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Top 10 Automotive Turkeys for the Decade

Just in time for Thanksgiving, MSN Autos has come up with its list of the "Automotive Turkeys for 2010." Well, that got us at thinking we could go one better and come up with our list of the Top 10 Automotive Turkeys for the Decade. Why stop at just one year?

For the purposes of this list we are confining ourselves to vehicles sold in the United States. There are automotive turkeys all over the world but we've only sampled the domestic automotive turkeys. You will see some crossover between our list and the MSN Autos list but that's inevitable because there are only so many turkeys to go around.

These automotive turkeys are presented in random order, except for the first one. It has the distinction of being the number one automotive turkey of this decade.

  • Pontiac Aztek – This SUV had no redeeming qualities to it (except maybe low resale values on the used car lots). Somewhere there has to be a designer who cops to submitting this design as a joke and then swallowing his or her tongue when it got signed off. Even the fact that you could order an optional tent didn't help the Aztek.
  • Smart ForTwo – Let's take a small car with relatively poor gas mileage for its size and convince Americans it's a great idea. This little two-seater was just plain lacking in style and appeal – and now Smart wants to bring a four-door version over. It better get 50 mpg or there's no reason for it.
  • Chrysler Sebring – Chrysler has done the right thing and dropped this name from its lineup. The most recent generation of Sebrings was totally lacking. It didn't drive well. It felt cheaply made. The new Chrysler 200 will just put it to shame.
  • Nissan Cube – This little compact utility vehicle just has very little going for it. The seats are uncomfortable. The Cube begins to get noisy at 40 mph – and this was in the top-of-the-line 1.8 SL trim level Cube. It has to be one of the noisiest cars on the market at highway speeds. Plus it has a paucity of torque.
  • GMC Envoy XUV – It's an SUV! No, it's a pickup truck! Wait, it's both at once and does neither well! This was a mishmash of ideas with a retractable roof so it could be used like a pickup (carry a tree standing straight up!) and a midgate you could raise to seal off the passenger compartment from the elements when the roof was open.
  • Subaru Baja – There are diehards out there who love this vehicle but it's questionable why. This was a mini-compact pickup truck with a small bed and a cramped interior. It was no fun to drive but weekend warriors who wanted to pick up some loam at Lowe's apparently liked it.
  • Pontiac GTO – This bulky V8 took a good name and ruined it. Some rightly nicknamed it the Goat. Its performance was satisfactory at best. It was bloated and handling was almost non-existent. Mercifully Pontiac dropped it quickly and replaced with the Pontiac G8, which may be coming back as a Chevrolet sometime soon.
  • Lincoln Mark LT Pickup – Somewhere at a dealership in Texas, a Lincoln customer walked in and said, "I wish you guys sold a luxury pickup like Cadillac." That got passed up the food chain. Executives saw dollar signs and thus was born a pickup with a hardtop over the bed, which was carpeted. It's probably safe to say that original customer never bought one.
  • Saturn Ion – This may have been the car that put Saturn on the road to oblivion. It was just cheaply made. It had no discernible appeal and made scores of owners never return to the brand. It was just a plastic imitation of a car.
  • Suzuki Reno – This was probably the last of the bad Suzukis that were gracing the American market before welcome change came in the form of the SX4 and the Kizashi. This little four-door was designed to be a value leader but unfortunately it was wanting for performance and handling. Also, it was plagued by poor fuel economy for its size.
  • BMW X6 – Or as some like to call it, the BMW Aztek. It's unfathomable why BMW, which makes such beautiful sedans, thought it wise to bring to market a cramped, crossover-style vehicle that pretends to be some kind of activity coupe. It's ugly from any angle or does nothing to advance the BMW legend – yet people buy it. Go figure.
  • Keith Griffin has been writing continuously about new cars since 2002. He used to be the guide to used cars at former as well as a contributor to The Boston Globe and Automotive Traveler. He is founder and president of The Internet Car and Truck of the Year, where "Internet Pros and Average Joes" pick the car and truck of the year. Currently Keith is the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter.

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