Some say there are no truly awful cars anymore. For the most part, every new car out there is good enough. I don’t entirely disagree, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to be disappointed. What car did you expect more from and completely underwhelmed you?
Maybe it’s a vehicle you looked forward to from day one. You expected to buy it, or test drive one at the very least, until the reviews came in. The Honda CR-Z comes to mind. Although that hatch may have received an undeservingly harsh rap, it also wasn’t the second coming of the CR-X like many hoped it would be.
Or perhaps it’s a car you did own. You convinced yourself it was the right choice. It wasn’t.
For me, that’s the Dodge Dart. My parents helped me finance one while I was in college — something I’m very thankful for, I should be clear about! My family bought a number of Chryslers, and my dad was lured in at our local dealer by the attractive financing options on Dodge’s struggling compact sedan. I ended up with a 2.4-liter automatic model, red with the black grille just like the car you see above.
The Dart was fine. It got me to school and work, and if nothing else it looked sort of sharp. Deep down, though, I expected more from the small car that was supposed to save Chrysler.
The fuel economy was terrible for the Dart’s class — something like 26 miles per gallon, maybe 28 if I was really trying to use the throttle sparingly on the highway portion of my commute. It wasn’t completely lethargic but didn’t feel agile either, despite a healthy-on-paper 184 horsepower. Both problems could easily be traced back to the car weighing well north of 3,200 pounds, for no good reason. Also, the suspension was unbelievably stiff, which 1) felt terrible on a daily basis and 2) led to an inordinate number of blown tires and bent rims, I’m convinced.
That’s my brief story of automotive disappointment. What’s yours? Which car were you looking forward to and let you down?