The world of luxury car rental is a rather diverse one, filled with far more manufacturers, models and types of car than you may expect all looking to make a great first impression and improve the experience of both drivers and passengers alike.

Alongside the more conventional likes of Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Marton, there are also some more interesting recent entries in the luxury car world such as Tesla, Lexus and Infiniti.

However, for every S-Class or luxury Range Rover, there are so many cars that try to reach that same high standard only to fall well short of the mark.

Here are some of the biggest commercial flops in the world of luxury cars.


Jaguar X-Type (2001)

Typically, the Jaguar badge is a hallmark of quality, excellence and innovation, but at some point during the development of the X-Type, all of that went out of the window.

Designed to compete with the C-Class, the X-Type was advertised as a four-wheel-drive sporty saloon, and technically this was the case if you bought it under its original name: the Ford Mondeo.

In one of the most transparent and extremely maligned examples of badge engineering out there, the ostensibly luxury car was in fact a downmarket Ford Mondeo with some Jaguar-themed accoutrements.

Even worse than this, however, were the reliability issues. Nearly everything could and would break in spectacular fashion. Ultimately, most people in the market for a C-Class stuck with the Mercedes-Benz.


Volkswagen Phaeton

The Phaeton story is in some ways a tragic parable about knowing where a brand lies in a large conglomerate group. It wasn’t a terrible car to drive and high-end models even used an ambitious W12 engine design.

However, the six-figure price tag for a VW was never going to fare well against the S-Class and BMW 7-Series, let alone the VW Group’s own Audi A8.


Chrysler TC By Maserati

Even discounting the ludicrous name, the TC by Maserati was effectively the result of a favour by the Italian marque’s Alejandro de Tomaso for Chrysler’s then-CEO Lee Iacocca to create a luxury sports car. It was a bad idea, executed worse.

The problems spanned the entire length and breadth of the car, from questionable build quality and hideous looks to the looming realisation that for much less you could have bought the almost-identical Chrysler LeBaron, which whilst still awful was at least cheaper.


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