A new car is always an exciting purchase. However, certain vehicles which may seem like they are all new car glamour are actually just massive new car ripoffs. If you want to be financially savvy, avoid these 5 like COVID.
The Lamborghini Urus doesn’t take the title of first Lamborghini SUV to be sold to customers, that title goes to the limited run of H1 Hummer inspired, Countach powered LM002 SUVs from the late 1980s/early 1990s. The next Lamborghini SUV wouldn’t drop until 2018, with the Urus. And while the Urus has many shining points: rear seat space, the fact its one of the fastest SUVs on the market, easy to use infotainment being among them, there is one HUGE problem: The Audi RS Q8.
Compared to the Lamborghini, the Audi RS Q8 seems quite familiar, and that’s because underneath, they are basically the same car. Both have an Audi 4.4 liter twin turbo V8 engine that produces about 600 horsepower, a ZF 8 speed automatic, and both ride on the Volkswagen Group MLB Evo platform that is shared not just between the Lamborghini and the Audi, but also the Bentley Bentayga and the Porsche Cayenne. Both have luxurious interiors and can carry the same amount of stuff in the back, but the RS Q8 is nearly $100k CHEAPER than the Urus.
What does the extra $100k get you? A less well-built, less ergonomically friendly interior, a less handsome exterior, and a SLIGHT improvement in overall performance. Since the RS Q8 can be refreshed with an ECU Tune to eliminate that gap in performance for $3k, the extra $97k price difference between the two essentially is JUST for the Lamborghini badge. For me, this makes the Lamborghini Urus a HUGE RIP OFF, taking the number one spot on this list.
The Toyota Supra revival had a lot to live up to. With the name of a legend to the millennial generation attached to it, any car that bore the Supra name was going to be eaten alive by the fans if it wasn’t perfect. News flash, it wasn’t. But never mind the problems of rebadging a BMW Z4 and slapping a Toyota badge on it being sacrilege. The problem with the Toyota Supra, at the end of the day, is what you are getting for the money.
Both the 3.0 and 2.0 model suffer from this issue. The problem with the 3.0 model is that the Nissan Z exists. While the new 2023 Nissan Z isn’t perfect, at $40k with 400 horsepower, it makes the $55k 3.0 Supra with 382 horsepower look like an absolute ripoff, as the type of person that buys a Toyota sports car isn’t looking for a luxury sports car per se, making the extra $15k seem superfluous.
However, the 2.0 model which starts at $43k has an even bigger problem, and that is Toyota’s lineup itself. You see, Toyota also sells the GR86 sports car for $27k, and while logic would dictate that the higher end supra would be bigger, it is actually SMALLER. The GR86 is down on power less than 10%, offers more space to its occupants, and has additional practicality because it ACTUALLY HAS A BACK SEAT.
As a result, for me, no matter which Supra you are buying, you are ripping yourself off. The Supra offers higher prices and worse performance than both its competition and within Toyota’s own stable, meaning there are much better ways to spend $45-60k on a car.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is the second cheapest new car on sale in America now at $14,625, how could it possibly be a ripoff? Easy, because of what you AREN’T GETTING for your money.
Fuel Economy is decent, as is the cargo capacity, but that’s where the good points end. Interior quality is 1990s Hyundai bad, the interior is noisy, and the engine is underpowered and unrefined, even compared to other vehicles in its price range. 78 horsepower from a 3 cylinder returning about 35 MPG. For 1-2 MPG less and $1-2k more, you can get a car with equal cargo capacity and 40% more power.
Better to spend $2k extra and get the $16,250 Kia Rio instead. Good interior for the price, great ride, and standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto mean you are getting more than $2,000 of additional value added.
The moral of the story, just because you can get something cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s the smart idea. The Mitsubishi Mirage thus makes the list of new car ripoffs for that reason.
On the complete other end of the price scale is the Acura NSX. And like the Mirage, it is a complete ripoff, but for the opposite reason. 600 horsepower supercar for $170k may seem impressive, but compared to its logical rival at introduction, the Nissan GT-R, it was a joke. The Nissan GTR, before its discontinuation for the U.S, was priced at $113k for its final year, and offered nearly identical performance specs, despite the front engine versus mid engine layout.
With the GTR gone, the NSX got a reprieve, right? WRONG. The similarly mid-engined C8 corvette starts at $100k LESS than the 2022 Acura NSX, and has only 100 less horsepower. And given GM’s track record, it will be both inexpensive and easy for tuners to extract much more than that from the C8.
However, Honda seem to have gotten the memo, as the NSX will be discontinued for the 2023 Model year. A shame, because it was a good car, but its pricing was a ripoff compared to the competition, which doomed it to irrelevance and failure.
Every SUV coupé ever
A segment BMW pioneered with the introduction of the X6 in 2008, this is one pioneer that got whacked on the head too hard, because these cars make no sense to me as a whole. Whether you are talking about the BMW X6 or Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, these vehicles make ZERO financial or practical sense. Compared to a standard coupé, they are top-heavy and poor to drive. Yet compared to a standard crossover like the BMW X5, interior space, cargo volume, and visibility are compromised.
It would be one thing if they were cheaper, but OH NO. They are much more expensive. The standard Mercedes-Benz GLE starts at $56k, while the “coupé” version starts at $78K! Do these SUV coupés cost more to make? NO! Which means you, the customer, are getting a less capable vehicle that looks like a confused turtle.
If you are that desperate to help out your favorite automotive brand, consider the following option: get the new regular SUV, and spend the difference buying their stock instead. You will have a more practical vehicle AND an asset that PAYS YOU! When it comes to new car ripoffs, the Coupe SUV segment as a whole is probably the biggest ripoff in new cars on the market today.
With so many choices on the market for new cars, it is lucky that avoidign these 5 is more straightforward than it may seem. Do you own one of these? What do you think? Let me know down in the comments below.