I was taking my dog to the vet today and found myself thinking about cars that are really pointless. Here’s my list but first let me say that I am excluding supercars and other exotics because while often impractical the purpose of those designs is to be extreme or eccentric in serving a very niche market, so for the purpose of this exercise I am focusing on mass market factory cars and trucks.
1) Hummer H2/H3. First a little background, the only Hummer that is based on the original AM General vehicle is the H1, which is in fact a civilian version of the military vehicle. This is not uncommon either, Mercedes has done quite well with the G class, which is nothing more than a military truck (and it drives like one as well) with a luxury car interior and a bigger engine. The Hummer H2/H3 are GM truck platforms (GMT820 and GMT345 platforms respectively) that are reassembled in interesting ways by AM General under contract by GM. So basically when you buy an H2 you are buying a reskinned Chevy Tahoe with a lot less driver visibility and worse mileage than a Tahoe for more money.
2) Mercedes E63 station wagon… cuz what every family needs is a 507hp station wagon. Nuff said.
3) Range Rover Sport. It’s a 5,670 lb SUV with a Jaguar 4.4 litre V8 more at home in a sports car than a 3 ton SUV. It’s full time all wheel drive (AWD) but comes with 255/19 Continental CrossContact tires that are ill-suited for off road or snow conditions. So it’s an SUV in name but not really in capability, has a powerplant better suited for mid/high range power, and with a suspension fit for a GT car. Full disclosure, this is what my wife drives and I’d buy another in a heartbeat, it’s a lot of fun to drive and incredibly well styled, yet still pointless. BTW the Porsche Cayenne is equally pointless, costs a few dollars more, and is less well appointed than the Range Rover.
4) Mini Coupe and Roadster. Yeah right, what Mini really needs are two models that feature less room than their flagship car.
5) Pontiac G8 ST. Let’s be clear about this, it’s a station wagon with the back cut off to give it a pickup truck like bed… mmmkay?
6) Cadillac Escalade EXT. I guess GM is big on the “let’s cut the back section of the roof off” theme because that’s what they did with the Escalade (and Tahoes)… not satisfied to just do it to a station wagon they decided that the market needs an SUV that has the roof peeled back. So basically you end up converting an SUV into a crew cab pickup truck with a lot smaller bed and some garish bodywork. Shrewd. I think the Honda Ridgeline also falls into this category.
7) BMW X6… pointless and ugly, what a combo.