Historic Luxury Cars With A Bad Reputation
For the modern luxury chauffeur, reputation is everything, and so companies will do everything they can to ensure an exceptional experience for their customers, and this includes ensuring they pick the perfect car for the job.
After all, your journey matters, and from your first step out of the door to getting back, it is essential that you have a fantastic experience. A best-in-class model such as the Mercedes-Benz V-Class can help out here.
This has not always been the case however, and throughout the history of luxury cars, there have been a few that have developed a reputation for not living up to their promises.
Maserati Quattroporte V
Whilst they have gone through a somewhat turbulent history, Maserati has throughout their existence sold some variation of the Quattroporte four-door saloon.
However, whilst the most recent generation is an underrated but very capable luxury car, the fifth-generation revival from the early 2000s was riddled with issues.
From easily scuffed leather, weak transmissions and broken trim pieces, the early Quattroporte garnered some infamy for being one of the fastest-depreciating luxury cars of its era, although it would improve dramatically.
One of the most infamous examples of badge engineering, the Jaguar X-Type was seen by some people as the ultimate example of cynicism and compromise in a luxury brand, which has caused a lot of criticism of the concept in retrospect.
The secret of the X-Type is that behind the badge it is a Ford Mondeo family saloon, which whilst a great and very affordable car felt deceptive when the iconography of a British luxury car icon was draped over the top.
Volkswagen’s attempt to challenge the legendary Mercedes S-Class arguably had the exact opposite problem to the Jaguar X-Type.
Whilst the Jaguar looked luxurious but was an economic family car underneath all of the trappings, the Volkswagen Phaeton was a very ordinary-looking car that masked its Bentley engine options and a platform shared with the Bentley Continental GT.
Even in an age of quiet luxury and stealth wealth, the Phaeton has only ever managed to sell in significant numbers in China and has received criticism for its lower reliability compared to the similarly-styled Passat and much more expensive repair bills.
Chrysler TC By Maserati
In the late 1980s, Chrysler was struggling with both its image and finances, with its reputation in the 1950s and 1960s far in the distant past.
To try and fix it, they paired with the similarly struggling Maserati, a company that by that time was only making variations of the Biturbo due to a lack of funds.
The result after five years of mismanagement and arguments was the unusually made Chrysler TC By Maserati, which was in practice a Chrysler K-car with a Mitsubishi V6 engine and a convertible version of the Biturbo’s body.
It was not successful for either company, allegedly cost over $600m in total and harmed both companies to the point that both of them are now owned by Fiat.