What Was The Best Car Nobody Bought?

Some say these cars are still on the lot to this day, without a buyer to claim them.

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Photo: Suzuki

Many drivers have heard stories of low dealer stock, or of cars that have been reserved in advance so that prospective buyers could be waiting weeks or months to see a car that’s unspoken for on a dealer lot. But some other cars sit on lots forever because nobody buys them. They don’t go unsold because they’re bad cars, per se.

These cars nobody bought can be Good Cars, it’s just that the buying and driving public were not really pulled in by their gravity. Call it what you will. Bad marketing. Bad design. Bad fuel mileage in the midst of the late-aughts recession. These unsold cars were OK, but went overlooked, anyway.

You rarely see them on the road, so when you do, you have to double-take and smile at the Kizashis of the world — which could even have a six-speed manual transmission — changing lanes amid countless Corollas and Jettas.

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I wouldn’t argue that the Kizashi is better than those other two, but I’m unsure it deserved as little attention as it got. It wasn’t a bad car! Maybe a middling car, and even then my knee-jerk reaction is that it’s fine. Maybe even good. Suzuki probably didn’t have the resources to market the car successfully to the right buyer. And the nameplate was too unfamiliar to most folks.

There’s a whole bunch of other good to great cars that nobody bought, some for good reasons, and others not. Think of the Toyota Mirai, which is and remains the inverse of a 50-state car, being sold only in California. Or the first-generation Chevy Volt, which people scoffed at for having “too little” electric range. Among all the unsold cars, which one do you think deserves the title of best? What was the best car nobody bought?