10 Cars That Dealers Just Couldn’t Give Away

Even if you’re not a car buff, you could still probably identify some of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. Not only do you see a large number of them on the road, but news sources commonly tout the best-selling cars in America.

But what about those at the bottom of the list? You know — the cars that nobody buys?

Here are some of the cars that gathered dust on dealer lots. All of the vehicles mentioned are from the 2011 model year.

Vehicle: Volkswagen Routan

Average number of days on lot: 107

What’s the problem? Two words: Volkswagen minivan. Executives at the German automaker thought that partnering with Chrysler to design a VW minivan would replicate the success achieved years ago of the Volkswagen bus. They were wrong.

Vehicle: Nissan Titan

Average number of days on lot: 106

What’s the problem? The early editions of Nissan’s full-size pickup truck sold well. But unlike its American competitors, the Japanese automaker hasn’t tweaked the Titan to better its gas mileage rating– which is an abysmal 13 MPG in the city.

Vehicle: Kia Rio

Average number of days on lot: 101

What’s the problem? Kia thought the bargain-basement sticker price of $13,400 would be enough for customers to overlook the Rio’s lack of features and power. But when you also factor in its poor crash-test ratings, you can see why buyers turned elsewhere for a subcompact car (and car insurance companies wanted their customers to look elsewhere).

Vehicle: Mazda 6

Average number of days on lot: 100

What’s the problem? Most evidence indicates that the Mazda 6 isn’t a bad car. But when you compare it to other cars in its class, like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, it gets overshadowed by the stellar ratings of its competition.

Vehicle: Toyota Yaris

Average number of days on lot: 97

What’s the problem? Much like the Kia Rio, the low-priced Yaris (MSRP: $14,115) couldn’t overcome a bland interior and an awkward driver position. Its Consumer Reports rating of 41 out of 100 certainly didn’t help matters.

Vehicle: Toyota Matrix

Average number of days on lot: 97

What’s the problem? For starters, potential buyers were disappointed with the Matrix’s base 1.8-liter engine, which delivered subpar performance. When you add a dearth of cargo space as compared with its counterparts, you get low sales numbers.

Vehicle: Honda Element

Average number of days on lot: 96

What’s the problem? Nothing — if you don’t mind a utilitarian sport utility vehicle that is uncomfortable on the inside and ugly on the outside. In an SUV marketplace that is loaded with style and amenities, the Element just doesn’t cut it — so Honda is discontinuing the model.

Vehicle: Suzuki SX-4

Average number of days on lot: 93

What’s the problem? First off, Suzuki has had lots of trouble getting a foothold in the U.S. “four-wheeled” vehicle market. And with the SX-4’s inferior gas mileage and a JD Power rating of 2 out of 5 stars, this car really never had a chance.

Vehicle: Cadillac DTS

Average number of days on lot: 93

What’s the problem? It’s not just small cars that dealers have trouble giving away. The the terrible gas mileage on the DTS made customers long for the Deville, the model which it replaced. The DTS is also being discontinued.

Vehicle: Dodge Ram Pickup 1500

Average number of days on lot: 91

What’s the problem? Though Ram trucks in general are popular, the 1500 was hampered by poor fuel economy, high owner costs, and low predicted reliability. Interestingly, though JD Power lauded the 1500’s design and overall quality, the group still gave the truck just 2 out of 5 stars.

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