the biggest disappointments in car history
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The Biggest Disappointments in Car History
When it comes to design and manufacture missteps in the auto industry, some have gone down in history. From new car releases falling short of their promises, to cars that are so unreliable that they have been taken off the market, there have been some serious errors.
In this piece, we’re looking at the ugliest, least reliable, strangely designed cars in the world and how these blunders affected the brand’s reputation.
What is the most unpopular car?
Cars become unpopular for a number of reasons - the way they look, how they’ve been made, how they feel on the road, and they’re safety. The Jeep Commander, for example, was a successor to the Jeep Grand Cherokee that no one asked for. With a poorly-designed interior that left drivers and passengers feeling cramped, a terrible 14mpg, and 400lbs heavier than its predecessor, it was voted one of ten worst cars of the 2000s by ConsumerGuide. It was a commercial failure and was taken off the market just four years after manufacture started.
Another unpopular car of recent years is the Smart Fortwo. Now, Smart cars were controversial from the get-go, with a weird design that was derided by many. However, they did sell! One incarnation that didn’t do well was the Fortwo, which received negative reviews from its release. The 3-cylinder engine offered little power, but it was the fuel economy that shocked the most. For a tiny car, with a weight of just 750kg, the MPG was just 39. It was voted one of the worst cars of all time by Consumer Reports.
What are the worst cars ever made?
Although this is a subjective topic, there are some cars that have gone down in history as the worst. In the UK, one car with a retro reputation but is an all out awful car is the Reliant Robin. Made from plastic, with three wheels (with just the front one controlling the steering, it has got to be one of the worst cars seen on our roads.
The Austin Allegro has not escaped negativity as well. Made in 1973, the Allegro was subjected to some very odd decisions, including a square steering wheel! It also had a tendency for wheels to fall off, and the strange raised look it had was mainly because it had an A-series engine, which contradicted the original design and made it sit too high. It was so bad, in fact, that it earned the name ‘the flying pig’, or ‘All Aggro’.
What is the least reliable car brand?
When it comes to cars, reputation counts. Models that have poor safety records or have been involved in a number of accidents will colour the public’s opinion on other models from the same manufacturer.
Research from WhatCar? shows that luxury SUVs tend to be the least reliable, with Land Rover offering up the least dependable cars. This is down to a few factors, including the cost of repairs which can be huge in the SUV market. In the list, Land Rover took the top spot, followed by Renault, Tesla, and Nissan.
What is the ugliest car ever?
As we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, when it comes to cars, there are a few that are truly a sight to behold - and not in a good way. One of the agreed upon ugliest cars in existence is the unfortunate Fiat Multipla, with its bug-eyed aesthetic and extremely odd shape.
Another car that has made the ugliest cars lists across the world is the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Although this one is debatable, as we know a bit of retro style works for some cars (Fiat 500 anyone?), but the 1940s Gangstarmobile style of the Cruiser left a lot to be desired.
What’s the stupidest car ever made?
Again, this one is a bit contentious but we had to choose it - the car we’ve picked for stupidest in the world is one that hasn’t been on the roads for decades: the 1899 Horsey Horseless.
As the world moved from horse-drawn carriages to petrol-powered cars, inventor Uriah Smith aimed to dispel the fear of these newfangled machines by putting a fake horse head on the front of the car to make the transition less immense. Yes, this was a real car and yes, it’s the stupidest one we’ve ever seen!