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(MSNBC)   Behold the crappiest cars ever made   ( divider line
    More: Obvious  
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64728 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2005 at 10:29 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

386 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-11-28 12:52:58 AM  
Nikolai Farkoff: No Geo Metro? Surely a car with a 3-cylinder engine and a chassis that can be torn in half by a stop sign deserves a spot!

Well, it may not look like much, but I guarantee your car will be outlasted by my old 1993 Geo Metro, wherever it is now. 150k miles, 7 years of high school and college and the only thing it ever needed was a new muffler.

Remember, this list is "crappiest cars".
2005-11-28 12:58:02 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

1991 Eagle Talon

How anyone driving this thing can see out of the windows is beyond me. It rides too low, the console comes up too high, and about all you can see out the sides and the back is the interior.

/sister had one in college
2005-11-28 01:05:54 AM  
antialias It's like this: In the early 1970's, control of car design and manufacture went from being in the hands of the engineers to being in the hands of the accountants and bean counters.

That led to the abomination called PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE - actually designing vehicles to simply fall apart after a predermined mileage has been reached.

The reasoning behind this was the bright idea that Americans will drive their cars for the pre-determined 5 years or so, the cars fall apart, and they're forced to buy a ones.

That worked for a while, but then along came the Japanese with their less expensive yet better-built vehicles to compete with the fatcats of the Big Three.

That's because the Japanese don't need to build planned obsolence into their cars. They already have the "sha-ken" to do that job for them.
2005-11-28 01:17:51 AM  
Worst car I had was a 1986 Chevy Cavalier convertible. It broke down every couple of months. I then got a 1995 Chevy Beretta. It was great, never a single problem with it. Unfortunately some girl pulled out in front of me. The insurance company totaled it, but I continued to drive it problem free for another year and a half. About a week ago an apparent gasket failure caused coolant to mix with the motor oil. It is not worth fixing or I would still be driving it.

I now commute in a 1966 Cadillac.
2005-11-28 01:58:13 AM  
The Chrysler K car and all its derivatives should be on the list.

Also, the 80's generation Chevy Camaro should be on the list as one of the worst turkeys. There was a car that had a frame rigidity that felt like jello -- and that was just maneuvering the car in a flat parking lot.

Also, the second generation Ford Mustang should be on that list.
2005-11-28 02:22:38 AM  
Sarah R.

Dont agree with the Taurus. I've had one for three years and my biggest problem with it was an oil leak (1996)

I had a Topaz though (same thing as a Tempo) and that thing died in three months. Transmission totally ate it. Found out that problem is commonplace with that car. Biggest offer I got on the car after it died was $20
2005-11-28 03:13:46 AM  
"A radical design for its day, the Citron 2CV (or "deux chevaux" -- literally French for "two horses") was launched in 1949 and intended to provide reasonably priced transport to rural French men. Built to operate under the most adverse conditions with the minimum of maintenance, the 2CV was famously fuel efficient and so became the transport of choice for the Green movement. It was discontinued in 1990."

So how does that make it an ungreat car? Other than that it's ugly?

An article about crappy cars should have reasoning to suggest they are crappy.
2005-11-28 03:52:01 AM  
First car, 74 Vega. Bought it for $200 and my Mom had to tow me home. It was the first engine I ever rebuilt. The pistons fell out when I disconnected the lower bearings. Fond memories. I had a blast with that car.
2005-11-28 04:37:22 AM  
As a final note on the Yugo, who around the michigan area remembers when that poor girl actually got blown off the mackinaw bridge in her yugo,while crossing on a windy day?
2005-11-28 05:10:05 AM  
The writer of this article is not very smrt. Ugly does not mean crappy. To me the value of a car is 90% practicality and 10% looks.
2005-11-28 05:31:32 AM  
I had a TR6 and a Harley. The TR6 was a maintence nightmare. When we moved to New Mexico we couldn't find a mechanic that worked on british cars. So we had to buy a new car cheap. We got a brand new Pinto for $1500. They were almost giving them away. When we went somewhere in the Pinto the clerks at stores would run up to my wife and ignore me. They thought she had me totaly whip. When I pulled up to the same stores on the Harly they were all over me and look at my wife as Biker slut. Same stores same people.
2005-11-28 09:02:58 AM  
From the article:

Citron 2CV (or "deux chevaux" -- literally French for "two horses") was launched in 1949 and intended to provide reasonably priced transport to rural French men. Built to operate under the most adverse conditions with the minimum of maintenance, the 2CV was famously fuel efficient and so became the transport of choice for the Green movement. It was discontinued in 1990.

So... it was in production for 51 years, but despite clearly filling a niche in the market, our intrepid reporter decides it's 'un-great'. Go get a job at McDonalds while you still can, idiot..
2005-11-28 09:03:58 AM  
Make that 41 years and 20% less indignant.
2005-11-28 09:09:50 AM  
used to own a honda civic piece of crap. now i have a GMC Sierra LOVE this vehicle. you all can have your hybrids more fuel for me.
2005-11-28 09:58:38 AM  
No mention of the Adobe?
2005-11-28 10:48:10 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-28 11:01:02 AM  
The Aztec was pretty bad, but I had to go with the Scion.
It's just more fun to point out to current car owners what horribly bad taste they have.

Really, if you bought one of these, you are a total boob.
And not the good kind of boob.

Crappiest car my family ever owned? Without a doubt the AMC Gremlin. At least we only leased it instead of buying it. After the two years were up and they asked if my Dad wanted to buy it, he wisely declined. Then, after the papers were signed and it was theirs again, they went to drive it off to their lot, and the transmission fell out!
2005-11-28 11:14:53 AM  
I nominated the late 80s-early 90s Ford Mustang.

An abomination to the Mustang name.

[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-28 11:32:21 AM  
StubePT: An abomination? Small, powerful, agile... it brings back the mustang to its roots where the '70s and '80s took the mustang and made it a huge boat. Not to mention the 5.0 HO is one of the meanest engines of its size on the block. Intake/exhaust/ignition/mild cam and under-sized pullyes give you 320+hp for CHUMP CHANGE.
2005-11-28 12:34:50 PM  
Here's another plug for the Element. I've got one and I love it. Okay, it's not the most beautiful thing on the road, but it hauls anything--we can take out the seats and haul mountain bikes, loaded hockey bags, stuff to take to storage, furniture, and whatever else we buy that's too big to fit in our other car (an Audi TT--pretty but very little cargo space). It also gets pretty good gas mileage for my 38-mile-each-way commute to work.

I honestly didn't expect when we first bought it to like the Element as much as I do, but now that I've got it I wouldn't give it up. It's way too versatile to be without. I even kind of like how it looks, and my tastes generally run more toward low swoopy sports cars.
2005-11-28 12:35:53 PM  
I love Azteks. What can I say? They look awesome.
2005-11-28 12:36:57 PM  
The Element and Scion xB are not bad cars, except to marketers.

They were marketed to twentysomethings, but their parents bought them.

(Hint: Most twentysomethings can't afford a twentysomething-thousand dollar car.)
2005-11-28 12:40:59 PM  
Funny, that's the same story of the redesigned Chevy Caprice, intended for youth with its curvy looks, but ended up to be a favorite by the old fogeys and cops because, well, it's a land yacht.

The fogeys were supposed to buy the Buick Roadmaster or the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, and they did. They finally got it right with the Impala SS package when in true GM fashion, they dropped the entire line.

Why they dropped them and conceded the entire fleet/taxi/police/limo/old fart market to Ford, I'll never know.
2005-11-28 12:50:36 PM  
I can't believe the 80's fwd cadillac weren't on the list. I had one for awhile and was just the biggest piece of shiat I owned, the 4.1L v8 was just so badly made, hell my 1990 stanza has the same horsepower, they should of saved themselves the trouble and put a 3.8 v6 in it from the beginning. Designed by cokeheads for cokeheads.

Cadillac was shiat during the 1980's, and the HT4100 was a large reason why. The engine was so badly cast, you had to put stop leak in the coolant or you would destroy the engine.

The HT4100 was originally designed for the RWD(!) Cadillac land barges. GM gave up on this in the RWD in 1986 and went with the ultra-reliable Olds 5.0 V8 that had been powering the Olds and Buick cousins. Unfortunately, they never went with the much better Buick 3.8 V6 in the FWD.

This is a big reason why Lincoln Town Cars and Chrysler Fifth Ave's got really popular in the late 1980's.
2005-11-28 01:27:09 PM  
This list is useless without 1978-1985 GM diesel technology.

GM took a couple of perfectly good gasoline V-8 engines and did rush conversions to diesel. (They also did a V-6, even more tragically.)

It seems they didn't bother to fully consider the vast compression and torque differences of diesel engines when specing the block and interal parts. The cylinder heads and connecting rods they used weren't very well suited to the task either.

Oldsmobile Delta 88s and 98s were the most common, although these junk engines were also installed pretty much across the GM line of large sedans.

/saw a lot of 78-85 GM V-8 diesels around
//never saw one last more than 90,000 miles
2005-11-28 02:32:17 PM  

Police investigation pinned the speed at 92 MPH on time of impact. Audi recorded computer speed at 91 MPH. All on court file. Here is a pic of the benz that was in question. It did cave in but he was lucky in any case.

[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-28 06:39:25 PM  
My nom for the Hall of Crap is anything with a V-6 engine. I've owned V-6s from Nissan, Mitsu, Toyota, GM, and Ford and, in spite of maintenance every 3K miles, every Hoover-damn one developed multiple broken valve-stems, gasket leaks, a warped block, ignition failure, or some other life-limiting problem; unfortunately, it's inherent in the V-6 engine design because of the harmonic imbalances associated with the motion of the pistons. Every one I've seen has shaken itself to bits inside of 80K. The hopelessly-farked V-6 should never be confused with the beautiful straight-6; every straight-6 I've owned (Ford, Toyota, Mercedes) has been smooth, balanced, reliable, had lots of torque, and been reasonably good on gas.

In re. Fords - it all depends. The ex-wife drove a steaming-pile-of-crap '99 Expedition which caused me no end of expensive problems until she got hammered and drove it into a large body of water, thus totalling the vehicle and relieving me of a $395 car payment she was trying to stick me with in the divorce settlement. Both Escorts I've been around ('84, '94) were unreliable and tinny enough to make any mechanic jizz - though in the case of the '94, the fact that the driver (not me) had crashed the car two times in as many years may have had something to do with it.

That said, one of my current rides is a '95 F-150 with the straight-6, a 5-speed, and about 60K miles. The other is an '84 Benz 300D which is set up to run on biodiesel - this thing has 280K miles on it, runs like a locomotive, and gets 30 mpg. I'll never sell the Benz. Yeah, neither vehicle is a babe magnet, but neither am I, for that matter, and both machines have it where it counts.
2005-11-28 06:45:57 PM  
I've owned a few duds in my time:

(1) 1984 Ford Escort wagon. It was okay until the 70,000 mile mark. My wife was driving the car and noticed flames coming out from under the hood. We had it towed to the shop, where the mechanic replaced the fuel lines, and started it up. We then drove it to the Dodge dealership, where we traded it in on a...

(2) 1992 Dodge Caravan. Again, it was okay until the 70,000 mile mark, when the head gasket blew. We replaced it. Twice. Wound up giving it away, because it blew the head gasket again.

(3) 1999 VW Beetle GT. I loved the way it looked and drove, but /way/ too many things broke and broke off. I don't see as many on the road these days, and I'm not really surprised. Too bad, but no more VW's for us.

Yep, count me in the "nothing but Japanese models" camp.

We now own a Scion Xa. It's a leetle bit small, but nice and reliable. If I were to buy a new car today, I might look at the Element. We test drove the Mazda 3 and liked it a lot,
but I thought it was overpriced by $2500.
2005-11-28 07:03:08 PM  
My nom for the Hall of Crap is anything with a V-6 engine.

GM 3800 (non-turbo and/or supercharged) and "Vortec 4.3" V-6 engines are fine, fine engines. Although the 4.3l is very durable, to me it seems to be a thirsty, noisy beast. In my experience, very few GM V-6 engines are poor.

Recent Chrysler 3.5l and 3.8l engines are good product, too.

I wouldn't take ANY Ford V-6 if you paid me. I can't think of a single one worth having.

Nissan makes some good ones, some bad, as do Toyota and Honda.

Mitsubishi V-6s can be very good, but be prepared to scrub your garage floor; they leak like Harleys.

I agree that I-6 engines are far more consistently good. In addition to those you mentioned, BMW, GM and Chrysler have all made some excellent examples.
2005-11-28 07:35:03 PM  

That doesn't look anything close to a 92 mph impact from a same sized vehicle to me. I'd ballpark it off the top of my head as at tops 60mph, with no more than 2 feet of crush right between the wheels like in the tests. The vehicle doesn't even appeared to be bowed at all either, and usually stiff cars will bow at around 60-70 mph impacts. But then again photos from one angle never really demonstrate the true severity of a collision. The rocker panel got some good engagment, suggesting the Audi was heavily braking at the time, pitching it's front end downward.

I would be interested to see the Audi data, however, since they won't let just anyone touch it, and generally won't produce anything unless in a fatality situation. I know that GM and Ford data that we are able to download from vehicle SDMs are very context based, the resolutions are +/- 1 second, so they really only make sense after a comprehensive look at the physical evidence.

I also know that police are generally horrible accident reconstructionists since few of them have little more physics background than a couple of week-long courses. They will often plug a couple numbers into a formula. Sometimes they look at the spedometer after the collision and go by what it's stuck at, but there's no studies that show that's a reliable way to determine speeds.
2005-11-28 09:32:53 PM  
When I was in high school I inherited a 1985 Buick Century. It had to be the most unreliable piece of crap ever sold by General Motors. It was half mechanical, half electric and all bad.
2005-11-28 10:24:33 PM  
"And ... the Honda Element? Yeah, you could make a case that it's ugly -- but so's a woody. And unlike the Aztek, the Element actually has a lot of redeeming qualities, and isn't basically just a differently-shaped Expedition."

Are you an idiot? The Aztek is plenty functional, if you've ever taken the time to check one out.

And it isn't a differently-shaped Expedition. Expedition is a Ford product, Aztek is a GM product. Expedition is RWD, body on frame, V8, Aztek is FWD, unibody, V6. Did you even think before making this post?
2005-11-28 10:53:37 PM  
Anyone driving a Ridgeline is an idiot.


"Capt. Poopie:

Are you saying that Acura/Honda and Nissan/Infinity engines are made by Ford? If so, you don't have a clue.

Acura and Infiniti (with an I) are Honda and Nissan's luxury brands and they do share some components with their cheaper cousins."

He was saying exactly what you said. Ford = Mazda just like Nissan = Infiniti and Honda = Acura. Don't know why you jumped on him.
2005-11-29 01:05:03 AM  
ok, now i'll get my rant on, cause no one reads this far anyway......

first, pick freaking cars you like, sheesh what a bunch of whiners....

second stick with a brand one you understand it. Me? FORD.

dad owned a F150. drove it to over 200k miles then sold it. two hundred thousand miles. no major repairs. got another F150. got to about 180K miles and decided to get another. guess what he got.

me? '70 something ford crown vic. *very* old police car. to cheap to buy new. loved that thing. caught fire. drove it (while in flames) to work. got extinguisher. bye vic. (160k miles?)

got a '84 ford secort wagon. drove the thing until i dropped it into the shop every month for $300 of repairs. started doign this around 170k miles. decided to buy new.

2001 ford focus. ok not new but a 3 year old car. good reviews once you get past the ones that had electrical fire issues. currently 68000 miles an zero issues, except less storage room than the wagon above.

which gets me to the '86 for F150. got it real cheap. $400. next lowest priced truck (of ANY model/type) was $1200. dropped off at shop for $800 of repairs. always starts, always runs, is about as fuel efficient as the focus (go figgure?) 180k miles on it. no major repairs once all the bugs got worked out.

note, my dad tried to GIVE me his last F150, a 92 i think. thing ran worse than my 86, but still ran well.

in summary? I am not a ford man, ford just makes vehicles that work. chevys might be faster, but dont last, Dodges seem to be flimsy, but that might be 20yrs of poor quality. My truck has lasted much better than i expected and the focus was just meant to be a reliable car (wow, what a car tho)
2005-11-29 01:12:08 AM  
another final note.....

shop around for a good auto repair place. I had the good fortune of working for a vending machine company with a boss from hades.

he was always peeved off at car shops who fouled up his vendign truck repairs, kept hopping from shop to shop. I got to talk to alot of shops and found a real good one. and kept it.

/nearly $2000 paid to the shop
//worth about 3 times that much
///they forget to send me the bills for months at a time
////gave me rides, cheap tows, credit line
//pomps tire in medford wisconsin
//likes slashies
2005-11-30 01:55:14 AM  

Whatever speed the Audi was going, If I had to be on the receiving on of it, I would rather be in a Mercdes than a Honda. No offense to anyone, but there is reason these cars cost so much. Even if the audi was going 60, in a honda accord, you would most likely be dead then your cheap car means nothing.

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