One of the more unfortunate rules of automotive industry is that no matter how well you build a car, it doesn’t mean it will sell. Let’s be honest, cars have become more of an accessory these days, and people are looking at things other than the engine and mileage when they are choosing which car to buy. This phenomenon led to a number of rather great cars being made, that were almost immediately or eventually forgotten and disregarded for no apparent reason. Check out this list of 30 such cars that suffered that fate.
Lexus LFA saw limited production between 2010 and 2012, and offered some incredible features such as the carbon fiber body and a mighty V10. However the fact that there are still new ones around for sale, almost four years later, tells you that it was a complete flop. Although it wasn’t and still isn’t a very practical car by any means, it’s one of those special models we get to see once every decade or so.
BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon
While Europeans appreciate the wagon form for its practicality, customers in the United States simply don’t like them. This BMW 3 Sports Wagon is incredibly beautiful, while it also comes with a great engine and many cool features. Yet, American drivers opt to go for X1 instead. Sales in United States are poor to say the least.
Cadillac ATS is definitely the best thing that this manufacturer made in a long time. They managed to shake off some bad habits from the past and produce a very capable car that easily challenges BMW in every aspect. The market unfortunately doesn’t see it that way. Cadillac ATS fell victim to Cadillacs questionable reputation of the past, and rarely anyone even considers looking at this car.
CTS shares the same fate as previously mentioned ATS. It has it all, the looks, the performance, the quality and comfort. Yet the sales are disappointing. What you see is a car that beats the BMW 5 class in almost every way, while providing a line-up of engines that offer something for everyone. The targeted audience, however shows little to no interest in Cadillac.
Ford Flex is a very unorthodox car by Ford’s standards. They stepped away from their conservative design to produce an SUV that offers simplicity and great performance. Unfortunately, Flex is a victim of poor marketing. It was presented to the American public as an urban explorer you could find parked behind hi-end clubs of New York. Along with a bold name, this ruined any chance Flex had.
With car manufacturers going berserk with their designs, Jaguar decided to keep things conservative. Jaguar XJ sports a timeless and recognizable appearance that many are beginning to appreciate. Not only does it look great, it also has performance to back that up. Even so, given the choice between this Jaguar and a Mercedes in the same class, buyers choose the German almost every time. This makes little sense as the XJ not only offers more than his German counterpart, but it’s also noticeably cheaper.
Offering everything you want from a mini-van in a smaller and more practical package, Mazda 5’s sales numbers are shockingly low. It’s main counterpart, the Dodge Grand Caravan is selling on average ten times better. Not only is Mazda 5 cheaper, it is also more agile than the Dodge, and offers an interesting driving experience for a mini-van. In the end, it is simply not ringing well with American drivers.
This Mazda is probably the most under appreciated mid-sized sedan on the market today. It sports an attractive exterior design, great performance, and relatively low price in comparison with the competition. With all it offers, Mazda 6 just can’t challenge the likes of a Toyota Camry when it comes to sales numbers.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon
E-Class wagon shares the same fate as its BMW counterpart. The quality and performance are there, but the sales are just horrible. This E-Class station wagon is probably one of the best looking cars of that kind on the market, and by offering the space of an SUV in a sporty form, we are just baffled why these sell so poor.
With Cayman, Porsche pushed their 911 design through express evolution and the result was impressive. This mid-engined sports car took away some of the downsides of the 911 and came with the performance any driver dreams about. Yet, 911 is still the better selling car. Only reason for this we can think of is the 911’s aura it took decades to create.
Subaru BRZ was Subaru’s attempt to set a foothold in small sized sport car market segment. What they produced is one of the best handling cars you could find, but it just didn’t attract the attention of potential buyers. With a mind blowing performance for what it is, BRZ shocked car enthusiasts with its low sales numbers.
Dodge Viper used to be a legendary car when it first came out in the early 90s. Along side various Ferraris and Lamborghinis, Dodge Viper had its poster taped to millions of teenage bedroom walls around the world. It wasn’t necessarily better from the competition, but it had a unique aura at the time which made it legendary. Today, the situations is very different, and this incredible car has somewhat disappeared into obscurity as newer, more exciting models took the lead.
Similar to the Subaru BRZ with whom it shares a platform, Scion FRS received mild reactions from the market when it came out. It seems that both the FRS and the BRZ are just not hitting the right buttons, and it’s quite disappointing to see. Despite what appear to be underwhelming specs, the FRS is a very balanced sports car that is both fast and fun to drive. The apparent failure of both the FRS and BRZ can probably be attributed to the marketing teams of Subaru and Scion, rather than the cars themselves.
You see it almost everywhere, in every AAA video game that is car related, and in most of new movies. Yet the GT-R is not backing up its popularity in sales. Extremely low numbers of sold GT-Rs come as a surprise, especially considering how well this car performs. It’s loaded with all kinds of tech and gadgets, and has stupendous performance.
Having a full-sized sedan, with tamed exterior and mighty engine would seem like something many consumers would find attractive. However, Chevrolet SS proves that is not really true. This incredible car was largely ignored after it was launched. In a world where there aren’t many cars that deliver what Chevy SS does, it’s quite surprising a small number of these cars were actually sold.
To many, Lotus represents core values a perfect car should offer. High fidelity, incredible performance, and an overall function-over-form design. Any recent Lotus is going to be incredible both on and off the track, but that wasn’t enough to bolster their sales in recent years, especially in United States. It seems a car with very sparse offering of features is not ringing well with modern consumers.
Seeing how Jaguar is one of the few remaining manufacturer who still insists on offering cars with fully manual transmission, you would think that a model such as the F-Type would appease those who like to have three pedals and a stick shift in their sports cars. The reality tells a different tale. The F-Type is rugged around the edges in some areas, but none of that would explain why its sales are doing so poorly. Something about this car is not appealing to the market.
Where Volkswagen made a mistake with the CC is by overestimating what their target consumers wanted in a car. It resulted in them making a pretty conservative luxury sedan that lacked some features most of its competitors offered as standard, but compensated with refined driving experience and better performance. Since gadgets and tech are all the rage these days, Volkswagen CC didn’t really attract too much interest.
BMW 2-Series is the intermediate sedan designed to fill the void that appeared as the market voiced its need for something more compact than a 3-Series. Surprisingly enough, the 2-Series BMW is also one of the most rarely sold BMWs on that very same market besides there being absolutely nothing wrong with the car. On the contrary, the new 2-Series offers some pretty amazing models within its range.
Buick decided to enter the American sports sedan race with their Regal, which offered a decent variety of powerful engines, and even an all wheel drive system. It’s a midsized sedan with pretty great features both inside and out, and is overall a great car for the money. It seems that most of the market can’t see what the Regal has to offer as the sales look anything but promising.
While it was somewhat popular when it first came out, Nissan Juke didn’t really live up to the hype. It has a pretty unconventional exterior design that puts off many potential buyers, but if you take that out of the equation, you get a very competitive crossover with bunch of cool features.
There’s probably one category of cars that you’re not used to being made by Hyundai, and that’s high end luxury sedans. Hyundai Equus is exactly that, the best this Korean manufacturer has to offer in terms of luxury and comfort. The car itself is pretty good, and considering it cost $60,000 new, it wasn’t expensive either. However the North American market gave it a cold shoulder, as far as we know for no other reason than because it’s a Hyundai.
Like most compact hatchbacks, the Mitsubishi Mirage wasn’t a huge hit when it appeared. Cars such as these are usually sold in urban areas where they are actually practical, which can’t be said in smaller rural environments. Mitsubishi had very hard time selling the Mirage, with them sitting at dealership car lots for an average of 137 days.
Similar to Mitsubishi Mirage, the Fiat 500 received limited praise in North America. It was mostly bought for its legendary history more than anything. However that didn’t work too long either. Although this little car is pretty good on the road, and is popular in Europe, it’s North American career wasn’t so bright.
The original Infiniti Q60 was pretty much doomed to flop from the start. It was a sports car with more than decent performance specs, that had a misfortune of being packaged in a body that didn’t quite stand up to the challenge. It’s probably one of the most boring looking sport coupes you could find, but it was a great car. Naturally sales were limited to say the least.
Dodge Avenger was a great car, in and out. It offered a bunch of equipment as standard, the interior was actually nice compared to what Dodge usually sells at a premium, and the engine selection offered something for everyone. None of this helped the Avenger, though. It was just not received very well and the sales were on the edge where Dodge had to discontinue the model altogether.
The K900 model from Kia was their attempt at producing a luxurious executive sedan, and trying to enter this segment of the market. K900 really did prove that Kia was capable of producing a fairly luxurious car that looked good and offered all the features you’d expect from a car of this type, yet despite it being significantly cheaper than the competition, the model proved to be a failure. It seems that no one want’s to buy a luxury car from a brand that is known for their more affordable models.
Back when roadsters where all the rage, BMW Z-Series pretty much ruled the roads just like they did the competition. Nowadays, this type of a car is a dying dinosaur breed, and the Z4 is a perfect proof of that fact. Aside from being a fun car to drive, and mechanically sound, the Z4 is just not practical nor all that attractive anymore. The sales slowly but surely reflected this.
Once VW took over Skoda, they had more than great success with the hatchback Fabia. It was competitive at the time, and offered a great alternative to a more expensive VW Polo or even VW Golf. Nowadays the Fabia losing the battle against these very competitors even though it has a lot to offer.
Mazda BT-50 is fairly popular truck, especially in Australia where Utes, as they like to call these vehicles, are a necessity. Problem with the BT-50 is not its engine, drive train or suspension, it’s the fact that Mazda is just not one of those go-to brands when it comes to pickup trucks. Even though it shares a lost the parts with its cousin, the Ford Ranger, it’s simply not selling that well.