Among superstitious folk, Friday the 13th is cause for concern. While many think Friday the 13th’s unlucky reputation is a load of bull, some cars are without a doubt inherently unlucky, whether it because they were ill-timed releases or just ignored by its manufacturer after debuting. So it gives us great pleasure to present to you the Top 13 unluckiest cars for Friday the 13th.
1. Buick Roadmaster Estate wagon – Here’s a car that was just simply mistimed. Though it was a boat, the Buick Roadmaster Estate wagon was by no means a bad car, but it unfortunately rolled out when SUVs and minivans were taking over as the ride-of-choice for the family on the go. Shame when you think about it, because where else can you get a station wagon with the beating heart of a Corvette?
2. 2004-2009 Cadillac SRX – No not the current-generation Cadillac SRX, which was recently refreshed as GM seeks to maintain the crossover’s status as Cadillac’s cash cow, but the awkward not-quite-a-wagon, not-quite-a-crossover first-generation SRX. In the world of crossovers, the SRX was just plain weird. It was rear-drive based, and powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 or Cadillac’s then-ubiquitous 4.6-liter Northstar V-8. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell too well, earning it a slot on this list.
3. 1998-2002 Chevrolet Camaro – By the time the final iteration of the fourth-generation Chevrolet Camaro rolled around in 1998 it was arguably the best Camaro yet. The car was sleek, fast, and its long-lost muscle had returned in the form of its 5.7-liter LS1 V-8. Though officially rated at 305 hp, the actual output was rumored to be in the 330 hp range, putting it just behind the Corvette of the day. Alas that’s not what made the fourth-gen Camaro unlucky; what made the Camaro unlucky is that the Ford Mustang of the day trounced its sales, and that the Camaro was ultimately canned so more money could be poured into development of the Chevy SSR.
4. Chevrolet Volt – The Chevrolet Volt is perhaps the unluckiest car on this list. The extended-range electric hatchback just can’t seem to catch a break; since its debut as a 2011 model it has become a political football. On top of that, a Volt suffered a high-profile battery fire when the NHTSA failed to discharge a battery properly after a crash test, its assembly line was idled due to slow sales, it was blamed for the “explosion” at GM’s Warren Tech Center, and Fox News talking heads mislead viewers into thinking that the Volt left them stranded in New York’s Lincoln Tunnel.
5. Dodge Ram SRT-10 – First previewed back in 1996 by the Dodge Ram VTS concept, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 had a long gestation period, and a short lifespan. The Viper V-10-powerd Dodge Ram SRT-10 didn’t show up on the scene until 2004, and it was only built after the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado SS had made it onto the scene. Initially only available with a six-speed manual and a regular cab (a four-speed auto/Quad Cab combo would join the lineup a year later) the Ram SRT-10 was a rear-drive 500-hp brute. Unfortunately it didn’t stick around for long, lasting until 2006 with just under 10,000 produced.
5. Ferrari Enzo – The Ferrari Enzo earns a spot on this list because of how many owners crashed the uber-rare Ferrari flagship. Everyone from wannabe racecar drivers to wannabe comedians (we’re looking at you Eddie Griffin) have crashed the 660-hp 6.0-liter V-12 powered Enzo. The worst part? With a 920-hp Enzo successor on the way, a new Ferrari will likely be added to this list sooner rather than later.
6. Honda S2000 – After the high-revving roadster hit dealers in the fall of 1999, it was mostly ignored until it was quietly discontinued in 2009. Throughout its 10-year run, Honda gave the S2000 just two minor revisions, leaving the sports car to become old and dated by the end of its run.
7. Kia Borrego – How’s this for mistimed: the body-on-frame, V-8-powered Kia Borrego debuted in 2008 not only at the same time that unibody crossover sales were taking off, but also right at the start of the global recession when gas prices were hitting $4 a gallon nationally. Needless to say, the Borrego didn’t sell well and it was quickly dropped from the Korean automaker’s lineup.
8. Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG – The Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG was the answer to the question nobody asked, “What would a high-performance minivan look like?” The answer was the 503-hp all-wheel-drive R63 AMG. Though fast, most AMG buyers prefer cars with the subtlety of a creepy divorcee at a college bar. The R63 AMG on the other hand was understated and looked like it belonged at Whole Foods, not the track.
9. Pontiac G8 – The Pontiac G8 was a great car with awful timing. Essentially an Australian-market Holden Commodore in Pontiac drag, the G8 was a full-size rear-drive sedan meant to bring the fight to the Dodge Charger. The G8 had a trio of engines—our favorites of which were obviously the 6.0-liter 361-hp V-8 in the G8 GT and the 6.2-liter 402-hp V-8 in the G8 GXP. The G8 was quite simply the best Pontiac in years. Unfortunately, the G8 was unlucky to have a “Pontiac” badge on the hood, and it was dropped with the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand in 2009.
11. Saab 9-5 – The Saab 9-5 had the unlucky distinction of just being a Saab. Things started to look up for the 9-5 once GM offloaded it to Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker, but the pricey car wasn’t enough of a return to the brand’s quirky Swedish roots, and it died with the automaker late last year.
12. Suzuki Kizashi – We’re specifically calling out the Kizashi because it’s a great car saddled to a small, struggling brand. The Kizashi simply feels more German than Japanese, and it’s unlucky in that so few people have actually heard of the Kizashi.
13. Volvo V70 – The Volvo V70 rounds out our Top 13 Unluckiest cars list because it is the last full-size Volvo station wagon sold in the U.S. The V70 was the successor to the much-loved turbo-brick wagons of the past: the Volvo 850, 900-series, and 700-series. The V70 is simply the end of an era for Volvo in the U.S. It may live on as the XC70 crossover, but with the discontinuation of the smaller V50 this year, the days of the turbo brick wagon are no more in the U.S.