The Cars People Really Came to Hate in 2017
Driving a car can provoke strong feelings. Wheeling through the canyons of California in a 2018 Mustang GT, you’re likely to fall in love with an automobile. On the other hand, struggling with a mini car’s clunky transmission could bring out the worst feelings in someone.
Small cars in general have fallen out of favor among the American car-buying public. With SUVs hooking consumers with their versatility and ample ground clearance, some of the old reliables have begun to fade from the car scene.
Still, we learned from the all-time most hated cars that it takes more than a trend to get people hating an automobile. The vehicle has to be ugly, boring, wasteful, or all of the above to end up annoying the average American. Here are 10 cars people came to hate for various reasons in 2017,
1. Chevrolet Spark
Just look at the Chevy Spark and you can see why it lost favor with car buyers. At a time when SUVs are all the rage, Spark offers a package that lacks utility, power, and ground clearance (among other things). Sales just about died in 2017, with the minicar finding just 19,510 buyers through November. That figure represented a 38% drop over the previous year and a sign GM could very well ax its smallest ride in the future.
2. Nissan Juke
The Juke wasn’t the first time Nissan tried to get “funky” and ended up with a seriously embarrassing car. You might recall the bizarre Cube that ambled through some towns over the last decade. However, Juke’s general premise — it’s a small, affordable crossover — was something consumers wanted. In practice, it became something that turned people off with bug-eyed styling and ugly flourishes. Late in 2017, Nissan decided to kill the poorly selling Juke in favor of a new, more boring model called “Kicks.” In this case, boring might be a good thing.
3. Dodge Journey
It takes a terrible car to end up on the Consumer Reports list of 10 worst-rated vehicles. For 2017, Dodge Journey was one of them, and the testers unloaded on the SUV’s “confining interior” and “worst fuel economy in its class.” By review’s end, Consumer Reports suggested it wasn’t even worth the price of an airport rental. You really have to hate a car to pass on it for a three-day rental, and Journey managed to inspire that feeling in some reasonable people.
4. Cadillac CTS
If folks don’t hate the Cadillac CTS, they’re definitely bored to tears by it. As recently as 2011, CTS locked down over 55,000 buyers in a single year. By 2017, the Caddie struggled to hit 10,000 sales. The most recent edition launched in 2013 as a ’14 model, but consumers have avoided it from the start. Every year, the stats look a little worse. After the all-time low in 2017, who knows what comes next.
5. Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Though it’s unclear whether people ever liked Mitsubishi’s little electric car, they treated it with such disdain in 2017 that i-MiEV left the U.S. market. It started with an appearance on Consumer Reports’ “10 Worst” list in February and ended with a 93% sales plunge through 11 months. Seriously, this car only sold 6 units in 11 months after a terrible showing (91 total sales) in 2016.
6. Mercedes-Benz CLA
You’d think people would adore a Mercedes that cost a little over $30,000, but the charm quickly wore off with the CLA model. For starters, 208 horsepower just doesn’t cut it when you have a Benz emblem on the hood. Then you factor in the crappy reliability, cabin noise, and small back seat. Altogether, it adds up to a Mercedes that is simultaneously the cheapest model available and the most overpriced.
7. Hyundai Veloster
There’s always been a “love it or hate it” quality to the Hyundai Veloster. By the end of 2017, Americans had settled on the “hate” side of things with the three-door hatch. Now at six years and counting on the market, Veloster’s novelty wore off long ago. It’s just become a strange car with awkward handling and weak acceleration. Accordingly, its sales cut in half in 2017, though there is hope on the horizon with a new Veloster debuting in 2018.
8. Nissan Pathfinder
SUVs might be in fashion, but Nissan Pathfinder has fallen out of favor with buyers. In the Consumer Reports rankings for 2018, this model landed the worst rating in its class for owner satisfaction and came near the bottom in reliability. That already reflects a backlash on the part of the owners and can pretty much predict where Pathfinder sales are headed in the coming years.
9. Buick Verano
Consumers send a certain signal to an automaker when they ignore a car so much they force it out of existence. That sad fate happened to Buick Verano. Though car buyers only registered mild disgust with Verano in recent years, sales fell off the map in 2017. Compared to the peak year of 2013 (45,500), the year’s total sales won’t match one quarter of that number. GM stopped producing this car in October after cutting the model year short.
10. Jeep Compass
If you heard about the new Jeep Compass, you probably guessed it was a major upgrade over the Patriot and Compass models it replaced for 2018. However, the new edition did not leave behind the horrendous reliability ratings and owner satisfaction levels of its predecessors. From early reviews and customer feedback, it sounds like the new Compass will begin alienating people early on in its existence.
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