Blue Oval Fanatics - Ford Forum

Go Back   Ford Forums & Technical Discussions > General Car Discussions > General Autombile News - Non Ford Related

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 07-11-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
FFTeam
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2009
Fan#: 3
Location: FocusFanatics.com,
Posts: 1,183
Rep Power: 75
FFTeam Good Standing Member
Top 10 automotive failures of the last decade

10. Honda Insight

On its own merits, it's difficult to call the Honda Insight a failure. When it debuted in December 1999, it represented the first hybrid vehicle offered in North America, beating the Toyota Prius to market by seven months.

The Insight scores points for originality, but it gets decimated by the Prius in terms of sales by a ratio of 18 to one. The Insight also trails the Prius in a number of other metrics. The two-seater first generation Honda Insight returned remarkable fuel economy figures, but it lacked practicality and refinement. The second-generation four-door Insight made improvements to both, but fuel economy dropped well below that of the Prius.


9. Ford Thunderbird

It was the early 2000s. Retro-styled cars were all the rage with the Mini Cooper and VW Beetle stirring up a wave of nostalgia. Ford jumped on the "old is new" bandwagon with the 2002 Thunderbird.

Styled to fall in line with the classic 1955-'57 Thunderbirds, the revived RetroBird certainly turned its share of heads. But under it all was a repurposed Lincoln LS. Chopping off its roof resulted in body flex, which Ford combatted with heavy bracing. On the whole, this new 'Bird lacked any notable innovation, and the carryover of parts from Lincoln was disappointing.

When Ford pulled the plug, this four-year revival barely outsold the original three-year run classic, which sold 53,166.


8. Chrysler Crossfire

Note to manufacturers: Don't name cars after something you don't want to be caught in.

Born out of the Chrysler/Daimler-Benz partnership, the Crossfire was built on an aging SLK roadster platform. It seemed that most were pleased with the Crossfire's boattail styling, but as the aforementioned Ford Thunderbird proved, style only goes so far.

The antiquated recirculating-ball steering made it slow to respond, handling was disappointing and at the same time, the ride was harsh. To further pile on the drawbacks, the interior fell short of expectations, as did overall performance and everyday convenience. In the end, not even Celine Dion could save the Crossfire, and the final insult came when remainders were sold off on overstock.com and eBay.


7. Chevrolet SSR

Is it a pickup or a roadster? Neither, because both of those can justify their existence. The retro-styled Chevrolet SSR is one of the oddest vehicles ever squeezed from Detroit's loins. It was based on GM's midsize SUV platform but lacked any real utility. This two-seat hardtop convertible had the potential for some al fresco driving entertainment, but being overweight and underpowered (early models were powered by GM's 5.3-liter V8 making 300 horsepower) kept any actual fun at bay.

Despite an increase in power output and interior improvements in 2005, sales remained abysmal. Some say that the SSR stood out on the highway. So does a car fire.


6. Lexus HS 250h

If your target is a happy medium, you'll often end up with mediocrity. Such is the case with the Lexus HS 250h, which tried to bridge the gap between luxury sedans and hybrid pods. It fulfilled the promise of neither, and buyers responded by siding with either a Prius or CT 200h.

The HS 250h's size and Camry Hybrid powertrain kept it from achieving Prius-like fuel economy numbers. Besides that, the rear seats didn't fold and costly options easily pushed the price too high. Having a name that sounded like an inner-city public high school probably didn't help, either. In any case, Lexus killed the HS 250h after only three years.


5. Cadillac XLR

Typical Cadillac buyers like luxury. Typical Corvette buyers like performance. When the Cadillac XLR debuted in 2003, it represented something they both could despise.

Built on the outgoing C5 Corvette platform, the Cadillac XLR used a weaker V8 engine, had a softer suspension and sported a folding hardtop roof. For all that trouble, Cadillac charged $75,000 for the angular roadster, which was about $20,000 more than a fully loaded 'Vette.

Besides the backward less-for-more proposition, the ill-conceived and poorly executed XLR suffered from disappointing handling and an interior design and build quality that was far below that of European rivals. The XLR officially went out of production in 2009, but it took GM until 2011 to sell off the remaining stock.


4. Acura ZDX

At the press launch, one editor mused that ZDX stands for "zero demand expected." Prophetic words, indeed.

Much like BMW's X6, the Acura ZDX is built on an existing and rational platform: in this case, the MDX. In an attempt to add "sportiness," Acura stylists sliced the rear section to give it an aggressive tapered hatch. Though this made the ZDX's appearance edgier, utility took an unrecoverable hit.

Rear-seat headroom was reduced to childlike dimensions and cargo space dropped to carry-on luggage only. Consumers identified these shortcomings and monthly sales are currently in double-digits. Somehow, the ZDX remains in production.


3. Lexus LS 600h L

The only thing that's green about this car is the fortune you'll spend for one.

The Lexus LS 600h L is no eco-friendly car, despite its hybrid badging. The 5.0-liter V8, supplemented by two electric motors makes 438 horsepower. That's a gain of 78 hp over a standard AWD LS 460 L. More power and it's a hybrid? Hold on, it only gets an EPA-estimated 2 mpg better than the LS 460. Two. Take into account the $30,000 hybrid premium and it'll take you 109 years to recoup the costs in fuel savings (at $4.00/gallon averaging 15,000 miles annually).

Even if you were immortal and had unlimited funds, the LS 600hL is still hard to justify. The hybrid battery and components for the standard rear refrigerator and climate control reduce trunk capacity to 13 cubic feet, compared to the regular LS's 18 cubes. With the all-electric Tesla and large diesel luxury sleds making it to market, why would you ever consider the LS 600h L?


2. Mitsubishi iMiEV

Electric cars have come a long way in just a few years, with admirable interiors, impressive performance and decent range on a single quick charge. The Mitsubishi iMiEV is not one of those cars. This odd-looking pod (podditty?) can muster only 62 miles per charge, takes 14.7 seconds to hit 60 mph and has an interior that rivals some golf carts.

Yes, the iMiEV is relatively affordable, but the Nissan Leaf is $325 less (before rebates and incentives) and offers more range. Buyers notice, too, as the Leaf outsells the Mitsubishi 23 to one.

In gas-powered terms the i MiEV is a $23,000 car with a 60-mile range and a fuel tank that requires 7 hours to fill. In the end, we rank it one step above public transportation.


1. Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Finally, an answer to the question, "Wait.... what?"

Is there really a section of the population that wants a convertible SUV? If there is, would they want it to look like an overfed Juke? Of course there isn't, and that's why the Murano CrossCabriolet gets the not-so-coveted top failure spot.

And even if it were a sales success, the CrossCabriolet would still be an awful car. The lack of a roof allows the entire body to flex like the Tacoma Narrows bridge. That, in turn contributes to the car's poor handling. Then there are the giant doors that make entry and egress difficult in tight spaces. Did we mention it's a convertible utility vehicle?
__________________
Account Administration
FocusFanatics.com
FFTeam is offline  
 
  Reply With Quote
Unread 07-12-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
autolite
Senior Pilot
 
autolite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 1468
Location: Hinckley, OH
What I Drive: 1998 Black Mustang GT

Posts: 567
Rep Power: 40
autolite Excellent Standing Memberautolite Excellent Standing Member
Will I kind of disagree I think the American cars on the list where nice except the Thunderbird I don't think they did the best design.I always thought wait for the next body change and Ford would get it right.Will it never happened I would like to have one still or a 1957 would be nice also.
__________________
98 Mustang GT
14 F150 XLT
10 Escape Limited,
06 Harley Ultra Classic
2008 Focus SE
autolite is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-12-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
Tom
FF Founder
 
Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Fan#: 2
Location: Calgary, AB & Austin, TX
What I Drive: 2005 Saleen ZX3 SES Turbo

Posts: 19,661
Rep Power: 75
Tom Excellent Standing Member
The CrossCabriolet was a terrible idea.
Tom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-14-2013, 07:00 AM   #4
autolite
Senior Pilot
 
autolite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 1468
Location: Hinckley, OH
What I Drive: 1998 Black Mustang GT

Posts: 567
Rep Power: 40
autolite Excellent Standing Memberautolite Excellent Standing Member
seen a nice black SSR for sale.Dont see a lot of them around here. I thought that those would be a cross over.Its a pick up, a convertible,probable good on mpg. and it would haul azz.The Cross cabriolet. I seen one of those on the dealer lot none on the road.I think Nissan doesn't make a good looking car.They got another Van out it makes the Transit Connect look beautiful.
__________________
98 Mustang GT
14 F150 XLT
10 Escape Limited,
06 Harley Ultra Classic
2008 Focus SE
autolite is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-14-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
scotman
Pilot
 
scotman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 1495
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
What I Drive: 2011 Ford Fiesta SE, 5dr

Posts: 46
Rep Power: 0
scotman Good Standing Member
I like this thread!

My two cents on some of these cars. The SSR was never intended to be a volume seller. Gm built it in the old Reatta craft center in Lansing to work out some process and material technologies with soft tooling and also with developing and study of the market for hardtop convertables. They never said "Let's get busy and build some retro 53 chevy pickups with no cargo capacity and a power hardtop. Sixty GM customers have demanded it!" I have driven them on a couple occasions, I can see where a person who had money to buy a hotrod but no desire to build one,could wrap there head around the "concept". Which is what that vehicle was.
scotman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-14-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
white89gt
Administrator Shane
 
white89gt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Fan#: 1293
Location: Salt Lake, UT
What I Drive: 1989 Mustang GT, 1997 F150

Posts: 5,011
Rep Power: 75
white89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Member
I can't place much faith in that list. What about the Chevrolet Citation, Chevette, Dodge Omni, Dynasty, Aries, K-car, Ford Tempo, Contour, anything Daewoo made ..... need I go on? All of those have stood the test of time. I feel that somewhere along the line, the SSR and the Thunderbird could be collectibles.

Heck, for newer travesties in automotive failures - the Pontiac Aztec should have made that list.

And call me weird, but I kind of dig the Ford Transit lineup.
__________________
white89gt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-14-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
autolite
Senior Pilot
 
autolite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 1468
Location: Hinckley, OH
What I Drive: 1998 Black Mustang GT

Posts: 567
Rep Power: 40
autolite Excellent Standing Memberautolite Excellent Standing Member
I like the transit aswell.Look up the new Nissan.I could make a top ten list Aztec,XB,Element,Cube oh wait all Nissans.
__________________
98 Mustang GT
14 F150 XLT
10 Escape Limited,
06 Harley Ultra Classic
2008 Focus SE
autolite is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
Tom
FF Founder
 
Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Fan#: 2
Location: Calgary, AB & Austin, TX
What I Drive: 2005 Saleen ZX3 SES Turbo

Posts: 19,661
Rep Power: 75
Tom Excellent Standing Member
I think this news feed was based on total vehicles sold. I think some of the ones that we hate still sold enough vehicles to not make it on this list lol.
Tom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-14-2013, 11:48 PM   #9
white89gt
Administrator Shane
 
white89gt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Fan#: 1293
Location: Salt Lake, UT
What I Drive: 1989 Mustang GT, 1997 F150

Posts: 5,011
Rep Power: 75
white89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Memberwhite89gt Outstanding Standing Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom View Post
I think this news feed was based on total vehicles sold. I think some of the ones that we hate still sold enough vehicles to not make it on this list lol.
Ahhh, that makes better sense. It had pictures, so I didn't read too much, lol.
__________________
white89gt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-27-2013, 09:10 AM   #10
scotman
Pilot
 
scotman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 1495
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
What I Drive: 2011 Ford Fiesta SE, 5dr

Posts: 46
Rep Power: 0
scotman Good Standing Member
Hi everybody.....

I agree on the Nissan crossover convertable being a either a bad idea or at least an answer to a question noone asked. The Insight hybrid was not a fail. It was marketed at a higher price than Prius because Honda did not play price games. Toyota offered the prius at an artificially low price early on (and raised the price on other vehicle lines to cover it!), And styled it more conventionally to have broader appeal. Honda, offered the Insight as a technical showcase that the customer could buy. It was marketed at early adopters and tree huggers. Honda dealers were specifically instructed not to display Insights in a conspicuous manner. They were not "discounted" or hyped as the next big thing. I am surprised this writer didn't list the Honda ridgeline pickup as a loser. It is an excellent vehicle. It just never found an enthusiastic buyer. It meets all this guys metrics for failure while still being a damn nice truck.
scotman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:51 PM.

Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved. : Terms of Use : Copyright : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Blue Oval Fanatics - Online Ford Community for the UK, North & South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa regions. We are the Internet's Newest Ford Forum. As our site continues to grow, we'll be offering a large collection of Ford related news, articles and club events information. We also offer a free Ford classifieds, gallery, social groups and events information. Our goal is to be the premier information outlet for Ford owners. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.