The automotive industry is a constantly changing marketplace of vehicles that consumers either embrace or ignore, and there are various reasons why a consumer might decline a new vehicle. The first of which is the fact that automakers will generally try to push a product on consumers long over the expiration date, and this happens with many modern vehicles such as the Dodge Journey which has been muttering around since 2009.
Traditionally car buyers want something that is not only going to be reliable but also stand the test of time. There are hundreds of new car models that are released every year, and this is why there are many cars and trucks that tend to get a bad reputation.
But, some vehicles are just plain bad. There are certain cars that are either unreliable or just lackluster when it comes to their design. These are cars that we think no one should ever own because they are not only expensive to maintain but also lack sufficient design attributes which make for great longevity in a car.
Take the Isuzu Trooper, for instance, a top-heavy SUV that was notorious for its rollover incidents during the nineties. This is a vehicle that is still frequently purchased on the used car market but in the scheme of things, the Trooper is probably one vehicle out of many that are worth steering clear of. In this list, we are going to be taking a look at twenty-five vehicles that you should steer clear of.
25 Toyota Prius First Generation
What was basically a Toyota Echo with a battery pack strapped to it, the Toyota Prius First Generation was known for its egg-shaped design and awkward driving characteristics? As time went on, the Prius Hybrid was greatly improved, which helped to bolster the car's reputation and sales that we see today.
There is no way that we can recommend this first generation Toyota Prius as it just was not a practical choice and the cost of battery replacement in these older hybrid vehicles can be astronomical.
24 Lincoln Zephyr
With the failure that was the Lincoln LS, the brand needed to revamp its company image and quick. The Lincoln Zephyr was the first of the current trend of new Lincoln models that we see now, and although it was a good idea, the car managed to come up short in many aspects which made it a lackluster choice for consumers.
The car was aged at birth and really didn’t feature anything special that made it a superior choice over its much more affordable corporate cousin the Mercury Milan.
23 Lincoln Mark LT
If there is a hard-luck story in the automotive industry, it is the Lincoln Mark LT, a truck that just never could get its feet off the ground. The Lincoln Mark LT was a good idea, but the finished product was nothing more than a leather-wrapped F-150 with a premium price tag.
In fact, the Lincoln Mark LT actually became what we know today as the Ford F-150 Platinum. The Lincoln Mark LT was not the only failure pickup truck in Lincoln's past, the Blackwood also managed to stink things up for a year.
22 Ford Festiva
You’ve seen them delivering pizzas, you’ve seen them broken down, and you’ve seen them covered in bumper stickers for veganism. The Ford Festiva is a subcompact little hatchback that has made its way from driveway to driveway, rusting along for decades and somehow continuing to put-put along.
The Ford Festiva is probably one of the worst Ford models to ever roam the earth, and the sad part is that it isn't even a Ford, the ride is a Kia. There are no redeeming qualities about the Ford Festiva, except maybe for the fact that you can find one for literally the price of a new game console.
21 Ford Aspire
Ford was never one to admit failure, and thus after the Festiva, the company decided to release another backfiring Kia that was known as the Ford Aspire. This lackluster subcompact also did nothing to bolster the brand image, and the Ford Aspire was even worse because many owners cannot even find parts for these cars anymore.
So, if you happened to have purchased a Ford Aspire brand new in 1995, we hope it is still running because you won’t be able to fix it anytime soon. But, we’ve heard these cars make great storage sheds.
20 Isuzu Trooper
Notorious for its rollover incidents during the nineties, the Isuzu Trooper is a sports utility vehicle that is extremely well versed off-road. The problem with the Trooper has a lot to do with the boxy design of the vehicle, which gives it a high center of gravity and makes the vehicle extremely susceptible to rollover incidents.
The Isuzu Trooper is constantly on the used car market, but this is a vehicle that is worth steering clear from because of the issues in regards to safety and the lackluster resale value.
19 Chevrolet Lumina APV
The minivan market was revolutionized by the Chrysler minivan combo, and this lead other automakers to try and hastily follow suit. The Chevrolet Lumina APV was a dust buster shaped minivan that GM tried to push on consumers in an attempt to take market share from Chrysler, and in reality, the plan backfired and the minivans were universally panned by automotive journalists and consumers alike.
The Chevrolet Lumina APV and its corporate cousins are definitely worth avoiding at all costs if you can even find one that is still in running condition.
18 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS (V6 Model)
In what is a travesty to the Monte Carlo heritage that GM had built over many years, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS of the early 2000s is a prime example of a car that has no identity. Powered by the same lackluster V6 that you might find in GM sedans of this time, the 2000s Monte Carlo SS was nothing special and did nothing to further the legacy of the brand.
This car is a cheap example of what a sports coupe should be, and if there was ever a car that is worth avoiding, this would be it at all costs.
17 Acura SLX
Just in case the Isuzu Trooper wasn’t bad enough, the guys at Acura decided to slap a badge onto it and call it an SLX. The Acura SLX is an SUV that is worth avoiding at all costs, as it offers absolutely nothing unique or stellar in terms of a luxury SUV.
In fact, this was during a time period when automakers must have thought that consumers couldn’t differentiate the fact that the SLX is your run of the mill trooper with a shiny new logo and a two-tone paint scheme.
16 Isuzu Amigo
No, it's not your best friend, it's the Isuzu Amigo. This lackluster topless SUV was sold during the nineties as a two-door version of the Rodeo, and it was aimed at the consumer who wanted a Jeep Wrangler with an import flare.
Unfortunately, the Isuzu Amigo offered nothing in terms of refinement and the features were lackluster if there was a word for it. About the only good thing about the Isuzu Amigo was its off-road capability, which Isuzu is well known around the world for.
15 Ford Flex
During the middle of the 2000s, Ford was trying to revamp their image, and what better way than to jump on the retro-themed car bandwagon. The Ford Flex was a car that tried too hard to be cool, and consumers did not bite.
We recommend avoiding the Ford Flex for a number of reasons, the first of which being the cramped interior. The Ford Flex also offered nothing unique in terms of performance, which would have been the only real benefit to purchasing a vehicle that looked quite this unique.
14 Mercury Montego
There was a point during the middle of the 2000s where Mercury was trying to appeal to the female car buyer, and thus the Montego was born. But, consumers didn’t bite for this big and awkward looking sedan and instead the Montego lived a short life.
There was nothing truly notable about the Montego and nothing that will make us really recommend this car because it was so truly lackluster that there was nothing beneficial to it at all, not even in terms of style.
13 Mitsubishi Diamante
The Mitsubishi brand went through a dark period during the nineties where the company was riding on the success of the Eclipse but the rest of the lineup was struggling. The Mitsubishi Diamante was a big sedan that never really knew if it was a luxury car or competition for the Honda Accord, and as such the model never really had anything going for it.
From the pointed nose to the lackluster interior, we couldn’t recommend the Mitsubishi Diamante if we wanted to.
12 Mitsubishi Galant
Another poster child for confused Mitsubishi products is the Mitsubishi Galant, the family sedan that managed to carry on in the Mitsubishi lineup for quite some time. The Mitsubishi Galant never really had anything to offer the consumer, which is why you constantly see these cars at sketchy used car dealerships with a ton of miles on them.
While the final model years did look a little more appealing, there is nothing really noteworthy to report about this lackluster sedan at all.
11 Toyota Echo
Generally speaking, Toyota is a brand that comes to mind for value, and the Echo was a car that never really managed to live up to the legendary Toyota reputation for quality. The Toyota Echo was like a modern-day Tercel, which in itself was a lackluster vehicle.
The Toyota Echo didn’t really have any good features to offer drivers, and a lightweight and cheap design made the car a sales failure for most of its life, although the car does manage to live on overseas.
10 Geo Storm
About the only storm that the Geo Storm was stirring up is the dust storm that will follow you at the junkyard as you go to find parts. Based on the obsolete Isuzu Impulse that no one even knows ever existed, the Geo Storm was a marvel of lackluster design and dust buster looking design that was all crammed into a two-door model for GM to shove down the throats of consumers for a cheap price.
If you're in the market for a cheap nineties two-door, the Geo Storm is not going to be it.
9 GMC Envoy XUV
GM tried every which way to suck the life out of the SUV boom during the early 2000s, so much so that they even tried to release the GMC Envoy XUV. This SUV took all of the attributes that made consumers want an Envoy and killed them off with a bulging room and a retractable back panel that would leak after a few years according to Consumercomplaints.com.
The GMC Envoy XUV was a marvel of design, however, it was an example of how to tarnish an otherwise stellar vehicle that managed to sell well for the brand.
8 Cadillac Catera
Oh Cadillac, how you have tried to remain relevant after all of these decades. Once the luxury car that you had to have, nowadays the Cadillac brand remains the also-ran company and the premier choice for rap videos.
The Cadillac Catera was another failed idea by some GM experts as a cheap trick was to get younger consumers into the Cadillac showroom. Unfortunately, the Cadillac Catera was lackluster in general, with a Chevy Cavalier design and enough power to rival a snail.
7 Infiniti G20
Nissan also tried to woo young consumers during the nineties with a pint-sized luxury offering which was known as the G20. This fat looking little compact car was nothing more than a jazzed up Sentra that liked to hang out at the coffee house, and the car offered nothing unique in the way of luxury to justify the high price tag.
Nissan eventually redesigned the model but the Infiniti G20 just never really managed to catch on with consumers, and the model was ultimately discontinued in the 2002 model year.
6 Chevrolet Celebrity
The only celebrity who drives the Chevrolet Celebrity is Ernest P. Worrell, and that is an understatement. The Chevrolet Celebrity is a car that was so lackluster that many consumers report the radio dials falling off when the car was brand new, and the boxy looking design was stuck somewhere in the early eighties.
There is nothing that was remotely appealing about the Chevrolet Celebrity, and how the model managed to live on for as long as it did is beyond us because GM had better offerings at the time.
5 Jaguar X-Type
We’re not sure what happened when Ford purchased Jaguar during the 2000s, but their product lineup struggled. The Jaguar X-Type was known for being in the shop longer than it was ever on the road, and when the car did manage to function on a normal level it was known for a lackluster interior and a noisy ride.
It's just hard for us to believe that Ford expected consumers to choose the Jaguar X-Type over the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but hey, everyone has to dream.
4 Jaguar S-Type
What is pretty much an X-Type with a slant nose, the Jaguar S-Type wasn't much better than its corporate relative. The Jaguar S-Type was known for being in the shop quite often, and while the model did have a limited edition sports sedan, there was nothing truly unique to keep the S-Type flying off of dealership lots.
This would probably be part of the reason that Ford ended up selling off their premier divisions because consumers were just not buying the lackluster Jaguar models at the time.
3 Lincoln LS
Known affectionately by automotive consumers as the worst Lincoln of all time, the LS was a brainstorm by Ford executives to slap a Lincoln badge on the already bad Jaguar X-Type and cram a V8 engine into it.
The model had all of the makings to be a pretty cool sedan, but the reliability issues just resulted in the LS being in the shop quite often, and this was more than expensive for consumers to deal with. Lincoln eventually discontinued the LS, and the model has not been mentioned since.
2 Kia Rio
The original Kia Rio was once known as the most affordable car on the market, and this was both a blessing and a curse. The Kia Rio was basically a cheap car, to begin with, so not much was expected but the model was known for transmission failures which should not be an occurrence when the car is about the size of a teacup.
Nevertheless, the Kia Rio did offer some notable features at a time when standard features were still being charged extra for in the automotive industry.
1 Hyundai Excel
Dubbed the worst car of all time, the Hyundai Excel will go down as more of a failure than the beloved Yugo. The Hyundai Excel which actually managed to sell very well when it was new, was off the road within four years of being a brand new car.
The reliability of the Hyundai Excel was so bad that it has tarnished the automaker's reputation to this day, and Hyundai might never fully get over the damage that was done by the cheap compact car. The Excel was renamed the Accent and the model did live on for quite a few generations, which were improved over time.
Sources: Motor Week, Edmunds