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Ten Horrible Badge-Engineered Cars

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Ten Horrible Badge-Engineered Cars

Ford's mercy killing of the entire Mercury brand was merely the latest victim of automotive death by platform prostitution. There's been worse. Much worse. Here's your choices for the ten worst badge-engineered cars ever.

link:

http://jalopnik.com/5556784/ten-horrible-badge+engineered-cars/gallery/

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My problem with this list is that most of them are just badge jobs on otherwise competent vehicles. I mean, there was nothing inherently bad with the Moutaineer other than you could get almost the same thing over a Ford. But had the Ford version not existed, the Mountaineer wasn't bad. And to be fair to the Bravada, it was available with full time AWD rather than just 4wd and it also came with a lot more creature comforts that weren't available on the Blazer.... so yeah it shared some sheet metal, but it wasn't a total badge job like the Cutlibu or Silhouette.

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I think it's not really fait to the 9-7x. I mean yeah the concept of a Chevy-based, RWD, BOF, V8 powered Saab SUV is blasphemy to the brand, but it was easily the best of all the GMT360's. Best interior, best exterior with the tightest panel gaps, best tuned suspension tuning save maybe the TB SS. Should have instead made this the update to the Trailblazer and killed off the other 30 versions.

I'm surprised the Plymouth Neon didn't make the list, even the name was shared!

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I think the 9/7x was a horrible looking truck, esp. from the front.

Excellent point about Plymouth NEON.

Oldmoboi:

I agree about the Bravada, if that is just a lame rebadge then half of Audi's lineup are just lame VW rebadges.... and by extension half of VW's lineup are overpriced SEATs & SKODAs.

Here's some better examples of poor badge engineering:

- Mercury Sable (esp.2nd gen.)

- Lincoln Blackwood

- Pretty much ANY Plymouth from 1975 - up

- Honda Passport

- Porsche Cayene

- Mercury Lynx (and later the Tracer)

- Mazda Navajo

- Cadillac Cimarron

Edited by Sixty8panther

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Even if the product is an excellent product, badge engineering it only hurts the brand in the long run.

Ex: In the short term the Mercury Mountaineer was great for Mercury because it brought customers into the Lincoln-Mercury dealer who otherwise might not have given Mercury a second look. In the long term it reminded customers, reviewers, and corporate how redundant Mercury was and why it would be better for FoMoCo to invest 100% into the Ford product line over investing 80% into Ford and another 20% into minor design changes to make it a Mercury. An example of this is the new Taurus/SHO which is an excellent product because Ford didn't have to worry about competing with themselves (Sable) or cut cost to squeeze two products out of the program.

Badge engineering is rarely done well, but it often involves hurting the brand image of at least one of the products. I once spoke to an Oldsmobile sales man who told me that because the Silhouette and Bravada were near carbon copies of their GM platform mates, he had a hard time selling them to people after they had just seen the same basic car nextdoor at the Chevrolet dealer for a few thousand less because they had less trim and a few less standard options. Once you load up a Venture or Blazer, whats the purpose of selling an Oldsmobile?

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Don't SEAT and Skoda use all previous Gen VW stuff?

At the very least, I know SEAT used to, but they never looked like badge jobs...that's like saying the Corvette and XLR were a badge job...Although, SEAT does have a rebadged A4 as its 'flagship'

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Don't SEAT and Skoda use all previous Gen VW stuff?

Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia are on the same platform as the current Polo.

Skoda Octavia and Seat Alteo, Toledo and Leon are on the same platform as current Audi A3, and last gen Golf. Note that Octavia is ready for a makeover soon.

So SEAT and Skoda to VW is Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick to Chevy.

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Octavia may be on a different platform, but it looks like a Passat with a Buick grill.

It is the same A5 platform both are based on. Passat is the larger of the A5 known as the PQ46, while Jetta et. al, are on PQ35. Octavia is not as big as Passat.

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They all generally count, but I think there's quite a few more miserable contenders out there compared to say, the Mountaineer and Vibe. Plenty are mentioning the Dodge/Plymouth Neon's, and then how about the Saab 9-2X? :P

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They all generally count, but I think there's quite a few more miserable contenders out there compared to say, the Mountaineer and Vibe. Plenty are mentioning the Dodge/Plymouth Neon's, and then how about the Saab 9-2X? :P

The Neons and G3, G5 are clearly badge engineered, but aren't the the Saab 9-2X and 9-7X more examples of platform sharing...some metal was changed from the source car...same with the Vibe---it shared a platform w/ the Matrix, but was different inside and out..

There is the eternal debate as to where the line between where cheap badge engineering ends and legitimate platform sharing begins...

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They all generally count, but I think there's quite a few more miserable contenders out there compared to say, the Mountaineer and Vibe. Plenty are mentioning the Dodge/Plymouth Neon's, and then how about the Saab 9-2X? :P

Well, to be honest I think the 9-2X was an excellent idea, it was just a very poorly executed one as it just wasn't different (and SAAB) enough. I mean... Nationality issues aside (which translate into design languages), Subaru is probably the closest there is in the automotive world to SAAB's brand image/concept. At least in relation to what SAAB stood for before it was bought by GM.

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The 9-2X was a badge job plain and simple...the Matrix and Vibe were not, until you got inside and they had the EXACT same interior...the GMT360's would have probably been okay if it had been left as just the TrailBlazer, Envoy, and Bravada, because they all had unique interiors and exteriors even if they were similar...it was the Buick, and Isuzu that botched it, and by then, the SAAB, while having the best interior, also used leftover pieces that were too similar to the others...

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The Neon was NOT a badge job. Chrysler specifically didn't bother with another name for another car line, they just sold the same car at two places, no apologies needed.

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The Neon was NOT a badge job. Chrysler specifically didn't bother with another name for another car line, they just sold the same car at two places, no apologies needed.

It was an intentional badge job, then. Some had Dodge badging, some had Plymouth badging, and outside the US, Chrysler badging.

They did badge engineering w/ many other cars, though Dodge and Plymouth versions got different grilles and taillights and names...Volare/Aspen, Aries/Reliant, Gran Fury/Diplomat, Shadow/Sundance, Omni/Horizon, Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze, etc...

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The 9-2X was a badge job plain and simple...the Matrix and Vibe were not, until you got inside and they had the EXACT same interior...the GMT360's would have probably been okay if it had been left as just the TrailBlazer, Envoy, and Bravada, because they all had unique interiors and exteriors even if they were similar...it was the Buick, and Isuzu that botched it, and by then, the SAAB, while having the best interior, also used leftover pieces that were too similar to the others...

Now that you mention it, I think the 9-2x should have made the list too, since it was blasphemy to the brand.

Surprised the Cimarron didn't make that list.

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It's funny that they mention the Mercury Mountaineer but not the Lincoln Aviator. If you're gonna blast GM for the many iterations of the GMT-360s, then do the same for all the others.

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It's funny that they mention the Mercury Mountaineer but not the Lincoln Aviator. If you're gonna blast GM for the many iterations of the GMT-360s, then do the same for all the others.

Ford Explorer

Lincoln Aviator

Chevrolet TrailBlazer

GMC Envoy

Oldsmobile Bravada

Buck Rainer

Saab 9-7X

Isuzu Ascender

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Ford Explorer

Lincoln Aviator

Chevrolet TrailBlazer

GMC Envoy

Oldsmobile Bravada

Buck Rainer

Saab 9-7X

Isuzu Ascender

Sure, that's because GM had more brands than Ford... still, if you're gonna mention that there were 5 other versions of the Chevy TrailBlazer <sic>, then you better mention the two other versions of the Ford Explorer too. Add in the fact that you could buy the Mountaineer and the Aviator in the same dealership, GM didn't do that until the Oldsmobile Bravada went away! :neenerneener:

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Where's the Durango and Aspen? Those should be on the list for being both awful, and horrible to our eyes.

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Or the Aveo/G3.

It's on the list... like, in the #1 worst spot. :P

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I think the 9/7x was a horrible looking truck, esp. from the front.

Excellent point about Plymouth NEON.

Oldmoboi:

I agree about the Bravada, if that is just a lame rebadge then half of Audi's lineup are just lame VW rebadges.... and by extension half of VW's lineup are overpriced SEATs & SKODAs.

Here's some better examples of poor badge engineering:

- Mercury Sable (esp.2nd gen.)

- Lincoln Blackwood

- Pretty much ANY Plymouth from 1975 - up

- Honda Passport

- Porsche Cayene

- Mercury Lynx (and later the Tracer)

- Mazda Navajo

- Cadillac Cimarron

agree on the Blackwood, Plymouths, Passport, Navajo, Cimmaron......

anyone remember the EAGLE VISION?

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