These Are The 6 Most Uninspiring Cars Jalopnik Reviewed This Year

These Are The 6 Most Uninspiring Cars Jalopnik Reviewed This Year

These six vehicles are Fine, but they're not Great.

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Photo: José Rodriguez Jr.

Sometimes you drive a car, and it’s great. Sometimes, you drive a car, and it just... falls flat. This year, we drove some cars that fell into that latter camp. Here are some of the worst or “uninspiring” cars Jalopnik reviewed this year.

Except, none of these cars are actually bad. We didn’t drive anything that really made us turn up our noses or rush to the keyboards to warn buyers against opting for this exact model or vomit uncontrollably after getting out from behind the wheel. Most cars on the market these days are fine, capable and will probably be a great buy for at least one person out there in the world.

Instead, we’re defining “worst” in a different way. These cars are uninspiring. Or they’re a poor value. Or they’re designed for such a niche audience that we couldn’t see them breaking out in the big time. Are they inherently bad? No. They’re just not... great.

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2 / 8

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

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Photo: Elizabeth Blackstock

The Toyota Corolla Cross is certainly a vehicle. It’s a crossover. It’s mostly affordable. It isn’t a memorable drive. People are absolutely going to love it, which is something I definitely experienced when I drove it. But it’s no standout. Here’s what José Rodriguez Jr. thought when he reviewed it:

The Corolla Cross is slow. It’s so slow I had to adjust my driving. I’m not saying that I can’t “drive 55" or that I tried and failed to hoon a Corolla. I simply like to drive inside the pocket; I like to be in between the little groups of cars that accrete on the road, rather than try and maintain a matching speed to those around me. That means I have to outrun some cars and slow down for others. Slowing down in the Cross is easy; speeding up is not.

[...]

I do wonder what the Corolla Cross would be without the Corolla badge to fall back on, though. Toyota could have given it any other nameplate, and it would probably still be a hit for a lot of drivers.

That’s pretty much it. It’s a Vehicle.

Read the full review here.

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3 / 8

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

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Photo: Jason Torchinsky

We’ve reviewed the Volkswagen ID.4 twice on Jalopnik, and both of our authors came to different conclusions — which shows just how subjective this whole Car Reviewing Thing is. Here’s what Mercedes Streeter thought:

Volkswagen isn’t the manufacturer of the wacky and comically complex cars that it used to be. It was known for cramming silly engines in everything and its obsession with diesel, but now it makes a long line of normal, boring family cars. The Volkswagen ID.4, despite being a novel vehicle, is a product of normal, safe VW. That’s changing a bit with the ID.4 AWD.

Jason Torchinsky, though, wasn’t convinced that the ID.4 is good enough to be competitive in the rapidly-growing EV market:

Okay, so why am I making a big deal out of the front trunk thing? It’s not like the ID.4 is a slouch in the cargo department — the rear hatch opens to plenty of usable room back there. I’m fixated on it because it’s a very clear example of what I think the ID.4's biggest issue is: It doesn’t really feel finished. 

Maybe finished isn’t quite the right word. It feels like they didn’t take it far enough, provide enough little extras or evidence of really thoughtful, clever design for the ID.4 to stand out in this group of very closely-matched competitors.

A bad car? No. But the ID.4 is serving a complex purpose, and it may just not be living up to Volkswagen’s excessive hype.

You can read Streeter’s review here and Torchinsky’s here.

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4 / 8

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

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Photo: Steve DaSilva

When Steve DaSilva reviewed the Volvo C40 Recharge, he was impressed by just about everything... but the price. As he described it, it’s a fantastic economy car, but Volvo has priced it as if it’s far more luxurious than it really is. Here’s what he said:

The Volvo C40 Recharge is a fantastic entry-level electric car. I don’t want to call it an electric economy car, because its design and performance elevate it well above that tier, but the interior materials do drag it down. The seat comfort and the feeling of the touch points simply don’t match a near-$60,000 price tag.

At $40,000, the C40 Recharge would be a steal. At $50,000, where comparable trims of the Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4 sit, it would be a solid contender. At $58,750 before destination fees (and before the $7,500 EV tax credit) it’s a much harder sell.

I’ll admit, there are people for whom this car is perfect. There is an ideal buyer out there who will enjoy this recycled interior, who understands that the thin plastic let Volvo eke out another few miles of range. There’s a buyer who wants their friends to comment on the weird carpet, just so they can explain how many bottles came out of a landfill to make it.

You can read the full review here.

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5 / 8

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

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Photo: Raphael Orlove

As Raphael Orlove writes, the Subaru Crosstrek is a car riddled with issues... but those annoyances become quirks the longer you drive them. If you’re the right kind of driver, that is.

Objectively, the Crosstrek doesn’t make a ton of sense. It’s not as spacious inside as the crossovers to which it seeks to provide an alternative. It doesn’t get great mileage, even with its just-fine power. It doesn’t offer the reliability of a Toyota, and it’s not as nice inside. The Crosstrek does give you AWD, but just about every carmaker on the market sells an AWD crossover now. It’s not the ‘90s anymore. You’re not cross-shopping this against a Nissan Pathfinder that was shaped like a brick and drove like a truck.

If you want a basic, practical vehicle that can get you where you need to go, the Crosstrek is great. But if you want the luxuries and space of other crossovers, you’re not going to find it here.

You can read the full review here.

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6 / 8

2022 Volkswagen Taos

2022 Volkswagen Taos

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Photo: Jason Torchinsky

The VW Taos is such a great car that it’s... honestly unremarkable. Everything works, and as reviewer Jason Torchinsky put it, you don’t pay attention to it in the same way you don’t pay attention to a fire hydrant. It’s there, it works, and that’s great:

It’s part of the filler of our surrounding carscape, the staple grain in your diet, one of the many grains of rice that fill the bowl, the medium that carries the interesting bits of meat or excitingly-marinated vegetables.

It’s not interesting. It is, however, well-designed for what it is, and I bet will make a lot of the people who buy them very happy, because it will be their uninteresting car, their machine that carries them and their stuff wherever they need to go, with all the expected levels of comfort, style, and safety.

Will the Taos get the job done? Absolutely. Is it going to be a memorable experience? Probably not.

You can read the full review here.

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7 / 8

2022 Acura RDX

2022 Acura RDX

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Photo: Adam Ismail

You know when you drive a car that’s not overly spectacular, but it’s still good? That’s pretty much how Adam Ismail felt about the Acura RDX when he got a chance to review the 2022 model:

It’s not fast, but it gets going. It’s not sharp, but it keeps itself composed. Acura mapped out a great canyon route for this test drive — a route so good, in fact, that on several occasions I wished I was in a more agile car. Preferably one that didn’t dawdle a quarter of a second too long when I put my foot down.

[...]

Here’s the thing, though — you know the RDX isn’t a race car or a Transformer, even if Acura doesn’t. You know the A-Spec package, for example, is all show and glossy black trim. And if you’re in the market for a nice small SUV and you keep those truths in mind, I think you’d be quite satisfied with the RDX. There’s very little to fault here when the rubber hits the road.

It’s a good SUV, but it’s like most other SUVs on the market: It doesn’t stand out, but you’ll probably be happy with your purchase.

You can read the full review here.

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8 / 8