Trucks are generally the most useful, utilitarian vehicles both on and off the road—or at least they're supposed to be. A huge variety of pickup trucks produced—most of them rugged, reliable, and dependable machines—are made for heavy-duty work, whether it’s on the highway or on a deserted forest track.
Yet occasionally, auto manufacturers build one-trick pony pickups or manage to get it all wrong, resulting in utterly useless trucks that we'd rather forget. Below, we've collected some trucks that are totally useless off-road, others that are completely useless on-road, and of course, we've included some that are just useless in general. We've also made sure to include a mix of modified vehicles, mass-produced trucks and special limited edition pickups. Enjoy.
20 The Bro Truck
On the surface, the bro truck looks like it should be capable off-roading. However, there's one problem with it: the bro truck never sees anything but pavement. In fact, there are a couple of other problems with it as well.
It's too high to be practical, and it signals to the rest of the world that the driver is starved for attention and has questionable taste.
19 Slammed Show Trucks
These chromed-out, slammed trucks are really only good for show. Forget taking it off-road, they are barely driveable on-road. The other trucks on this list have at least some practical application, and that's just not the case regarding these slammed pickups.
Sure, some people actually drive them from time to time, but mostly they're built to be eye candy at car shows.
18 Mini Pickup
The original Mini was a revolutionary concept, but it could never settle for a role as somebody’s cutesy second car. It wanted to get its hands dirty and offered an astonishing amount of room for transporting cargo.
Today, the pickup is a rare sight at meetings and is commonly mistaken for a home-made creation. It's definitely not meant to go off-road though, with its front-wheel-drive and lack of ground clearance.
17 GMC Syclone
GM took an ordinary S10 bodyshell and installed a 4.3-liter V6 with a turbocharger that’s good for 280 HP. They added a Corvette transmission and performance biased all-wheel drive. The Syclone did 0-to-60 mph in just 5.3 seconds - faster than contemporary Ferraris - and we love it for its absurdity.
However, you can't tow with it, it has an extremely limited payload capacity and good luck taking one off road.
16 Chevy SSR
The SSR ended up being an embarrassment for Chevrolet. Incredibly underpowered and highly impractical, the SSR was all about giving the pickup a bit of style over any actual substance. It's a hardtop convertible, V8 powered, retro-styled pickup. It wasn't a good truck, not a good hot rod and wasn't even a good convertible.
15 Lamborghini LM002
The LM002 might have the least useful bed of all the trucks we've ever seen, but it's still one of the coolest and over-the-top pickups ever made - it has a 450-hp V12 from a Countach.
The LM002 actually had desert-ready suspension, but with its gargantuan thirst for fuel, you might not want to venture too far off the beaten path.
14 BMW M3 Pickup
BMW actually made two M3 pickups, one using the original E30 M3, and another born from the E92 generation M3 coupe. It featured the high-revving 4.0-liter V8 from the standard M3, and unlike the E30, it featured a hard-top roof that remained fixed.
Though it remained a one-off prototype, the concept has been emulated across the globe, with several home-made versions cropping up in Europe and South Africa.
13 Hummer H2 SUT
The Hummer H2 was a terrible SUV that wasn't particularly good at anything other than breaking down with mechanical problems. Being designed for posers and urban soccer moms certainly didn't help.
To bring more people into showrooms, GM decided to replace the trunk with a little bed and thus, the sport utility truck was born. Not a very good truck, and far less useful than the conventional SUV H2.
12 HSV Maloo
Holden Special Vehicles has produced the Maloo Ute since 1990. It’s based on the standard Holden Ute, but turned up to the extreme.
Powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8, it generates a massive 550 hp and 510 lb-ft that's sent to the rear wheels. It's hard enough to keep it in a straight line on regular roads, we wouldn't want to try it on looser surfaces.
11 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible
For some reason, the Dodge management team thought it would be cool to offer a pickup truck with a convertible roof and roll bar. Dodge contracted the American Sunroof Company to chop off the roof, replacing it with a convertible top.
The Sports Convertible wasn't very good at being a truck, in fact, it was useless at anything other than posing.
10 1978 Chevy With LF9 Diesel
In case you're wondering what's so bad about an old Chevy diesel truck, we'll clear that up real quick.
This Chevy didn't have just any diesel, it had the worst diesel: the infamous Oldsmobile 350, an engine so bad, it effectively ruined diesel's reputation in America to this day. It was useless in any and all situations, whether on or off-road. Convert it to run on gas though, and it's a whole different story.
9 Cadillac Mirage
The 1976 Cadillac Mirage could've been an interesting concept, except it doesn’t do a particularly good job at executing it. The plan was to try and make the regular pickup truck look a bit more like a car, but what happened was that roughly half the vehicle became the truck bed, and being so low with all the weight over the front, it was uncomfortable and horrible to drive.
8 Lincoln Blackwood
Lincoln's pickup truck was nothing more than a ridiculously expensive and less practical F-150. For some reason, they decided to cover the bed and use a split tailgate. Also, the truck had a laughable 1,200-pound payload.
No wonder the Blackwood repeatedly shows up on lists of the worst cars of this decade, it wasn't just rubbish both on and off-road, it was horrible as a vehicle in general.
7 Subaru Baja
The Subaru Baja isn’t like ordinary pickups. It’s smaller, lacks ruggedness, and arguably isn’t very useful when compared to, say, a Dodge Power Wagon or a Jeep Gladiator.
While we can appreciate that Subaru tried something new, it just didn’t offer anywhere near as much as other pickups available out there.
6 Dodge Ram Daytona
We really like sporty pickups, and the Daytona was a cool concept with great execution and it had a fixed rear wing that doesn't come off! This pretty much makes the Daytona useless for any heavy-duty pickup work, and the only thing it's good for is showing off in parking lots.
5 Chevy 454 SS
The mighty Chevrolet 454 SS was one of the most menacing and powerful trucks of the '90s. Chevrolet's engineers took the ordinary 1990 Chevy 1500 pickup truck with a short bed option and added a massive 454 V8 engine which made it fly down the road - and also drink fuel like there was no tomorrow.
It was a great truck, just not built to go further off-road than a gravel road.
4 Dodge Ram Rumble Bee
The Rumble Bee seems to be one of those trucks people either love or hate. It certainly gets attention though, there's no arguing with that. There's also no arguing when it comes to the fact that the Rumble Bee is utterly useless when it comes to driving off-road - but some people seem more than willing to make that trade-off just to get the muscle looks.
3 Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning is a legendary limited edition truck. The first generation, sold from 1990 to 1995 was extremely well-executed. The basic idea was to make a muscle similar to the Chevrolet 454 SS. However, Ford did it with more care and better engineering and fitted a lighter and smaller, but equally powerful engine.
While great fun on the road, it wasn't a truck you'd want to take off-roading.
2 Dodge Ram SRT-10
From 2004 to 2006, the Ram SRT-10 was one of the craziest, most powerful and fastest pickups Dodge ever produced. It had an 8.2-liter V10 engine with over 500 hp, which made it able to go from 0 to 60 in less than five seconds and had a fuel economy in the single digits. Like most other sporty trucks, it wasn't much good outside the paved roads.
1 Mazda Rotary Pickup
Mazda was very proud of its innovative rotary engine. So proud, in fact, that it stuck one in a pickup truck and named it, creatively, the Rotary Pickup. It could not haul or tow a lot as rotaries are high-revving, low-torque engines, which is precisely the opposite of what you want in a truck. Needless to say, Mazda abandoned the concept after a few years.
Sources: Jalopnik, Auto Cars, Motor Junkie