In 2010, of the 57,641 Pontiac owners that purchased a car, 53.3% of them bought a vehicle from General Motors, according to a survey conducted by RL Polk & Co. It seems that 33.5% bought a Chevrolet, 11.7% a GMC, 6.7% a Buick and the last 1.5% got behind the wheel of a Cadillac. Within the rest of the Big Three, Ford grabbed 10.5% of former Pontiac buyers, Dodge caught 3.2% while Jeep and Chrysler together totaled 1.7%.
Those Pontiac owners that decided to buy a non-GM car went overseas, and 31% chose an import: Toyota 7.7%; Honda 7.5%, while Nissan and Hyundai were not far behind these figures. These numbers show us that the customers that chose a Pontiac in the past stuck with a big name / high volume car manufacturer when time came to buy a new car.
One of the ugliest cars of the last decade has to be the Pontiac Aztek. I was very surprised to find out that General Motors made this thing for almost five years! General Motors wanted to sell 50,000 units but they only managed to sell fewer than 30,000, which is still a lot in my opinion.
One of the reasons of why this car was terrible is because GM decided to keep the costs down with the Aztek and they’ve used an existing minivan platform. Their choice lead to the destruction of the car’s original proportions and resulted a very weird-looking vehicle. One of the officials of the company said: “by the time it was done, it came out as this horrible, least-common-denominator vehicle where everyone said, ‘How could you put that on the road?”
The Pontiac Aztek was a hunch-baked, contrived, plastic-clad, trying-too-hard SUV and it was doomed to fail ever since the first production model rolled off the assembly line.
Here we are at the final part of our extensive article where we will conclude the top 50 of the worst cars in all history. If you aren’t up to date with the first 40, you will find the others parts here: 1, 2, 3 and 4. In the first parts we have seen them all: some big cars, some small cars, others were very beautiful, others not so much. Keep reading to find the other ten left; there are a couple of surprises.
Speaking of, you never thought that the Ford Explorer was eligible for this top. Most of you will disagree with the reason why we included it here. First of all, remember that the Explorer is the best-selling passenger vehicle in North America for over 14 years. It is a car very beloved especially by moms who enjoy picking up their kids with this popular SUV. The reason for including it is not because of the Firestone tire controversy as some of you might expect. The reason is because the Ford Explorer is responsible for setting United States on the spiral of automotive obesity that we are very much still contending it today. After the Explorer, cars got bigger and bigger as most of us believe that a big bad car is safer (which is not entirely true). We now have cars that haven’t heard about the term fuel-efficiency and some of them are just too big, like the Hummer, both the H2 and the H3.
The EV1 was introduced by General Motors back in 1997 and it was without exaggerating, a marvel of engineering. It was by far the best electric car of those times and it promised that pretty soon, electric cars will going to replace our piston-powered engine vehicles. First of all, the reason why it is worthy of a place here is because it didn’t live up to that promise as it was very expensive to make, the battery technology in the late 90s was nowhere near ready to replace our conventional cars. In addition, the EV1 was an uberlight 2-seater, not to the liking of the Americans.
While some of you make like the design, we hate it – the Plymouth Prowler was the project of mid 90s new powerful computer tools that were capable of high-zoot projects that in the past wouldn’t have recovered the development costs. The design of the Plymouth was inspired (or even stolen) by a retro-roadster design by Chip Foose and made this car look like a dry-lake speedster from the 22nd century. We mentioned hotrod, well it wasn’t. Packing a run-of-the-mill 3.5-liter V6 engine that churned 250 hp, it wasn’t fast at all. In addition, this power unit was linked to an automatic transmission, which means that it wasn’t able to lay down the requisite stripes of hot rubber.
Here is in my opinion one of the ugliest cars in the world – the Fiat Multipla. The name was used by the Italian company for the first time in the 1950s and 1960s for a microvan which was based on the lovely 600 model. The one that was launched in 1998 was nothing like its predecessors. With its very strange front appearance that looks like it had several sets of eyes, the Multipla also had a very bulky cabin.
General Motors had the Hummer H2 while Ford had the Excursion, which was (and still is in production), a gigantic sport utility vehicle that is based on the firm’s Super Duty truck platform. It has a weight of 7,000 lbs and measures almost 19 ft. long and 6.5 ft. tall! Enough said.
Jaguar needed a car to compete against the Mercedes C-Class and the BMW 3-Series. Based on the Ford Mondeo platform, the company launched an entry-level model – the X-Type. In their struggle to turn a FWD compact car into an AWD sports sedan, the British ran smack into the limits of platform engineering. The car that resulted after this project is the British version of the Cadillac Cimarron, a financial disaster for Jaguar. The car wasn’t that bad but ruined the Jaguar name.
Here is another ugly car, the Pontiac Aztek. In the concept version, the car looked very cool but the production model was reduced to a bulky, plastic-clad automotive mess. The car was a pretty good crossover but judging by its appearance, you had to be pretty insane to buy one.
Here is another one that most of you will not agree with us, the BMW 7-Series. Why? Because of that annoying iDrive rotary dial/joystick controller located on the center console that made BMW owners pull out their hair. This thing was very hard to work with and sometimes, borderline impossible. Its second flaw was that awful-looking bubble butt. Other than that, the car was astonishing! Good thing that with the new generation they have redesigned the back of the car which looks great and they also updated the iDrive system.
We mentioned the Hummer before; it had to make it into our list. The H2 deserves a spot in our top because of its awful looks and the fact that it does about 10 miles per gallon. If you are looking for a road-eligible tank, the Hummer H2 is the solution.
The last car from our article is the Chevy SSR. Although Chrysler and General Motors are in the same town, the latter didn’t learn from the Prowler disaster. GM decided to make the Chevy SSR, which was an awesome-looking hotrod slash pickup that had a composite body as well as a cool convertible top. Due to the fact that the car borrowed the mechanicals and the chassis from GM’s corporate midsize sport utility vehicle program, the car was very heavy and underpowered, making it very lazy on the road. Although Chevrolet upgraded the SSR in the years to come, it was too late.
This concludes our extensive article about 50 of the worst cars ever made. We hope that you liked it.
After 84 years of existence and about 40 million vehicles sold, on Saturday, October 31, Pontiac was officially pronounced dead. Marketed as GM’s performance division and living some glorious years in the past, Pontiac had an awful fate in the last decade, forcing GM to officially announce the company’s funeral.
Pontiac’s best years were the ’60s and the ’70s, especially after the GTO, the car that started the muscle car movement, was launched in 1964 and peaking with 1973, when 920,000 Pontiacs were sold, making it the third most sold brand in the United States. Since then, the company started going down and even though efforts were made in the ’90s and ’00s to revive it, 2009 was the year GM announced what everyone was expecting, that Pontiac will disappear by the end of 2010. And they kept their word. R.I.P. Pontiac!
As such, 2005-2008 Toyota Corolla and Matrix models, as well as specific 2005-2008 Pontiac Vibe vehicles, will be called back to dealerships. The engine control modules will be replaced for the 1.8-liter unit, so that stalling issues will be a thing of the past.
While many carmakers are busy hyping up their products at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, General Motors is busy with other things. After shaking up its corporate structure for increased profitability, the company has now issued a voluntary recall, affect 1.3 million vehicles.
The models in question include 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2005-2010 Pontiac G5, 2005-2006 Pontiac G4 and 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit. The problem stems from the motors of the Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system, which can fail over time and result in a lack of help from the power steering.
While at higher speeds the lack of power steering might not be noticed, but when operating the car at low speeds, or parking it, the steering wheel will be extremely difficult to maneuver. The plans for the recall are still being drafted, but customers will soon receive a notice from GM to contact their local dealership.
In case you were wondering about buying a car this holiday season, then you might want to check out some of the brands from General Motors, as the large corporation will be hosting some major sales for all of the models built under its various brands.
“All of our efforts will be to sell down our remaining 2009 inventory,” said GM’s VP of sales, Susan Docherty. She revealed that each car brand will have its own distinct promotion, with Chevrolet hosting “Red Tag Sales”, Buick and GMC going with “Holiday Event” while Cadillac will go with the classic “Season’s Best.”
This is also a great time to get the remaining Pontiac and Saturn models from dealerships as Docherty revealed that only 10,000 Pontiacs and 8,000 Saturns are still in stock. “We’re actually winding down those products quicker than we had anticipated,” she revealed.
This is some clever marketing from GM, which might generate a nice amount of money during this holiday season.
The news that GM would drop the Pontiac brand and phase it out from the United States made many fans sad. But for those of you who still haven’t bought one and want to get a car which will most definitely become a collectible, the company posted on its Twitter account the number of cars still available at dealers across the US.
Starting with the highly coveted G8 GXP performance model, only 16 are left, while 570 G8 GT versions are on sale. If you want some fun with a coupe model, 139 Solstice versions are available, and 160 GXP ones. You will also be able to choose from 11,500 G5 models, 400 Torrent ones, 350 Vibe cars and 530 G6 GXP vehicles.
It is expected that the remaining parts and technology will be shipped to Australia, where GM’s Holden brand will continue to build various Pontiac models for that country. For more details you can follow Pontiac, and while you’re at it, you might want to follow our own Twitter account for the latest news.
Well here’s a certain blast from the past, it seems that tuning and customization company Lingenfelter has decided to revive the glorious Pontiac Trans Am, basing itself on the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro model.
Dubbed the 455 TA, it takes many of its styling cues from the 1971 Trans Am (not the famous Firebird one), and is powered by a massive 455 cubic inch (hence the name) engine, or for non-American readers, a 7.5-liter V8 with 655 HP and a torque of 610 lb-ft (826 Nm).
Although we only have a few sketches of the model, it is looking pretty good, giving the new Camaro a redesigned front fascia and rear end, a set of 20-inch honeycomb-style wheels with the obligatory wider tires, a hood scoop, air vents and, last but not least, a duck-tail spoiler.
According to the company, its interior will also be up to par, and remind many users of the original Trans Am models.
Overall, this is certainly a concept which many people will be glad to see at next weeks’ SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Ebay has always been a great source for pretty interesting cars. For example, earlier today we had the Mini Cooper S owned by former Playmate Sara Jean Underwood and now here’s another cool find. This Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 replica is based on a 2009 Pontiac Solstice roadster and it has a starting price of $63,244. Under the hood, there’s a 325 hp 4 cylinder engine which takes the face Lambo from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds. That’s pretty fast. I mean, not Lambo fast, but fast. I have to admit, the car looks pretty interesting, but I’d say it wouldn’t make any sense wasting that much money for a fake Lambo. There are tons of other awesome cars you could buy for that money. Also, check out two video after the jump.
We know, the title might sound really weird, but here’s what happened. The Clarke family, from Long Dittion, England, is very concerned about a black Pontiac Trans Am that has been parked in front of their house for about a month. But that’s no ordinary Trans Am, it has blacked out windows, 666 on the number plate and devils on all four wheels. We admit, that’s some we don’t see every day, but still, why would Satan drive a Trans Am?
“The car is like the spawn of the devil, it couldn’t look more evil if it tried. The only way it could look worse would be if it had horns. I’m beginning to think there is something dark and unexplained happening here. We want it moved from outside our house. The kids will be scared to knock on our doors to trick or treat. I have a serious concern people will associate us with satanic worshipping,” said Julian Clarke. He also added that “The number plate is 666, the number of the beast, and I’m worried that Halloween is coming up and the Satan is at our feet.”
So, unless Satan shows up this weekend, he’ll probably have his car towed away, because Mr. Clarke plans on calling the police to handle with this situation. It’s a crazy world we’re living in!
Post tags: Tags: Pontiac, pontiac trans am, satan, weird
Pontiac to drop the RWD G8?
A few years ago, Bob Lutz predicted that Pontiac will become some sort of American BMW, but it seems that things aren’t doing the great over there at GM. After GM announced that they dropped a possible Solstice replacement, there are some rumors going around recently about GM dropping the rear-wheel-drive G8, in about 5 years. This will mean that Pontiac will remain with the G5 and the upcoming G3, basically rebadged Chevrolet Cobalt and Aveo. Not exactly BMW material. Inside Line reports that these changes in Pontiac’s future plans were caused by the limited corporate resources and the fear of rising fuel-economy standards.
Looks like the folks from GM are really busy these days. After unveiling the new Volt a few days ago, today they released details on another new car for the United States, the 2009 Pontiac G3. Basically a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Aveo, the G3 will be powered by the 106 hp (79 kW) 1.6 liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.
“The small car segment has literally exploded in recent months, with sales up nearly 33 percent in the first six months of 2008 alone,” said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. “With its proven success in other markets, we felt the time was right to bring the G3 into the BPG portfolio for our U.S. customers.”
The 2009 Pontiac G3 will be available in the US starting with spring 2009 as a 2009 model and will be backed by GM’s five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
No El Camino, Pontiac’s new sport truck called “G8 ST”
With the “Tame the Name” promotion, GM tried to find the best name for the Pontiac G8 sport truck and their final decision was the “G8 ST”. Not very complicated, huh? Though a lot of us were expecting the “El Camino” name to be adopted, it seems that they’ve decided not to choose that name. “We actually thought very long about El Camino,” said Craig Bierley, BPG product marketing director for cars and crossovers. “In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino’s unique place as part of Chevy’s heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac.” After sifting through more than 18,000 possibilities, Pontiac has chosen to keep it simple, naming the recently revealed G8 sport truck the “ G8 ST.”
The Pontiac G8 ST basically creates a new niche, a sports car with truck-like cargo and towing capabilities. Sharing the basic architecture and 361 hp V8 engine as the G8 GT performance sedan, it will offer a 73.9-inch cargo bed that has 42.7 cubic feet of cargo space and can carry a payload of 1,000 pounds (453 kg) or tow a 3,500-pound (1,587 kg) trailer. The G8 ST will be available in late 2009 as a 2010 model and will be backed by GM’s industry best 100,000 mile, 5-year powertrain warranty. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.
Post tags: Tags: el camino, Pontiac, pontiac g8, pontiac go st
After a few days ago it showed up on the Pontiac website (Pontiac mistake or not?), the Pontiac Solstice Coupe was unveiled today at the New York Auto Show. Based on the roadster’s success and inspired by classic cars, the Solstice Coupe was created starting from the concept presented six years ago at Detroit.
The coupe is powered by a standard 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine that generates 173 horsepower (129 kW), while the GXP version is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine with 260 horsepower (194 kW). What’s interesting about the car also features a removable roof panel, which fully opens the cockpit.
Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager said: “Today’s Solstice is the top-selling roadster in the U.S., and we believe this new model has even broader appeal [...] The coupe has all the design cues and pleasing performance of the original roadster, and is an all-season alternative for people who enjoy open-air driving.”
Check out more photos of the Pontiac Solstice Coupe after the jump.