These Are the Ugliest Cars of All Time
Have you ever driven past a car that made you do a double take for all the wrong reasons? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but some cars are just too gaudy or clunky to hold much visual appeal.
Some makes and models are so cringe-worthy it might be hard to believe a single vehicle was ever sold. (Ford Pinto, anyone? Enough said.) If you want your car to make a positive statement, be sure to avoid the 30 ugliest cars of all time when you start shopping.
1955 Dodge La Femme
Let's start with the 1955 Dodge La Femme. Apparently, this car was originally built for women who were sick of driving male-oriented cars. If that doesn’t make you hesitate, it gets better. The original color scheme of the car was sapphire white and heather rose, and it had a customized "La Femme" script on the exterior.
1982 Cadillac Cimarron
In spite of all the fantastically kitschy trends of the 1980s, the 1982 Cadillac Cimarron was not an appealing ride. Although General Motors did its best to create a mindblowing compact car with front-wheel-drive capacity, the Cimarron missed the mark in a major way. As a result, Cadillac's reputation took a hit for a time.
1974 Mustang II
Fact: Ford attempted to revamp the classic Mustang back in the day. The result was the horrid 1974 Mustang II. Just like Dumb and Dumber To, Highlander 2: The Quickening and Jaws: The Revenge, this reboot was a flop.
2003 Saturn Ion
The 2003 Saturn Ion was a pure disaster from start to finish for both the interior and exterior. The inside of this automobile was made entirely from plastic, which was super uncomfortable. Even the outside of the vehicle was coated in a thick sheet of plastic. So not cool.
1958 Edsel Corsair
If you haven't seen the 1958 Edsel Corsair, then here’s a little enlightenment for you. There are several obvious reasons this car is an absolute disaster. First, take a look at that grill. On top of that, it's rumored that almost every single person who bought the car hated it as soon as they drove it off the lot.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12
You’ve undoubtedly seen Back to the Future, but here's the kicker: the DeLorean was real! If you thought the car was a glamorous fictional version, you thought wrong. The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 was a real vehicle. Cool on screen? Yes, but it was a total fail in the automobile market. If you’re wondering who invented this monstrosity, the blame can be put on John Z. DeLorean.
1957 Trabant P50
If you think about it, the 1957 Trabant P50 was an automobile that would have been better off as a kid's toy. Made in East Germany during a time of serious economic depression, the car’s body was created with Duroplast.
2001 Pontiac Aztek
Admittedly, the 2001 Pontiac Aztek is a little more poised than the other vehicles on this list. Nevertheless, this rugged car was actually anything but classy. Not only was the Aztek dangerous on rough terrain, but it was also unreliable and impractical.
1971 Chevrolet Vega
It's not only less popular car manufacturers like Pontiac and Saturn that have made some pretty terrible cars. Industry leading General Motors is responsible for more than a few flops as well. Take the 1971 Chevrolet Vega, for example. Ironically, its engine was so cheaply made that you couldn't even put oil in it.
1987 Yugo GV
Get this. The 1987 Yugo GV actually had its own slogan: "Everybody needs a Yugo sometime." While that wasn’t exactly true, some impressionable car buyers decided to give it a shot, and, boy, were they disappointed. Once the Yugo's poor sales record slapped the manufacturer in the face, it was soon dropped from production.
1971 Ford Pinto
Okay, so you’ve finally reached the infamous 1971 Ford Pinto. This car is synonymous in pop culture with being a lemon. Similar to the Mustang II, it had a gas tank that was located in the rear of the vehicle.
2002 PT Cruiser Convertible
Adorably nicknamed the "PT Loser," the PT Cruiser ranks up there with American Idol as one of the worst parts of the early 2000s. (Amen?) It performed in a mediocre fashion, but it wasn't the internal workings of the car that made it such a failure.
1973 Reliant Robin
Here's where it gets weird. The 1973 Reliant Robin only has three tires on it. You might have saved a few bucks on a tire change, but there's literally no other reason to put something like this on the market.
1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV
Just take a look at this car. Are there any redeeming qualities on the 1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV? Channeling the late Elvis, the Lincoln Continental certainly had a bit of charm in its day. This particular model was sure to drop jaws, but that probably wasn't a good thing.
1978 FSO Polonez
The 1978 FSO Polonez was a massive flop as soon as it was released. In fact, almost everyone hated it from the day it rolled off the factory line for the first time. Allegedly, this particular vehicle inspired so much criticism because it broke down as soon as it was driven off the lot.
2002 Citroen Pluriel
If you're wondering how the 2002 Citroen Pluriel ended up on this list, ponder a few of the real facts. Although it might look like the epitome of cute and breezy, it was actually the complete opposite.
2007 BMW X6
In terms of appearance, the 2007 BMW X6 isn't that bad, but once you look under the hood, you find the ugly that landed the vehicle on this list. The bottom line is that the BMW X6 couldn’t actually do anything it was advertised to do.
2002 Lexus SC 430
Even though it's rare for Lexus to make a mistake, the 2002 Lexus SC 430 is at the top of the company’s fail list. According to one critic, "These are mainly hideous because of their stock wheel and tire sizing. It has no sidewalls (supposedly sporty), but the wheels are tucked in and tiny like a Toyota Echo econo-car."
1989 Eagle Premier
It’s time to take a moment to talk about the disastrously hideous 1989 Eagle Premier. No matter which way you look at this car, it's all wrong. The car’s boxy exterior, sweaty interior and lackluster driveability make this thing a nightmare. Driving more than 10 miles without having engine trouble felt like an accomplishment to owners of this vehicle.
1974 Bricklin SV-1
If you've ever wanted a car that had vertical doors — and you couldn’t get your hands on the DeLorean — then the 1974 Bricklin SV-1 might be a dream car for you. For everyone else, this vintage vehicle wasn't trendy enough to be a hit. Besides its technological errors, it wasn't nearly as safe as its manufacturers promised.
1976 Chevy Chevette
If you're asking yourself why the 1976 Chevy Chevette is on this list, just take a look at this car. Yes, it was considered adorable by some, but its driveability factor was basically zero. Not only that, but this poor thing only got up to 51 miles per hour on a good day, and it was extremely loud to drive on the road.
1997 Plymouth Prowler
If you aren't sure why car manufacturers ever thought there was an audience for the 1997 Plymouth Prowler, the answer is simple. Supposedly, the Prowler design was suggested to appeal to fans of retro films (and maybe Hot Wheels?). However, the car definitely couldn't live up to all the hype when it was released.
1957 King Midget Model III
Apparently, it was okay to call a car the "King Midget Model III" back in 1957. Despite its atrocious name, the car was intended to be a cute alternative to the pricier cars you could find in London at the time. Too bad it looked like something that operated with bicycle pedals.
1958 Zundapp Janus
Take a long, hard look at the 1958 Zundapp Janus. Although the Germans are celebrated automakers, this car could possibly be their greatest automotive mistake. For starters, you can enter the car from both the front and back of the vehicle. Not weird at all, right?
1961 Chevy Corvair
Although rear-wheel-drive vehicles are a popular trend now, the 1961 Chevy Corvair wasn’t a very popular car back in 1961, mainly because it was known for spinning out when taking a curve on a relatively normal highway road. Admittedly, that would be both annoying and dangerous when you're trying to get from place to place.
1971 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron
Despite the fact that the 1971 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron was the first car in America with a four-wheel anti-lock braking system, it's still one of the ugliest cars ever. In addition to being way too long, the car’s boat-like physique had a humongous fender as well.
1949 Crosley Hotshot
At the shorter end of the spectrum, the 1949 Crosley Hotshot car only measured out to be 145 inches in length. Why? The car was made right after World War II ended, and manufacturing resources like steel were in short supply. Maybe people thought they were doing their civic duty by driving a Crosley Hotshot, or maybe they were intrigued by the strange shape.
1911 Overland OctoAuto
Do yourself a favor and check out the 1911 Overland OctoAuto — but just for kicks. As one of the first vehicles ever made, it's actually not that bad of an attempt, but no one needs more than four wheels on a car, let alone eight. From its extra wheels to its three axles, the Overland OctoAuto was the car industry's first major disaster.
Before Prius and Tesla, there was the 1997 EV-1. As the first electric car, its two doors and zero emissions weren't enough to convince people to buy it, making this vehicle a major flop for investors. Allegedly, even those who bought it didn't have a very good time driving it.
There’s nothing like saving the best for last. Take a look at the classic 1961 Amphicar. This land-to-sea vehicle — yes, you read that right — was pretty incredible for its time. Although it could technically float on water, it didn’t actually function well as a boat or as a car. In short, even people who loved boats hated this vehicle.
AMC Matador (1977 Barcelona)
The American Motor Company (AMC) produced quite a few variants on the Matador model during the 1970s. While any of the Matadors could nab a spot on our list, the 1977 Barcelona (pictured) — with its Golden Ginger Metallic and San Tan color scheme — takes the cake.
2009 Nissan Cube
Although the Nissan Cube is still manufactured and sold today, we may have remained a more fashionable society if its production had ended in 2009 — like analog television did. (Hello, digital.) Upon its release in the states, the Cube was named one of the Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 by Kelley Blue Book.
1970 Bond Bug
Although the ‘70s-era Bond Bug looks and sounds like something out of a James Bond film, the car doesn’t have any connection to 007. With two seats and three wheels, this tangerine-colored automobile was marketed by the Bond Motor Company as a “fun car.”
1999 Corbin Sparrow (Myers Motors NmG)
Another example of a three-wheeled car, the Corbin Sparrow certainly gets an “A” for effort. With a 1999 debut, this all-electric vehicle was certainly ahead of the eco-friendly trend. Notably, this personal electric vehicle (PEV) was designed specifically for commuting and city driving.
1973 Volkswagen Thing
The Volkswagen Type 181 was manufactured between 1968 and 1983, but it didn’t hit the highways in the U.S. until 1973. Developed for the West German Army for use during World War II, the Type 181 was renamed the Thing in the States.