Sales: 13,302 (available 2003-2011) What do get when you cross a Cadillac with a Corvette? Answer: Terrible sales. GM) thought the XLR could make the stodgy Cadillac brand seem hip to a younger crowd, but the car proved neither luxurious enough for Cadillac fans nor sufficiently sporty for Corvette enthusiasts. "I don't think Cadillac buyers were ever looking for that high a level of performance, so GM made the XLR a little softer and lower-power than a Corvette -- which meant the Corvette faithful didn't like the car, either," Takahashi says. Besides, you could buy a fully loaded Corvette for about $20,000 less than the XLR's $75,000 price tag. Takahashi says the car ultimately proved so unpopular that dealers needed until 2011 to unload the last of the XLRs, which GM had built for the 2009 model year.
Sales: 5,828 (2009-present) This $51,000 car is still available, but Acura has said it's pulling the plug after the current model year. The ZDX is basically a crossover SUV that Acura parent Honda ( HMC) decided for aesthetic reasons to outfit with a sporty hatchback's sloping rear roofline. Takahashi says that looks kind of cool, but has left the model with tiny rear seats and little cargo room -- basically ignoring the reason many people buy crossovers in the first place.
Sales: 2,055 (2007-present) Takahashi calls the $120,000 LS 600h L "a six-figure hybrid that doesn't really get great gas mileage." The LS 600h rates only 19 miles per gallon in city driving -- just 3 mpg better than you'd get with its non-hybrid cousin the Lexus LS 460, which costs almost $50,000 less. In fact, the LS 600h gets worse highway mileage than the LS 460: 23 mpg for the hybrid vs. 24 mpg for the gas-only model. "The only reason I see for
Sales: 1,420 (2011-present) The all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV offers one of the highest fuel-efficiency ratings of any mainstream 2013, but Takahashi calls it "a porta-potty on wheels." "It seems like the whole car is made out of really bad plastic," he says. Technically a 2012 but still available on dealers' lots, the tiny four-door hatchback gets the electric-car equivalent of 126 mpg/city and 99 mpg/highway. But the i-MiEV manages such great numbers only by having a small cabin, a 66-horsepower electric motor and batteries that need recharging after just 62 miles (meaning the car can only make a 31-mile round trip). The Mitsubishi also requires about seven hours to fully recharge at 240 volts. That's roughly twice as long as what some rival electric cars need to juice up.
Sales: 1,078 (2012-present) The Murano CrossCabriolet is basically a crossover SUV that Nissan ( NSANY) gave a cloth convertible top -- a move Takahashi says is not only odd but "doesn't make the Murano a particularly good car to drive. "When you take the roof off of a car, you're killing a lot of its structural rigidity," he says. "You go over a bump and you can feel -- and see -- the