We sometimes wonder if car manufacturers build bad cars just so we will appreciate the good ones. Sadly though, we don't think that is the case seeing how many bad cars are out there.
This list barely scratches the surface of the garbage cars that have been produced over the years. Some of them are here because they were fragile. Many were mechanically iffy. A lot were severely underpowered. A few were eyesores and the design looks like an afterthought. Then we have those that would crumble into a pile of rust as soon as the weather channel announced there might be some rain.
The one thing they all have in common is the fact that they are garbage cars that wouldn't get stolen if they were unlocked. Let's take a closer look at some of the worst cars the world has ever seen.
20 Maserati Biturbo
The Maserati Biturbo looks awesome - if you're into 80s cars. It was the Italian brand's answer to the BMW 3 Series, except it was ridiculously unreliable. While the name "Biturbo" certainly sounds incredible, perhaps even more so when you learn it was powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.5-liter V6, it was nothing but a disappointment with its 185 hp. It'll break down long before anyone steals it.
19 Dodge Caliber SRT-4
The Dodge Caliber SRT-4 is a lesson in how to build a bad performance car; Start with a bad car. Meant to replace the lovely Neon SRT-4, it did pump out a decent 285HP from a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. However, the Caliber was a flop because nobody wanted to drive a harsh and ugly hatchback.
18 Hummer H2
One of the worst vehicles of all time, the Hummer H2 promised off-road skills and a bad-boy military heritage but offered up only faux toughness, a weak transmission, and more cheap plastic than the Great Pacific garbage patch. If someone stole it, they won't get further than the nearest gas station anyway, and by the time they get there, the transmission will most likely be seized up.
17 Chevy Camaro Sport Coupe
The base model of the third-generation Camaro was powered by the 2.5-liter "Iron Duke" four-cylinder rated at 90 hp. That's 90, thrashing, noisy, crude horses in total - in a Camaro. And you know someone out there has put "SS" and "Z28" badges on it to look cool. That's all the reason we need to put it on our list of garbage cars.
16 Sterling 825
This thing is a weird one. Basically, it's a rebadged Rover 800 series based on the V6-powered Acura Legend, so that's kind of cool, right? Oh wait, Rovers are awful cars and the Sterling doesn't have the Honda's reliability or resistance to rust. Paint hardly stuck to it and the electrics lasted a few weeks if you were lucky. Meh, please take it away.
15 Ford Pinto
The Pinto is one of the most famous cars ever made - and it's for the worst reason possible. Ford had dozens of lawsuits filed against them for selling this lemon. If it got rear-ended, it could burst into flames. Apparently, Ford test-crashed it more than 40 times, and the fuel tank ruptured every time - that didn't stop them from selling it though.
14 Reliant Robin
The Reliant Robin is a ludicrously unstable three-wheeler. Enter a corner too fast and the car would instantly turn into a fiberglass-bodied turtle on its back. How fast was too fast? Anything above walking pace.
It had a severely underpowered 750cc engine, which may actually have been a safety feature. If someone steals it, just head to the first turn in the road and the Robin will be on its side waiting for you.
13 Ford Mustang II
The fact that the Mustang II was built upon the spindly bones of the Pinto is not even the worst thing about this shrunken, misguided pony. While it has always been instantly disgusting to Mustang lovers, it was, unfortunately, very popular with buyers during fuel crises. It will take a lot of hopes and prayers before anyone steals this junk.
12 Chevy Vega
We will say this about the Chevrolet Vega; It actually did make a pretty good Pro Stock racer. And that's about it. Oh, it was also the car that convinced Americans to buy Toyotas and Hondas. The Vega was seemingly built with contempt for its buyers and was sold with an engine that couldn't hold its oil.
11 Fiat Multipla
Except for the dreadfully slow acceleration due to its weak engine and sluggish gearbox, the Multipla is actually a pretty decent car. Just kidding. It's Italian, meaning things will stop working for no reason, then fall off. Eventually, the Multipla will catch fire - which will actually make it look a lot better.
10 PT Cruiser
The PT Cruiser’s retro styling made it seem kind of cute and unique when it first appeared. But as we grew tired of looking at it, we also realized it was utter garbage. The performance was hard to swallow - and it was made even worse by the rubbish transmission. If you don't like the looks then there's absolutely nothing likable about the PT Cruiser.
9 AMC Pacer
It's no surprise that an AMC model would be on this list. The Pacer typically make lists like this, and with good reason - it was small, wide, had an archaic six-cylinder engine, and the glass turned it into a greenhouse. They were an absolute nightmare to own and drive and had a habit of dropping bolts wherever they went.
8 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
The hardest thing to believe about the Sebring line-up is that it ran an improbably long 15 years. The entire Sebring range is the perfect example of subpar car design and execution. Those who've driven one of the later models know how awful they were - which makes it hard to imagine that the previous models were even worse. You can't even pay someone to take it.
7 Chevy Malibu Maxx SS
Once upon a time, Chevy's hallowed “SS” performance moniker used to mean a car was packing something special under the hood. Then in the '90s and 2000s, Chevrolet sort of lost the plot and began slapping SS badges on sub-standard cars. Calling this weird vehicular tragedy of a hatchback-wagon blend an "SS" was just shameless though.
6 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Jumping on the electric vehicle bandwagon, Mitsubishi released this electrified blob in 2011. It had a pitiful range of 62 miles and charging it could take up to 14 hours. It's easy to see why this poorly thought-out "car" barely sold 2,000 units in America. At least you'd be able to recover it within walking distance if someone ever did steal it.
5 Smart ForTwo
Small, compact, and perfect for city dwellers looking for cheap and efficient transportation, the ForTwo was a hit in Europe - where the streets can sometimes be too narrow for anything wider than a bicycle.
When it arrived stateside, few Americans were impressed with the shoddy build quality and clunky transmission. No self-respecting car thief would ever get near one.
4 Aston Martin Cygnet
Here's the thing; The Cygnet was actually a decent car when it was first launched. But, it was first launched as the Toyota/Scion iQ. Aston Martin basically restyled the Toyota, er, Scion in order to meet EU fleet emissions standards, but couldn't be bothered to turn it into a proper Aston. They did, however, slap a $47,000 price tag on it.
3 Saturn Ion
Saturn was a bold move by GM in the ’80s - small, plastic-bodied cars built semi-independently in order to compete with the Japanese brands. While they were never great cars, they were never as bad as the Ion - which rocked a subpar interior, poor overall quality, and a rough, harsh drivetrain. The Ion was one of the reasons Saturn disappeared in 2010.
2 Chevy Aveo
Chevrolet just couldn’t leave the Chevette without making a worthy, or rather equally bad successor. They seemingly spent 15 minutes towards the end of the Christmas party planning the tinny, weak, and boring Aveo. 3 of those minutes were dedicated to the design, which was sketched on a coffee-stained napkin. The production apparently started the following Monday - at least that's what the Aveo looks and feels like.
1 Pontiac Aztek
The Aztek is ranked as one of the worst cars ever in pretty much every publication out there. The styling was, to put it diplomatically, quirky. Drive one and you'll quickly realize the exterior design is actually its best feature. It's the only car on this list that's so bad it actually drove an 84-year-old car company into the grave.