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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So what is the worst car you have ever driven and I'm not talking beaters I'm talking a car that was just aweful out of the box?
(I assume this has come up before but sorry if you feel I should have revived an ancient thread)

I got my license in 98 so I missed most of the terrible 80-90s cars.

For me it's a tough call between
Dodge Caliber (rental, all around under achiever lousy at everything)
Chevy HHR (my dads, the high heritage roofline, is cute on the outside but GM completely stopped trying there)
 

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Nissan Cube

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I Drink & I Know Things
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2005 GMC Envoy. My wife (at the time, girlfriend) had a brand new one. Absolute worst seats I ever experienced (back aches after 20 minutes), rattles, squeaks, loose trim (in and out), infinite body roll, noisy (drivetrain whine, clunky trans), tail lights burned out frequently, seal around license plate area melted in the sun and dripped down the paint...just SO BAD.
 

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Toss up. Worst ive owned and have ever driven was a VW Jetta. There are some other VWs that I've driven that were equally as bad. Anything past the mk2 should be sold for scrap and used to make something good.

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2015 Rental-spec Malibu a few months back.

1) Made my 2013 WRX's interior feel posh in comparison
2) The worst interior of any new car I have ever driven.. ever
3) Did I mention the interior is bad?
4) The ride felt like all the stuts were pre-blown from the factory
5) Absurdly over-sensitive electric steering (actually made me and the lady friend both car sick!!)
6) The EPA estimates must have been made up. I drove the car through two tanks of gas (1 city and 1 highway) and never came remotely close to the promised numbers (Car had 3k on it, so lack of maintenance is non-issue....for now)
7) I am convinced the steering wheel was made out of some new concrete/rubber hybrid. Incredibly uncomfortable, I felt like I was getting calluses by the end of my prison sentence err.. rental agreement

And I thought early 90's GM was bad..... I think post bailout GM is worse.... there are some bright spots here and there. But overall I think it's worse.
 

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Water.....sometimes waves
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GMC Savana van. one prob after another. some little, some big. (rear door leaked water in rain, driver door seal leaks air and is noisy, fuel pump died at 80K, under-powered for size of van, rear end whine from gear wear at 60K, interior lights intermittent, fuel tank fill line butted up against fuel pump inside tank causing gas pumps to constantly shut off, misfiring now still trying to figure this one out)
 

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It might take a big of a definition of what you mean by bad.

If getting stranded in the county seat of a dry county on your honeymoon is bad (toasted wiring harness), then the 1981 TR8 Roadster might be considered bad.
The 1978 Mercury Bobcat and its tendency to explode on contact might be considered a bad car (1st wife had one at start of marriage). We had both of these at the same time.
 

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Early 2000's Chevy Astro van. We have one where I work. Pitiful. An altogether miserable driving experience.

We had two. An intake manifold gasket issue was not worth fixing. Think it had less than 80k miles.
 

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I've driven a lot of cars, but I'd have to say that my 2007 Acura TL that I'm driving atm is probably the worst. I'm not saying this because it's unreliable, in fact it's bulletproof. It's the worst because it is just so dreadfully boring. It's also more expensive to maintain than a 2005 BMW 3 series (one of the best cars I've ever owned). It's also very hard to sell, and has terrible visibility for the design.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...The 1978 Mercury Bobcat and its tendency to explode on contact might be considered a bad car (1st wife had one at start of marriage). We had both of these at the same time.
oh come on only a handful of pintos actually exploded in the wild. It was more bad publicity than being less safe then its contemporaries. That doesn't make it any good though either.
I know my dad would vote for the mustang II (also on the pinto platform.) Maybe cars like that are why he doesn't think his HHR is good. His bar is just set lower
 

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So tally these up - 8 brands mentioned, GM 7 votes, Nissan 2, all others 1 each. No surprise here eh..........
 

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1993 Jeep Wrangler. It was a love-hate relationship. In the Summer I loved driving with the top down . . . but that was about the only time. It was hands-down the worse car for me in terms of comfort, my driving needs and just plain ol' reliability.


-- Due to short wheelbase any small bump you would hit in the road would result in the whole vehicle being jarred . . . and on one frost heave I was jarred so bad I swear to God I thought it was going to toss me into the side of the road. My then girlfriend, now wife, hated riding in the Jeep since it rode like a stagecoach . . . with a broken wheel.

-- Speaking of my wife . . . she also hated riding in it during the winter . . . since the heater was barely adequate unless it was on the highest setting. While vehicles are not known for their high insulation value, the Jeep's hard top had none . . . and even in the Summer (when I typically switched over to a bikini top) my wife would freeze (typically in the evening.)

-- It had no power, albeit it was the 4-cylinder base model. Thankfully this was in the days before I was towing sleds and ATVs around . . . since this Jeep could barely get out of its own way. I was always having to downshift and typically the gas pedal was mashed to the floor . . . and folks would still be passing me.

-- One might think that if the vehicle was small and the engine was under-powered, one might at least get good gas mileage . . . nope. I cannot remember the exact mpg . . . but I remember it did use a fair amount of fuel.

-- One would think "trail-rated" would mean it would be fantastic in the snow. Yes and no. Due to the short wheelbase, if you started to fishtail and you were only in 2WD you would be spun around 7 times out of 10. If you kept it in 4WD it would be OK . . . and by OK I mean it would handle about as well as a FWD car.

-- No storage with passengers in the back (and accessing the back required you to be a yogi practically) . . . well to be fair, there was room for maybe three or four grocery bags, but if you were planning to go camping . . . or well . . . pretty much anything requiring any gear . . . you would most likely have to tuck all of the stuff around you. And . . . in the Summer with the Jeep top off . . . you then had to worry about whether any of that stuff would blow out. Security? Not happening with the Jeep in the Summer . . . couldn't keep anything locked up.

-- As for reliability . . . I have never had a wiper motor die on me . . . nor have I ever heard of anyone have a wiper motor die on them . . . and yet mine did. I cannot remember when it happened, but I remember it was out of warranty and so (without a garage) a friend and I ended up swapping out the motor in middle of a snowstorm. Other issues included the motor dying when I went through a mud puddle (my friend in his Nissan Hardbody which went in before me had to tow me home), broken motor mounts, more cracked windshields than I care to remember (due to the position just about any errant rock would smack right into it and crack it vs. bouncing off with a small bullseye), water leaks. The kicker was a blown engine that occurred out of left field . . . driving to work one day in the summer when without any warning . . . Ka-boom . . . smoke and a streak of oil 25-30 feet behind me (and of course this was just over the 60,000 mile motor warranty.)

I replaced it with a Toyota 4Runner . . . which was still under-powered . . . but more reliable and more comfortable to ride in.
 

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So tally these up - 8 brands mentioned, GM 7 votes, Nissan 2, all others 1 each. No surprise here eh..........
One of my favorite cars was GM -- a 1981 Chevy Malibu . . . formerly used by the Maine State Police. It was a fun car . . . lighter than the Impala, but had a decent V-8 in it. It was also fun to drive since it was still the powder blue color used by the State Police so I would come up on a car and invariably they would slow right down.

That said . . . it has been a long time since I've driven any "domestic" makes/models other than the crappy GM and Ford hand-me-down Bangor PD cars that I drive for work. Toyotas, Honda, Nissans and Subarus.
 

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Saturn Vue. poor handling, cheap feeling interior, poor acceleration. poor design. poor visibility. Really, everything about it is just poor.
 
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