QOTD: Your Least Favorite Front-drive Nineties Ride?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd your least favorite front drive nineties ride

Last week, Steph penned a QOTD where he let commenters loose on front-drive American cars made between 1980 and 2010. The ask was to pick a favorite from the wide selection; one you’d buy today as new.

This week we’re going to take the opposite tack and talk about the front-drive car you like the least.

Today, the game will be more limited in scope. Instead of multiple decades, we’ll focus solely on the 1990s. Any car put forth today should be of a model year between 1990 and 1999. No limitation on country of manufacture — they’re all game. From a decade which produced many fine examples of front-drive cars, picking a loser might take a bit of pondering. For your author, the choice was obvious.

Here we are — the gigantic and terrible Chrysler Imperial of 1990. At the turn of the decade, Chrysler decided it needed a new flagship sedan in its lineup, and thus the Imperial nameplate rose from the ashes once again.

Riding on a super-extended K-car platform known as Y, the Imperial was the largest sedan ever sourced from the K. A full-size 203 inches long, the Imperial came stuffed with Mark Cross leather, digital almost everything, an optional car phone on the sun visor, and a hefty price tag. Chrysler intended to compete with other large, front-drive sedans like the Continental, DeVille, and Park Avenue. All those choices were better than the Imperial. The pontoon boat proportions and floaty suspension matched well with the 1978 levels of exterior gingerbread. A relative flop, the Imperial lasted only through 1993. At that point, it was mercifully replaced by the quite superior LHS.

Let’s hear about your least favorite front-drive Nineties ride.

[Images: Murilee Martin/TTAC, Chrysler ]

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2 of 165 comments
  • HotPotato HotPotato on Apr 13, 2019

    The Toyota Tercel was my least favorite car at the time. Incredibly light and fragile bits assembled with incredible care and precision. I did't get it. Seemed to me like sculpting Michelangelo's David out of dog poop. Anything Daewoo. Anything Hyundai, at least in the early 1990s. Any early Quad 4 car. Base Cavalier. But they could redeem themselves in sport trim. I dug the early Z24(6?) with the V6, square-in-a-circle wheels, and Coke-bottle skirts. The later Cavalier Z24 with the 16-valve engine was more adult-looking and reasonably priced, but IIRC carelessly assembled and a bit floppy.

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Apr 17, 2019

    Definitely the stretched to the limit K/Y New Yorker and Imperial. They looked like something that GM might have rejected 5-6 years earlier and were looking by this point quite outdated with their boxy square vinyl roof encrusted opera lamp shapes. The interiors were lavish but these cars were too narrow. Then there was the horrid Ultra Drive trans axles that were being replaced at a feverish pace across every Chrysler dealership in the nation. The one sort of bright spot was the 3.3 and 3.8 Chrysler designed V6's. But by this point Cadillac had there much improved and more powerful 200 Hp 4.9 V8 out and Ford of course had the 4.6 Mod motor. Honorable mentions going to the Hyundai Excel/ Kia Sephia and the any of the crap Daewoo products being sold. My folks, who were retired by this point went to work part time for Enterprise rental and said these were the worst cars in their fleets and were always having to go to the dealer for repair work. Mom also mentioned how the carpeting or flooring felt like someone glued hair fibers on a piece of cardboard and was really difficult to clean on some of the Mitsubishi's and Kias at the time. True cheap crap.

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