Top 10 Worst Selling Vehicles of 2012

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

After checking out the top 10 best selling vehicles of last year, it’s now time to take a look at the worst performers on dealerships lots.

It isn’t a huge surprise to see the Volvo C30 on the list at 10th place, considering the Swedish automaker decided to give the vehicle the axe at the end of 2012. The Volvo C30 was on the market for six years in North America and sold only 26,000 units.

It may be a surprise to see a BMW on the list, but the Z4 has always been a car for an extremely niche market. The roadster will be getting an update for the 2014 model year which may help boost sales some, but with a starting MSRP of $47,350, it’s still not the cheapest route to go for a sporty convertible.

The Audi TT is starting to show its age, and its sales are reflecting the outdated styling. The German automaker is currently working on the third-generation model, which is set to debut next year. Audi has been working on mixing design elements from the original TT, which actually was more successful than the current iteration.

The Tribeca is undoubtedly the least-loved model in the Subaru lineup, and rumors have been ongoing for its demise. The Japanese automaker has denied the speculation, despite the model struggling on the market since its debut in 2005. Last year, the Tribeca sold 2,075 units which reflects a continue drop over the years.

Last year was a rough year for Suzuki, with the Japanese automaker ceasing operations in America. So no real surprise that Suzuki’s pickup truck ended up on the list of worst-selling vehicles in 2012, despite its cheap price. Even with an MSRP of $17,999, it wasn’t enough to persuade buyers that the Equator was a good bang for the buck.

With a high price tag of $63,060, the Cadillac Escalade EXT landed itself in 5th place moving a mere 1,934 units throughout last year. Undoubtedly increasing gas prices didn’t help the Escalade’s selling point, but its outdated styling is its biggest deterrent at the dealership. The American automaker will continue to focus on style over mpg though, even for its next-generation model.

The Nissan GT-R’s MSRP has continued to grow every year, though limited production is also to blame for it landing on the list. The GT-R will continue to live up as one of the ultimate sports cars from Japan and don’t let it fool you that it’s on the list of worst selling cars of 2012.

Another model that got the axe last year, the Acura ZDX’s poor sales finally gave it a quiet death in the marketplace. Despite getting plenty of styling and technology updates for the upcoming model year, the Japanese automaker has already confirmed that the crossover will be discontinued and Acura looks forward to the future without it.

For decades, the Lancer Evolution model was Mitsubishi’s sports car for the ages, but the plain ‘ol Lancer simply didn’t make the impact the Japanese automaker hoped. Selling a meager 702 units last year, the Lancer Sportback was also the third worst-selling vehicle in 2011. Its MSRP of $18,495 certainly leaves a bit to be desired, especially considering all the other alternatives out there in that price range.

And the honors of the worst-selling vehicle of 2012 goes to Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV, the Japanese automaker’s electric car offering. Only 588 units sold last year, as the subcompact vehicle struggled to pick up ground even though it’s under $30,000. Despite being the must fuel-efficient car offered in America with a 126 MPGe rating in the city and 99 on the highway, the i-MiEV’s disappointing crash ratings and poor range has resulted in poor sales.

[Source: Autoblog]

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • MistyGreen MistyGreen on Jan 08, 2013

    If the Lancer Sportback was priced competitively, it would sell. It looks good among the hatchbacks, it's just not worth the money. Also, autoguide, why include the GT-R, but not ? Was this only including cars below $100K?

  • Nonymous Nonymous on Jan 08, 2013

    The Acura ZDX isundisputedthe worstvehicleon that list,When you take into consideration how big/respected amanufacturer Acura is and howidenticalit was to the MDX in everything but functionality/usability. Take an MDX don't make it any lighter, faster, better turning, don't give it improved fuel economy, then take away usable rear seats and storage space. It has the same basic shape of aPontiacAztek but is nowhere near as useful. awful awful awful design, in 87 years it's easily going to be a top contender for the worstvehicleof the century.It represents ALL the bad characteristics of the CUV craze, it's fantastically bad, almost comically bad. It's like it's a troll vehicle just made tolambastethe crossovers concept.