These Cars Were Ruined By One Dealbreaking Flaw

Image:  Toyota
Image: Toyota

As the old t-shirt says, Pobody’s Nerfect. But sometimes there are flaws that are unforgivable. And that’s especially true in the particularly picky world of car enthusiasm. Because if you’re going to sacrifice time, money and knuckle skin on a car, that machine better tickle every aspect of your fancy. We asked you to tell us about the cars that nearly made it to the top of the charts for you, if it wasn’t for one glaring flaw. As usual, you delivered.

Alfa Romeo 4C - Poor Stickless Bastards

Photo:  Patrick George
Photo: Patrick George

Alfa Romeo 4C... ruined by the mandatory automated manual transmission: With a manual, it would have been perfect.



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I’m far from a manual elitist, moved on years ago and think that modern automatics are just better suited for modern cars, and that manuals feels almost out of place.

However, there’s some exceptions, and on the top of my list of exception is the Alfa-Romeo 4C.

It’s a car that offers nothing in terms of comfort and that is all about the driving experience and that is not breaking any speed records.

I don’t understand why a car that is essentially a better looking and less reliable Lotus Elise wouldn’t at least be offered with a manual transmission.

Submitted by: Manwich - now Keto-Friendly and Margin Of Error

Teslas - A Single Fatal Flaw

Photo:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos (Getty Images)
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos (Getty Images)

Tesla Model 3. I like the size, the price, the exterior styling, and could, I guess, live with the interior. I can afford it, and in 2 or 3 years will likely be looking for something electric. But the company owner is a deal breaking flaw for me (and especially my wife).


Car : All Teslas

Flaw : Elon Musk.

Submitted by: BirdLaw900 and OSpazX

Toyota Supra - Be That Guy, Vent Your Frustration

Image:  Toyota
Image: Toyota

Fine, I’ll be that guy:

The Toyota Supra because it’s not built by Toyota.


Toyota Supra and its awful fake vents

I still don’t love the design but without the fake vents there would be one in my driveway right now

Submitted by: TheSpeedAddict and Dake and others

Honda S2000 - Blaspheming Again in Margaritaville

Photo:  Andrew P. Collins
Photo: Andrew P. Collins

IThe Honda S2000.

know, sacrilege. The thing that made it amazing — that insanely high revving, perfect engine — was also its downfall. Because it has no low-end torque. The S2000 driven soft is Scarlett Johannsen after a long day on set — this looked like it was going to be a lot more fun. The S2000 driven hard is Margot Robbie after half a gram of coke and that look in her eyes. There’s no in between.

I had an NSX after my S2000, and the joke I’d tell my S2000 friends is that the NSX was all the torque you wish the S2000 had for 4 times the price. Honda could literally re-release the S2000 today, change not a single thing about the body / interior and just figure out a way to give it low-end torque, and it would crush everything.

Submitted by: jimmy-buffett

Chevrolet Volt - A Tiny Zap

Image:  GM
Image: GM

Chevy Volt, the rear seat was just too small - I’m sure it was a dealbreaker for a lot of potential buyers.

A little more legroom or packaged as an SUV it would have been a hit.

Kinja isn’t letting me post a pic. :-(

Yup. And the middle is completely not useable due to the center console and center tunnel.

Submitted by: thisismyid2 and icemilkcoffee

Mazda RX-8 - Spin That Angry Dorito

Image:  Mazda
Image: Mazda

Apex seals.

If it was as reliable as a miata it’d be a no brainer.


That isn’t a design flaw on a Wankel, but a Feature. The fact that Mazda got them to last more than a couple revolutions was a miracle.

Look at the gif below. The seal is scrapping around going across open ports having varying clearance between the walls and the Dorito over and over and over again on every revolution. There’s no way to lubricate the seal without burning oil and the temperatures are super high. It’s pretty much an impossible seal problem.

Submitted by: Milky, hoser68 and others.

All the Good Cars Marked Up by Dealers

Photo:  Spencer Platt (Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Any niche, limited supply, performance-oriented, desirable/rare or non-appliance vehicle available only through a dealership.

Submitted by: Skipp

Nissan Juke - You’ve Got to Be Juking Me!

Image:  Nissan
Image: Nissan

The AWD/CVT combo of the Nissan Juke. I genuinely liked the Juke when it first came out. What I didn’t like was that if you wanted the AWD version, you had to have the CVT. I believe the FWD cars had the option to row your own, and the Juke R had a dual-clutch auto.

I would have bought one. But at the time, I just couldn’t do AWD with the CVT.

The jokes on me as I now own a 2022 Crosstrek with 4WD and a CVT.

Submitted by: JohnnyWasASchoolBoy and others.

MK8 GTI/Rs - It’s What’s on the Inside That Sucks

Image:  VW
Image: VW

MK8 GTI/R’s infotainment/HVAC interface.

Basically perfect cars otherwise. (Evidently, owners claim it’s not so bad, but I still believe people didn’t buy the cars over it)


I’m one of the people who didnt buy one because of the controls. I had a deposit on a Golf R. I was ready to buy it. I sat in it and the controls just killed it for me. I know i would probably get used to it but i didnt want to deal with having to teach people how to use the infotainment everytime they are in my car. I’m waiting to see what VW does to fix the issues.

Submitted by: WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4, FlyLilSebastian and others

Pontiac G8 - This One’s Personal

Image:  General Motors
Image: General Motors

Maybe it wasn’t “ruined”, but it certainly was a major bummer that the 2008 Pontiac G8 was automatic only, and the 2009 Pontiac G8 was automatic only in the V6 and 6.0L V8 trims. You had to go up to the whopping 6.2L V8 “GXP” trim and then pay an additional fee on top of that to get the optional manual, which of course very few could afford. I say not a complete deal breaker because I did end up buying the mid-trim GT. It was $28,500 versus $42,000 for the manual GXP (+$13,500 in my local market). Still have it 13+ years later, and numerous times it has crossed my mind to get a manual swap in it. Mine’s blue but the press photo orange is snazzy too.

Submitted by: StalePhish

Chrysler 200 - And So They Gave Up on Sedans Forever

Image:  Stellantis
Image: Stellantis

The gen. 2 Chrysler 200 had a lot more swagger and swankiness than other midsize cars. It was somewhat hamstrung by the problematic early 9-speed ZF transaxle, and by Chrysler’s heretofore dismal reputation for building passenger cars.

However, the truly unfortunate thing was that Chrysler went for too small a wheelbase. It wasn’t substantially larger than the compact-class Dodge Dart with which it shared a platform, and that put it in an uncomfortable tweener class...right as competitors like the Passat, Fusion and Accord were pushing full-size interior dimensions and making actual full-size cars redundant.

A few years prior, the 2013 Malibu suffered from a similar plight, because GM wanted to make it “international-size” so that it would sell better in other markets. (This was despite already having the Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Insignia, which used the same platform and wheelbase).

Submitted by: Kyree

Honda Insight - Less for the Same

Image:  Honda
Image: Honda

The 2nd gen Honda Insight, criminally let down by the one simple flaw that it was phoning in an attempt at being a Prius except 10% smaller with 10% less fuel efficiency with an obsolete and failure prone ni-mh battery chemistry all for about the same cost as a Prius.

Submitted by: Piston Slap Yo Mama

Toyota Sienna - Don’t You Know Your Market?

Image:  Toyota
Image: Toyota

The 2021+ Toyota Sienna does not have removable 2nd row seats. This is an unforgivable sin for a minivan.

Submitted by: Stephen

Infiniti QX50 - Get With the Times!

Image:  Infiniti
Image: Infiniti

I test drove a base model 2017 Infiniti QX50. Low miles, fair price...I was interested. The last step was to see how well it fit in my garage, so I took it on one last test drive. It fit fine, so I decided to commit. And since I was committing, I may as well connect my phone and listen to Spotify on my way back to the dealer, right? Uh...I stopped for 15 minutes in a parking lot trying to figure it out. Then I looked and didn’t find an aux port. So I then spent another hour while the sales guy called first the Infiniti dealership, and when that led nowhere he called a friend at CarToys regarding a replacement stereo. Finally, he comes out, asks if this is a deal breaker (t’was, truly), shakes my hand and apologizes, then turns to go help another customer. Do not overlook the fact that this was a 2017 model luxury car (three years old at the time) that wouldn’t connect to my phone to play music.

Submitted by: dug deep

Isuzu Impulse - I Get What You’re Saying, But Also, Would Still Rock

Image:  Isuzu
Image: Isuzu

What if I described an AWD, Intercooled Turbo 4-cylinder homologation car from the early 1990's? It’s got a center diff that biases the power 60% to the rear, decent macpherson strut suspension, and a fairly curvy hatchback coupe design that even includes quad headlamps and a hood-mounted duct for the intercooler.

On paper, it’s a winner.

Unfortunately, all anybody sees when they look at it is Geo Metro. This car was doomed by corporate platform sharing with GMs least ambitious sub-marque.

Submitted by: MikeHerbst

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