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Community Manager

The 10 biggest design letdowns of the last 30 years?

Ever loved a conceptual design from an automaker only to be let down by the actual model that rolls off the assembly line?  Things got a lot tougher for automakers in the last 30 years: safety, insurance, emissions, global platform sharing, etc. all make car designs far more constrained than they used to be. 


Here's my biggest letdown, the Pontac Aztek: 




Community Manager

Okay, maybe the Aztek is the lowest of the low hanging fruit.   How about the Ford Contour concept vs. the 1996 Taurus? 




New Driver

The Chrysler Crossfire. What an Awesome design, and RWD to boot. But with a V6, who cared?lutterbach-france-november-rear-view-red-chrysler-crossfire-parked-street-lutterbach-france-november-rear-view-red-163487457.jpg

New Driver

I will throw the new Lexus grille on the fire - looks like a deranged electric razor.



Intermediate Driver

The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. Granted, the concept wasn't that well known, but the expectation of the usage of the name warrants inclusion to this list. The new Bronco being such a knock out just adds a truckload of salt to that wound for Blazer/Jimmy fans like myself.

Pit Crew

Pit Crew

The Cross fire was one great design it both fastback and convertible.

They should bring it back and build less SUV's.

In fact, bring back the old Station Wagons. The were more comfortable, carried more passengers and lovely to look at.

Pit Crew

Chrysler LH vs Lambo Portofino 
Got a chance to finally see it in person at the 2018 Eyes on Design show at Edsel Ford's place.  Bit rough, but striking!


Pit Crew

Oh Cadillac!  STUNNING Ciel, Escala and Elmiraj Concepts vs. anything they've put into production the past 10 years, with the Converj Concept perhaps the only notable exception given how beautifully executed the ELR was.  Not so much a design letdown here.  Cadillac's "N'est-ce pas?" marketing pretension, pricing $20K too high and performing too low (vs Volt) were the reasons for the true disappointment as it sold only from 2014-2016 and in substantially fewer numbers than expected.

I had the pleasure of driving the ELR in an electrified road rally that provided a truly extended opportunity to admire the design, build quality and ride.  Truly an exceptional car.  Still considering picking one up in the used market.  Despite unicorn status and CUE failures it's now one helluva used value!


Community Manager

Wow I completely forgot about the Converj!