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Old 10-07-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
banyan
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News Worst Cars of the 2000s

10. Pontiac Aztek

2001-2005
The Aztek was criticized for the duration of its life for its ghastly styling. Design is subjective, so what do you think of the Aztek shown here? Were the critics wrong? Yeah, we didn't think so.

9. Daewoo Anything

1999-2002
We had just tested a Suzuki Esteem and marveled at how competent even the cheapest little econoboxes had become when a leather-lined Leganza midsize sedan showed up the best Daewoo had to offer. We mused over which would kill us first: the toxic gases from the cheap interior or the recalcitrant transmission and inconsistent acceleration. Three days into the loan, the first Daewoo crash tests in U.S. history came out, and we called Daewoo and told them to come pick up the car. We'd never done that before, and we haven't since.

8. Isuzu VehiCROSS

1999-2002
The outrageous Isuzu VehiCROSS two-door SUV, whose extreme styling drew varied reactions, lasted from 1999 to 2001, and even that's surprising. The fanglike grille uprights made it look like it would eat you, which was scary mainly because inside the VehiCROSS was a place no one wanted to be. Headroom was minimal, and the low roof blocked even shorter drivers' view. If the noisy cabin didn't get to you, the punishing ride would. Isuzu deserved credit for taking a chance then on a design likely to find more admirers now, and it deserved scorn for a 2001 sticker price that would be just as preposterous in the current market. The VehiCROSS cost $30,350 by the time it fired up its interplanetary drive and went back where it belonged.

7. Jaguar X-Type

2002-2008
Jaguar X-Type

In the early 2000s, the class of entry-level luxury cars was growing. Most were sporty and started at $30,000 or less. Wanting in, Jaguar came out with the X-Type. From the get-go, critics warned that a cheap Jag would be bad for the brand and that Ford which bought the company in 1989 would probably cut corners and sacrifice quality. That was before they saw the product. Sharing its front-drive platform with a European Ford Mondeo, the X-Type was a too-small, not-so-sporty sedan with all-wheel drive that was hamstrung by some of the forewarned quality issues. The trap was clearly visible from miles away, and Ford walked right into it. A 2002 Jaguar X-Type can be had for up to $8,500. A 2002 Honda Civic goes for up to $9,275.

6. Pontiac Sunfire

1995-2005
The Sunfire managed the rare feat of having a worse interior than its GM twin, the Chevy Cavalier. Cheap interior plastics run amok, a coarse four-cylinder engine and horrendous crash-test ratings sealed its fate. On the flip side, the Sunburn was probably responsible for untold thousands of rental-car upgrades: "Honey, remember Fort Lauderdale last summer? Trust me, we want the Grand Am."

5. Cadillac Catera

1997-2001
To think that Germany's Opel is now the source of many of GM's strongest new models...

In the late '90s, the Opel Omega begat a Cadillac that was sporty in theory but soft and underpowered in practice, rear-wheel-drive in design but front-wheel-drive in feel. And that's just the car. Cadillac didn't help its case with advertising that included the tagline "The Caddy That Zigs," supermodel Cindy Crawford, an animated duck, and the suggestion to "lease a Catera" with the response, "Who's Lisa Catera?" The geniuses responsible for the Catera should have been exiled, but we suspect they went on to develop something called the Pontiac Aztek. Upgrades and deep discounts in 2001 couldn't save the Catera; it went to the duck blind in the sky in 2002.

4. Toyota Echo

2000-2005
The Echo subcompact's high seating position and center-mounted instrument panel were two well-intentioned features that were summarily rejected by consumers (though they would find their proponents in later years and other models). Call the Echo ahead of its time if you must; mainly it just wasn't a very good car. In taking over for the Tercel a boring but popular choice against offerings from Suzuki, Geo and pre- renaissance Kia and Hyundai the Echo proved that sometimes bland is better than bold. The problem wasn't that the youth-targeted Echo appealed more to older buyers than to younger ones, it was that there weren't enough of either.

3. Jeep Compass

2007-present
We could have easily chosen the Dodge Caliber for this list a compact hatchback with unremarkable gas mileage, refinement and crash-test scores but the hapless Compass edged it out. Why? Besides the fact that you shouldn't spread lackluster product around to more than one division (the Compass is related to the Caliber), it doesn't belong in the Jeep lineup, a brand known and respected for its off-road ability. The Compass is a soft-roading poseur, and not a good one at that.

2. Chrysler Sebring

1995-present
The previous-generation Sebring wasn't a bad car in its day, but Chrysler dropped the ball with the redesigned 2007 model. With a weak base powertrain, uncomfortable front seats, poor interior quality and haphazard styling, it never had a chance in the highly competitive midsize-sedan segment.

1. Smart ForTwo

2008-present
2009 smart fortwo

We don't have a problem with small cars in general (we're big fans of the Mini Cooper), just with ones that don't deliver on the benefits of going small. The pint-sized ForTwo sacrifices a lot of passenger space for a relatively unimpressive 41 mpg on the highway, has an SUV-like propensity to roll over, and is equipped with an aggravating sequential manual transmission. Sure, the ForTwo looks cute, but after you drive it you won't be smiling anymore.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:50 PM   #2
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Uh.. the VehiCROSS was/is awesome.


It was a real rally truck.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
Uh.. the VehiCROSS was/is awesome.

YouTube - Isuzu VehiCROSS Feb 99

It was a real rally truck.
I always wanted one...I thought it was a really unique truck. But they're right that it was ridiculously expensive for the time.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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I loved the Vehicross when it came out... I thought it was spectacular.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
2009 smart fortwo

We don't have a problem with small cars in general (we're big fans of the Mini Cooper), just with ones that don't deliver on the benefits of going small. The pint-sized ForTwo sacrifices a lot of passenger space for a relatively unimpressive 41 mpg on the highway, has an SUV-like propensity to roll over, and is equipped with an aggravating sequential manual transmission. Sure, the ForTwo looks cute, but after you drive it you won't be smiling anymore.
I think they missed the point of the Smart car
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post
I always wanted one...I thought it was a really unique truck. But they're right that it was ridiculously expensive for the time.

I agree, this was an awesome car that made way more sense than the 2dr Exploder. At least it was way more capable and required much less gas than the Ford.
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post
I always wanted one...I thought it was a really unique truck. But they're right that it was ridiculously expensive for the time.
I wanted one really bad when they came out too. I wonder how much they go for used? *Runs off to look at Autotrader*
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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I wanted one really bad when they came out too. I wonder how much they go for used? *Runs off to look at Autotrader*
I looked too...I saw prices in my area ranging from $6-10K depending on year and mileage.
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:33 PM   #9
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I think they missed the point of the Smart car
A geo metro with worse handling, a non-existent crumple zone, and more likely to topple over than Amy Winehouse on a bender?
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:11 PM   #10
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Aztek should be #1 on that list, Hummer H3 #2.

The VehiCross was a beast; I saw a guy hauling ass down from Tahoe once and it seemed perfectly fine doing it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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I can't put the hate I have for the Sebring in words....
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:21 PM   #12
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I had a 1996 Sebring convertible as my first car and I liked it a lot. It had over 120,000 miles and still ran strong. Had that parts-bin special 2.5L Mitsubishi engine in it. It looked great when it first came out and my mom got compliments all the time on it. They even say in the articles the first years were ok so why tag it 1995-Present?
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:30 PM   #13
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As much as the Aztek was bad, Daewoo has to take the cake.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC View Post
I wanted one really bad when they came out too. I wonder how much they go for used? *Runs off to look at Autotrader*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post
I looked too...I saw prices in my area ranging from $6-10K depending on year and mileage.
I've done this recently as well. Lots of good examples out there.. many owners treated them well. Unfortunately, I can't let myself get that kind of fuel mileage in a 2 door car unless it thrills my pants off every time I get into it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bono View Post
A geo metro with worse handling, a non-existent crumple zone, and more likely to topple over than Amy Winehouse on a bender?
Ever driven one? The vehicle is essentially a rolling roll cage and yes, it is a bit top heavy for the size, but no worse than my Forester.

The point of the SMART car is not getting ZOMG gas mileage, it's a city car designed to fit into small parking spaces and maneuver around in tight urban areas. It is not a highway cruiser that seats 10.

They would be quite useful in places like Chicago, NY, San Francisco etc..... where space is a premium.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:25 PM   #16
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They got the smart 100% right, Even the name is wrong. It's not smart, it's dumb as ****. I'm so glad it made this list and euros are tipping them over.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:41 PM   #17
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I can't put the hate I have for the Sebring in words....
Your hate would pale in comparison to my soul burning loathing of the Toyota Solara
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
Ever driven one? The vehicle is essentially a rolling roll cage and yes, it is a bit top heavy for the size, but no worse than my Forester.

The point of the SMART car is not getting ZOMG gas mileage, it's a city car designed to fit into small parking spaces and maneuver around in tight urban areas. It is not a highway cruiser that seats 10.

They would be quite useful in places like Chicago, NY, San Francisco etc..... where space is a premium.
That's the problem though, I live in a very suburban area and I see tons of them being used in places that don't really "need" them.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:57 PM   #19
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Vehicross and X-Type weren't bad cars, just overpriced and/or badly marketed.

The big Daewoo Sedan wasn't horrible. The rest of the lineup was dreadful though.

Current Sebring is the worst looking car on the market today, previous one was passable.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:00 PM   #20
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That's the problem though, I live in a very suburban area and I see tons of them being used in places that don't really "need" them.
I agree completely, but just because a fair bit of the owners are tools does not make it a bad car.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:20 PM   #21
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Daewoo was straight up garbage.... If you told anyone you had a Daewoo youd get a instant laugh
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:35 PM   #22
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Ever driven one? The vehicle is essentially a rolling roll cage and yes, it is a bit top heavy for the size, but no worse than my Forester.

The point of the SMART car is not getting ZOMG gas mileage, it's a city car designed to fit into small parking spaces and maneuver around in tight urban areas. It is not a highway cruiser that seats 10.

They would be quite useful in places like Chicago, NY, San Francisco etc..... where space is a premium.
They've had vehicles that do that for a hundred years--they're called "motorcycles." Which also cruise pretty nice on the highway, are fast, and are a blast to drive--not to mention a boat load cheaper.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
EThe point of the SMART car is not getting ZOMG gas mileage, it's a city car designed to fit into small parking spaces and maneuver around in tight urban areas. It is not a highway cruiser that seats 10.

They would be quite useful in places like Chicago, NY, San Francisco etc..... where space is a premium.
Exactly. I live in Newport Beach, and you have to parallel park where you live, plus everyone and their mothers is visiting to go to the beach during the daytime and to party during the nighttime. There are a few in my neighborhood within several blocks of me, and they can fit into damn near any spot, which is key when idiots visiting from out of town bring their Suburbans and take up way more space than normal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardiff Giant View Post
That's the problem though, I live in a very suburban area and I see tons of them being used in places that don't really "need" them.
But there's nothing wrong with that though, unless I'm missing something... smaller car than average + better fuel economy than average = good (or at least not bad) for everyone else except GM dealerships
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveyboy View Post
They've had vehicles that do that for a hundred years--they're called "motorcycles." Which also cruise pretty nice on the highway, are fast, and are a blast to drive--not to mention a boat load cheaper.
...and require a separate license, command higher insurance rates and increase driver mortality rates in the event of an accident. I'd rather be in a Smart car than on a motorcycle in head-on collision, as I like my head being in one piece... and helmets alone don't always guarantee that.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:04 PM   #24
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I think they missed the point of the Smart car
whats the point?
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:05 PM   #25
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Vehicross doesn't belong on this list at all.
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