179: The 25 Worst Cars of All Time

Posted on: December 23rd, 2021 by

25. 1977 Lincoln Versailles: Responding to the challenge of the Cadillac Seville, Lincoln took the Mercury Monarch, added a Continental bump on the trunk and a Mark IV grille up front, and tried to pass it off as sophisticated.
24. 1976 Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare: At Chrysler’s nadir, it built these strictly conventional compact cars that proved a magnet for rust and were subject to a long series of recalls.
23. 2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS: Kind of a station wagon, but with less utility and style. A low point for Chevy’s SS badge.
22. 1990 Infiniti M30 Convertible: Spongy suspension, a lackluster drivetrain and a soggy structure were enough to doom the M30.
21. 1996 Ford Taurus: The bulbous blobular redesign of Ford’s best-selling sedan effectively ended its life in the retail market. Weird when it didn’t need to be.
20. 1987 Cadillac Allante: A pointless, front-drive roadster that was ludicrously expensive thanks to Pininfarina building its bodies in Italy and then air-shipping them in 747s to Detroit for completion. An embarrassing attempt to take on the Mercedes SL.
19. 1978 Fiat Strada/Ritmo: A disposable front-drive subcompact. It might not be a coincidence that Fiat bowed out of the U.S. market for 28 years starting in 1983.
18. 1975 AMC Pacer: Unfortunately, a desperate AMC bet on weird and wide small car with a fishbowl greenhouse and archaic six-cylinder drivetrain. When you talk about this car, you have to start all your sentences with “unfortunately.”
17. 2011 Aston Martin Cygnet: A $47,000 restyled Toyota (er, Scion) iQ. Aston needed it to meet EU fleet emissions standards but didn’t bother to make it at all “Aston.”
16. 1982 Renault Fuego: A fragile front-drive coupe that rusted quickly into dust or burst into flames amid random electrical fires. It was recalled for steering wheels that came off in drivers’ hands.
15. 1971 Ford Pinto: Built to a $2,000 base price, the subcompact Pinto infamously lacked protection for its rear-mounted fuel tank. Ford wound up paying out millions in judgments.
14. 1989 Chrysler TC by Maserati: A haphazard combination of front-drive K-car bits, indifferent assembly, and a two-seat roadster body that was indistinguishable from a LeBaron. It’s both the worst Maserati and worst Chrysler ever.
13. 1974 Reliant Robin: This ludicrously unstable three-wheeler turned turtle on its plastic body at the slightest provocation. Fortunately, with a 750cc engine, it was underpowered, too.
12. 1983 Renault Alliance: An AMC-built, Americanized version of the front-drive, 60-hp Renault 9 subcompact — complete with monochrome paint and whitewalls. Worse, in ’85 came a convertible so droopy the doors often couldn’t close.
11. 1917 Chevrolet Series D: Chevy’s first V8 could only manage 36 hp — less than the brand’s four-cylinder. Killed after 1918, the next Chevy V8 came a full 37 years later.
10. 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Diesel: As bad as the 5.7-liter Olds diesel V8 was, the 4.3-liter version was worse. Sold only in the ’79 Cutlass, the 4.3 diesel made 90 hp before shattering into shrapnel.
9. 1957 Trabant: East Germany’s two-cylinder, two-stroke disaster somehow survived the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was literally made from old clothes and glue.
8. 1982 Cadillac Cimarron: A cynical attempt to compete against BMW with a redecorated version of the front-drive, four-cylinder Chevrolet Cavalier.
7. 1958 Edsel Corsair: Ford went hunting for a market niche that wasn’t there with a redecorated Mercury that had been beaten with an ugly stick. The legendary flop of all automotive flops.
6. 2003 Saturn Ion: Shockingly incompetent to drive and with an interior to match. Kick it and your foot might get stuck in the gaps between the plastic body panels.
5. 1971 Chevrolet Vega: An engine that couldn’t hold oil, in a car built with contempt for its buyers. It’s the car that invited Americans to buy Toyotas and Hondas. However, it did make a good Pro Stock racer.
4. 1987 Yugo: This even cheaper version of the Fiat 127 seemed like it couldn’t possibly be as awful as its low price suggested. But it was!
3. 1955 BMW Isetta: Originally designed by Italy’s Iso, BMW built the, single-cylinder 12-hp, one-door Isetta for seven years. Parked nose-in to a wall, the door wouldn’t open. The whole car was a crumple zone.
2. 1974 Ford Mustang II: Built upon the spindly bones of the Pinto, this shrunken, malformed pony is instantly appalling to Mustang lovers. Unfortunately, it was hugely popular with buyers stuck with serial fuel crises.
1. 2001 Pontiac Aztek: It may be cliche, but it’s hard to argue with. Drive one and you quickly realize that the Aztek’s exterior design is its best feature. It’s the very worst car of all time because it’s the only car on the list to kill an 84-year-old car company. The Aztek drove the biggest and last nail into Pontiac’s plastic-clad coffin.