While no automotive engineer or designer is tasked with creating a hated car, manufacturers do end up making ones that get a lot of hate. In this post, we will be seeing 40 of the most hated cars of all time. Some of these are ugly, some unsafe, and some just didn’t match the expectations of the fans.
Nissan Juke – A Bloated Frog
This car is a 50/50 case. You can’t say that it failed or was hated because it is a bad car but it is not a great car at the same time. The Juke was made to be an efficient, compact, and comfortable crossover and if you drive it, it has all of those properties.
It looks like either Nissan lost it when designing the exterior of the car or they wanted to start a new design language that we, earthlings, are not yet ready for. In any case, this car has arguably the ugliest design from every angle and that is why it gets (and deserves) all that hate.
Dodge Omni – The Terrible Car that Helped Chrysler Teeter on Bankruptcy
Despite being hated by millions of users, this car helped Chrysler get out of financial trouble in the 1980s. This car was made around the idea of providing cheap transportation to the masses and the people at Dodge went a bit too far in doing that.
Users who bought this car hated it for its poor build quality, suicidal handling, and lack of safety features and equipment. With all that said, enough of these cars were sold in the 1980s and you might even see one on the road today. The brakes on this thing are not very reliable and it would be a safe choice to cross the road after the Omni passes.
AMC Pacer – The Best Hated Car!
The Pacer was a car way ahead of its time when it came out in the 1970s. The futuristic looks of this car were part of the reason for it being hated so much. Some say it had the looks of a rolling fishbowl. Even though AMC spent a lot of money promoting and marketing this car, they just couldn’t make it successful.
The nail in the coffin of the Pacer was its asymmetric door design. The right door was kept longer than the left one, to make getting into the back seats easier. However, when it was converted into a station wagon, cargo in the rear rolled out of the car due to the longer door.
AMC Concord – The Name was Just the Start of the Problems
AMC wanted Concord to be an affordable luxury car, forgetting both of these words can’t be the adjectives of one car. It did look good, no denying that, but it had some real problems. The worst thing about this car was the suspension. A year down the ownership road and it looked like this thing had no shock absorbers in the rear.
The interior was also not very ‘luxurious.’ The body panels of this car had anything but nice materials and the seats were only as comfortable as the suspension. It might be regarded as a ‘fun little collectible’ today but it was a pretty hated car back in its day.
AMC Gremlin – AMC’s Worst Car EVER!
AMC is not a company known for bad car designs but this was a special case. This car, adopted from the Hornet, had the shape of a bubble about to burst and the proportions were, umm… weird. That was not the only problem. The tech used in this car was outdated even by 1970s standards. We’re talking vacuum-operated windshield wipers.
This car was offered with an optional 5.0L V8, but AMC forgot that putting a big engine in a car is not the solution to everything. The Gremlin was one of the most poor-handling cars of all time.
This spoiled child of Ford cost the company millions of dollars. Opposite to Nissan Cube that was designed in like 5 minutes, this car was over-designed. Ford probably went this direction to cover for the poor design but they ended up with something that was too flamboyant even by 1950s standards.
That was not the only issue. This car was outrageously overpriced, had reliability issues, was expensive to repair and maintain, and had a very confusing set of designing and trim choices. This is probably the most hated Ford to ever be.
Porsche 924 – The Affordable Porsche
The Porsche 924 is a vehicle that has divided car enthusiasts into two groups. One thinks that this car, by departing from the rear-mounted powerful engines to small VW sourced front-mounted engines, has betrayed the core of Porsche. That is true! The car is not a Porsche in that respect and there’s no running from that.
The other camp says that this is a successful car that has made it possible for people to have a Porsche at a cheaper price. They support their argument on the fact that 150,000 units of this car were sold. You be the judge.
Honda Ridgeline – Equally Hated by Chevy, Dodge, and GM Guys
The main reason this truck made it to the hated vehicles list is that it is a FRONT-WHEEL-DRIVE TRUCK and no one wants that in their life. Speaking of the design, you are looking at a minivan with a bed attached to it. That’s both a good and a bad thing.
It offers the comfort of a minivan, with all four seats being equally spacious and the practicality of a pick-up thanks to the bed. However, for the people who want to take this thing offroad, the front wheel is the buzzkill. It does have a 4WD variant, but trucks, on general principle, need to be rear-wheel plus four-wheel drive and not front-plus-four.
Pontiac Aztek – Heisenberg Drove It
The only good thing about this car is that Walter White aka Heisenberg from Breaking Bad drove this thing. With all that ugly shape this thing has, once you drive it, you’ll notice that the exterior is the best feature of this car. Some say it was GM’s pride that ‘they could make anything and it would sell,’ that became the reason behind its launch.
If you want any evidence of the hate this car receives, the 5-year production run of this vehicle from 2000 to 2005 put the last nail in the Coffin of an 84-year-old auto brand, Pontiac.
Jeep Compass – The Most Unreliable Jeep in History
Jeep is known to make some pretty reliable cars but no one knows how they ended up making this thing. According to some 2016 reports based on user feedback, this car was at the very bottom of the list. The last thing you need from an offroad vehicle is for it to be unreliable and that’s exactly what this vehicle was.
Then there was the styling. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was not how Jeeps are supposed to look. Traditional Jeep enthusiasts were mad at Jeep for making something that, in their view, mocked the brand. The 2017 redesign (the one you are looking at) solved the problem of the looks but the vehicle is still too unreliable to be taken to the trail.
Toyota Tercel – The Primitive Ugly Box Wagon
This is something that no one expected from Toyota but, hey, we all have bad days, right? The Tercel was offered as a sedan and a box wagon. Toyota sold this car in the US from 1980 to 1989 and it was never a wanted car.
The main reason for that was the small engine that managed to make 60 to 100 horsepower on different trims. The other American and European cars available at that time had V8s and V10s and were way ahead of the Tercel. Even though Toyota gave 4×4 to the later models, it just couldn’t cut it.
Citroen C3 Pluriel – A Failed Experiment
The C3 Pluriel was too ambitious for its own good. The French took the existing C3 Supermini and came up with the idea of making a car that could transform itself into a family hatchback, a convertible, a roadster, and a pick-up truck. However, the Pluriel was not good for any of these!
Those weren’t the only reasons that made people hate this car. It had a cheap interior that was anything but spacious, was boring to drive, had a very flimsy chassis, and some owners were even faced with the problem of leaks from the roof. It was finally signed off in 2003.
Kia Pride – The Most Ironic Car Name on this List
KIA was given the automaker of 30 years award in 2018. The company was, however, not at the same level from the start. To say in the kindest words, the Pride is a reminder of how far KIA, as an automaker, has come over the last 30 years.
This car was actually a Ford Festiva that was rebranded as a KIA. Only the most basic L trim was offered as a KIA Pride. To start with the reasons for this car being hated, it had a boxy design 10 years behind the trend of the time, a small 1.1L engine, and poor build quality.
Yugo is one of the things created by the Soviets that have outlived the Soviet Union. It was sold in the US for 7 years (1985 to 1992) and only 141,651 units were ever sold. The inside of the car was pretty basic, with absolutely ZERO frills. No power steering, no ABS, and even no air conditioning at all.
The engine was even worse with a maximum of 55 horsepower and the ability to take the car to 60mph in like a week. Yugo was such a shame that it has even made it into American slang. Even today, phrases “the Yugo of pizza” or “the Yugo of colleges” are used to describe absolutely worst things.
Triumph Stag – Every Type Of Problem
Giovanni Michelotti must be really disturbed by what the engineers at Triumph did with his design. The first wrongdoing was the addition of a T-bar for linking the windscreen to the roll bar for increasing the structural stiffness of the frame.
Then there was the engine. The small 3.0L V8 was great at hauling this car and hauling it well, as long as it ran. It was notorious for extending its combustion outside the bounds of the cylinders, forgetting it was an “internal combustion engine.” From broken timing belts to warped cylinder heads and from blown head gaskets to pistons coming straight out of the bonnet, this engine ran into every trouble you can or cannot think of.
Chrysler Sebring – The Worst Car To Come Out Of Detroit
The Chrysler Sebring was probably the worst car to come from Detroit. It was never liked by anybody and was a mess of too many problems to handle. Owners complained about incorrect fuel economy claims, issues with the transmission, suspension failures, and oil leaks from the engine. These were the smaller issues.
This car was infamous for accelerating after hitting a bump and some owners even filed reports with the Bureau of Consumer Affairs for the tops of the convertible models being ripped off while driving. Chrysler finally had to discontinue this car in 2009.
Ferrari Mondial – It Needed More Research and Development
It turns out that even if you are the world’s most iconic car brand and even if you get your car designed by one of the most decorated design houses (Pininfarina), you can still make it to the list of the most hated cars in the world.
Marketed as a cheap to own and maintain Ferrari, this car has a power-to-weight ratio that is anything but Ferrari-like. The other reason this car is hated is its overly complicated electronics systems and stiff suspension. However, if you still want a cheap Ferrari, this is the car that you can buy.
Cadillac Cimarron – Why Would You Make a Cheap Cadillac?
This vehicle was built during a time when automakers were trying to make cars smaller and more efficient. Cadillac decided to pick a stock Chevy Corvair and brand it as a reply to small exotic luxury cars. The car was not bad in itself but was not up to the standards that fans of Cadillac hoped it would be.
This car earned a place on the list of “Legendary Car Flops” based on low sales, terrible performance, and the fact that the Cimarron didn’t belong with a luxury brand. CarBuzz went a step ahead and said that this car was a “textbook example of what goes wrong when a carmaker tries to badge engineer an economy car into a luxury car.”
DMC Delorean – The Time Travel Car
Hate to shatter your dreams of meeting your great-great grandma by driving a flux capacitor-powered DeLorean to 88mph, but this car is not capable of time travel, or anything else. It had the worst possible built quality, was incredibly slow, immensely underpowered, and had gull-wing doors that leaked.
DMC started making this mid-engine car with a rotary engine but then shifted to a V6 with pretty much the same power output. They forgot the extra weight that the new engine brought and the result was a machine that was anything but a sports car. Unless you are a Back to the Future fan, there’s nothing to love about this car.
Ford Pinto – How Could Someone Do That?
Back in the 1970s when this car was released, car design used to be simple and straightforward. Still, someone managed to make a car that looks uglier than anything you’ve seen. Even if you aren’t bothered by how a car looks, with a 1.6L engine, this car lacked performance too.
Okay, you can even live with that, but you cannot LIVE if you drive a Pinto for too long. The worst thing about this car was blowing up in the case of a collision. Hit this thing hard enough in the back and it will arrange to barbecue everyone and everything inside, thanks to the poor placement of the fuel tank.
Smart Fortwo – A Clown Car or a Car Clown?
When you buy a small car, you want it to be fuel-efficient and comfortable for your daily commute. The Smart Fortwo lacked just that. Other than looking like an oversized toy car for kids, it has a very rough transmission, poor gas mileage, and a very noisy cabin. You cannot ask for a worse combination of features from any car.
On top of all that, it is Fortwo, “FOR TWO.” The car has just two seats and the rest of the body is just chopped off to save weight or maybe to make it compact (but no one asked for that). This love child of Dialmer-Benz and Swatch Watches could not make it in the market and was finally discontinued.
Nissan Cube – Is That a Food Truck?
If you don’t mind driving around in a car with a funny stature and the curb appeal of a 1980s food truck, this is the car for you. It’s not clear who Nissan asked to design this thing but aerodynamics was not their strong suit. From the styling, you might think that the designer started with the aim to make an SUV but shifted to a hatchback.
Looks are not the only thing this car lacks. With a 1.5L I4 engine that can only put out a maximum of 122 horsepower on a good day and the aerodynamics of a townhouse, this car just doesn’t perform.
Chevrolet HHR – 6 Recalls Per Unit Made
For starters, the styling of this car was not why it failed. In fact, it is the only aspect of this car where it delivered what it promised. The aim here was to make a modern car on primitive design language. Chevy succeeded there, no doubt in that. Nearly a million of these things were sold in under six years.
The problem started when Chevy had to recall those cars. Against the one million cars that Chevy produced, they had to issue 6 million recall notices. I haven’t checked but that must be some sort of a record.
Toyota Prius – People Have Strong Feelings About It
The Prius is number one in a lot of things, other than the drag races and beauty contests it has participated in. This car was the first one to bring economical, practical, and environmentally responsible hybrid car technology to the masses. To say that it was the very car that gave momentum to the EV market would not be an overstatement.
Why people hate it? For one, it was a pretty ugly car back in the day when it was released. Secondly, in 1997, people wanted cars with big honking V8s and V10s and the idea of a partially battery-powered family hauler was not a very popular one.
What good is an economy car that devalues like spoiled milk and is expensive to maintain? The Spectra was supposed to be an “affordable” car and it was that, on paper. Once you buy and drive this thing, you’ll notice it is no different from the gas-guzzling large American cars.
That was not the only issue with this car. It had a reputation of breaking down more often than KIA might be proud to accept and the maintenance of this car was expensive, to say the least. American car buyers finally had enough of it and KIA couldn’t sell another unit after 2004.
BMW X6 – What Category does this THING fall into?
With up to 4.4L V8 engine options, a parallel hybrid drivetrain, and all the comforts you can expect from a BMW, there’s no doubt this car is a very good one, by any standard. The problem is with the styling of this car. BMW calls it a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC).
The real trouble with this car is that it was ahead of its time. When BMW first released this thing in 2008, the concept of Coupe-SUV hybrids was a new one. The new experiment with the styling of this car might be a precursor for the popularization of the SAC and crossover market but the hate this car received could never be reverted.
Satrun Ion – GM Just Can’t Help It
Saturn was started by GM as their advanced brand but you can only keep a company profitable for so long if you make things like the Ion. The exterior of the car is anything but impressive but let’s say we can live with that.
Inside, this car is the perfect example of a bad design. You have to see 18 inches to the right to see how fast you are going because the speedometer is mounted in the center of the dashboard for some reason. On top of that was a plethora of build quality and reliability issues and Chrysler was left with no choice other than to pull back.
Mitsubishi Mirage – All It Has Is A Good EPA Rating!
Other than fuel economy, the Mirage disappoints in everything related to cars. It is unsightly, joyless, under-powered, and terrible to drive. The problems of this car are so serious that even having an EPA rating of 35mpg couldn’t keep people from hating it. Part of the reason is that if you want to get the advertised fuel economy, you need to drive it very softly.
The small engine struggles to keep this thing moving when you have a light foot on the pedal. And the fact that there are hybrids available that you can drive for as far as you want and still get better mileage, makes this car an impractical purchase.
Hummer H2 – Because H1 Was Too Good
Let’s clear up one thing before we begin. The H2 was one of the most capable, dependable, and reliable SUVs of all time. There was no problem with this car. It was just released at the wrong time. It came out just after 9/11 when gas prices were skyrocketing and the SUV craze was still in its infancy.
The other factor responsible for this car being hated was its predecessor, the H1. That car was quite literally a tank on wheels. It won wars, liberated people, kept personnel safe on the battlefield, and could be dropped out of a helicopter. The H2 had none of those.
Aston Martin Cygnet – Britain Wanted in on the Hated Car Club
It’s a trend in the car industry that economy cars from luxury brands are seldom successful. This is just another example of that. Aston Martin made this efficient and clean vehicle for people living in big cities who want to get away for the weekend. Priced at a whopping $40,000, the car gained a terrible reputation.
Part of the reason for the Cygnet not being successful was that it was released during the recession and people just did not have enough money to buy new cars, let alone a car that expensive.
Suzuki X90 – What Were They Even Thinking?
This car somehow managed to get flopped in every single market it was offered in during its 2-year production run. The problem with this car was the same as that with the Citroen C3 Pluriel; it wanted to be more things than it could be. Suzuki designed this car to be an affordable sports car SUV.
The X90 was available with a 94 horsepower engine and a 5-speed manual transmission with either a rear-wheel or four-wheel drive configuration. At the end of the day, the 94-hp engine neither belonged in a sports car nor an SUV, and this vehicle was extremely sluggish, to say the least.
Designer Patrick Le Quément planned to design the front of Renault Twingo in such a way as to show the car was smiling – but that was not the case, unfortunately. The car looked more like it accidentally looked into the mirror and was immediately embarrassed at how it appeared. It even had an antenna mounted on the driver’s side mirror, probably to fend off the people (rightfully) ridiculing the car.
The interior is not any different. The instrument cluster is mounted not in the front of the driver, but in the middle of the car for no apparent reason other than reminding the driver that they made a bad choice buying this car.
Peugeot 1007 –
When the Peugeot was unveiled in 2002, it had a good response from the market. Its most distinguishing feature was the sliding doors. However, when the car was released, it was not welcomed at all. Part of the reason for that was the fact that the sliding doors made getting into the back seats difficult.
Then there was the heavy 1,300kg curb weight of this car that made the small 1.4L engine struggle to get this car to move with any agility resulting in too much noise and a very poor fuel economy. Add cheap build quality to the mix and you have a car that managed to sell just 50,000 units in the first year and was finally discontinued in 2009.
Ford Probe – The Mada-Based Mustang Replacement
When Ford released the Probe in 1988, the aim was to replace two models, the Capri and the Mustang. However, luckily for Mustang fans, Mustang took a different path, and this car was left to replace the Capri – not a very impressive thing to do.
The car had modern looks and was fitted with a reasonably powered 2.2L engine but that was not enough. The people who bought this car wanted to get Mustang-level performance and quality, and that was not delivered. The reason this car was hated so much was that the Mustang lived on and became better than it.
Dodge Neon – The Boring 1990s Economy Car
This was not a bad car but it did not match the Dodge name. The styling is good and all but Dodge customers need bigger, badder cars – and this was not that. It was a misfit in Dodge’s inventory, to say the least. Dodge mitigated some of that by introducing the SRT variant.
Then there were the reliability issues. Anyone wanting to buy this car needed to set aside a small fortune for repairs and some insurance companies didn’t ensure this car, given its reputation. This is just another example of cars that are not hated for being bad but for being out of their lane.
Fiat Panda – If Only it was half as Cute as a Panda
The aim Ford had in mind with the Panda was making a back-to-basics economy car but it looks like the engineers went way too far. The earlier generations of this car were characterized by a flat front design and a windscreen mounted at a right angle to the horizontal– talk about bad aerodynamics.
The interior wasn’t any better. It had a cheap piece of cloth-wrapped plastic in the place of a dashboard. The gauge cluster was nothing more than a small box that looks like it is glued to the dash. Comfort was not really the thing kept in mind while designing the seats either. However, Ford did make improvements in the subsequent generations.
Tesla Cybertruck – The Most Revolutionary Car in Recent History
Okay, okay, okay, before you engage Caps Lock to oppose this selection, know this – we love the Cybertruck. It is one of the most revolutionary car (or truck) designs to ever be, period. The thing is, truck people are hard to impress and even harder to convince.
This truck is hated by the macho truckers because, well, a truck needs to have a 6.2L Hemi or a 10L Cummins diesel under the hood, no one wants to have a few batteries and little motors powering their truck. However, the reality is, despite what truck people might say, EVs are going to be the next big thing.
Buick Riviera – The Example of Buick Car Design
The Riviera is an example of Buick’s car design, for better or worse. The Beluga Whale styled front of the car and the oddly designed C pillar and the weird overall styling of this car made it anything but desirable. The interior was no different. It was good, but not on the level expected from a luxury coupe.
Then there was the engine. This car got a poorly engineered V6 while the better V8 engines were reserved for the more expensive models. The result was a car that was just not welcomed by anyone.
Austin Allegro – Bad in All Respects
You know a car is seriously troubled if the list of its problems starts from the front axle being crushed under the load of the car as a routine thing. The body of this car was so flimsy that it would flex when jacked up, and jacking up is a frequent thing when you have a car with many mechanical issues.
The shape of this car was also out of the ordinary at the time when it was released. The car was also not fun to drive, to say the least.
Reliant Robin – Is that Even a Car?
It is a good thing to shave weight off a car but shaving off one of the front wheels, taking away all of the stability of the car, is not the best design practice. This plastic deathtrap, despite having three wheels and a very unstable profile, is capable of a max speed of 85 mph.
While the reports of this car turning over in tight turns might be a bit exaggerated, it had an even worse problem. The front wheel of this car was known to spontaneously pop off! Imagine that happening at 85 mph and you’d figure out why this car has the title of the worst car of all time.