Toyota is world-famous for one thing: reliability. Over the years, the Japanese automaker has offered a wide range of legendary reliable automobiles ranging from the tiny echo to the desert harrowing Land Cruiser. There’s always something cooking in the Japanese automaker’s kitchen, and this year it wasn’t sushi but the revived Toyota Supra Legend. If unveiling wasn’t enough, the Supra went ahead and won a 2020 Best Award, proving the manufacturer’s ingeniousness.
Well, it's not always been a rosy story with Toyota. The automotive giant has had its fair share of lemons that lead to recalls and angry owners. Some of their products didn’t get the typical praise they are acquainted with, forcing them back to the drawing board. In case you are wondering, here are the ten most disappointing cars Toyota ever made.
10 Toyota Paseo
When you are out shopping for a sports car, you expect to drive out with a road monster capable of neck-breaking speeds. Toyota is big when it comes to performance cars, and the Supra, new and old 86 are just a few of what the Japanese genius can pull out of their sleeves. However, Toyota dropped the ball on the Paseo.
Perhaps it was a marketing gimmick meant to initiate novice drivers into the world of fast cars, but they could have done much better with a car that pushes more than 100hp. For starters, the Paseo looked nothing like a fast car, and throughout its short run, it barely made it past the 100hp mark.
9 Toyota Tercel
The Toyota Tercel was a 1990s vehicle, for those who remember, it was an amazing A to B vehicle, much like the current Toyota Yaris. It wasn’t complicated, fancy, or good to look at either. For that, it garnered great points with the drivers of that time.
However, behind its below-average looks, the Tercel was in constant need of repairs. It constantly had issues from oil burning, broken seals to an awful side-draft carburetor prone to failing. After a heap load of complaints and dwindling sales, Toyota finally pulled the plug eliminating the Tercel nameplate for good.
8 Toyota Echo
It's evident that the Toyota Echo was a miss. For starters, it had the looks that would quickly put you off and did not appeal to any group despite Toyota’s massive marketing campaign. The echo was designed to appeal to young vehicle buyers looking to get their very first automobile but fell short of the quality expected by Toyota.
Its center-mounted speedometer was a turn-off, lacked a tachometer, and has an overly undesirable appeal. On the upside, the Toyota echo has an impressive gas mileage, which initially boosted its sales, dropping later due to obvious quality purposes.
7 Toyota Cavalier
There are a few simple things that show the failure of a vehicle in the motor industry scene, and part of it is the longevity of the brand. The Cavalier is a single generation model, which speaks volumes of its popularity.
The Cavalier was a collaboration with GM for the American market that ran from 1996 through to 2000. It's quite puzzling why such an ambitious collaboration picked the Chevrolet Cavalier as their model unit. The result was a nose dive fail for the two giants, with sales that never saw projections even after a TRD version was released.
6 2007 RAV 4
Toyota’s RAV 4 is an iconic car, its world-famous, and its partly because it’s a simple, practical and gas efficient SUV, which is unique in that segment. There’s no doubt that the Toyota RAV 4 has secured its place in the US market as the most successful compact SUV.
While the RAV 4 ranks high, the 2007 version came with an assortment of issues never experienced before. Owners complained of water pump issues; the V-6 variants had knocking issues from the front suspension especially when traveling at low speeds. It also didn’t offer the performance and reliability popular for Toyota vehicles.
5 Toyota Prius C
Unfortunately, a Prius features on this list, its undeniable how successful the vehicle has been. After all, it sparked a revolution of sorts into the world of green vehicles, becoming the bestselling gasoline-electric vehicle in the US.
The Prius C is significantly tinier than the original Prius. The Prius C has a small design, which is impractical. It sold well while big in Japan, but didn’t quite perform well in America where big is better. And its 192,000 sold units in America explain who much of a miss compared to 1.1 million global sales.
4 2014 Toyota Crown Majesta
Toyota Crown is quite a successful product out of Toyota, and it’s evident through the number of years it has been in the product. The Crown dates back to 1955 and is the longest-running Toyota model to date. Lexus is the luxury department of Toyota; however, the Crown is a Toyota development.
In 2014, Toyota felt the Crown wasn’t luxurious enough, and marketed as a cheaper alternative to the typical limousine. However, Toyota fell short with the Majesta after it faced massive recalls for brake and fuel component issues. While the recall was an easy fix, it significantly damaged its reputation, as well as Toyota.
3 1999 Scion Xb
The Scion Xb was part of a Subsidiary manufacturer of Toyota, Scion that no longer runs. Scion focused on developing cheap exciting cars aimed for young adults looking to get their first vehicles. The Scion Xb marketed out of the US as the Toyota Cruiser. In 2014, just like the Crown Majesta, the Scion Xb was caught up in a recall that significantly affected their reputation.
The 2014 Scion Xb had a unique problem with issues with its sliding front passenger seat. Yet another reason why the vehicle lost popularity was its owners complained it was noisy and bumpy when driven, which proven to be nuisance driving for long distances or city drives.
2 2005-2010 Toyota Hilux
The Hilux is a popular pickup truck and not just in the U.S but all over the world. It first debuted in 1968 and is still in production up to date. The Hilux comes in several variations, but the most popular is its compact truck and pick-up truck models.
The Hilux is relentless workhorses, but in 2004 there was a faulty connection between the vehicle’s steering wheel and its airbag. Its steering airbag deployed if the vehicle turned in a particular direction. The Hilux also suffered a unique hit to its reputation after terrorist organizations picked it as their vehicle of choice.
1 2016 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma is, by all means, a reputable pickup truck in the U.S. It competes with some of the biggest names when it comes to the American pickup truck market. However, the 2016 Tacoma came with its own set of problems that have landed it on this list.
Owners complained of transmission issues to no end, with a popular problem being delayed engagement. Also, when moving from reverse into drive the pickup truck could only kick in at 1,200 Rpm with a jolt that felt like being rear-ended. However, this issue did very little to discourage its owners or taint its name, and the issue was resolved before the next line of Tacomas came into the market.