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Old 10-07-2009, 07:40 AM   #1
MadMax
 
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Worst Cars of the 2000s (#4. Echo)

I can't say I agree completely with this list, I though the Isuzu VehiCROSS looked pretty kickass but you don't see many of them. And the Echo, while not as "refined" as the Yaris, wasn't that bad of a car and remains pretty popular.

But the Jag X-Type is a piece of shit (I drove one in the UK), and the Pontiac Aztek looks like crap. Lastly, Jeep should stick to the Wrangler and the Cherokee/Grad Cherokee, the Compass was a steaming pile of dog poo!

Still, it is amusing to see the Smart Car at #1!

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Worst Cars of the 2000s

Even with the strides that cars have made in recent years, let's face it: There have been some real stinkers, too. Whether poorly executed, ill-conceived or downright dreadful to look at, these 10 stand out for all the wrong reasons. A car had to be sold at any point in the 2000s to be eligible for this list; some of these models were only on the market for a few years, while others are still being sold today.

10. Pontiac Aztek
2001-2005

The Aztek was criticized for the duration of its life for its ghastly styling. Design is subjective, so what do you think of the Aztek shown here? Were the critics wrong? Yeah, we didn't think so.

9. Daewoo Anything
1999-2002

We had just tested a Suzuki Esteem and marveled at how competent even the cheapest little econoboxes had become when a leather-lined Leganza midsize sedan showed up — the best Daewoo had to offer. We mused over which would kill us first: the toxic gases from the cheap interior or the recalcitrant transmission and inconsistent acceleration. Three days into the loan, the first Daewoo crash tests in U.S. history came out, and we called Daewoo and told them to come pick up the car. We'd never done that before, and we haven't since.

8. Isuzu VehiCROSS
1999-2002

The outrageous Isuzu VehiCROSS two-door SUV, whose extreme styling drew varied reactions, lasted from 1999 to 2001, and even that's surprising. The fanglike grille uprights made it look like it would eat you, which was scary mainly because inside the VehiCROSS was a place no one wanted to be. Headroom was minimal, and the low roof blocked even shorter drivers' view. If the noisy cabin didn't get to you, the punishing ride would. Isuzu deserved credit for taking a chance then on a design likely to find more admirers now, and it deserved scorn for a 2001 sticker price that would be just as preposterous in the current market. The VehiCROSS cost $30,350 by the time it fired up its interplanetary drive and went back where it belonged.

7. Jaguar X-Type
2002-2008

In the early 2000s, the class of entry-level luxury cars was growing. Most were sporty and started at $30,000 or less. Wanting in, Jaguar came out with the X-Type. From the get-go, critics warned that a cheap Jag would be bad for the brand and that Ford — which bought the company in 1989 — would probably cut corners and sacrifice quality. That was before they saw the product. Sharing its front-drive platform with a European Ford Mondeo, the X-Type was a too-small, not-so-sporty sedan with all-wheel drive that was hamstrung by some of the forewarned quality issues. The trap was clearly visible from miles away, and Ford walked right into it. A 2002 Jaguar X-Type can be had for up to $8,500. A 2002 Honda Civic goes for up to $9,275.

6. Pontiac Sunfire
1995-2005

The Sunfire managed the rare feat of having a worse interior than its GM twin, the Chevy Cavalier. Cheap interior plastics run amok, a coarse four-cylinder engine and horrendous crash-test ratings sealed its fate. On the flip side, the Sunburn was probably responsible for untold thousands of rental-car upgrades: "Honey, remember Fort Lauderdale last summer? Trust me, we want the Grand Am."

5. Cadillac Catera
1997-2001

To think that Germany's Opel is now the source of many of GM's strongest new models...

In the late '90s, the Opel Omega begat a Cadillac that was sporty in theory but soft and underpowered in practice, rear-wheel-drive in design but front-wheel-drive in feel. And that's just the car. Cadillac didn't help its case with advertising that included the tagline "The Caddy That Zigs," supermodel Cindy Crawford, an animated duck, and the suggestion to "lease a Catera" with the response, "Who's Lisa Catera?" The geniuses responsible for the Catera should have been exiled, but we suspect they went on to develop something called the Pontiac Aztek. Upgrades and deep discounts in 2001 couldn't save the Catera; it went to the duck blind in the sky in 2002.

4. Toyota Echo
2000-2005

The Echo subcompact's high seating position and center-mounted instrument panel were two well-intentioned features that were summarily rejected by consumers (though they would find their proponents in later years and other models). Call the Echo ahead of its time if you must; mainly it just wasn't a very good car. In taking over for the Tercel — a boring but popular choice against offerings from Suzuki, Geo and pre- renaissance Kia and Hyundai — the Echo proved that sometimes bland is better than bold. The problem wasn't that the youth-targeted Echo appealed more to older buyers than to younger ones, it was that there weren't enough of either.

3. Jeep Compass
2007-present

We could have easily chosen the Dodge Caliber for this list — a compact hatchback with unremarkable gas mileage, refinement and crash-test scores — but the hapless Compass edged it out. Why? Besides the fact that you shouldn't spread lackluster product around to more than one division (the Compass is related to the Caliber), it doesn't belong in the Jeep lineup, a brand known and respected for its off-road ability. The Compass is a soft-roading poseur, and not a good one at that.

2. Chrysler Sebring
1995-present

The previous-generation Sebring wasn't a bad car in its day, but Chrysler dropped the ball with the redesigned 2007 model. With a weak base powertrain, uncomfortable front seats, poor interior quality and haphazard styling, it never had a chance in the highly competitive midsize-sedan segment.

1. Smart ForTwo
2008-present

We don't have a problem with small cars in general (we're big fans of the Mini Cooper), just with ones that don't deliver on the benefits of going small. The pint-sized ForTwo sacrifices a lot of passenger space for a relatively unimpressive 41 mpg on the highway, has an SUV-like propensity to roll over, and is equipped with an aggravating sequential manual transmission. Sure, the ForTwo looks cute, but after you drive it you won't be smiling anymore.

Kelsey Mays contributed to this story.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
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I'd take my Echo over any of those cars.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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+1 I personally never cared for the styling of the Echo but they are good cars that DO NOT belong on this list. If anything I give the Echo credit for it's contributions to current models.

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Old 10-07-2009, 09:11 AM   #4
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Smart ForTwo

I see it as a pointless car. Even the Mini has more room than the Smart does... More functionality too. Aside from in the passenger seat, can you even fit a briefcase in the "cargo" area? Since they are marketed more for business people (or at least people who don't need to pick up the kids)...

Kinda like when a person buys a big truck, but then never uses it for anything (no hauling, even though it could easily handle it without harm; no towing, again, no problems with that). And not even have it as a "show truck". They just drive it to say they own a big truck!! Like they're trying to compensate for something.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
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Smart ForTwo

I see it as a pointless car. Even the Mini has more room than the Smart does... More functionality too. Aside from in the passenger seat, can you even fit a briefcase in the "cargo" area? Since they are marketed more for business people (or at least people who don't need to pick up the kids)...

Kinda like when a person buys a big truck, but then never uses it for anything (no hauling, even though it could easily handle it without harm; no towing, again, no problems with that). And not even have it as a "show truck". They just drive it to say they own a big truck!! Like they're trying to compensate for something.
wasnt worthless until they changed it from a diesel for the american market...

was much more effiecient as a CDI diesel...i understand it got 70+mpg
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:26 AM   #6
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wasnt worthless until they changed it from a diesel for the american market...

was much more effiecient as a CDI diesel...i understand it got 70+mpg
If they kept all the cars as diesel we wouldn't have the problems that we do. I'd much rather a diesel car, but they jacked up the prices for them, at least here anyway. So the savings in fuel do not outweigh the initial cost of the vehicle to make it worthwhile to purchase. I hear the yaris comes as a diesel in other markets (darn them for not brining THAT here!!!!)
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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We had the Smart in Tawain long before it was introduced to the American market. Initially it was quite popular, but quickly developed a reputation for being a POS!


IDK anything about them now.

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Old 10-07-2009, 09:31 AM   #8
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I disagree with at least half of that list... I don't necessarily disagree with the Echo being on it though.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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if the ECHO is such a POS why is it holding it's value so well? ;)
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I hate people like you (xbgod) because your the reason I don't come to this board. You spout nonsense and lies and people who don't know any better hold you in high regards because they can't tell the wheat from the chaff.
you nailed it sir.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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wasnt worthless until they changed it from a diesel for the american market...

was much more effiecient as a CDI diesel...i understand it got 70+mpg
it was an efficient POS, but this thing was terrible on the onramps and highways, i think i was under the influence when i let my buddy drive me home in one , its like playing russian roulette with a Berretta when you take it on the highway. no acceleration smaller than a wheel on a rig , handles like an inverted cone
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:19 AM   #11
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im not saying it was great on the highway

i drove one in fredericton, slowwww to get on the highway....scary slow

but around town it was good enough and super efficient

i still don't want one...my wife loves them though
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:40 PM   #12
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seriously, if you talk about bad seating and centered cluster...
you should replace #4 with a Saturn ION.


PK: the smart... you gotta keep it around 3000rpm, all the time. It does not have power under 2500rpm., and the redline is.. well. at 3500rpm :) And the way you drive it.. is like a manual car. It's got a real manual gearbox with automatic clutch system.

Anyhow.. it is slow when you are taking it relax. I noticed how slow it took me to get to 40kmh.. i was like WTF. Somehow, you've got to step on the mushroom to get the thing going. I've had no trouble merging in hwy30 last time i drove it. Took it from 50kmh/3rd gear to 80kmh/5th in a jiffy. And it sits happily in 6th at anything over 100kmh. But the road noise... oh boy!
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:23 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=IllusionX;397769]seriously, if you talk about bad seating and centered cluster...
you should replace #4 with a Saturn ION.


+1
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #14
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yeh i hate all Jaguars and there drivers A holes all of them
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:30 PM   #15
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Oh, yeah, I heard that on the news this morning.

The SMART comes as a surprise to me. It has got to be one of the most popular cars in France, especially in Paris, there are so many of them, it's amazing. But the French Smart has a slightly different configuration than the one designed for the US market.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:03 PM   #16
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Yeah, we had shitloads of Smart Cars around us when we lived in Belgium; they were especially popular in Brussels.

I also see them all the time when I go on trips to Europe. I have had a ForFour as a rental and it wasn't a bad car; but if they ever try to stick me with a ForTwo I am going to stick it right back at them!
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:55 PM   #17
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The Vehicross might have been ugly but it won all kinds of respect in the 4x4 community.
I remember one of the offroad magazines listed it their top choice for 2000.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:52 AM   #18
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We have a 2001 echo with 90,000 + on it with ZERO problems, my wife would fight you for it ! great little car it is the reason i bought my HB
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