The cars we were happy to see leaveAs we mentioned before, we at Autoblog drive a huge number of vehicles over the course of the year. Some of them we absolutely love, and we've gushed about them in our gallery of favorites. But, naturally, there are cars we can't wait to get out of; cars we couldn't return fast enough. These are the miserable machines we'll be trying to forget about over the holidays.
2018 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
Have you ever heard someone say that there are no truly bad cars sold in America these days? Well, next time you hear someone incorrectly utter something along those lines, your retort can be simple. I present to you the 2018 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.
Even cars that aren't very good have some sort of redeeming quality. For the Smart, that'd have to be its general sense of maneuverability and its ability to park just about anywhere. The good vibes end there. See my earlier writeup for the full explanation as to why the electric Smart was the worst car I drove in 2018.
Oh, one more positive: It's rated to travel just 58 miles on a full charge of its battery. So at least you won't be driving it all that much. – Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski
Smart ForTwo Information
2018 Chevy Malibu RSIs this what counts as sporty in the midsize segment? Despite wearing the storied RS badge, the Malibu RS is an antonym for “fun”. The disappointment inherent in its profoundly adequate – but no more – powertrain is underlined by the existence of a much better combo: the 2.0T and nine-speed auto, which is not offered in this trim. It also has a hideous grille, which makes it look like it dressed up as a baleen whale for Halloween. Little offends, but little impresses – the initial, almost neutral pleasantness of the Malibu RS wears off, like you've been inside it too long and it is trying to let on, quietly, that you've overstayed your welcome. - Senior Editor Alex Kierstein
2018 GMC Terrain Diesel
But looking back, the one vehicle that defines "least favorite" is the GMC Terrain Diesel. The Terrain itself is, ah, fine. I'm not sure what it does better than a Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, new RAV4, Ford Escape, etc. At least it looks better than its Chevy Equinox sibling. It could just be sufficient and unmemorable, but two things torpedo it: that stupid shifter and the terrible diesel engine that vibrated and rattled away to a stunning degree by modern standards. Diesel is already going the way of the dodo and GM's effort in the Terrain (and the Equinox) should definitely give it a helping kick down the stairs. - Contributing Editor James Riswick
2018 Nissan TitanWhenever we do these lists, I usually have more trouble choosing the worst thing I've driven in the past 12 months. It's hard to find a bad car these days (even the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has some redeeming qualities), so I find myself more disappointed than anything else. That's where I land with the Nissan Titan. It's just so middle-of-the-road and unexceptional. Taken on its own, the Titan is a fine truck, but it feels a full generation (or two) behind the big three. It doesn't do anything special or have any standout features. It's boring, and I think that's its biggest sin. - Associate Editor Reese Counts
2018 Ford EcoSport
The Ford EcoSport exemplifies almost everything that drives me crazy about modern crossovers. Particularly the fact that its worse than the equivalent car – the Fiesta – in nearly every way. Let's start with fuel economy. Even the 200-horsepower Fiesta ST manages over 30 mpg on the highway, but the EcoSport tops out at 29 mpg on the highway. And the most potent EcoSport, with 166 horsepower, only gets 23 mpg in the city.
Then there's the way it drives: like a Fiesta, but worse. While it has the quick, communicative steering of the hatchback, it's much taller, and feels tipsy, which doesn't inspire confidence. The engines are buzzy and sound strained. The automatic is sluggish and saps any perkiness the crossover might have had.
Finally, there's the price. A Fiesta hatchback starts at about $16,000. An EcoSport starts at $20,000. That's a whopping $4,000 premium for a car that's less efficient, drives worse, and offers little more in the way of interior space. It's a bad deal all around and it makes me angry just thinking about it. - Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale
2018 Chevy TraxVehicles don’t get much sadder than the poor, old Trax. It both looks and drives like an uninspired blob. Thankfully, Chevrolet appears to be preparing a much sharper-looking Trax for release soon. Good. The faster this token subcompact crossover gets off dealer lots the better. Hyundai did this segment right with the Kona, and the Mazda CX-3 is another good example of what a respectable mini SUV is like to drive. Subpar fuel economy, sloppy handling and half-hearted acceleration make it a drag to drive. I never cared for much of anything in this segment anyways. If you want a vehicle this size, you’re much better off just buying a normal, non-lifted hatchback. - Assistant Editor Zac Palmer
2018 Ford EcoSport
I know I’m not the only one to pick this, so dock me points for originality, give me 10 lashes, whatever, so long as I don’t have to drive this thing on the highway again. After a half hour at speed, my ears were ringing and nerves shot. It’s clearly geared for city driving, and buzzes like hell trying to keep pace with 70-mph traffic. The almost charming, spritely steering turns into a twitchy mess on the highway. Trips to the pump are frequent, ironically, but become welcome breaks from driving.The Ford EcoSport is neither "Eco" nor "Sport." It's actually kind of a bummer. - Senior Editor, Autoblog Green, John Snyder