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Cars, Other Things We Wish Had Been Better In 2014

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/18/2014 Motor Trend Editors

With all the vehicles Motor Trend editors drive throughout the year, not all are bound to be favorites. From all over the automotive landscape, the following are vehicles and things that, when we drove them in 2014, we couldn't help but wish they were better.

Research

2015 Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Acura TLX I was always a big fan of the TSX, the Japan-built European-market Accord that was sporty, refined, and offered one of the best manual transmissions around. I even liked the oddly styled last-gen TL, especially the SH-AWD version with 305 horsepower. Alas, the new TLX, a one-for-two replacement of the aforementioned sedans, left me uninspired. Give me sexier sheetmetal and bigger wheels with summer tires, and bring back that Teflon-coated manual with the I-4. — Ron Kiino

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Controversial statement: I don't like the Alfa Romeo 4C. Sure, it's a good driver's car on a racetrack, but it's simply too compromised to be enjoyed outside of a controlled environment with perfect roads. It's a constant battle keeping the Alfa going straight down the road, with busy steering and a rough ride. Toss in its interior's ghost electronics and rock hard seats, plus the steep sticker price, and you've got a disappointment. — Christian Seabaugh

2015 Chevrolet Malibu

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo With the post-refresh Chevrolet Malibu, GM tried its best to make the most of an unfortunate situation, but there's only so much that can be done here. Though the Malibu has great styling and 19-inch wheels on the Turbo model, in rear-seat space as well as rear-seat ease-of-exist, the car leaves lots to be desired. — Zach Gale

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD I'm one of the nine people that unanimously voted the Chevrolet Colorado Motor Trend's 2015 Truck of the Year. I'm also one of the three people that ranked the Silverado third place in a three-way comparison. Yes, Chevy's full-size pickup truck is not as good as Ford's F-150 or Ram's 1500. And it's not even kinda as good. At least with the Ford and the Ram, the two trucks are close, and we struggled to pick the winner. The Silverado was an instant third place, no argument necessary. When the best part about a truck are the four USB ports mounted up front, what other conclusion can you come to? The fact that the Silverado feels a generation behind the competition is particularly disappointing when you consider how capable Chevy is of making world-class machines: Z/28, the aforementioned Colorado, Corvette (Z06!), and the SS with a manual transmission, just to name a few. Hopefully, someone at Chevrolet's doing something to fix this. Like driving a Ram. — Jonny Lieberman

2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS

2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS sedan© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS sedan Don't take the Sonic's presence here the wrong way: I and others really liked this thrifty, turbo-powered manual, which is in the classic category of "slow cars that are fun to drive fast." A good-looking and practical subcompact (inside and out) in hatch or sedan form, it's got a really nice manual transmission. Unfortunately, the transmission is hooked to a four-cylinder turbo making only 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. If Chevy could get remotely closer to the celebrated Fiesta ST's 197 hp and 202 lb-ft, the Sonic RS would be welcomed in either hot hatch or sizzling sedan form. — Chris Clonts

2015 Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200 Limited© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chrysler 200 Limited This car pretty easily nailed down the "biggest-improvement-in-a-single-redesign" honors for 2014 in my book, and I love the interior and exterior design, the thoughtful interior touches, and the breadth of powertrain offerings. But I'm deeply disappointed that my successors in Chrysler's interior packaging department didn't manage to fit Ford Fusion-matching (if not topping) rear-seat head-, leg-, shoulder-, and hip-room under that similarly swoopy roofline. — Frank Markus

2015 Ford Mustang GT

2015 Ford Mustang GT© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Mustang GT For me, this was the biggest letdown of the year. We expected so much, but we got so little. It's damn hard to make a car that's not as good or fun as the model its replacing, but Ford managed to do just that. — Scott Mortara

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost With all the hype surrounding the 2015 Ford Mustang, I was hoping to be wowed. And as the previous owner of a 2003 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, I expected to be wowed by the 435-hp, 5.0-liter V-8. I didn't get to drive that one, however. I did get some time behind the wheel of the new EcoBoost model, which was saddled by the six-speed automatic. I wasn't blown away with the Mustang EcoBoost's performance, and hopping into the 2015 Subaru WRX (not STI) immediately afterward didn't help the pony's case. Although both cars post similar acceleration and handling stats, the WRX's 300-plus-pound weight advantage gave it the qualitative edge. — Jason Udy

Infotainment systems

2015 Subaru WRX STI Around the Block© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Subaru WRX STI Around the Block All of them. But specifically, the voice command system by some automakers is so bad that they should consider not offering it until they figure it out. Also, Bluetooth phone pairing in our long-term WRX STI is laughably bad. — Erick Ayapana

2014 Kia Rio SX

2013 Kia Rio SX© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 Kia Rio SX Subcompacts used to be frumpy-looking and feel flimsy, yet the Rio is neither. The littlest Kia on offer needs TLC in the areas of powertrain, dynamics, ride, and steering. But if the rest of the recently overhauled Kia lineup is any indication, the next Rio will be substantially more competitive along every avenue. — Benson Kong

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA250© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA250 It's a shame we weren't too crazy about the brand new CLA because it has so many things going for it. It lowers cost of entry into the brand (though 2015 prices are boosted, eliminating the "$29,995" come-on it used in commercials). And it looks absolutely stunning with that beautiful diamond grille and swooping body lines. But the good looks don't carry out toward the rear end, where an awkward, low-sloping roofline greatly sacrifices rear headroom inside. The driving experience also isn't that great, with more noise than we're used to from Mercedes and lots of turbo-lag. — Karla Sanchez

2015 Mercedes C-Class

2015 Mercedes Benz C300 4Matic© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mercedes Benz C300 4Matic I was a big fan of the previous generation C-Class. In fact, I used to recommend one over the BMW 3 Series. That said, to me the newest C-Class is a disappointment. Although the car looks better than ever inside and out and remains "bank-vault solid," as I wrote in my notes at Car of the Year, the car has lost the fun-to-drive dynamics that made the old one so enjoyable. The C300 feels sluggish and uninspiring, with both it and its C400 sibling engaging in a strange lateral hop under hard cornering. A choppy ride doesn't help things, either. Hopefully there's some fine tuning to come. — Rory Jurnecka

2015 Mini Hardtop Cooper S

2015 Mini Cooper S© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mini Cooper S Like many small-car enthusiasts, I had high expectations for the next-generation Mini. I looked forward to the changes inside the vehicle -- ditching the historically correct but goofy circular-design motif and other retro touches such as center-console-mounted window switches -- in the hopes that a more modern yet fun-to-drive pocket rocket would emerge. Instead, we got a bloated version of the last model with poorer outward visibility and a distinct absence of fun. Shame, because one of my all-time most memorable drives was in a modern Mini (Clubman S of all things). – Ron Kiino

I have always liked Mini. Even as they have gone from pint-sized to quart-sized, Minis have always been a personal favorite. But when I hopped into the new Mini Cooper, I knew we were going to have to break up. Gone was the center-mounted speedometer, replaced with a strange light-bar-enhanced doohickey. The quirkiness of the brand, particularly the interior, has left me looking for something else to fall in love with. — Scott Burgess

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution It may look cool, but that's probably the most flattering thing we can say about the Lancer Evo. An outdated interior, jerky shifter, bumpy ride, and poor visibility put the car on top of my "Park It" list. Considering that the model I drove was close to $40,000, there are plenty of better bad boy candy options on the market. — Kelly Pleskot

2015 Nissan Versa Note

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR The Note has the potential to be one of the B-segment's best hatchback offerings, but it's held back by its uninspiring driving dynamics, anemic 109-hp engine, and laggy CVT. The car could use about 30 more horsepower to make passing less of a chore, and the steering needs to feel more direct and less like your inputs are being transmitted through a vat of mayonnaise. With those changes, the Note could just challenge the Fit for top honors in the class next time around. For now, though, we'd be happy to see the Note Nismo arrive stateside. — Alex Nishimoto

Cars We Wish Were Better In 2014© Provided by MotorTrend Cars We Wish Were Better In 2014
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