Certain models of cars may really speak to you, sometimes just a model in a specific year. However, your customers may be drawn to something completely different, a specific model that you might not exactly love. It’s all part of being in the auto industry – designers sometimes take leaps of faith and succeed, while others never find a fan base. Let’s look at some of those unique designs, some of which actually did find a fan base, but have become the punch line for jokes today.
1. Ford Pinto
It’s difficult to call a car a failure after 3 million-plus buyers plunked down their hard-earned cash on it. This mid-size hatchback actually had a decent engine, but the body is now often referred to as one of the “ugliest” in history for its bland aesthetic. However, the controversy surrounding its fuel system and subsequent explosions upon collision is what this one is really known for.
2. Pontiac Aztek
This is another car that finds itself the frequent victim of “worst car” lists for a number of reasons. It’s rather prominently featured in the hit TV show “Breaking Bad,” but not exactly in a glowing light.
3. BMW Isetta
BMW jumped into the micro-car movement in the mid-1950s, which was apparently a half-century too soon. BMW’s “Isetta” was an egg-shaped car with the door directly in front of the driver. In fact, the entire steering mechanism opened up with the door because it was attached to it. It resembled a refrigerator door.
4. Ford Edsel
We’ve all heard of this one. In fact, “Edsel” has become synonymous with failure. However, in all fairness, even though it was not aesthetically pleasing, there were also economic issues at play at that time that made the vehicle’s launch fail.
5. Chevrolet Vega
Some claim that the Vega nearly destroyed GM. This “rust prone bucket” also sold well, but it was built with thin sheet metal, causing owners to have to replace parts after one year of ownership. While the design was more attractive than the Pinto, this car has earned a solid reputation as one of the worst.
6. Chrysler PT Cruiser
While some people liked the bold design of the “PT Loser,” it has enough detractors to keep it firmly in the top 10 for worst car lists. Perhaps the biggest issue is that while technology improved from 2001 to 2010 when this car was in production, the engineers didn’t do much to keep up with technology and it remained mostly unchanged.
What about Renault’s Le Car, Reliant Robin, Chevy Corvair, AMC Gremlin or the Suzuki Samurai? Sure, there are plenty more out there that have become the brunt of jokes. What cars would you include on this list?