These Cars Should Have Flopped


This one probably should have been on the list too

Yesterday we learned that the Cadillac ELR is in the process of becoming one of the biggest flops in automotive history.

That’s quite the honor for General Motors and another notch for a company that has a history of creating flops. To be fair, the General also has the quite the history of creating smashing successes, but today we’re focused on flops. More specifically, let’s look at cars that should have been flops, but somehow managed to live much longer than they should have.

This’ll be fun.

Pontiac Aztec


For all intents and purposes, this car was a huge, colossal, undeniable flop. It’s been on every list of ugliest cars ever since it debuted and it sold in miserable numbers. However, thanks to a little thing called Breaking Bad, the Aztec became cool. Even though they aren’t built anymore, it’s more common than ever to see them on the road.

Subaru Baja


Some might say this car did indeed flop. Basically a modern interpration of the BRAT, the Baja didn’t make a lot of sense. It wasn’t a truck and it wasn’t a car, but it wanted to be both.

Come on Subaru, you don’t build trucks. You build Foresters.

Somehow, at least in Washington and Colorado, buyers kept the Baja alive for much longer than anyone would have ever guessed.

Chrysler PT Cruiser


Not only was this car not a flop, it was an extraordinary success from a sales perspective. People bought these things in droves and the model lasted a full decade. Why? I attribute it to uniqueness alone. It was underpowered, loud and slathered in plastic. No one had seen that shape since the 1930s, though, and the honeymoon lasted about nine years too long.

Chevrolet HHR

2007 Chevrolet HHR 2LT Special Edition

As if the PT Cruiser wasn’t bad enough, Chevy hired away the designer and promptly built a copy. Unfortunately, it happened just as the novelty of the PT had worn off. For whatever reason, buyers pulled the trigger on the little afterthought and it sold reasonable well during its existence.

Jaguar X-Type


This is hard for me. I owned an X-Type for many years and thoroughly enjoyed the car. There’s really no reason it should have lasted the seven years it did, though. Too expensive when new and without the performance of competing small luxury sedans, the baby Jag wasn’t a Jag at all, but a re-skinned Ford. Thanks to the ritzy exterior and some quality leather inside, people did buy, for a while. My personal feelings aside, this car should have been killed off two years into its existence.

What other cars should have flopped, but didn’t? 


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Pontiac Aztec
Used Subaru Baja
Used Subaru Forester
Used Chrysler PT Cruiser
Used Chevrolet HHR
Used Jaguar X-Type

1 Comment

  1. Typical, an automotive journalist slamming a fine/fun car like the 2002 – 2005 Thunderbird saying it should have been a flop. This really frosts my cookies especially when the idiot who makes a statement about a car he/she has probably never driven one much less never been within a mile of. This was the Motor Trend Car of the Year for gawd’s sake.

    I have owned one of these fine autos for the past 10 years and it is a fun boulevard cruiser a term that some automotive moron probably is unfamiliar with. If you don’t try it, don’t knock it! It’s a tight little V8 hardtop coupe and a nice little drop top convert at the same time too. The problem is that it was never designed to be a “sports car” or a “muscle car”, but rather a fun little roadster to take you favorite gal for a nice summer drive for ice cream after dinner.

    Typically today’s automotive journalist are all about driving those “rice burners”, drifting in their Honda Civics, Hyundai or Kia. You probably think that the Toyota Camry is a fine automobile too, so if that’s your bag then I pity your for your lack of refinement and class.

    The trip isn’t about the destination; any real car guy knows it’s about the journey and if you can arrive in class and in comfort while turning heads then you are a car guy. If you just want to get there in a hurry, take the plane.

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