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The 15 Ugliest Cars Ever Made

Posted in Featured by Robert | September 30th, 2009 | 64 Responses |

We’ve all been there. A night that went just a bit too long, a bit too much to drink, that person making eyes at you across the bar. And the next morning, as your head pounds and your stomach churns, you notice that the hot body you were making it with is a little more “mutant seamonster” than you remember he/she to be. These cars are the automotive equivalent of that “uh-oh” moment. Cars so ugly their makers must have surely hung their heads in shame. If you have a strong stomach, read on.

15. VW Thing

VW-Thing

Based on the reliable, efficient Type 1 (Beetle) platform, the Thing was by any account an incredibly practical little car. It should be; it was loosely based on the capable WWII-era Kübelwagen, which served as the Wehrmacht’s jeep and bounced all over Europe. Capable doesn’t mean beautiful, and the Thing was so ugly it might as well have been a corrugated tin shed on wheels. At least it had a top so you could hide yourself somewhat if you drove by someone you knew.

14. Citroën 2CV

Citroën 2CV

The Citroën 2CV was constructed to a rigorous performance criteria: get a farmer across a bumpy field without breaking a basket of eggs. To be honest, that’s about as far as the “performance” end of things went. In addition to looking like a metal snail, it was possibly as slow as one, starting out with a 9-HP two-cylinder. Minimalist: oui. Beautiful: non.

13. Mercedes Benz G-class

2009-mercedes-benz-g-class

You can’t argue with its capabilities, but the Geländewagen won’t win any beauty contests. Like a lot of Teutonic heavy metal, it was designed to do a job and do it well. Little attention was paid to the aesthetics, and so the G-wagen is a stout, dour fraulein. Just because it’s become a fashion statement of late doesn’t mean it’s pretty … it’s just a very large, boxy display of wealth.

12. Chevrolet Chevette

Chevrolet-Chevette

The Chevette has no redeeming qualities, except for maybe that so few of these atrocious little cars are still around. The build quality was terrible. In the middle of the night, if you listened closely, you could hear them rust. And worst of all, it looked more like some kind of corrective shoe than a car. Ugly with a capital “U.”

11. Ford Mustang II

Ford-Mustang-II

This was the car that almost killed the very notion of fun-to-drive cars by disemboweling the storied Mustang name and draping its carcass on a Ford Pinto platform. In addition to that heinous offense, it is possibly the ugliest car to come out of the terrible decade known as the ’70s. With dumpy proportions and fussy details, it made a mockery of everything the Mustang name stood for. Thankfully Ford came to their senses and greenlighted the much cleaner looking Fox-body, introduced in 1979.

10. Pontiac Aztek

Pontiac-Aztek

What can we say that hasn’t already been said? The Aztek looked like a Fisher Price Cozy Coupe from hell, with enough plastic cladding that with people inside it qualified as a full-blown Tupperware party. It was supposed to remind buyers of an SUV while retaining the utilitarian qualities of a minivan, but mostly it just bummed people out. As one of the most hated vehicles of all time, it clearly belongs on this list.

9. AMC Pacer

AMC-Pacer

Despite a turn as a geeky-cool retro ride in Wayne’s World, which garnered some affection for the misshapen coupe, for most people the Pacer is simply a very ugly car. From the asymmetrical doors to the big-forehead (think Neanderthal) profile of the greenhouse, it’s simply not a looker. Is it any wonder that AMC went under after crafting such a turd?

8. Chevrolet Vega

Chevrolet-Vega

On paper, the Vega should have been a knockout. And probably even the promotional photos before it was released made it seem like an attractive little car. Here’s the problem: in the flesh it looked like someone left a Camaro in the dryer too long, and then ironed it with ugly. But if the strange looks didn’t turn you off, how about the incredibly poor reliability? Like the Chevette, perhaps its greatest asset is that it was such a crappy car that they’ve almost all gone to the crusher, sparing your eyes the pain of seeing one.

7. Ford Pinto

Ford-Pinto

If you thought the Mustang II above was bad, buddy, have we got a message for you: the Pinto it was based on was even worse. It didn’t even try to look sporty. Instead, it was a squashed, insect-like little thing. Its spindly tires and beady little headlights enhanced the cockroach theme. Unlike the famously hardy cockroach, however, minor accidents could cause a major conflagration, which is probably why there are still cockroaches but the Pinto is now extinct.

6. Reliant Regal

Reliant-Regal

Just like the similar and more familiar Reliant Robin, the Regal is notable for having just 3 wheels. And that’s about it. It’s slow, unsafe, and didn’t sell very well. One of the reasons, I gather, was that it was so heinously ugly that buying one was like signing your libido’s death warrant. It’s like the official vehicle of social and sexual ostracization. Until we get evidence of the existence of Reliant Regal owner groupies, then we’ll go with our gut and tell ya that it’s one of the ugliest British cars ever.

5. PT Cruiser

PT Cruiser

The PT Cruiser both created and killed the retro-car movement at the same time, because despite it’s blinding popularity, people must have been blind to buy one. Insipid and annoying, it also proved that Chrysler’s emphasis on its stupid styling distracted them from making decent cars. Thus, we have the Sebring, and the PT Cruiser still stalks the earth, ugly to the last.

4. Fiat Multipla

Fiat-Multipla

Sigh. The Italians, makers of the most beautiful cars in the world, must occasionally have bad days too. And one of the worst days in the history of that land was when the styling for the Multipla was approved. Like the VW Thing, we can’t deny it was a useful vehicle. It just came wrapped in sheetmetal that resembled nothing less than a tumor growing on the face of some poor unwitting car. The only chemotherapy we know of is rust, and so hopefully one day they’ll all crumble away to red dust.

3. AMC Gremlin

AMC-Gremlin

You probably saw this one coming after we took on the Pacer. That car had the round version of “ugly” down pat, so we’ll let the Gremlin corner the market on “angular ugliness.” That’s because in reality, the Gremlin was simply an AMC Hornet rudely and awkwardly hacked in two, creating a mutant hatchback. Famously, it was also introduced on April Fool’s Day, which didn’t help things any. Unsurprisingly, creating a Levi’s edition slathered with denim upholstery wasn’t effective, because honestly, nothing could cover up the ugly on this little monster.

2. Yugo

Yugo

Ah, the Yugo. The butt of so many jokes. The real joke is that it was as bad as everyone claimed. Are you surprised that the quality control of communist Yugoslavia wasn’t up to par? Actually, if you couldn’t tell that from the way it looked (which was like a 6 year-old drew it with crayon on the wall), you deserved the epic unreliability.

1. Aston Martin Lagonda

800px-Aston_Martin_Lagonda_West_London

From the world of making origami cars while high on PCP comes the Aston Martin Lagonda. Intended to be a world-beating supersedan, the Lagonda fell flat on its face. In fact, it proved attractive only to Arab royalty with lots of oil money burning a hole in their pockets, and we almost think it was only because it was so ugly they couldn’t believe it was real and had to see for themselves. For everyone else, the Lagonda was simply a very bad mistake. There have been a lot of ugly cars built, but very few come close the the Lagonda in terms of being so off the mark.

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64 Responses

  1. Jim Jones says:

    The Aztec should have been higher. Seeing those on the road still makes me cringe.

  2. Baba says:

    How could you have overlooked the Honda Element. It’s shaped like a tumorous refrigerator.

  3. The Thing! I have always wanted one of those and still do. Someday I will own one. :)

  4. jb says:

    what of the ford festiva? it combined all the crummiest elements of the pacer/pinto/yugo into a turdlike package on pizza pan rims.

  5. LOL I’m so glad the Aztek is on there… FUGLY! I also nominate the Honda Element as #16. I’m glad the Scion xB isn’t on here, because that’s one doofy looking body style that I think is funky enough, and also can easily double as a moving billboard ;)

  6. John says:

    I guess the real shame is having owned at least half of the cars on the list – something I’d never admit in person.

  7. jbs says:

    In countries outside the US, the VW “thing” is known as the VW Safari. Just a simple name change like that makes it more attractive to me. The PT cruiser is great looking, its a shame they aren’t making them anymore. I like the Fiat too, but then again, I don’t live in the US. Most American cars are terribly designed and awful to look at or drive.

  8. Dennis says:

    I’d call that Mercedes a spinster (“alte Jungfer”?) instead of a “Fräulein”.

    I always thought the Pacer was cute.

    That Aston Martin looks like a squashed Volvo.

    But the winner, in my book, is the Fiat Multipla. It looks like those misshapen goldfish that some people like or a Super Guppy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_Spacelines_Super_Guppy

  9. Skully says:

    Don’t forget the Ford Pinto was also done as a station wagon with wood panels, something you can still find in smoky old strip mall bars.
    yikes!

  10. Phil-Z says:

    Needs the Honda Element…

  11. mcd says:

    Where is the precious Nissan Cube? I think that little shoebox on wheels deserved a space in the top ten as well.

  12. Bobby says:

    I think in the same vein as the PT Cruiser, the HHR deserves a special place on this list.

  13. John says:

    You are friggin high?

    The VW Thing aka Safari aka Kubelwagen is a pure function piece of artwork. An engineering triumph.

    You have no credibility.

  14. Ted Rex says:

    Posted a link to this page on my daily blog:
    http://www.otherthoughtfortheday.blogspot.com/

    Excellent work!

  15. Flederkatz says:

    How could you have forgotten the Porsche Ceyenne?

    Horrible, nasty and misshapen car that it is. Even the old Porsche tractors have more caracter.

    Fantastic collection ^^

  16. dingdong says:

    Kübelwagen literally means bucket-car. this thing was never meant to be pretty, that’s for sure.

  17. Stevan says:

    I am overjoyed that the PT Cruiser made it on this list. I have hated them from day 1.

  18. Alejandro Lobos says:

    The Thing (Safari, Kübelwagen) is not a car meant to be stylish in any way so it doesn’t belong in this list.. Otherwise you should put 70s delivery trucks, military, and utilitary vehicles as well. If you put the Thing between a Kombi (Bus, Transporter 2) and a Beetle, it makes a lot of sense. A style which I happen to like. A lot. Zero cred…

  19. koj says:

    Sorry but this list is flawed. There are som obvious oversights, e.g. monstrosities like the Porsche Cayenne, the Hyundai Santa Fe and above all the absolutely abysmal Ssangyong Rodius (or pretty much anything by Ssangyong). Many of the cars on the list can at least display some character.

  20. The goodfella says:

    Missing:

    Skoda Roomster
    Pagani Zonda
    BMW X6

  21. acm says:

    the Thing was actually a safety hazard — I think it pretty much guaranteed the death of all its passengers if it rolled over. (note the lack of rollbar…)

  22. giusseppe says:

    the Renault “Le Car” was a rusty bucket of bolts that embarrassed the French more than World War II

  23. My first girlfriend received as a graduation gift, a brand new Mustang II. She was so proud. I found it hard to contain my contempt for this piece of junk. A couple of years before we met, I owned a used fastback 66 Mustang. I loved this car, and I think it’s why Jane chose the Mustang II. She was so proud, and I really felt so bad about my negative feelings about this car. Make no mistake, it was Pinto with a poor visage.

    We would be together for just a few more months. Jane, if you should stumble across this, I’m sorry for being a wet blanket. You were happy with this car, and that was all that mattered.

  24. Chris says:

    All I can assume is that you didn’t want to scare away readers by posting a photo of a Toyota Scion.

  25. Uncle B says:

    Funny! How model changes sucked in the American ego, and annual model changes churned the dollars for the commissioned among us! Strange, how a few sheet-metal changes made the same old crap more desirable to the assholes that believed the smooge-miesters stories! Every year, same old shit, different set of suckers, year after year! We could have sold flat-heads into the 90′s! Goddamn! We were good! The beat part? They were made to fvcking fall apart before the last payment! Damned good for commissions! Damned good!

  26. Jay says:

    The Thing is awesome. The Mustang II is one of the ugliest cars ever made. The Honda Element should have been in there in place of the G-wagen. A car salesman I knew said the Vegas were so bad they would be be leaking coolant from the heads right on the showroom floor…And they still had to sell them LOL

  27. Andreas says:

    The Mercedes G-Class is a realy ugly “car” but its one of the “default” wagons in ther German Army and have the call-sign “Wolf”. It have great ability for non-street terrain.
    Did you know that AMG supports the G-Class ? Think its the G 55 a 5.5 liter V8 with 500 PS and its looks like the old fashion G-Class.
    Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. :-)

  28. wabash9000 says:

    Mercedes Benz G-class shouldn’t be on this list. I love them. Sure they are boxy but they are classy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_X-90 should be on this list. By and far the ugliest car ever made.

    Nissan Cube is also up there.

  29. odin942zx says:

    why isn’t the nissan cube included?

  30. Alex Parrish says:

    I can’t believe you included the AM LaGonda on this list. I totally disagree with you about the car being ugly — on the contrary I think it is simply gorgeous. It was not a financial success-true, but ugly NEVER!!!
    de gustibus non est disbutandem…

  31. aussieaussieaussie says:

    You guys dont know ugly.. Search for lightburn zeta. A car manufactured by a concrete mixer (and washing machine) company

  32. phill says:

    what about the izuzu vehicross, it is one of the ugliest vehicles. it looks like someone tried to give a facelift to a jeep

  33. Anonymous says:

    Good to see that PT Cruiser with paneling on the list, Yecch. The PT convertible is just as ugly. Good thing they didn’t dare make a PT convertible with the “wood” paneling! As if the plain vanilla PT cruiser wasn’t enough, a paneling-convertible version would earn the designer a trip to a terrorist hideout to be beheaded. Preferable with a weedeater with a piece of guitar E string.

  34. al says:

    all of you guys must be walking to school hahaha

  35. Jesse Lash says:

    How did the Honda Element not make this list?

  36. iz says:

    the type 181 (thing, safari) is one amazing vehicle

  37. Ted says:

    You know what ?
    You coulda filled the list with 15 cars from American Motors, alone.(plus the Fiat, maybe)

  38. csimpkins says:

    I agree with everything here but the list should also include the Scion xd the Scion xb, Honda Element and Honda Ridgeline (all just as ugly as the Aztec).

  39. Scott says:

    I’m relieved to see the Nash Metropolitan DIDN’T make the list……..Known as a “clown” car primarily……I fell in love with them about 30 years ago, when I saw one completely restored. The odd shape, two tone paint & gotta’ have the wheel on the back.

  40. robert rider says:

    So , what about the 1948 Frazier, That is UGLY. Oh you want more modern cars? Well how about a CHECKER? Or maybe a BMW Isetta?

  41. marsha says:

    In 1981 my boyfriend bought me a Ford Bobcat, and painted it ALL BY HIMSELF a sparkly glittery metallic green. That car was and still is the ugliest car I have ever seen, driven, ridden in or owned!

  42. cody says:

    vw things float

  43. Ronaldo says:

    Vw Thing, 12,000 Imported for 2 years 1973/74 AND well over half of those are still around. What other cars have almost tripled in price in the last few years. Easily gets more attention than a New Corvette. I want one.

  44. Elio says:

    I buy a Gremlin in 1972 my wife and me used this car until 1980 when we give it to my father in law he used the car until 1982 and then it was gived to one of my nices, she used the car until 1984 when she sell it. In all those years the Gremlin never brokeup, we never spend any money in repairing the motor, transmition or any mayor component, just change the oil and brakes, for me it have been the best car that I owned. In 2001 I buy a new Mercedes C320, it has been the worst car that I have owned, it have been complete rebuilded I spended many thousands of dollars in repairs.

  45. Jim says:

    aussieaussieaussie is REALLY ahead of everybody else with his lightburn zeta suggestion – the zeta is just truly disgusting! And I can’t help but to comment on the AM Lagonda too – I thought the pic above was ugly until I saw the coupe version of the same thing…dreadful……

  46. Steve Hanes says:

    Man, you guys don’t have any taste or imagination! You guys are probably a bunch of mindless little sheep who hold hands and worship anything that Lamborghini makes. What a bunch of bores.

  47. Steve Hanes says:

    Yeah I knew it! A direct quote from this article clearly demonstrates the author’s utter lack of imagination: “Sigh. The Italians, makers of the most beautiful cars in the world, must occasionally have bad days too.”
    Every Italian sports car looks utterly predictable and bland. I’d rather have a roadway full of diversity…Yugos, Pintos, Pacers, Azteks and Edsels than another “look at my enfantile obsession with what someone else deems beautiful” Italian sports car. Jeez, “overpriced Italian bland is the new black.” Grow some, will ya?

    • Kurt says:

      OK, Steve, how’s this: “enfantile” should be “infantile”, and none of our current writers are obsessed with Italian sports cars. Except for my weird and unexplainable attraction to Alfa Romeo GTV6s, that is.

      I’ve also got a thing for Pintos, since I used to race a ’72 Pinto in SCCA ITB competition. Do I get bonus points for that?

  48. Jake says:

    Funny thing,
    I’m looking outside my office window and see a burnt orange Pontiac Aztec, which causes me to google “Ugliest Cars Ever”, which brings up this list……..and viola, there she is….#10

  49. John Allen says:

    Strange everyone bashes the Gremlin and overlooks the VW Rabbit and Honda Civic Hatchback. Two of the many clones of the Gremlin. I guess it’s to easy to parrot the unimagative, negative comments from when the first Radical looking Gremlins came out

  50. Kelly says:

    That Vega you have pictured looks pretty badass to me. I wouldn’t pick on it too much. Is this a list about asthetics or hyped cars that didn’t sell as expected? I can think of a few more cars that look worse than a dog turd on a rainy day.

  51. Memo says:

    Lincoln mark VI makes me throw up every time

  52. Adler Bloomberg says:

    Your taste must be bad as you picked out some of the most beautiful cars ever built. But look at the 1961 Plymouth, not that is an ugly car as are the Checker sedan & wagons. Then there is 41 Chrysler Thunder Bolt & the 40 Ford.

  53. THA ILLEST says:

    this are the stupids thangs ever made god damb. what made thim thank of this FUCK SHIT

  54. Take the Vega,Chevette off the list, add Hudsons, all Nash,s, most Studebakers for American cars. Put the Elements, Leafs, smart cars in the mix of ‘MOST BORN UGLY EVER’ foreigen or domestic…..

  55. Jordan blanchette says:

    You shut up about Vegas’ my restored 71 is a beaut and itll eat any mustang or charger off the line. They were half the weight of the Camaro with all the power. Plus with the fold down seats, you had crazy trunk space. Line that with some Brazillian tiger-wood and you have a luxury car. Also it makes a great place to sleep at parties. And on a different note, a car that should be on the list but isn’t, is the 2013 Dart concept. I thought that dodge fucked up with the revival of the charger, but they fixed that. But I see no way that they can fix this monstrosity that they’ve tarnished a beautiful name with.

  56. julian says:

    The Aston Martin Lagonda, UGLY! Wrong!!!!!! Looks super cool and would be proud to own one

  57. a27".i says:

    If you think those are the ugliest cars of all time then you’ve never ownd a Chrysler.

  58. jorge says:

    The G-Class and the Lagonda ugly? You are totally wrong

  59. neko says:

    you dont know what your talking about you put the thing on here and the aston martin lagonda as number one and leave the honda element out your a fool THE THING IS ONE OF THE COOLEST LOOKIN CARS

  60. John says:

    are you f*cking kidding me? all these cars are awesome except for the Fiat Multipla!!

  61. Ryan says:

    The PT cruiser? Are you serious? That thing looks good. AND WHO FUCKING CARES ABOUT CAR LOOKS IN THE FIRST PLACE?!