Nobody can deny the fact that not all cars are created equally. Despite our best intentions and rigorous maintenance schedules, some cars are just pieces of junk. Manufacturing flaws, poor designs, or poor quality control all take some of the blame. Some of these marvels of engineering aren’t just bad – they’re dangerous.
Here are ten of the worst vehicles ever constructed – as voted for by more than 2,500 Carbuyer readers.
The Austin Allegro usually tops any “worst of” list but fares well here.
Auto Express readers said: “The poster child for everything bad about British car manufacturing in the seventies. Looked awful and handled dreadfully.”
Not very surprising is the appearance of Lada in the 10 worst cars. The damning verdict? “Poor to drive, uncomfortable and basic in the extreme. Virtually any car of the same age will trump this in any category.”
The Allegro’s partner in grime, the Morris Marina. The pair have come to symbolise the nadir of car manufacturing in Britain. The Marina was essentially a rework of the popular Morris Minor, which had appeared more than 20 years earlier. “Terrible handling and poor build quality meant it was an utterly awful car,” said one reader.
“Who wanted a two-seater convertible mini-SUV? Nobody, especially when it had awful handling and zero off-road ability.” A succinct summary of why the Suzuki X-90 deserves to be on this list.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the most forgettable cars. “Poor handling and a very low-rent feel and it doesn’t even have a super-cheap price to reflect that,” was one of many criticisms of the Japanese car.
Another glorious failure of the British car industry. After the demise of the long-running Metro, Rover was desperate for a small car so pressganged an Indian-built supermini into service. “Poorly received from the off, with its build quality coming in for particular criticism,” was actually being quite fair. It wasn’t such a bad car, it was just that it lagged so far behind the opposition in crucial areas.
The FSO Polonez was one of a string of old Fiat designs produced in the Soviet Bloc, which included Lada and Yugo. “Cheap, performed poorly and lacked any desirability at all,” is another fair assessment. The bodykit and screaming colour scheme don’t exactly do it any favours either.
Chrysler PT Cruiser Cabrio
The Chrysler PT Cruiser Cabriolet is a genuine horror. “A real ugly duckling. A lack of refinement and driver enjoyment plus poor quality cabin. A novelty car that was no fun at all.” The retro-styled PT Cruiser was bearable, but chopping the roof off was simply a bad idea poorly executed.
We hate to be pedantic, but the Reva G-Wiz electric vehicle isn’t strictly a car – it’s classified as a quadricycle, thereby avoiding the crash tests that proper cars have to undergo. “It’s slow, not very safe and ugly as sin. A tiny, uncomfortable box,” said one of Auto Express’s more restrained readers. We’re more concerned about the health of anyone unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision while driving one of these.
“Looks like a melted hearse,” is the best description of the visually challenging SsangYong Rodius we’ve ever heard. “It’s time these were taken away and destroyed.” If it were human, not even its mother could love it.