18 Most Disappointing Cars of the Decade – And Why They Failed

The last decade has seen many novel inventions in the auto industry, including technologies in both the gasoline-powered and electric vehicle spaces. Each has had its triumphs and tribulations, contributing to the industry’s evolution. Some have had the most ambitious beginnings but have been out-maneuvered, whereas others have stopped production for strategic reasons to mobilize other models. Here is a list of the 18 most disappointing cars of the decade.

Toyota Prius C

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 The Toyota Prius C was discontinued in 2019 for several reasons. Firstly, it failed to captivate its consumer base due to its uninspiring design. The performance of this vehicle did not live up to the hype, as it faced air conditioning failures with hot air coming out of its vents. It lagged behind the other Prius models and did not score well on the sales charts. Being a hybrid vehicle, it could not withstand the tough competition because of its outdated technology.

Nissan Juke

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 The Nissan Juke was off to a good start, as it had a relatively pleasing design. However, other issues, such as the fuel pressure sensor’s failure, were the main culprits for its discontinuation in 2017. This faculty ignition system could lead to the car breaking down and a fire. Moreover, the short range did not appease the customers, leading to a sharp 48% decline in sales. 

Fiat 500L

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 Based on the Fiat Punto model and the design borrowed from the smaller Fiat 500, this vehicle was eventually discontinued in 2021. As a competitor in the small MVP market, it faced tough competition from Ford and Vauxhall Meriva. Its popularity deteriorated in favor of baby SUVs until it was eventually discontinued. The media criticized it for its cheap interior, unrefined driving performance, and unreliable efficiency.

BMW i3

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 Despite the brand’s herculean effort to develop and build carbon fiber manufacturing systems suitable for mass production, the BMW i3 could never be built cheaply in large numbers. BMW discontinued this model because it wanted to venture into longer-range vehicles. Aside from the bodywork problem, this electric vehicle faced backlash in space capability and outdated technology.

Honda CR–Z

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 Advertised as a “sports hybrid,” the car was nothing sporty. It took more than 10 seconds to power up to 60 mph, which was very annoying to consumers. Other reasons were its hatchback, which has less storage space, slow speed, and no mileage. Even though this was a major failure, Honda learned from its mistakes and made room for the Accord Hybrid and Clarity. 

Chrysler 200

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 This 5-seater midsize Sedan began production in 2011 but never really kicked off and was eventually discontinued in 2017. It hit the road as a two-door convertible that struggled with fuel pumping fails with airbags deploying randomly. The 9-speed transmission system suffers from hard shifts and wire defects alongside problems in the 2.4L Tigershark Oil consumption. Some reports suggest that the engine’s piston ring was incompatible with the cylinders, causing severe reliability issues.

Cadillac ELR

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 The major downfall of the Cadillac ER revolves around its absurd pricing. The Model started at a base price of $75,000. Compared to its shared platform with Chevrolet, this was a hefty price jump for a similar driving range. Moreover, they preferred style over space, whose outcomes did not turn out well. The ELR offered only 35 miles of electric range, which was way less than that of other competitors in the automotive industry.

Acura ILX

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 The Acura ILX failed to identify its audience. It is segmented between compact luxury sedans and entry-level sedans. It shared a platform with the Honda Civic, which reduced its perception as a luxury model. Initially offering a four-cylinder engine, this vehicle had limited powertrain options. Other issues were the outdated interior, inferior performance, and depreciating sales. Even though the V6 engine was added later, it could not fix the status of the Acura ILX. 

Chevrolet Volt

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 Regarding plug-in hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt was one of the first mainstream cars. It has an electric range of up to 53 miles and an 18.4 kWh battery pack. However, it could not manage both systems at once and compromised on many aspects of the car. It was discontinued in 2019, as the consumer base shifted to luxury SUVs with higher acceleration and longer range.

Fisker Karma

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 Fisker Karma was launched in 2008 and was the first car from Fisker Automotives. Things took a sudden turn for them as they faced various lawsuits. A major one was filed by Tesla, accusing them of copying their Model S hybrid technology. Even though the car had an extravagant design, it faced quality setbacks when its A123 battery failed terribly alongside its poor build, whose standard was deemed unsatisfactory for a luxury vehicle. Setting a hefty price tag entails certain expectations that Fisker Karma could not meet. It collapsed even after a relaunch due to production issues and technical failures, leading it to file for bankruptcy in 2013.

Mitsubishi Mirage

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 The Mirage, one of America’s cheapest gasoline-powered cars, will be discontinued by 2025. Its tech convenience, including automatic climate control, automatic braking, touchscreen information, and collision control, is fantastic for its budget. However, its comfort and driving dynamics make it a disappointing vehicle. Mitsubishi probably had to let go of this model to accommodate its electric vehicle lineup. 

Lincoln MKT

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 Under the Ford Motor Company, Lincoln pitched the MKT as a luxury SUV crossover. The consumers complained that the vehicle resembled the Ford Edge and Fled too much, which was a better option. Even though it is a subjective opinion, the other Lincoln models offered a better design than the MKT, which had a relatively simple design. Faced with poor fuel economy and outdated technology, the decreasing sales were the final nail in the coffin for the Lincoln MKT, which was discontinued in 2020.

Smart ForTwo

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 This microcar, designed for lively urban life, faced several setbacks in the United States, eventually leading to its demise in 2019. Based on surveys, there was a shift towards larger vehicles with more cargo space. In the same price range, other cars offered better features and a better design. While other automotive giants had already established their place, the Smart ForTwo was easily maneuvered into a decline. 

Dodge Dart

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 Despite its relaunch in 2013, the Dodge Dart could not sustain itself in the evolving markets, which now needed a soft corner for the compact SUVs. It was discontinued in 2016, and while the performance could have been better, the design lacked the sporty feel. Dodge’s focus on sedans put them at a significant disadvantage because the markets now favored SUVs and trucks. Stiff sterling, braking issues, and low oil pressure were other issues that put the Dart on the back. 

Tesla Model X

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 Tesla’s vehicles are considered the best in the industry and are often hailed as the ‘King Of Electric Cars.’ The Model X was discontinued in 2020, maybe for strategic reasons, but it came with flaws. While this electric powertrain was adequately appreciated, it lacked interior space and was deterred by its limited range. As the competition increased in the production of luxury SUVs, Tesla was left with no option but to discontinue this and opt for a practical alternative – the Tesla Model Y.

Buick Cascada

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 Buick Cascada’s downfall is associated with the company’s downfall following the vehicle sales reduction. The design was not appreciated by the customers and definitely not coined as “attractive.” It was cumbersome, failing to provide good driving dynamics and taking a disappointing 8-9 secs to accelerate to 60 mph. It was discontinued in 2019, failing to generate revenue, having already received a lot of criticism about its pricing.

Hyundai Veloster

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 When the Veloster was launched in 2011, it was ahead of its time. Like many other cars that suffered from growing SUV demand, the Veloster was also a victim. The hatchback was quite a decent car with an asymmetrical door design – one on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side. The Veloster had a loyal fan base but could not save the model because of the deteriorating sales. Hyundai gave preference to its other models, such as the Hyundai Elantra N and Kona N, eventually discontinuing it after a decade in 2022.

Ford Flex

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 This car made its grand debut in 2008, gaining both admiration and deprecation. It was a seven-seater that offered ample space combined with an Ecoboost V6 engine. The 2019 model generated 365 hp and had a fuel economy of 15.7L/100 km city and about 11.2L on the highway. After facing fierce competition from three-row SUVs and some performance deficiencies, this model was discontinued in the same year. 

12 Reasons Why Hybrid Vehicles Might Not Be Your Best Choice

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Hybrid vehicles have been credited for combining electric motors and combustion engines, which have become increasingly popular. They have bridged the gap between traditional gas-powered and fully electric vehicles, offering potential buyers an option to explore these technologies without giving up familiarity with the other. It is essential to look at the larger picture as these vehicles come with their own set of drawbacks which cannot be overlooked. Below are 12 reasons why Hybrid Vehicles may not be your best choice.

12 Reasons Why Hybrid Vehicles Might Not Be Your Best Choice

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