1. Suzuki Samurai
With its diminutive size and cute looks, the Samurai may look like a pretender, but for years it’s been considered one of the most rugged and durable small 4x4s in the world — and it was absolutely savaged by Consumer Reports. Introduced in 1985, the Samurai was a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Jeep CJ-7 and Wrangler models, and was a considerable sales success until a 1988 Consumer Reports test deemed it dangerously unsafe for American roads. The report was unusual in its strong language, and publicly called for Suzuki to recall all 150,000 Samurais and immediately replace them with a safer model. A damning investigation later found that the magazine altered their tests to increase the possibility of a rollover, and in 1996, Suzuki sued Consumer Reports for the damage the report did to the brand’s sales and reputation. The lawsuit dragged on for years before it was settled out of court in 2004. Suzuki never fully recovered from the ordeal, and pulled out of the American auto market in 2012.