20 Ford Cars From The 1990s That Were Really Bad

The Ford Motor Company is one of the most well-known entities in the automotive world.

The Ford Motor Company is one of the most well-known entities in the automotive world—and with good reason. Henry Ford, the founder, was instrumental in creating the automotive industry that we have today. Long before the consumer car was affordable and mass produced, Henry Ford was dreaming of a way to make the world mobile. The Ford Motor Company has been one of the trendsetting companies in the automotive industry for many years, and with each innovation, they continue to release innovative cars and trucks such as the Ford Bronco and the Ford GT 40, just to name a few.

The Ford Motor Company is also the only major US automaker that didn't accept a bailout from our government and returned to profitability. In contrast to the company's successes, though, Ford has also made quite a few blunders in the automotive world; most notable was the Ford Pinto and vehicles of that nature. Even with all of this, the Ford Motor Company, with a range of well-known brands that continue to build loyalty with every generation, continues to be one of the most popular car companies in the world. Chances are if you've seen a Ford Bronco, a Mustang, or even a Galaxie, you've thought of the Ford Motor Company. Although the automotive industry continues to change, the Ford Motor Company has stayed steady on a track of innovation and interesting products that continue to push the boundaries of design and functionality in the automotive industry.

20 Ford Aspire

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The Ford Aspire is the child of a partnership between Kia Motors of the US and Ford, and the car was quite a poorly designed vehicle lacking even the most basic comforts and convenience. The odd color combinations made the car look like a little jelly bean, and the lack of craftsmanship really made the car feel cheap, especially when compared to the solidly built Geo Metro. The Ford Aspire was also vastly underpowered for a car of its size, and ultimately, the car only survived for three product years. (Motor Trend)

19 Ford Explorer Second Generation

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The second-generation Ford Explorer was rushed to production as the SUV boom was hot in the nineties, and unfortunately, this midsize SUV was known for lawsuits and quality issues that follow it to this day. The weakened roof in the design of the vehicle was unprotected during the slew of rollover incidents that ensued during the late nineties, when many owners of this vehicle were dying or becoming permanently injured. The second-generation Ford Explorer wasn't the best-designed SUV, and Ford probably could've put more thought into it. (Motor Trend)

18 Ford Bronco II

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Originally, the Ford Bronco was known as a very strong off-road vehicle with a cool removable roof and a pretty unique design that made it a very versatile SUV. Unfortunately, the Ford Bronco II was anything but refined. Basically a short wheelbase Ford Ranger, the Bronco II was underpowered and generally cheap feeling, especially when it was compared to the full-size Bronco, which was known for an above-average performance off-road and a much more comfortable interior. The Ford Bronco II was probably one of the least-notable SUVs to roll off of the assembly line. (Motor Trend)

17 Ford Escort Station Wagon

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The Ford Escort Station Wagon was another oddly designed little car by Ford, and although the Escort itself wasn’t a bad car, the station wagon just seemed to be an unpractical vehicle that was underpowered and really didn't offer any improved amount of cargo space over the run-of-the-mill sedan. The Ford Escort Station Wagon also had a basically unaltered design for an almost ten-year run, which caused the car to become very aged. Ford eventually replaced the Ford Escort Station Wagon with the Ford Focus Wagon, which was a much more well-rounded vehicle. (Motor Trend)

16 1992 Ford Aerostar Station Wagon AWD

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The 1992 Ford Aerostar Station Wagon AWD was a big and bulky van that never really managed to compete with the lightweight minivans that were coming out of Chrysler Corporation at the time.

The problem with the 1992 Ford Aerostar Station Wagon AWD was that the wheelbase was incredibly short while the van was tall, which gave it an awkward driving position.

Coupled with the useless AWD system, the van was notorious for electrical problems and a failure of the AWD system in an otherwise dated design. (Cargurus.com)

15 Ford Escort ZX2

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Another car that never really knew its purpose was the Ford Escort ZX2, an even more compact version of the Escort that Ford hoped would attract a younger crowd of buyers.

The first issue with the Ford Escort ZX2 was the awkward design coupled with a weak four-cylinder engine.

Truly, there was nothing sporty about the “ZX2,” and this car remains one of the most poorly designed Fords of the nineties, with no real market or purpose to make the Ford Escort ZX2 a relevant offering. (Motor Trend)

14 Ford Expedition

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As the 1990s rolled around, the Ford Expedition was released to give Ford an SUV to compete against the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. Unfortunately, the Expedition was rushed into production, and the design was lackluster at best. The Ford Expedition had an unrefined interior that looked like it could've been pulled out of your local plumber's F150, and this was just one of the many SUV's downfalls. The Ford Expedition, over time, did improve, but this was the SUV that Ford chose to replace the Bronco with. (Cargurus.com)

13 Ford Mustang V6

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The Ford Mustang V6 that was released during the nineties would've been a great car had it not been for a cheap substandard design and a lightweight V6 engine that really made the car feel cheap and insignificant. The Ford Mustang V6 of the nineties paled in comparison with the fourth-generation Camaro of the time, and although the car looked the part of a Mustang, the finished product was a mere cheap example that lacked much of the quality that previous Mustang generations featured. (Motor Trend)

12 Ford Contour

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The Ford Contour of the nineties was another vehicle in the Ford lineup that really didn’t know its purpose, as it was slotted between the Taurus and the Escort models. The Ford Contour was a car that actually originated overseas, and the final product was rather small for its price and features, and this negatively affected the sales tremendously. The Ford Contour never really managed to find a solid footing in the US sedan market because of its awkward design and small size compared to other full-size sedans. (Cargurus)

11 Ford Contour SVT

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The Ford Contour SVT is another model that Ford released during the nineties to try and generate some interest in the lightweight little sedan, and the design was very sporty, although it lacked many of the features of a larger sports sedan.

Unfortunately, the underpowered design lacked the function and credibility of much larger sedans.

Many consumers didn’t see the purpose of buying a car that was just about the same size as the Ford Escort, which retailed for much less money and had most of the same features. (Motor Trend)

10 1998 Ford Ranger

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The 1998 Ford Ranger was a redesign on a truck that hadn’t been redesigned since 1992, and with this mid-cycle refresh, Ford failed to really improve on the small truck. The 1998 Ford Ranger lacked the functional interior of many other compact trucks, and although the truck was a massive sales success for the Ford Motor Company, the truck could've been an overall better product in the long run. The 1998 Ford Ranger was simply a lackluster product that could've been redesigned much better. (Cargurus.com)

9 Ford Probe

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The Ford Probe, which was distinctly known for its odd name, was a compact car that was said to be the replacement for the Ford Mustang. Although this never happened, the Ford Probe was a product that could've been better designed in every way. During the nineties, Ford had a lot of products that they didn’t know how to market, such as the Contour and the Probe, and both products never managed to establish a solid footing on the market. (Cargurus.com)

8 1998 Ford E350 Van

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The 1998 Ford E350 Van is a large van that was designed to compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Express van, and unfortunately, this van was unrefined and quite prone to dangerous rollover incidents. Nowadays, there are many much lighter-weight delivery and transport vehicles, but during the nineties, Ford and Chevrolet were fighting to control the commercial market, and the 1998 Ford E350 Van was rushed to production with a substandard design that caused many accidents because of the van's high stature and boxy design. (Motor Trend)

7 Ford Thunderbird V6

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The Ford Thunderbird V6 didn’t make it to the end of the nineties, and that's because the car just had no place in the modern world anymore.

The big bulky sedan had no reason to have a V6 engine, which was remarkably underpowered for such a large car.

The Ford Thunderbird V6 lacked a modern design, and the V8 option was a much better power plant for the aged car, which unfortunately didn’t make it into the new millennium until 2003, when it was redesigned as a convertible model. (Motor Trend)

6 Ford Tempo

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Where do we even start on the oddball little Ford Tempo? This poorly designed little car was lambasted for a lack of quality and reliability that made the car a nightmare to own and operate. The Ford Tempo was also sold as the Mercury Topaz, which was also a lightweight bucket on wheels, and both cars, although selling very well, were never really reliable vehicles by any stretch of the imagination. The Ford Tempo will stand in history as one of the poorly designed Fords of the nineties, for sure. (Cargurus)

5 Ford Windstar First Generation

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The Ford Windstar First Generation was designed at a time when Chrysler Corporation dominated the minivan market with its trio of minivans. Every automaker wanted a slice of this pie, and GM was coming out with guns blazing by releasing the Chevrolet Venture and the Pontiac Transport. The first-generation Ford Windstar was a very cheaply built van, and it was rampant with electrical failures that made the van a pain to work on. The vehicle was also never a sales hit like the Caravan was. (Motor Trend)

4 Ford Taurus Wagon

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The Ford Taurus of the nineties was an odd design that took the auto world by storm but negatively affected the car's sales tremendously. The Ford Taurus Wagon was an addition of the model that tried to combine the versatility of a wagon with the Taurus namesake but ultimately just created a weird-looking car that looked even worse as a wagon. This soccer-mom mobile on wheels never really caught on with the buying public, and in the long run, there were much better station wagons on the market.

3 Ford Bronco 2WD

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The big and bad Ford Bronco is known as one of the best off-road SUVs in the world and one of the most popular, thanks to the infamous slow-speed OJ Simpson police chase through the highways of Los Angeles. The Ford Bronco 2WD, on the other hand, was a stupid package that had no real market in the Ford Bronco lineup, and although these models are rare, they're around and have all of the features of a 4WD model except for the actual 4WD functionality. (Cargurus.com)

2 1998 Ford F250

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The 1998 Ford F250 only ran in production for one year, and the truck was basically an F150 with a pair of heavy-duty axles and a much higher price tag.

This was the truck that the world saw before the Ford Super Duty series of trucks, and the truck was an awful excuse for a heavy-duty pickup truck.

The 1998 Ford F250 didn’t have any of the features of the other super-duty models that were on the market and being released by other automakers. (Motor Trend)

1 Ford Taurus SHO V8

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The Ford Taurus SHO V8 was a car that was well thought out as a way to give a true performance option to the SHO line. Unfortunately, the SHO of the late nineties featured a V8 engine that was notable for engine failure, and there was, in fact, a recall on this engine. The Yamaha-derived engine, although a good performer, suffered from valve failure, and the Ford Taurus SHO was never really a sales success like the earlier SHO models were. This was due to a lackluster design. (Cargurus.com)

Source: Motor Trend, Cargurus.com

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