Our Two Cents: Cars we would kill, if we could

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Welcome to this week’s episode of Our Two Cents, a series where we ask the staff here at Hagerty Media random questions about automobiles. Our folks spend far too much time every day thinking about cars, so it’s only fair to ask them the following question: What car would you kill and why?

Our answers are just as diverse as our interests, so have a look!

Don’t cross over

2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir

I would kill every single egg-shaped “crossover” vehicle simply because they’re hideous (see: Buick Encore). Do I need to expand on this? I feel like everyone should agree with this. They’re ugly as sin and shouldn’t exist. — Ben Woodworth

Toyota Prius, etc.

Any Prius before the latest version, and I’d also nominate the Smart car. Oh, and can I also throw those pedal-powered jitney bus/bicycle bar contraptions onto the fire? They go a whopping 5 mph on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, blocking traffic on a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of suburbanites hootin’ and hollerin’. — Todd Kraemer

Make like a tree and leaf


Nissan Leaf. The first one had such an opportunity to make a splash but was instead the ugliest car of the 21st century. The name is too stained by that mistake and should go away. Larry Webster

Dropping the droptop


I vote for the last Chrysler Sebring convertible. Once I leaned over to use the lever to move the passenger seat back, and the entire seat bottom came away in my hand. Which is okay in a Boeing 737, but not a psuedo-luxe convertible. Steven Cole Smith

Flamed out on flame surfacing

2002 BMW 7 Series front three quarter

In an alternate universe, the 2002–2005 BMW 7 series (E65) woulda ended life as nothing more than a clay model. If so, the Bangle butt and that expensive-to-make (yet dumpy-looking) interior would have never let BMW slide into the convoluted, complex, and borderline offensive BMWs we see today. Sajeev Mehta

No Eco, no Sport … no thanks!

2021 Ford EcoSport Ford

Ford EcoSport. It’s basically a Ford Fiesta on stilts that costs many thousands more but has the same unpleasant interior. It’s just a hateful little crossover that was as uncompetitive as it was unattractive. It was more ponderous than the tight-handling Fiesta, but the real gut-punch was that the EcoSport arrived right around the time Ford said it would kill all non-SUV cars except the Mustang. Eric Weiner

You are not us?

lamborghini urus s

I was going to say the Ford EcoSport, but it looks like that one has been spoken for. (Put me down as seconding that motion, however.) So instead, I’ll turn my attention to the Lamborghini Urus. I don’t really care that it’s become the brand’s best-selling vehicle basically overnight. I don’t care that it’s a cash machine. I don’t care that Porsche was the first of those holdout sports-car marques to worship at the SUV altar. Porsche is German, which means logic reigns supreme. Of course there was going to be an SUV.

Lamborghini? It’s Italian. (This is the part where you guys “WELL ACKSHUALLY” me about the VW Group’s ownership and the parts sharing. Save it—I’m on a roll here.)

The whole brand is emotion and sex and things worried parents try to pray away. It’s crass, joyous, spiteful defiance of logic and reservation. The Urus feels like none of that. Nathan Petroelje

Fry the oil-burner


This is such a fun game of the “butterfly effect” for me: I’ll think of one car that I would love to smite and, just a second later, realize that without that car we wouldn’t have something else. I thought of at least three despicable models that had positive implications in the marketplace. That said, I wish all the 1978–85 GM diesel cars never happened.

Those cars and the stories that spiraled from them put a bad taste in the mouths of so consumers when it came to diesel engines—a bad taste that was largely undeserved. If buyers would have received diesel cars that functioned properly and were actually thought-through, I think history would have changed. For good or bad I don’t know, but it’s hard to argue things wouldn’t have taken a different path. Kyle Smith

Adios, Tin Lizzie


Channeling my inner Loki, I’d adopt the “agent of chaos” role for this scenario and I’d kill the Ford Model T. It would be interesting to see what the automotive landscape would look like today in its absence. Stefan Lombard

Kill every icon!


Ooooh … if we’re doing chaos theory, let’s also kill the Tucker (no safety innovations), the Beetle (no VW or Porsche), the Mustang (no pony car wars), and the GTO (no muscle cars). Maybe the Corolla (no foreign cars made in the U.S.)? — Todd Kraemer


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    I’m certainly with Ben Woodworth: no crossovers! It was bad enough that the minivan and SUV killed the station wagon (or shooting brake for our Limey friends), but now the CUV has pretty much slain the family sedan (at least in U.S.-made cars). And Ben cited the most important reason – they are all butt-ugly. Kill ’em – kill ’em all!

    Steve; so buy one…

    I currently drive a long-roof to haul the kids and dog around (a W212 Estate/Sport), and I’m looking to replace it as our primary highway car (Either Volvo or Benz again.) It eats cargo and soaks up miles on the highway way better than my wife’s larger, more expensive, and less efficient SUV (even she agrees, but wants to sit high. Urgh.)

    I love the late Regal wagons; they’re available relatively cheap on the used market, and are an incredible car. Outbacks are fantastic. And if you want to go used, there are a plethora of models on the market to snag.

    It’s literally better at anything (except towing, but I own a truck for that) than my wife’s SUV. I aim to keep driving wagons long after the kids are gone, and I no longer “need” one for my daily.

    Too darn useful not to…

    I own one of those “all-look-alike” crossovers, and fully agree, today’s cars are for the most part ugly and they all look alike. Bring back the days when you could identify every make on the road. So with this in mind and my 75 plus year old heart I just purchased a 1980 Ford Pinto Pony Station wagon. It needs only a little work but it’s all original. I’m really loving this little car and yes it holds a lot more than the CX, cargo wise.

    So you just bought a Pinto. Let’s hope you never get rear-ended! Too many innocent people burned to death because the suits at Ford decided to save a few pennies by foregoing a real gas tank, and simply welded a “clam-shell” gas tank to the underside of the Pinto. Ralph Nader should have vented his spleen at the Pinto rather than at the Corvair.

    Funny thing about the Pinto. In about 1980, there was a short news item buried in the middle of the Houston newspaper stating that when the (NTSB?) actually tested the Pinto against its foreign competition, the Pinto was safer than its competition.

    Funny how that never made news after one little blip. We can’t have the truth getting in the way of the foreign car quality myth.

    Regal wagon (Taurx) was the best car I have owned. Smooth, quiet, fast and 35 mpg. The Germans made it for the Autobahn, and it is effortless at 80mph. Due to a special mission for LBJ, I could not get in and out very well and finally switched to a taller car.

    I tried going without a wagon for about 2 years and when the opportunity came I went running back. I have had a Mercedes 123 diesel wagon that I finally had to put to rest at 422,000 miles, a VW Passat and Jetta wagons and currently have a Volvo V50. My wife drives a Mazda CX-5 but only because the newer gen headlamps blind her at night. While in Germany last December we rented an Audi A6 TDI wagon that was great. I prefer the ride, handling and efficiency of a car. If I really need something larger to move something I just rent a truck for a couple of hours.

    A “shooting brake” is a low, sporty wagon, not a generic wagon. The term you’re looking for is “estate car”.

    I believe a shooting brake is a vehicle you use to take your upper class friends hunting when they come to your estate for the weekend after the season in London is over.

    I believe a SHOOTING BRAKE is a wagon based off a coupe – so one would typically have only TWO doors. A four door wagon would properly be an ESTATE.

    I agree DUB6. those “things” now you see on the highway are just “city ” cars if even that. there is no room to go shopping for groceries- unless you go gas station shopping ! And what about if you go on a trip or have to pick up some relatives from the airport ? Send their stuff by UPS ? Or, make sure you have a trailer hitch on your vehicle. What kind of auto designers do we have now ? I’m glad I was born in the 50″s to see all the vehicles that showed inovated style and comfort !

    I was with you until the Tin Lizzie and “Kill every icon” rants. You were on a roll then rolled right off the cliff.

    The tin Lizzie and the Volkswagen were built as peoples cars, affordable and ugly, sure, just like virtually all tries in the 20th and 21st century to produce an affordable car. And tens of millions were sold. Gotta look past the surface to find real value.

    At a time when there were no mass-produced cars, and most were electric or steam, the Model T was genius. How can you compare your ignorance to today’s cars? The business model was to build a few very expensive high profit cars. Henry’s idea was to build a car regular folks could afford. After an inspiring tour of a meat packing plant, he created an assembly line to build cars even cheaper. What would we have now without him? We’d be speaking German. Henry’s mass produced bombers were a huge contribution to the war effort. So… what problem do you have with the Model T? It’s about as dumb as trashing the early 8086 computers with no hard drive, very little memory and a really slow processor.

    Erase the model T?….There …..we just solved the world’s energy crisis…..if we can just generate electricity from Henry turning over in his grave

    There is no evidence that Hank and Addie’ had a relationship, but Ford did publish a lot of anti-Semitic trash, which it is said Hitler quoted when the need arose. Ford later recanted; his omnipotent credibility was like some more recent polticos!

    No, the Model T was Ferdinand Porsche’s inspiriation for the People’s Car (Volkswagen). Hitler only subsidized the project. In so doing, he exploited Porsche’s dream for his own (Hitler’s) sinister purposes – namely, promoting his fascist government over free enterprise.

    Nah, it was GM that Hitler contacted about building tanks for him. He said they didn’t need to ship them, his troops would pick them up as the rolled through Detroit.
    (That’s a joke, son!)

    Without the Model T, France might well have lost WWI. The volunteer ambulance groups all built their ambulances on Model T chassis. Without them (and the heroic efforts of Ivy League volunteers), many more wounded soldiers would’ve died.

    Teslas once they started getting mal-proportioned and ugly but the press generally doesn’t acknowledge that.

    Roadster = stylish.

    Model S = unoffensive, but nothing special looks-wise. Put the badges on a 2005 Grand Am and you fool many.

    X, Model 3, Y =bring out the ugly stick, or at least the Dodge Neon design book but not as cohesive…

    Cybertruck = polarizing, which I can appreciate them doing. Maybe not my taste, but at least a personality. I think it could be better at it’s own concept though, early Ridgelines taught us that buttress bed sides not so helpful for example…

    I still maintain that Tesla has a ‘Committee of Ugly’ that all designs must pass through in order to get green-lighted. Not ugly enough? Back to the drawing board! OK, ugly enough, we will build it as a Tesla. They are all ugly. Cybertruck isn’t polarizing, it’s an abomination. Kill it. Burn it. Blow it up.

    Tesla: even notice how much the Tesla resembles the old Renault Caravelle from the front? Similar looks, and delete air intake snout. Always strikes me!

    At least the Tesla is better than many “owner designed” deals- Warren Mosler comes to mind- no Consulier (the original) on the list? Talk about being hit with an “ugly stick”- may have had performance but certainly nothing pleasing to look at.

    The front ends are getting so consciously “grille-less” that I’m beginning to worry my Avanti will start to get mistaken for one.

    With today’s near-extinction of sedans and coupes, it would be easier to identify what vehicles should NOT be killed. I’d love to shop for a new car if there was anything I could get excited about.

    I’m with you. Went to a vintage car show. Sitting there you can look down the row and see, there is a Chevy, a Ford, a Cadillac, all from 100 ft away. Stack up a line of new cars and they all look about the same. A pile of plastic and rubber hoses with a huge price tag. Not doing it!

    I looked at the xA and the xB and decided the agg was for me and the box was not. Ask a Scion owner and they will tell you that the “Toaster” is the illuminated box under the heater controls.

    My 05 xA has just over 261,000 miles on it and is presently on a 2,000 mile road trip with me. Bought it new, and honestly I am going to miss it when it dies.

    A few of them do. In my case a pretty blue ’23 Camaro. Gets constant compliments and a lot of looks by bystanders.

    Other than Corvettes, Challengers, Chargers, Chrysler 300’s and Mustangs, the most are boring with no character..

    ?We have a 2017 Chevy Impala that has a lot of character. Of course GM had to cancel it so they could manufacture more SUVs.

    Exactly. Back in the day, you could look at a car and say…there’s a Ford, or Chevy or what ever. Now, aside from a few standouts, everything looks like the blob

    If you are ignorant about new cars, just say that. They do look different and enthusiasts can tell them apart by headlight shape, wheel design, tail light shape and location, window shapes… You know, the same stuff that differentiated cars of just about every decade going back half a century. Declaring that everything from “back in the day” was totally unique and nothing looked alike is comical. Those rose colored glasses aren’t becoming on you.


    Tho I own a newish Camry, I’m pretty ignorant about new cars — so there! However, like with the ‘classic’ ’59 Impala (that I once did a mag article on) I get the feeling that the stylists/designers are having some fun at our expense. Either that, or the Art Center grads (post Strother MacMinn) are so inbred that they have come to like the semi-aero jelly bean look; it’s truly hard to distinguish one studio from another, even with the trad ‘ikon’ cues in the decorations! Things — and by that I mean ‘things’ — like the Cube and it’s ilk are post-modernist insults to the eye. “I may not know about new cars, but I know what I like!” Wick

    Lot of that going around. I had a close call last week — a little something on my driver Olds might have been terminal, and I’d have to get something made in the last decade. After looking around hard, there is just about nothing I’d be willing to be seen driving. I got lucky; it’s fixable. There are lots more cars I’d like to have someday, but none of them are recent.

    I would say everything after the mid-2000s except the high end performance stuff and the trucks

    I knew people who had those GM Diesels and thought they were great. From what I have been told, if you knew Diesels and drove them like a Diesel, they did fine

    A lot of people think taking a diesel truck to the store or other errands is fine. But to operate properly, diesels need to really get up to temp and run that way for awhile. I seen more people have trouble with diesel pick-ups by just starting them up and going on short jaunts than I can count. Start ’em, let ’em warm up, and leave ’em running as much as possible. All of that is not exactly environmentally friendly, but if you wanna just go get ice cream, jump in your gas rig (or EV) and leave the diesel until you are going 50+ miles!

    Dub six nailed it as usual, I bought an 03 Chevy three-quarter ton. They tried to sell me the Duramax but I knew I was short hop this so I went with a 6 L LS and it’s still running good at203K per the article you can’t kill the bug I think they made 10 million of them, the first cars I built were VW‘s they’re iconic. I want to kill the Camaro crossover while it’s still nascent. I owned a bunch of F bodies currently on a ZL one Camaro 22 and a couple of 68s; when they make the Camaro into an electric crossover I will XXX the first one I see just my two. Cents.

    I tried to kill my 93 Pontiac Trans-Am. It was in between Opti-Spark issues. My lawnmower caught on fire. So I kicked it towards the car to try to collect on insurance. Fire went out and only killed the mower.

    You’re telling this story on your insurance company’s website? Bold move, man, bold move! 😮

    Thinking the same thing. “MartinAston” will be tracked by his electronic footprint and get an epic premium increase soon.

    I second the Eco-Sport recommendation. I ended up with one as a rental and despised it every mile I drove it.

    I’d personally like to eliminate electrically-assisted steering. The artificially-generated ‘feedback’ makes me crazy, especially when the wheel goes all light and numb as I come to a stop. We’re getting further and further away from any kind of actual involvement with the vehicle; it feels like I’m operating a video game.

    Far too many safety features on new cars, resulting in barely skilled drivers who are unaware of many hazard factors in vehicle inertia. My first car (in another era) had mechanical brakes. Safe stopping usually required counter steering to offset erratic braking. [one of MANY acquired skills for required attentive driving]. Drivers today rely on spurious built in “safety” to compensate for their lack of DRIVING awareness and skills.

    I second that thinking!! When I was first driving with it, (it and lane control were left on by the dealer), it was as if an unseen hand had taken control of my wheel – very disconcerting!! Fortunately, the designers had the good sense to build in switches that gave me the ability to “opt out”. I’m very thankful to not have those annoyances to deal with anymore!!!

    To be honest the CUV/SUV would not exist if 5hey had not gone FWD down sized in all the coupes and sedans.,

    If you look at most cross overs they are th3 size of most average sedans from the 40’s to 1980.

    It is not so much the vehicle type but the size. The foot print taller roofs and interior room ar3 more cross over like in the older cars.

    No one really wants a Tempo or even a Camry as we see numbers of volume continue to drop.

    Even trucks took the place of a Caprice or LTD.

    So before we vilify the crossover we need to consider why people really want them.

    Pretty sure that the “people (who) really want them” are not doing the vilifying. It’s the people who despise them, and – at least last I checked – in this country we are free to vilify any darned vehicle we want to…

    One type of car I do wish were limited is the retro styling. It is ok for a while but how many modern versions of a 65 Mustang do we need.

    Saw 4000 (maybe many more) beautiful classics at the Iola Car Show last week. Gorgeous and all style. Not a Tesla to be seen. I’d kill Tesla right now. Ugly ugly ugly–except for the one that looks like an Audi. Tesla drivers are the worst especially trying to show off when driving the Mustang to show how fast they are. Wanted a ‘Gasoline Forever’ t-shirt at the Iola show…but they were all sold out!

    I raced a Tesla in my tuned 6.4 Ram 2500. I knew I’d get smoked but the satisfaction of imagining the battery deplete was priceless!

    Any early Hyundai–back when they first came to our shores. Things fell off them that hadn’t fallen off cars since the Renault Dauphine (not 4CVs, Dauphines) or Loyds and Trabis. We were fortunate not to get Hyundai Ponys or their pickup trucks–they had really been whopped with an ugly stick.

    Vegas with ‘good’ engines are not so bad; and they are well styled. Of course, GM could have done better, and I don’t mean a Pinto clone, either! All ancient history now.

    Hey, in the mid ’80s I had a 72 Vega GT, black over tan, manual, and smoky 4cyl. However, Hooker made headers to go with a kit (can’t remember who made it, Crown Engineering, maybe? Long time ago) to install a Chevy SB. I had a recently built 327 with the 2hump heads, a Crane version of the 350hp cam, Edelbrock Torker & 650 Holley, out of a ’65 Malibu smoked by a drunk driver. ‘bu was kinda quick, but the 327 turned that Vega into a somewhat scary rocket. For about 4 days. This is where I learned about narrowing rear axles. But I always felt the Vega was a nice looker, especially as a wagon. Never should have sold the Vega- now I’d likely have the only one left!

    Basically, every Lincoln made right now..
    Once a company that thrived on elegant and luxurious styling that spoke to the aesthetic of the stylish American, and reflected the best of their respective decade. Now they are all just ugly SUVs with some quasi-mid century themed interiors.
    Imagine a super sexy modern MARK VI, or some upscale cruising convertible based on the Mustang platform? I for one would buy one.

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