We’ve all seen a Fiero at one point or another. The iconic little 1980s sports car sold quite well and had some decent driving characteristics. The mid-engined design provided exotic car performance on a budget and buyers ate it up. The Fiero had a two-seat design and a sporty look to it that was unlike anything else on the market. The closest competitor to the Fiero was the MR2, and even that was a stretch. The Fiero would have been a great sports car if it were not for one issue.
The Fiero was notorious for having engine fires. The problem was attributed to faulty connecting rods inside of the motor which would cause the oil to spill onto the exhaust manifold. GM rectified this problem later on by recalling every Fiero on the road. But the year was 1990, and this was too little, too late, as the car had already earned a bad reputation. Still, aside from that, the Fiero is a pretty cool piece of automotive history. This is a car that will stand out no matter what parking lot you are in because people still want to know what exactly it is.
Although the Samurai has exploded in resale value recently, there was a time when this little SUV was at the center of a nationwide lawsuit. Consumer reports had discovered that the Samurai was prone to flipping. Once that happened customers, start to scurry. The Samurai suffered from the same problem as many other SUVs at the time. It was a box on wheels. With that being said, there were no aerodynamics back then and these vehicles were top-heavy. What made the Samurai even more prone to flipping over was the extremely short wheelbase.
Nowadays, the Samurai is more of a recreational vehicle and most people customize these things. But there was a time when the Samurai was just another SUV on the market and the rollover incident scared a lot of potential drivers. Consumer Reports was later sued by Suzuki as well as Isuzu for pointing out the potential tipping hazards of these vehicles. The automaker claimed that the coverage of the Samurai was unfair and it hurt business. The Tracker was the successor to the Samurai and fared much better in terms of crash tests.
The Colorado was the successor to the S-10 pickup truck that GM produced for decades. While the Colorado wasn’t a bad truck by any means, there were quite a few recalls that were cause for concern. First and foremost, the Colorado was part of the famous ignition switch recall in which the GM vehicles would completely shut themselves down when the vehicle is in motion. Secondly, the five-cylinder Colorado had a notable defect that had to do with the intake manifold gasket disintegrating. This defect would cause complete engine failure and loss of power.
The Colorado wasn’t a bad truck in terms of design, and it boasted a nice big cabin and plenty of seating. But the engine defects caused a safety concern that these trucks still have to this day. Models from Toyota and Nissan are far more reliable and have taken most of the market share from this generation of the Colorado. GM has since released a new version of the Colorado to make up for most of these trucks’ shortcomings. Still, if you happen to see one of these Colorado models on the used car market, it’s best left avoided.
Porsche has come a long way in recent years, and the 911 GT3 is a testament to that. What bolds as a fun-to-drive sports car with impressive handling also had a short-term failure. The GT3 was prone to engine fires, and lots of them. So much so that Porsche had to recall these vehicles to try and rectify the problem. Porsche owners were understandably upset when their expensive sports cars were bursting into flames. The issue seemed to stem from the same issue as the Fiero, which is ironic considering the two cars are 30 years apart.
Still, the 911 GT3 is perhaps one of the best performance cars on the market. You just can’t go wrong with the rear-wheel drive and rear-engine sports car. Porsche has made a name for themselves with this design, and the 911 carries on the tradition. No matter what the faults of the GT3, the vehicle is still drop-dead gorgeous and offers a unique look into one of the most precision-built sports cars of all time. If you’ve always wanted a Porsche and the GT3 is on the horizon, just make sure to remember what the engine faults are with these.
Another infamous SUV of the 1990s, the Trooper was selling like hotcakes until a Consumer Reports article came out. The Trooper was another top-heavy SUV that also suffered from enhanced vehicle rollovers. The problem was exacerbated by a lack of safety features in earlier Trooper models, at which point Isuzu added certain features such as a passenger airbag and upgraded restraint systems. When it comes to iconic SUV models, the Trooper set the bar for the family SUV we see today.
But after the rollover study, the sales of the Trooper never fully recovered. The model was initially available in two options, one of which was a two-door. In the later years, the Trooper was also sold as the Acura SLX. If you notice a resemblance, it was because both models were the same vehicle underneath. The Trooper still managed to gain a cult-like following and the SUV has since increased in popularity as an aftermarket off-road car. Still, the roll-over issue put a lot of fear in potential Trooper buyers and hurt Isuzu’s credibility in the US market.
This entry should be of no surprise, as the Smart Fortwo is a seriously tiny car. The Smart Fortwo did so bad in the initial crash testing that the vehicle would spin around in the air before finally landing. When it comes to a practical application for this car, it’s only meant for urban driving. If you live in a big city where parking is scarce, the Smart Fortwo is a decent vehicle. But if you commute on a freeway everyday, the Smart Fortwo is like taking a risk every time you hit the on-ramp.
The Smart Fortwo does have some pretty good safety features such as front and rear airbags, but none of this will do you any good due to the fact that the vehicle is so small. What’s hard to believe is that there’s a vehicle even smaller than the Smart Fortwo, and that’s the Smart EQ. The appetite for these tiny cars seems to be diminishing with the rise of crossover vehicles. You’ll still see a good deal of Smart Fortwos in urban cities such as San Francisco, but otherwise, this little gem is best left avoided.