The oval Ford Taurus of the ’90s was mocked for its extreme styling, but there was a special edition of the car that caught the attention of enthusiasts. The Ford Taurus SHO V8 was a special edition of the Taurus that had a lot of potential. Sadly the Yamaha derived-V8 engine was notoriously unreliable. There were recalls related to the intake manifold gaskets and the head gaskets which lead to consumer frustration.
The radical design of the car also made a lot of potential consumers look the other way. Had the Taurus possessed a more mainstream design the addition of the V8 would have been a welcomed addition. The later generations of the SHO never seemed to capture the magic of the original car.
The second-generation Ford Explorer was a regretful product for Ford. In the design of the SUV, the roof had been weakened which caused the SUV to do horribly during a rollover incident. The design of the SUV resonated with consumers and it became the best-selling Ford of all-time. But the company also spent millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements and court hearings.
This took a toll on Ford as the company went into the next generation. Aside from the rollover incidents the SUV also had a series of exploding tire lawsuits, which also marred the reputation of the Explorer even worse. This generation of the Explorer went on to become one of the most popular cars on the road.
Few cars have sold as well as the Escort did during its heydey. You’ve probably seen these on rental car lots and used car lots by the dozen. While the Escort seemed like a great value at the time there was a lot that stopped the car from appealing to consumers. The design of the car was cheap and underpowered when you compared it to other sedans on the market. Honda and Toyota both had the market covered in vehicles like this one.
The Escort also had a lot of quality and reliability issues that dragged it down. Sadly, the car just didn’t make it into the next generation. Of course, the nameplate has lived overseas but in the domestic market, the Escort is a thing of the past.
When you think of the Tempo, you think of one of the best-selling cars in the world. The Tempo sold over three million cars the first year. The design of the Tempo made it lack a lot of the features that you’d suspect in a sedan in this price range. Consumers were aware that Tempo had a reputation for quality issues, but the affordable price made it worth pursuing. The Tempo’s performance improved over time but was not enough to bolster sales.
As the decade went on Ford was directing energy to different vehicles, and the Tempo was at the forefront of this. Had the company had innovated more and improved it quality, the Tempo might have lived on longer.
Another cheap car that made the rounds in the Ford lineup was the Cortina. It was a car that needs no introduction because you’ve probably forgotten it anyway. Why did the Cortina fail? Well, the design was lackluster at best. Reliability was not a strong suit for the car, and the performance was nonexistent. There were very few features that you could get on this car and it was barebones transportation.
The Cortina had a lot of what compact car consumers were looking for, but the lack of the car delayed a lot of the potential consumers. Few cars have failed as badly as the Cortina managed to in the short period that it was released.
The special edition of the Mustang that had a turbocharged four-cylinder engine was a shock for the pony car market. The car had a good amount of performance, but Mustang purists were confused by this odd edition of the Mustang. As Ford was feeling the pinch from the EPA the company had to downsize the car’s engine.
The SVO didn’t seem to catch on like the GT and the 5.0, which most purists are more acquainted with. The SVO had a lot to offer in terms of quality and the design of the car, but the turbocharged engine was not the most reliable. The car had a lot of shortcomings which lead Ford to cut the SVO pretty quickly.
The first generation of the SVT Raptor had a lot going for it in terms of design, but the truck also had some drawbacks. The V8 engine was fun to drive, but the reliability issues were catching up with the car early on. The Raptor had a menacing demeanor, but the high price tag made consumers turn to other pickup trucks. Another problem with the SVT Raptor was a timing chain issue that wasn’t covered under warranty.
A lot of consumers experienced these same issues with the Raptor, and the truck has gotten a reputation for that. Ford eventually evolved the Raptor to a great degree but the truck still has a high price tag and a lot of reliability issues.
True, the Ford GT is one of the most well-known sports cars in the world, but there were also a lot of downfalls. The GT is among the most expensive sports car that you can get, but there are also competing models. The Ford GT limits what you have to work with. There is no V8 engine and the styling is stuck in the past. The turbocharged V6 did a great job of propelling the car with authority but the same reliability issues would creep up.
The lack of any cargo space or a back seat also causes issues with the Ford GT. Exotic sports cars are evolving more and more as time goes on. The Ford GT has a lot of competition on the market and the car just hasn’t managed to keep up with the times.
The first generation of the Thunderbird was a unique car in a lot of aspects, but there was also a lack of features. The performance of the Thunderbird was not very strong, especially at a time when expensive V8 engines ruled the roost. The convertible aspect of the car did make it stand out from the ordinary convertibles on the road.
The road manners of the Thunderbird was a great part of the car, as handling was extraordinary. In addition to the road manners of the Thunderbird, there was also a comfortable interior, which was ahead of the time. The Thunderbird improved as time went on but it wasn’t enough to lead the car into the next generation.
The original Ford Bronco was a hit for the carmaker, but the smaller version of the SUV was just confusing. Instead of opting for a four-door version like the competing Blazer, the Bronco II went for a compact design. The SUV had a lot going for it had the design have been tweaked just a bit. The interior was very cramped and the quality was mediocre at best, which didn’t do the SUV any justice.
Reliability was iffy at best, and the base engine was lacking in the same type of power that the Blazer had. Still, the Bronco II has managed to catch on with a secondary market that has an appetite for vehicles like this one.
Every automaker was trying to get on the bandwagon of hot hatches during the early 2000s. The Neon SRT-4 was the most popular of the compact performance cars but Ford wasn’t going to be outdone. The Focus SVT was a good concept on paper, but when it came down to the actual product, the car was lacking.
The Focus SVT had a lot of design flaws that affected the reliability of the car. Also, the SVT Focus was only available in the hatchback variation, and this just wasn’t a feasible option for a lot of buyers. The Neon had four full doors which lead more buyers to go in that direction.
By the 2000s, the retro car revival was in full swing, and Ford was going to jump on the bandwagon as well. The retro-inspired Thunderbird was a pretty unique offering, to say the least, with a unique design. The two-seater design was a departure from previous generations of the Thunderbird and the underpinnings were based on the Lincoln LS sedan.
Consumers were not persuaded to buy the Thunderbird because of the high price tag. The lack of options and the fact that it was only a two-seater. These have managed to hold their value after all these years but for the most part, this generation of the Thunderbird was avoidable.
One of the cars famously owned by Tim Allen, the RS200 is a purist rally car in every sense of the word. A unique design has made the RS200 a reputable car in the rally scene and on the auction block. The small form factor of the car and the short wheelbase also have a lot of drawbacks. The engine was also not the most reliable which lead a lot of enthusiasts to go the way of the Lancer EVO or the STI.
Nevertheless, this was a piece of Ford history. The company has long held a presence in the international rally racing circuit, and naturally, the RS200 stands out from the crowd. But this is such a limiting car that there are better options to choose from.
A car that was designed to compete with the Chevy Suburban, the Excursion didn’t have a lot that was particularly special about it. The thing was lacking the same kind of refinement that the GM offerings had, and this made it less popular. The interior was massive and the SUV was based on the heavy-duty offerings from Ford. But the lack of a more refined motor and the lack of fuel economy sent buyers the other way.
Ford has had a tough time competing with GM in the full-size SUV segment, especially when it comes to a vehicle as large as the Excursion. The thing had a lot of potentials and there has since been a resurgence in used models. But for the most part, the Excursion just failed to catch on with consumers.
After Chrysler innovated the minivan segment, every automaker was trying to hop on the train. But the Windstar wasn’t what you’d expect from a minivan and it just didn’t compete with the Caravan on a real level. The Windstar had a lot of shortcomings in addition to reliability issues, and its cookie-cutter styling wasn’t doing much for it either. Ford was trying to appeal to a market Chrysler was already dominating.
The van had a lot of innovative firsts, but at this point in the industry, it was too late. The Caravan was the dominant minivan for the majority of the time. The Windstar just couldn’t add up to the hype Ford had put around it.
With the Freestar Ford was trying to innovate again, but at this point, the Freestar fell on deaf ears. Although the van was more refined than the outgoing Windstar, it also looked a lot like the outgoing model. The Freestar had a lot of shortcomings when it came to reliability as well, and the van just failed to catch on with consumers.
After this, Ford moved onto crossover vehicles like most of the automakers did. Chrysler dominated and created the minivan segment, and only the Japanese rivals have managed to make a dent in companies’ market share.