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Old 05-25-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
mmntech
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Default Best & Worst Cars You've Personally Driven

I work part time at a car rental place while going to college. I've gotten to drive a lot of different cars, trucks, and SUVs over the last year. I've gotten some of my own opinions on a wide range of different ones. So I thought I'd put the question out there.

What's the best and worst cars you've personally driven?

Give a little explanation why.

Here's my picks.

Best Cars:

- Ford Flex Limited 2009:
I don't normally like SUVs, let alone something that's trying to be a minivan, but this is the nicest driving car I've seen in it's class. Like driving around in your living room. Handles like it's on rails. Nice, positive steering, no lean around corners due to it's low centre of gravity, and can fit a load of crap in the back of it. Not as peppy as I'd like it to be but it has smooth acceleration curve. Probably the nicest luxury crossover out there. It's not cheap but you do get a lot for what you pay. If you can get past it looking like a hearse, it's definitely the ideal vehicle for families who travel a lot.

Honda Civic (any model year):
The Civic still handles like a dream, taking corners fast even in its stock configuration. I personally own the 2005 model and even for its small engine, it accelerates quickly. These things are also virtually indestructible and low maintenance. Honda still prides itself on reliability. The glass cockpit is a nice touch on the 2006 to present models. Still a good interior though I think I like the pre-2006 a bit better. Maybe not as many features as some other cars but you still get a lot of value. Suits my driving style to a tee.

-Ford Focus 2009 to present:
I'm quite pleased with the new stuff ford is coming out with. If I was looking for a new small car, I would definitely get this. Like the flex, this thing just handles like a dream and the interior seats get top marks for comfort. It drives like a far more expensive sedan than it is. The 2.0l engine is peppy enough for my liking. Also great value. I wasn't a Ford fan before but I'm definitely won over now.


Worst Cars:

Chevrolet Cobalt / Pontiac G5 (any model year):
I never had anything against GM until recently when I started driving these regularly at my job. They are a piece of crap. Compared to other cars in its class and price range, they just feel vary cheap. Junk plastic interior that damages easily, uncomfortable seats, handles poorly, and has numerous reliability issues. GM still hasn't fixed the problem with the wheel bearings that got ported over from the Cavalier. They still rattle at highway speed. They spend more time in the shop than any other car in our fleet. Value on these is ok but you can get a lot better cars for the same price.


Smart Fortwo (any model year):
It's a toy. I didn't really expect too much from this car when I first got behind the wheel, but I was surprised by how poorly it drove. Obviously it's extremely underpowered but it has other problems. The car shifts gears violently causing the whole car to pause then jerk. I've never driven an automatic car that does that. It also handles like a shopping cart.

It has relatively little on it for the base price, compared to the similarly sized and priced Kia Rio 5 or Suzuki SX4. Both of which are still nearly as fuel efficient but don't drive like a go-kart. I can see why people like the concept but the car itself is just not vary good.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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Best is a hard call, I like my Altima, but I would not call it a best I've driven, from a rental car side I have been happier with the charger then the impala than any of the other typical offerings. Jaguar's ride very nice but are too cramped for me. The SL500 was a nice all round car, so that'd probably have to be my best. BMW 3 series are too cramped too.


worst is easy

Chevy Malibu ~2000-2004

Mercury Sable ~1998

Ford Focus 2009 finally relented and tried one off the rental lot, the car was a nightmare, brand new and the keyfob didn't work (the key was the FOB, but doors and trunk would not open from either key), drove like a gokart, trans was constantly hunting for a gear.

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Old 05-25-2010, 03:16 PM   #3
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Worst :

Grand Marquis. Books can be written about how atrocious that car is.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
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Best - Mercedes S600

Worst - Honda Civic, Toyota Matrix, or Kia Forte. These were all rentals so it's hard to tell how much they've just become shitted on (Kia Forte is newish though, there was no excuse there). The Civic was one of the worst, insane wind noise, gutless engine, worst brakes ever.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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best car was my uncle's NSX...it was and is my childhood dream car. it was incredibly fun and easy to drive...i was 18. It saddens me that by the time i can afford one, good condition ones will be very hard to find.

worst: my sister's hyundai santro (indian model) in india. 3 speed automatic, 12" wheels, 55hp engine.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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Best: 200x Porsche 911 Turbo (Don't remember the year.. I want to say 2003)
Its a Porsche and it felt fantastic. Mashing the pedal put a huge grin on my face. Only drawback was the pretty stiff clutch, but even that wasn't a huge issue.

Worst: 2010 Toyota Corolla
Anemic, horrible floaty handling feel, piss-poor ergonomics. I felt uncomfortable taking this car above 70 on the freeway.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #7
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Of current/recent models:

Best: 911 Turbo and Cayman S

Worst: PT Cruiser, Dodge Journey, Dodge Avenger
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:30 PM   #8
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Crap cars:

51 plate Rover 25 1.4L. It's a Rover; what more is there to be said.

10 plate New Fiat 500 1.2L. The 500 is a POS.

The engine is gutless, the steering is far too light without any feedback whatsoever, the driving position is too high, the seats are uncomfortable, the interior is awful and the brakes are abysmal.

The only good points are that it has an excellent turning circle (you would expect this because of the size of the car), the exterior styling may be considered by some to be 'cute' and you get good fuel economy, although the mpg is not that great since you have to thrash the car to get the damn thing to move.

We have the 500 as a company pool car. Myself and a few others have vowed never to drive it again. The company should have bought a Mini instead. Most cars are better than the 500.

Edit: ayabe just reminded that the 500 also has bad blind spots on both rear corners due to the small rear side windows and wide A pillars.

The car is also unstable under any type of braking (I'm not talking about emergency stops). This surely cannot be normal nor right.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:33 PM   #9
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Just had a rental a couple weeks ago that replaced the previous "#1 worst car ever"(Dodge Caliber) on my list...drumroll please....and the winner is.....the Chevy HHR.

1. Worst visibility of any vehicle I've ever driven, A-pillars prevent you from negotiating all but the easiest turns. You cannot see out the back, the mirrors are inadequate to check your blindspots, the roofline is so low you have to keep a large distance back from traffic lights just to be able to see when it turns green. Actually had to stick my head out the window on more than one occasion to negociate a turn safely, poor visibility + crap steering is a dangerous combo.

2. Vague sloppy steering. I don't expect it to drive like an M3, but it feels like you are steering with mashed potatoes for tires.

3. Gutless motor that returns just meh mpg. My GF's Corolla would hand this sad sack its ass at any speed.

4. Truly epic levels of shit plastic throughout the cabin, if you love inconsistent panel gaps, rock hard plastic, and mold flash that will cause you to gush blood, then the HHR has what you are looking for brotha!

5. No locking gas cap, no I'm serious took me 5 mins of digging for the release until I googled and determine that there is no lock whatsoever on the gas cap. You push the cover in to release a cheesy magnet. For a car that starts at $18,000 this is truly a joke.

6. Let's talk about the windshield wiper stalk for a moment shall we? Well Chevy decided to get clever here, you see unlike most stalks where "up" is the default position, the glorious HHR actually has it backwards. Pushing the stalk down actually turns the wipers on, up has a slight detent just if you want to run it once. This gave me fits since it was raining the whole time I was driving this piece. Also, you would think that the rear wiper would be on the stalk somewhere, you know like a twist dial or something....nope it's way at the bottom of the HVAC controls, good luck finding that in the dark when it's pouring rain.

Honestly, I could go on and on, I get all tensed up just talking about it. The car is just flat out unsafe to drive in any kind of traffic. When I went to get this rental I had a choice of either a minivan or 1 of 5 HHR's they had parked. If I had to make the same choice again, it's the minivan for me. I will never step foot in an HHR again for any reason.

I was actually amazed to find message boards for HHR enthusiasts, these people shouldn't be allowed to own a car, they are the reason that GM makes shit like this in the first place. One may argue that they just don't know any better, I don't buy it, I think they actively revel in mediocrity and have fat, ugly wives and stupid children and love a car that matches their other shit choices in life.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
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generally a rental model is NOT indicative of the actual car FWIW

best:

94 grand am GT, seriously wtf right? most rigid stock suspension I have even felt, cornered extremely well

99 carrera gt rs america - needs no explanation

worst:
92 base cavalier - basic transportation is all that can be said about it
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:39 PM   #11
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Best:
1992 Purple and Black Camaro Z-28.
Bought for $12k with 30k miles on it. Went like a bat out of hell, was fun to drive around corners. Never broke down.

2010 Fusion Sport
Quick, good handling, looked sexy as hell with the sport package, low profile tires and tined.

Worst:
2009 Kia Rhondo. Total piece of shit. Seatbelts were all broken, car wouldn't drive straight, was uncomfortable. I actually felt unsafe in the car. A small tug on the steering wheel would jerk the whole car off the road.

199X Oldmobile Alero. What idiot designed that car.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zargon View Post
generally a rental model is NOT indicative of the actual car FWIW

best:

94 grand am GT, seriously wtf right? most rigid stock suspension I have even felt, cornered extremely well

99 carrera gt rs america - needs no explanation

worst:
92 base cavalier - basic transportation is all that can be said about it
The grand am's were not as bad as their rep, other than that absolutely worst grey plastic they used on everything, you reminded me of my '95 Dodge Avenger 2.0L 5 speed, was plenty fast enough for me at the time, got unreal gas mileage and cornered like it was on rails. Today I'd probably get into in and immediately leap out in disgust, but at the time the car was amazing.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:47 PM   #13
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Best:
Lotus Elise
Porsche 911
BMW M3
Chevrolet Corvette
Lexus GS
Mercedes-Benz CLS550
Lexus SC400
BMW X5

Worst:
Pontiac Sunbirdy
Ford Aerostar
Ford Tempo
Buick Skylark (mid 1990s)
VW Golf
Chevrolet Malibu (late 1990s)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo (early 2000s)

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Old 05-25-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesMaximus View Post
Best:
Lotus Elise
Porsche 911
BMW M3
Chevrolet Corvette
Lexus GS
Lexus SC400
BMW X5

Worst:
Pontiac Sunbirdy
Ford Aerostar
Ford Tempo
Buick Skylark (mid 1990s)
VW Golf
Chevrolet Malibu (late 1990s)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo (early 2000s)
How recent was the Golf? I've driven a MKV and MKVI and have to say that I've been impressed. An ex girlfriend of mine had a MKIII and I remember not being as impressed...at all.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:10 PM   #15
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Hmm ...

Best
My 99 Chrysler 300M handled damn well for it's size, and while not "fast" to accelerate, the V6 in it was good enough to get up to speed in a reasonable time.

Worst
By far!!! Chevy Malibu ~ 2004 ... was a rental when my 300M was in the shop getting 8,000 worth of hail damage repaired.

I've driven a 91 ford escort which was bad (anemic! and nothing great in terms of handling.) I drove my dads old Dodge Omni for a while, it was horrible! I drove my dad's 87 full size Chevy van. That thing was a boat, but the V8 and RWD did have some redeeming factors. Also drove an 85 Grand Marquis, was a complete boat, but handled better than the van...

Currently
I have an 08 Forester, it handles/corners well, feels very "tight", and has no issues with snow. It's kinda slow on the acceleration, but gets decent mileage, has decent cargo capacity, and really, is very practical for me. I feel perfectly safe towing a couple of snowmobiles on country roads with a foot of snow on them. And it's a great daily driver for work. My only real complaints are 1.) road noise is loud, 2.) it's not fast and 3.) automatic is slow to downshift when necessary

I knew about all 3 of these things before I test drove, and have not regretted my purchase for even 1 moment since then. (though I miss my 3.5L!)
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
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worst: my sister's hyundai santro (indian model) in india. 3 speed automatic, 12" wheels, 55hp engine.
You need an i10 yaar
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:17 PM   #17
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Best...probably my MR2 (sig). Worst..probably the '84 Ford Bronco II that I owned for a couple of months.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesMaximus View Post
Best:
Lotus Elise
Porsche 911
BMW M3
Chevrolet Corvette
Lexus GS
Lexus SC400
BMW X5

Worst:
Pontiac Sunbirdy
Ford Aerostar
Ford Tempo
Buick Skylark (mid 1990s)
VW Golf
Chevrolet Malibu (late 1990s)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo (early 2000s)

more listed years or the list is worthless

I drove a 70's c3 and an early c4, god such POS's, but all cars were then mostly
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:20 PM   #19
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I'm only 23, but in my limited experience:

Best:
2005 M3 - Almost bought this over my GTI, was in mint condition with 36k miles on it for 35k, ended up being a bit too much for me to justify so I didnt get it.

2008 GTI - I'll admit it, I regret not buying my lease out or buying a new MK6, I love my Jetta, but this was truly a wonderfully balanced car. I will own another one eventually.

Worst:

2005 Chevy Cobalt - My first car, this thing was built by one armed autistic apes with down syndrome, literally everything broke at one point in time. It was so poorly put together this one girl I was dating at the time (not muscular or anything) managed to PULL THE FUCKING DOOR HANDLE off the car. I did the same thing to the driver side a few days later, go figure.

2005 Chevy Aveo - holy fucking shit, they actually sell these things? It was so slow that my friends 1964 fairlane with the 3 speed auto that hadnt been started in 20 years and was in bad need of a tune up accelerated faster than it did.

2009 Dodge Caliber - Simply put, they designed this car to be a rental fleet queen, there is no reason whatsoever that any one would buy one of these new. If you did, you deserve to have your license confiscated.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:28 PM   #20
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Best Modern Car - E92 M3 DCT
Best Any Car - 1996 Acura NSX
Worst Modern Car - Corolla
Worst Any Car - 86 Ford Escort Hatchback
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:59 PM   #21
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Best: Koenigsegg CCX - Unbelievable torque pretty much everywhere in the powerband. Very usable for a hypercar. Engine sounds incredible. Well laid out controls with great tactile feel.

Worst: Probably a Ford Focus, rental.
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Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take the wall with you.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:00 PM   #22
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Liked:

1997 Ford Contour Sport (V6)
2002 Civic Si Veloz
1992 Honda Accord EX-R

Disliked:

1997 Dodge Caravan SE (V6)

Neutral:

1987 Subaru GL-10
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:05 PM   #23
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Best
My '10 Vette
'04 WRX STi

Worst
'08 base Sebring

When my CTS was rear ended, I was given the Sebring as the loaner. My lord, that car was wrong in every which way possible. It literally took 10+ seconds, pulling out of the sub division I lived in at the time, to get up to speed climbing the hill on the main road at WOT.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:12 PM   #24
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My gf has a new Corolla...i really do not think it is that bad.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:31 PM   #25
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Worst:
1990 Mercury Topaz. Where do I start? The anemic 95ish HP engine? The three speed automatic? Back seat with no leg room? The knobby things for the wipers? The ridiculous torque steer? It was actually amazing, considering the complete lack of power, but when you managed to get the engine going that thing would pull so hard to the right I thought there was something wrong with the car.

1991 Lincoln Continental. Underpowered V6, numb steering, air suspension would go crazy leaving the car leaning to one side, radio broke, power antenna broke, random electrical gremlins, no A/C, odometer stopped at 176k and took the speedometer with it. Drove it until about 225k when I smashed it.

Best:
1991 Lincoln Continental. My first car, and I loved it. Leather, power everything, electronic climate control, plenty of room for bodie- stuff in the trunk. Actually got decent gas mileage too. When everything worked, the car was a great drive.

2009 Pontiac G8 GT. An automatic I actually liked, which is kind of amazing. Plenty of power, nice interior, roomy, stylish, plenty of power, handled very well for the size. Did I mention the power?
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