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Ten Of The Worst Cars Ever Made

The worst looking cars? The worst mpg cars? No, just the worst cars period!

Here are ten of the worst cars that Detroit ever rolled out.
Some of these are the worst from a mechanical standpoint, some from a visual stand point and some just got a lot of bad press.
A few are cars that always make everyone's top ten worst, but I think really aren't that bad.
The list isn't biased, there are Chevrolet, Fords, Chrysler and AMCs here.
So starting off, we have a marketing misfire from a company known for luxury.....

1. Cadillac Cimarron

Cadillac Cimarron - The Worst Cadillac ever made?

Cadillac Cimarron - The Worst Cadillac ever made?

It's a compact car made by Cadillac for cryin out loud!
Caddys are not compact cars.
They are one of the symbols of American excess!
Standard engine was a four cylinder (though you could get a V-6) and  it looked like a brick with wheels.

Cadillac Cimarron

Cadillac Cimarron

2. Pontiac Aztek

Pontiac Aztek

Pontiac Aztek

What were they smoking when they designed this...thing?
(I apologize to the VW Thing which I always thought was weird but kinda cute)
Time magazine and The Daily Telegraph both called it one of the ugliest vehicles of all time.
If it weren't so ( I hate to keep using this word over and over) ugly, it might not have been so bad.
It did have some unique features like a dashboard designed by NASA contractor Johnson Controls (complete with a heads up display), a center console that doubled as a removable cooler, an optional 10 speaker Pioneer stereo system and a CD/MP3 player option back in 2004.
The poor Aztek did get a little love though when Walter White was seen driving one on "Breaking Bad".

The Pontiac Aztek in "Breaking Bad"

The Pontiac Aztek in "Breaking Bad"

Pontiac Aztek Commercial

3. Dodge Aspen

Dodge Aspen

Dodge Aspen

Maybe I'm mad at the Dodge Aspen because it replaced a car I considered almost indestructible, the Dodge Dart.
The only saving grace for the Aspen was the Aspen R/T.
Powered by a 360 V8 engine, it could turn the quarter in 17.4 seconds at 86.1 mph.
True that isn't earth-shattering, but for the 70s, it wasn't bad and allowed it to run with Camaros, Mustangs and a few Vettes.

Dodge Aspen

4. Chrysler LeBaron

Chrysler LeBaron

Chrysler LeBaron

Another Mopar Misfire.
It really wasn't that bad, but it just looked wrong, like maybe they rushed it into production too early.
It started out in the front looking kinda swoopy (think Superbird) but turned into your standard box shape by the time it hit the back.
In Mexico it was called by a much cooler name...The Phantom.

1984 Chrysler Lebaron Commercial

5. Chevrolet Chevette

Chevrolet Chevette

Chevrolet Chevette

Okay I had one of these tin-cans with wheels.
Things would just come off it (window cranks, shift knobs etc).
You didn't measure the quarter mile time with a stopwatch, you used a calender.
I once floored it on an open stretch of highway and finally hit 65 mph.
That was it.
On the plus side though, I did take mine through the Blue Ridge Parkway in an ice storm and lived.
The experience brought me much closer to God.

1982 Chevrolet Chevette commercial.

6. Chevrolet Camaro

1982 Sport Coupe Chevrolet Camaro

1982 Sport Coupe Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevy Camaro?
Are you kidding me?
I had two Camaros. A 1969 and a 1982 and I loved them both.
The Camaro I am talking about here is the third generation Camaro that you could get a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine in.
A 4 banger in a Camaro?
Okay, Camaro lovers back me up here.....this is as close to automotive blasphemy as you can get.
In the 1982 Sport Coupe, the 2.5 liter was standard!
By the 82 Camaro was slightly modified.
It had a L-82 Corvette engine and even though it was an automatic, it would bark the back tires when it took second.

Scroll to Continue

7. Ford Pinto

Ford Pinto

Ford Pinto

Yes I had one of these too.
All the horror stories you have heard about them are true.
I once used my driving a Pinto to back someone off though.
They were about to get in my face about something stupid and I said " Look...I drive a Pinto! Do you think human life matters to me? "
They backed off.

Of course not everyone hated the Pinto

Of course not everyone hated the Pinto

8. Chevrolet Corvair

Chevrolet Corvair

Chevrolet Corvair

This one is always on the worst cars list.
But I have to admit, I kinda liked them no matter what Ralph Nader said.
They were unique looking.
A friend of mine had one and drove it for years with no problem.

1960 Chevrolet Corvair

1960 Chevrolet Corvair

Chevrolet Corvair at Amazon

9. AMC Gremlin

AMC Gremlin

AMC Gremlin

Right up there with the Pinto in my mind.
They named it after a creature that tore up mechanical things, and they introduced it on April Fools' Day 1970.
(I guess Friday the 13th was too far away)
Remarkably, in 1972 you could get the AMC Gremlin X with a 304 V-8 which gave the Gremlin a 0 to 60 of 8.5 seconds.
And the gas mileage (not counting the V8) was about 28 to 30 mpg.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the current average fuel economy today is 25 mpg.
Maybe reviving the Gremlin would help.

10. AMC Pacer

AMC Pacer

AMC Pacer

The AMC Pacer kind of looked like the Pinto and the Gremiln had a child.
At least it wasn't your standard econo-box.
It's gas mileage wasn't that great for an economy car, partly because it weighed over 3,000 pounds.
We used to call them rolling fish bowls because of it's "roundness".

What's your choice for the worst car ever made?

It looks like the Pontiac Aztek is leading the pack.
At least it's winning something.....

The Worst Cars Ever Made Comments

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on August 26, 2014:

Wait...did I mention that I took my Chevette through the Blue Ridge Parkway in an ice storm?

Yeah....I think I did.....

Eric on August 10, 2014:

Had a gremlin x---went for years with very little problems--the 232 six could not be killed-----Pinto and Vega---now that is another story---crapping on the chevette is not called for--they were under powered and a low end car but live in rough country and the chevette is a legend around here for being tough---I get a little bent when people buy low end cars and do nasty reviews on them--they are what they are, buddy cheap cars--if you want better pay up

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on May 15, 2012:

Alas I did not do my homework.

And I also wrote the "The Sporty Corvair-The One-Car Accident" chapter in Ralph Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed".

I also filed the 100 lawsuits against GM in connection with crashes involving the Corvair.

I also forced Former GM executive John DeLorean to say in his 1979 book "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors" that Nader's criticisms were valid.

And BTW...I guess I just imagined that I wrote "But I have to admit, I kinda liked them no matter what Ralph Nader said.

They were unique looking. A friend of mine had one and drove it for years with no problem." in the article.

I could have sworn I wrote that......

Mark on May 14, 2012:

I think you need to rethink your list and remove the Corvair, it needs to be on one of the best car lists. I have driven them for37 years and my parents also purchased one new ( still own ) and they have been very reliable and a TRUE PLEASURE to drive, a truly GREAT automobile. Too bad the general public is so ignorant and cannot discern. the difference. It's sad that you did not do your homework and promoted false information regarding the Corvair. The Corvair is one is the most innovative vehicles in decades.

Camaro lover on March 28, 2012:

Some of the AMC cars were pretty sweet looking like the AMC AMX and the AMC Javelin.

And Mike seriously the Vega looked way better than the Pinto

Vega = (Decent looking car)

Pinto = (Portable barbecue)

Here is a situation the Pinto getting T-boned or the Vega you have a better chance of surviving in a Vega that's why the Pinto was put on this list but hey if you wanna drive a Pinto go ahead might aswell baste yourself in barbecue sauce while driving one of those. Complete death trap

Camaro on March 28, 2012:

Saying that I have always loved the Camaro

Camaro lover on March 28, 2012:

A 4 bagger in a Camaro seriously they must have been on drugs trying to compete with the mustang on a 4 bagger

Jon on October 30, 2011:

Most all of these cars from early 1980 are fun to own classic cars now a days. The rest were indeed crap-buckets. Especially the Cimarron and Aztek. Sorry, Chevette. You are in the crap-bucket category too.

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on September 16, 2011:

The Yugo was made in Kragujevac, Serbia, not the US.

The Fiero is on

tbird on September 15, 2011:

What about the Yugo (You go but the car doesn't) and the Fiero (random fires)? Those are infinitely worse than the LeBaron and the Cimarron.

The LeBaron was quite a looker when it was new, and the Cimarron is just another example of GMs poor choices in badge-engineering. You could make a list out of those alone.

jordan Q on August 26, 2011:

i cant beleave they put a 4 bagger in a camaro i got a 82 camaro with the 305 and 3 speed AT and love it and would never sell or trade it but i think i would crush a 4 bagger camaro lol

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on August 23, 2011:

Vipul Sharma: you were one of the 30 people on the Earth that bought the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport?

If you bought the Maruti Suzuki SWIFT, you've only had it for a few days (it went on sale August 11th)so how can you say it's way better?

And the Tanta Nano is basically an Indian Chevette.

I'll just stick with my DeLorean DMC-12 with the Mr. Fusion model fusion generator

Vipul Sharma - The Panther lolzzz on August 23, 2011:

I recently bought Bugatti Veyron Super Sports. But I think Maruti Suzuki SWIFT (Diesel version) is way better!!! So i would like to recommend that car to all of you.

I even had a Ferrari two years ago, but I sold it for a “brand new” Maruti 800 (AC).

And I must say that TATA NANO (with power steering, power windows, alloy wheels) is better than Lamborghini Reventon! And it’s engine is also powerful.

And you guys don’t know anything about cars, you are just wasting your money here.

sgtrock21 on June 18, 2011:

My wife had a Chevette when we were married. The shift knob stayed tightly in place. unfortunately the entire shift lever departed the transmission when shifting into reverse. I once acquired a 1971 Vega as payment for work performed. It had less than 40,000 miles and was on it's 3rd engine. Less than 4,000 miles later while driving 55mph a 3/8 X 4" piece of cylinder wall broke out.

Auto Buddy on May 07, 2011:

Michael Scott from the Office should have been driving a LeBaron... It seems to match his aura.

Dave Suton on April 24, 2011:

I didn't know there were any bad Detroit cars. I only know bad Asian brand cars. Because two of them, Honda Odyssey and Lexus Es, sit in my driveway with recalls and broken transmissions.

Chas on April 17, 2011:

THE THING wasn't one of the worst cars its just most people thought it was ugly. Its a personal thing.

kratos on February 17, 2011:

This is a great it lol.what u guys think bout the yugo?I have actually owned one.nothing but problems since day one.I ended up taking it to the junk yard.the engine mount broke and the engine fell back against the was standard shift so it was stuck in 1st gear.but it still ran when it was in the bone yard.

lol on November 25, 2010:

If you are not old enough to have ever seen these cars brand new driving around everyday, don't Nice

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on August 30, 2010:

Mercredi: Well I did say that I had a friend that drove one for years without incident so all I have to go on with that is popular opinion and write ups.

If I went on personal knowledge, I'd have to vote the Dodge Dart with the straight six the best, but then that would go against Gramon's experiences!

Mercredi on August 30, 2010:

Uh, you're too mean. The Corvair was just an oversized Volkswagen. Americans didn't know how to drive a bigger car with the engine in the back. A '66 Corvair Corsa is awesome. Besides, if Ralph Nader was so smart why isn't he president today? Your right about the Pinto, though. They had this look about them from behind that said: 'If you kick my bumper I'll explode.'

mitch96gallagher on July 14, 2010:

cool hub, but im a big fan of the old school camaro. i think that's a classic. interesting hub, ill be following

hubfrancis from New Jersey (USA) on July 02, 2010:

Oh, I certainly know the awful 2.5 L GM engine. For Pete's sake though--I never thought they'd have the audacity to drop one in a Camaro! Dare I ask: was it a "4 Tech" or "Tech IV" or whatever the heck they called it?

couponalbum from Sunnyvale, CA on June 26, 2010:

You are absolutely right. These are the worst cars ever made.

dcasas on June 25, 2010:

hahahaha the azteka! Id rather look at a used diaper than that thing

Jon on June 22, 2010:

When i was younger my father owned a brownish Gremlin and then a maroon LeBaron as a "step up". I find it hilarious that they're both on this list.

Shannon Paulk on April 16, 2010:

I love seeing these cars on the road, although it's kind of rare. Although whenever I see a Pinto, I leave lots of room between the front of my car and the back of the Ford.

Sean_Rob on April 16, 2010:

Agree on the Pontiac Aztek!

bigdaddy on April 01, 2010:

The 1960 Ford Falcon should be flying with this flock of turkeys!

We called the Pacer the Terrarium at the time

sord87 on March 27, 2010:

Most of the cars you just mentioned hardly find in Malaysia but Ford Pinto were widely used in Malaysia in the old days!

shareitt on March 15, 2010:

What a laugh, boy how cars evolve. Thnx for the hub :-P

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on February 22, 2010:

This is another great car hub, I will read any you write, your list is great!

Tina from Wv on February 17, 2010:

Ah ha! There is the Gremlin! growing up our family was the proud owner of one...a bright yellow one at that! My Dad was always one to buy the cheapest cars around. We had several cars that probably should have made your list! The Gremlin replaced the Hornet and the Hornet replaced the Rambler. I remember one time my dad had the Rambler painted blue instead of getting a new car...Oh thanks for bring back these memories!

natloans from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 11, 2010:

I like number 8. I total rocks I was look for a chattel mortgage and thoughI would share this with you

GojiJuiceGoodness from Roanoke, Virginia on February 11, 2010:

Yeah, these cars are pretty bad, but I liked #2-- Pontiac Aztek. I don't know that I've ever actually seen one, though.

FarmTipsnTricks from on February 09, 2010:

Haha some of these cars are just so bad.

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 08, 2010:

sheila b.: Yes, according to what everyone says the Edsel should have been here.

Maybe I'll do a part two...

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 08, 2010:

doitrightnow : Awww..the Charger looking like a grown up Hot Wheels car is part of it's charm....LOL

sheila b. on February 08, 2010:

Obviously, I've been around a lot longer than you have, because the Edsel would be on the top of my list. I don't know a thing about how they ran, but they were certainly ugly. I enjoyed what you did here, though. Thanks.

doitrightnow from San Juan, PR on February 08, 2010:

I know this is auto-lover heresy, but I think that two cars are headed into this list for the next decade: the Chevy Equinox and the Dodge Charger. I haven't bought a new car ever, but my friends who do and who bought these cars have not quit complaining since they did. And just looking at them roll down the street, you have to wonder how long they'll last. I don't know ... something about the way the muffler on the Equinox hangs down like a useless appendage, almost as though it's looking for an excuse to come off, gives me the willies. And the Charger looks like HotWheels grown up.

Cayden Ryan from Strasburg on February 08, 2010:

I haven't seen this many badly put together cars all in the same place, in years, AWESOME post!

talltail from Ohio on February 08, 2010:

I may have missed my piece of crap on your list. The Dodge Omni needs to be on a sh&t list somewhere.

Paul Marshall from Australia on February 07, 2010:

OMG, this is so funny. Here in Australia we had a budget version of the caddy called the camira. Yes it was the same platform and body, but what you yanks would call a stripper interior. Vinyl seats etc, no flash equipment, just a very basic econo box. It was shit back then and still is now. This particular car was almost the death of GM in this country.

Another honourable mention should also go to the Datsun 120Y / Sunny. Total crap car. I should know, I owned one.



Good list...I believe you should add the Ford Edsel. I think that was voted as the worst looking car of the century.

platinumOwl4 on February 05, 2010:

Many of these cars were experiments with the public. Some of them are truly horrible. However, if you are a builder some of them are great for part fabrication.

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 05, 2010:

Red_Dragon: Thank you and thanks for dropping by!

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 05, 2010:

gramon1: Okay I'll give you that. I never actually drove the Dart myself so it may have been really squirrelly.

My Mach 1 and 82 Camaro were the same way. Mechanically sound, but they would fish-tail at a moments notice.

Red_Dragon on February 05, 2010:

i laughed, this is an awesome list great job.

Guillermo Ramon from Miami on February 04, 2010:

Sabreblade, I didn't say it was bad. I said it was unstable, it skidded, and it was hard to control. A friend of mine lent me one to drive it in a rally. I ended up driving a Chevy Nova. Many people didn't like it. But I could run that car really great.

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 04, 2010:

Mine never burst into flames....luckily.

I think Eddie Murphy said that his family couldn't afford fireworks when he was little, so they just rear-ended Pintos!

JeanMeriam on February 04, 2010:

A friend owned a Pinto. The engine burst into flames as he was driving down the street. We thought that was kind of cool. Ugly car, but every day was a new adventure,hahaha

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 04, 2010:

gramon1: I have to disagree about the Dart. I had a friend that drove his in a ditch, ran it out of oil and God knows what else, and it took him all through High School and part of College.

Maybe you just got a bad one?

sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 04, 2010:

"You really should do some research because hubs like this mislead. Totally wrong."

Wow...thanks a lot perrya. I appreciate that.

As for the Corvair, isn't using the Corvair being named Car of the Year in 61 and 65 going by someone else's list?

As far as lists go though, Time named it one of the worst cars ever made.

Plus the Corvair's single-piece steering column could impale the driver in a front end collision, it leaked oil, it's heating system sometimes vented carbon monoxide into the car, and the car had a tendency to spin out.

I found all that doing research. But since I actually LIKE the Corvair, I didn't go into all that.

Hagerty Insurance named the AMC Pacer the " worst car design of all time".

The AMC Pacer also got ugliest car of all time from Business Week.

Forbes also weighed in listing the Pacer as one of the worst cars of all time.

Almost 40 percent of the Pacer's surface was glass, how's that hold up in a collision?

BTW, the 1971 Vega and the 1974 Mustang 2 were both named Motor Trend's Car of the Year.

Now, watch the comment below as I disagree with my friend Gramon without insulting him.......

perrya on February 04, 2010:

Well, I think your choices in two cases have no basis whatsoever. The Corvair. If you had done even basic research, the car was Car of the Year in 61 and 65, as the most innovative design, and it was. There are still 100,000 running. You sound like you are just going by someone else opinion and bad car list. The AMC Pacer was also Car of the Year when it first came out , again, for its innovative design and use of space. Any car that is Car of the Year is not one of the worst cars made.

You really should do some research because hubs like this mislead. Totally wrong.

Guillermo Ramon from Miami on February 04, 2010:

I never tried the Dodge Aspen. but the Dodge Dart was the most unstable car I ever drove. The Chevette is just a clonker. I rented a few of those whenever I needed a cheap rental They are cheap. I had a 1974 SS Camaro. That was a great car. Newer camaros could not compare. I had a Pinto. It was as good as a Chevette :) My dad had a Corvair when I was a child. That car worked even when half of the engine shut down. I always thought it was great. The Pacer has great memories for me. My roomate in college had one. It had a great view. You could see everywhere. Even in cold weather it never failed. I was at Ohio State, in Columbus. It gets cold There. He had a Pacer and I had a Camaro. The Camaro looked better. But the pacer was much better for double dating.