What Car Deserved Worse?

What car has had it far too good for far too long?

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A JK-generation Jeep Wrangler
Photo: Stellantis

Some cars never get their due. They’ve overlooked, underappreciated, and generally never get the response or acclaim that they so truly deserve. Other cars, however, have the opposite problem — they get far more praise and appreciation than they’ve ever earned.

Today, we’re talking about this latter category: Cars that deserved worse than they got. Whether a starry-eyed marketing ideal overpowered a car’s actual mediocrity, or an insular fanbase simply ignored its problems, what car has had it too good for too long?

A JK-generation Jeep Wrangler
Photo: Stellantis
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My pick is the JK-generation Jeep Wrangler. I know, I know, this sounds like a typical contrarian take, but let me back it up with some real-life experience. I daily-drove a 2010 Unlimited Sahara for years, through top-down summers and 4-Hi winters — the perfect mix for a four-door Wrangler. And after all those miles, all that time in the driver’s seat, I learned something: The JK Wrangler is overrated.

Almost immediately, after getting my Wrangler, I had to remove every bit of carpet from the interior. Why? The passenger-side B-pillar wasn’t watertight, and would somehow leak through the pillar itself into the car’s interior. The ride was unpleasant, the stereo was bad, and the roof was needlessly complicated to operate — even once I figured out how to do it without a second pair of hands.

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The JL Wrangler, I’m told, is a massive improvement. Better ride quality, a simpler roof, and body panels that — as far as I know — don’t spew rainwater onto the floor. These improvements make the JK feel slapdash, thrown together without the proper care or attention to detail.

So, my pick for a car that deserves worse is the JK Wrangler — a major seller, a hugely popular car, that didn’t deserve it. Now that you’ve heard my rant, though, what’s your best pick? Leave your answers in the comments below, and we’ll collect our favorites tomorrow.