Terrible Ten: The Worst Cars Ever Sold in the UK
Auto Express magazine has polled its readers to find the ten worst cars ever foisted on to long-suffering British drivers.
There are some surprises and some obvious choices, but don’t worry if you happen to own one of these cars. Most of the early ones have been scrapped, and their increasing rarity can actually push up values. The later models are sure to go the same way, so they could almost be thought of as an investment. Almost. Anyway, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Here, in reverse order, are the ten most awful cars to have been sold in the UK.
Only tenth? Surely this is one of the surprises on the list. Just how bad are the other nine cars on the list? The Austin Allegro represents, for many, the low-water mark for the British car industry. Talking of water, it was said that you got a free pair of wellies with each new Allegro, such was the car’s inability to remain waterproof. It was famously more aerodynamic in reverse and handled even worse than it looked.
This was a car that looked as if it had been drawn by infants rather than designed. The engineering was similarly basic, and it handled more like a tractor than anything else. Build quality wasn’t even on the options list, but it was very cheap and sold well.
Oh, dear. British Leyland is back with the much-maligned Marina. The car has become the butt of many jokes, especially on Top Gear. The trouble is that the criticism is entirely justified. This was an awful car, years late to market and out of date before it was even launched. It wasn’t even particularly cheap — but it was, of course, built to the lowest standards possible.
The Suzuki X-90 proves that a car can be built well and still be dreadful. The way to achieve this is to design a car for a market that doesn’t exist. A two-seat mini-SUV convertible? If that is not mad enough, just make sure that it can’t go off-road and handles like a pig when on-road. The X-90 easily achieves this.
The Mirage might be another surprise on the list, but a closer look explains why. It’s not particularly cheap to buy, but it definitely feels cheap to drive. It is also one of the most boring cars to look at. Job done, Mitsubishi.
British Leyland’s successor, Rover, had a great idea to combat the poor build quality of its British-built cars, and that was to not bother building them at all and instead import cars from India. The trouble was that their build quality was pretty bad as well, and the opposition was so much better that the City Rover was simply out of its depth.
Fiat was expert at flogging off its old car designs and plant to the Soviet Bloc and the Polonez was another example of the policy. It was just as bad as all the Ladas and Yugos but added garish colours and bodykits to the ghastly car cocktail.
Chrysler PT Cruiser Cabriolet
The standard PT Cruiser was a retro car that managed to look ugly, perform badly and give no fun at all. In attempting to kill it by chopping off its head, Chrysler simply created the Cabriolet version. This managed to look even uglier and perform more terribly, resulting in a well-earned third place on the list.
This tiny electric car is barely even a car at all. In fact, legally it is a quadricycle, which means that it doesn’t have to pass any of those pesky crash tests. It’s also slow and incredibly uncomfortable. Just don’t crash in one of these.
Never heard of it? Then you are very lucky. Don’t Google it, especially if you have a delicate stomach. This car is big and spacious and also so ugly that its looks alone are enough to propel the Rodius to the top of the list.