In the early 2000s, Ford decided to push the Mercury brand in a new direction. There was even a trendy new spokeswoman who appeared in all of its new advertisements (via Car & Driver).
Part of this effort was led by the brand new Mercury Mariner SUV, which shared its platform and design with the Ford Escape. The Mariner was poorly planned, and it failed to garner much interest from female car shoppers, which was part of the reason behind the eventual discontinuation of the Mercury brand.
The Mazda brand was experiencing a resurgence in the mid-2000s, and it was high time that the brand had another swing at the SUV segment. Before the Tribute, the last SUV with a Mazda badge was the Navajo in the early 1990s, and there was still an appetite for an SUV with a Mazda badge on it (via Car & Driver).
There is no point to a hybrid model when there were already the Escape Hybrid and the Mariner Hybrid. Consumers weren’t blind to the fact that the SUVs were eerily similar.
The Highlander was a surprise hit for the company when it originally hit the market. The unique look of the SUV and slightly larger proportions than the 4Runner made it a tempting choice for most consumers. The Highlander Hybrid, on the other hand, was not such a great deal and it only offered a slight increase in fuel economy over the standard model (via Car & Driver).
The Highlander Hybrid has been seen in a few different incarnations, none of which have been particularly popular. With the current model achieving such great fuel economy numbers, there hasn’t been a point in having the Highlander Hybrid in the lineup.
The Escalade is the vehicle that saved the Cadillac nameplate from obscurity and it remains more popular than ever. The Escalade Hybrid was released alongside a slew of other Hybrids from GM during the 2008 economic recession. The idea was to provide consumers with a better fuel economy as gas prices soared, but the truck was never that popular (via Car & Driver).
The Escalade Hybrid wasn’t a strong seller for the brand although it remains a part of the lineup today. There is a small section of Escalade buyers interested in the car, but for the most part, the Escalade Hybrid isn’t worth considering.
The Chevy Malibu was one of the classic nameplates that the company reintroduced in the 1990s. But since then, the car has been bland and relegated to rental car fleet status. The Malibu Hybrid didn’t offer all that much fuel economy to justify its increased price tag (via Car & Driver).
The current model of the Malibu is due to be discontinued after 2023 as GM moves away from the passenger car segment. Instead, the company is going to be focusing on the rising popularity of crossovers.
The idea behind the Durango Hybrid was much the same as the many other hybrids on the market, providing a value proposition for consumers tired of paying the high gas prices. Unfortunately, the Durango Hybrid didn’t achieve much improvement in fuel economy over the standard Durango models, and thus most consumers went the other way (via Car & Driver).
The Durango Hybrid is a noteworthy piece of Dodge history, but not a vehicle that most people run to when it comes to value. This period for Dodge was not the best, and the Durango Hybrid is evidence of that.
Who releases a large luxury SUV amid an economic recession? Chrysler decided to, and it didn’t exactly work out. The Aspen could have been the worst possible timing in the history of the automotive industry. The Aspen Hybrid hit the market at the wrong time and was an awful SUV in terms of quality and refinement (via Car & Driver).
Chrysler did nothing more than slap luxury badges onto a Dodge Durango with the Aspen. The Hybrid version was an even worse excuse for a money grab. There were far better hybrid vehicles on the market around 2009, and Chrysler rushed this one to the market.
The Altima Hybrid was not the most planned vehicle in the Nissan lineup, which is why it bombed. Overall, the Nissan Altima Hybrid was nothing more than a quick cash grab by Nissan to try and jump on the bandwagon Toyota was already leading with the Prius (via Car & Driver).
The price tag for the Altima Hybrid was far more than the price for the standard car, and the added fuel economy wasn’t that much better. The quality of the car was also lacking and reliability was questionable at best.
The Tahoe was a volume leader for GM until 2008 and sales started to slide. The hybrid model shared all its components with the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, and it didn’t offer much compelling value (via Car & Driver).
The added fuel economy was only a few numbers over the standard Tahoe models and the hybrid was much more limited. There was no off-road capability, and the height of the vehicle was also a lot lower.
BMW is still relatively new to the hybrid game as the company continues to adapt to a changing market. Critics panned the design of the X6 for being too extreme and also for reliability problems early on (via Car & Driver).
The BMW X6 ActiveHybrid didn’t sell well for the automaker, and the brand has continued to try and evolve in terms of hybrid design. The standard X6 was a much more popular option that more consumers could get behind.
The Fusion was a surprise hit for the Ford Motor Company. It Became a strong seller and diminished the substandard reputation established by the Taurus. The car had everything consumers wanted: style, performance, and technology (via Car & Driver).
The hybrid model, on the other hand, was not as lucky, and it didn’t provide much improvement over the standard trim levels. Ford hasn’t had a lot of luck in the hybrid segment, so this is no surprise.
What does it take to make a successful family sedan? Well, in the case of Toyota, that would be its best-selling Camry. But the brand also offers the Avalon as well, a car that has never had a solid place in the lineup (via Car & Driver).
The Avalon Hybrid only added to the confusion by offering a car with a higher price tag but offered less value. The Avalon Hybrid never sold very well, and the car only continues to cloud the already expansive lineup.
The WRX was, at one point, one of the most impressive cars on the road, but in recent years the car has become quite dated. Gone are the unique design elements that made the car popular from the start. Instead, we have an almost decade-old design (via Electrifying).
The WRX seems to be living on the laurels of its reputation alone, which is not what most automakers want to have to happen. Time will tell if Subaru will finally update the WRX or if the clock is running out for the storied car.
The Smart Car brand was a cool novelty when it first hit the market, but after about a decade, the Smart Car has grown long in the tooth. Toyota, on the heels of canceling the Scion division, decided to re-brand the Smart EQ as the Scion IQ (via Electrifying).
Both cars have been a failure, but Smart still manages to try and market these cars. The appetite for a tiny deathtrap seems to be gone as most automotive makers are exhibiting great fuel economy numbers.
Nissan has tried to build a great full-size pickup truck for almost 20 years, but time and again the Titan just falls short of the competition. The Titan XD took that failure to a whole new level by providing a truck that was almost good enough but fell short again (via Car & Driver).
There is a lot to love about the Titan XD, but for the price tag, there’s a lot more to dislike about the truck. Nissan does build an excellent mid-size truck in the Nissan Frontier, and time will tell if the Titan will be discontinued.
We’re not sure what exact purpose the Mirage has in the automotive world. The lethargic performance and poor finish will remind you of a subcompact that came out in the 1990s, but this car is being sold as something brand-new (via Car & Driver).
There was a time decades ago when the Mirage was a lot in the automotive industry, but the current model is something drivers should forget about in today’s evolving auto market.
Land Rover’s reputation has been tarnished over the years for poor reliability and build quality issues. The Discovery Sport was initially lauded for a great new design, but the same issues have started to pop up (via Consumer Reports).
Whether it be in the transmission or the electrical compartments, the Discovery has not been the most popular car when it comes to consumer satisfaction.
The Renegade was an interesting proposition for the Jeep brand, as it provides a compact SUV to consumers. But the Fiat underpinnings are not hard to hide, and the Renegade has been panned for its lack of reliability. The Renegade is also not a true Jeep in terms of off-road capability, and consumers are hip to this (via The Drive).
There are better compact SUV models on the market that you can get, and the Jeep Renegade isn’t one of them. The lack of quality in the design just makes the SUV fall short in just about every way.
Sharing its underpinnings with the Jeep Renegade, the Fiat 500X has also fallen on deaf ears in recent years. Although the exterior design of the SUV is quite attractive the underpinnings leave a lot to be desired. The lack of build quality and refinement, coupled with the high price tag, makes the 500X something you should avoid (via Edmunds).
Fiat hasn’t had the best run when it comes to quality and the 500X is only another nail in the coffin for the brand. Compact SUV models like this one are a dime a dozen nowadays and the 500X doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
The Fiat 500L is another crossover model the brand is selling that has been on the market for a while now. The idea behind the car was to offer something more substantial than the standard Fiat 500 (via Car & Driver).
In reality, the car only took a lot of the shortcomings from the standard 500 and magnified them. The lack of build quality and questionable reliability make the car a seeming passable option for most consumers.
The Journey has been on the market for a long time, and in that time it didn’t offer much in the way of value. These things were plagued by transmission failures and reliability issues that made most consumers turn the other way. The dated design of the Journey didn’t help things out either (via Consumer Reviews).
The Journey could have been a sales success for Dodge, but it didn’t offer enough value for consumers that are going to other places. This wasn’t the only crossover SUV on the market, and it took Dodge a while to realize that.
The Alfa Romeo brand returning to the US market was big news initially as the cars were known for spirited design and performance. But the models we received here have been less than impressive (via Car & Driver).
Reliability issues have plagued the Alfa Romeo Giulia, and a few recalls have left consumers scratching their heads. The Giulia has a high price tag and consumers expect a quality product. However, that just isn’t the case with this model, making it one of the worst new cars to be released in the new millennium.