25 Poorly Designed Cars

Posted by , Updated on March 24, 2024

It’s easy to appreciate a great looking car. By contrast, a poorly designed car is like an enigma of a wasted space, energy, and time. It’s even worse when you see these objects of dissatisfaction rolling down a highway, imposing their atrociousness upon the sight of society! Beware of these 25 Poorly Designed Cars.

2004 Chevy SSR


A retractable convertible pickup truck that looks like something straight out of a Transformers nightmare, this Chevy is not screaming “like a rock.” The poor bubbly looking vehicle suffers from the worst identity crisis possible; is it a car or a truck? You just don’t know. As if Chevy really needed more bad publicity. 


1958 Zundapp Janus

Zundapp Januswww.flickriver.com

Obviously, the designer of this car was on some sort of substance. Who in their right mind places doors where the windshield should be? I’m thinking this car was meant to be a punishment for some misbehaved rich kid. “Sorry, Bianca, you’re not getting the new Mercedes; you have to drive this monstrosity…bwahahahaha!”


2001 Pontiac Aztek

yellow pontiac aztekwww.edmunds.com

Identity crisis #2, is it a minivan, SUV, or a tent? The world may never know. According to carcomplaints.com, this vehicle received 386 complaints that included 18 engine problem complaints, 11 interior accessory problems, and 6 electrical problems.


1974 Volkswagen Thing

Volkswagen Thingwww.sunsetclassics.com

The only right thing about this car is its name because calling it a car is a real stretch of the word. Maybe a name like matchbox on wheels would do. On second thought, “Thing” suits it just fine. In all fairness, it could be a very useful golf cart. The company also stopped manufacturing the vehicle after it failed to sell in Mexico, England, and the United States.


2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

2001 PT Cruiserwww.girlcarguycar.com

It’s obvious that the designer of this car was going for a retro look. However, the funky, clashing proportions of the rear and front of the PT cruiser look more like a retro experiment gone wrong…very wrong. Unless you’re a beach bum who constantly posts #surferlife, you may want to find another vehicle.


1957 Trabant


The 1957 Trabant is a car designed for a future world where everyone is no more than 5 feet tall. Not really, but the car looks like it. There is nothing about this car that is remotely appealing. Its grill even looks sad! I’m also fairly certain its the car choice for serial killers. The vehicle was also known to be loud, slow, poorly designed, badly built, inhospitable to drive, uncomfortable, confusing, and inconvenient.


1950 Nash Airflyte

Nash Airflyteauto.howstuffworks.com

The 1950 Nash Airflyte is a failed attempt at an aerodynamic-looking car. It’s almost like the designer made a caricature of a real car and decided to create a car from that image. I can’t help but wonder if the person who gave the go ahead was drunk or being blackmailed.


1982 Aston Martin Lagonda


With a disproportionately long nose, the Lagonda is an affront to modernism. If Pinocchio had a car, this would probably be it. Many talked about the car’s unreliability as well as numerous accidents that were caused by it. It’s safe to say that this car is one of the worst cars of all time. I don’t think this is the Aston Martin made popular in numerous rap songs.


1956 Tatra 603


The Tatra 603 looks like it belongs in the sea. Maybe it’s inspired by some sort of freaky deep sea manta ray or maybe even a sucker fish. Whatever sea creature it may resemble, one thing is for sure, it failed at resembling an attractive car. It’s no wonder vehicles from Tatra made the list twice for the most poorly designed cars….talk about bad luck!


1949 Crosley Hotshot

Crosley Hotshotwww.vaultcars.com

The 1949 Crosley Hotshot was conceived by Powel Crosley Jr, who was into making radios and kitchen appliances. This may explain why the hotshot looks more like a cross between an old toaster oven and a tube radio. Most Crosley vehicles were 61 cubic inches and weighed in between 500 to 640 kilograms in body weight. 


1998 Fiat Multipla

Fiat Multiplameuproximocarro.blogspot.com

This Fiat looks more like a cute alien life form than an actual vehicle. It’s almost laughable except for the fact that people have actually purchased this thing. Purchasers of the car said that while they were excited about the car’s convenience, they just couldn’t take the laughing and sneering from onlookers.


1948 Citroen 2CV


The 1948 Citroen 2CV looks like a cheap sandwich-slapped Volkswagen beetle but a heck of a lot uglier. As far performance goes, according to Wikipedia, it was joked that this car could go from 0 to 60 in one month! For some reason, the design reminds me of the Ferrari from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; this car, however, would probably look better crashing through a four story window.  


1970 Triumph Stag

Triumph Stagautocognito.com

The frustrating aspect about the Triumph Stag is that it was so close to being a really nice car. However, the engineer decided to ruin an otherwise fantastic looking car with a roll bar in between chrome framed windows. (What were you thinking?!?) It’s no wonder the marketing of this car only lasted 8 years. 


1975 AMC Pacer

AMC Pacerallcarcentral.com

The Pacer is a great example on how to cram all sorts of conflicting design ideas into one hideous product. No wonder it was one of the worst selling cars, even though some consider it an icon of the 70’s. 


1930 Phantom Corsair

flying wombat carsuptg.thisisnotatrueending.com

When the car you’ve designed is nicknamed the “flying wombat,” that cannot be a good thing. This vehicle never even made it to the sales floor. The designer, Rust Heinz, planned to put the car into limited production with an estimated price of $12,500. However, when he died in an auto wreck, the plan fell through, and the prototype was the only thing built.


2013 Nissan Cube

Nissan Cubecommons.wikimedia.org

The Nissan Cube looks like a blow bubble sculpture on wheels. It’s so frustratingly close to cute…but not quite cute enough to overlook its sheer bizarreness. Ironically, this vehicle did receive a 9.2 out a 10 in the blue book. Perhaps the Pink Ladies of Grease were the reviewers.


1958 Lincoln Continental


Exaggeratedly long, the 1958 Lincoln Continental resembled a boat more than it resembled a car. Add to this exaggeration an over-styled massive front bumper, slanted and stacked headlights, and an overhanging roof, and you have yourself a design failure. Yet to be fair, Lincoln has come a far way in the design market; the 2018 Lincoln Continental is quite snazzy.


1980 Ford Pinto

Ford Pintowww.cookieboystoys.com

The pinto is a hatchback that wants to be a full car…but isn’t. The front end is way too big and fails to portray a compact car look which adds disproportion to the overall design of the car. It also was the subject of controversy when many of its fuel tanks would catch fire. 


1975 Alfa Romeo Alfetta


An executive saloon car produced by the Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo, the fastback coupe 1975 Alfetta was just one of the 400,000 units sold from 1972 to 1987. However, it received some flak not only for its garish look but for failing the smoke emission tests.


2000 Hyundai Tiburon

Hyundai Tiburonwww.fitfreak.net

The name “Tiburon” is translated to mean “shark.” If only this car was as cool looking as a shark! Unfortunately for the car, it looks more like a manatee. In 2011, this poorly designed car was replaced with the Hyundai Veloster.


1911 Overland


Where to even begin with this car? Apparently, the designer had an over-obsession with wheels when he should have been obsessed with something that looked remotely normal.


1930 Tatra

Tatra 1930www.conceptcarz.com

It’s hard to believe that the 1930 Tatra was once considered a luxury item. It goes to show how taste has changed over the years (thank goodness). The Tatra company also designed many army vehicles during WW2 for the Germans. 


1996 Acura SLX


Some car designs are over-designed to the point of being absolutely ridiculous. Others are under-designed to the point of being absurd. The 1996 Acura SLX was meant to be an SUV. Apparently, someone forgot to mention this detail to the designer. A bland and boring SUV is really not an SUV. However, it did receive a 7.3 out of 10 in the Kelly Blue Book, and according to Edmunds.com (a used car review sight), it has gotten many good reviews, making it not the worst selling car ever. So if you’re looking for a car that gets you from A to B, then this car will definitely fulfill that requirement. Perhaps it may not be Instagram-post worthy, though.


1958 Packard Hawk


The Hawk (what is it with all these animal names) looked more like a failed attempt at combining two car designs into one than a design based off of an awesome rasping bird; an absolutely HUGE design failure. Ironically, this vehicle style is more appreciated today then when it first came out, but hey, vintage is the rave nowadays.


1947 Davis D-2 Divan

1947 Davis D-2 Divanwww.cartype.com

By far the ugliest car ever, with a front end that resembles an exaggeratedly large cartooned nose, it takes the spot at #1. There is just not much you can do to make this design any more abrasive. One possible reason for it being considered one of the most poorly designed cars is the fact it only had three wheels.

Photo: Featured Image - User:Jaydec, Davis Divan, NATMUS, May 2011, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 1. User:Jaydec, Davis Divan, NATMUS, May 2011, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 2. User:Morven, Packard Hawk rear, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 3. By IFCAR - Own work, Public Domain, Link, 4. By Buch-t - Own work, GFDL, Link, 5. dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada, 1911 Willys Overland Touring (2528727097), CC BY-SA 2.0 , 6. IFCAR, 2000-2001 Hyundai Tiburon, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons , 7. sv1ambo, 1975 Alfa Romeo Alfetta sedan (6108408006), CC BY 2.0 , 8. Bull-Doser, '80 Ford Pinto Hatchback (Orange Julep), marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons , 9. Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA, 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III (29486644090), CC BY 2.0 , 10. M 93, Nissan Cube (Z12) – Heckansicht, 25. August 2013, Düsseldorf, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE , 11. wikimedia commons (Public Domain), 12. Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA, 1975 AMC Pacer D-L (34781300930), CC BY 2.0 , 13. Detectandpreserve, Triumph Stag 1970-1970 frontright 2009-04-18 U, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 14. Diego Dacal, Citroen 2CV, CC BY-SA 2.0 , 15. PLawrence99cx, Fiat Multipla 1998, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 16. Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA, 1949 Crosley Hotshot (6046333550), CC BY 2.0 , 17. Tobias Nordhausen from Sondershausen, Deutschland, Tatra 603 (9029716631), CC BY 2.0 , 18. By Alf van Beem - Own work, Public Domain, Link, 19. Steve Brown from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1950 Nash Airflyte (5607911319), CC BY 2.0 , 20. By Tobias Nordhausen from Sondershausen, Deutschland - Trabant 1.1, CC BY 2.0, Link, 21. Jeremy from Sydney, Australia, 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser (PT) Classic Edition hatchback (17928246401), CC BY 2.0 , 22. Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA, 1974 Volkswagen Thing (36471572374), Cut out some of the back ground by n/a, CC BY 2.0 , 23. Bull-Doser, '01 Pontiac Aztek, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons , 24. By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link, 25. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chevrolet_SSR_yellow.jpg (Public Domain)