Consumers sometimes miss out on movies nobody saw, books nobody read, and cars nobody bought. In the latter group, dozens of perfectly well-engineered vehicles go unnoticed, partly because today’s drivers have so many choices on dealerships’ lots. Following are three such vehicles that nobody chose, but that should have ranked better in sales numbers.
From its muscle-bound profile to its delightful neon accents, the Nissan Juke should have generated significant media buzz and convinced consumers to reach into their wallets. However, its sales dropped nearly 50 percent between its 2014 and 2015 run, which suggests poor reception in the public eye.
Auto Week speculates that this steep plunge in sales resulted from its unique style. People who found themselves charmed by the Juke’s appealing aesthetics bought one when it first debuted, which means it doesn’t have much of a market now. However, its excellent gas mileage (26/31 mpg), undeniable personality, and appealing MSRP make the Juke deserving of a second glance.
BMW 3-Series Sports Wagon
Consumers flock to crossovers, full-size SUVs, and sedans, but according to Road and Track, the BMW 3-series sports wagon moved fewer than 4,000 units in 2014. Maybe it’s the long, low-slung profile or the shape that somewhat recalls a minivan, but drivers have consistently given this wagon a pass in both the gas- and diesel-powered iterations.
If you’re looking for a reliable road partner that goes easy on the gas tank, however, consider taking the 3-series out for a test drive. You’ll get 31 mpg in the city and an impressive 43 mpg on the open road, but you’ll still benefit from the 240-horsepower engine if you like your cars with a little power. Plus, the 17.48 cubic feet of cargo space (expandable to more than 50 cubic feet with seat area) will put your beloved sedan or coupe to shame.
Despite significant cargo space, unique styling, and a utilitarian approach to design, the Ford Flex saw a significant drop in sales between 2014 and 2015. This crossover has enjoyed positive reviews from many major automotive publications, and it’s received accolades for its smooth, comfortable ride and its plentiful high-tech toys. It’s a little lacking in the EPA department (18/25 mpg), though its mpg is reasonable for the Flex’s size.
Perhaps consumers are turned off by the Flex’s boxy profile, but it provides excellent visibility thanks to its low, straight beltline. Plus, you can upgrade to the turbocharged engine if you’re seeking a utility vehicle with plenty of get-up-and-go. Additionally, it features ample leg, hip, and shoulder room in all three seat levels, so even adults can pile in the back without feeling claustrophobic or cramped.
Sometimes, cars don’t perform nearly as well as they should on the showroom floor. However, if you’re looking for an underrated vehicle that doesn’t appear in every fourth parking space at Walmart, check out one of the above vehicles for your next car purchase.