In 2011, there were plenty of cars with a lot of hype behind them, only to end up doing poorly with consumers. Failing to meet high expectations could almost be worse than just being as terrible as everyone thought you would be. So let’s toast a few of the flops of the 2011 American car market, shall we?
CNNMoney runs through 12 notable disappointments on the market in the past year that had a lot of buzz built up, only to fizzle out once drivers got their hands on them.
Fiat 500: You might remember this one as the car Jennifer Lopez drives through her old neighborhood in an ad campaign that was much derided, as it was questioned whether she was actually in the Bronx or just back in L.A. What? J. Lo didn’t convince you to buy one? Dealers weren’t convinced either, even with lower gas prices. They’d predicted selling 50,000 cars, but only unloaded 17,444 as of November.
Jaguar XF: Four years after its launch and a strong luxury car market couldn’t stop the XF’s sales from dropping around 28%.
Honda Insight: The cheaper-than-before 2011 Insight was meant to boost sales, as the cheapest hybrid on the market. So far, so good! That is, until reviews of a jouncy ride and too much road noise came in. Sales dropped off sharply this year, and CNN says the Hyundai Sonata beat it this year so far as hybrids go.
BMW 550i GT: When the 550i came on the market a few years ago, BMW executives were so confident in it, that they didn’t send any more of their traditional 5-series sport wagons to the U.S. But combined with a $65,000 price tag and a super heavy body means lower sales for the 550i. proportions, the 550i remains a rare misstep for the Bavarian marketing machine.
Nissan Cube: Sure, a few people might want an over-stylized car that makes onlookers think, “What the heck is that thing?” but most buyers have been staying away from the design mess that is the Nissan Cube.
The 2012 Honda Civic: This car won the dubious honor of the most despised car of last year, calling it “the bland, cheezy, ninth-generation Civic. Reviewers panned it as clunky and dreadfully dull, while our expert big brothers at Consumer Reports pointed out weak brakes, excessive body lean and annoying road noise — and even dropped it off their Recommended list.
Check out the rest of the disappointments over at CNNMoney.