Badge Engineered Fails

Going off of my Badge Engineering Explained post, here are some cars that are the epitome of badge engineering. There are way more cars that explain badge engineering to a tee, so drop the comments.


Aston Martin Cygnet/Scion iQ- Aston Martin. The makers of the DB5, Vanquish, One-77, Vantage, Rapide and more. James Bond’s weapon of choice. Scion. The makers of the FRS and other forgotten models. Tell me what possessed Aston Martin to team up with Scion and make the Cygnet which was. Asked off of the iQ? Since when did Aston Martin need a micro-car? The world will never know.


Cadillac Cimarron/Chevrolet Cavalier- Not only was the Cimarron known as one of the worst cars known to man, it was also, unofficially (or at least in my book), the “king of badge engineered fails.” Cadillac, at the time, was known for land yachts. The Cimarron was meant to offer a smaller option for Cadillac. Perfect idea, granted the times. However, taking the Cavalier and adding some luxury options was where the great idea ended. Unlike the ATS, the Cimarron had no business being called a luxury car. Cadillac was better off making it’s signature land yachts. 


Buick Century/Buick Regal- This one baffles me. Not as much as the Cygnet and the iQ, but still. I don’t know which one came first but someone at Buick must have thought, “I got it. Let’s take the Century, delete one seat, add the supercharged series 3.8 and call it the Regal!” They could have saved the money and just used the Regal, which returned a few years later.


Lexus ES300/Toyota Camry- The ES is far from the worst on the list, but it makes the list nonetheless. Basically, the ES was a Camry, with a Lexus badge and leather seats. In the later years, a fully loaded Camry was comprable to the ES, but the Camry was the better choice and after the 00’s, the better looker as well. I understand Lexus needed an option for a midsized sedan, but it was forgettable when next to the GS, which was larger but much cooler, and the IS, which was a four door Supra.


Lincoln Aviator/Ford Explorer– Two things hurt the Aviator. It was a imitation Navigator, so in the luxury world, it was a knockoff. The second thing was that it was priced similar to the already established Explorer. It, like the next car on the list, was a good idea, but pointless.


Lincoln Mark LT/Ford F150– This is what happens when automakers decide that they want to make a “luxury” versions of another model. The F150 is FoMoCo’s best seller by far. The higher trims like the SVT Raptor, Harley Davidson, King Ranch and Platinum usually come out pretty luxurious. So tell me…Why or better yet, Who made the call to build the Lincoln Mark LT? Not knocking the whole, let’s take Car A and add higher level luxury components and make Car B, but come on guys, the a Lincoln truck? Needless to say, the Mark LT didn’t hang around for long. Maybe because the Harley Davidson edition F150, was much cooler.


Mazda Tribute/Ford Escape- Like with most badge engineered models, the Tribute was another one. Usually, an example like this could be compared to the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer. The Explorer was for everyone and the Mountaineer was for everyone with a slightly higher budget. The Tribute and Escape didn’t follow this formula. As a matter of fact, I cant figure out what this combination was meant for. Granted, it helped expand Mazda’s portfolio, it was as ill-fated as the Navajo. If you don’t remember the Navajo, here’s a link, and you tell me what this reminds you of. Don’t think to hard.

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