Top 10 Cars That Don’t Get the Respect They Deserve

Top 10 Cars That Don’t Get the Respect They Deserve

Like the late, great comedian Rodney Dangerfield said, some cars don’t get no respect.

Whatever the reason, there’s a select group of misfit vehicles that most people have given up on, ignored or never gave a fair chance to in the first place. Do they all deserve such disrespect? A few definitely do, but others do not. Some of the shunned automobiles are quite good and don’t warrant the unfortunate connotation that’s been applied to them. We’re talking about vehicles like the 10 listed below. These top 10 most underrated cars are actually quite good and don’t get the respect they deserve, regardless of what you might have heard.

2016 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid

Acura RLX Sport Hybrid

The Acura RLX is one of the most forgotten large luxury cars on the market. It’s the brainy, yet plain looking person in the corner at the high school dance. Lacking any real style or high-end performance, the RLX looks noncompetitive on paper. But the Sport Hybrid has a lot to offer. With 377 total system horsepower and torque vectoring all-wheel drive, the RLX can carry five adults in luxury while still achieving 28 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway; all at a price starting just more than $60,000.

2016 Buick Verano Turbo

Buick Verano Turbo

The poor Buick Verano is the unloved middle child. Some look at it as an overpriced Chevrolet Cruze, while others see it as a compact that can’t compete with the luxury heavyweights. In reality, the Verano is neither. It’s a premium compact car like the Acura ILX that for just over $30,000 comes with a 250-hp turbocharged engine and the choice of a six-speed manual transmission. Add in a stylish interior and sophisticated exterior, and the Verano really should be on more buyers shopping lists.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cars You Probably Forgot Are Still For Sale

2016 Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS

With Cadillac’s onslaught of performance-oriented, rear-wheel-drive-based vehicles of late; the XTS has been lost in the wash. It may be the most passenger-orientated Cadillac in the lineup, but that’s the point. Having ridden in as many XTS sedans as I’ve driven, it’s a great option for drivers who routinely carry passengers as well as a stylish alternative for fleet companies over some other ungainly coach options. But it’s not the grandparent-approved DTS reincarnated. It’s full of technology and there’s still a 420-hp, all-wheel drive V-Sport option for those looking to up the performance.

2016 Dodge Journey R/T

Dodge Journey

The Dodge Journey is old – Pontiac and Mercury still sold cars when it was introduced. And after eight years on the market, many write the Journey off as being out of date and obsolete. But over its life cycle, there have been a host of updates including the addition of the much more powerful Pentastar V6 a few years ago. It seems not all consumers ignore the Journey, however, as sales continue to be strong despite its age. Why? It offers seven-passenger seating in a package that’s smaller and cheaper than almost every other three-row crossover out there.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is a “love it or hate it” vehicle. The so-called “real truck guys” would never, ever give this unibody, crossover-with-a-bed a second look. But there is a large market out there for such a vehicle, as not everyone needs a big, half-ton pickup truck. Now entering its second generation of production, it appears it might have some competition from other car-based pickups soon and I’m sure the haters will despise them just as much, but the reality is that many people don’t really need more truck than this.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Honda Ridgeline Video, First Look

2016 Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

Maybe Honda never should have marketed the CR-Z as a spiritual successor to the CR-X. With such a rabid CR-X fan base, the CR-Z was doomed for failure the second it was announced that it would feature a hybrid drivetrain. Fun, quirky and efficient, the CR-Z isn’t a bad car – far from it actually. It’s quite an entertaining car on its own merits. But that didn’t matter to those hoping for a reasonably priced, smiling-inducing rebirth of the CR-X. The CR-Z’s high price point and low power figures just didn’t do it for them.

2016 Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50

Another vehicle that’s seemingly been around forever, the QX50 is, without a doubt, dated. But that’s makes it so good. While a lot of its competitors have gone to turbocharged four-cylinders and/or front-wheel drive-bias platforms, the QX50 has not. The Infiniti’s big, brawny V6 delivers a ton of smooth power primarily to the rear wheels through a proper torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. So what if it has poor fuel economy and the interior switch gear is from when George W. was in office? The QX50 is still a fun-to-drive crossover, and this year, it is a bit longer, so passengers can now actually fit in the back seat.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Infiniti QX50 AWD Review


Lincoln Navigator

You know the deal. The Navigator is a rap-video-starring dinosaur. A relic from a bygone era of large, body-on-frame SUV monsters.  Well, that all may be true, but the Navigator still has a lot to offer. Now equipped with the 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine, the Navi makes a ton of power while using slightly less fuel. Best of all, it can still tow a boat, carry eight passengers and a ton of cargo all in quiet, serene comfort.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi has been having a tough time in North America lately and many assume it’s because the brand’s products are not very good. That isn’t exactly accurate, as a few models are decently competitive, like the Outlander, for example. Along with the Dodge Journey, it’s the only small crossover to offer three-row seating and a V6 engine option. The exterior has been refreshed to look less polarizing and some of the options available are downright fantastic – like the Rockford Fosgate Audio system that will blow third row passengers right out of the rear hatch. Is the Outlander a class leader? No, but it’s nowhere near the worst, either.

The 2016 smart fortwo

Smart Fortwo

No car in recent history has probably been the butt of more jokes than the Smart Fortwo – it’s like the Justin Bieber of the automotive world. When it comes to the first two generations of the Fortwo, some of those jokes are warranted. But with the all-new 2016 model, forget everything you thought you knew about the smart car. Better in every conceivable way the smart has gone from city car novelty to subcompact car alternative.

SEE ALSO: We Took a 2016 Smart Fortwo on a Long-Distance Road Trip in a Snow Storm

  • smartacus

    My long-winded take on the old vs new smart car and it’s not positive:

    i actually went to the smart center (because it was next to the Mercedes building) with my key-chain tape measure on me.
    – new 453 car’s parcel shelf area is shorter, narrower, aaand shallower than the old 451. [Same thing with the tailgate storage bins]

    -From what i saw; the old car had very useful cubby holes on either side of the steering wheel, The new car gets by with an ashtray sized pocket in the lower dash (on the passenger side)

    -I noticed the old car had a comparatively cavernous glovebox, the new one is much less spacious.

    -The new one doesn’t have that ledge running the length of the mid-dash which can support CD jewel cases and smart phones.

    -The old one’s engine bay cover had a singular screw fastener, the new one has 6.
    At first; i thought this is good; more screws means tighter fit, with less heat leakage, but…
    the new car no longer has a carpet hook to hold it up. That’s gonna be a pain holding up the carpet while undoing not 1 but 6 screws.

    -Finally; the gas mileage. From what they told me, they are about equal.
    The MPG was probably good when introduced in 2008. But now in 2016, the Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Mirage, etc. all have improved significantly.

  • Jay Maggio

    You had my interest until I saw that the Smart car made your list. 🙁

  • Craig

    But now you can get it with a manual transmission. And to me – it was/is that awful automatic that was mostly responsible for it being such an awful thing to drive.

  • Christopher Schaffer

    Read the title and the tagline…these vehicles get no respect because rags like these pummel them in reviews. The Dodge Journey gets no respect because it’s garbage.

  • johnls39 .

    Not sure why the XTS and Verano should be on this list. Although sales are not the greatest, I believe they are well received by the public than what AutoGuide have you believe. Although, I don’t care for the Navigator, it is still regarded as a great alternative to vehicles like the Escalade and Range Rover.

  • thatguy88

    Cars that doesn’t deserve to be on this list & the reason(s) why:

    – The Dodge Journey is cheap, outdated, noncompetitive garbage.
    – The Mitsubishi Outlander is ALSO cheap, outdated, noncompetitive garbage, with a useless third row and a horrific V6/CVT combo.
    – The Smart Car deserves no positive mention on any positive list whatsoever. It is a genuine POS, a fashion accessory, a poor excuse of a car.

  • Jim Brashear

    Kia Cadenza SXL. Thing is as nice as a BMW 528, and priced in the 40s. People turn their nose up because it’s a Kia, but it’s a great car.

  • dankbeamz

    what sort of crack are you smoking? no kia will ever be “as nice” as a BMW. even if it was, they are still a long ways ahead from getting the same brand recognition.

  • dankbeamz

    the Mazda 6 100% deserves to be on this list. scratch all the american piece of shit on this list that are noncompetitive and bought by absolutely no one and put some real cars on this list

  • mick

    Don’t forget the Ridgeline. Hey, look, I can just put my sandwich on the seat next to me. I don’t really need a pseudo-pickup, car, gimmick, thing after all.

  • mick

    Yeah, but you can rip out the engine and replace it with one out of a Suzuki Hayabusa and all sorts of fun.

  • smartacusⓊ

    that’s true!!!
    you can rip out the old one’s engine and replace it with a Busa engine.
    You can’t do that with the new one.

  • thatguy88

    I sincerely disagree. I like the Ridgeline because it’s not only different, it’s better at most urban tasks than any other truck in its class. Some people don’t want a truck specifically for work; some people just need something for basic hauling and utility yet don’t want an SUV. That’s why my parents bought an ’01 Toyota Tundra SR5 V8 years ago, and it was one of the best vehicles my family ever had.

  • thatguy88

    There was more. The short wheelbase made it too darty and inconsistent to drive, and the visibility, though good, took more time getting used to than expected. Fact is, the Smart wasn’t really engineered for our market. I give credit to the company for trying something niche, but for now, it has a long way to prove its usefulness here in the States.

    Also, the older engine required premium fuel, negating the point of getting a car that small and economical in the first place. I heard the new engine remedies this, but the fuel economy is still disappointing compared to many other vehicles.