Not everyone enjoys driving. Some hate it, and not everyone can get where they need to go by walking or using public transit. Individuals who find themselves in the center of that particular Venn diagram are in luck because automakers have created a number of cars for drivers who hate driving. These cars are to automotive culture what Kenny G's songs are to the culture of music. Though they're technically automobiles, they distinguish themselves with their indistinguishability. They get you from point A to point B in the way that makes you forget all points in between. These are the ten new cars for people who hate cars.
10. Smart ForTwo
Though it may have novelty on its side, the Smart ForTwo is an otherwise dull form of transportation. It isn't fast. It isn't sporty. It tells people that you are willing to spend upwards of $18,000 to prove that you're driving because you have to, not because you want to.
9. Mercury Milan
The least sporty car built on Ford's otherwise capable CD3 platform, the Mercury Milan paired with an automatic transmission and fourbanger engine exists for those unable or unwilling to make difficult choices about their personal transportation. These are the people who accept "steamed vegetables" as a side-order and are flummoxed when a restaurant doesn't offer a house wine. Every time you see one on the street it's a reminder that they still make them.
8. Camry Solara
The Camry Solara is so offensive to those of us who love to drive because Solara owners think that they're driving something exciting. It isn't a Camry, it's a Camry... SOLARA! Toyota has managed to transform their otherwise bland but comfortable utility-driven sedan into a vehicle that retains all of the four-door's boring characteristics but adds an unappealing visage and subtracts some of the utility. It just screams "Look at me! I'm retired!"
7. Hyundai Sonata
For those who wanted a Toyota Camry but thought paying more for a better engine, better transmission and more attractive design would have been an unnecessary extravagance, the Hyundai Sonata sets a new high mark in low expectations. The biggest selling point of the car is its extended warranty, which guarantees you'll be able to keep a car you don't particularly like longer than other, better cars in its class.
6. Mercedes S-Class
The S-Class Mercedes isn't the fastest product from the German automaker. It also isn't the most expensive, best looking or most distinguished Mercedes. It's just the biggest. In fact, it's not the biggest. It's just the biggest car. It is a status symbol for immigrant business owners who want to prove their hard-earned money can be spent on car they don't really care about, that offers no significant value or advantage over the competition. It is a car that carefully eschews all of the company's history of making high-performing, exciting luxury sedans.
5. Lexus ES
Credit goes again to Toyota for squeezing as much life out of their lifeless platforms as possible. Carrying over essentially the same drivetrain as the Toyota Camry, the latest generation ES 350 is arguably less stately than its cheaper sibling. In an entry-level luxury market full of automakers attempting to outperform the competition, the ES 350 has a history of not even trying. Instead of earth-shattering performance, the Lexus ES has traditionally promised a quiet, relatively luxurious and unstimulating driving experience at a reasonable price. Where the ES has always excelled is in driving noise, or lack therof. The Lexus is so quiet most drivers probably wouldn't realize they were driving were it not for the trees passing by at a high rate of speed.
4. Kia Spectra
Pegged between the Rio and Optima, the Spectra is a wholly forgettable car in a lineup of cars that no one cared about in the first place. There are those who want and need affordable, reliable and economical transportation. They'll be swayed by the features that come with a Kia Spectra, such as an Mp3 jack, Tire Pressure Monitoring System and airbags everywhere. Features that will hopefully distract them from the fact they're driving a car that looks like the fake cars rendered for insurance advertisements.
3. Chrysler Sebring
That anyone has purchased a Chrysler Sebring is a testament to people's ability to be completely unable to appreciate the experience of driving. The digital read-outs, chunky plastics and numb driving experience are rivaled only by cars made in the previous decade. The design is laughably bad. We wonder if the cars are sold exclusively to people who haven't driven in ten years, rented one and thought "this is really nice."
2. Chevy Equinox
The only thing that makes the Chevy Equinox stick out in the crowded crossover market is the fact that it is the only car in America sold with a Chinese-built V6. The same people that brought you lead toys and melamine-tainted milk products are also supplying you with your car's engine. Feel better? The Equinox is a crossover in that it provides a mixture of horrific design and underwhelming performance.
1. Mitsubishi Eclipse
Once there was a car built by Mitsubishi called the Eclipse. It was a lightweight AWD sports car with a sweet little turbocharged four-cylinder engine that made you feel like you were in a rally car. And the entire package was available at an affordable price. Having created a car beloved by automotive enthusiasts, Mitsubishi decided to abandon it and move on to the far more lucrative and exciting high school cheerleader market. The 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse has no turbocharger, no AWD and the exciting handling of the first two generations has been replaced by a ride designed to offend no one. It's the sports car for people who hate sports, hate cars and hate excitement.