Today, Ford Focus is the most successful car in the world, which got us thinking…
Polk data announced this week that Ford Focus is the best-selling car in the world for the second year in a row, with sales topping 1,020,410 globally. And that got us thinking: What were the worst-selling cars of all time? Behold:
5. Cadillac Catera: 2001
Cars sold: 9,764
It’s hard to say if the Cadillac Catera, created to open the stogy old brand to a younger demographic, suffered more from its numerous recalls or its puzzling marketing campaign. Utilizing the line “the Caddy that zigs,” the Catera’s commercial featured Cindy Crawford (already an old-school model) talking to a cartoon wizard duck. Really.
4. Pontiac Aztek: 2005
Cars sold: 5,020
Created for younger drivers with an “outdoorsy” lifestyle, the Pontiac Aztek was quickly lampooned as one of the ugliest cars ever made. A writer from TIME, who was in the audience at the Detroit auto show when GM unveiled the Aztek, says he’ll never forget the gasp he heard from the crowd. “This car could not have been more instantly hated if it had a Swastika tattoo on its forehead,” he said. AndBloomberg reported that one GM official went on record as saying: “We’d fire the guy who greenlighted the Aztek if we could find anyone willing to admit it.”
3. The Yugo GV 1991
Cars sold: 4,000
If you haven’t heard of the Yugo GV, we’re sorry to be the ones forcing you to make its acquaintance. The vehicle made its U.S. debut at the 1984 Los Angeles Auto Show, and has since made more “worst car” round-ups than any other vehicle on this list. NPR’s Car Talk called it “the worst car of the millennium” and Popular Mechanics included it (along with the Cadillac Catera and the Pontiac Aztek) on its list of “Cars That Deserved to Fail.”
The car’s main problem can be summed up in one highly publicized story: In 1989, on a windy day in Michigan, a driver pulled her Yugo over on the Mackinac Bridge just in time for a 55 mile-an-hour gust of wind to blow the car over the edge. The driver was killed, and two years later, so was the Yugo.
2. Ford Edsel: 1960
Cars sold: 2,848
In its attempt to compete with GM’s line of mid-sized autos, Ford created one of the biggest flops in automobile history: a car that was over-stylized, over-priced, and over-hyped. The advertising campaign, which coyly presented the car through a blurred lens or wrapped under a tarp, was such a flop that an “edsel” is now colloquially used to describe a product that seems perfect in theory, but fails in “real life.”
5. Studebaker Wagenaire 1963-1966
Cars sold: 940
The Studebaker Wagenaire was a station wagon convertible (already a lot to swallow) — with the wrong part of the car converted. The roof slid forward, not back, creating a breezy feeling of freedom and luxury that could only be enjoyed by your luggage.
Most drivers don’t know when to stop for pedestrians and schoolchildren, results of a new quiz from CarInsurance.com show.
The average score was 75 percent.
Forty-four percent of the 500 drivers who answered 20 questions that are typically on a driver’s license test scored less than 80 percent, the passing grade in most states.
“The rules of the road are meant to reduce uncertainty and risk,” said CarInsurance.com managing editor Des Toups. “All you have to do is meet another car at a four-way stop to know that most of us leave a lot of that knowledge behind at the DMV.”
The most missed questions — all of which were pulled from state department of motor vehicles practice tests — involved pedestrians and school buses.
Fifty-eight percent missed this question:
Give the right of way to any pedestrian who is:
- In a marked crosswalk.
- In any crosswalk or intersection.
- Crossing any street.
(The correct answer is No. 3.)
Sixty-eight percent missed this question:
You are approaching a school bus that has stopped on the other side of a divided highway.
- Stop and wait for it to load or unload children.
- Stop, check for children, then proceed.
- Stop and wait until the flashing red lights go off.
- Watch for children and be ready to stop.
(The correct answer is No. 4.)
On the flip side, 93 percent of drivers got this question correct:
When should you use a horn?
- For warning purposes, such as to alert other drivers to an impending collision.
- To alert other drivers that they are doing something wrong.
- Whenever you feel like it.
- If a driver or bicyclist is going too slow.
(The correct answer is No. 1.)
“We may have great horn skills,” Toups noted, “but we’ve got some work to do otherwise. Not knowing the rules means you spend your time behind the wheel offended or unsure, and neither of those is very safe or productive.”
Women scored somewhat higher than men did, averaging 78 percent compared with 71 percent. Older drivers performed much better than younger drivers did, with those under age 40 scoring an average 67 percent compared with 79 percent for drivers over 40.
Three drivers out of 500 scored 100 percent: a woman, age 30, a woman, age 51, and a man, age 64.
Russian police have discovered companies on the Internet offering rides in “ambulance-taxis” through notoriously bad Moscow traffic. For roughly 6,000 rubles per hour – about $193 US, which doesn’t sound like much for a wealthy Russian – the ‘customer’ will get to cut through gridlock in an ambulance with flashing lights and the proper paint scheme outside but a refitted, leather-lined interior.
Police say they’ve already stopped one ambulance with a “strange” driver that was found to have a bunch of people in civilian clothing in the back. The National Post reports that police have been told to keep an eye on the emergency-looking vehicles and to make sure they’re actually being used for emergencies, which would appear to mean they’re going to be tailing and perhaps stopping ambulances that are actually in the middle of emergency services, and that can’t be good for anyone.
“Once they pre-qualify, we want them to give us the same amount of gas that they left with,” said Alex Mehmood, vice-president of Sacramento Auto Sales Center.Requirements and restrictions in the land of the free? That doesn’t sound good. It’s the gas prices, stupid! “We have to pay for all the gas,’ explained Mehmood. ‘And you know, when you have 70 – 80 different cars it gets really expensive.” Cry me a gas station! This is going on in California, but the trend could spread all across the board.
“That’s actually ridiculous,’ observed Arnie Talisman, owner of Don Jacobson Automobiles in Houston. ‘Because how else would a customer know if they want to purchase that car without test driving it? So, it would be very unreasonable for a car dealer to ask a customer to reimburse them for gas on a test drive”.
Charging for this, charging for that. Next thing you know they’re gonna charge you for trying on new clothes or even for clapping when a movie is over. The good old days when companies offered you incentives to buy are long gone. Now they expect you to open your wallet even before you dare ask for a fair price.
Justin Bieber‘s Ferrari is currently in repair shop ICU, after his good buddy, Lil Twist, bottomed out as he peeled out of the Four Seasons driveway in Beverly Hills … and we’ve learned the hotel is shockingly footing the bill.
As we first reported … Justin and Twist were staying at the Four Seasons on New Year’s Day, when Twist took the car for a spin on the 405 Freeway and got stopped by the CHP. As the officer dealt with Twist, a paparazzo who was taking pics of the scene was struck and killed by a motorist.
Turns out … when Twist left the Four Seasons driveway, he caused $8,000 to $10,000 worth of damage to the whip. It’s pretty amazing, because that driveway doesn’t really have any hidden dangers.
Nonetheless … sources tell TMZ … the hotel has agreed to pay the bill to maintain its lucrative relationship with Justin.
Like he doesn’t have enough money … and by the way, why isn’t Twist paying?
A rep for the Four Seasons had no comment.
Insure.com studied insurance rates for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (MedPay) for more than 750 vehicles in the 2013 model year.
Both PIP and MedPay coverage pay for injuries to passengers in your own car. Looking at the highest and lowest costs for PIP and MedPay provides a way to evaluate which vehicles rack up high passenger-injury claims.
Best vehicles for protecting passengers from injuries
- GMC Sierra 1500 (SLE, SLT and Work Truck)
- Porsche Cayenne
- GMC Yukon (Denali and SLT)
- GMC Sierra 2500 SLE
- GMC Terrain SLE1
Worst vehicles for protecting passengers from injuries
- Fiat 500 (Lounge, CLounge, Sport, Pop and CPop)
- Kia Rio 5 (LX and SX)
- Toyota Corolla L
- Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart
- Mercedes-Benz CL600
Four times in less than three hours, troopers stopped the Chrysler sedan as it rocketed across southern Minnesota at speeds topping 110 miles per hour, its driver carrying a small amount of marijuana but no proof of required car insurance.
The stops earned Lorretta Lacy, 49, a handful of tickets and cost her the drug stash as she raced across two states to get to a granddaughter’s middle-school dance in Racine, Wis.
The serial police stops began shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday on Interstate 90 about 10 miles east of Jackson. Witnesses reported her speeding and zipping in and out of traffic, according to the State Patrol.
Lacy, of Sioux Falls, S.D., was clocked at 112 mph in her 1999 Chrysler LHS as she passed a state trooper, then was stopped and ticketed for speeding, no proof of insurance and possession of marijuana, said Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. A “very, very small amount” of marijuana was confiscated, Roeske said.
The man rushes to his ex girlfriend’s home, on the day of her wedding, in a truck that he stole on his way to plead her to not to marry the other guy. In case you are wondering, that it’s a story from any Hollywood movie, then you are totally wrong.
Andrew Curtis had to steal a truck that was unlocked and running, after his friend refused to drive him to his ex girlfriend’s house. Sadly the girl did not agree to ditch the wedding for his heroism. As he was coming back to return the vehicle with a broken heart, he smashed into a church parking lot.
The damage is estimated to be $1,000. The police state that he is presently out on bail. Police officiers told The Times that the poor guy eventually returned the truck to its original parking place, then told officers at the scene that he took it while trying to persuade his ex-girlfriend not to get married. Happy endings only happen in movies…