Ten Cars That Failed Because They Were Way Too Expensive

These ten cars were absolutely doomed by their price from the start. Some were good, others not so good, but all too expensive.

10.) Smart ForTwo


One of the only things the Smart ForTwo has going for it is its small size for city parking, otherwise your $13k or so would be much better spent on a Versa or a Yaris.

Suggested By: opposauruswrx, Photo Credit: Smart

9.) Mazda RX-7 (FD)


The gorgeous final version of the RX-7 could compete with cars from Porsche, but unfortunately it was priced like one, too. Buyers simply didn't want to pay more than $30k for something with a Mazda badge. It only lasted from '93-'95 in this country.

Suggested By: BradAusrotas, Photo Credit: Mazda

8.) Volkswagen Passat W8


You could have looked at the Passat W8 two ways when it debuted: the first was as an affordable, 8-cylinder, German luxury sedan, and the second was as a $38k Accord competitor. Most saw it the second way and it's now seen as the prelude to the sales failure that was the Phaeton.

Suggested By: Ash78, Sheik of Al-Abama, Photo Credit: Volkswagen

7.) SRT Viper


The new SRT Viper has proven to be such a hard sell, Dodge has offered a discount of $15k on each of the 600(!) unsold Vipers still on dealer lots. The new Corvette Stingray isn't helping it's case either.

Now it's a bargain, so go out and find yourselves a 2013 GTS!

Suggested By: Capitan Intenso, Photo Credit: Dodge

6.) Chevrolet SSR


Chevy had a lot of nerve in 2002, charging nearly $40 grand for an odd retro styled, retractable hardtop pickup with a Silverado drivetrain. They put an LS2 and a 6-speed for 2006 which helped, but it was too little, too late.

Suggested By: camaroboy68ss, Photo Credit: Chevrolet

5.) Subaru SVX


Fantastic car, but no one was about to drop $26k for a Subaru back in 1992.

Suggested By: BrtStlnd, Photo Credit: Subaru

4.) 2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird


It's amazing to me how Ford hit the ball right out of the park with the well-priced GT, and how they did the exact opposite with the Thunderbird. It wasn't bad, but it was way too expensive for a parts bin car, and the inevitable dealer markups certainly didn't help matters.

Suggested By: Bullitt417, Photo Credit: Ford

3.) Chrysler TC By Maserati


Lee Iaccoca got a lot of things right. This car wasn't one of them. $33k for an italian made Le Baron in 1989 didn't fool anyone and they only sold around 7,000. Honorable mention goes to the Cadillac Allante and the Buick Reatta, which sucked for similar reasons.

Suggested By: Steve Kuhn, Photo Credit: Chrysler

2.) Aston Martin Cygnet


Released just so Aston could get their fleet fuel efficiency numbers lower, the Cygnet was just a $51k version of a Toyota iQ. It should come as no surprise that they only managed to sell 150.

Suggested By: J-Tenno, Photo Credit: Aston Martin

1.) Bugatti Type 41 Royale


You probably weren't expecting a Bugatti to earn the top spot on this list, but it has. I'll let reader McLarry explain why.

"Yep, I went there. Ettore Bugatti decided he wanted the last word in ultimate luxury, and devised the most extravagant motorcar......in the wooooorld: the Type 41.

Introduced in 1927 for the price of $30k (over $400k in today's money according to some calculator I found online), the car was ready for delivery right about the time the great depression reared its ugly head. Dubbed the 'Royale' for its presumed exclusivity (and for being so expensive you'd have to be royalty to buy one), the Type 41 was unfortunately bought by...pretty much nobody. Production was dropped from 25 units to a measly 6, of which Ettore Bugatti managed to sell 3, keeping one as his own personal car (which he crashed after falling asleep at the wheel....all that luxury, you know).

Of course they're worth quite a lot more now, so it's tough to call a legend like this a failure, but back in the 1930's that's exactly what it was."


Gives a whole new meaning to the term "spectacular failure."

Suggested By: McLarry, Photo Credit: Beltane43

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Alden Jewell

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