- Image credit: Favcars.com

5 Good versions of cars with a bad image

Sometimes, bad reputations have gone too far.

42w ago

21.3K

Sometimes, a bad reputation ruins everything. Whether you're a TV personality or a film actor, if something remotely fishy gets leaked, you're automatically scrutinised and hated upon by the general community.

There have been cases where terrible allegations have been true, but other times they've been mere rumours and a lot of the time, they're false. But the fact the information was raised in the first gives people a completely different impression than before. That can sometimes be very unfair.

The same has applied to cars over the years. Coming up now, is 5 versions of cars which gained a bad reputation, but were actually pretty good. Enjoy.

Face-lifted Fiat Multipla

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

When the Multipla first arrived, people were in shock. Because people didn't really focus on how practical it was and its value compared to others, because it had as much sex appeal as a deformed Blobfish.

A face-lift was done to mature the Multipla, but the damage had already been done and people had already been massively put off. But judging the Multipla by its styling is slightly unfair, as it was a genuinely good car.

With 6 seats, it offered space for one more person than most other cars on the market. It was also easy to see out of and people verging onto 7" could fit inside.

1960 Edsels

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

The Edsel name in Ford's history is remembered as one that epitomised commercial failure. They lost over $250 million in trying to make Edsel work and it was killed off within the space of just 4 years.

Regardless of the brand image, the early Edsels themselves were seen as rather ugly things and by 1960, the damage had already been done. Which is sort-of a shame since the last (and extraordinarily rare) Edsels were pretty smart-looking things.

The styling was more mature and conservative unlike earlier models, but that was a general direction for American cars of the time. And because all the parts were made by Ford, there wasn't really much to complain about in terms of the Edsel's engineering. It was pretty much a Fairlane with a different name.

It just had the wrong backstory.

2nd gen Chevrolet Corvair

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

Ralph Nader had famously criticised the early Corvairs for their swing-axle rear suspension setup which caused the car to spin and sometimes - according to Nader - flip over.

Personally, I think he was fear-mongering this theory too much. But nevertheless, Chevy responded with the new Corvair for 1965; it adopted a new independent rear suspension set up to try and cure the bad press that Nader had given the previous one. It was now better-behaved around corners and was a decent car in its own right.

This didn't work, sadly. While 220,000 Corvairs were sold in 1965, the public's response to Nader's book, 'Unsafe at any Speed' (which was also published that year) caused sales to drop significantly. In 1968 for example, just 14,800 Corvairs had sold.

Jaguar S-Type R

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

The S-Type is remembered as one of Jaguar's darkest hours by many. Everyone hated the way it looked and while I don't really agree with the general consensus of the car in general, nobody can really deny that the 400bhp supercharged R is a bad car.

This was Jaguar's answer to the BMW M5; it used the same mechanical underpinnings as the achingly gorgeous XKR and this V8 super saloon which was capable of shifting from 0-60 in around 5 seconds. The trouble is: it was massively overlooked.

Not only that, those same ingredients underneath were carried over to the more-respected XF. Meaning that the S-Type R was a capable car which offered a great drive. They're also extremely cheap right now...

Porsche 914/6

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

The 914 was a bit of an oddity in Porsche history. It sold in massive numbers, but many enthusiasts disregarded it as not being a 'proper Porsche' as the project involved heavy input from VW. Some even regard it as one of the worst sports cars ever made (which I personally find unfair).

However, to cool down the controversial ethos of the car, the 914/6 was later available with the 2.0 litre flat six engine from the 911 T.

Despite it not being a 911, it was still a great sports car and being a Porsche, could be tuned and entered into all sorts of competition while also offering an exquisite driving experience.

Thanks for reading

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

So, there we are. That was my short list of versions of cars which had a bad image, but were very good under the skin.

If you want to throw any more examples in, feel free to do so in the comments. But I hope you enjoyed reading nevertheless.

Thanks.

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Comments (60)

  • Fun Fact: The Multipla fleet cars in 1999 had a sticker on the back saying “You should see the front”. 100% true.

      9 months ago
  • Personally I think that all of them weren't that bad of cars, not sure of the Edsels though.

      9 months ago
    • Edsels were basically just Fords under a different name. The real failure comes under the styling of the first one and the marketing strategy. But as cars, they were fine.

        9 months ago
    • I’m not sure about the Jag either.

        9 months ago
  • I've driven a Chevy Corvair and they are squirly as ***k! Terrible weight distribution and over-steer. The bad reputation is valid. Cool cars though. I liked the styling quite a bit.

    I was also lucky enough to drive a Porsche 914 once too. It did feel like an old air-cooled Volkswagen - but a really *well made* air-cooled Volkswagen! Amazing handling. Tight and well balanced car. Lightweight too so it was quick as well. I wonder if it would have a better reputation if it originally came out with the VW badge on it instead of Porsche? Like: "Wow! Check out that cool new car by Volkswagen!" (maybe?)

    I don't know much about the Jaguar S-Type - but think that vintage looking front end and grill is bad ass! Great retro styling. I almost bought a 2006 X-Type and did do some research it. I don't know about the S-Type but I learned the X-Type was actually good car. Yes, purists don't like that era because Ford owned them at the time and used a Ford Mondeo chassis for the X-Type (maybe the S-Type too?). From my point of view, Ford turned Jaguar into a more reliable company as a result. And the Mondeo chassis was great to begin with, so let the purists be purists. The rest of us can take advantage of purchasing beautiful luxury cars at reasonable prices because of it.

      9 months ago
    • Which generation of Corvair did you drive? Plus, yeah I agree with your 914 consensus; they were perfectly-balanced cars which were great in their own right. As for the X-Type, I've always had a soft spot for them (especially an AWD estate)...

      Read more
        9 months ago
    • I'm not 100% sure which year the Corvair was. Maybe a '62-'65?

        9 months ago
  • The Corvair was also the first Chevy to get the Yenko treatment as well. The Yenko Stinger.

      9 months ago
    • Yes indeed! I read a book earlier this month which talked about that, funnily enough.

        9 months ago
    • Huh. I do want to drive a Corvair. They just look so light and they just dance around corners.

        9 months ago
  • Actually, the rear view of the Edsel proves they were still awful-looking. You can still see the outline of the pretty Ford Fairlane lights underneath the clumsily-placed vertical Edsel ones.

      9 months ago
    • I like it, personally. It's not as shocking as the 57 Edsel and I'd argue that Dodge made even more of a hash of it with the 61 Polara.

        9 months ago
    • Crikey! Just had a look at it! It doesn't pay to be too outlandish sometimes. At least I know where the Ford Zodiac III got its front from, though!

        9 months ago

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