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37 Failed Cars From World-Renowned Brands

Vukasin Herbez December 18, 2018

Photo Credit: The Drive

7. Pontiac Aztec

Introduced in 2000, Pontiac Aztek was a good idea, at least on paper The mid-size crossover model with sharp new styling, a decent engine lineup, and plenty of interior space was a pretty modern concept at the time. Pontiac was eager to present it to the public since overall sales were not so good, and they thought the new model would boost the popularity of the brand and bring new customers to the dealerships. The plan was sound, except for one thing – the design. Somehow, Pontiac designers managed to draw and push to production one of the ugliest cars ever made. Even from this distance 17 years after the first Aztek saw the light of day, it is still a car with a design that makes no sense whatsoever.

Photo Credit: Auto Savant

The Aztek designer later designed a great-looking Corvette C7, and it is very strange how he managed to do such a bad job at Pontiac. The ugliness of the car and not great fit and finish quality sealed the Aztek faith despite some good aspects of this model. The Aztek had plenty of space inside, decent performance, higher than average equipment, and a big trunk. In fact, it would be a good family crossover if it wasn’t for the hideous design. In recent years, over a decade after they stopped producing them, Azteks are popular, mostly due to their appearance in the cult TV show “Breaking Bad” and first places in many “ugliest car” lists. Unfortunately, the Aztek failure affected Pontiac as a brand, and a couple of years later, Pontiac closed its doors for good.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

6. Honda CR-Z

When it was introduced in 2010, the CRZ was an innovative compact hybrid-powered coupe which looked like the spiritual successor of the legendary CRX. Unfortunately, it wasn’t even close, with the 1.5-liter engine and barely 130 HP along with heavy hybrid add-ons, CRZ was slow and not handled as it should. Needless to say, Honda drivers were pretty disappointed.

Photo Credit: The Car Connection

Honda just didn’t have any luck with electric or hybrid cars, and CRZ didn’t help. After all the money invested in engineering and marketing, we are sure Honda wishes that the CRZ never happened.

Photo Credit: Auto Week

5. Sterling 825

If you don’t know what the Sterling 825 is, nobody can blame you. Once marketed as the next big thing in the luxury segment on the American market, Sterling is now a forgotten brand that didn’t leave a mark and moved to automotive history’s margins. Sterling had an interesting story; it was basically a British company, established in the late ’80s with Honda’s capital and Rover’s design. Back then, Honda owned Rover and wanted to enter the American market with a luxury model. So they conceived the Sterling, a luxurious car based on the Acura Legend.

Photo Credit: Auto Week

It was quite a strange combination, but the finished product looked nice and had a well-designed interior and decent power from a V6 engine. After the introduction in 1987 and promising sales numbers in the first few months, the first problems showed up. The Sterlings were pretty poorly put together, the electronics were troublesome, and some cars even developed rust issues. Honda tried to improve the production process, but there wasn’t much they could do, and by the early ’90s, Sterling was gone, and nobody was sad about it. Not even Honda.

Photo Credit: Fav Cars

4. Audi 5000

Today, Audi is one of the leading luxury brands in the American market. Still, in the late ’80s, the company was almost gone from US shores due to the news of unintended acceleration and numerous crashes as a reason for that. In 1986, a popular CBS TV show “60 Minutes” ran a feature about Audi’s unintended acceleration on the popular 5000 model. The viewers didn’t see that the car was rigged and that the acceleration featured in the show wasn’t genuine. After the show was aired, the car community was buzzing, and Audi’s reputation was badly damaged.

Photo Credit: Car And Driver

Audi responded by publishing numerous tests and videos showing that the only possible way of something like this happening is if the driver’s foot slips from brake to accelerator pedal. Still, it didn’t help, and sales hit rock bottom. Despite the fact that “60 Minutes” published a false story and it was proven that Audi didn’t have acceleration problems, the damage was done and it took the company two decades to recover. It’s still unclear why CBS did this feature. Was another rival car company behind it?

Photo Credit: Consumer Guide

3. Saab 9-4 X

The Saab 9-4X was a compact luxury crossover SUV that was built on the Cadillac SRX basis and intended as a competitor in the premium field. It was introduced in 2011 just before the company was closed by the GM. At the moment, Saab was desperate and needed anything to catch the attention of the car-buying public. The company turned to GM looking for an SUV platform, which can be turned into Saab’s own model.

Photo Credit: Car And Driver

Its very short production run means that only around 800 9-4X were made, which makes this Saab one of the rarest models ever made by this company and an extremely rare sight on the roads. Most people don’t know the car existed.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

2. GMC Envoy XUV

The GMC Envoy is a fairly popular model, and all through the years, it sold well even on some export markets. However, the XUV version, introduced in 2004, was a different case. At GM, somebody thought it would be a great idea to combine the SUV with the pickup truck and presented the XUV with its removable roof panel and opening tailgate.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

The XUV was more practical, obviously, but it was more expensive, heavier, and buyers simply didn’t get the idea. It was discontinued just after a year in production.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

1. Range Rover Evoque Convertible

The Evoque Convertible is a pretty unique car in today’s market because it is the only convertible SUV currently on sale. It is the answer to the question nobody asked, but it looks like fun, and if you want an SUV but you crave an open-top car, then this is the one. For a $42,000 base price, you will get a 240 hp turbocharged engine, luxury features, and a special vehicle.

Photo Credit: Auto Blog

But the real question is should you do buy this since Evoque Convertible is nothing more than a full-size Barbie car which is no good as an SUV and no good as a roadster. Entirely pointless, and it’s no wonder it is sales flop.

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