As we step into the new year, anticipation for upcoming cars is high, but let's not forget to reflect on the disappointments from the previous year. While these cars may not be outright bad, they certainly fell short of our expectations. Here's a look at some letdowns from 2023, as shared by our editors.
Joel Stocksdale, our News Editor, expected the fully redesigned Honda Pilot to be a game-changer. However, the more rugged looks and a configurable second-row seat didn't quite live up to the hype. The truck-like design brought drawbacks such as lighter, disconnected steering and sluggish handling. The removable bench seat section didn't prove as useful as hoped, leaving a somewhat plain interior and underwhelming performance from the V6.
Mercedes-AMG C 43
Senior Editor James Riswick labeled the Mercedes-AMG C 43 as one of the worst Mercedes he's driven in his 17 years of car testing. The firm suspension provided an uncomfortable ride, especially on mid-corner bumps. The transmission's behavior, particularly in stop-and-go traffic, was disappointing. Despite being a fan of fast Benzes, Riswick found the C 43 to be a letdown and simply not good.
Road Test Editor Zac Palmer expressed disappointment with the Alpina XB7, considering his admiration for the non-Alpina version of the BMW X7. The modified suspension, massive wheels, and poor final tuning resulted in a subpar driving experience compared to the M60i version. Despite its stunning appearance and interior, the Alpina XB7 fell short in handling, leaving room for improvement in collaboration with BMW.
Associate Editor Byron Hurd had high hopes for the Toyota Crown, expecting a premium sedan to stand out in a world where four-doors are becoming scarce. However, the Crown didn't surpass expectations, offering nothing significantly better than the Avalon or the Lexus ES. Despite being a technological showcase, the constant interference of tech in the driving experience left Hurd unimpressed, questioning its role as a driver's machine.
BMW M4 CSL
Senior Editor, Electric, John Beltz Snyder, shared his experience with the BMW M4 CSL, acknowledging its greatness but questioning its $140,000 price tag. While the CSL excels in performance, delivering a thrilling experience, Snyder found the everyday driving to be a challenge. The fixed carbon seat and rock-hard suspension made simple drives uncomfortable, overshadowing the car's track prowess and making it a less appealing option for daily use.