Top 10 Worst Cars of the Past 20 Years

There have been some really poorly manufactured cars in this world.  In the 70s, there was the Gremlin and the Chevette, and in the 80s there was Chrysler Shadow and the Ford Mustang.  But in 90’s and 00’s, there should be no excuse for poor car design.  Below you will find the top 10 worst cars in the past 20 years:

10.    2003 Dodge Intrepid      The Dodge Intrepid had the worst built engines in the early 2003 and below models.  Most of the Dodge Intrepids came with the notorious 2.7 engine. These engines broke down all the time and still come in to this day needing engines.  Banks actually stopped loaning money on these cars.  Besides the engines, everything from engine computers, wiring, transmissions to convertible tops are always in need of repair on a Dodge Intrepid.  Bad car, simply put.

9.    2003 Ford Contour        The Ford Contour was built as an inexpensive model back in the day.  These Fords look bad and break frequently.  There are so many problems with these cars that there are not too many of them left on the road.  Engine and transmission problems frequently plagued these models for years and the customers just get tired of repairing them.  Most Ford Contours that come into the auto repair shop just need everything from oil leaks and motor mounts to electrical wiring nightmares.  These cars were never right and I am sure Ford is taking a long look at this lesson.

8.   1995 Ford Taurus      The Taurus received its first cosmetic update in 1992. The second generation dropped the manual transmission and the four-cylinder engine, resulting in all second generation vehicles  with automatic transmissions and V6 engines.  I have nothing terrible to say about the Ford Taurus, I just think its an ugly car.  Oh and it broke down a lot too.  And its unreliable and had a low fuel economy.  Ok, I have a ton to say.

7.    2001 Cadillac Catera    The person responsible for the creating Catera should have been exiled.  This seemingly luxurious car is one of the worst designs ever.  Upgrades and deep discounts in 2001 couldn’t save the Catera; it went to the duck blind in the sky in 2002.

6.    1995 Mercury Cougar    The Mecury cougar certainly deserves Americas worst vehicle accolades.  Due its to slowing sales and the imminent cancellation of the MN12 program, Ford began cost-cutting measures and discontinued many convenience items in some of their vehicles, including the elimination of the courtesy lamps, underhood light and glove box light in their Mercury Cougar.  Ford ultimately decided to discontinue its trio of personal luxury cars: the Mark VIII, the Cougar, and the Thunderbird to concentrate on production of high-profit SUVs.  Good choice, Ford.  Good choice.

5.    2001 Pontiac Aztek.      This car could not have been more instantly hated than any other SUV of its kind.  In later interviews with GM designers, it emerged that the Aztek design had been cost-shaved and compromised, and as a result, was a car that is an absolute eye sore.  With its multiple eyes and supernumerary nostrils, the Aztek appears scary and deformed, something that dogs bark at and scares children that cross the street.  Surely no one I know purchased this ride, right?

4    1998 Toyota Tercel     The Tercel is a subcompact manufactured from 1978 to 2000 across five generations, in five body configurations — sized between the Corolla and the Starlet.  Manufactured at the Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, Japan, and sharing its platform with the Paseo and the Starlet, the Tercel was marketed variously as the Corolla II.  I’m certain the crash test rating on this vehicle was the absolute worst.  Certainly a mistake waiting to happen at that years annual auto shows.

3.    1991 Ford Tempo     The design and life of the Tempo began in the late 1970s as Ford was gearing to build towards a more ergonomic, more efficient, and more aerodynamic design philosophy.  I’m not kidding, this is what they thought they designed.  The new design philosophy rested in part due to aging vehicle platforms, and two oil embargoes which led to a rise in more fuel-efficient import vehicle sales.  The Tempo would be based on a stretched version of the front-wheel-drive Ford CE14 platform used on the Ford Escort, but with a radically worse body.  This monstrosity is probably the slowest, most unsafe vehicles on the road by far.

2.    1991 Pontiac Bonneville   For 1987, Pontiac introduced a radically different Bonneville.  Instead of using traditional rear-wheel-drive, the new Bonneville used a more economical front-wheel-drive platform.  It joined the two-year-old H Body platform with the Buick LeSabre and Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight (in other words, horrible idea).  This beast of a vehicle is among the most hideous of all times, and that is an understatement.  Why Pontiac creators would even design such an ugly being is truly beyond all comprehension.

1.    1992 Geo Metro     The Geo Metro takes the cake as the worst car made.  It was a small economy car that was based on the Suzuki Swift (Cultus).  The first generation was offered in three and five-door hatchback models as well as a 4-door notchback sedan that was only sold in Canada.  Surprisingly, a convertible was actually available in 1990, but this idiotic idea phased out after 1993.  The Metros engine achieved a startling 70 horsepower along with a four-cylinder engine.  There are scooters with more power than this awful ride.  Not only is it slow and unpowerful, but it is tiny; this car would get destroyed in any car accident.  I am certain that whoever drove this car would under no circumstances willingly admit to it, which is why it hails as king of bad automotives.

-Deshawn (@ShonJay714)

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  • Top 5 Worst Cars With the Top Chopped Off

    • Jack Yan
      July 13, 2014

      A shame the Contour is poorly thought of Stateside. As the Mondeo, it’s a hit in most other parts of the world. But then, I’ve driven both, and I have to say the European ones are better built.

      A small note: the Tempo was not on the CE14 platform. This is one of those fictions that Wikipedia propagates (so it is not your fault it’s on here). CE14 was the 1990 Ford Escort in Europe (C segment, E for Europe). When the Tempo was developed, Ford was not using alphanumeric development codes, and even if it did, it would have started with CDN (CD segment, North America). The 1980 Ford Escort was codenamed Erika.

    • El Kappio
      January 20, 2015

      But the metro was all about the mileage! to this day the 3 cyl. is still a legend in fuel economy.

    • Bill
      April 19, 2016

      Worst Transmission of all time, the Ford Focus/Fiesta DCT 2011 THRU 2015! Big class action lawsuit against these! You’ll feel the thrills of shuttering, bucking and stalling with this tranny! You can get a Std 6 – speed on the Focus 1.0 turbo, but it’s underpowered! They should have used the 1.5ltr!

    • Samuel Bethune
      June 19, 2016

      Your comments on the Dodge Intrepid are off the mark. You cited early 2003 and earlier models as having engine issues when in fact tge 1983 to 1997 Intrepids came with either a 3.3 or 3.5 liter V6, both of which were very good and dependable engines. It was when Chrysler decided to go on the cheap and put the 2.7 liter engine in tgr 1998 and newer models that things went downhill.


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