Most cars are beautiful works of drivable art and are built for us to show them off. Their paint jobs are perfect, their interiors resemble plush, futuristic lounges, and their engines are something out of a mechanic’s dream.
But just like anything else, sometimes manufacturers and designers miss the mark. Really miss the mark. Vehicles that could have looked amazing wind up looking downright ugly because of a bad color or body style choice. Instead of people turning their heads and looking at these cars in awe they feel nothing but disgust and pity. Here are some of the ugliest cars ever made.
The Chevrolet Chevette was a subcompact car that looked like a deer in headlights. It had the body of a station wagon and was otherwise ugly and unimpressive.
It was sold in the 1970s and 1980s and reached the height of its popularity in 1979 and 1980, when it sold the most models. Holding the title as one of the smallest cars made by Chevrolet, it is also one of the ugliest as well.
Introduced in 1992 by the French automaker Renault, the Twingo is a bite-size four-passenger city car. The shape and size of the Twingo make it impractical for larger people or those with a larger family.
In addition to being small and bug-shaped, the Twingo also lacks in performance with a horsepower of only 90 on all of its standard models. The Twingo just got another upgrade with Renault releasing the third generation of the cars in 2019.
A newer concept manufactured and sold by Nissan, the Juke is an SUV that resembles a frog. Intended to be fun and fun to drive, the Juke just ended up being something that buyers “juked” away from.
In 2017, Nissan pulled the plug on the Juke in the U.S. and replaced it with the Nissan Kicks. The Juke lasted only seven years in the US and in its last few years, it sold poorly.
With the model name meaning “bravery” in Spanish, anyone who drove an Oldsmobile Bravada when they were released had to be one brave soul. The SUV was clunky and misplaced among the Oldsmobile lineup.
As SUVs were on the rise among buyers, Oldsmobile wanted to throw a hat in the ring and came up with the Oldsmobile Bravada. General Motors pulled the plug on Oldsmobile entirely in 2004, citing that they were not profitable anymore.
Oldsmobile Dynamic 88
There is nothing dynamic about the Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 outside of how big and ugly its boxy shape was. The Dynamic, manufactured by Oldsmobile, was sold for over 50 years with a debut dating all the way back to 1949.
Even with so much time, the Dynamic saw little change over the years and remained mostly stagnant and stale. With a lack of upgrades and an unimpressive car to look at, sales eventually plunged and the Dynamic was discontinued in 1999.
A common car in the 1990s, the Pontiac Sunbird looked like it had the face of an angry person and was ugly from the front to the back. The Pontiac Sunbird was designed for the general public and was marketed as a car for everyone which led it to selling well.
It was easy to drive, affordable and good on gas. Compared to some other popular models of the same decade, the Sunbird was a good choice for a car — it just looked horrible.
Built like a tank and expected to outlive most cars on the road today, the Volvo 240 was an ugly hunk of a car that was really popular in the 1990s.
It had the same boxy front just like the popular cars of the 1980s and it was sturdy, reliable, and affordable making it ideal for first-time drivers or families. With nothing special to show for, the 240 was just another extraordinarily ugly car from the past.
This car was so bad that it was simply called “The Thing” (in the U.S.). The idea for the car came from the Kübelwagen, which was a German used military vehicle in WWII.
Volkswagen wanted to make a car that was like the Kübelwagen but could be used in a civilian setting. Although the vehicle was marketed as a truck, under the hood, the Thing shared a lot of its engine parts with the Volkswagen Beetle.
A car most common in East Germany from the 1950s to the 1990s, the Trabant was a peculiar and odd-looking car that marked the collapse of the East German Bloc.
The car was made as cheaply as possible so that it could be mass-produced to accommodate a large percentage of the population. On the inside, it contained no tachometer and had no fuel door meaning that drivers had to pour gas from under the hood of the car.
The Pontiac Fiero made this list for not only being an unattractive car but for also being unsafe and dangerous to drive as well. Not only did the name “Fiero” mean “fire” and “wild”, but the car itself was also prone to spontaneous combustion.
Initially, when the car was released in 1983 it sold well. It wasn’t until consumers saw growing numbers of reports that the cars were catching on fire that sales tanked and the car was discontinued.
Just by looking at a photo or seeing one of these drive past you on the street and you can easily see why the Mercury Capri made this list of ugly cars.
The Mercury Capri was marketed as a pony car but looked more like a station wagon. Initially, the car was only sold in Australia and it wasn’t until years later that it was shipped overseas and sold in the U.S.
Considered a huge rebadging disaster, the Cadillac Cimarron is probably a car that most people don’t know about or remember. It was nothing special and had an out-of-date ugly boxy body that made buyers want to stay away.
Prior to being released to the public, representatives from Cadillac confessed that they knew the car would be a commercial failure and borderline embarrassing to the company — but decided to sell it anyway, oddly.
Manufactured alongside the Buick Rendezvous, the Pontiac Aztek was a crossover that should have never been. General Motors was pressed to come up with a new vehicle and instead of taking the time to create something truly unique, they decided to make a crossover vehicle instead.
Buyers ended up having to give the Aztek back to General Motors within the first few months after it was released for a massive recall due to a faulty fuel delivery system.
The Plymouth Signet was released as part of the Big Three and big it was; big and ugly. Plymouth designed the car to bring the brand back as it was on the verge of going completely bankrupt.
Designers of the Signet played it safe with the overall design of the car because of criticism the company received from previous model releases. The Signet was considered successful and sold until it was discontinued in the late 1960s.
The Geo Storm was considered a sports car and was manufactured by Isuzu in the 1990s. Named after a magnificent weather phenomenon, the Geo Storm came in unattractive colors and had an odd body shape.
One of its biggest downfalls was its horsepower. For a car that was sold as a sports car, the Geo Storm had a top speed of only 108 mph. Also called the “wagonback,” the Geo Storm was finally discontinued in 1993 after only three years.
A full-size vehicle sold by Buick during the 1950s and 1960s, the Electra looked like more like a metal surfboard with wheels than a respectable car.
It was marketed and sold as a luxury vehicle though outside of its name, it had nothing to offer in the way of luxury or performance. If that wasn’t enough, the car was hard to drive and park as it was 18 feet long from head to tail.
Named after a beach getaway, the Chevrolet Malibu of the 1990s was anything but a vacation. There wasn’t anything special or fascinating about the ride and it didn’t have any features to set it apart from the competition.
The trunk of the Malibu looked like two hotdogs laying side by side and the front of the car was nearly identical to the Chevrolet Impala. Newer, more refined models of the Chevrolet Malibu have been sold since, but the 1990 model is a sore reminder of how ugly it used to be.
Ford Escort ZX2
Not a car you would want to be escorted in, the Ford Escort ZX2 was a two-door coupe sold in the late 1990s. Like some of the other popular cars of the time, the ZX2 was rounded and had bug eyes for headlights.
The Escort didn’t sell well in the U.S. but in 2018, a new Ford Escort model was introduced at the Japanese International Auto Show. Ford had no plans to bring the new Escort to the U.S.
A car that was designed in the late 1980s, the Citroën BX was an ugly vehicle that was incredibly popular in Europe. The BX model replaced the Citroën GS which was more beloved than the BX.
Designers of the BX got inspiration from other Volvo models and the engine was based on the Peugeot 405. If the looks weren’t bad enough, the car was lightweight and used a hydraulic suspension, making for a bumpy ride.
Saturn SC (3 door)
Considered one of the first three-door coupes, the Saturn SC was supposed to be rare and exotic and it ended up just being ugly and undersold.
The idea for having three doors came from drivers wanting to have access to the back area without having to crawl through the rear seat. Even though the car was backed by General Motors, the SC didn’t have any labeling that would indicate who the manufacturer was.
The Prowler was based on a concept car of the same name from the 1990s, and a concept car is how it should have stayed. Completely unattractive, the car also didn’t perform well and had a tiny trunk that was impractical.
In addition to poor performance, the price of the Prowler was one that never stayed the same as Chrysler yo-yoed the cost every few months without explanation.
The Metro was an economy car available in the U.S. from 1989 until 2001. It came in four different body styles, each uglier than the next.
Developed by General Motors, the Geo Metro was a subcompact car that was designed to be cheap and easy to mass-produce. What the Geo Metro ended up being was a cult classic that was as ugly as it was in the 1990s as it is now.
Aston Martin Lagonda
Designed to be futuristic and ahead of its time, the Aston Martin Lagonda still hasn’t reached a time period where its design is attractive.
The body of the Lagonda overall is flat and wide and from afar, it could appear to look like a stretched Skylark and not the six-figure car that it was. These cars took 2,200 man-hours to build, and from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, only 25 were sold.
In the wild, an impala is like a gazelle and is light and agile and majestic; the complete opposite of the 1990s Chevrolet Impala model.
The ugliest feature of the Impala was its large square trunk which was practically the only thing that the Impala had to separate it from other similar Chevrolet models. Though named after a fast mammal, the Impala itself isn’t that fast at all and had only 180 horsepower.
The Dodge A100 was a pickup truck that had a bus front end. It had some of the same features as a camper and was sold by Chrysler from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s.
Thankfully, under 3,200 were made in total during that timespan and were sold for under $2,000 apiece. Eventually Dodge decided to add the rest of the vehicle and started selling the pickup truck as a large van instead.
Another ugly entry from Ford Motors, the Flex was designed to replace Ford’s Freestyle minivan. It was classified as a CUV and had components from both SUVs and minivans which was obvious in its design.
The Flex was long and square in an unattractive way regardless of its designers’ innovative aspirations. For now, the Flex is still around with a new model coming out in 2020 though there are plans to discontinue the model after its release.
A larger van inspired by the Nissan and Mitsubishi Van success bubble in the early 1980s, the LiteAce makes this list because of its gawky shape.
Its long and tall body quickly slopes down at a steep angle down to the front fender. It resembles a small bus more than it does than an enjoyable family-friendly car, and its popularity didn’t last long. A few short years after its debut, Toyota started looking into other model types.
This ugly entry is the Ford Maverick, which was sold from 1969 to 1977 and was meant to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle. The Ford Maverick was marketed as a subcompact “import fighter” but it looked more like a sad dog with a large bottom lip than it did a respectable vehicle.
If it didn’t look bad enough then Ford made it worse by giving the color options names like Anti-Establish Mint, Hulla Blue, Original Cinnamon, Freudian Gilt, and Thanks Vermillion.
One of the first K cars introduced in 1981 by Chrysler, the Dodge Aries was a plain, ugly, boxy car. It could be bought as a sedan, a coupe, or a station wagon and was sold for eight years until 1989 when it was replaced by the Plymouth Acclaim.
Dodge at the time was facing a huge financial crisis from poor decision making in the years prior and wanted to make a car that would pull them back into financial stability.
The Ford Taurus of the 1990s was an extremely popular car because of its price and availability but it was also very ugly. It had a rounded body with strange headlights in the front and the rear.
From the side, the Ford Taurus looked like a lopsided sad cupcake and outside of a standard cassette player and radio, the vehicle didn’t have much to offer drivers in terms of features or upgrades.
It can be said that there are some things that should just be left alone and the Studebaker was one of them. The convertible’s extra-long fenders make it look like it spaceship of sorts and compared to other 1950s models, it was an eyesore.
The Studebaker Convertible was never mass-produced because its chassis wound up not making for a great convertible. Studebaker would go on to produce other better-looking models until the late 1960s when the company went bankrupt and closed shop.
For a car that looked like a hunched over troll, the AMC Gremlin’s name was perfect for it.
Like the water-hating creatures of the same name, drivers of this hunk of junk could also be found angry that they drove a car that looks like a baby carriage. The AMC Gremlin was sold by the American Motor Corporation from 1970-1978 and eventually went fully defunct eight years later in 1988.
Another car that thrived on being merely adequate and practical, the Chevrolet Celebrity was a square compact car that was made during the 1980s. The name of the Celebrity is completely misleading for a basic car that was designed to get good gas mileage and drive around the average everyday family.
What the Celebrity lacks in appeal it didn’t even make up for in features or options. It was eventually replaced in the 1990s by the Chevrolet Lumina after Chevrolet discontinued the station wagon model.
Before Dodge became popular for making muscle cars like the Charger and Challenger, Dodge had a history of missteps along the way and the Aspen was one of them.
It was a boat-shaped compact car that was sold alongside the Plymouth Volaré which was its two-door counterpart. Dodge ended up discontinuing the Aspen and the Durango Hybrid in 2008 because of a factory closure so thankfully none of these will be rebuilt anytime soon.
Ford Mustang II
The Ford Mustang has gone through a lot of body styles but the Ford Mustang second generation that ran from 1973 to 1978 was by far one of the ugliest models. Its headlights were too large for the car which made it look like a tin bug on wheels.
Its front fenders were disproportionate to the rest of the car and looked out of place. Ford eventually made the changes it needed to for the Mustang to come together but the Mustang II is a sore reminder of what it used to be.
This car epitomizes everything about plain, basic and boring that took place in the 1980s in the U.S. The Skylark’s body is an unattractive boxy shape with even blander features.
It isn’t fun to drive or ride in and everything about it screams “subpar.” You could find the Buick Skylark in many movies and TV sitcoms because it so easily represents everything we should forever leave behind in the 1980s.
Debuted in the 1990s, the Cadillac Allanté was a far reach from the luxury lineup that Cadillac is mostly known for. The name Allanté was randomly generated from a computer and had no real connection to the convertible itself.
In the 1990s, the U.S. was booming and the tech revolution was on the rise. Although it’s understandable that Cadillac wanted in on some of the action, the half-baked attempt that was the Allanté was not a good one.
Most famous for its appearance in Back to the Future, the DeLorean is more of a pop culture classic than anything else. When it comes to anything outside of time travel, the DeLorean DMC-12 is a big miss.
The creator wanted to make a car that was different and innovative but those differences are what caused the DeLorean to ultimately fail as a product. It didn’t sell well and most likely will never resurface again.
Chevrolet El Camino
While the El Camino was an iconic car of the 1980s, if the vehicle was remade in 2020, it would be pretty ugly. The El Camino was a hybrid of sorts and took parts from a truck and parts from a coupe and mashed them up into what should’ve resembled a normal vehicle.
What it ended up doing was leaving a lot of buyers confused as to what it was. That consumer uncertainty paired with the Camino’s boxy front-end and overall boat-like shape is how the car managed to make this list.
The Bricklin SV-1 is the culmination of things that just shouldn’t mix. Outside of its odd shape, the Bricklin was designed to be an economical and fuel-efficient sports car but fell flat.
In the 1970s when the Bricklin was created, the technology just wasn’t quite there yet. The name “SV-1” stood for “Safety Vehicle 1” and less than 3,000 were made in total before the company went bankrupt. It didn’t help that the price of the car doubled in two years!