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Cars That Have Disappointed

2

Comments

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I thought the clear lens taillights of the European STS helped to dress the car up a bit, and distinguish it from the CTS and DTS.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    But noooooo......Chrysler yanked out the optional higher HP engine, and managed to turn a promise into a head-gasket-blowing, wheezy little Nothing of an automobile.

    Actually, when it first came out in early 1994, the base 132 hp 2.0 in the Neon pretty much blew away the base engines in all the competition. Until the head gasket blew, that is. :blush: Unfortunately though, time marches on, and so does the competition, and when the final 2005 model years Neons were rolling off the assembly line, they still only had 132 hp, plus probably a few hundred lb more weight to lug around.

    Although even today, that's still in range of the base engines of most cars in this class, which put out around 130-140 hp.

    I first drove a Neon right around the time I got hired full-time after graduating college, in early 1994. I was impressed mainly by two things...the performance and the interior room. Finally, a small car that didn't feel like a dog with the base engine, and finally a small car that I could fit comfortably in, AND you could get someone my size to fit behind me. It would definitely blow away the 1994 Civic EX sedan that my friends had at the time.

    But, then the Neon started falling into the same trap as GM's 1980 X-bodies...it showed promise, but the quality wasn't there. And by the time they made them more or less reliable, the competition had moved on. I kinda wish they had kept the Neon around though, and improved upon it, rather than replace it with the Caliber. The Caliber was bigger, heavier, slower, less economical, and felt more cramped inside to me. About the only advantage, I guess, was more cargo area/versatility, since it was a hatchback.

    FWIW, in later years, with the 2nd-gen Neon, they did start offering the turbocharged 2.4, so they did put the performance back. But it probably wasn't as fun to toss around as that hot little 2.0 that the first-gen offered.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,121
    I believe you might be referring to a "lower block seal." The part is only $44, but the labor costs are around $2,300 because the engine must be removed to replace it. The problem could be minor seepage or a major leak. Not impossible, but it could be cost-prohibitive if the car is older and/or high-mileage.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,512
    I was disappointed by the Pontiac Solstice - not a terrible car, not even bad, but disappointing. They had decades of Miatas to study, and what did they come up with? The original one was overweight/underpowered, with a bad-fitting top that was hard to operate (compared to the Miata). The fix wasn't to lose weight, but to add power. It's just hard to understand when a clean-sheet design misses the target like this.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    When I mentioned Citation "X", I meant "X-11"--duh!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Well the Solstice came to the party after the dance was over.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    The Solstice looks nice, though, and had more dealer sales/service availability out in the small towns....until last year (sigh).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    The Solstice had to do what the Miata did in the first place---build a much better Lotus than Lotus.

    I was rooting for the Solstice, although I thought the front end regrettable. It would be nice if Chevy picked it up.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited November 2010
    Boy, I agree it'd be great if Chevy picked up the Solstice. Maybe call it a "Monza" or "Spyder".
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,121
    Any news about Chevy picking up the G8 and making it a Caprice?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Seems a shame to waste all that Solstice tooling. The press reviews on the car were pretty favorable weren't they?

    Chevy needs to work on its "rental car" image.

    MODERATOR

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    I was rooting for the Solstice, although I thought the front end regrettable. It would be nice if Chevy picked it up.

    I never cared for the Solstice front-end, either. Not really ugly, but just too cute and "playful", I guess...like a pug puppy that's about ready to pounce. I preferred the Saturn Sky. Its front-end was a lot more cluttered, but I found it attractive.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    Another major deficiency of the Solstice and the Sky is that they have no luggage space, or virtually none. There's no space for even a weekend get-away, unless the passenger were willing to suffer with a small folding back between his/her legs and the seat bottom. That's inexcusable, considering that the Miata is smaller than the Solstice/Sky, and does have a small trunk.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The Solstice looks like something you'd order out of the Good Vibrations catalog, then pop a pair of AA batteries in once it arrived.

    The Sky borrowed its styling from the Opel Speedster, which is probably why it was picked to be the second Opel Speedster and the Daewoo version (if that ever got built).
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    I have a 2006 toyota hybrid highlander that is a few miles out of warranty ,talk about the expensive repairs exceeding vehicle value,my car would be worth 9,000 dlsis it was running ,the hybrid coponen fried and the dealer wants 14,000 dls to fix,i have a 2006 toyota hh sitting in front of my house worth 0,i paid 49,000 dls for this car new ,have been having problems since 5,000 mls and the service manager tells me they weren't meant to go past 100,000 mls,could you believe this,now what do i do,don't buy a hybrid ,they are deasth traps and expensive,very very crazy very expensive to fix,theis hunk of defectivejunk died on the fwy doing 70 mph almost lost my life,because when the hybrid components goes,no warning to light goes on,it just stops ,no power steering no brakes,almost hit a semi truck attempting to get it off the road.pass the word,someone is going to get killed ,toyotaadvertises them to be reliable,yea yea,let them ask me,i saw my lifeflash before my eyes when it died
  • sdasda Posts: 308
    edited November 2010
    What great promise that had. Unlike other diesels at the time, this one was very easy to live with. No long waits for the glow plugs to warm, no extra levers to push/pull to start, etc. My dad had a 79 Eldorado diesel. Beautiful two tone brown, kind of a copper brown on the sides, and dark metallic brown on upper body, roof, hood, trunk. It was the 125hp engine before it was reduced to 105hp. Really ran strong. Good mpg too. 20 around town, about 30mpg on the road. Dad loved it. Except...he couldn't keep it out of the shop. You could count on the head gaskets failing about every 15000 mi. It used oil like a Vega. Battery replacement was frequent, alternator, starter. Never had trouble with the fuel system like so many people had. From what I've learned since, if GM had done placed an effective water separator in the fuel line, many of the problems that plagued that engine wouldn't have. At 105k, dad gave up and trade it on a Mercury Grand Marquis. He got $1500 trade, $4000 less than had it been a gasoline Eldo. Had I had the resources, I would have bot it and put in a decent Olds 350. Just graduated from college, and no $$.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    edited January 2011
    Not many disappointments, or have the complaints been expressed in other discussions?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    I've heard the Olds 350 Diesel is a great engine to convert to gasoline and to build up. It has a beefier block than the regular gasoline 350, so it lends itself well to hopping up. The problem, is that it simply wasn't beefed-up enough to convert to a Diesel.

    I remember in 8th grade, I was in a carpool with several other families, because I went to a private school and the bus didn't come out our way. One of the other parents had an early 80's LeSabre Estate wagon with the Diesel. At the time she loved it, but this was also in the 1983-84 timeframe, and the car was still fairly new. I remember her saying it would get 30 mpg on the highway.

    IIRC, the 105 hp 1980-85 hp Diesel was a big improvement over the 125 hp version. It still had enough issues to continue the bad reputation, though.

    I wonder if getting 105,000 miles out of one of those Diesels should be considered a badge of honor?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    Olds also converted a GM V6 gasoline engine to diesel, and offered it in the Cutlass Ciera. That engine might have also been available in other GM intermediates. I understand it was more reliable than the V8 diesel, but that might not be saying much. I remember asking the owner of one of these V6s, who happened to be refueling next to me, about his experience with that engine, and his response was positive. As I recall, that car had over 60,000 miles on it.

    For any of you who may be interested, there was once a discussion on the Oldsmobile V6 diesel in Edmunds. You may be able to find it in the archives.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 693
    That Eldorado sounds nice. Your dad's '79 was basically the same E body used by the Toronado and Riviera until around 1985. In the 80s I had a girlfriend who drove an all white Toronado with white leather and the gas V8. It wasn't the kind of car which I would have shopped for, but wow, once you spent time with it there was nothing else like it!

    That Olds diesel ruined the rep of so many GM cars across the board - including high profit upscale models. Imagine if the wankel engine had actually found a home at GM in the 70s. Similar brand-crushing results, I suppose!

    I've heard those early Olds 350 D engines shared one particular nasty development with the later improved DX versions: 10 head bolts per side. Whenever GMs Detroit Diesel designed the 6.2 diesel it had something like 17 bolts per side! It has since been replaced in GM civilian trucks, but I've read that engine is still being produced for some military vehicles. But that was a solid, diesel engine design from the start instead of a modified gas engine.

    If only GM had taken that path for it's diesel cars back then.
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