- Image: Honda Media Newsroom

5 Cars That Should've been made differently

Great potential, questionable execution - in my opinion!

8w ago

Have you ever noticed that some fast food chains have experienced somewhat of a downfall over the past few years or so? Back in the times of Blackberry Curves and blue-ray DVD boxsets, you often thought of Subway as the go-to place as a fast food chain. It was extremely popular in its prime, but nowadays, you hardly hear anybody talk about it.

It shows when you go into one of their branches: they looked fine back in 2012, but even today, they still look exactly the same! I sometimes need to knock my head a few times to realise that I haven't accidently fallen into a time warp. With that said, I do love their new vegan options!

But the main point being is that sometimes, hype and expectations can circulate around the launch of a product at first before later dwindling once people start to realise what they actually are. It applies to cars sometimes and this list has a few examples which correlate to my theory - along with some others.

1. Fiat 124 Spider

Image: Fiat Media.

Image: Fiat Media.

The idea of an affordable new Italian sportscar based on the current best, the Mazda MX5, seems like a neat idea. A compact, rear-drive chassis that isn't too bulky - sounds perfect.

Except the execution of the 124 revival - at least from my perspective - is a little underwhelming.

The original was a gorgeous little thing; styled by Pininfarina and looked like a junior Ferrari 275 GTS. For its 14-year run, its small wonder why it was so respected by enthusiasts. The new one however, seems to take elements from the original and melt them against the butter of an old MX5 while it was past its sell-by date.

And because it shares exactly the same interior as the MX5, you could take the Fiat badges off and believe it was a fully Japanese car. It's even built in the Mazda factory!

It's not an awful attempt at reviving the 124 Spider, but it was a fairly lazy attempt at doing so. A lot more could've been changed to individualise the Fiat and thus, give us a proper successor to one of the most iconic Italian sports cars.

Grade: C-minus.

2. Honda NSX

Image: Honda Media Newsroom.

Image: Honda Media Newsroom.

I'm a big fan of the NSX, personally. I love how intelligent it is for a supercar, yet also how ruthless it is for a Honda. See one on the road, and your mind initially thinks a brand far more prestigious.

Unfortunately however, it seems to have disappointed many of those hopeful. So, what could Honda have done to prevent that?

For a kick-off, it's vastly expensive for a supercar that isn't a Porsche, McLaren or Lamborghini. You have to understand that customers of cars of this calibre like a good badge and dealer experience, and with very few specialists around that can work on these things (and the fact that it's a Honda), the market was always going to be quite niche.

But perhaps things could've turned out differently if it was less expensive? A Nissan GT-R was and still is a humungous discount over a Porsche 911 Turbo at ยฃ80,000; whereas at ยฃ150,000, the NSX is right on par with the posh German.

But people out there have said that it should've been more of a back-to-basics supercar than a complicated one with a hybrid powertrain. And since the 911 GT3 attracts customers left, right and centre, it's not impossible to think that could've been the answer.

It's difficult to determine what really went wrong, but for the NSX to be a success, some things should've been thought of differently.

Grade: B-minus. Intelligent, but could do better.

3. Honda E

Image: Honda Media Newsroom.

Image: Honda Media Newsroom.

Honda could've been onto a real winner with the little E. Yes, it looks cute and has a quirky character and wonderful cabin. But it missed out something big.

Someone out there needs to make a compact electric supermini with great tech, characterful styling, comfortable range and - more importantly - at a reasonable price! The E ticks all, but two of the boxes which matter most.

At ยฃ26,000, the little Honda just didn't quite make it. I've personally seen very few of these things on the road and I happen to think that because of the price, it's become yet another fairly rich person's toy rather than a revolutionary EV. And this is further supported by the fact that it only covers 140 miles of range - which is a HUGE turn-off to potential buyers who will only look at range to determine how good a car is.

Realistically, you could only use one of these things if you lived in an urban area with not only a supportive charging network outside your home, but another ICE-powered car for longer journeys. It doesn't take a genius to say that doesn't represent the mass marketplace.

4. Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Image: Aston Martin Media.

Image: Aston Martin Media.

Whether you're a fan of the current Vantage or not, that in itself is a problem. Because surely a seductive brand like Aston Martin are supposed to attract almost everybody with their range of supermodel-like cars?

When the highly successful old-shape car was replaced with this one, it caused anything but endless galore from the general public. Suddenly, it was more radical, more aggressive, and some would even say odd or unattractive. And considering this is meant to be their core seller? Was that really the right direction?

The previous Vantage was an elegantly-beautiful thing - and the clean package made it a tempting proposition against the Porsche 911. This one however, is too polarising for too many people. I for one, keep on changing my opinion on the way it looks and that's not how an Aston should be. If Aston played the game a bit safer and didn't price it so extortionately over the outgoing car, they could've been in a much better position.

5. Chevrolet Blazer

Image: Chevrolet Pressroom.

Image: Chevrolet Pressroom.

Retro-inspired SUVs are hot on the market right now. Ford has just unveiled the Bronco and the waiting list for those is longer than Chile. Land Rover's Defender is equally as popular as far as the public want factor is concerned. And in recent years, Merc's G-Wagon has experienced a peak in sales despite being around for over 40 years!

Surely then, it would've made sense for Chevrolet to make their Blazer - a Bronco competitor back in the day - to be a boxy, off-road beast? Well, General Motors went against that and gave America yet another dull crossover.

It staggers me because General Motors has the potential to create something cool with the Blazer name with the provenance that it has. They missed out what Ford and Land Rover are experiencing right now and its such a shame because they have the potential to create cars that scream high demand; just look at the Corvette and the Hummer EV!

Perhaps they'll learn something for next time?

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Comments (79)

  • FIAT should have had the NA engine like Mazda.

    If one thing FIAT knows how to make is a rev happy nice sounding NA petrol engine. Power isn't so relevant in that class, so is the feeling and details.

    Styling is OK, nothing particular but goes as FIAT, not Mazda. But Mazda made a better package all together.

      1 month ago
    • I think the abarth version looks and sounds amazing!

        1 month ago
    • Not a bad car, but it would've been better with happy revving NA, like MX-5 uses.

        1 month ago
  • I agree that the blazer was a disappointment. I think Chevy missed out on resurrecting the K/10 while Ford has capitalized on the Bronco.

      1 month ago
    • K10 were kinda big compared to the new blazer and might pull sales from the Tahoe if they tried to do something that size.

        1 month ago
    • My apologies but my intent was not that they resurrect a full size off roadbed. You are absolutely correct that one of that sort would steal Tahoe sales. I was thinking of somtsmaller but very off rad capable. The k/10 designation would...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • I mostly agree with you, especially on the E and the NSX. Although, I do prefer the look of the new Vantage over the old one. Great article, as always!

      1 month ago
  • The 124 Spider Abarth is great though

      1 month ago
  • The blazer is a flop

      1 month ago