We all have different definitions of what makes a car bad. Is it because of the way it looks or the way it performs? Is it the interior or exterior? Maybe it’s just not comfortable or maybe it’s a lemon. It might be the worst combination of all those factors. Whatever the case, you know a terrible car when you see it.
To make this list of the five worst cars ever made, though, it has to be extremely terrible or ridiculous. It’s like the Supreme Court famously said about pornography – it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
Read on for the five worst cars ever made!
5. Cadillac Cimarron (1982)
When General Motors decided to compete against small premium sedans from BMW and Mercedes by rebranding the four-cyclinder Chevy Cavalier as a Cadillac Cimarron (and piling on faux-luxury fabrics and features), well, that was an insult the luxury brand Cadillac was attempting to build.
When you cynically try to copy success with cheap imitations, it rarely works out well. This time was no different.
4. Reliant Robin (multiple years)
When a car only has three wheels, you know it’s going to find its way onto a “worst of” list. With two wheels in the back and one in the front, the Reliant Robin was super unstable, especially if you happened to be going around a turn at more than 25 miles per hour or at an angle greater than 45 degrees.
The car was first produced in 1973 in England and somehow continued to be manufactured in various forms through the early 2000s. Despite its ridiculous nature, it gained a cult-like following who love the car and have kept it alive all these years.
3. Ford Pinto (1971)
The Pinto was not a terrible car – unless you count its tendency to erupt into flames during low-speed rear-end collisions. That was bad enough, but it gets worse. The infamous Ford Pinto Memo, as it came to be known, showed the company’s ruthless calculation that paying settlements to victims and potential victims of fiery crashes ($50 million) would be cheaper than recalling the car and properly reinforcing the rear ends to protect the fuel tank ($121 million).
When your bottom line is more important than people, you know you have a terrible car.
2. Yugo (Mid-‘80s)
In 1985, the Yugo began its journey through the American psyche as it was imported from Soviet-era Yugoslavia. A low-priced vehicle, you thought there was no way it could be as bad as its price suggested – but it was. When carpet is listed as a standard feature, you know you’re in trouble. When the electrical system fizzles and parts begin falling off, you’re toast. Just like the Yugo.
1. Pontiac Aztek – (2001)
What exactly is an Aztek? Is it some hideous transmogrification of an SUV or is it an entirely new creation? Either way, the parties responsible should never be allowed to work in the auto industry again. Its plastic sides remain one of the biggest debacles in history.
It’s biggest claim to fame may be that Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White drove one as he cooked his meth in secret – not exactly a ringing endorsement. One of the greatest failed models of all time, the Aztek likely drove the last stake through the heart of Pontiac. An instantly-hated ugly car that never fulfilled its potential as a crossover, the Aztek nabs the top spot on our list.
So there you have it. Did you own any of the cars on this list? It’s okay if you did – we won’t hold it against you. Unless you’re still driving the three-wheeled Reliant Robin. In that case, we might just revoke your license.
So now that you know the five worst cars ever made, you know what to stay away from.