40 Great-Looking Cars That Are A Nightmare To Drive

Not all cars are created equal. Some may even fool you with exotic design inside and out, all while being poorly built and awful to drive.

No matter whether it’s a rare gem from the past or a failed attempt at a modern sports car– steer clear of these deceiving automobiles. They may look awesome, but they’re awful to drive!

DeLorean DMC-12

The DeLorean is one of the most iconic cars of the 1980s. The futuristic vehicle became a poster car after playing a major role in Back To The Future. Despite being a time machine in movies, the real-life DeLorean was a lot less exciting.

1981 DeLorean DMC 12
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

The DeLorean DMC-12 is infamous for its poor handling and build quality issues. To make matters worse, its 130-horsepower V6 motor is awfully underpowered. The DeLorean may look like a fast car, but that could not be further from reality.

Chevrolet Corvette C1

Believe it or not, America’s first sports car wasn’t an instant hit. In fact, the model was excessively advertised by General Motors, to the point where the automaker had to rush through production to meet the deadline.

1956 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

The original ’53 Corvette was truly horrendous. The interior lacked any ergonomics, and the car’s six-cylinder motor was just not powerful enough. The build quality was awfully poor, too. The early production C1 Corvette was so bad that Chevrolet nearly discontinued the model just a year after its debut.

Ford Mustang (2nd generation)

The introduction of the second generation of the Ford Mustang may have been one of the worst downgrades in automotive history. The exterior styling of the second-gen is probably the only decent feature of the entire vehicle.

Ford_Mustang_II_ Flickr_-_Alexandre_Prévot_(5)
Alexandre Prévot/Wikimedia Commons
Alexandre Prévot/Wikimedia Commons

Under the hood, the second-gen Mustang shared most of its components with the infamous Ford Pinto. Just like the Pinto, The Ford Mustang II was criminally underpowered, its handling was awful, and the car had a tendency to burst into flames after getting rear-ended.

Jaguar X-Type

Jaguars have always been classy, there’s no doubt about it. The X-Type was an upscale sedan developed to compete with BMWs and Audis sold at the time. When it comes to the styling, the X-Type may have even been better than its German rivals.

2001 Jaguar X type 2.5
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The reliability, or lack thereof, is easily the worst downside of the Jaguar X-Type. An aging Jaguar is one of the most expensive cars to own as far as maintenance and repair costs go. You’d be better off with a BMW 5-Series.

Porsche Carrera GT

Nicknamed the widowmaker, this is one of the most hardcore Porsche automobiles of all time. This absolute beast came powered by a 603-horsepower V10 motor, fitted in the rear of the car.

Concours d'Elegance Paleis Soestdijk 2019
Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The Porsche Carrera GT quickly became infamous for its unpredictable handling. As a result, even the most skillful drivers have to respect this monstrous beauty. The German automaker only produced 1270 units in total.

Vector M12

There’s a great chance that you have never heard about this extravagant supercar. Vector Motors, a small automaker based in California, only built 17 units of this rare beauty. Its striking exterior design is unfortunately one of the only good aspects of the M12.

Vector_ Flickr_-_Supermac1961
Supermac1961/Wikimedia Commons
Supermac1961/Wikimedia Commons

This V12-powered supercar was built on a Lamborghini Diablo platform. The Vector M12 quickly became infamous as one of the worst sports cars of all time. It was essentially a meld of poor engineering, questionable build quality, and dreadful performance.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

The X-Class was developed to be an upscale pickup truck, combining utility with luxury. It was built on a Nissan Navara platform and was meant to appeal to wealthy buyers.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Charlie Shoemaker/picture alliance via Getty Images
Charlie Shoemaker/picture alliance via Getty Images

Despite its classy exterior design, the X-Class was an absolute disaster. The truck was essentially an overpriced Nissan Navara with a cosmetic makeover. Mercedes Benz ended up discontinuing this awful truck merely 3 years after its initial debut.

Dodge Viper (1st Gen)

If there’s one American sports car that’s the hardest to control, it has got to be the original first-gen Dodge Viper. Inexperienced drivers should steer clear of this powerful machine.

1992 Dodge Viper Roadster
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

The original Viper is as spartan as a sports car can possibly get. Its lightweight body paired with a screaming V10 motor rated at 400 horsepower, as well as the lack of most driver assists, was a dangerous mix indeed. It takes loads of skill and bravery to drive one of these beasts.

Toyota GR Supra (2.0L)

The revival of the Supra was one of the most polarizing events in the automotive world within the last years. Some petrolheads adore the latest fifth-gen Supra for its intriguing design, while others hate how many parts are borrowed from BMW.

98th European Motor Show
Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

In terms of performance, the fifth-gen Supra was a great vehicle right from the start. Then, for some odd reason, Toyota decided to add a weaker base model to the lineup. The new base model, powered by a small 2.0L, makes just 258 horsepower. That’s nearly 100 less than the 3.0L-powered variant!

TVR Sagaris

There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of this odd sports car. This British automobile was only produced for two model years. During that time, the automaker only built 211 units of this beautiful machine.

Gail Porter Motor Show
Rui Vieira – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Rui Vieira – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

The TVR Sagaris is by no means a bad car. It is, however, incredibly demanding to drive. An unskilled driver can quickly end up in a ditch after pushing the pedal to the metal in one of these gorgeous monsters.

Chevrolet Corvette C4

The C4 remains the least favorite Corvette generation of many fans of the car. The fourth-gen Corvette saw a total makeover from the ground up that some enthusiasts weren’t too happy with.

1993 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

The C4 features immaculate styling inside and out. The build quality leaves much to be desired. Early production units built in 1984 came powered by a weak cross-fire V8 motor, carried over from the previous generation, that barely made 200 horsepower.

Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Let’s face it, the third generation of the Dodge Challenger looks great. The designers managed to combine modern looks while preserving the classic lines of the original muscle car. For the most part, the new Challenger drives pretty well, too.

Los Angeles Auto Show 2015
Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images
Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

The main issue of the Challenger Hellcat is its sheer force. The supercharged Hellcat variant makes a whopping 717 horsepower from its V8 motor. All that power is delivered to just the rear wheels, making this beast pretty difficult to control.

Lincoln Blackwood

This quirky creation is a solid piece of proof that luxury and pickup trucks don’t go very well together. Similar to the previously mentioned Mercedes-Benz X Class, the Blackwood was an upscale pickup truck developed to appeal to the wealthiest buyers.

2002_Lincoln_Blackwood,_front_left,_5-23-2021
Cutlass/Wikimedia Commons
Cutlass/Wikimedia Commons

Though it may have looked good back in the early 2000s, everything else about the truck sucked. For starters, the Lincoln Blackwood was pretty much a redesigned Ford F-150. The two trucks shared the same platform, drivetrain, and most other components. Its $52,000 sticker price simply wasn’t justified.

Chevrolet Camaro (3rd generation)

Chevrolet introduced the third generation of the Camaro for the 1982 model year. The pony car received a major makeover, in terms of both design and its underpinnings.

1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC z28
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

The third-gen Camaro may have looked like a powerful machine, but the reality was rather different. In fact, Chevrolet offered the third-gen Camaro with a weak 305-cubic inch V8 motor that made under 150 horsepower! Even with a more powerful 350-cubic inch small-block, the third-gen Camaro still performed a lot worse than its competitors.

Ford Mustang (5th generation)

Ford released the fifth generation of its iconic pony car for the 2005 model year as a much-needed replacement for its 1990s predecessor. The all-new design was flawless. The fifth-gen Mustang paid homage to the original Ford pony car with a modern twist.

The 2005 Ford Mustang GT
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Sadly, the performance of the fifth-gen Ford Mustang did not match its beautiful design. Ford’s pony car was never known for its handling, though the fifth-gen was truly awful. It’s surprisingly easy to spin out, especially the ones powered by a V8 motor.

Ford Thunderbird

This glamorous convertible was Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet Corvette. While GM developed the Corvette to be a proper American sports car, Ford’s focus shifted to adding a touch of luxury, too. As a result, one could argue that the performance of the Thunderbird was somewhat neglected.

1956 Ford Thunderbird
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The original Ford Thunderbird looked great, though it was pretty awful to drive. When it comes to an early production Thunderbird, a sprint to 60 miles per hour takes 8.2 seconds. That wasn’t particularly impressive back in the 60s, and certainly isn’t any better by today’s standards.

Lamborghini Countach LP400

This legendary automobile is the epitome of a supercar in all its glory. The Countach is unarguably one of the most iconic vehicles ever. Everything from its exterior design to its high-revving V12 drivetrain screams Lamborghini.

The Lamborghini Countach...
Martyn Lucy/Getty Images
Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

The Lamborghini Countach is perhaps just as difficult to drive as it is legendary. The supercar was often criticized for its spartan handling and lack of practicality. In fact, there’s no way for the driver to see anything when reversing. They’re forced to open the door and sit on the sill while backing up!

Fisker Karma

This is easily one of the most infamous vehicles of the 21st century. The Fisker Karma was a very impressive concept, though the execution left a lot to be desired. At least the luxury coupe looked great!

2013 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview - Day 2
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Fisker Karma came under fire by owners and the automotive press alike. There were loads of different issues, ranging from a cramped interior all the way to underwhelming performance and even simple electrical problems.

AMC Pacer

When it comes to design, it’s nearly impossible to find an automobile as cute as the AMC Pacer. This tiny subcompact stole the heart of the press and buyers alike, all thanks to its unique exterior design.

AMC_pacer_082009_D42119
Triskel99/Wikimedia Commons
Triskel99/Wikimedia Commons

Sadly, everything else about the AMC Pacer was truly awful. The reputation of the Pacer dropped just a few years after its debut, causing the sales to plummet irreversibly. The car was eventually discontinued less than 5 years after it first hit the market in 1975.

Chevrolet Corvete C2

The second generation of America’s first sports car, the Chevy Corvette, hit the market in 1963. It was also the only year for the iconic split-window rear-end design.

Orange County Register Archive
Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Although the second-gen Corvette looked absolutely stunning inside and out, the handling was very poor. The Corvette was initially developed to compete with the likes of European sports cars. However, the second-gen Corvette was way behind in terms of handling and overall performance, despite having a V8 beneath the hood.

Maserati Biturbo

Maserati developed the elegant Biturbo to compete with German sedans, such as the BMW 5-Series. Don’t let the exceptional exterior design deceive you, this car is pretty awful to own.

Maserati_Biturbo_425_first_reg_UK_March_1988_2491cc_photographed_at_Knebworth_2012
Charles01/Wikimedia Commons
Charles01/Wikimedia Commons

The Biturbo quickly became infamous as the most unreliable Maserati product of all time. The build quality was a lot worse than its German alternatives, too. Once again, you’d be better off with a BMW 5-Series rather than a car trying to imitate it.

Porsche 911 Turbo 930

The 930 Turbo is the original Porsche widowmaker, long before the Porsche Carrera GT and the Porsche GT2 RS. It was sold from the second half of the 70s all the way through the 80s, before eventually being replaced by a less spartan 964 Turbo.

Porsche 930 Turbo, Pacific Coast Highway
Daniel Pullen/Total 911 Magazine via Getty Images
Daniel Pullen/Total 911 Magazine via Getty Images

In its most powerful variant, the 930 Turbo can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in just 4.6 seconds. Its powerful motor combined with a rear-engine layout and a rear-wheel-drive drivetrain made this beauty incredibly demanding to drive.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Let’s get one thing straight, this beauty is easily one of the most gorgeous sports cars of the 21st century. Sadly, it’s also one of Alfa Romeo’s worst automobiles in terms of sales figures.

Salone Dell'Auto In Turin
Awakening/Getty Images
Awakening/Getty Images

Despite its amazing exterior design, the 4C wasn’t exactly a hit among buyers. The car’s flat-four motor felt awfully underpowered. Even a mid-rear engine layout and exceptional handling weren’t enough to convince potential buyers to spend over $70,000 on an impractical, 240-horsepower sports car.

Pontiac Fiero

Believe it or not, the Fiero is easily one of the most innovative automobiles produced by an American automaker. This sports car featured a mid-engine layout, a lightweight body, as well a great exterior design. Despite all this, the Fiero was a pretty awful vehicle.

1987_Pontiac_Fiero_GT_(9034377678)
Niels de Wit/Wikimedia Commons
Niels de Wit/Wikimedia Commons

The Fiero did indeed seem solid during development. The reality, however, was very different. Pontiac engineers wanted to equip the car with a 1.8L motor, though GM ended up powering the Fiero with an awful, cheap-built 2.5L iron-duke. The more powerful variant, on the other hand, was ridiculously expensive.

Dodge Caliber

Sure, the Dodge Caliber may not be as exciting as most of the other cars on this list. Its design is pretty sleek though, especially when compared side-by-side with some of its competitors. In fact, it may have been one of the best-looking American compacts under $20k when new back in the late 2000s.

Highway 1 review on the Dodge Caliber.
Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Dodge Caliber was far from a good vehicle, though. Its low sticker price was reflected in its awful interior and poor build quality, as well as a wide array of reliability issues.

Chevrolet Corvette C3

When it comes to classic Corvettes, the C3 may just be the coolest generation of them all. The styling is simply iconic, especially in the earlier production years produced in the late 60s and early 70s.

1971 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupe
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

Federal laws that required automakers to install catalytic converters ended up killing much of the car’s power. The L48-powered C3 from 1978 only made around 175 horses.

Buick Skylark

As far as domestic sedans went in the 80s, the Buick Skylark was a vehicle that stood out in the crowd. Its classy design was both lavish and sporty, even resembling a German sedan to some degree.

1980_Buick_Skylark_(9502307665)
Niels de Wit/Wikimedia Commons
Niels de Wit/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the Buick Skylark from the 80s didn’t drive like a German sedan. The handling was off, and the motor felt awfully underpowered.

Chevrolet Nova SS

High price tags were the main reason that stopped many potential buyers from pulling the trigger on a brand new muscle car back in the 60s. Chevrolet came up with an ingenious solution to this problem by developing a toned-down, more affordable muscle car. The Chevrolet Nova was ideal for the job.

Chevrolet_Nova_SS_350
Tvabutzku1234/Wikimedia Commons
Tvabutzku1234/Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the Chevy Nova SS is just that– a toned-down, cheaply-built muscle car wannabe. They’re pretty awful to drive and prone to loads of different issues. Unless heavily modified, that is.

Chrysler Crossfire

For some odd reason, Chrysler decided to take the Mercedes-Benz SLK sports car and completely redesign its body. While the new Chrysler body looked quite sleek, the vehicle was a total disaster in virtually every other aspect.

Cannes 2002 - Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival Extreme Filmmakers - Day 1
George Pimentel/WireImage
George Pimentel/WireImage

Despite its looks, the Chrysler Crossfire wasn’t much of a sports car. In fact, it was more of an underpowered, poorly-built sports car wanna-be. The car was a complete failure in terms of sales figures, too, forcing Chrysler to pull the model from the market just 4 years after its initial debut.

Ferrari 348 TS

Ferrari developed the 348 to be a more affordable alternative to the legendary Testarossa. The car may have looked almost as good as its bigger cousin, though the performance of the 348 TS was nowhere close.

The Ferrari 348 Challenge...
Martyn Lucy/Getty Images
Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

One of the worst issues with the Ferrari 348 TS is its questionable reliability. This is especially true for the earlier production units built in the late 80s and the early 90s. As a result, owning one can get outrageously expensive very quickly.

Oldsmobile Toronado

The Toronado is, much like the previously mentioned Buick Skylark, a pretty good-looking American vehicle from the 1980s. Keep in mind that this was perhaps one of the worst decades in automotive design in the US, which makes the Toronado even more appealing.

Toronado_convertible-1984
Hyline79/Wikimedia Commons
Hyline79/Wikimedia Commons

Sadly, the exterior design is one of the only upsides of this vehicle. The handling, as well as the performance, were simply awful.

Cadillac Allante

This is easily one of the prettiest drop-tops ever made by General Motors. The Cadillac Allante had a bit of an Italian soul, as it was designed by the famous Pininfarina coachbuilder. The same company that’s responsible for designing some of the world’s most legendary automobiles, including Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, and Lancias.

1991 Cadillac Allante Convertible
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

This gorgeous two-door convertible was awfully underpowered, though. Its V8 powerplant only made around 200 horses. As a result, a sprint 60 miles per hour takes it over 9 seconds.

Toyota Celica

Don’t be mistaken, this particular Toyota sports car looks a lot better than it drives. Its exterior design and reliability are by far the two strongest suits of this vehicle.

2001 Toyota Celica
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

While the Celica may look like a sports car, it doesn’t exactly drive like one. In fact, owners complain about the car’s underpowered powertrain, as well as handling that simply feels underwhelming. You would expect more from a sports car, especially one that’s designed by Toyota.

Mercury Cougar XR-7

The Cougar joined Ford’s lineup shortly after the debut of the Mustang. Both vehicles rode on the same platform and shared most of the same underpinnings, including the drivetrain options.

1599px-1977_Mercury_Cougar_XR-7_(29042109412)
Greg Gjerdingen/Wikimedia Commons
Greg Gjerdingen/Wikimedia Commons

While the Ford Cougar may have looked great, its performance was simply not up to standards. This is especially true for the examples produced in the 70s, the same time as the second-gen Ford Mustang. The two models shared the same platform, as well as the same exact issues. Hard pass.

Fiat 124 Abarth

The new Fiat/Abarth 124 is essentially a redesigned, better-looking version of the Mazda MX5. Both cars share the same platform, as well most of the underpinnings. The Italian version is arguably a lot more aesthetically pleasing, though.

2018 Fiat 124 Abarth Spider.
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The Fiat 124 has one major downside, just like its Mazda sibling. The car is criminally underpowered. Even though both cars are renowned for their agile handling, the 160-horsepower motor is simply underwhelming.

Porsche Boxster

Some Porschephiles may refer to the Boxster as the “poor man’s Porsche”. While a Boxster may not be as luxurious as the flagship 911, it’s a great entry-level Porsche for a fraction of the price. It looks like a baby 911, too!

1997 Porsche Boxter
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

One major downside of the original Porsche Boxster is its unpredictable handling. These cars have the tendency to oversteer quite a bit. This makes a Boxster pretty demanding to drive, despite having a relatively weak drivetrain.

Toyota MR-2

Lightweight sports cars are always going to steal the hearts of petrolheads, especially when they’re affordable. The Toyota MR2 was just that. The model first hit the market in the mid-80s and remained in production all the way until the end of 2007.

2000 Toyota MR2 Roadster
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Despite its awesome exterior design and a lightweight body, the MR2 was far from a perfect car. In fact, the MR2 is hard to control and can easily spin out.

Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ is a gorgeous vehicle. You would think that this was a rather powerful sports car with solid performance figures that go hand-in-hand with its aggressive design language. The reality is far different, though.

GettyImages-1128826781
Robert Hradil/Getty Images
Robert Hradil/Getty Images

The Subaru BRZ, however, is yet another budget-friendly sports car that suffers from an awful lack of power. Don’t let the sleek styling fool you. This car needs almost 6 and a half seconds to reach 60 miles per hour!

Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac developed the CTS-V as a souped-up monstrosity based on the regular CTS coupe. The vehicle also received an aggressive visual makeover to distinguish it from the base model. It surely paid off, the Cadillac CTS-V looked stunning.

2011 CTS-V Coupe
Cadillac via Getty Images
Cadillac via Getty Images

The car was, however, very unpredictable to drive. Its enormous 6.2L V8 motor paired with a rear-wheel-drive drivetrain is very demanding to drive.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Miata has unsurprisingly stolen the hearts of most petrolheads worldwide. The car’s cute exterior design has become iconic, and its two-door drop-top body is ideal for a sunny weekend run.

2008 Mazda MX5 Roadster Coupe
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The MX-5, particularly some of the older generations, are criminally underpowered. Seriously. The first-generation Mazda MX5-5 only made around 115 horses!