While there’s some subjectivity to what constitutes a good or bad car, every once in a while a vehicle comes around that is so bad pretty much everyone can agree that it stinks. These cars are a special breed, being the kind of thing that’s the subject of countless nightmares for designers and engineers, who wake up in a cold sweat as they realize that they didn’t contribute to such an atrocity on wheels.
The following seven cars are the worst of the worst, things that never should have rolled off assembly lines and been unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Brace yourself and keep a trash can nearby, because you might find yourself overcome with the urge to puke multiple times.
7. Cadillac Cimarron
BMW, Mercedes and Audi were eating Cadillac alive back in the early 1980s, and GM’s solution was the Cimarron. The vehicle was a complete joke, thanks to its being essentially a badge-engineered Chevrolet Cavalier complete with a front-wheel-drive configuration. Nothing about the car said luxury, but instead it screamed cheap and out of touch with modern car shoppers. This misstep trashed Cadillac’s previously stellar reputation, almost sinking the iconic luxury brand in the process.
6. Plymouth Prowler
What consumers were promised was a retro vehicle that was powerful and fun, before going retro in the automotive industry was all the rage. The car looked fast, even when standing still, thanks to its dry-lake speedster layout and open front wheels. What consumers got was an emasculated version of the car, complete with the underwhelming 3.5-liter V-6 engine stuffed under the long, pointy hood.
Apparently, engineers couldn’t figure out how to fit a V-8 in the vehicle, dooming it from the get-go. Poor foresight also resulted in an ugly plastic front bumper that ruined much of the Prowler’s aesthetic appeal. Initially, Plymouth dealerships couldn’t keep up with the sky-high demand for the car. Once everyone figured out what a dud it was, the tables were turned and Plymouth was left holding something almost nobody wanted, like an exclusive interview with any of the Kardashians.
5. Reliant Robin
While some think that the number of wheels on the Robin is why the machine is appearing on this list, that’s actually not the case. There have been other three-wheeled cars in automotive history, and some of them are great vehicles.
Engineers made a big mistake when it came to the layout of the wheels, with only one in front and two in the rear. Making a turn at speeds over 25 mph was tricky, because the car wanted to tip like a college student on a Friday night. As you can imagine, this wasn’t a favorite characteristic for owners. Today, a very strange and confused cult following enjoy driving the Reliant Robin.