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Hooniverse Asks: What car would you never own?

Jeff Glucker May 16, 2018 Hooniverse Asks 77 Comments

I hated the Saturn Aura. I drove one years ago back when I used to work at the shitty version of KBB. The Aura was reviewed and at the time I remember writing that they should’ve called it the Saturn Emo because it makes me want to cut myself. I pulled that line from the final story, but I wish I hadn’t.

I would never own a Saturn Aura. 

Compounding my hatred of the car is the fact that a Saturn Aura owner’s group (yes, seriously) found the article and were properly pissed at my article. Too bad that story isn’t on the Internet anymore.

If someone offered me one for free, I’d decline. 

What vehicle would you absolutely never want to own?

  • Jeff Glucker
    • Alff

      God. Painful forum.

      • Wayward David

        …and such a time capsule, with Jeff pointing out that the Jetta TDI was green car of the year. But I couldn’t help but think that the tone of some of the comments (“your opinion differs from mine, therefore it is wrong and you are stupid”) foreshadowed the almost tribal divisions that plague discussions of …just about anything … today. Especially when Jeff tried to be conciliatory and the commenters just doubled down on the attacks. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it; it was just a car review.

        • Jeff Glucker

          Good point!

    • crank_case

      Wait, what? People got defensive of a USDM Opel Vectra?

      • Jeff Glucker

        Extremely. It was nuts.

    • Zentropy

      That review was hilarious. But damn, the comments that followed! You were a lot more conciliatory than I’d have been.
      Your opinions were prophetic, though– Saturn went down in flames for building “adequate” cars.

    • dukeisduke

      Jeff, that’s an excellent review. Had it been 1968 or 1978, you’d have fit right in at Car and Driver, with Patrick Bedard and David E. Davis.

      A couple of other observations: I thought that the XR came with the “high feature V6”, but was that just an option on the XR only? Whenever I see an Aura (I saw one just last week), I always look to see whether it’s an XE or an XR. Also, at least the haters were polite – today, most of the comments would be of the “Die, scum!” variety, wishing misfortune on you and your family.

  • Victor

    As a person who made a living in retail , there is no car that I would not own. Drive however is a different thing . Don’t care for the small compact cars or anything in yellow.

  • P161911

    I’m too cheap to say that there is a car I would NEVER own. Especially if I get it for free. As long as the scrap yard is paying $ for cars, I’ll take ANYTHING free. Now there are many cars that would immediately go on Craigslist or to the scrapyard.

    • 0A5599

      I generally agree, but I am reminded of my grandfather, a WWII vet, who would never own a German car. I imagine there may come a set of circumstances where I may boycott a particular make or model for reasons other than economics.

      • P161911

        I would have to guess that your grandfather would have gladly scrapped a free German car, maybe after shooting a few rounds into it first.
        My grandfather a WWII Pacific theater vet eventually bought a Toyota in the late 1970s during one of the gas crunches.

        • Sjalabais

          That’s interesting; was it a hard decision to make or was the past just turning into…the past for him?

          • P161911

            Not sure, he passed away when I was about 6 so I don’t remember a whole lot about him. I know he didn’t talk much about his time in the war, like many vets. He did see some combat, but I’m not sure how much direct action. He was in the Seabees. He got sent home with malaria after about a year. My other grandfather was set to be part of the invasion of Japan, but ended up spending a year or so in Japan as part of the occupying forces in 1945-6. He bought a Toyota truck in the late 1970s/early 1980s and drove it forever.

  • GTXcellent

    Much like the other answers, if the price is right, I’ll own anything – BUT, there is a car that would have to be free, free, free before I’d take it – a W body Impala. Not for a reason anyone would guess though – yes they’re ugly, yes even the LTZ trim seems shoddy, the 4T65E transmission is sooooo ‘slushy’ that it just saps any enthusiastic driving, and on and on but the real reason – The SEATS. Without a doubt, the worst seats that I have ever – and I mean ever, that I have had the displeasure of sitting on. No lateral support, weird, uncomfortable lumbar support (even with so-called adjustable lumbar) and the very worst of all – those god-awful head rests. After reading Kamil’s Stinger review yesterday, it seems that Kia must have hired the same designers. I cannot drive one for more than an hour before I have a screaming headache from those f*&#@ing headrests!

    • duurtlang

      I’ve been to the US once, in 2016. I rented a (you guessed it) W-Body ’16 Impala Limited. It had maybe 6k miles on it? I thought someone was playing a practical joke on me. It felt like a Monday morning 5/3 sized base model subcompact from the 90s. That dash was laughable.

      Agreed about those seats, they were just incredible. They gave my girlfriend constant backaches. Zero support. The cloth on this 6k miles example was worse in any way than the cloth in my then 30 years old very worn base model subcompact €300 1986 manual choke Peugeot 205. The Impala cloth showed some wear and the foam in the door side ‘bolster’ had flattened (at 6k miles!). Touching that cloth with my hand gave me the impression the fabric was made from recycled happy meal toys. They were power adjustable though, which seemed like very poor prioritization by GM. They should’ve spend the money on things that make a seat a seat.

      At 300 hp it was maybe the second most powerful car I’ve ever driven. It was also the car I drove the slowest. It was like an (uncomfortable) couch that didn’t invite any kind of acceleration or steering. It was like a 15 year old dog with joint issues that will do as you ask but which just exudes it prefers to sleep all day. And never wake up.

      I drove it through 6 US states…

      • Maymar

        Wait, a W-body Impala had bolstering that could even be flattened? Those seats made a Volvo 240 look curvy.

        • duurtlang

          I actually took a picture. It’s not a great one, but still. See that fold at the arrow? Absolutely speaking it’s not horrible at all, but given the mere 6k miles on that car I think it was pretty bad. I’d hate to find out how those seats would look with over 200k miles on them, like my daily.

          I (6’2″, average weight from a European perspective) felt like those seats were made for someone much much larger than me.


    • ptschett

      I’m pretty sure there are alternate universes where I would have owned either a Monte Carlo or an Impala SS with the sideways LS engine. (Probably the same universes where I preferred teams Hendrick, Childress, and DEI in NASCAR instead of Roush, Yates, & Penske.)

  • Fred

    I would never own a Rolls Royce. Even I could afford one, I’d just feel odd driving around in one. I just don’t hang with the right crowd I guess.

  • duurtlang

    A FWD (or front biased AWD) Toyota that’s not a coupe. Life’s too short for such a thing.

    Also, after having driven a Subaru BRZ with an automatic: a sporty car with an automatic. I like “slow car fast”, majorly sacrificing driving involvement for the convenience (and mild economy and speed improvements on recent ones) of an automatic counters that principle. That BRZ made me feel like I was playing Gran Tourismo on a Playstation; fun by itself but relatively disconnected and not even close to the real thing.

  • This is the driveway leading to my garage, so I don’t plan to own a vehicle with an overall width (including mirrors, typically not included in published specifications) that exceeds approximately 86″.


    • I_Borgward

      Will a T-Bird fit if you tilt its mirror just so?

      • From experience a ’65 ‘Bird will fit with a couple of inches on either side. Proper alignment when angling in from the street is critical.

    • 0A5599

      “Jay Leno’s garage”, as far as I can tell, is not at the same site as his house. You might some day have a similar arrangement–housing a portion of your fleet elsewhere.

      In your case, it might be reasonably economical, seeing how the average vehicle in your collection only takes up about 10 feet of floor space, even before double stacking.

      • No! I finally was able to consolidate everything at this place!

        I mean, unless you know of some available space…

    • Now I know where to drop off that Peel P50 that the trash man wouldn’t pick uo, even though it was in the recycling bin.

      • If the recycling bin itself is a repurposed Peel Trident, feel free to drop off both of them.

        Don’t leave them out front on Thursday morning, though. That’s trash day.

    • Van_Sarockin

      So, you just have to get the wide ones up on two wheels.

      • New rule for ownership: No vehicles wider than 86″ with white sidewall tires.

  • Jofes2

    Almost any SUV or crossover, save for the ones with actual utility. I just find them tasteless. But these particular ones have a special spot on my shitlist:

    Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    Chevrolet Tahoe (and all its derivatives)
    Ford Expedition (and all its derivatives)
    Porsche Macan and Cayenne
    Maserati Levante
    Mercedes-Benz GL (and all their “coupé” suvs)
    BMW X6

    just needed those out of my system thank you

    • wunno sev

      but why are you mad at the Tahoe and Expedition? legit useful vehicles able to do actual truck work.

      • Jofes2

        Unnecessarily big and wasteful. But I don’t really have any towing experience, so maybe they do have some legit purpose.

  • 0A5599

    I’m reasonably certain I would never own one of these, but you’re welcome to give me one in an attempt to change my mind.


    • Alff

      Golly, I love that.

  • onrails

    Trucks and boats have wonderful uses very few times a year. But the best trucks and boats are someone else’s trucks and boats. I haven’t owned one of either yet but have enjoyed the benefits of them on multiple occasions. Just never enough occasions to justify buying.

  • Alff

    I acquired our last two cars for free. I refuse to answer this question out of fear that, once uttered, the universe will conspire to deliver one to my driveway.

    • PaulE

      Some people have stray animals show up on their doorsteps. I seemingly have stray cars show up in my driveway.

  • Jkedz

    BMW e65 7- series. Ugly, unreliable, expensive to own, poorly fit together, teribble 1st gen IDrive. Plus this car has such huge electric battery consumption that with 2 batteries it can run out of energy in 15 minutes. A true disaster.

  • I think I would own just about anything with the exception of out-of-warranty newish German cars. I have my eye on a 2000 Audi TT 2.0 Turbo with 80K for $3950 (which in my state means no sales tax) but I just can seem to pull the trigger. Now, if it was a French car…

    • Fred

      I put over 100k on a 2007 A3 2.0 Had very few problems. But, that was a newer engine and I maintained it which is expensive. That’s the key really, good maintanence. It probably needs the timing belt sooner than later as well.

    • ptschett

      I have an uncle who drove BMWs and Mercedeses for decades. More recently he now has an EcoBoost Mustang for daily duty & a well-kept ’90’s Suburban for bigger jobs… he’s come to an opinion that the best use of the last warranty-coverage miles of a German car is to drive it to the junkyard before the four-figure repair bills for silly things like valve-cover gaskets start coming up.

      • I had an E30 318I 2-door that was a wonderful car. It had neutral steering, a great gearbox and had good seats. It ran like a train. I had it serviced by an independent Mercedes-BMW-Audi-VW mechanic who was very reasonable. I had too many cars and sold it to a man for his teenage son to drive. A week later it was totaled.

  • Citric

    Chevrolet Aveo, even for free, for a very specific reason: The one I drove squeaked if you turned right. I couldn’t drive a car that squeaked every time I turned right. It would slowly drive me insane, and I would soon be dismantling the steering column in a mall parking lot trying to make it stop squeaking before I drove home, and I would inevitably break something and have to ride the bus or hitchhike and then get killed by an axe murdering travelling salesman.

    As I do not want to get axe murdered, no Aveos.

    • Lokki

      I had an Aveo for a rental car a year or so back because Budget was punishing me for refusing an upgrade or something. Anyhow, I (seriously) had the impression that the parking brake was stuck on. Sure, it only had 105 horsepower or something, and an automatic transmissson, but I’ve had cars with similar power that didn’t feel so agonizingly slow. Certainly the fact I was in Boston traffic didn’t help, but that Aveo just reminded me of a penalty-box cheapo car from the dark days of the 70’s.

      Whether it was just lack of power or the brake really was stuck on the car left me with the impression of the Aveo as a Smart Car’s mongoloid cousin.

  • neight428

    I ended up with a Chrysler Sebring convertible as a rental one time in the mid 00’s when the Alamo was in the “just take whatever we don’t care” mode and it was either that or the smallest damned car they offered at the time. Other than the ability to put the top down, which might occasionally be more enjoyable than a fixed roof, there wasn’t a single redeeming quality about the thing. If any of them are still on the road, I haven’t seen them, but if one were given to me, I’d give it the full Chitwood and then call a scrap yard.

  • I’d never own an RV, I hate the idea of travelling with my poo 10ft behind me.

    Disclaimer: I live in a country where it’s perfectly safe and legal to camp in the wild, and I do sleep in the back of my van a couple of nights a year.
    Also, when you are rich enough but your body starts showing certain impatiences you might rethink your “I’d nevers”…

    • crank_case

      For the price of some of those things, whenever I see German tourists trying to thread some Fiat Ducato based thing down some twisty little west of Ireland road, I kinda think, you could’ve just paid to stay at some really nice hotels, some of them in castles and stuff, actually enjoyed those roads in an MX5/Miata, and still had change.

      • Sjalabais

        Dude, this works just as well in Norway, even with Norwegian prices. RV season has started here now, and you can tell by 2km long lines of cars following white, wheeled boxes on otherwise relatively clear roads. I get stronger and stronger feelings against RVs for every season that passes.

    • Fred

      I still like to get one and travel around to various racetracks.

    • “I hate the idea of travelling with my poo 10ft behind me.”

      If that really bothers you, have you considered looking for a shorter RV?

      • P161911

        Or longer depending on preference.

      • 0A5599

        Or driving in reverse?

    • smalleyxb122

      You’re not the first person I’ve heard this from, and while I agree, it won’t dissuade me from one day owning an RV. Unless you are living in it living in it, the toilet in an RV is for emergency use only, and if you are living in it, you are probably somewhere with full hookup, so your poo isn’t with you.

      • The distance to poo is just a wrapper for the fact that the acquisition and maintenance costs and efforts, combined with the negative aspects of driving a huge vehicle render it highly unattractive. An RV with a Fiat 500 or such in the back would compensate some disadvantages though…

        • smalleyxb122

          True. You don’t want your RV to be your vehicle. Your options are: Opt for a trailer and uncouple at your destination, or get a “toad” to pull behind your motorhome. I haven’t decided yet which option I prefer.

          • My wife’s parents have a trailer whereas her uncle has a motorhome with a flat-towed car. The trailer and the motorhome are both sizable (but by no means the largest out there) and both have about the same living space. I also find it difficult to decide which is the better option. Both branches of the family seem pretty happy with their respective choices.

            Neither would fit down my driveway.

            • outback_ute

              Just had a thought re the advantages of a motorhome against staying at motels – have a minivan or similar with a wardrobe in it so you don’t have to deal with suitcases, just take the necessary clothes with you. Also a mini kitchen or at least a kettle, and an awning to sit under.

            • P161911

              You can also get the “Toyhauler” or car hauler motorhomes with a garage in the back. Often the garage will convert into a bedroom. The beds either fold up or go up to the ceiling when hauling the vehicle. Possibly a much costlier option. More often seen with travel trailers with a space for a golf cart or motorcycles in the back.

  • JayP


  • Monstrissimo

    I would never own another large 3 row Suv. The wallow all over the place. The third row is usually only practical for smaller kids and the room it takes up even folded up leaves a lot to be desired compared to a van, truck or wagon.

  • Zentropy

    As for current year models, I wouldn’t own a Tesla. Tesla has authoritatively grabbed the reins from Porsche as the definitive “douchebag driver’s car”. At least some Porsche owners understand the car’s history and appreciate the skills with which it should be driven. Your typical Tesla owner knows about as much about its operation as they do their refrigerator. They buy it because of the perception others have about it, or their own limited perception about cars in general. Yes, it’s fast. Yes, it’s technologically chic. But unfortunately, that doesn’t make it a driver’s car.

    • In my visits to EV car shows I’ve found among the owners a general paucity of interest in the vehicles themselves, regardless of make, except for the handful of eccentrics who have been assembling their own homebrew EVs ever since the oil crisis of the ’70s. They’re recognizable as car enthusiasts, albeit usually quite specialized in their enthusiasm, and are also more likely to be aware of, and interested in, the history of EVs beyond simply the last few years.

  • Maymar

    I’ve owned two Hyundai Accents. I’m not looking for the hat trick.

    For that matter, I can pretty safely rule out a 3-row crossover. I’d be headed straight for a minivan should the MPV need arise, and considering my wife has strangely fond memories of her parents’ old Chevy Astro, I probably wouldn’t get many objections from her.

  • Zentropy

    Oldsmobile Alero. Hands-down, without a doubt, the single worst car I’ve ever driven. I suffered with one as a rental on a business trip in the early 2000s. It had maybe 2500 miles on the odometer but felt like 250,000. The engine harmonics were awful and the transmission felt archaic. There’s simply nothing positive I can say about this car. Nothing.
    Oddly enough, my next business trip landed me a Pontiac Grand Am. It was like deja vu. I later realized the cars were built on the same platform, which was completely unsurprising. The GM N-body platform was a horrible blight on the automobile world.

  • smalleyxb122

    “With the CVT” There may come a time when I own a car equipped with a CVT, when there is no other transmission option, but I will never own a car “with the CVT”.

    If the question can ever be “Did you get it with the CVT?”, the answer will always be “No.”

    • As the owner of an HMV Freeway, a KV Mini 1, and a Volvo 66 GL, I am in full compliance with this.

  • dukeisduke

    After having owned a ’78 Audi Fox, any other Audi. Sure, they’re crazy expensive (even my Fox was over seven grand when I bought it new), but the depreciation over a cliff steep. And I doubt the ones now are much more reliable than my Fox. As far as driving an Audi, I might make one exception:


  • Harry Callahan

    I prefer to shy away from vehicles burdened by political or cultural baggage. Whether a Prius or a Hummer, I don’t want to be associated with any group or ideology based on my car. MB, BMW, and Audi all carry a certain “snooty” factor in their brands, so I would avoid them as well. I will avoid GM products because I had such horrible experience with the last one I leased.

    I own/drive a Mazda6. Due to the singularly horrible marketing team at Mazda, my car has almost no broadly understood brand image whatsoever, so it is a good fit for me.

  • Dodge Avenger R/T. Frankly I’d probably never own any JS-platform car, but I have a special hatred for the Avenger R/T. The “R/T” badge is supposed to be the “car guy” version, a performance package for the dedicated driving enthusiast. And yet, nothing—but nothing—indicates undiluted cluelessness about cars than owning an Avenger. Unlike a lot of people, I think the Avenger’s lines are okay, even attractive, but it’s such a dog, in so many different ways. I mean, how lazy do you have to be to make a major purchase like an automobile without even reading one review? Because EVERY review at the time cautioned prospective buyers that there were much, much better ways to spend the same car-buying dollar.

    Buying the R/T version is the ultimate expression of being a wannabe car-enthusiast poser.


    • ptschett

      That’s why I like the Pentastar in the SE and SXT Avenger. The R/T wants to be quicker than it really is, but no one expects a plain Avenger to not be the 4-cylinder.

  • SoldierofaDifferentStripe

    Anything produced by FCA

  • je zalanka

    M1A3 Abrams MBT. think of the issues. Fuel economy aside, what would be the downside. top speed 50ish (ungoverned), absolutely no cup holders, no stereo, has a really big gun sticking out front, parking spaces too small for it, won’t properly fit thru toll booths path, pretty heavy(140,000 lbs empty), really pricey spare parts. on the up side, it will offroad nicely, has lots of room for a decent beer cooler, is able to pass over anything likely to be in front of you, the beer cooler can come with cup holders molded into the lid, you don’t have to care about the size of parking spaces as you can easily push your way into any parking space, toll booths are easily removed from consideration, night vision and thermal sights make night and fog driving a breeze, can easily loosen up any traffic jam, has a great air conditioning system,and it has a really big gun.
    Wait, this is supposed to by why not to own it?

  • yooperbikemike

    I will probably never own another American car as a daily driver. been 30 years now.