7 Cars Consumers Refuse to Buy in 2016
So 2015 was a record year for the auto industry. Aside from the Volkswagen and Dodge brands, every major automaker posted gains with new products, most of them in the light truck and SUV departments. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any losers. In fact, the rough streaks of many struggling automobiles have carried over into the new year, with no sign of easing up. Here are seven cars U.S. consumers are refusing to buy in 2016.
Note: Aside from one irresistible exception, every car on this list was in production at press time. Sales data comes from GoodCarBadCar.
1. Toyota Yaris
At a glance (try the photo above), you can see why the Toyota Yaris would be a tough sell for consumers in the U.S. market as it stands. The car is simply too small and power-deprived to offer what Americans want. To get anywhere these days, you need to ride high in a sport-utility vehicle with enough power to make it to the nearest traffic light in fewer than 10 seconds. As a result, the poor Yaris is being left behind, even at $14,895. Its 548 sales in January were down 62%, year over year, and landed the model in 198th place on the sales charts.
2. Kia K900
Thanks to a price drop and some boosting from the NBA’s best player, the Kia K900 saw better days in 2015. But in 2016, the momentum has stalled. Kia sold just 68 models of the K900 ($54,500) in the U.S., which amounted to a drop of 43% over last year’s total. With such low volume, it put the luxury play from Kia at 250th on the sales list, a domain usually reserved for discontinued cars.
3. Lexus CT200h
Like most other cars on this list, there is nothing wrong with the Lexus CT200h, the hybrid wagon that manages 42 miles per gallon combined for an MSRP of $31,250. Economical cars offering a peak 134 horsepower just have a hard time making their case heard when gas is below $2 per gallon in most parts of the country. To start 2016, Lexus sold just 622 models, a 38% drop from a year before, a dip that landed the CT200h in 195th place.
4. Nissan Cube
We promised there would be one exception to the still-in-production rule, and it’s the Nissan Cube, a vehicle that once appeared on our worst cars of the 2000’s list. Phased out after the 2014 model year but still circulating with a handful of sales every month, the Cube is one those punch lines that just refuses to disappear. Three models found buyers in January, representing a 98% drop from the previous year.
5. Cadillac ELR
U.S. consumers rejected the pricey Cadillac ELR upon its late 2013 release and never looked back. Its peak of 196 sales (August 2014) was pitiful even for a low-volume car, and the $10,000 price cut didn’t move the needle at all. In fact, things only got worse when the ELR became more affordable, leading Cadillac to announce that production will cease in 2016. According to January sales, it won’t be a moment too soon. Cadillac moved just 67 models of the ELR, somehow 27% lower than the previous January.
6. Acura RLX
Why is no one buying the Acura RLX? This car is attractive enough and generally gets good reviews, but its base MSRP ($54,450) is probably the place to start. And maybe we’re suckers for chrome, but there is something highly unappealing about a luxury sedan with cheap-looking plastic door handles. In a booming luxury car market, the RLX staggered to 98 sales in January, a 44% drop from the year before and barely good enough for 244th place in 2016.
7. Infiniti Q70
After peaking at 1,083 sales in March 2015, the Infiniti Q70 has seen a steady drop in demand. In January 2016, the Q70 hit its lowest mark in 15 months with 492 sales, down 22% year over year. Luxury sedans not built by the German three might have a hard time in the coming year if these trends hold. (SUVs should be fine.) There may not be a prettier exterior than the Q70’s on the market, but at 207th on the sales charts, looks just aren’t enough of a draw for consumers these days.