Embarrassing Cars You Don’t Want To Be Caught Driving

Cars are more than just vehicles that get us from point a to point b– they’re a form of expression. Many drivers buy cars that show off their personality, but these vehicles send all the wrong messages! From odd to awkward to outright disgusting, here are 40 cars no one, in their right mind, can be proud to drive around in.

Pontiac Aztec

2005_Pontiac_Aztec_Rally_(16513040407)
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons

There is no way in the world that a list of disgusting cars can start with any vehicle other than the Aztek. It’s so bad of a car that Mr. Walter White had to cook meth to get a nicer one (the lung cancer was a scam).

No matter how practical this car might be, but it looks absolutely ugly in every possible way. From the turn signals mounted ABOVE the headlamps to the plastic body panels pasted on metal, the creators of this car did everything in their power to make sure it looked embarrassing for anyone insane enough to spend $21,000 on this exalted example of automotive mockery.

Chevrolet Vega

Vega_Chevrolet
Photo Credit: wallerdog via Wikimedia commons
Photo Credit: wallerdog via Wikimedia commons

Considered one of GM’s worst cars of all time, the Vega was a textbook example of everything a car designer needs to avoid. It looked like a strange, funny, and angry character, but let’s just forget that part for a second.

It also had all types of mechanical issues. The drive shaft tended to disconnect from the rear axle, the engine vibrated so violently as to dissociate the exhaust assembly and the anti-rust coating as a disaster.

Smart Fortwo

50338608536_2c225192fd_o
Photo Credit: harry_nl via flickr
Photo Credit: harry_nl via flickr

Looking at this thing, you can tell that anyone of reasonable body size cannot like this car. It is not smart in any way. The wheelbase is shockingly shorter and the wheels are skinnier than even those on motorcycles.

And if you are wondering whether this thing is dangerous, the answer is no! For a car to be dangerous, it needs to have an engine to move it at a dangerous speed. This pathetic excuse of a car comes with a 1.0L engine that struggles even to move from a red light.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Test Drive
Photo Credit: Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nissan was so proud when they made this car that they advertised it as the first AWD Cabriolet in the world. It looks like the world was still not ready for such a wild concept. Nissan eventually discontinued this thing, thank God.

Other than looking absolutely hilarious, this car’s selling point, the folding roof is practically impractical. Who’d like to off-road in a car with no roof to save them from all the mud that’s flying around when they’re stuck in a swamp?

Ford Edsel

2318020311_bc330850eb_o
Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz via flickr
Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz via flickr

The most civil term that you can come up with for the centerpiece in the front of this automotive absurdity is a cut lemon, however, people used many vulgar terms for it. While many cars are ugly because the designers did not try enough to make them look good, this one was because they tried too much.

There is not a single angle in this car that does not look hideous. Even though it belongs in an era when automakers were obsessed to make cars excessive, this one took it way too far.

Nissan Juke

2013 Nissan Juke
Photo Credit: National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
Photo Credit: National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

We did put this car on the list of the most fun-to-drive cars, but that does not negate the fact that it looks like a bloated frog. It’s a nice car on paper and can serve as a perfect daily driver.

However, if you have any taste for cars, you cannot help but notice that there can hardly be any car that is as ugly as this one is. That ugliness is the reason it is on this list.

Chrysler PT Cruiser

The new Chrysler PT Cruiser at Lithia Colo. Chrysler Plymouth dealership. Salesman Andy Dickerson wiping the rain drops from the roof.
Photo Credit: Dave Buresh/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Dave Buresh/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Chrysler might have thought that this would be a breakthrough, the unification of modern and classic, but it simply was not. You can’t even come up with an example to explain what this car looks like.

Looks were not the only thing wrong with this car. It had problems with everything from the Wireless Control Module to the engine and transmission. Chrysler did try to get the PT Cruiser to succeed for a decade but finally gave up on it in 2010.

AMC Gremlin

1976_AMC_Gremlin_(35910033334)
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons

This was the worse a car could get in the 1970s! AMC made this car between 1970 and 1978 and during all that time, no other car could manage to look as ugly as this one.

It starts off with a normal-looking hood, progresses to a windshield and a roof, and then suddenly ends, without any notice. In an era dominated by V8s, the base version of this car shipped with a 2.0L I4, which is too small even by today’s standards.

Buick Skylark

8100366503_4291e2cca1_k
Photo Credit: chrispit1955 via flickr
Photo Credit: chrispit1955 via flickr

It was once a widely loved, adored, and respected nameplate and one of the most iconic cars of all time but the 1992 Skylark was done when Buick killed it, literally. This iteration of the Skylark was so bad that it ended the 45-year-old legacy.

The designers over at Buick applied everything from cheap colors to substandard materials and crappy styling to make this car disgusting in every way imaginable, and they did a terrific job at it.

Plymouth Valiant

1964 Plymouth Valiant Barracuda Road Test
Photo Credit: Pat Brollier/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Pat Brollier/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

While others were making the likes of Jaguar E-Type and Lagonda Rapide, Plymouth surprised the world with this. The easiest way to get rejected from any reasonable meeting in the 1960s was to own one of these.

Don’t think that this car had a big engine and impressive performance stats– nope. In the age of V8s that had more displacement than a dozen cars of today combined, Plymouth inserted a tiny 2.7L I6 in this classic failure.

Volkswagen Beetle

GettyImages-1061709118
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Beetle was surely a revolutionary car. It was one of the first vehicles that made personal mobility possible for the common man, but none of that can cancel the fact that it looked absolutely ugly in every single way.

It’s not exactly an embarrassing car because of the history that it has – but to be very honest, it is not the kind of car that you want to show up to a party in and hope people will fall in love with your ride.

Tatra T77A

Automobile CSSR: Tatra T77
Photo Credit: Wolff & Tritschler/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolff & Tritschler/ullstein bild via Getty Images

This image does not even come close to doing justice to what an ugly car the Tatra T77A was. Giving credit where it is due, this was the first production car with an aerodynamic design.

However, the designers ended up making the vehicle look hideous in the process of making it aerodynamic. While the protruding headlights might be forgiven, the overall build quality was below any standard. If you want to appreciate the ugliness of the T77A, visit an auto museum that has one of these on display.

Chrysler LeBaron

Denver Post Archives
Photo Credit: Denver Post via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Denver Post via Getty Images

Those two lights above the headlamps are the turn signals, can you imagine? Chrysler actually went so far as to give this thing the shiny hubcaps to make it look even more ugly. This car is the very reason some people still hate the 1970s.

Other than that, this thing was huge. If you drive one today, you’ll have to occupy three parking spaces to have it parked. All the power to motivate this monstrosity came from a Slant-6 engine, so not the most capable car either.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Exploring Historic London Post Brexit Vote
Photo Credit: George Rose via Getty Images
Photo Credit: George Rose via Getty Images

The Mitsubishi Innovative Intelligent Electric Vehicle (i-MiEV) was based on the concept that if you take every unnecessary thing out of a car, you can make it long-range on a single charge. However, the result isn’t what they probably wanted.

After sacrificing everything, this thing can only manage to squeeze just 62 miles out of the 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion cell. It must be powerful, right? Wrong! The permanent magnet synchronous motor can only manage a measly 63 horsepower.

Chevrolet SSR

9691086822_07a93eac98_o
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons

This is not a scene from cartoons, this is an actual car that Chevy produced in 2003. However, GM did that in good faith. Look, prior to this car’s release, clowns had to modify cars and hire the services of body shops.

GM solved the problem by making the SSR that suited their act. If you are not a clown, this car cannot reasonably make any sense to you, period.

Reliant Robin

Reliant_Robin_registered_July_1975_748cc_at_Knebworth_2013
Photo Credit: charles_01 via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: charles_01 via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to go on a date and get instantly rejected, show up in this car. You’d get a sure rejection, if you manage to make it there alive. This thing is an embodiment of failure – it even failed to get four wheels.

If you ever try to drive this thing over 30 miles an hour, that is legally considered suicide. This 39hp car was still made by the Reliant Motor Company for a full 30 years.

Pontiac Trans Sport

46272647532_5811b26123_o
Photo Credit: harry_nl via flickr
Photo Credit: harry_nl via flickr

Just when people had developed a consensus that no one could mess up a minivan’s shape, Pontiac, begged to differ. The proof of their point was none other than the Trans Sport. What were they even thinking when they named it? The name alone can land them in legal trouble today.

For the minivan itself, it was ugly and unsightly in every way possible from the weird rims to the inappropriate roof rails.

Zundapp Janus

1958 Zundapp Janus Microcar. Creator: Unknown.
Photo Credit: National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
Photo Credit: National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

How do you get into a Janus? Any guesses? Well, you lift the front or rear door up and get in, and you sit back to back in this THING. The concern here is not just that of aesthetics. This thing is dangerous.

In the event of a crash, the only thing between you and the object the car hits is the thinnest possible sheet metal. Thank God this car had just a 15hp engine.

Subaru Justy

JAN 3 1987; Burt Subaru General Manager Mark Neracher displays the one and only Justy.;
Photo Credit: Brian Brainerd/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Brian Brainerd/The Denver Post via Getty Images

This gentleman look quite excited to own a Subaru Justy, but it was the most disgusting car at that time. There were a lot of economic cars in the market at that time, ones that cost under $4,000, but they offered nothing more than four wheels and a roof.

As for this car, its engine struggled to move at any respectable speed, creature comforts did not exist, the styling was never given even a second thought, and safety features were questionable.

Hummer

GettyImages-108323672
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The original Hummer, the H1, was derived from a military vehicle. It was rugged, capable, and had some seriously sick looks. This, however, was the exact opposite of that. From fake hood vents and helicopter hooks to non-existent off-road capability, this is a failure. What else caused this to go out of production?

While the H1 liberated countries and kept troops safe, the best this thing can do is to impress people who have no knowledge of vehicles whatsoever.

Tata Nano

Mumbai Society And Daily Life
Photo Credit: Vijayananda Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Vijayananda Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

This was, in fact, an ambitious project. To make a car the average Indian family could afford. The CEO of Tata, Mr. Ratan Tata made headlines when he said that the car will cost 100,000 INR ($1,300).

That led to massive cost savings and the result was a car that has three lug nuts, no air conditioning, a tiny engine, and zero active or passive safety measures at all. All that and Tata still couldn’t bring the cost down to 100,000 INR.

Suzuki Mehran

1987_Suzuki_Alto_GL_(8265927527)
Photo Credit: free photos & art cia Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: free photos & art cia Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Suzuki Alto and Maruti 800 in other markets, this is the most unsafe car of the last decade. Apart from being an embodiment of the pathetic automotive design, this car does not have any safety measures.

Even seatbelts were introduced after the government made them mandatory. If you take one of these to the road this day, you’ll be embarrassed not only for driving an unsightly car but also for putting everyone on the road in danger.

Jeep Compass

17145522317_2837ff6353_o
Photo Credit: harry_nl via flickr
Photo Credit: harry_nl via flickr

The new Jeep Compass is a fairly handsome car, but that was not always the case. This is the Compass from 2006. It would not be wrong to say that the folks over at Jeep could not come up with an uglier design.

This disgrace of a vehicle was made by combining all the hideous design elements known to mankind until 2006. No wonder this was the least selling Jeep of all time – and thank God they got it right before this thing caused Jeep to go out of business.

Chevrolet Caprice Wagon

5909348560_5514f90b8b_o
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen Via flickr
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen Via flickr

For starters, this is an insanely large car. We’re talking more than 18 feet in length. So parking would be a dreadful job. Then there are the looks. From the ugly front grille to the oddly proportioned rear end, nothing is pretty about this minivan-sedan hybrid.

Even if we gather the decency to forgive all the flashy chrome and shiny wheel covers, there’s hardly anything about this vehicle that we can love.

Rolls Royce Cullinan

ezgif.com-gif-maker
Photo Credit: Rolls Royce Global
Photo Credit: Rolls Royce Global

You don’t have to take it from me, take it from Chriss Harris of Top Gear who said: “There are far too many tasteless rich people for it not to exist.” Those are some very serious words coming from a seasoned automotive journalist.

Even though Rolls Royce has made some of the best cars of all time that are at the height of performance, luxury, and good looks – this is not one of those.

Chevrolet Cavalier

Chevrolet_Cavalier_2.4_1996_(15765978225)
Photo Credit: order_242 via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: order_242 via Wikimedia Commons

There is no established formula to make a cringe-worthy car. Automakers keep experimenting and seem to come up with these cars by accident, or maybe on purpose, who knows. While some cars are ugly because of the lack of curves, this one is because it has too many of them.

It was so bad that Chevy had to discontinue the model in 2005. They reintroduced the nameplate in 2016, this time with a more acceptable shape.

Oldsmobile F-85 Wagon

35647983675_8abb594b87_o
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via flickr
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via flickr

Apparently, if you made a car in the 1960s that had the space to accommodate eight (living) human beings, it looked more like a hearse. Seriously speaking, if your job description does not include driving dead bodies to the cemetery, this ain’t for you.

The cars that carry eight people these days are the likes of Chevy Tahoe and Dodge Durango, we don’t know what the designers had on their minds back in the 1960s when this thing (dis)graced the roads.

Ford Taurus Wagon

Second-generation_Ford_Taurus_wagon
Photo Credit: Stephen Foskett via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Stephen Foskett via Wikimedia Commons

Beauty is an abstract concept. Unlike the engineering that goes into making a car, there is no formula or calculation that can make a car look good. That’s the case with this car.

This is neither a car from a small automaker, not from the era when humans were still figuring out how to design cars. Ford came up with this hilarious thing at the start of the 21st century and yet managed to make it look so hideous.

Acura ZDX

38453218662_ddb478fcf0_o
Photo Credit: Rutger van der Maarvia via flickr
Photo Credit: Rutger van der Maarvia via flickr

On one side, Acura makes the NSX, unarguably the most good-looking car to ever come from Japan, but for some reason, they decided to place an egg on wheels and name it ZDX.

This car one wins a spot here due to an unusual excess of curves – there are far too many of them. Thankfully, Acura realized this soon, and just after four years, they pulled the plug on this thing in 2013.

Tesla Cyber Truck

Tesla_Cybertruck_outside_unveil_modB
Photo Credit: u/Kruzat via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: u/Kruzat via Wikimedia Commons

Sure this thing has got the performance and it might be the future of trucks but you cannot argue that this is a good-looking vehicle. It is not! It is the most ridiculous shape that can be given to a pickup.

Remember the time when the early renders of the Cybertruck were leaked and no one believed this can be a real truck? Maybe Mr. Musk asked his kids to draw a truck, promising the best one would be converted into an actual vehicle.

Fiat Multipla

Fiat Multipla
Photo Credit: harry_nl via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: harry_nl via Wikimedia Commons

If there were an ‘ugliness’ competition of cars, this one would be the uncontested winner. From the low front ground clearance to the misplaced headlamps, there are a ton of things that make this car a death mobile.

We’re not sure why this thing was even produced and even if it was, why would people even risk their lives to buy this thing and drive it on roads. The center of gravity is like three feet high and still, the front bumper can hardly clear any driveway or speedbump.

Coda Electric Sedan

Coda_EV_02_China_2012-05-26
Photo Credit: Navigator84 via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Navigator84 via Wikimedia Commons

This thing was so plain, boring, and cheap that no one would even consider buying it. BUT, it was electric, so eco-conscious Americans must have been crazy to get their hands on one of these, right? WRONG! The company went bankrupt just after selling 117 units.

Let’s just forget for a second that this car was not good-looking and was actually good for the planet, still, who’d be willing to pay $38,000 for a third-class Chinese sedan?

Yugo

1988_Yugo_GV_in_Blue,_front_left
Photo Credit: Mr.choppers via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Mr.choppers via Wikimedia Commons

Do you think a car with a price tag under $4,000 can be overpriced? Yes! If it comes from the Soviet era Yugoslavia. From the iron front grille to the steel rims with toyish wheel covers, everything about this car is ugly.

That does not come close to describing the totality of the disaster this car was. You’d be lucky if this thing lasted one trip around the sun. It is the only car with a book dedicated to its failure: The Yugo: The Rise And Fall of the Worst Car in History by Jason Vuic.

Mitsuoka Orichi

Mitsuoka_Orochi_Kabuto
Photo Credit: 韋駄天狗 via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: 韋駄天狗 via Wikimedia Commons

When you pay more than $157,000 for a car, the last thing you want to look like is a smiling dolphin with four eyes and a triangular hood vent. We’ve done this car a favor by displaying a picture of it in the best paint possible.

Nature did have mercy on our eyes and only 11 units of this overpriced laughing dolphin were ever sold before the rich people realized that a car just being expensive does not mean it is a good one.

Nissan Cube

Cube
Photo Credit: Jaimie Wilson via flickr
Photo Credit: Jaimie Wilson via flickr

I’m not making this up guys, Nissan used the description “friendly front grille inspired by a bulldog wearing shades” in the sales pitch for the Cube. It is still not clear if a bulldog with shades looks more hideous or this thing.

Carinsurance.com recently ran a survey and this car was named the most embarrassing ride to drive by the 1,500 drivers who took part in the study.

Lincoln Town Car

Town Car
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via flickr
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via flickr

It was the Limo of its time. The best car you could think of to go to a party on but it was ridiculous to drive. The turning circle envied that of a Nimitz-class Aircraft carrier and the V8 produced a shameful 140hp.

If you think it was a comfortable car, no. The transmission was carried over from the last year and did equally worse jobs at handling and comfort. The 4-speed automatic transmission was the slowest shifting one ever.

Chevrolet HHR

2008_Chevrolet_HHR_SS
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons

This was a nice try at merging retro and new but such tries seldom succeed. It was neither a retro car nor a modern design. If the problem was just with the design, the car might still be alive, but the issues transcended looks.

It had problems with everything from the fuse box to transmission. Battery replacement had to be done after a few months instead of a couple of years. Chevy finally decided to do the customers a favor by ending production in 2011.

Subaru Baja

Baja
Photo Credit: Rutger van der Maar via flickr
Photo Credit: Rutger van der Maar via flickr

Subaru apparently came up with a breakthrough design in the form of this unibody vehicle with a truck bed, but they forgot to read the page that discussed the El-Camino. Advertised as a “Multiple-Choice Vehicle,” the Baja was discontinued after just four years due to low sales.

It was not a car and not a pickup, to start with. As Americans are so possessive of everything American and trucks are an integral part of the American culture, who could possibly have accepted this disgrace to trucks?

Honda Element

50207471646_7cdf0f1b0f_o
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via flickr
Photo Credit: Greg Gjerdingen via flickr

No, they did not forget to paint the bumper and side skirts, this was the original design of the car, it was always supposed to look like this. No wonder why Honda had to discontinue it in 2011.

The car was designed as a “dog-friendly” vehicle by Honda, but they miscalculated the number of people who’d actually be willing to buy a car just to carry their dog around. Even if there were enough people, who want a car with an incomplete paint job?

Ford Scorpio Mk2

Ford_Scorpio_MK_II_2.3_registered_May_1997
Photo Credit: Kevauto via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Kevauto via Wikimedia Commons

There is no logical or rational explanation of why Ford facelifted the Mk1 Scorpio to give it such an unsightly look. The Mk1 Scorpio was a good-looking car offered as a saloon or a hatchback but this one was none of those things.

There’s no specific thing to point out but this car just doesn’t look pretty from any angle. Especially when you compare it with its predecessor.