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A List of the Worst Cars to Ever Be Invented

From random fires to laughably bad design, you'd be shocked at what it takes to be considered one of the worst cars to ever be invented.

By Skunk UzekiPublished 6 years ago 8 min read

Some cars revolutionize the way that we see transportation. They are truly works of art that stemmed from world-class engineering. Cars in this category become iconic because of how brilliantly made they are, and how wonderful they are to the drivers who own them.

The following cars are not those cars.

Rather, these cars have been known as major clunkers. They might also be known as police magnets due to the sheer number of accidents they have caused. For one reason or another, the engineering on these cars can only be called catastrophic failures. That's why car experts and car aficionados call them the worst cars to ever be invented.

The Overland Octoauto

In 1911, Milton Reeves decided to make a game changer in the car industry by creating a car that was designed to give a smoother, more carefree ride. Unfortunately, the way he decided to do this was to add four more wheels to a typical car design.

The end result was the Overland Octoauto, a car that topped a ludicrous 20 feet in length and reportedly had the worst steering capability in history. Turning corners was nearly impossible due to the size and design of this old school auto, which is why critics call it one of the worst cars to ever be invented.

The Merkur XR4TI

The Merkur XR4TI was a car that was (very) briefly sold in the United States during the 1980s, and we're willing to bet that you've never heard of it. As one would expect, there's a good reason why you don't hear about people driving Merkurs today.

What made this car unique was its dual spoiler design, which actually helped the oddly shaped car's aerodynamics. The dual wing design was originally lauded by Car and Driver, but as luck would have it, Ford decided it would be better off with just one wing.

The end result was a car that handled strangely, looked weird, and just left a funky impression. It stopped being sold in 1986 due to low sales. While it may not appear as bad as some of the others called the worst cars to ever be invented, it's just so awkwardthat it's hard not to include it on this list.

The Ford Pinto

Most car companies really make a point of showing how safe their cars are, but this was definitely not the case with the Ford Pinto. This notoriously dangerous car gained fame for being one of the most deadly rides to ever hit the road.

Between the fact that a single rear-end collision would cause the car to explode, and the fact that Pintos would occasionally just randomly light themselves on fire due to bad electrical work, it's safe to say that the Ford Pinto was one of the worst cars to ever be invented.

Oh, and the real kicker? Ford said that it wasn't worth fixing the issue, cost-wise. Thanks a lot, Ford.

The Yugo GV

Much like the Ford Pinto, the Yugo GV is regularly cited as one of the worst cars to ever be invented. The GV's entire goal was to be as affordable as possible, and its brand-new price was a super-cheap $2,000. So, in that respect, it was successful.

However, the Yugo GV was basically as close to a death trap as you could get. The poor design made it likely to accelerate at random, and in the event of an accident, would offer virtually no protection to the driver or passengers. Its boxy build also made it very likely to roll over if turns were taken too sharply.

Oh, but it got worse.

The Yugo GV wasn't just a mechanical engineering disaster; it was also made with the cheapest materials on the market. This led the GV to be prone to engine failure, electrical problems, sudden fires, or just randomly dying on the spot. It also was so lightweight, it occasionally could be flipped over by strong gusts of wind.

Also, you had to pay for carpeting on the floor of the car as a "bonus." Needless to say, it was a disaster and was considered to be little more than a glorified golf cart.

The PT Cruiser Convertible

The PT Cruiser is often derided as the "PT Loser," and honestly, it's not hard to see why.

The PT Cruiser line was meant to be a compact, family-friendly car that was based off the old world designs of a typical 1930s automobile. Media groups hyped it up as the "Car of the Year," and expected it to become a staple.

However, what the media claimed and what reality showed were two completely different things. Families found the five-door hatchback to be far too cramped for their liking. Sports car drivers and even regular sedan drivers saw it as a complete eyesore.

To make matters worse, the abysmal 19 miles per gallon fuel rating made it one of the worst compact cars in terms of gas mileage — and regular visibility was not much better.

The PT Cruiser convertible was regularly cited as one of the worst cars to be invented, primarily because all of the problems with a regular PT Cruiser were exaggerated. Visibility was almost nil, and this made the PT Cruiser Convertible a rather dangerous car to drive.

Overall, it was just not a good car, no matter how you look at it.

The Reliant Robin

The 60s was a time that people really wanted to show that they thought outside of the box. It was a time when drug use was at an all-time high, and when people were liberal with their work.

Obviously, the Reliant Robin exemplified what happens when people dropped acid and decided to create a car design.

This debacle of a car really didn't even abide by the basic design standards one expects of a car. For example, most cars have four wheels. This one had three, but also still managed to have a square, boxy body.

The positioning of the car wheels was where things got really bad. Because there was only one wheel at the front of the car, any turn that was done at over 25 miles per hour would cause the Reliant Robin to tip over.

Most Reliant Robin drivers ended up realizing that the Robin was reliant on really slow driving in order to exist. Those who had the misfortune of buying a Robin would tell you that it was one of the worst cars to ever be invented.

Even so, the three wheel aspect of the design caused it to gain a cult following. Go figure.

The FSO Polonez

The FSO Polonez was built with similar intentions to the Yugo GV, and it was just as much a disaster as one would expect. The FSO Polonez was a visual diaster, much like the PT Cruiser.

However, unlike the PT Cruiser, it also had the additional problem of being made with the worst materials on the market. One car critic said described the Polonez as follows:

"Built by communists out of steel so thin you could use it as a neck curtain, it is as reliable and long lasting as a pensioner's erection."

Needless to say, its unreliable nature and its hideous exterior made it a regular entry among lists of the worst cars to ever be invented.

The Aston Martin Lagonda

It's hard to imagine that Aston Martin could possibly be the creators of one of the worst cars to ever be invented, but the Lagonda proves that bad cars can happen to top quality companies. The entire idea of the Aston Martin Lagonda was a brilliant one — it was to blend the most modern technology the 1980s had to offer with auto engineering.

The Aston Martin Lagonda had a brilliant idea behind it, but when it came to it being implemented, fell spectacularly short. The CRT screens that displayed all the car's information didn't work. Most of the other "high tech" gadgets also failed pretty terribly.

Additionally, the Lagonda also looked like a boxy-yet-egg-shaped disaster. The look of the car alienated the Lagonda from its target client base, which in turn made it an atrociously unpopular flop.

Between the terrible tech and the non-luxury appearance, it regularly makes an appearance on lists of the worst cars ever invented.

The Pontiac Aztek

Pontiac was never exactly a top quality car maker, but it did have its good models. However, the Aztek was not one of them — despite what Breaking Bad may have made you believe.

This car was a very strange crossover between a regular sedan and an SUV... with an option that allowed the driver to sleep in it. Bad gas mileage, an awkward interior (and exterior), and the inability to actually do off-roading despite being an SUV made it one of the most comically bad flops on the market.

The Aztek had 2-wheel drive, but had a tent extension and a built-in cooler that allowed it to turn into a "party car" pretty quickly. Unfortunately, as any off-roader knows, having a 2-wheel drive will NOT bode well in nature. So, you'd have to camp out in a parking lot rather than a campsite if you chose to go Azteking.

To make matters even worse, the Aztek also had several recalls after GM realized that these cars randomly burst into flames due to bad fuel tank connections. So, it also basically came with recalls for everyone.

As a result, most car aficionados call the Pontiak Aztek as the worst of the worst car to ever be invented.

The Zundapp Janus

The Zundapp Janus is what happens when you have a motorcycle company try to build a car — and fail miserably.

This car was so poorly designed that actually getting into the car probably wouldn't be easy in cramped parking lots due to the "flyaway" door design. Additionally, it's insanely difficult to determine which way the car is facing, which could easily turn it into an accident magnet.

While it's absolutely adorable, the Janus looked like a 1950s car that had one too many car mods installed. When you add it's bizarre door design with the fact that it topped a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour, it's undeniably one of the worst cars to ever be invented.


About the Creator

Skunk Uzeki

Skunk Uzeki is an androgynous pothead and a hard partier. When they aren't drinking and causing trouble, they're writing articles about the fun times they have.

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