Thursday, June 5, 2014

US Worst Car Of 2011

Original source :
Posted : January 2012
Author : Bill Howard

We had just seen the US Best 10 Tech Cars of 2011, with all the thrills and frills that they have to offer. No doubt, there will be lots of choices for the customers. Now that we had seen the upper end of the ladder, what about the lower end? Here is the answer - the US worst car of 2011

Worst Car of the Year (tie): Fiat 500
Soave. Laura Soave. Say it like “Bond. James Bond.” Fiat hired a rising young exec from Detroit with the right name to oversee Fiat’s re-entry into the United States. That was the last thing that went right. The car was weak on power, handling, technology, and noise insulation -– weak on everything but cute. When cute translates to “appeals to women,” the synonym is Chick Car. That’s the kiss of death (think VW Rabbit convertible). Early buyers who tool around Hollywood with the top down on the Fiat 500 won’t care about much of handling or luggage space (nil), but once the fad wears off, there’ll be a glut of used Fiat 500s, as there is of new and unsold Fiat 500s. First-year sales are likely to be half Fiat’s initial projections. In comparison, Mini has been in the US for a decade and sales have gone up almost every year. Mini appealed to both men and women, came quickly with performance versions where Fiat has yet to launch its Abarth (performance tech) models, and even now it remains the cheapest high-status car on the market. Where Mini used creative advertising including the web, heavily, a decade ago, Fiat spent big bucks hiring Jennifer Lopez as spokesmodel for the car except the Girl from the Bronx never went back to the Bronx to film her TV commercials (she was shot in a Hollywood studio while a lookalike did the NYC scenes), one of the cars broke down during filming, and when J Lo pitched the car on a prime time awards show, she got locked out.

Worst Car of the Year (tie): Chevrolet Sonic
Chevrolet went from one of the industry’s worst subcompacts (Chevrolet Aveo) to one of the best (Chevrolet Sonic) in terms of fit and finish, handling, and savvy design. So the award Chevy doesn’t want isn’t so much for worst car of 2011 as it is the Hopeless Misunderstanding of the Intended Buyer Award. Chevy says the Sonic targets first-car-out-of-college buyers, the very market segment that cannot imagine life without an MP3 player and cellphone. Unfortunately (see review) Chevy keeps Bluetooth and the USB adapter unavailable on the entry model (20% of production), extra cost on the midrange (60%), and standard only on the top trim line (20%). Chevy couldn’t have done worse if its TV ads were backed by Wham! or Hootie and the Blowfish because they were cool when Chevy execs were in college. Chevy also won’t offer built-in navigation because it costs too much on $15,000 cars, they say, but will offer rudimentary OnStar navigation (directional arrow on the radio faceplate) for $300 a year; note that other GM brands are starting to offer SD card-based navigation for $795. It’s real simple: The CD is dead (CD changer deader), the iPod has staying power, Bluetooth is essential. Chevrolet seems to have heard, belatedly, and by the end of 2012 the USB adapter and Bluetooth will be more widely available. So this is likely a one-time award.

~Blog Admin~

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