Finding a bad new car that you wouldn't recommend to anyone is a lot more difficult than it used to be. Hyundai and Kia, which just ten years ago made cars we looked down upon, don't even have a product on this list. And yet people still recommend the bad cars such as the Mercedes R-Class (which thank goodness is gone for 2014). While the Koreans have seriously upped their game, some of the most established of car companies sell cars that almost anyone would hate enough to seek retribution on the person who recommended it.
Author's Note: Many of you will point out that I didn't include the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger on this list. I couldn't envision owners (NOT the rental car companies) of those cars getting revenge and thinking of ways they'd get back at you. If you can conjure up ways owners of the 200/Avenger would get retribution, I'll be looking in the comments. (And wondering how I couldn't think of it.)
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: Numerous other Japanese midsize sedans exist which are better than the Galant any day of the week. Even the Mitsubishi webpage for the Galant resorted to using fictional praise. And the Mitsubishi dealer experience and aftersales experience is among the worst in the business.
How They'll Get Back At You: In six months to a year's time, you'll be picking them up from the dealer when their car is in the shop. They'll say it's because the dealer didn't have a particular part, but it's actually because the service department of the dealer really didn't care about servicing it on time.
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: If the person you recommend this car to hasn't driven the current Accord, 6, Sonata, or Fusion, you may just be in the clear. Just. Otherwise, they will flat-out hate the car after a day of driving it around.
How They'll Get Back At You: They will insist that you be the one that drives in the event you're going somewhere together. And because you recommended this to your travel agent, they will ensure that your rental car will always be a Malibu. I can safely say that'll be revenge enough.
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: It is seriously so long in the tooth that I'm surprised Subaru still makes it. And there are many crossovers for the same price that are so much better from the Pilot to the Traverse to the CX-9. It's a pity they don't offer the JDM Exiga since that seats 7 people so much better and more stylishly. (Then again, I like the Honda Odyssey.)
How They'll Get Back At You: Let's face it. This was recommended to one of the parents in carpool. So they won't get back at you, persay. They'll get back at your kids. So they'll be the ones forced to sit in the third row and get dropped off last. You should have playfully suggested the Odyssey.
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: Mitsubishi dealer issues persist. And the car is small and seems unsafe. And you should be concerned about range. When the news came that the i-MIEV was the 100,000th electric car sold in the US, I was more surprised that someone bought an i-MIEV rather than the US bought one million electric cars. And I still haven't purchased it with my credits in Gran Turismo 5.
How They'll Get Back At You: Let's face it. You recommended this to the person at work whose sole goal is to make everyone more environmentally conscious. They'll get back at you by insisting that the group take your car when going out to lunch or to an offsite meeting, because their electric car won't have enough juice for them to get home. So much for promoting environmental friendliness.
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: Only Ferrari salesmen recommend these. And they recommend them because the customer wants to move up on the list for a 458, F12, and/or LaFerrari. It also can't really seat four people. And the FF depreciates significantly, like the 612 and 456 that came before it.
How They'll Get Back at You: You won't get to drive the Ferrari, even though you'll really want to. They don't want to give you any opportunity to say the Porsche Panamera Turbo S would've been better. Also, don't expect them to pick up the tab for you at those insanely expensive bars and nightclubs in the city anymore. It'll be a rude awakening after the fifth bottle service.
Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: I feel like I shouldn't have to explain this one, but I will. It is useless. There's little in the way of cargo room relative to its size. Everybody will see you when you inevitably ride in it. You will become embarrassed to be friends with a person who owns a Murano CrossCabriolet. Really, there's better ways to spend over $40,000. Like taking part in penny auctions.
How They'll Get Back At You: You will have to ride in it. That's embarrassment enough. And eventually they'll ask to borrow your car at least 2-3 times a month for transporting people or cargo. Namely because they haven't swallowed their pride yet and don't want to directly show to others they own such a thing. Meanwhile, you're forced to drive it, and it'll stick out like a sore thumb to the rest of the neighborhood, who will think you're going through some weird sort of midlife crisis.
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: First off, it's not a proper Jeep. The Ford Escape and Subaru Forester are so much better, especially since CUVs never go off-road. In the end, it's a somewhat tall station wagon available with 4WD that is meant to appeal to people who somehow liked the Caliber.
How They'll Get Back At You: Because the salesman and the Jeep marketing materials said that since it was "Trail-Rated" the Compass could tackle the Rubicon, they will attempt the Rubicon. And you'll be their partner for the adventure. It'll be the longest week of your life.
Land Rover LR2
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: I have no idea who buys this when the Range Rover Evoque and BMW X1 are on sale, though the LR2 can genuinely venture off-road. There's no other reason why these exist other than being Land Rover service loaners.
How They'll Get Back At You: They'll take you along to one of those Land Rover owner events that the dealer puts on to make sure that their customers actually take their vehicles off-road. Then, when you least expect it, they'll splash water and/or mud onto you while you're outside the car, attempting to "guide" them. Welcome to revenge, Land Rover-style.
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: I would not recommend this because I truly care about people who take my car recommendations. In an accident on the highway, I would not be comfortable with them surviving after an accident. And for the same price, a Fit or Accent are larger, don't get much worse mileage, and are available with a manual, since the Smart's transmission has caused madness in some of its owners.
How They'll Get Back At You: They'll insist on taking their car whenever you're in town. There is a benefit in this, which is parking and nothing else. And your stuff will always be jettisoned in favor of theirs if you're traveling somewhere or coming back from shopping. They'll also insist on bringing their dog along, so you'd better get acquainted with their golden retriever for the long-haul.
BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
Why You Shouldn't Recommend It: Everybody will be confused by what exactly it is supposed to be. It's expensive for what it is and it's been out-of-fashion since 2009. And a 5-Series or 7-Series is not much less or much more respectively, in terms of lease payment per month. Since most, if not all BMWs, are leased.
How They'll Get Back At You: Since you suggested this to your metrosexual (it's really been a while since anyone's used this term) friend or a mom who's trying really hard to look stylish but couldn't afford an A7, CLS, 6-Series Gran Coupe, they'll take you shopping to Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Off Fifth, stores that you will absolutely flat-out hate.
What new car recommendations do you think will result in retribution? And how do you think they'd get back at you?
Satish Kondapavulur runs Clunkerture, named because "Clunker.com" was $82 at auction and would've taken 30% out of the balance of his Eagle Vision for LeMons fund. In between contemplating cross-country runs, he spends much of his time attempting to convince others that his MkV Jetta 2.0T Wolfsburg is indeed a sports sedan.
Vehicle photos courtesy respective manufacturers. Cover photo credit Geek Peeks.