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Remembering The 25 Worst Cars That Ford Ever Made

Cameron EittreimSeptember 3, 2021

Ford Escort ZX2
Photo Credit: Car Domain

9: Ford Escort ZX2

The Escort ZX2 was an add-on to the standard Escort lineup. Offering a compact two-door allowed the brand to branch off into new territory without alienating the existing customer base of the car. However, Ford didn’t do anything to make the ZX2 a unique option and it ended up getting a bad reputation for the perceived lack of quality (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

The ZETEC engine was among one of the worst to come out of Detroit, and with the new Ford, the sales of the ZX2 fell flat. You’ll still see these cars on the road every so often, but the car just wasn’t a popular choice with consumers for several reasons.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

8: Lincoln Blackwood

You’ve got to at least give Ford credit for trying new things and the company did just that with the Lincoln Blackwood. This was probably the first authentic luxury pickup truck from a domestic automaker, a unique feat. The problem is that consumers want more than just a unique nameplate and the Blackwood just failed to deliver on a lot of fronts (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The truckbed was utterly useless at a time when consumers were using pickup trucks more than ever before. The Blackwood was more of a novelty item than a useful vehicle and this is partly the reason that the truck faded into obscurity after one year.

Photo Credit: Ford

7: Lincoln Mark LT

A few years after the failure that was the Blackwood, the folks at Ford were up to their old tricks again. This time it was with the launch of the Mark LT full-sized pickup truck, which boasted a chromed-out exterior design. The Mark LT was a much more appealing option than the outgoing Blackwood was, but at the end of the day, it was just an F-150 (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Luxury pickup trucks were still a new thing and at this point. Drivers only had a choice between the Mark LT and the Cadillac Escalade EXT. The Mark LT did manage to cultivate enough of a following that Ford found it profitable to release the F-150 Platinum a few years down the road.

Lincoln Continental
Photo Credit Lincoln

6: Lincoln Continental

The new Continental was released to much fanfare in 2017 complete with a heavy advertising campaign featuring actor Matthew McConaughey. Sadly, the result was a car that made big promises but fell flat on its face. The first glaring problem with the Continental was the lack of a V8 powerplant (via Motor Biscuit).

Lincoln Continental
Photo Credit: Autoweek

Traditional buyers were looking forward to a rear-wheel-drive V8-powered full-size sedan once again. The Continential had a lot going for it but the lack of some fundamental features that traditional Lincoln buyers were looking for left it in the lurch this time around.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

5: Ford Focus

When the final generation of the Focus came out, there was a lot that Ford did right. Its gas efficiency and performance were at the top of its class, but fast forward a few years later and the Focus is one of the worst used cars (via Car and Driver). There are a few reasons for this and it comes down to cost of repairs.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Focus ST was notorious for transmission complaints among consumers, and this is one of the most costly repairs. When it comes to having a brand new car the last thing that you’d expect is for the transmission to go out on you. But the Focus was experiencing more of these problems than other cars in the same segment.

Photo Credit: Parts Open

4: 1996 Ford Taurus

The original “Oval”. Taurus was a game-changer for Ford and shifted the momentum for the popular Taurus into the negative. The 1996 Taurus was universally panned for its overtly oval styling but there were also reliability issues with this model. The head gaskets on these Taurus models were notorious for going out, as were the automatic transmissions (via Road and Track).

Photo Credit: Ford

Consumers developed a negative perception of the Taurus brand beginning with this generation and the brand never fully recovered. Before this release of the Taurus, the car was the most popular family car in the United States, but by the 1990s favor had shifted toward SUV models.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor

3: Lincoln Aviator

The Aviator was released at the height of the SUV boom in the early 2000s. Ford already had great luck with the Navigator so they thought it would be profitable to release a smaller offering. Sadly, the Aviator was nothing more than an overpriced Ford Explorer and consumers were hip to this revelation (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

There were some unique aspects to the Aviator such as the shared a powerplant with the Ford Mustang Mach-1. That helped to increase the performance to new heights but as far as the rest of the car went it was a relatively standard offering. Most consumers weren’t willing to pay a premium price just for a Lincoln badge.

Photo Credit: Ford

2: Ford Taurus X

The Ford Five Hundred wagon was not a great seller for the brand, so Ford tried to reinvigorate the model by renaming it after the popular Taurus. But guess what? Even with a Taurus badge on it, the Taurus X wasn’t a popular offering by any means. Consumers just didn’t see the promise in driving a lifted wagon and thus the Taurus X died off.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Taurus X had the usual reliability issues that came out of this generation of Ford cars. The transmissions are notorious for going out and the safety ratings were questionable. From a practical standpoint, there were much better options that you could choose from besides the Taurus X (via Motor Biscuit).

Mercury Cougar
Photo Credit: Car Domain

1: 2000 Mercury Cougar

Affectionately known as the “cateye,” the 2000 Mercury Cougar was a departure from traditional Mercury vehicles. As the brand shifted its focus toward a female demographic the Cougar was one of the first cars. The performance wasn’t anything to be excited about as the car shared most of its components with the Ford Focus.

Photo Credit: Ford

As the years went on reliability was a problem for the Cougar and the brand was eventually shelved altogether. The car was not a success for Ford by any stretch of the imagination. The Mercury brand as a whole was disbanded in the late 2000s (via Car and Driver).

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