The Terrible Cars You Probably Didn’t Notice Died Off in Recent Years
For those who dreamed of owning a Tata Nano, the dirt-cheap ($3,452) Indian car of 37-horsepower fame, we have bad news. In July 2018, Bloomberg reported the automaker would kill off its budget appliance in 2019.
With that news, rumors of Nano’s potential arrival in America died with it. Considering Tata only built one (1) model in June, it didn’t come as a huge surprise.
In fact, the Nano met the same fate as most terrible cars. Once people stop seeing the novelty of owning a cheap piece of junk (see: Yugo), they ignore them until the automaker issues its death sentence.
Here are seven other terrible cars that exited the U.S. market in recent years.
1. Nissan Cube
When we rounded up the most embarrassing cars in history, the Nissan Cube had no trouble making the list. If you think about it, the ad copy accompanying the car on the Nissan website may never have been topped by a creative team.
“The Nissan cube is squarely unconventional, with a bold but friendly front grille inspired by a bulldog wearing shades,” the still-active page reads.
2. Honda Crosstour
An auto journalist once called the Honda Crosstour “a four-wheeled egg painted to your preferred color,” and that stuck with us over the years. In fact, some have said the Crosstour was ahead of its time and not as ugly as people once believed.
But it is that ugly, regardless of what trend it may have set.
3. Smart Fortwo
While the Smart electric drive (E.D.) still exists in Daimler dealerships, the gas model has taken its leave of the U.S. market. The thing about this two-seat, no-trunk model was how expensive it was ($15,000.)
For that price, any used car (by any automaker, in any body style) would have been more useful.
4. Dodge Dart
Awhile back, we got the assignment to write about the worst-reviewed cars of 2016. Among the usual suspects of the era (Mitsubishi Mirage, Jeep Patriot), we kept finding people who hated the Dodge Dart.
Consumer Reports ranking told most of the story: It had terrible reliability and worse customer satisfaction ratings during its brief time on the market.
5. Mitsubishi i-MiEV
At a glance, you might confuse the Mitsubishi i-MiEV for the Tata Nano. We don’t blame you for making that mistake, but in reality they are quite different.
For starters, the i-MiEV had a worse name and was actually an electric car. Meanwhile, its horsepower count (63) blew away Nano’s engine specs.
But that performance and zero-emissions performance came at a premium: $23,000 before incentives were applied. No wonder it sold so poorly.
6. Jeep Liberty
For this one, we’re going all the way back to 2012, when the Jeep Liberty had its last hurrah on the market. Prior to the retro-off-road redesign in 2008, this model was one of the ugliest cars on the market.
Yet that only told part of the story. Consumer Reports described it as “noisy,” “thirsty,” “clumsy,” “jittery,” and, charitably, “somewhat revolutionary looking.”
When Jeep replaced it with the new model, it didn’t get much more love. Words like “cramped,” “unsettled,” “uncomfortable” and “lowest rated” entered the picture.
7. Dodge Avenger
When folks were deciding which cars from Ford and Fiat-Chrysler they might miss, no one mentioned the Dodge Avenger. Actually, it departed the scene around 2014, but no one seemed to notice (or care).
That’s what happens with a car as mediocre as this one, which only found an audience as the last available rental on Hertz lots. Maybe that’s why Dodge threw its hands up in frustration a few years later and axed the 200 sedan, too.
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