2017 Year In Review – Worst Vehicles Of The Year
The lowest of the low from the 2017 auto sphereby Jonathan Lopez, on
While there were certainly quite a few excellent debuts that dropped in 2017 (just check out our list here, the past year in the automotive world brought along its fair share of duds as well. Whether it was some lackluster hybrid supercar, a space-filler crossover, an overpriced sedan, or a pair of ancient sports cars tarted up as brand-new models, no segment was safe from the ravages of awful entries. And, as stalwart purveyors of opinions in all things four-wheeled, it’s our job to bring together the worst of the offenders here in the following year in review list. And while we’d love to give you a catalog of all the cars that got under our skin this year, we’re gonna leave the extended rants to our resident curmudgeon Pops, thus limiting this collection of craptacular cars to just five spots, including the worst supercar, the worst truck or SUV, the worst luxury sedan, the worst luxury coupe, and the worst sports car.
Of course, these are just our opinions on the matter – we wanna know what you think as well. Tell us in the comments section below, whether it’s something awful we missed, or if we missed the mark by calling one of these machines the worst!
Continue reading to learn more about our picks for the worst vehicles of 2017.
Worst Supercar Of 2017 – BMW i8
Don’t get us wrong – we really like the i8. We like how it looks, we like how it drives, and we like the high-tech powertrain. There’s a lot going for it. That said, even a hybrid with as much spacey goodness as the i8 needs a refresh every so often to keep it at the forefront of the segment, and the latest from the Bavarians left us wanting in a big way. Introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new i8 is more or less the same as the old model, with the upgrades limited to new metallic paint options, new interior colors, and a few extra horsepower and EV mode miles. Oh, and they chopped the top to create a Roadster model as well, but that’s pretty much it. Considering the blistering pace of development we’ve seen in battery technology since the i8’s debut, we were hoping for much more this time around, but sadly, nothing of substance really materialized.
"The i8 arrived with a bang back in 2014 and I was expecting a lot from the 2017 update,” says TopSpeed Editor, Ciprian Florea. “Unfortunately, the i8 remained pretty much unchanged outside the new roadster body style. Design changes are rather unnoticeable and gains in the performance and range departments are insignificant. Not what you’d expect from a modern, state-of-the-art hybrid."
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i8.
Worst Truck/SUV Of 2017 – Ford EcoSport
As anyone who has read one of our many Worst In Show articles, we’re not exactly fans of superfluous crossovers and SUVs. It’s a segment that’s already way overcrowded, and sure, we know demand is only increasing and automakers are salivating at the thought of selling even more of these things to the unsatisfied public, but come on. Some of these models are just awful, looking more like blatant money grabs then anything close to a useful means of conveyance.
Unfortunately, the Ford EcoSport is the worst offender of the lot. From the off, its got an attitude of dreariness and uninspired blah, with styling pulled from 15 years ago, a cheap, plastic-tastic shell interior, and a decidedly un-sporty engine selection. The practicality is also an issue, with limited space for people and things in the cabin and cargo area. It’s basically a jacked-up, more expensive Ford Fiesta, and with so many other, better options in the segment, you should probably steer clear of this one.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford EcoSport
Worst Luxury Sedan Of 2017 – Mercedes-Benz CLA
So, you want to get a slice of that juicy Mercedes lifestyle, but you don’t quite have the bread to spring for an S-Class. No worries – you can pick up the CLA-Class sedan for just a few grand over $30K. Problem solved, right?
Not so fast – the CLA-Class isn’t exactly on the same level as the rest of the Merc lineup, and in fact, it’s pretty unimpressive overall. Sure, it looks great on the outside thanks to its sleek German refinement, and inside, you get plenty of tasty luxury cues. However, the beauty is only skin deep here. Engine options are limited to a somewhat plodding 200-horsepower four-cylinder (unless you’re willing to step up to the $50,000 AMG model, that is), while the stiff suspension erases any hope for a luxurious ride quality. Then you have the reduced interior room thanks to that low roofline, and the fact that any and all desirable options add some serious weight to the bottom line, and you may want to rethink your decision before taking the plunge with this budget Mercedes. A baby S-Class, this thing is not.
Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA.
Worst Luxury Coupe Of 2017 – Maserati GranTurismo
You might be surprised to see this fast, sexy two-door on our list of Worsts, but there’s a method to our madness. You see, the Maserati GranTurismo was first introduced in 2007, and back then, it was awesome – high-powered V-8 under the hood, output sent to the rear wheels, and a generous helping of Italian sweetness stuck in between. So why the hate?
Long story short, the modern Maserati GranTurismo is essentially unchanged from what we got way back when in 2007. Ten years is an eternity in terms of industry cycles, and although it still looks great, we wanted more from the Trident badge. Much more. It’s the same problem as the i8, but vastly exaggerated.
“The GranTurismo was upgraded for the 2018 model year. After a full 10 years on the market,” says Ciprian. “What’s more, the update is only a mild facelift that doesn’t change much in terms of design and performance. While I still like the GranTurismo in just about every way, keeping a model around for more than a decade with only slight changes isn’t something I want to see in 2018.”
Read our full review on the 2018 Maserati GranTurismo
Worst Sports Car Of 2017 – Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition
In continuation of the theme we’ve got going here, we have yet another ancient performance platform that didn’t get the love it deserved in 2017. The current Nissan Z, a.k.a. the 370Z, saw an introduction in 2008, and since then, it’s marched on more or less unchanged into the 2018 model year. And for a model as iconic as the Nissan Z, that’s got us all riled up.
Rumors that Nissan is cooking up a fresh Z have been swirling for years now, but nothing solid has floated to the surface. Instead, Nissan hands us this – the Heritage Edition. It’s meant to acknowledge the Z’s 50th anniversary, but rather than adding anything of substance to the coupe, this un-special special edition throws in some paint, some stripes, and some trim for the cabin. And that’s it. Hell, even a new intake woulda kept the Z off this list, but nope. This feels like a cash grab, and that should piss off every Z fan out there.
Time for the next-gen, Nissan. Make it happen in 2018.
Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition.