See the worst and most disliked cars of 2011

The Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt might be winners in the hearts of green-energy fans, but consumers haven’t jumped on the bandwagon just yet.

But some of the U.S. past favorites also made the list.

Forbes, Consumer Reports and CNN Money ranked the worst and most disliked cars of 2011, and some of the picks will surprise you.

Here’s one spoiler, there isn’t a Ford car or truck on the list.

42 Comments

  1. The Volt is number on my list. I have over 13,000 miles on my volt.

    Volt974
    Matt

    #1
  2. Robert F

    Pointless and ill-informed post. The volt ranks highest in customer satisfaction by a mile. I love this car. It is an amazing piece of american innovation. If I had the money, I’d buy one for you so I could listen to you eat your words.

    #2
  3. Edward Sweet

    As a 2 year owner of a 2010 FJ Cruiser I have to disagree with the assessment. I haul my eight year old around who easily gets in and out of the back seat. As far as visibility, a simple adjustment of the large mirrors (as per DOT) eliminates blind spots. One must learn to look at the lanes versus the sides of the vehicle for optimum safety. This is being taught is every driving school in the US now. New paradigm.

    As a 21 year resident of Alaska, there is simply no better vehicle for winter driving. The traction control, on-demand 4 wheel drive, and excellent driver’s position make for a safe commute regardless of conditions.

    My FJ is equipped with the off-road package which results in excellent handling, quiet ride, and unparalled ability to traverse any terrain Alaska has to offer. My FJ is hands down the most reliable and highest quality vehicle I’ve owned. The fit and finish is flawless and I have zero problems to report in 2 years of ownership. Those who critize this vehicle have obviously never driven it or explored it’s offroad prowess.

    #3
  4. Alex

    I don’t agree with the FJ Crusier being considered as a dud. I see more of those on the road and I know some drivers who love their FJ Cruiser.

    #4
  5. adro

    “the word is dud…not dude…”
    in addition, the word is coupe, not couple

    #5
  6. SGH

    Where in the world was the copy editor when they published this?

    #6
  7. George Oeser

    I own a 2011 Smart fortwo and love it, economical, quirky, practical, and fun to drive. What it isn’t is a Scion IQ though which is interesting since the car you have pictured as a smart fortwo is actually a Scion IQ. I think I might publish a list of the worst lists of the worst cars on the web… wonder how this site will rank?

    #7
  8. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is by far my favorite. Looks are fantastic and the car itself is incredibly tough. I do however agree with the visibility which can by a nightmare when driving at peak times. Also, as mentioned, people aren’t to happy when they have to sit in the back. Still love it though!

    #8
  9. Harry Rimmer

    I bought an FJ Cruiser 6 months ago, after owning Land Rover Discovery and Nissan 4WD for over 15 years, and driven a number of other 4WDs. FJ Cruiser is by far the best drive, quietness, best ride, best off road ability and best fitted out car for its price on the market. Also surprisingly quick…something they don’t promote in their marketing but this is a suprisingly powerful car. I have done over 20,000 m and still not a single quality, fit, noise, rattle or squeak issue. The rear vision ‘problem’ is not an issue..the mirrors easily cope with that, and it has camera and radar for easy parking. I agree with earlier comment that people who criticise this car have obviously never driven it. It has its peculiarities, no doubt about that (I don’t think I would buy one if I had a bunch of kids)…but it has enormous performance and practicality advantages over most other cars twice its price.

    #9
  10. I disagree that the FJ Cruiser has been a dud. Despite lower sales the past couple of years, it has a very strong niche following and other than the legendary Jeep Wrangler, it’s the most popular factory SUV for off road driving in the country. It’s introduction around the world shows that Toyota sees it as a great asset to their lineup. As far as visibility goes, $10 in blind spot mirrors + the standard backup camera make that a non-issue. The rear seat can be a little snug for adults but for kids who love adventure, it’s great!

    #10
  11. lil ol me

    the comments supporting the FJ Cruiser are more proof that people have no sense of styling whatsoever. This is by far the most repulsive and poorly designed vehicle Toyota has ever birthed. Looks like it was cobbled together from parts left over from bad lab projects. Coming from someone who has owned 5 Toyotas, while its mechanicals may be very durable, they’ll never outlast ugly…

    #11
  12. CJD

    I wish they wasn’t so cheap in the Honda Civic interior. Thing start falling apart. The 8thcivic exterior is better than the 9thcivic. Whatever happen to the prototype of 8thcivic is really disappointing in my opinion.

    #12
  13. TheRipper

    “My FJ is equipped with the off-road package which results in excellent handling, quiet ride, and unparalled ability to traverse any terrain Alaska has to offer.”

    How’s the view from Denali’s summit?

    #13
  14. Jeffreymp

    That’s no Smart ForTwo in the photo… And what is its “cousin” to which you are referring? The Smart ForTwo that is on the market now is essentially the same as the one originally marketed here – or anwhere, for that matter. The photo shows a Scion iQ.

    Nissan Titan is indeed available as a 4X4. Some would also argue that Nissan has a rich truck history…

    To call the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf “disliked” because of lack of sales volume is unfair. Chevy and Nissan are not expecting sales volumes at this point that compare to more traditional cars.

    #14
  15. w00t

    Should make this article into a Commerical for the Best Vehicle on the Market…FORD!!!

    #15
  16. ss396

    Volt- well, the battery fires alone are enough to make most people pause. A step in the right direction away from dependence on oil from countries that hate us, though.

    Leaf- needs more range, more charging stations and less recharge time. All these things will eventually occur as technology improves, but we ain’t there just yet. A novelty “grocery getter” at best.

    Smart Fortwo- This car would make alot more sense if it got better mileage than a Corolla. It doesn’t, though, and it’s painfully slow as well.

    Nissan Titan- Just an aging full size truck design, nothing really wrong with it otherwise. It is what it is.

    Jeep Wrangler- this vehicle has always had a loyal following. And where do you get the 37k price?? They start closer to 22k. You might be able to option one up to 37k if you check every option box including the hard top but at that point, you’re probably a Grand Cherokee customer anyway.

    FJ Cruiser- Like the Wrangler, they appeal to a certain segment. The FJ is more or less a tribute design to old 70s model Toyota Land Cruisers, and they generally don’t get rave reviews from the media but I have driven a few of them and have no issues with them.

    Murano convertible- What were the Nissan designers smoking? Seriously, a crossover SUV convertible???

    Jetta- Rented one of those and drove it from Houston and San Antonio and back. Except for being a decent highway cruiser, I pretty much hated it. Bland as vanilla pudding and just as boring. It’s like a German Camry now.

    Lincoln MKT- They should clean house at Lincoln because the management and the design teams suck. Look how well Cadillac is doing by comparison.

    Mitsubishi Outlander- Mitsubishi has the same problems Lincoln does. Other than the EVO, Mitsubishis lag well behind their competition.

    Aveo- made for GM by Daihatsu. Yuck. Being replaced by the Chevy Sonic, a much better vehicle.

    Civic- What a disappointment. I saw one the other day, it looks like a mid 90s Kia Spectra. What a shame, the Civic was like the Accord, in the “can’t go wrong” category- not anymore it seems.

    Cube- I don’t know anyone who wants their car to look like a breadbox either.

    Ridgeline- Alot of clever ideas packaging wise, but it never really caught on.

    Fiat 500- Like the Smart Fortwo, not exactly up to Mini Cooper standards.

    #16
  17. Edward Sweet

    I have to respond to the comment about the FJ Cruiser styling. I recommend “Toyota FJ Cruiser” by Larry Edsall for an informative behind-the-scenes view of how the FJ Cruiser came to be. Toyota broke their own mold and violated most of their tried and true design policies developing and producing this vehicle. While the syling isn’t for everyone, Toyota engineers and designers created a vehicle with genuine FJ40 DNA in a modern package.

    If you look closely at the construction of this vehicle and the components used, you’ll realize the even the baseline stock vehicle has time-tested V8 components and running gear. If anything, this vehicle is over-engineered for reliability and longevity. Can you say as much about today’s Jeeps? Or most other SUV’s on the road today? I think not.

    Finally, in my humble opinion, the styling is what sets this vehicle apart from the rest of the pack. The only problem spotting the two-tone roof/body combo in any given mall parking lot is the many many other FJs that are around. For a “dud” vehicle they sure have a loyal and large following; just look at the volume of aftermarket items available on the web. Also interesting is they have one of the highest resale values, consistently, of any SUV. That surely speaks volumes about their quality and reliability.

    #17
  18. Edward Sweet

    As far as the view from Denali’s summit..all I can say is that I can see Russia from there.

    #18
  19. tboyinhouston

    My FIAT 500 is number one my list. I love it. I bought it because it is small, uses little gas and I have not had one reliability issue in five months of ownership. Never been back to the dealer and suspect I won’t be until my first factory covered oil change and tire rotation in two months. Last weekend on a trip to Galveston and back I got 42 MPG and I average 36 in town. Love it!

    #19
  20. Had it

    Why did the Jetta win Motor Trends car of the year ?

    #20
  21. Dan X. McGraw

    Motor Trends voted the Volkswagen Passat car of the year. They gave the Jetta three stars and said it had a poor interior.

    #21
  22. Laua

    @TheRipper:

    Pwned.

    #22
  23. Dan X. McGraw

    DV, these cars were picked by reviewers at Forbes, Consumer Reports and CNN Money. We didn’t drive any of these cars, but they were all reviewed by someone at those publications. I’m not sure what to tell you about gas mileage question. Jeep says it’s 16 city/22 hwy, which I wouldn’t say is great gas mileage.

    #23
  24. Dan X. McGraw

    Engineer, you are right that it does have a 4X4 option. We’ve corrected it. Thanks.

    #24
  25. Dan X. McGraw

    Robert F., I don’t have a problem with the Chevy Volt, but you can’t deny that customers are wary of them. Consumers are still worried about range for any electric cars. You add the battery investigation, and it doesn’t add up to a winner for Americans.

    #25
  26. BubbaT

    I would say for once the critics got it right. Nissan has sucked design wise for the last 20 yrs. But yeah, all the cars blow.

    #26
  27. tboyinhouston

    To be fair on the Volt, GM has offered to buy back any Volt that a consumer is concerned about the fire issue, which occurred when the car was sitting empty for a long while after a crash test. It’s not like the car caught fire going down the road. That said, the fire wasn’t good but last I read under 10 people took GM up on that buyback offer. Therefore, one may assume that Volt owners are happy people. Look, early adopters usually have more trouble than people who wait for things to be sorted out. GM identified the issue and is fixing it. If I could afford it I would buy one in a second.

    #27
  28. tboyinhouston

    Also Dan, I think you may misunderstand the Volt. it is not 100% electric. It has a gas motor in it as well as the batteries.

    From Chevy Volt FAQS “Q: How is the Chevy Volt different than conventional hybrids, like the Prius?
    A: Today’s hybrids are called parallel hybrids. They use a small electric motor for low speed driving, but switch to a regular gas engine for acceleration and faster speed driving with the electric motor providing enhancement, hence both engines work side by side or in parallel.
    The Volt is a series vehicle meaning only the electric motor powers the car at all times, the gas engine is just a generator for making electricity once the battery is depleted. A little like the Prius, the engine does help spin the wheels after the battery is depleted. GM engineers chose to do this because it improved efficiency by 10 to 15 percent.”

    #28
  29. Folks, you have again been duped into clicking on chron.com clickbait. Lists “top 10 greatest, top 50 worst, 100 ugliest, 1000 most beautiful” are an easy way websites to generate high hit counts – and hits counts are what drive up advertising prices.

    As with “news” stories, controversial lists generate more hits. Just like being able to leave comments drives more hits – especially if you should get in the habit of getting into conversations with other commentors.

    The people coming up with these lists generally have no expertise/experience/knowledge greater than any other average person on the list they’re posting.

    So I wouldn’t even waste the grain of salt.

    #29
  30. ntangle

    tboyinhouston – Good explanation of its primary and secondary modes as EV only and serial. As an owner you should be aware of its third (parallel) mode too…Above 70 mph if the battery is depleted, the generator couples to the ring gear. The engine gets a more efficient direct mechanical connection to the wheels.
    http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/1010_unbolting_the_chevy_volt_to_see_how_it_ticks/

    #30
  31. ntangle

    tboy – Looks like you’re a Fiat owner, not a Volt owner. Sorry for assuming the latter because of your knowledge of it. Like you, I’d own one too if I could afford it.

    #31
  32. Dan X. McGraw

    I guess you were duped into clicking and commenting.

    #32
  33. ntangle

    A salty comeback.

    #33
  34. Dan

    Where are the links or references to the articles by Forbes, Consumer Reports, and CNN. Where are these rankings? Just because you made it up in your mind doesn’t actually make it a real newsworthy story. What a joke

    #34
  35. DrInnovation

    Where are the sources for this actual list.. This seems like more like a second rate blogger smearing particular cars and propping up Ford. The Volt had the higher CR customer satisfaction and is recommended at CR (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/april/cars/chevrolet-volt/overview/index.htm)
    I could find not CNN Money or Forbes reports backing up the claims. Tons of positive awards and yet you say its on someones “worst /most-disliked”. I have grown tired of junk journalism with libelous pieces attacking without actual meaningful data. You are clamming the list is from reputable sources, so please post a link or citation to their stories or their actual underlying data, or post a retraction ( or you are fuelfix better prepare for a lawsuit.)

    #35
  36. Mi ke

    I wish I had bought a Volt. The problem is not the demand, but the price. i have never spend more than $25k for a car and I don’t want to. when the cost for the battery drops significantly, I suspect that you’ll see a pick up in demand.

    #36
  37. DrInnovation

    I found the source at of the list at
    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/autos/1112/gallery.most-disliked-cars.fortune/index.html#comments

    No mention of CR, and no basis for the rankings. But I guess the amount of negative, generally fabricated or hyped, press about the Volt could make some people put on a hated list.. as clearly some people are using it as a political football.

    #37
  38. The Smart Car -

    “The tiny car isn’t turning any heads turn.” Turning any heads turn? What? English please.

    “Forbes ripped the car for a jerky transmission” – Jerky transmission? It’s a manual that’s shifted automatically. Have the so-called reviewers ever driven a standard car? I’d like to see a regular driver shift faster and smoother. Plus, like any manual, you’re supposed to lift off the gas for a shift. People that call it jerky are downright idiotic and set in their ways. Everyone is too set in “AUTOMATIC AND GO” to ever care about driving.

    “Plus, who wants to drive a car this small?” – Now that’s just a stupid, biased opinionated comment. I drive one because I wanted a car that small. Who wants to drive a car as big as a Suburban? The same stupid, biased comment could be made about anything. Plus, who likes grilled cheese?

    These are just my comments on one car on the list. Whoever wrote this entire thing should be fired for not doing their job. There’s a reason the authors of articles on this site don’t write for Car & Driver.

    #38
  39. Randy

    Funny how the posters who bought the cars on the list are the most vocal defending their choices?

    #39
  40. Fred

    I have a fully restored 1968 Mustang, custom, and a 1972 Buick, also fully restored. Also have a 1963 Cadillac in perfect shape. The car I love the most is my 1963 split window Corevette, fully restored, and the crem da la drem….my 1974 Pantera. The total muscle car and my prize is my restored 1966 Chevy SS…designed for one thing…burn tires.

    The cars above are just…a joke.

    #40
  41. mark

    Where is the list? Only a few of the photo’s are even listed as to what they are and that’s a pop up over the small photo.

    #41
  42. Sharky

    As a Leaf owner I can attest that for me anyway, I am just tired of correcting the misinformation and “creative liberties” being taken with these types of articles, so I don’t bother posting much on them anymore. The posters who are more vocal are probably just not used to reading the ginned up nonsense and propaganda, but those of us in less traditional vehicles are used to it. For instance- using the Leaf as an example, from the onset there has been a patently concerted effort to grossly overstate the “limitations” of driving a 80-100 mile range vehicle. The same is happening with the Volt w/regards to the crash test fire. Its all just entertainment. A way for someone to make a living.

    #42