A mishmash of the awful, the bogus, and the just plain boring

The Paris Motor Show may have been sparsely attended this year, but despite that, we saw a good number of excellent autos on display. There were a few cool future previews, some fast performance machines, and a healthy dollop of concept eye candy. But we already covered all that in our Best In Show piece. This article takes a look at the worst.

Out of all the debuts that broke cover, we picked five of the lamest, least interesting, please-put-it-away offerings we could find right here, then promptly lambasted them for your reading delight. Included is an Audi copycat, a soft-roader charlatan, a golf kart posing as a city car, a compact wannabe crossover, and a non-sporty Sport model.

Hope you’ve got low blood pressure, because we’ve emptied out the salt on this one.

Continue reading for the full story.

Worst In Show

Skoda Kodiaq

2017 Skoda Kodiaq
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The Kodiaq is actually Skoda’s second crossover, following the Yeti in the Czech automaker’s tall-bodied utility vehicle body style lineup. Given the seemingly unending popularity that SUVs and crossovers currently enjoy across the globe, it would make sense to continue to expand with a new, larger offering like the Kodiaq.

As such, this thing doesn’t appear to be pulling any punches. Inside is plenty of good stuff, like digital instrumentation and fine materials. Motivation comes from five different engine options, including two diesels and three gas variants. High MPG is available, and there’s even a little pep if that’s your kinda thing.

So it’s all good then? Not really. Check out the exterior – look familiar?

2017 Skoda Kodiaq
- image 687141

That’s right, folks, this thing is basically a Q7 rip-off in terms of exterior aesthetics. Not that surprising when you consider VW owns both Skoda and Audi, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Read the full review here.

Seat Ateca X-Perience

2016 Seat Ateca X-Perience High Resolution Exterior
- image 689153

Up next, another entry from the Volkswagen Auto Group, this time hailing from Martorell, Spain. Taking liberally from the VAG parts bin, Seat just released the Ateca this year, making for its very first SUV. But like all crossovers/SUVs these days, the Ateca is hoping to broaden its appeal with an off-roader-esque variant. Enter the X-Perience Concept.

Of course, I feel like the “concept” part of that name is a bit generous, considering the limited number of new ideas this thing showcases. Included in the exterior are some new skid plates, new bumper trim, a little underbody cladding, and 18-inch wheels. Inside, there’s new upholstery, but the material upgrade is really just limited to new colors, like outdoor-friendly green and brown. There are also rubber floor mats. Power is derived from a 2.0-liter oil burner producing 187 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

In summary, it looks like Seat gave the Ateca the most basic of soft-roader upgrades, with very little consideration paid to whether or not it would actually work in the rough stuff. The end result is bland and cliché, which is a shame considering how cool off-roading concepts can be.

Read the full review here.

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
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I’m all for EV’s. Seriously – I think the all-electric vehicle segment is one of the most exciting sectors of the industry right now. There’s so much cool development happening there, and new innovations seem to spring up every single day. Unfortunately, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive won’t be contributing a whole lot.

Let’s start with the exterior, where we find pretty much the same stuff as the internal combustion-driven car, including a wide variety of customization options. No problem there – it looks just fine.

Next is the interior, where again we find a lot of the predecessor’s equipment carried over. Of course, there are a few new gauges here and there to keep tabs on the electricity supply, and all in all, I can’t find fault in it.

But here’s the kicker – the powertrain. Making the go is a single electric motor producing 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque, which is sufficient for a car like the Smart ForTwo, but unfortunately, range is limited at just 99 miles-per-charge.

Let me repeat that – 99 miles. That’d be fine in 2011, but these days, that’s just not up to snuff. Next time, let’s go for three digits, m’kay?

Read the full review here.

Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross

2016 Suzuki S-Cross High Resolution Exterior
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Another day, another crossover. This one is from Suzuki, which transformed its SX4 hatchback into this lifted compact crossover thing called the S-Cross.

So please, remind me – at what point is a car not a crossover, but simply a hatchback on stilts? Well, I think we found the answer. Sure, it offers a good amount of space, but every time you talk about this thing’s practicality, you’ve gotta qualify your statement by saying “… for the car’s size.”

I guess it could be worse. I guess it could be much larger and much more expensive, so at least Suzuki has that going for it. But still, this thing just feels like a concession to ceaseless demand for more and more crossovers.

Read our full review here.

Lexus NX Sport

Cosmetic Improvements Put The Spotlight On The Lexus NX Sport
- image 690452

Speaking of ceaseless demand for more and more crossovers, Lexus is providing us with yet another look at its compact NX five-door. The reason? Well, it’s got new trim, enough in fact to seemingly justify a whole new designation that’s (get ready for it) sporty.

So what exactly are the upgrades that supposedly inject this SUV with performance intentions? Well, there’s a blacked-out grill up front, black mirror housings, and unique 18-inch wheels. Inside, you’ll find leather upholstery and silver trim.

But what about the engine or suspension? What about the things that actually make it, you know, sporty? All stock as a rock. Excuse me as I yawn.

Like the Seat, this thing is more about perception than reality. Sure, you could perform the majority of the upgrades offered here in your driveway with a spray can, but that kills the illusion of performance, right? Right?

Read the full review here.


That’s it for the Worst In Show from Paris, and I’m sure there are more than a few of you out there with hurt feelings. Or maybe not – maybe we hit the nail on the head with these picks. Let us know which in the comments below.

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