Seven Cars That Should Never Have Been Born

June 10th, 2011

BMW X6

I was only going to do the Five Worst, but couldn’t stop. We welcome comments from anyone over age eight who can defend these cars.

And we must give credit where credit is due: Two of these (the BMW X6 [above] and the Acura ZDX) are also on Alex Taylor’s listing of 2011’s ten “most disappointing cars.” He got ’em first, but I would have picked ’em anyway: They are that disposable.

Some here, like the Honda Crosstour, have been around for awhile, apparently trying to eke out a return on the investment their makers have foolishly made. I say, cut your losses, boys, and decommission them before they do even more damage to the brand.

One good side effect might be that these beasts could turn up as bargains on the overbaked used-car market (see our DealFinder). That is, if you could stand to own one. Reviewer’s comments follow, in no particular order.

Roger Hart, Autoweek on the X6: “A $95,000 sled that weighs in at 5,300 pounds and looks, like, well—let’s just say it kind of makes a camel look good… Yes, it still drives like a BMW—a very big, very heavy and semiquick BMW. But really, who needs or wants a car like this? What is the appeal here?”

2011 Chevrolet AveoReviewer from Chicago on the Chevrolet Aveo: “Overall, it’s not a terrible car. If you live in a place with generally good weather all year round, it’s a decent car…but that’s not me. Know upfront, this is the Chevy Daewoo…yes, Chevy apparently bought the car forged in a south Korean [sic] ghetto.” Ouch. I drove a 2010 on a 300-mile round trip through the mountains, and the performance was barely tolerable.

Acura ZDXAutoSpectator on the Acura ZDX: “Flexible cargo utility and multi-surface, all-season capability further broaden the ZDX’s appeal. With its sensuous curves, sharply raked roofline and bold fender flares, the segment-bending ZDX transcends the traditional distinctions between coupe, sedan and sport utility vehicle.” So how come Acura sold “fewer than 1,000 this year”?

Nissan JukeEd Niedermeyer of TTAC on the Nissan Juke: “A weird mix of coupe and crossover, the Juke mashes a number of Nissan design cues into a crazed pastiche: the swollen wheel arches and elongated turn signal lights of the Leaf, the rounded rear hatch of the Infiniti crossovers, the 370Z’s tail lights (with a dash of Volvo C30 mixed in) and the Z-meets-Kia Soul greenhouse actually combine for a look that is utterly distinctive, and not entirely unpleasant.” We saw the photos and were relatively kind; then I saw the real thing. It is a horror.

Dodge NitroChrysler cars have been taking it in the teeth on worst-car lists of this kind. The CarConnection on the Dodge Nitro: “The Nitro is a strange beast; from a purely objective standpoint, it’s a rebadged, somewhat reskinned version of the 2010 Jeep Liberty. From a practical standpoint, it’s an old-style utility vehicle that aspires to be a car. The Liberty is not known for terrific on-road prowess, and neither is the Nitro… .” For 2011, U.S. News ranked it 22 out of 23 affordable compact SUVs.

2011 Honda Accord CrosstourVehix.com on the Honda Accord Crosstour: “The Accord Crosstour’s displayed impracticality negates the point of choosing a vehicle with a practical hatchback design and makes me question anyone’s ability to accept the Crosstour’s football-on-wheels design ethos. This car reminds me of one of those old Reebok Pump basketball shoes… .”

Jeremy Sinek of MSN Autos, really took it out on the Infiniti QX56: “Since the QX56 is the only new-for-2011 full-size luxury SUV, it gets to be the scapegoat for my disdain for the entire breed. On a planet plagued by poverty, pollution, overpopulation and pending Peak Oil, these rolling monuments to conspicuous consumption are offensive. Vulgar and ostentatious status symbols, they hog gas, accelerate climate change, and increase the harm to occupants of smaller vehicles in collisions. Yet the cruel irony is that their clumsy handling and proneness to fall over negates the ‘safety’ that is the alleged justification for buying them in the first place.”

Let us have your nominations to add to this list. Or have we judged one of your favorites unfairly?

—jgoods

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used BMW X6
Used Acura ZDX
Used Chevrolet Aveo
Used Nissan Juke
Used Dodge Nitro
Used Honda Accord Crosstour
Used Infiniti QX56

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  1. Anthony Innocente
    | #1

    I would definitely add these vehicles to the list as well. I am sure most will agree that they are pretty ugly as well:

    1. Porsche Panamera
    2. Subaru B9 Tribeca(1st generation)
    3. Chrysler PT Cruiser
    4. Pontiac Aztek
    5. Chevy HHR
    6. Linoln MKT
    7. Buick Rendezvous
    8. Nissan Leaf
    9. Toyota Prius
    10. Honda Insight
    11. Honda Element

    I am sure there are much more, but those are list toppers for me. What do you think?

  2. Anthony Innocente
    | #2

    Well the Dodge Nitro came out before the Jeep Liberty in 2007, then Jeep came out with the 2008 Jeep Liberty to resemble the Nitro. Unfortunately for Dodge, more people opted to buy the Liberty over the Nitro. Guess it was a loyalty thing, where the Liberty has been around since 2003, so people were more familiar with the Liberty name and not the Nitro name.

  3. Randy
    | #3

    Can’t disagre with anything on these lists. The Aztek (and its GM cookie cutter equivalents) has to be way up there as one of the ugliest things since the Pacer. Just about anything Mitsubishi makes is pretty strange, and I can never figure out how the company that produced the NSX can make the current Acura products.

  4. | #4

    Honda should give up these are awful same with Nissan renault is going to regret getting entangled with Nissan and its awful CVY power trains and the QX tank is a joke though not as pathetic as the Juke joke. No surprise Chrysler went under with crap like the Nitro Jeep used to mean something now its just a junkheap.

  5. Peter
    | #5

    Well, I pretty much like the X6 and I know the rest of the world hates it, but here in Bulgaria, I see it very often. And how come you sad nothing about the extremely ugly and thirsty Cayenne (the last one seems to be designed by koreans :D), but you criticize the appeal of the X6 (I think it is rather beautiful)… May be you should look at it like an expensive, luxurious 4×4 van with some very nice engines and awesome sporty suspension

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