. I wanted to like this car. I sit in at every car show I go to, and say- “why is the center console so big”?

          Its not just our imagination.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            It isn’t my imagination either. I have put hundreds of miles on theirs in the past few days, had a close friend/family member having heart surgery in a hospital 1.5 hours from our area, and my parents were gracious enough to offer it to me for the repeated trips.

            I won’t go into details about my physical issues other than to say I’m partially disabled and am in chronic pain.

            The Taurus is comfortable, I am not a small person, and the console does not bother me.

            You sat in one in a car show once, I’ve literally put thousands of miles on one, including driving my dad to the West coast and back so he could visit his grand children. About 3,000 miles each way, took us 3 days each way. The car is so much better on me and them (they’re in their 70s) than their previous Grand Marquis or a late model Camry they rented a while back when they flew to visit a friend.

            But, we must be imagining that the console isn’t sawing our legs off as we squeeze into the tiny interior.

            You sat in one, you got a bad first impression, and that’s the end of it. No one could possibly feel otherwise.

            Yes the seating position is different from a lot of cars, and it can make one feel awkward at first. I read car critics calling it a SUV shaped like a sedan, well that helps keep from wearing one out physically when driving for long periods. Yes, you feel like you’re sitting on top of it more so than other cars, but I maintain that once the wheel and seat are adjusted properly, its a perfectly comfortable car with supportive seats and plenty of usable room. Not my imagination.

            The old 08/09 model (and the Five Hundred) was roomy, but the 2010+ out sold it by a wide margin, not imagining that either. And no, its not all fleets. I know people other than my parents who drive a newer one, but didn’t buy ex-rentals.

      • 0 avatar
        wtaf

        The 500L does have a good bit of passenger room for a small car (tons of legroom in the back) and a taller green house than most cars. Available tech ins’t bad as it borrows the uConnect system. Is it worth the asking price? No. However if you get enough money on the hood maybe its an option for some people.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          500L is a total dog and should be the winner here. Unreliable, cramped, slow, cheap-feeling, expensive for what it is. I can think of no positives. A Camry is a Rolls-Royce in comparison.

          The current Taurus is perhaps dated and in a dying segment, but has plenty of redeeming qualities.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I agree, it is quite dated now, and who can blame Ford for not bothering with an update for it when it’ll never be a strong seller no matter how good it is. Might as well milk it for as long as its feasible to do so. Fleets, incentives, whatever the reason, its third in its class as of May sales reports, only behind the popular Charger and rejuvenated Maxima.

  • avatar
    alff

    BMW X4 because it makes me sad.

  • avatar
    SteveMar

    Oh there are a bunch. Nissan Sentra. Toyota Yaris. Smartfor2. Mitsubishi Mirage. Cars either so generic, bland or just plain mediocre that they make you want to hide the razor blades every morning before the daily drive to work.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      I’ll speak up for the Sentra. That is a decent-enough city car for a small family, with a huge trunk, a very liveable backseat, and good fuel economy for the average transaction cost. It isn’t as reliable as the Corolla or as satisfying as the Civic but it’s generally cheaper. “Undesireable” =/= “lacking in redeeming qualities”.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      The Sentra’s back seat is very good for the class, and you can still get a Sentra with a stick shift last I checked. You can even get a decent turbo engine. Car isn’t what I’d call great, but you can do worse.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Toyota Yaris, right beside it is the Yaris iA which is all around better, or the Corolla, the Corolla iM.

    The Yaris’s only redeeming quality​ id reliability (even the cheaper Mirage beats it in mpg). I can easily get that in a modern car without dealing with an aging 4-speed auto.

    Forget 7 years dated! Try 10+ years!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The Yaris is awful to drive, but I’d say it excels at its’ mission of providing a basic car that will go 150,000 miles with zero problems. I don’t think the Yaris iA would do as well in that respect – do you?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I think an iA might make it to 150k just fine. Getting to 300k to 400k like some Echos would be a bit tougher. BTW, my son’s Echo (called Yaris in some markets) made it 150+k with few problems, but it did have some problems. An ignition coil and a starter come to mind. The usual maintenance items like a cat and an exhaust. Eventually a clutch, but he learned to drive a manual as a teen in that car, so that wasn’t unexpected.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I agree, a family member owns a first-gen Scion xB (basically a Yaris stuck within its shipping crate), its made it to 150k mostly needing brakes and wheel bearings. However at 156k its having oil burning issues and the rear hubs wont last much longer.

        The thing is, many other cars can make it to 150k no problem. Even if you’re a die hard Toyota fan you can buy a Corolla for not much more, or a decent used 2000-era Yaris for about $10k less (other than styling it is the same basic car).

  • avatar
    redliner

    I’m going to say MINI Countryman. Its not usefully larger than the Clubman, but it’s to big to be a MINI. It’s horrendously expensive with a few options, and not particularly good looking either. The plug in hybrid version has a laughable amount of range and electric power, and the standard 3 cylinder model has worse fuel economy than the much larger and more powerful Honda CR-V.

  • avatar
    scott25

    I’ll just skip past the obvious choices (luxury subcompact crossovers/Sentra/Lancer) and say the Focus ST. 36k CAD is way too much to pay for awful seats, awful body kit, and awful ride. Just buy a GTI for 5-6k less or a WRX since at least you’ll get a great engine sound and AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      Actually, the Focus in general. Quality control issues, god-awful transmission, ho-hum powertrains outside the sport trims, eh fuel economy, tends to get expensive, pretty useless backseat and trunk for the competitive class. Whatever you might buy one for, except perhaps ride quality, there is a comparably priced vehicle that does it better.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Wow, I’ll disagree here. The ST might not be as good as a GTI, but it’s a long way from unredeemable. The base Focus is far from unredeemable as well – it’s first-rate to drive (with the manual).

      And BTW, if you’re talking about the ST’s Recaros, they’re optional. The base model has far more comfortable seating. Neither is as good as the GTI’s seating, but there you have it.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        About 5 years ago, I went to look at a Focus.

        As I was about to shift it into reverse, the shift knob came out like I was in a cheap comedy film. The salesman had no words.

  • avatar

    I would have to say the Nissan Versa sedan (not the hatchback Note version). It has ungainly proportions, and the “styling” is truly dreadful. Interior looks cheap and dreary.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      These are used as taxis throughout South America. Cheap, reliable, rugged, spacious back seat, and simplicity are bona fide redeeming qualities.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Sorry the suck on the Versa is so high its not worth the metal they stamped to make it.

      For the record my parents had a Veloster as a rental for a road trip thru PA and WV and LOVED it. They actually raved about how user friendly it was and claimed it was kind of fun to drive. The 1/2 door on the passenger side is brilliant so it gets points there. My mother owned not one, but TWO Saturn coupes with that feature.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    I’m tempted to offer up the hybrid mid-size sedans, though I have a soft spot for them. Just not sure I see the value when conventional ICE mid-sizers can average 30 mpg and dedicated HEVs average well into the 40s.

    I mean, I get how they make decent taxis or stop-and-go runabouts, so maybe my point is dead on arrival here, but why, for example, get the Malibu hybrid, when the 1.6T will be lighter, cheaper, and not have a trunk that looks like a half-played game of Jenga?

  • avatar
    matt3319

    Hands down the Fiat 500L. Nothing redeeming about the 500L. Ugly outside, ugly inside, ugly motor, ugly transmission, ugly reliabity, ugly resale, ugly dealer network, ugly boss. Just ugly. The fiat 500L should come with a bag you can put over it with 2 holes so you can see out its ugly greenhouse.

    • 0 avatar
      dmoan

      I remember they made this simply so they can increase Fiat volume. They predicted as much as 40k sales in US.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The 500x kind of made up for that but the 500L isn’t really as bad as Matt claims. Sure, it’s not pretty on the outside but it’s surprisingly good if you just give it some time. It’s not nearly as bad as certain reviewers have claimed and the X is pretty remarkable, especially once the transmission adjusts to your driving style.

  • avatar
    hamish42

    I’d say any MINI other that a totally stripped zero option one. They have been around long enough to be boring, their reliability reports are poor at best, and they can very easily get horrendously expensive – equal to or greater than some other very good cars. Here in Canada some of the newer models with even moderate options can easily soar past $CDN 50,000 ($US 30K plus). You can be looking at some very nice recently designed cars for that. And up here, the insurance rates are in a very high bracket too.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Interestingly, I would disagree with nearly every negative on the Veloster the author presents; it’s an almost ideal single-person’s car with the ability to carry five if necessary but truly intended to carry no more than two plus some gear and still be reasonably fun and utilitarian. Oh, it’s certainly not perfect for any one group but it meets more wants than it lacks, at least for me.

    But then, most here know that the vehicle with the FEWEST redeeming qualities for me is the one that’s most popular with the rest of you–the American pickup truck. They’re too big, too heavy, too clumsy, too thirsty and too expensive for what the average person actually needs. They’re not even all that safe as their light tail means they get involved in a lot more single-vehicle crashes than almost any other type of vehicle and those crashes tend to result in injury for the occupants. Worse, because of their size and weight, when they get involved in a multi-vehicle crash, they tend to cause more injuries to the occupants in the other vehicles, no matter the amount of air bags and other safety equipment that may be installed in them.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      Having only ever driven an old pick up once, I can’t say anything about how the modern ones drive. I can say that even that almost 40 year old model was too damn big and could never imagine using one as a daily driver. The new ones aren’t significantly bigger, but are a lot heavier, right?

      I personally believe the appeal lies in the dollar to options ratio that they offer is very good vs even mid and full size SUVs, when you research actual transaction prices. Add in the greater ability to spec it how you want to as a new purchase, and a far larger aftermarket for mods, and I rationally understand why buyers like them.

      But most are used no different than a full size sedan or wagon from 20-30 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        The people I know who drive pickups use them regularly as trucks. This includes light off roading, transporting large work boxes, towing travel trailers and the like. A Crown Vic is not a suitable equivalent.

        Go drive a new F-150 Super Crew XLT (don’t even need to bother with the luxed up version). The ride and handling are far better than what you’d expect. Go sit in the back seat. I can’t think of a car with as much leg room. Its comfortable (even though you’re upright more so than in the back of a sedan) and a pleasant place to ride. The truck interior isn’t loud, its well put together and its incredibly versatile. The rear seats fold to provide a flat, durable cargo area that’s ideal for transporting tall items you don’t want in the bed.

        Yes, its big and heavy. But so is a 7-Series.

        Imagine if I said I haven’t driven a sedan in 40 years, so I’m pretty sure I won’t like them now. No thanks on the new BMW Mwhatever, must drive like a 1964 Falcon with its RWD and Inline 6, only heavier.

        • 0 avatar
          newenthusiast

          No, what I said was the only truck I have driven was 40 years old. And it was very large, and that newer trucks are somewhat larger but a lot heavier. Not that I drove one 40 years ago. Geez, I’m not even that old.

          Also, how trucks are used varies by location. I’ve never lived in a truly rural area, so in the cities and ‘burbs, where there are no farms, the trucks I see of any size are generally the family vehicle, similar to what a sedan or wagon used to be. Some do tow, sure. But I think generally, truck buyers over buy the size.

          But I also don’t blame them. They have a greater ability to special order options to their specs, and you often find greater deals (proportional to MSRP) in the truck market.

          I was simply agreeing with Vulpine that, subjectively (which is what every answer here is), I agree that pick up trucks don’t have anything that appeals…to me.

          I rode as a passenger in a recent model F-150 in January. Yes, it had legroom. And maybe it was the tires, but it was damn loud on the highway. It was a weird experience to ride in, but I’ll chalk that up to having basically almost no experience in a BOF vehicle. The ride was….I dunno. I can’t describe it. I’m not a fan of stiff sporty rides, and think most buyers don’t care about dynamics. I want a quiet ride insulated from the road too, but this was like… walking on one of those airport moving sidewalks? You see that things are moving by, but the speed of that doesn’t match the speed of your pace? That’s the closest way to describe it. Disconnected? It was just strange.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          … Yeah, JT, and they take two city blocks to perform a U-turn.

          Ok, not literally, but their turning radius is abysmal. I live close to a four-lane divided highway as the main throughway in the area and even with a twelve-foot median AND a ten-foot shoulder, a modern crew cab cannot perform a U-turn within the available width of road from the turn lane. My ’97 Ranger can do so on our two-lane roads (with shoulder) from the driving lane and stay on pavement (meaning a total of three lanes of pavement from traveling one direction to the other.) I’ll grant we have wide shoulders where I live, at least on heavily-traveled roads, but my point is that my Ranger takes half as much road for a U-turn as a modern full size. This simple emphasizes the difference in maneuverability and agility between the two sizes of truck while at their very core they’re designed for the same basic purpose; move things that are simply too big to stuff into the average SUV/CUV.

          The large trucks do have their purpose, I’ll grant that. But that purpose was intended to be commercial and farming–not commuting.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      All anyone ever needs is a Daihatsu HiJet. I been saying it for years.

      At least you won’t hurt anyone by surviving a crash.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I can’t believe no one has nominated the Nissan NV200/Chevrolet City Express twins. Hands down the worst vehicle sold today.

    Mechanically based on the Versa (which has been called out above) but entirely unchanged since it’s introduction. Awful to drive with the CVT. Slow. Below average fuel economy for its class.

    Sells for insignificantly less than the far better Fort Transit Connect and RAM ProMaster City.

    Here’s a clue as to how bad it is. Look around. You’ll never see one being driven by the person who bought it. They are 100% driven by employees.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      Maybe, but there’s a reason why they’re used as fleet vehicles: cheap to buy/maintain, decent cargo capacity, and dead reliable.
      Far from no redeeming qualities.

      Plus Nissan and Chevrolet are not giving them away for charity, so fleet managers must see some appeal there.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      If it’s that bad, how could it have been selected as the official vehicle for an NYC taxi?

      /s

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “You’ll never see one being driven by the person who bought it. They are 100% driven by employees.”

      I thought their intention was use as commercial vans?

  • avatar
    volvo

    What about the BMW i3? Approximately $48,000 USD OTD with cloth and mid range battery option. Ugly and Expensive compared to other pure electrics.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Juke Nismo. Ugly, cramped not much faster than a regular Juke. On the way out.

    Add Sentra Nismo. Surely the 21C Chevette S?

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Dodge Journey.
    Anything that says “Fiat” on it.

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