Your Worst Stories Of Cars That Let You Down

Illustration for article titled Your Worst Stories Of Cars That Let You Down
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

Sometimes, you really shouldn’t meet your heroes. That’s doubly true when your heroes happen to be cars.

I thought I had one hell of an automotive letdown story after driving a Z31 Nissan 300ZX and failing to fall in love with it. It turns out Jalopnik readers have far worse tales, having driven some of the most amazing, highly regarded machines on the planet only to find them wanting.

Here’s just a small sample of the biggest letdowns you’ve ever driven. Please enjoy this list, and may all of our dream cars live up to what we expect them to be.


The E Does Not Stand For Excellent

I’m deeply shocked to learn that what is arguably the most famous sports car of all time is not that great to drive. What a shame!

It’s Not For Everyone

You know I love the Subaru BRZ and its Toyota equivalent, but I’ll be the first to concede that it has its flaws and definitely isn’t for everybody.


More Like GTFO

Someone else was down on the king of American muscle cars.


The Difference Between Press Car Spin And Reality

So, JimZ actually has a good cautionary tale here about the difference between what you read about and what you buy.


I have a similar story. Years ago when the 300 horsepower, 2011 Ford Mustang V6 came out, I was having a bunch of mechanical problems with my Subaru WRX (it happens) and I very seriously considered trading for one after reading all the glowing reviews.

Then I realized most of the magazine and website testers had the Performance Package, which for the V6 was in short supply on dealer lots and usually had to be ordered. Without it the car was kind of a bummer.


But his story’s even worse because the 5.0 was so much better than the 4.6. I always felt sorry for 2010 Mustang owners, they got hosed.


The Ultimate Letdown Machine

BMW’s now-legendary E46 3 Series doesn’t hold up for this reader.


Smokey & The Ban-Don’t

Did Burt Reynolds lie to us all?


NSX? More Like Meh-NSX

I’ve driven one of these and I really liked it. Then again, that car had a blower.


Celica All-Tragedy

This legendary Toyota rally machine definitely didn’t hold up for reader 4AGE, who I’m assuming from his or her name knows a thing or two about Toyotas.


The Lotus Ehhh-Lise

Here’s another car that’s definitely not for everyone.


Newer Isn’t Better

The current Subaru WRX is one of the best performance car buys on the planet, but it lacks the insane, visceral, street legal rally car qualities of the first ‘Rex that came to America.



After being bummed out by that Z31, I assumed a Z32 is better. Maybe not so much.


Then again, these criticisms are ones I’ve had not just of the Z31, but the 350Z and 370Z too. When was the Z ever that good?


Sacre Bleu!

Sometimes those cool forbidden fruit Euro cars don’t hold up either.


I’d Kick This Redhead To The Curb

But for me, RazorGP’s story takes the cake, because that story says the mighty Ferrari Testarossa—my favorite Ferrari of all time—is also difficult and disappointing to drive.


I don’t know, I’d probably let all these problems slide, but that’s just me.


Fuck You, Herbie


Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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Eddie Brannan

Ha, thanks for the quote, Patrick. Here’s the actual car from the day.

To reiterate, it was a let-down because this particular car was an automatic and the road conditions weren’t ideal. I’m sure a stick E-Type in the twisties is probably heaven on earth.

Also I had no idea that the V12 (which this was) is apparently far inferior to the 6-cylinder.