Top 10 Cars You’ll Forget Ever Existed, if You Haven’t Already

19

Lincoln Zephyr

Utterly forgettable, the Zephyr went on sale in 2006 aimed at young luxury buyers as a replacement to the rear-wheel drive LS.

Generally uninspiring, the 3.5-liter version equipped with all-wheel drive can be had for cheap. That’s probably because sales turned out to be a bigger flop than Stephen Feck’s failed dive at the London Olympics.

Further ensuring the Zephyr won’t be remembered, Lincoln then made the switch away from proper names, changing the car to the MKZ. As a result the Zephyr was sold only for the 2006 model year.


Nissan 200SX

Sold from 1995 to 98 then unceremoniously expunged from the Nissan lineup, the 200SX could be compared to a skinny kid at football tryouts.

Front-wheel drive with a shift knob like a yardstick, the 200SX looked and drove like a dork next to the rear-drive 240SX.


Chrysler Aspen

This is what happens when someone lets a PT Cruiser and a Dodge Durango flirt after too many cocktails. But ugly cars scan sell from time to time, so what bested this beast?

At the time, Chrysler was still crying and shoveling back Ben and Jerry’s after being dumped by Daimler. Unsurprisingly, the company’s work suffered and the Aspen was one of the casualties.


Kia Borrego

Produced from 2008 until last year, the Borrego was a three-row SUV from Kia penned by former Audi design chief Peter Schreyer.

Unfortunately for Kia, nobody wanted to drop $40,000 on a bargain bin bruiser when the same cash could buy a Toyota 4Runner or Jeep Grand Cherokee. Gas prices and the 2008 economy couldn’t have helped either.


Ford 500

Meant as an answer to updated full-size sedans like the Toyota Avalon, the Ford 500 failed to fix fashion foibles committed in the Crown Victoria and Taurus sedans.

Rather than bothering to build something that actually looked good, Ford’s approach to designing the 500 was like a trip to the clearance rack.


Infiniti M45

Known today for its curvaceous cars, Infiniti’s name hinges on having luxury that looks different than the rest. Unfortunately for the M45, a renamed version of the Japanese Nissan Gloria, the car looked more like Snoopy from Peanuts than a stylish luxury car.

Only offered as a 2003 and 2004 model, Infiniti doubled back to the drawing board to draft something more in line with the brand’s look. One of the few on the list we’ll actually miss, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for a rear-drive 340-hp V8 luxury sedan.


Saturn L Series

Saturn had some smart branding before it went belly-up, but the L-Series isn’t a part of that.

Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords are often accused of being bland, but those are like jalapenos next to the L Series.


Hyundai XG350

Until the Genesis sedan, watching Hyundai try to sell luxury cars was more painful than an anesthesia-free root canal. The XG350 is evidence of that.

Following the same formula the company does today, it was longer, wider and better equipped than a comparably priced luxury car. Unfortunately, the Hyundai name still sounded cheaper than hot dogs and baked beans, which made it a tough sell.


Lexus ES250

Lexus never wanted to build the ES250. As an unabashedly re-badged Camry, it was meant as a stopgap for dealers in case the LS didn’t sell.

But it did, and the ES250 didn’t, which actually meant it flopping was sort of a sick success.


Suzuki Forenza

With lineage confusing like a hillbilly family tree, the Suzuki Forenza has had several names across its history in the world market.

As fallout from Korean automaker Daewoo’s failed stab at selling cars in America, Suzuki tried palming it off with the Forenza name. Sales started in 2004 and ended in 08, replaced by the SX4.

  • Awyse

    Wow some of those were right on the money.. I can imagine how good this would be as a researched article. Ford 500.. Ford should have tried to remarked the Taurus imagine rather than rename it 500.. The figured that out later..
    And, the Chrysler Aspen.. After Diamler took all the Chrysler assets and technology.. They dumped the broke and crippled remains and when it was up to the government to step in. They were informed there would be no bailout if the Aspen and Durango were going to be sold because consumers want fuel efficient cars not large SUVs.. They were told drop that, and take a partner to build fuel efficient cars. Oddly.. GM was allowed to keep the Tahoe and Suburban..

  • ToxicR/TChallenger

    I’ve owned a 2008 Signature Series Limited Aspen in Cool Vanilla with the 5.7L HEMI since it was new. Chrysler gave me a lifetime warranty on the powertrain/drivetrain as long as I’m the original owner. I was actually looking at a Mercedes or Escalade when I suddenly became aware this SUV existed. There was little to no marketing for it. I’ve owned over 20 cars/trucks and this by far one of my favorites. I completely agree with Awsye, the Aspen was a victim of high fuel prices and Chrysler’s financial woes after Diamler bailed out. All one has to do is look up “actual owner reviews” to know how far off his opinion is. Not to mention the Aspen out tows its larger competitors. I’ll keep mine for as long as I’m on this earth even though I’ve had owners of an Escalade, Hummer H3, and a Lexus GX 470 offer to trade me for it. Even a dealership begged me to sell it to them 4 times now because there’s still a high demand for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.russo.9849 Chris Russo

    A lexus owner would never want that sorry SUV.

  • Zanegrey

    r u nuts?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WARHPIUDW3WXLHQ73P2JHKIQXY Danny

    And the Lexus ES is still a rebadged camry after all these years.  Sigh.

  • Colum Wood
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1566870276 Ken D Simon

    Go and drive an ES versus a top-spec XLE Camry. They’re not anymore.

  • Jimmy

    Wrongo. The new one is an Avalon 😉

  • TJ

    The ES and the camry barely shared 20% of there platform so its not a readged camry but does share some parts with camry. New ES runs avalon wheelbase but very different platform. 

  • DC2Teg

    Apparently he is talking about the plain 200sx, and not the SE-R, which came with the SR20DE 4 cyl, a non turbo version of the sr20 that came in 240sx’s overseas. A Very stout car, can be made VERY fast, and handles pretty good too.  Not the best car, but it got good gas mileage. I had two of them.  Very fun. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=654540452 John Robinson

    Hey autoguide, it’s 2012 hire a web guy who can set it up so just the picture changes rather than loading an entirely new page for each car on the list.

  • Evan L

    i could never forget my Ford Five Hundred. sure it was a pain in the balls to do maintenance on, but i had no problems until 150k miles, at which point, any vehicle would either be dead or dying. plus i built a great sound system into it, and it was my first car :) also, for as huge of a car as it is, it actually gets reasonable gas milage. traded it for a Hyundai Veloster to get amazing fuel efficiency while I’m in college, but im considering buying another Five Hundred as a second vehicle, if i do, itll be heavily modded and probably have a drivetrain conversion and have a V8

  • Landsart

    I dont know about cars dying after 150 K miles , my 81 240 D has 299926 miles , perfect condition 

  • BLONGMATE

    CORRECT, THE ZEPHYR WAS BUILT JUST THE ONE YEAR IN 2006, HOWEVER, ITS ONLY AVAILABLE ENGINE WAS THE DURATEC 3.0 LITRE  –  THE 3.5 L BECAME THE STANDARD ENGINE AVAILABLE IN THE 2007 & ALL SUBSEQUENT MODELS OF THE UPDATED LINCOLN
    MKZ, AS WELL, THE FORD TAURUS. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ethan324 Ethan Smith

    Um, the Zephyr wasn’t available with the 3.5 V6.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NAKFN7DKVQW3BN44T54UWPPO4U Mark

    It’s unfortunate about the Infiniti M45, it was a really fantastic car and drop dead gorgeous.  Yes, it’s exterior design was a bit retro, reminding me of a Japanese take on the Crown Vic, but good god, what a great look it is!

  • http://twitter.com/hajime1990 Hajime1990

    That Zephyr actually looks better than some of the Lincolns sold today…

  • Oumar DiAllO

    The aspen wasn’t that bad looking for its time IMO

  • Chris Garnett

    i owned a 500, it was a beautiful car, i only traded it, cause i couldn’t find anyone that could fix it, and turns out it was the catilitic converters were plugged, which sucks, if it wasn’t for that, i’d still be driving it

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