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Quintessential Mid 90's Loser Cars

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  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    but the Escort was considered a loser-mobile.

    And the Breeze/Sirrus/Stratus triplets were somewhat horrible. But I guess the rear-ends of these cars were fashionable enough for Chris Bangle to ape them and make the Bangle Butt BMW 5-series some years back.

    Thing is, if any of these piles, I mean cars, were given to us back then we would have driven them in a heartbeat. Ride or walk / leave it or love it.

    Are we getting paid for this?
  • Ah, reminds me of my 1994 Grand Caravan ES, the top-of-the-line Caravan. It was an excellent vehicle, and was to the day I sold it with 164K on the clock, not even any 4-speed ECT problems. The BIG problem with it - delaminating paint. Mine was white also, and was delaminating on the roof and hood, no vertical surfaces as in the photo. Chrysler had a big problem in that time frame, especially with white paint. It was my understanding at the time it was caused by the move from alkyd-based primers to latex-based primers, and I received absolutely no relief from Chrysler at all.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Ford Aerostar - the name is so 80s, the van is so 80s, and looks even more outdated today. And they did maked them in mid 90s. You tell your date you're picking her up in an Aerostar, and you'll need to find another date.

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    Kia Sephia - it's a Kia, so to most people it's even a lower class car than a Hyundai. It's a Sephia - a name that hasn't been around in years, and it looks dopey.

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    Lincoln Continental (1994) - a half [non-permissible content removed] interpretation of a bygone era. You drive one today and people will think that your dead uncle left you this car in his will, or people will think that you think that by driving this car people think that you have money and your car is on par with luxury sedans of today. (if that makes sense)

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    1995 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight - to anyone over 30 it may not be a bad or embarassing car. To anyone under 30, they wouldn't be caught dead in one. The name Oldsmobile alone means to most youngsters that it was not just your father's Olds but your grandfather's Olds. The weird "98" model designation, if its meant to connect to the glory days of Olds in the past, won't connect with any youth today, and neither will the awkward in my opinion styling.

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    1995 Pontiac Grand Am - the plastic cladding was Poncho's trademark of the 80s and 90s. A step up from a Sunfire, with styling that almost tries to hard to look cool. If you soup one up you deserve to be shunned from your village.

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    A couple nominees from early and late 90s:

    1991 Chevy Suburban - although the newer models have modern and more accpeted looks, and these oldies may be good off road, great workhorses, and have a small following, to most people they conjure up images of gun toting trailer park living rednecks. Pull up in downtown in one of these babies with peeled paint and rusty fenders, and get disowned by your friends instantly.
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    2000 Toyota Echo coupe - LOSER CAR OF THE 00s? - I felt sorry for high school kids who wished for a Paseo or Celica and got this instead. Not even a Corolla but this ugly Echo. To add insult to injury the parents compromised and got them a "coupe" because coupes are sportier by nature, and so the kid won't feel like they're driving a family 4 door sedan. But this Echo coupe is anything but sporty. In fact I think it looks even uglier than a 4 door Echo. The tall cabin, tiny wheels, and huge rear end make this one of the ugliest cars of this decade IMO.

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    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    The BIG problem with it - delaminating paint.

    Yep, mine too, though it was a regular '94 Caravan, not the Grand. We got ~174K miles out of ours. It may not have been an exciting vehicle, but I definitely wouldn't consider it a loser.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I felt sorry for high school kids who wished for a Paseo or Celica and got this instead.

    I feel sorry for anyone who wished for a Paseo and got one!

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    There was, of course, an alternative--the Hyundai Scoupe.

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  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    I still think an Echo coupe is more embarassing!

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I kinda like the 98... of course I like Town Cars, Vics, and Grand Marquis too! As for the Continental... I mean Taurinental. Yeah they were pretty bad, and even worse when you see one with bad air suspension dragging the ground At least the redesign in 95 yielded a V8 and a much nicer car!

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,902
    I like those Ninety-Eights in sort of a guilty-pleasure sort of way, I guess. I didn't like the styling, but it was still the roomy, comfy, semi-big type of car I usually go for. My main issue with the styling was the way they gave the rear wheels a bit of a skirted look. And for some reason, the Ninety-Eight looks smaller than it is to me, whereas its sibling Park Ave just looks like a bigger, more substantial car.

    Oddly though, stepping down a notch, I preferred the 88 to the LeSabre.

    I'll still never forget one time I saw one of those Taurinentals on the DC Beltway...as I was coming up behind it I initially thought it was a Spirit or Acclaim...until I passed by it and saw the Lincoln styling cues! My real estate agent had one, and it must have had the bad air suspension, because it was sitting really low in the back.

    I really liked that V-8 1995 style when it came out.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I forgot all about the Scoupe!!! That's a good one. And you may want to add the first-gen Tiburon to the list - anyone got a picture of that one? Crapola little coupe with fugly styling, little power, and lots of problems.

    Say what you will about the Paseo, but at least it had fairly normal boring styling and ran like a Toyota. The Echo is maybe the biggest styling miss Toyota has ever had, and that's SAYING something. Cutting out two doors and calling it a coupe was a misnomer of an extreme order.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    If the Echo was Toyota's biggest styling miss of the '90s, I nominate this one for second place:

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    Might as well say "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" on the tailgate and "Griswold" on the license plate. . .
  • Wow, I remember those, the handsome styling of the sedan did not carry over well to the wagon. It just looks so disproportionate but I bet they did it to maximize the space. Could use a roof rack too.

    I thought the Accord wagons, especially the 89 - 93 models were the best looking of that time period. :shades:
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    lol, The Camry wagon is a bit akward looking in the back, but I liked it in a weird way.

    Someone wanted a pic of the 1st gen Tiburon, here it is:

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    I never liked the styling of these. They had tall front fenders, with that tallness even more defined with those bulky fenders flares. They looked even uglier when they received the 4 headlamp treatment. What a horrible looking thing: :surprise:

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    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I certainly see your point but I think having a car actually being reliable transportation makes it lose points as a loser car.

    To me this is one reason the Suzukis rate as great loser cars - weird Japanese styling with none of the reliability. I'm with the X90 as the winning loser so far.

    A lot of those American nominations don't work for me nearly as well because they could blend into a crowd. You'd never say that about the X90.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well, IMHO you are now stretching it. Put up a pic of a Roadmaster wagon from the same era, and let's examine both for signs of beauty that I suspect will largely be absent. How about the last of the Ford wagons from the early 90s?

    Function has to trump form when designing station wagons....

    i don't know what I would nominate as Toyota's second ugliest car of all time. I am particularly UNfond of the current "bathtub" SC430......

    there are those that will immediately say the original xB, but THAT model found lots and lots of the very customers it was intended for - young people who thought it was JDM-weird and loved it.

    The "less ugly" current xB is bought by old people downsizing from their 90s SUV.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Hyundai went a little too Crease happy with that design...

    The Genesis is a huge step forward style-wise. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    OMG, you found Tiburon pics! What an awful-looking thing, in both pics! All sorts of weird bulges and bumps in odd places, and it said Hyundai at a time when that badge was still very much associated with the Excel.

    And if you are still driving one of these today? Whoa, you really DO have it hard!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,188
    The Justy was actually a pretty good subcompact.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,568
    Dual rear wipers, what's not to like?

    If only the D-pillar could have been more normal.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,902
    One thing that always bothered me about the 1992-96 Camry was that it didn't look all-new. If you look at the back door, I'd swear that's the back door off of the '87-91 style. It's about the same shape, and doesn't have the little spacer window that the '92-96 sedan does. I've always suspected that Toyota redesigned the '92 Camry sedan completely, but with the wagon just took the 1991 and applied the 1992 styling cues to it as best they could.

    It also just looks odd the way the beltline kicks up at the final roof pillar (on a wagon do you call that the "D" pillar?) And the rear end is too vertical, which just throws the lines off.

    In contrast, I think GM's "rolling supossitory" 1991-96 wagons are much better integrated when it comes to styling. They do look a bit fat though, partly because the front and rear taper so sharply, yet through the midsection they're probably as wide as permissible without having them classified as trucks. And I also don't like the skirted look of the rear wheel openings. And the back door windows only roll down about 1/3 of the day, so if you buy one of these things used, pray it has functioning a/c if you regularly carry back seat passengers!

    As for Ford's big wagons, they quit making them after 1991, and they really didn't look that drastically different from a 1979...or the Wagon Queen Family truckster! I don't think you could specifiy metallic pea by 1991, although they had a pretty sweet Antarctic Blue. :P Their styling was almost brick-like, but then so were the sedans. And the 2-doors were so boxy I hesitate to call them coupes...they were really 2-door sedans. But not really ugly IMO.

    I agree on that SC430. First time I saw one, I thought it was some kind of Hyundai! Not only ugly, but IMO downscale-looking. And I usually see old ladies that have been out in the sun too long and refuse to let their hair go natural driving them.

    As for the xB, it really doesn't bother me. I always took it to be a scaled-down, less-aerodynamic Astro. It's a little bulky up front in the bumper, but otherwise it doesn't really move me either way.

    One Lexus I REAAALLY didn't like the style of was the ES330, which I think came out around 2003? I didn't like the peeled-back headlights, the puckered little grille, the too-high beltline, or really, anything about the car. I always liked the older ES300 though, which had a clean, sleek look to it. I also like that "pillared hardtop" look with the frameless door windows and recessed B-pillar that give it a clean, airy look.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,188
    Good job! Couldn't agree more with each of your picks

    The '92-9? Achieva sedan looked like a baby 98. By contrast, I agree with andre, that the Achieva coupe looked pretty good for its day.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,568
    I think Hyundai was trying to mimic 90s Pontiac aesthetics.

    Scoupe was a terrible name too - very easy to rhyme :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well, the '92 Camry wagon was much bigger in all dimensions than the 87-91, so it definitely wasn't just a carryover with new front and rear styling.

    But judging by the final product, I think it likely that the same design team did both generations, don't you? ;-)

    I was ROTFLMAO when you called the 91-96 GM wagons "rolling suppositories"! It seems so appropriate somehow!

    But it goes to show that you have to look to the Germans for stylish wagons. And those are much smaller wagons, so it's not exactly apples to apples. I forget, was there ever such a thing as an S-class wagon? Not here I'm sure, but perhaps in Europe? And there have been E-class wagons in the States in the past, but is there one offered now? I don't think so, but MB isn't centered in my radar so I can't be sure....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    There was never a S Class wagon made unless it was custom made by someone somewhere. I'm sure Fintail (the Edmunds MB resident expert) has seen a few online somewhere.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    I agree too about the Suzuki X90. Just an oddball that didn't do anything particularly well, but rather sucked at being a sports SUV?

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    thought the Accord wagons, especially the 89 - 93 models were the best looking of that time period

    Agreed 100%. I still rate them as one of my fav all time wagons.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,902
    Actually, wheelbase was only marginally larger, at 103.1" for the 1992-96 style versus 102.4" for the 1987-91 (and also the 1983-86, so I'm convinced the '87 was more of a "heavy facelift" than a whole new redesign).

    If anything though, that gives me a newfound respect for the Camry. For having a wheelbase that tiny, the car was very roomy inside. Also, the wagon offered a 3rd seat, which I didn't realize until I read it. That's probably why the proportioning is so awkward, to allow for that third row. And the wagon is about 189 inches long. Basically, a midsized car on a compact car wheelbase, so it's really hard to make something like that look pretty. FWIW, the sedan was about 187" long, but having less mass up high, I think the sedan looked better balanced.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    I think GM's "rolling supossitory" 1991-96 wagons are much better integrated ............they do look a bit fat though, partly because the front and rear taper so sharply, yet through the midsection they're probably as wide as......

    The one design that looked really awkward from the rear (now that we're talking about suppossitories :P ) was the last gen Buick Riviera. It had a nice overall shape, and looked great from most angles:

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    But looked awful from the back. The extreme tapering at the end of the long trunk made the narrow back look like it came from a subcompact.

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    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,568
    Yeah, there have been a few coachbuilt/private conversions of S-class wagons, but nothing from the factory. All I have seen have been W116/W126 conversions:

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