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Massive Car Flops Released By Ford & GM Over The Last 40 Years

Cameron EittreimJuly 14, 2022

If there are two powerhouses that have dominated the auto market for decades, it has been Ford and General Motors. These two companies compete in several segments and have brought us some of the most well-known nameplates in the world such as the Camaro and the Mustang. But there have also been many car flops for each company like the Chevrolet Corvair and the Ford Pinto.

The last couple of decades have brought a boom in automotive technology, but there were also many cars and trucks that fell short. Many of these vehicles had a great premise, but they just hit the market at the wrong time. Then there were other cars that were simply sabotaged by the press. Either way, we looked back at the worst Ford and GM models from the last 40 years and what made them such terrible cars here.

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48: 1984 Ford Bronco II

The Bronco II featured a novel idea of taking what was great about the full-sized Bronco and making it compact. The problem was that the Bronco II lacks many of those features. There was no removable top and its power was lethargic at best. These were just two issues that made consumers go the other way (via Motor Trend).

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The Bronco II was competing against the Jeep Cherokee, a brand-new SUV model. It also offered four doors and the Bronco II did not. The Bronco II was discontinued after the sales numbers were less than promising, but it did lay the groundwork for the Explorer, which would dominate the SUV market for decades.

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47: 1958-60 Ford Edsel

When you look back at it, the Edsel was actually a technical marvel. The car was a complete revolution in every sense of the word, but with that change came many problems. The Edsel was considered one of the least reliable vehicles ever built by Ford and its new technology didn’t resonate with consumers (via Road and Track).

It turns out that drivers just want a reliable car to drive and the Edsel was far from that. It had multiple issues with the transmission and many other problems that ended up costing Ford more money in the long run.

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46: Ford Probe

The Probe had a mission when it was first released, and that was to replace the Ford Mustang as Ford didn’t see the pony car segment as viable anymore. But the company got a wake-up call, though, as the Probe actually made the Mustang have stronger sales numbers (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Ford

First off the name of the Probe was questionable and there was no way that the performance could match the Mustang. Consumers were not ready to give up on their V8-powered pony cars yet, and Ford found this out the hard way when Mustang sales actually increased.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

45: Ford Mustang II

The Mustang II was based on the Ford Pinto, and a lot of the issues with its design came to light. We’re not sure why Ford would base their hot-selling pony car on the Pinto, but they did. The Pinto-based Mustang was lambasted by consumers who questioned the safety and build quality of the car (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

The Pinto-based Ford Mustang II was also one of the slowest Mustangs in history. This was at a time when automotive manufacturers had to meet new emissions laws. Let’s just say the Pinto-based Mustang was not winning any races this time around.

Photo Credit: Ford

44: 1971 Ford Pinto

The Pinto had a decent run as an affordable compact car, and at first, sold quite well. But then a scandal broke out and it was surrounding the fuel tank location. It was discovered that Ford skipped a portion of the design that covered safety and the Pinto would explode when it was hit from the rear (via Tort Museum).

Photo Credit: Ford

Pinto sales diminished fast and it took Ford a long time to repair its image after that happened. Today, the Pinto has become a collector’s item but no one can forget the scandal. If you were driving a Ford from this period, then you remember when it happened.

Photo Credit: Ford

43: 1995-2000 Ford Explorer

The Explorer itself is not a bad vehicle and was actually one of the best-selling vehicles of all time. But it’s how Ford skimped when it came to design and consumer safety. This generation of the Explorer was involved in the famous Firestone scandal that rocked Ford and it was discovered the roof was weakened (via Auto Safety).

Photo Credit: Ford

There were thousands of instances where consumers were involved in rollover crashes in the Explorer. Because of the faulty roof design, a lot of these people never survived. When it comes to a family vehicle, you want safety and Ford lost the trust of many consumers when this hit the fan.

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42: 1990 Ford Escort

The small Escort had its work cut out for it as the Honda Civic was dominating the compact car world. But Ford decided to throw a car together and see what happened. The Escort of this generation is notoriously bad, with cheap interior materials and an engine that could barely stay operational (via Repair Pal).

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If you ever had the privilege of driving one of these, then you know how much of a headache it was to keep it on the road. Ford would continue to sell the Escort for decades but it didn’t do much for the company’s image. The car was lacking in so many areas that it just didn’t make sense to keep it on the road.

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41: Lincoln LS

When it was released, the LS was the first V8-powered Lincoln sedan to come along in a while. This time it had all the right tools for success except for the fact that it shared parts with the Jaguar brand. Which meant the Lincoln LS suffered from a long list of reliability issues that simply made consumers change their minds about the car (via Car and Driver).

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The LS didn’t stay on the market very long as the consumer demand just wasn’t there. When it came to reliability, the car would spend more time in the shop than on the road, which was the case with the rest of the Jaguar line at the time.

Also Read: Top 18 Cars Produced By Lincoln.

Photo Credit: Ford

40: Jaguar S-Type

If you remember the Jaguar brand in the 2000s, then you remember seeing the S-Type. There wasn’t much that was different about this car from the X-Type, other than the styling. The problem was that this car was just as unreliable. The repair costs were so high that it would break the bank early on and this car didn’t have a good warranty from the factory (via Auto Trader).

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There were a few V8 models that were released that were fun to drive when they were new, but the same problem persisted which surrounded the reliability. If the car spends more time in the shop than it does on the road, who wants it? That was the problem with the S-Type and it led to the sales of the Jaguar brand diminishing greatly.

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39: Jaguar X-Type

When Ford took over the Jaguar brand at the end of the 1990s there was hope that it would be revived. While there were new cars that were introduced such as the X-Type, their build quality was horrible. The X-Type is largely considered one of the most unreliable cars on the road. The repair costs for this car when it was new were astronomical and they still cost a lot today (via Car and Driver).

Jaguar X-Type R
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

Not only were the engine choices agonizingly bad, but reliability was also questionable at best. The X-Type was a flop for the Jaguar brand and part of the reason was because of the reliability issues. Consumers didn’t want to deal with that when the car was brand new and they don’t want to deal with that in a used car now either.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

38: Ford Tempo

The Tempo was meant to be a budget-oriented car that could compete with cars from Japan. The problem was the build quality of this car was downright awful. Coming right from the factory with all kinds of defects and reliability issues. For consumers, this was an angering prospect, and the reputation of the Tempo suffered (via Curbside Classic).

Ford Tempo
Photo Credit: Ford

The Tempo would be sold until the mid-1990s when it was discontinued. Ford didn’t bring the Tempo back and the car never recovered from the quality issues. You won’t see one of these on the road these days and part of the reason for that was the lack of build quality. There were better options for the price and Ford knew it.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

37: Mercury Topaz

Sharing a platform with the Ford Tempo, the Mercury Topaz was a budget-oriented option for consumers. The problem was that the car was not much different from the Ford. In fact, the two cars were completely the same and the consumers could tell. If Mercury had offered something a bit more unique, the Topaz may have sold better (via TTAC).

Mercury Topaz
Photo Credit: Mercury

But the fact that it had shoddy building quality and a lack of reliability just made consumers go to the competition. This was around the time that the Japanese automakers were continuing to get better. The Topaz was criticized for having the same design as the Tempo and not offering anything as an improvement.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

36: Mercury Capri

In sort of a last-ditch effort to boost sales in the 1990s, Ford released a little convertible called the Mercury Capri. While the design was commendable, it was lacking the refinement to connect with consumers. There were other competitors on the market that offered a better value, a case in point is the Mazda Miata. The Capri was sort of a car that was cobbled together and the styling was bland at best when you compared it to others (via Road and Track).

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The build quality was also questionable at best and the Capri never sold very well. Ford kept the car on the market for a short period, but it was discontinued. Mercury would never offer another convertible model again and the Capri has become a collector’s item in recent years.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

35: Mercury Mystique

There’s no denying in the 1990s that the Mercury brand was a shell of its former self, so much so that all of its cars were rebadged Ford models. The Mystique was based on the Ford Contour and the company didn’t do anything to hide that. The only difference between the two cars was a few badges and the wheels. The Mystique also had a higher price tag which confused consumers because it was basically the same car (via Auto Safety).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

When it came to sales numbers, the Mystique was not a popular choice at all. Consumers knew they could get a better car elsewhere and the high price tag coupled with the compact size of this car didn’t make sense. The Mystique was the same size as the Mercury Tracer but was marketed at a higher price. That kind of badge engineering didn’t make sense to consumers who did their research before they went to the lot.

Ford Escort ZX2
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34: Ford Escort ZX2

The ZX2 was another attempt to boost the interest in the Escort, although it was the furthest thing from a sports car. The first problem was that the ZX2 was cheaply made. Its interior pieces would fall apart and the options list was bare at best. This was not a comfortable car to drive by any stretch of the imagination (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford kept the Escort ZX2 in production long after the rest of the Escort line had been discontinued. There was a market for these cars but it was not what you’d expect. The lack of reliability hampered its image and the lack of speed or features made this car a turn-off for compact car buyers who wanted some pep.

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33: Lincoln Blackwood

The Blackwood was a rare product Lincoln undertook to see if they could sell a luxury pickup truck. While the design of the Blackwood was attractive from the outside, some questionable moves were made. For starters, the truck bed on it was useless. It has a satin liner and a tonneau cover, which made it almost impossible to do any type of work with this truck. There are modifications that you can get for the truck bed, but they are not worth the cost (via Motor Trend).

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The Blackwood also had many reliability issues, and many of these were due to the new technology in the truck. This was one of the first mainstream vehicles with a navigation system as standard equipment. You’ll see the Blackwood on the road from time to time but this truck was only sold for a single year. The price tag for one is high and many of these trucks have been abused by current owners.

Photo Credit: Ford

32: Lincoln Mark LT

The idea of a luxury pickup truck has been around since the 1990s with fully-loaded GM and Ford trucks offering a comfortable driving experience. But GM and Ford broke the mold with the Escalade and the Navigator SUVs. They took this same logic to the Mark LT, which was a truck that was far ahead of its time. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see a fully-loaded truck that will fetch 80k or higher, but in 2006 this wasn’t the norm and the Mark LT was the only one (via Car and Driver).

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Because of that, consumers weren’t ready for such a drastic new product and the Mark LT didn’t sell very well. This is a case of Ford having something good that was ahead of its time. If the Mark LT was released in today’s market, it would sell like hot cakes. But consumers turned their back on this truck and the sales numbers were extremely low. You’ll see a Mark LT on the road from time to time, but it’s few and far between these days.

Lincoln Continental
Photo Credit Lincoln

31: Lincoln Continental

The coveted Lincoln Continental made a comeback for a few years in the late 2000s. But from the gate, the car was panned for missing out on a lot of features that consumers wanted. First, a V8 engine was missing from the lineup, and this was something consumers were adamant about when it came to this car. The high price tag of the Continental also drove people away as the new brand hadn’t been established long enough to command that price (via Motor Biscuit).

Lincoln Continental
Photo Credit: Autoweek

Continental sales were extremely low, and there was no looking up for the brand. In a short period, the only type of car that consumers wanted was the crossover. There was no room for the Continental and Ford discontinued the car. This was a failed investment for Ford as the Continental hardly sold any models during this run.

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30: Ford Focus

The Focus had a lot of potential for sure. The Focus was one of the best-selling compact cars for Ford but it wasn’t without issues. Early on, the focus was plagued with reliability issues, and this had not been subsided by the newer generations of the car. The automotive press was quick to point out the shortcomings of the car throughout its model run and sales started to slump (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Ford

Had consumer tastes not shifted in the last decade, the Focus could have remained a popular car. But it just wasn’t in the cards for the Focus to make it in this world. Consumers were fed up with the cheap design and transmission issues that have always plagued these cars. When you get an affordable car you at least want it to be reliable. The Focus was far from reliable during its production run and there wasn’t much that could fix that.

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29: 1996 Ford Taurus

The 1996 Taurus is one of the most lampooned vehicles in history. Ford took what was a winning formula and completely threw it out the window with this generation of the car. Consumers couldn’t get over how much of a radical change had happened to the Taurus. Every inch of the car was an oval, and Ford incorporated this into the design. The problem was that consumers didn’t need a car that was this radical, and the Taurus never recovered from that (via Road and Track).

Photo Credit: Ford

This generation of the Taurus was also home to many issues, including transmission failure. Ford would address these reliability problems but it was not enough to bolster the image of the car. The Taurus would not last much longer after this generation, and part of the reason is Ford had lost the core Taurus customers.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor

28: Lincoln Aviator

In the 2000s, the SUV segment was the hottest in the hottest world and everyone wanted to get in on it. Consumers could not get enough of these things, so Ford saw fit to introduce a baby-sized Navigator into the mix. Dubbed the Aviator, the small SUV shared a design with the Ford Explorer, but what differentiated the two was what was under the hood. The same engine used in the Mustang Mach 1 was under the hood of this (via Car and Driver).

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While the initial reviews for The Aviator were good, the problem was its high price tag. The SUV was priced close to the Navigator, and for many consumers, this didn’t make any sense. They could go a get a fully-loaded Navigator that would seat seven for not that much more. The Aviator was discontinued pretty soon after that, and there were reports of reliability problems as well. Nowadays, this SUV is a rare sight, although you will see them from time to time.

Photo Credit: Ford

27: Ford Taurus X

The Taurus was discontinued in the 2000s, and after that, it seemed like Ford lost a valuable brand name. Love it or hate it, the Taurus was one of the most common cars on the road. So to boost the lagging sales of Freestyle, the brand was revived once again. This time Ford would rebrand the Freestyle as the Taurus X to give it a broader appeal. The re-branding effort didn’t work as the Taurus X was not popular (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Ford

The problem was that the Taurus X didn’t offer enough for the consumer and the high price tag drove buyers away. The build quality was also questionable and there were early reports about transmission failures. When you are buying a brand new car the last thing that you want is for the transmission to fail. The Taurus X didn’t last long on the market, although Ford did revive the Taurus nameplate one more time after this.

Mercury Cougar
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26: 2000 Mercury Cougar

The 2000 Mercury Cougar was built in an attempt to bring new life to the Mercury lineup. For all of the 1980s and 1990s, the Mercury lineup was nothing more than a showcase for rebadged Ford models. The Cougar was its own unique car from the styling to the marketing and it was initially a hit. The problem was its build quality and lack of performance that disappointed drivers once they got behind the wheel (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: Ford

The Cougar was always a V8-powered rear-wheel drive car but now it was sort of the domestic version of the Hyundai Tiburon. The build quality of the car wasn’t great either and there were complaints about the transmission. The Cougar didn’t stay on the market long and by 2004 it was discontinued. The car had a lot of promise, but a lack of build quality just made the Cougar doomed from the start and Ford discontinued Mercury not long afterward.

Photo Credit: GM

25: Lumina APV

Who can forget the famous dust buster vans of the 1990s? GM’s failed attempt to steal the minivan segment from Chrysler. The only problem was that no one was a fan of the styling of these vans. The design was meant to be futuristic and make the driver feel in control, but from day one the vans were dubbed “Dust Busters”. The sloping nose and the awkward style of the exterior made the vans the butt of jokes from the automotive press and consumers (via Car Gurus).

Photo Credit: GM

While the idea to make a unique product that was one of a kind was commendable, the dust buster vans just didn’t work for consumers. The styling was too radical, and the performance was mediocre at best. The car had a lot to offer in terms of design, which made it appealing to some buyers who wanted something different. But it wasn’t enough to boost the sales and these vans will forever get made fun of for their styling.

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24: Chevrolet Cavalier

The Cavalier was the pinnacle of a bad car and there was no reason for it. The car had a cheap design from day one, with GM using the most minimalistic approach that they could. The cheap interior would fall apart and the plastic would crack soon after the car was on the road. The air conditioning would seldom work and even the radio was faulty. Not to mention the main problem, the fact that the Cavalier was not a reliable car (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Moment Car

Surprisingly, GM kept the Cavalier in production for over 30 years. Sales numbers were never great but they were never awful either. The car was more known for being purchased by large fleet buyers or rental car companies. But with all of its problems, its reputation was tarnished quite quickly. GM replaced the Cavalier in the 2000s with the Cobalt, which was a better and more modern car.

Chevrolet Corvair via Motor Trend
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

23: Chevrolet Corvair

The Corvair was a controversial car and the reason we have such strict safety regulations when it comes to vehicles today. This was the car that inspired Congress to mandate that all new vehicles had seatbelts. It was not that the Corvair was a bad car, but there were aspects of its design that made it unsafe. GM addressed these problems with recalls later on down the road, but it was far too late as its reputation had already been tarnished (via Gold Eagle).

Chevrolet Corvair via Motor Trend
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

They said the Corvair was unsafe at any speed and Ralph Nader even wrote a book about the car. Sadly, the Corvair was discontinued not that long after and the car has become a collector’s item. The design of the Corvair was attractive, if not the most unique design at the time. The proportions of the car were much smaller than anything else on the market. But with the faulty design from the jump, GM was marred in controversy over the Corvair.

1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta via GM
Photo Credit: GM

22: Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta

The Camaro Berlinetta was another bright idea that came out of GM in the 1980s to try and slap some luxury features on the Camaro. Dubbed the “secretary’s car”, the Berlinetta was designed to attract female buyers. The idea was that the softer image with the luxury appointments would make the car more appealing. The problem was that all this luxury raised the price tremendously and made the car a lot heavier (via LS1 Tech).

Photo Credit: BAT

The core premise behind the Camaro was to provide a fun driving experience and the Berlinetta just didn’t do that. The car was much different than you’d expect a traditional Camaro to be. Nowadays, the Berlinetta is one of the rarest Camaro models on the road because there wasn’t a lot of them. So you can expect to find a pretty penny if you intend to drive away from this failed idea from GM.

Photo Credit: Super Chevy

21: Chevrolet Monza

The need for compact cars was ever-growing in the 1970s and 1980s and this was a brand new segment for GM. This is why it seemed like they were throwing everything at the wall back then. The Monza is another example of that in a car with no purpose, and the design fell short. The reliability was questionable at best, with these cars having overheating problems and transmission problems right out of the gate and the small fixes from GM didn’t help (via EP Auto).

Photo Credit: Super Chevy

The design of the Monza had a lot of potential but paled compared to the problems the car had. Consumers wanted something reliable, especially when they were purchasing it brand new. The Monza would tarnish GM’s reputation even more during this period when it came to compact cars. Although this car stayed on the market for a short period, few remember it today.

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20: Chevrolet Citation

The Citation is another automobile that needs no explanation. If you were around in the 1980s, you remember seeing this awful car a time or two. The Citation was a compact car that was meant to replace the Vega and the models that had come before it. While the design was a little more modern, it was still poor. The build quality was subpar at best and the reliability was as awful as you could imagine, and this was when the car was brand-new (via eBay Motors).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Citation would be sold for almost a decade in various forms. While initial sales numbers were good, the complaints from drivers were massive. From little complaints such as the radio dials falling off to more serious ones such as the car overheating. There’s no denying the Citation was a bad look for GM at a time when the company was trying to evolve.

Photo Credit: Mecum

19: 1978 Chevrolet C/K Diesel

Like with the Tahoe Diesel, the diesel models that came before it didn’t do too well either. The C/K Diesel truck was not the most reliable thing on the road and the price to repair it haunted consumers for years. Although these trucks have picked up value in recent years it was not because of the drivetrain, that’s for sure. The C/K Diesel will be remembered for its awkward driving characteristics and lackluster reliability (via Diesel Place).

Photo Credit: Mecum

It took years for GM to launch a diesel-powered truck that could compete on a real scale. Modern GM trucks with diesel power plants are night and day better than they used to be. It was this example of why consumers had shifted to Ford during this period and the C/K would take years to recover its image. When you need a serious diesel-powered truck, you need it to be reliable and this just wasn’t.

Photo Credit: Car Conceptz

18: Chevrolet Venture

The minivan segment has been dominated by Chrysler for decades but that doesn’t mean that other automakers haven’t tried to jump into the mix. General Motors had many failed attempts to attract interest in the minivan market, although the Venture seemed to be the most successful. The problem with the Venture and its corporate twin, the Pontiac Trans Sport, is that they both received one of the worst crash test ratings in history by the IIHS-HLDI (via Money Inc.).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Once the news got out about the horrible safety rating, the Venture was quickly disregarded. Although there were several unique standard features, it just was not enough to dethrone the dominant Dodge Caravan. There were a few special editions of the Venture, such as the WB Edition, which was designed as a family-oriented luxury minivan. But none of this was enough to make the Venture a brand that would stick around.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

17: Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34

The Monte Carlo from the 1990s was a sore spot for the storied automotive line. The car went from being a rear-wheel drive V8-powered car to what was basically a two-door Lumina. The V6 was lampooned for being underpowered and having cheap build quality. Early on, dials would fall off of the dashboard, plastic pieces would break, and there also was a defect with the air intake manifold. Consumers were upset that a car with such questionable build quality had the Monte Carlo name on it (via Repair Pal).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Z34 was the furthest thing from exciting to drive that GM had released. The stock rims were not exciting and the lackluster paint scheme only added to the cheapness. Had the Monte Carlo gotten an original treatment like the 454 SS and the Impala SS it would have been a notable success. Unfortunately, GM dropped the ball on this generation of the Monte Carlo model and the brand never seemed to recover from the blunder.

Photo Credit: GM

16: Chevrolet Tahoe 6.5L Diesel

The Chevrolet Tahoe has been a massive success for GM over the past three decades. But it was the first generation that introduced us to the comfortable full-size SUV. Before the Tahoe, the big truck-based SUV models were usually two-door and had a removable top. The Tahoe was a quiet and smooth riding SUV that was spacious and everyone with a family wanted one (via 6.5 Turbo Garage).

Photo Credit: GM

Less well-known and even regretted by GM was the diesel version of this Tahoe, considered one of the worst cars in GM history. The reliability was abysmal at best, even when the truck was brand-new. Tahoe buyers were generally interested in the gasoline version, but there were a few who opted for diesel. To this day, the diesel is rare and even more difficult to keep on the road.

Chevrolet Vega GT
Photo Credit: GM

15: Chevrolet Vega

The Vega was not a bad concept initially. Take the fun to drive the formula of the Camaro and shrink it down into a gas-efficient package. Aesthetically, the Vega looked like the Camaro in many aspects, and consumers went for the attractive package. The Vega was panned for a lack of reliability and cheap build quality, with many defects coming straight out of the factory (via Macs Motor).

Chevrolet Vega GT
Photo Credit: GM

Compact cars coming out domestically around this period were not promising at all. There was a lot of potential with the Vega, especially considering the mini-Camaro styling, but it wasn’t enough to propel the car to success. When GM discontinued the Vega, it had not made a significant enough dent in the market and the competition was still for these compact cars at the time.

Photo Credit: Mecum

14: Chevrolet Chevette

The compact Chevette was another car introduced to combat rising fuel prices. It wasn’t an easy task for domestic automakers, because they had to adapt quickly. There weren’t many gas-efficient cars coming out from domestic automakers. The Chevette was supposed to fill that gap, but the build quality was quickly panned by consumers who questioned the car (via The Truth About Cars).

Photo Credit: Mecum

General Motors went for the tried and true formula Toyota and Honda followed. The car had a four-door hatchback design with a cheaply put-together interior. The gas mileage was decent, but that was only when the car was running right. The reliability was questionable at best and the build quality was even worse. You’ll seldom see a Chevette on the road anymore, and when you do, it’s quite the sight to see.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

13: Chevrolet SSR

The SSR was another car with a lot of potential initially. The retro-themed styling was reminiscing of the El Camino. Most enthusiasts were excited to get a modern El Camino until the SSR was revealed. The front-end styling was panned for being too round and the truck bed was useless (via The Truth About Cars).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The SSR was a car with so much hype behind it that it could have been great. But like most GM products from this period, it didn’t resonate with consumers. There are a few cars from this era that instantly bring memories back and the SSR is one of them. Sadly, the car was poorly executed, and there are better options for the price, especially considering the high price tag of this car goes for.

Photo Credit: Mecum

12: Chevrolet Camaro Iron Duke

The Iron Duke was a massive flop for GM, so much so that it almost tarnished the entire product line. The Iron Duke was the lethargic four-cylinder engine that GM was selling at the time. The modern four-cylinder motors that we have today are nothing like the awful engines coming out in the 1980s (via Auto Blog).

The Iron Duke is one of the most despised models ever released by GM. The performance of the car was not what Camaro loyalists had hoped for. Even though GM was working on trying to build a more fuel-efficient car in a pinch, the result just didn’t make sense. The Camaro was not meant to be an eco-friendly ride.

Photo Credit: Barn Finds

11: Chevrolet Nova (Corolla)

GM has been in many different partnerships over the years but perhaps one of the longest-running and most confusing was the partnership with Toyota. This brought us many cars throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but the most disappointing was the Nova. GM took the well-respected Nova brand name and slapped it onto a compact Toyota Corolla (via Car Bibles).

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

About the only thing that was good about this car was the fact that it was a Toyota, which translated to reliability. Because the design of the car was quite cheap and the fact that the Nova name was tarnished like this was disappointing. GM would continue to sell the rebadged Corolla well into the 2000s, although it became the Prizm.

Photo Credit: Mecum

10: 1975-1980 Chevrolet Corvette

The ’75 Corvette was a departure from the previous generations of the car. What made it different? Well, the styling for one thing was a lot more modern. But it was under the hood that things got questionable. All of a sudden, the engineers had to deal with all kinds of emissions laws and regulations that completely diminished the performance of the car (via Edmunds).

Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

The Corvette would go through several renditions of the design but it just didn’t connect with consumers. This generation of the car was not only a massive departure for the company but also a letdown for Corvette enthusiasts. On the positive side, this is one of the most affordable Corvette models on the used auto market.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

9: 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

The next generation of the Monte Carlo SS was a carbon copy of the car that was in production for the previous six years. The new generation of the Monte Carlo SS did bring back the V8 engine. But it was a modern V8 engine, and critics panned it for lacking the necessary horsepower and performance to be a real sports car. The styling was also panned by the critics, who felt the car was just an outdated rehash of the outgoing model (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: GM

The Monte Carlo was discontinued only a few years after it was released. The sales numbers were not what GM had hoped for since the car was not moving units. It appears that consumer tastes had just changed from what they were when this car was originally released. The Monte Carlo had a storied history at GM and this example of the car was just plain disappointing.

Beretta
Photo Credit: GM

8: Chevy Beretta

The Beretta was based on the Corsica, and the initial premise of the car was to replace the Camaro. Similar to how Ford had hoped the Probe would replace the Mustang. The Beretta was a letdown in terms of performance and most consumers were disappointed. Not to mention the fact that Camaro loyalists were not going to give up on the car for a V6-powered Corsica clone. This car marked a decline in quality for GM (via Best Ride).

Chevy Beretta
Photo Credit: GM

While there were other options on the road in the same segment the fact that GM tried to replace the Camaro was troublesome. There was nothing remotely appealing about the Beretta. The car would end up being discontinued in the 1990s and the Camaro was eventually discontinued in 2002.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

7: Chevy Corsica

The Corsica was a compact car built by GM in the 1980s and 1990s. The compact design of the car was popular with rental car fleets and used car lots. The problem was that the design of the car was inherently cheap and it gave Chevrolet a cheap reputation. The cars coming out of Japan were far more advanced in terms of design and quality. The cheapest cars from Honda and Toyota were running circles around the Corsica (via Motor Biscuit).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Corsica shared its platform with the Chevy Beretta, a two-door sports car. While both cars sold in average numbers they didn’t do much to boost the reputation that GM had for cheap products. Between the lackluster build quality and the questionable performance, the Corsica just didn’t latch on with consumers. There are a few cars remembered for being hunks of junk and the Corsica is one of these cars.

Photo Credit: GM

6: HHR SS Panel Van

If you remember anything about the 2000s, then you remember the retro car boom. Where automakers were bringing retro car models onto the market that were influenced by the past. Volkswagen started the trend with the Beetle, and one of the last retro-themed cars was the HHR. This panel van was mocked for being a rip-off of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, and not only that, but it was also a rip-off that was far too late. The HHR SS Panel Van is rare and had no real point (via Motor Biscuit).

Photo Credit: GM

This car has recently ballooned in interest, as these unique cars were the last of pre-bankruptcy GM. But the car didn’t offer much in the way of performance or value. The HHR was lampooned for being a pale imitation of the already existing PT Cruiser. There were better cars in this segment for the price. Not to mention the fact that the HHR SS Panel was not the most reliable car, with the repair costs averaging more than other compact cars in this segment.

Photo Credit: Find Me Cars

5: Chevrolet Caprice (2010-2017)

When the revised Caprice was announced, the automotive press was all over it. After all, the Caprice line was a historic part of GM discontinued in 1996. The new model was revealed to be a Law Enforcement only model, but the examples have since made their way onto the market. GM missed a big opportunity by not releasing the Caprice back to the general market because many people have been waiting for a modern Caprice (via Auto Trader).

Photo Credit: Find Me Cars

The Caprice was a stripped-down car with no personality, and Ford already dominated the law enforcement market and Dodge. The Caprice would be discontinued, and the car was never brought into the main lineup. There is no doubt that GM has missed an opportunity with this car and the Impala. Neither car was able to grasp onto the loyal following that would love to have a modern V8 engine powered sedan. The folks at GM think there is no market for it.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

4: Chevy Aveo

General Motors has sold some type of subcompact car since the fuel crisis of the 1970s. Anyone who knows anything about the history of cars knows that GM subcompacts have never been impressive. Cars like the Citation and the Geo Metro were sad and barebones at best, and then the Aveo came around. This car was derived from Daewoo engineering after GM purchased that company in the 2000s and the Aveo was a car sold around the world (via The Truth About Cars).

Photo Credit: GM

While the Aveo was light years ahead of the compact cars it replaced, it was still a minuscule subcompact. The reliability was questionable at best, and the styling was about as unmemorable as you could imagine. The Aveo was refreshed with a more modern design in the later years, but it wasn’t enough to boost sales. Consumer tastes were shifting and the Aveo didn’t resonate with consumers who wanted a reasonably priced subcompact car.

Photo Credit: GM

3: Chevy Volt

After all the controversy that General Motors went through four decades before destroying the EV1, the Volt was big news. It was the first all-electric vehicle that was going to be mass-produced by GM. Undoubtedly, Tesla ruffled some feathers at GM, as the company didn’t expect EVs to take off as they did. The Volt was a reasonable-looking car with a comfortable interior and decent driving range but buyers weren’t too interested in it (via Shift).

Photo Credit: GM

There were a few incarnations of the Volt, and ultimately the model was discontinued from the market. There was a lot to like about the Volt, but consumers didn’t gravitate toward the car. But the Volt was important because it showed that GM could build a full-electric vehicle and bring it to mass production. Nowadays, there are a few notable EV models that have come out of GM, and it all stems from the original release of the Volt.

Photo Credit: GM

2: Chevy Silverado Hybrid

As with the Tahoe Hybrid that was released around the same time, these vehicles were developed in response to the rising fuel prices of 2008. The problem is the Hybrid drivetrain was not much of an improvement over the standard models. GM would boast about the eco-friendly design of the Silverado Hybrid, but it didn’t resonate with buyers. Surprisingly though, the Silverado Hybrid was in its second generation, as there was a limited release before this model (via GM Authority).

Photo Credit: GM

Taking the Silverado Hybrid on the road was not like the standard models, it wasn’t off-road capable and it had a massive hybrid badge down each side of the vehicle. Considering there was a hefty premium in price, the Silverado Hybrid just didn’t make sense when you considered all the factors in ownership. GM would produce the Silverado Hybrid for a few more years until it would be changed for a more modern fuel-efficient system.

Photo Credit: GM

1: Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

The 2008 economic recession had everyone on edge, and the first automotive segment to get hurt was full-size SUV models. Back before crossovers were all the rage there were only the full-size dinosaurs that roamed the roads. The Tahoe in particular got horrible gas mileage and was the furthest thing from being fuel efficient (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: GM

What was their answer? Slap a hybrid drive-train into the Tahoe and call it economical. The problem with this theory was that the Tahoe Hybrid was not much more fuel efficient than the regular models. The hybrid drivetrains back in 2008 were not as advanced as they are now, and the Tahoe Hybrid was a much more limited vehicle. Nowadays, this SUV is sort of a collector’s item. You’ll still see them on the road from time to time but it’s a rare sight.

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