Image courtesy of James Grahame/RetroThing
Aston Martin Lagonda
If you grew up in the 1970s, you are undoubtedly familiar with the decade’s events. Disco was in full swing, funk was on the rise, and hip-hop was only getting started. Cars, it appears, were also generating headlines…for how bad they were.
The Aston Martin Lagonda was created to be the most technologically advanced automobile on the market. It included computer-controlled electronics, CRT-based displays, and a slew of other novelties. Regrettably, none of them worked properly. Makes the investment kind of stupid, right?
The Suzuki Samurai is often described as athletic, colorful, excessive, and too exuberant, which appropriately reflects the decade in which it was conceived – the 1980s. When this small little 44 was first introduced to the market, early users found that it had a few flaws, the most notable of which is its propensity to turn over.
Yep! That inclination was as terrifying as it sounds. It wasn’t unusual for the Samurai to flop onto its side or roll with the riders still inside while taking conventional turns at typical speeds. It wasn’t a good day for the Japanese auto industry.
Looking back in time, the French have a lot to be proud of. For ages, they have led the way in the arts, literature, and all things fashionable. Their car designs, for the most part, have been pretty solid in the creative field as well — that is, until the Citroen Pluriel rolled off the assembly line.
According to Top Gear magazine, the Pluriel “is about as handy as a teapot made of chocolate.” Doesn’t that seem really useful? So, what’s the problem with the Pluriel? According to user reports, it experienced dependability concerns as well as a history of evident flaws that were passed off as “new and exciting features.”
TransAm Type K
The Pontiac TransAm Type K was a vintage automobile with a distinctive feature that nearly became a reality in 1977. If you can’t tell from the image, the characteristic we’re referring to is how the windows expand up, which seems to us like a pair of crazy wings.
The production of this car was hotly contested between the GM/Pontiac headquarters. In truth, there were promotional pieces in magazines and newspapers, as well as clever public ad campaigns. Fortunately, this one never saw the light of day.
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T, the first mass-produced car to grace the streets of the United States, was more than thrilling – it was also horrible. Its manufacturing ended in 1927 because, while being the most advanced technology at the time, it just did not work.
Although the photo above depicts a pretty common-looking automobile, previous versions of the Ford Model T were not so ordinary. In reality, older versions lacked a windshield, had a terrible engine, and had prone-to-failure brakes, making this automobile highly unsafe.
With a name like this vehicle’s, you’d think it’d be the pinnacle of dependability, and while that’s a reasonable assumption to make, it’s incorrect. Sadly, the Reliant Robin was not in the least reliable.
The Reliant Robin was notorious for toppling over, much to the chagrin of its fans. Sure, its 3-wheel design drew some attention, but after the negative reviews began to pour in, not even its distinctive appearance could keep it from becoming a complete embarrassment of a car.
This monster of an automobile is now only found in France, where it is employed for novelty and display reasons. Except for the fact that it’s very slow (111 miles per hour max), there’s nothing really wrong with this car. Nevertheless, it has made our list for a very apparent reason…
Its hideous, unpleasant look. It’s not really appealing to look at, what with its ten wheels and unusual body design. If we’re being honest, it’s rather ugly. We wouldn’t drive it if it were the world’s last operable car, but would you?
1998 Fiat Multipla
The Fiat Multipla has been utilized for commercial and corporate reasons over the years. The issue with this car stems from its 1998 model, which was a significant flop for Fiat. This early edition was a huge disappointment for the firm because it wasn’t quite as popular as its current cousins.
The 1998 version is only one thing: unappealing. It’s been likened to the type of car that a Martian coming to Earth would drive rather than the vehicle that a soccer mom would drive, which is what it was designed for. The inside was roomy and well-thought-out, but it was overshadowed and overlooked by the dreadful outside appearance.
Looking at it, the Saturn Ion does not appear to be the worst automobile ever. It has an ordinary look and no unusual style designs or characteristics, so it’s evident that this isn’t why it made the list. Nope! This American flop is here because of its lack of oomph.
The automobile was substantial, easily ranking among the heaviest of the decade, and as such needed a powerful engine. However, the Ion developers managed to overlook this detail, creating a big car with a mediocre, slow engine and little power.
This automobile, which debuted in 1975, was intended to be “the car of the future.” Its most intriguing feature was its 100-pound gullwing-type doors, but its general construction comes in a close second. Why? The body was constructed of plastic!
The automobile was meant to be safe, with features like collapsible bumpers, but we’re not sure how safe a plastic-bodied vehicle could be. Furthermore, it’s reasonable to conclude that the SV1 wasn’t the most visually appealing automobile on the market.
The Germans, who are now famed for their high-quality automobiles, have not always produced the greatest vehicles. They’ve been responsible for a number of remarkable (and shameful!) flops, like the Zundapp Janus. It’s a cool name, but that’s about all this car has going for it.
To begin with, this automobile is definitely out of place. To make matters worse, it was powered by a 250 cc 14hp engine that, at the highest speeds, could only move the car ahead at 50 miles per hour. Unsurprisingly, the majority of car enthusiasts passed on this one.
The K-Car, a Chrysler vehicle from the 1980s, is one of the company’s many major setbacks. The car was marketed at a low price to make it affordable to the public, which is fine except that the vehicle could not be depended on in any sense of the term.
As time passed, it became infamous for door handles that fell off, defective gearboxes, and rusted bodies, among a slew of other flaws that gradually tainted its already blemished reputation. It was eventually dubbed the “Poor Man’s Car.”
If the photographs of this automobile make you think of the future TV program The Jetsons, you’re not alone. It’s a strange automobile from the 1960s! The appearance of this car, however, was not the most serious issue that people had with it.
One of the most common complaints was that only one person could fit inside, that it was difficult to park and maneuver, and that it had a badly built plexiglass canopy that was infamous for virtually frying anyone within. Not to mention the oddity of its name.
PT Cruiser Convertible
Although the PT Cruiser Convertible isn’t the weirdest vehicle on our list, it wasn’t the success that the manufacturer had hoped for. This is expected given that the original PT Cruiser was also not a popular favorite. The original and convertible were nearly identical automobiles, with the exception of one tiny variation – the top.
The convertible lacked a roof, making it appear to be a standard PT Cruiser with its roof removed. Otherwise, nothing had changed and there had been no noticeable improvements. What a shame for the corporation, which was obviously dissatisfied with how much money they squandered.
The GM EV1 debuted in 1997. According to GM, it was the greatest electric car on the market in the 1990s. It was developed to meet California’s zero-emissions rule and claimed to be dependable, enjoyable to drive, and environmentally friendly.
The EV1’s battery, on the other hand, was subpar. It couldn’t keep a charge long enough to meet the demands of regular drivers, and it was also expensive to manufacture and even more so to buy outright. It was dubbed “the automobile that killed electric cars” for many years.
Davis D-2 Divan
The Davis D-2 Divan, another excellent example of three-wheeled cars that failed to catch on in America, was a 1940s vehicle built by Davis Motor Company. The Divan was highly promoted and was anticipated to be spotted on highways all across the world.
However, the company’s CEO overestimated the car’s appeal while underestimating its cost, thereby infuriating dealerships and vehicle investors. In the end, the firm went bankrupt, and there are only 12 Divans left in the world today. Maybe it’s better that way.
This little, two-door automobile was supposed to be the future, but it swiftly became the past. Its fuel economy was a popular with drivers, but that was the only good thing. The AMC Pacer, you see, had a bad history of going off the rails on fast corners.
The Pacer was superseded by other cars shortly after its debut (and after a number of disastrous corner-related incidents). The car’s sales plummeted, and AMC went out of business faster than you could say “piece of crap.”
The Ford Pinto is a “classic terrible automobile,” in our opinion. This is mostly due to the fact that, despite being a 1970s vehicle, it is still the punchline to many poor jokes to this day. If you were old enough to remember vehicles in the 1970s, you probably remember this gem of a bad car.
If you didn’t already know, the Pinto was notorious for bursting into flames following crashes. No, not high-speed highway incidents, but low-speed collisions such as backing into another car in a parking lot. What a memorable trip to the grocery shop.
The Chevrolet Chevette was a popular despite being on the market for only 12 years due to its low price. Having said that, the Chevette merely goes to show that sometimes the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the greatest long-term choice, since the car was really very disappointing in terms of performance.
The Chevette was light, therefore it should have been able to go at breakneck speed, right? Incorrect! The Chevette featured a relatively lackluster powertrain with a top speed of 50 horsepower, which made little sense given that the car weighed less than practically every other automobile on the market at the time.
You may recall the Pontiac Aztek from the television show Breaking Bad, when Walter White used it as his principal car. This contributed to the Aztek’s appeal, which, when paired with its incredibly hip name, made it a quite popular automobile during its first few years.
However, it was contentious from the start, and many automobile owners despised it from the moment they saw it. The engine was feeble, and the body was built of plastic, but the car sold for a high price, so the hype subsided swiftly.
Maserati, which is now recognized for its high-end automobiles, released a flop in the 1980s. They built the BiTurbo from 1981 until 1994. This car ticked all the boxes: it had a nice engine, reasonable performance, and an overall appealing look.
Drivers who purchased the automobile, on the other hand, began to grumble that it began to fall apart after a few years of usage. The BiTurbo developed a reputation as “a gigantic pile of rubbish that can’t endure the aging process,” to put it mildly.
When it was debuted in 1949, this hefty little automobile weighed 1,100 pounds and was just 145 inches long. It was billed as America’s first postwar vehicle. The Hotshot immediately proved to be a gigantic lump of rubbish rather than the breakout triumph it was meant to be.
It was unsafe, cumbersome, and extremely sluggish, which detracted from its ostensibly athletic appearance. Experts now believe that the engine, which allowed the vehicle to go at a top speed of 50 miles per hour, was the vehicle’s undoing.
To give readers a sense of how awful this small automobile was, we must share a running joke about it: “Yugo nowhere.” Sure, the play on words is amusing, but the automobile must have had some major faults to have earned such a reputation, right?
Correct. The Yugo GV did not sell well in Yugoslavia, where it was developed after the Cold War, and it was imported to the American market, where it did not do well either. It was the cheapest automobile on the American market, yet it lacked character.
The Triumph Stag, like many automobiles developed in the 1970s, had a stylish look but poor engineering. When it operated (which seemed to be just when it wanted to), it was a pleasant drive — until its engine overheated and things became unsafe.
A cooling system was installed to address this issue. Sadly, this system was just as bad as the engine it was attempting to replace, since it was susceptible to boiling over when temperatures were too high. To be honest, it appears like this automobile was cursed from the outset.
The Ferrari name isn’t normally connected with flops, which is why the construction of this automobile was so surprising. In the 1980s, it was promoted as the “Cheap Ferrari,” and it was everything a decent automobile isn’t: huge, ponderous, and lacking in horsepower.
Its V8 engine only generated 214hp, making it a letdown in comparison to other Ferrari models. Its ambitious electronics system, on the other hand, was notorious for failure, which was nearly invariably accompanied by the stench of burning wires. According to reports, every Mondial 8 manufactured suffered a system breakdown at some time.
Smart Cars, a branch of Daimler, is a brand that usually understands what they’re doing. Even if Smart Cars does not constantly release the next great thing, you can be sure that their vehicles are well-engineered and well-built.
Well, you used to be able to promise that – until the debut of the Fortwo, which effectively declared everything we just stated false. The Fortwo featured a rear-mounted engine and a cooling system in the front (which makes no sense!). On hot days, this meant that the people within the cabin were regularly cooked.
Cadillac has become a well-known brand in North America. Known for its different lines of elegant and beautiful automobiles, practically every automotive lover can spot a Cadillac in a crowd. However, in the instance of the Cadillac Fleetwood, the characteristics that set it apart weren’t nearly so good.
The Fleetwood was notorious for its poor performance, which was frequently noticed by other drivers and pedestrians. This vehicle was prone to pitching and jerking, stopping, creating loud and annoying noises, and total system failure. We can’t believe Cadillac produced it!
The Dodge Journey 2016 is one of the more contemporary automobiles on our list. Despite the fact that it is a 2016 model and its parent business has a wealth of automotive experience, the Journey failed catastrophically. This flop, in our opinion, is the result of a lack of attention in its production.
The inside of the Journey features a slew of virtually obsolete technology that struggles to retain high dependability ratings, which is the vehicle’s first flaw. The second major issue is that the vehicle struggles to generate enough power to properly convey a cabin of seven people, despite its passenger capacity of seven.
The Omni, one of Dodge’s newest models debuted in the 1970s, was built to meet the quickly changing vehicle norms of a new decade. The V8-powered cruisers of the 1960s were gone, and it was a tiny, safe car for growing families.
However, the Omni was not the car that families had hoped for, and experts warned that it was little more than a cleverly packaged safety threat. It had terrible brakes, sluggish steering, and trouble keeping on the road. Not exactly child-friendly.
Renault Le Car
The Renault Le Car, as you might expect, was designed by the French automaker Renault. The Le Car was a 1970s budget car intended to contend with the Volkswagen Rabbit and Golf, as well as numerous Japanese imports.
Once on the road, the Le Car proved to be a colossal letdown. It was sluggish, clunky, and poorly constructed with no concern for safety or quality. The Le Car broke down often and could not be relied on; it was phased out of the American market after only a few years.
The Edsel is one of the most egregious failures in automotive history. Everything about the automobile was exaggerated and played up, making it appear to be the finest thing to hit the roads since the advent of the first vehicle while, in reality, it wasn’t that exceptional.
Sure, it had good power and was pretty dependable, but it fell short of the public’s expectations. Buyers expected a spectacular new automobile as a result of the uppity promotion; unfortunately, they received an expensive Ford with an odd front design.
The Stout Scarab is widely regarded as the world’s first minivan. Many consider it to be the world’s first truly ugly automobile. The form of the thing is kind of like a loaf of bread and a football, which is owing in part to a creative decision and in part to the rear-mounted V8 engine.
What this car’s name signifies adds to its general lack of charm. The “Scarab” element of the car’s name is also the name of an Egyptian dung beetle, in case you didn’t know. How appropriate! Fortunately, just 9 of these monstrosities were ever created.
2003 Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano was a big hit when it first came out in 2003. It displayed the new look that the brand was going for and was well received by drivers. However, as time passed, a little issue became apparent.
During turning, the Murano regularly locked and tightened, making steering difficult and providing a possible safety concern. Fortunately, the issue was swiftly resolved, and later Murano models were much pleasant to corner in – not to mention ten times safer.
The Chevrolet Monza, a four-passenger subcompact automobile introduced in 1975, saw a number of modest alterations in its early years. After dismantling the old engine, a V8 4.3-liter engine was installed, which you’d assume would be much stronger.
The new engine was not only underpowered, but it was also difficult to maintain. Those operating on it would have to shift the whole car to obtain access to the engine! Having said that, the vehicle did not have any obvious safety hazards, but it lacked in simplicity of use and maintenance and was widely despised by many repair shops.
Back in 1954, parents would tell their adolescent children to behave and achieve excellent grades, or else they’d wind up with the Nash as their first car. Getting a car as a prize for poor grades doesn’t seem so bad, does it? In this instance, it was.
The Nash was notorious for its awful, underpowered engine. It was also prone to flipping onto its side while turning curves, making it a driving hazard – especially if you’re a kid who wants to travel as quickly as possible.
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Diesel
The aim to improve on earlier models with 5.7-liter V8 engines led to the development of this vehicle. The improved models, like this one, featured 4.3-liter diesel engines and were billed as the “next best thing.” However, as you can expect, they bombed spectacularly.
The 1979 Oldsmobile’s engine had a habit of blowing up when it reached 90hp in power surges. Obviously, both automobile experts and regular drivers swiftly characterized it as one of the worst cars on the market at the time.
The AMC Concord of 1978 is on our list of the worst automobiles ever built for good reason. The Concord, although being designed to be a luxury car, was frequently loosing bolts and collapsing in the middle of the motorway.
Furthermore, it had ineffective shocks that didn’t do anything. It gave its rear passengers a bumpy ride since its roof liner sagged due to the shoddy glue job employed to fasten it.
The Austin Allegro, produced by British manufacturer Austin-Morris from 1972 to 1983, was a complete disaster on tires. It suffered several technical faults and mechanical concerns, as well as minor design shortcomings such as unusual size. Talk about a total failure.
However, as previously said, it experienced technical issues, which finally drove it off the market. Its front axle would fracture, and its body would bend when jacked up (which had to be done often because of said axle problem). Many people adored this automobile, but just as many – if not more – despised it.
Since its introduction in 1984, the Testarossa has ascended the collectors’ lists, propelled by its 4.9-liter flat-12 engine. It has a nice vibe and a particular place in many people’s hearts as a collector automobile. It was a different tale when it was first launched and meant to be used as a daily vehicle.
By industry standards, the Testarossa was sluggish and had a big footprint. Owning a Testarossa also meant frequent trips to the auto body shop, as the car was notoriously unreliable. The vehicle’s expensive burden led its popularity to plummet soon.
The Hummer H3 from 2005 is a car that has captivated a specific sort of individual since its introduction. This individual is likely to adore revving their engine and having 200-mile-per-hour street races with their friends while making the greatest noise possible and enjoying every second of it.
The car is huge and unwieldy, noisy, and technically unimpressive. It also has terrible visibility, awful blind spots, and an underpowered engine that appears to be inadequate when compared to the sort of vehicle it’s put in. It does, however, offer adequate cargo room, which is a benefit.
Morgan Plus 8
The Morgan Plus 8 was designed in the United Kingdom and first appeared in America in 1968. The automobiles transported to America were outfitted with propane gas tanks, which is a bad idea if you know anything about cars.
The automobile was sluggish as a consequence of the propane engine, which was required for the car to pass the decade’s fuel emissions test. Many individuals equated driving at 30 miles per hour in the Plus 8 to driving at 60 miles per hour.
The 1980 Chevy Citation sold quite well at first. That year, it was voted Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, and more than 800,000 units were sold in its first year. So, what happened wrong with the automobile that it ended up on this list?
Consumer Reports made a mistake. The business examined the car, providing their expert judgment that it was so poorly constructed that it was dangerous to drive. From then, sales fell, and Chevy discontinued manufacturing of the Citation in 1985.
Have you ever seen an electric microcar? Perhaps, but have you seen the Elcar (also known as the Zele) electric microcar from Italy? Unlikely, because despite a lot of promotion and a low price point, it didn’t take off in the United States.
The Elcar was constructed of fiberglass and, as you’ll see, was not the most visually appealing vehicle on the market. It performed so badly that it was only built for two years in the 1970s, its peak speed of 10 miles per hour in cold weather and heavy 8-hour recharge time being exceedingly unwanted.
The Royal, despite the title, was everything but royal. Dodge had a rather excellent reputation at the time, but that swiftly changed following the release of this sedan. The 1957 model arrived with a long list of issues that even Dodge’s relatively decent reputation couldn’t fix.
It was notorious for having a big water leak in the trunk as well as a proclivity to rust and come apart with continuous use. But the worst part? The automobile was prone to catastrophic engine failure for no apparent cause. Dodge’s reputation took years to recover after this calamity.
Developed during the Great Depression, the Fuller Dymaxion appeared in three different designs. The ultimate objective was to build a car that could fly, swim, and drive — and this submarine-shaped vehicle appeared to be precisely what the doctor ordered.
The Dymaxion, on the other hand, never made it to the mass production stage because its designer, Buckminster Fuller, discontinued manufacturing shortly after producing the prototypes. He said that the automobile handled badly and made the choice despite public pressure.
To be honest, the Waterman Arrowbile should have remained a concept. This strange-looking small vehicle/flying machine was meant to be able to drive and fly. The concept, however, did not take off, and only five were ever produced.
The notion just wasn’t enticing to the general population, and it’s simple to see why. Imagine driving a car with massive wings down the road and negotiating turns. No way, no how, thank you. We’re still waiting for the notion to seem acceptable today.
If you’ve ever heard the Frankenstein myth, you’re probably aware with how Dr. Frankenstein constructed his monster by combining pieces from several bodies. That appears to have occurred in the case of the Jensen S-V8.
While there was nothing technically or performance-wise wrong with this car, its strangely mismatched, uneven look earned it a place on our list. We’d assume, if we didn’t know, that the driver of the car in this shot was an amateur auto body builder having fun with his automobiles.
The Nissan Cube, like the S-V8, is devoid of any obvious flaws, risks, or bad elements in terms of how it operates. Its physique, though, is what propels it to the top of our list. Call us superficial if you want, but millions of Nissan fans throughout the world agree, which is why the cube is so disliked today.
The form of the cube, which is fairly cube-shaped as you can see, makes it seem like a box on wheels as it travels down the road. For want of a better phrase, it looks like a clown vehicle, and we half anticipate a swarm of circus clowns to rush out of the small cabin.
Infiniti is recognized for its high-end, high-priced luxury automobiles, and there aren’t many negative Infiniti vehicle reviews. Of course, there are always outliers, and the Q50 happens to be one of them. It also happens to be a lemon, therefore it’s included here.
Consumer Reports’ overall rating for this car is only 57 (painful!), which isn’t excellent. The car has low fuel efficiency, unpleasant front seats, complicated controls, and a ride that is everything from smooth and enjoyable.
The Jeep Compass was recently redesigned, but now we’re looking at the original model. Initially, the Compass had a fairly bad reputation, with one of its weaker features being dependability. Too bad considering the nice paintjob.
It was a loud car with limited acceleration and poor vision, making it dangerous to drive. Furthermore, the brakes were faulty, and turning turns was enough to make the driver of the automobile break out in a sweat – from both worry and strain.
In today’s market, purchasing an appealing automobile does not always imply purchasing a decent vehicle. In reality, automakers are just as likely to release a bad vehicle as they are a good one. Whether it’s a car with a lousy design or one with more significant faults like mechanical troubles, the history of automobiles is littered with stunning vehicular duds and rotten eggs.