Skip to comments.The 10 Ugliest Cars of the Last 30 Years
Posted on 05/07/2014 8:21:10 AM PDT by rktman
Its always a special treat when a trip to the grocery store or dentist turns into a rare car-spotting experience. A forgotten classic or exotic is seen prowling the streets or, even better, appears in the parking lot next to your car. Cue daydream starring you in that exotic car. Maybe youre in Monaco, driving into the sunset when
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On first seeing the Element and Cube when they came out, it reminded me of the cars you would see in Cold War spy movies when behind the Iron Curtain.
Well, I cannot argue with the Pontiac Aztek....however, there are many high end rounded-rear SUVs of the upscale variety in the last decade of what a good friend of mine thought looked like “a little dog hunched over taking a dump.” Instantly, I agreed and thought “why didn’t I think of that.”
Agreed...That little POS is a death trap!
The Cube: an automobile glazier’s dream replacement job.
The AMC Pacer will always be a top pick for ugly car.The Pontiac Aztek is also astoundingly ugly.A friend had one in bright yellow,we called it the short bus.
Say what you want but my best rides were Smart Roadster, Ford Crown Vic and Lada Niva.
BTW, I drove BMW 7er, Mercs and Bentley.
The Chevy Malibu hatchback (the MAXX?). They just started making the old Citations again. I wonder why they went bankrupt?
Kinda looks to me like a 1960's toaster on wheels. Can't even believe there's a "panel" version of this (without the rear windows).
I hate this trend to put strings of LEDs on the front and back that look like leering demons in the dark.
The larger number of cars have angry-looking headlights which contribute to more stress on the road. All front end lighting should be shaped like a continuous smile, or at least neutral position. Drivers care not a whit for the person behind the wheel in the other car. It’s a machine that’s either too slow or too fast that needs to go away. Put angry headlights on it and marvel at how the social contract thus far has not seen higher, more serious incidents of road rage.
I disagree about the PT Cruiser. I thought it had a fun look. Then I had to drive one as a loaner while my Mitsubishi Eclipse was recovering from a run in with Bambi, and I didn’t care for the way it drove.
The author seems to believe that the Subaru Baja only comes in yellow with silver cladding. They were available in solid color and looked much better that way. The plastic cladding was popular on a number of vehicles, Pontiac most notably got carried away with it. A Baja is a very practical and unique vehicle that remains in demand. It’s just a little nerdy with all the doodads intended to make it look more off-roadish.
Citation.........my parents had one of this ewhen I was a kid, what a pizza crap.
Dunno about the ride, but they are butt-ugly little cars.
You are never more than two feet away from a traffic accident no matter which direction you get struck from.
Man that Aztec makes the list every year. I think I’ve seen one actually on the road.
The scientific name of the Element this cars title refers to is butt-uglium.
The baja is not ugly.
Excellent call on the original Scion. My son describes it as a ‘rectangle with wheels’.
I took my driving test in a Pacer.
On it’s good side, it had so much glass that a
rookie driver could easily see everything around him.
But yeah, it was a butt-ugly car.
Particularly in Avocado, Burnt Orange, or the other colors
of the era.
One of our friends retired from the CIA, he, his wife and 3 crabby teenagers moved to N California. His wife immediately got a job where she had to commute to work and left home before 8 am in their Ford Vickie.
Our friend picked the AMC Gremlin because it was so ugly and out of style for his vehicle. The teen agers never drove it and would only ride in it to school, if it was raining, and they made their dad drop them off about a block away from school so no one could see them in the car with their dad. When the last kid left home, he bought the big Mercury and kept the Gremlin if the kids came home and needed a car.
I ordered a 1982 from overseas the last time I was stationed in Korea and picked it up at a dealer in Omaha. Fun car, peppy, no back seat and looking back on it, it looked like a frog. But at the time, I thought I had the world by the tail. Only manual transmission I’ve ever owned.
Hate to get T-boned by a 4x4 in one of those.
Ford Crown Vic too? Btw, I forgot to add Toyotas Chaser/Cresta/Mark2. 1992 and 1996 model years.
Best non-luxury RWD sedans one would imagine. Too bad they are all Jap and right-handle.
I have seen a solid-color (silver) Baja around town and it looks okay.
As to Subarus in general, my friend in HS had a red 1978 BRAT. What a fun ride and the jump seats were too cool. If I remember correctly, President Reagan had one just like it.
I was a young kid at the time, but I thought the Trans Sport was futuristic and cool compared to all of the box bans out then.
I bet it was: under the skin it was effectively a Mustang. I just could never get past those headlights!
Branded under a different name ... like maybe Chrysler... it never would have sold.
A well-kept BRAT with those rear facing jump seats intact is starting to be collectible. They got so much abuse that few have survived in any sort of condition, and people remember them fondly. Reagan did have one out in California.
Did you ever see the episode of Top Gear where they modified one of these into what they deemed the ideal car for old people? Too funny.
My daughter drives a purple HHR. One day one of her friends yelled “Hey, get your Li’l Hippo Car outta my face!”
Ever since then we all call it the “Li’l Hippo Car” :)
Actually a nice little car with a lot of luggage room (family road trip vehicle since my pickup is impractical and the Missus’ Mini Cooper just won’t hold us all)
Nah, just the SMART cars. And as others have noted, they look dangerous as h*ll, too.
Ugly? Maybe, but it seems this author mainly has it out for useful, spacious, utilitarian and space friendly cars.
What about the Camaro? While few people if any would claim it’s ugly, it has serious drawbacks in design and usefulness? To me - that’s ugly in its own way.
Yikes, forgot about the Gremlin.
Had a neighbor who owned one. It was an obnoxious shade of green. And was rusting out all over the place within five years. So he had pop-riveted primered patches interspersed with the green.
I have a scion xBox, 2006. Bought it new. Best car i’ve ever owned, all around. The interior room is ridiculously ample. And I really like its looks.
I call the “smart” car, The Stupid Car. It’s an emergency waiting to happen, besides being so b_tt ugly.
The Aztek. Instantly hated when it first came out.
Who knew that auto makers would make that the gold standard for all new vehicles now on the road?
Since you brought up lights... I have owned several pick up trucks. I don't use the "bright lights" often as I live in the suburbs of a large city. But when I need bright lights, I usually need REALLY bright lights. Single lane country roads with 55 mph speed limits are much safer if I can see better. To your point, I have complained, "dial down the fancy and get back to the functional". I would like three light settings; 1) normal traffic 2) High-beams and 3) Quasar Bright. I want to be able to see the organs of a deer that is contemplating suicide on the side of the road. I want Ray Charles to complain about crossing the street a mile ahead of me on a dark cloudy night in the middle of nowhere. And I don't want to have to configure the lights on the truck between daylight running, fog on, parking lights, brights with fog on or brights with auto fog lamps off, etc.
(silly little rant - sorry)
That is amazing, but I can understand why they are so collectible.
I just searched on Autotrader and the (1) listing I found said, “Here it is. Probably the hardest car to find on autotrader.”
Yeah, they’re all pretty ugly. Although, I don’t like Pontiacs, the Aztek has an almost military look to it that I like. Probably still a crappy vehicle.
As they say in the auto industry, “your mileage may vary”.
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