From today's perspective, it's hard to believe first-production cars didn't have any roof at all. The first car rooftops were produced at end of the 19th century. They were made from leather and folding textile. The Renault Type B was the first model that offered an enclosed body back in 1899. Because of their safety, enclosed body vehicles became an industry standard. However, convertibles started being popular again in the '50s. Today, they're more popular and more produced than ever before.
Driving a Convertible brings a special kind of feeling—a feeling of freedom that can compare only with riding a bike. Riding a Convertible instantly improves your mood. You don't need to go fast and drive wild. You can just slowly cruise and relax. All you need is good weather. Girls also like a man who drives a Convertible.
But not every Convertible is a good purchase. Some of them won't make you look cool. This list is about those kinds of Convertibles. Most of them aren't terrible cars; they're just goofy and uncool looking. And there are some with reliability issues and a big asking price. Still, the general reason for them not being liked by the public is their ugly and weird looks. People buy a convertible to enjoy and stand out from the crowd. Sadly, some car companies don't understand that.
20 Lexus SC 430
The luxury automaker introduced their first convertible car after a decade on the market. The SC 430 model had all the trademarks of a Lexus: luxurious with a rich and comfortable interior, genuine wood, and a fine leather upholstery. This is also one of the first car models to have a retractable-hardtop design. Under the hood is a 4.3-liter V8 engine. It produces 300 horsepower with a six-speed automatic-transmission gearbox to help you control it. The biggest problem of this Lexus is that it's so bland looking. Being boring is a huge problem for a convertible. There are other problems as well. You can feel cramped inside, and the rear seats are practically unusable. The handling and performance also could've been better, especially when the SC 420 is compared to other vehicles in its class.
19 Subaru WRX STI Convertible
Subaru's Impreza and WRX models have a fantastic racing pedigree. Since the moment Colin McRae drove the first one on the rally track, every racing fan wanted one. To try to convert its STI model into a convertible was a strange decision; however, Manchester Subaru made that decision. The vehicle's performance is still great, though. The engine is 2.5L with 300 bhp, and it can accelerate this car from 0 to 60 mph in around 5 seconds. Of course, it's a four-wheel drive. The problems start with the Subaru STI's handling. It handles and feels like a Golf Cabrio. Also, the roof cutting looks like it was done with a chainsaw. Seriously, though, metal bars that support the roof are still there. In addition, while the soft-top looks nice, you won't use it often. With its huge price, there are much better options for a good convertible.
18 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Nissan surprised many when they decided to make Murano's Cabriolet version. Murano doesn't look like a vehicle that should be converted to a Cabriolet. Nevertheless, this model became the world's first part-SUV, part-convertible. I guess the idea was that you could be comfortable driving this car anywhere, from the beach to the mountain. Owning a two-door SUV-convertible costs a lot of money, though. In fact, the Murano was Nissan's most expensive model after the GT-R. This sounds like a bad idea from the start, doesn't it? But is it at least good to drive? Unfortunately, NO! Visibility in it is low, and the quality of the engineering is bad. Its practicality is even worse. The trunk is big enough to fit only a wallet, and the back seats are suitable only for small children and pets. For these reasons, this vehicle's title as being one of the worst convertibles ever is well deserved.
17 Zimmer Golden Spirit
Neoclassic automobiles always look fantastic and spectacularly over the top. Paul Zimmer, the founder of Zimmer Company and creator of this car, clearly met the expectations. Zimmer's concept for this car was inspired by the Lincoln Town Car and the Excalibur that he owned and loved. The Golden Spirit version was actually made after Zimmer sold the company. It was made to resemble the original with even more pizzazz. This is precisely the problem. It was incredibly vast and wide. It was completely impractical, to say at least. There are smaller trucks you can drive, and it's a total nightmare to park. If anything, at least you feel like a king driving to a shopping mall in this luxury monster. The performance is as you can expect—incredibly slow, with a V8 engine, 112 bhp, and accelerating 0-60 mph in 16 seconds.
16 Geo Metro Convertible
The Geo Metro was a joint venture between General Motors and Suzuki. The idea behind the Geo Metro was to produce a cheap, affordable convertible. The Geo Metro is fuel efficient and not costly to maintain. However, its looks are too generic and bland. In addition, everything in the interior is made out of plastic. The Geo Metro also has a small 1.0L three-pot engine, producing only 55 horsepower. For some, especially women, it's perfect—a small convertible that can overcome many flaws on a pleasant day. However, most people find it to be too slow, cheap, and ugly. That's in contrast to the Mazda Miata, which was huge in the market in the 1990s. It offered everything the Geo Metro was offering—only, it was much better looking, with more power under the hood and better quality.
15 Chevy SSR
Would you buy a convertible pickup truck? I wouldn't buy it either. People from Chevrolet don't share our opinion, though. In the early 2000s, they presented the SSR concept to the world. While the world laughed, Chevrolet worked on its production. Under the hood is a surprisingly weak 5.3-liter V-8 engine with around 300 horsepower. Chevy improved the performance in a 2005 version of this car. The engine was replaced with 6.0-liter LS2 V-8 that spits out 390 horsepower. The four-speed automatic gearbox was also replaced with a six-speed manual. As a result, this freak was able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Additional problems, however, are that the SSR is a two-seater. It also has a weird metal folding roof. This car definitely attracts a lot of attention. However, you have much better and smarter options for the same price.
14 Lincoln Town Convertible
Lincoln Town Cars can be considered synonymous with the American car industry. Its production started in 1969. For decades, Town Car was first in people's mind when you mention the spacious and luxurious car. In the '70s, it had everything people needed—a huge amount of space and some luxurious items. However, the expectations of the public changed in the modern times. Lincoln Town Car was still incredibly long and wide, with a massive trunk and a soft ride. However, the platform remained basic with an old engine and suspension. Safety and entertainment features also were simply not available. The latest version is from 2003. It has updated mechanicals and some minor changes in styling and interior. However, the Lincoln Town Car is still incredibly unpractical with a weak engine, bad handling, a dated design, and a lack of any modern features.
13 Pontiac Sunfire Convertible
When it was first introduced in 1995, it should've been affordable, slick, and nice to drive. Pontiac planned to replace the Sunbird model with the Sunfire. Those kinds of cars should look cute, but the Sunfire looks vicious, more a man's version of a cheap and small convertible. Crimson red was its dominant color, including its interior. The Firebird model inspired the design of that interior. Still, it had too much of a typical GM’s interior design to look even remotely good. The Pontiac Sunfire's performance was pretty weak as well. The engine was 2.2-liter four-cylinder with a three-speed automatic gearbox. Later, a five-speed manual with a 2.3-liter V4 was available. It's interesting that Buick made a modern version of this car with their Cascada model two years ago.
12 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible
Chrysler used their K platform to make many cars. Only four were pure K platform, and the Chrysler LeBaron was one of them. The model version that's considered one of the worst convertibles ever was introduced in 1977. The first generation of this car looked awful and drove like it, although modern versions have improved a lot and are actually good luxury convertible options. First, the LeBaron had an exterior made out of fake wood. Under the hood was the 2.2-liter turbocharged engine that produces 146 horsepower. That doesn't sound bad, but for a car of this size, but it wasn't enough power. As a result, LeBaron had dreadful acceleration, and it was a complete opposite of a sports convertible. The interior was also full of plastic and wood—not a great combination when driving in the sun. With reliability issues, it's clear why it a was hated vehicle.
11 Chevrolet Cavalier
The Chevrolet Cavalier is a child of the '80s. It presents General Motor's attempt to offer a small, compact, and fuel-efficient car to rival the Japanese-manufactured ones on the market. Chevrolet Cavalier only had two generations from 1982-2005. Therefore, Chevrolet used an aged platform. Most recent models had a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine that produced 120 horsepower. The last update was a 2.4-liter with 150 horsepower. Handling and power were good, considering the price. Sadly, Chevrolet Cavalier has dated interior, bad quality materials, and isn't great for passenger comfort. Every Cavalier version also had poor crash-test scores. Also, its design was outdated, especially on later models. Its price was affordable, but its resale value has always been low. Considering all these problems, Cavalier was simply a bad convertible.
10 Suzuki Samurai
The Suzuki Samurai's history started in 1967 with a name ''Jimney.'' Hope Motor Company built it as the HopeStar ON360 model. However, the small Japanese carmaker was purchased just a year later by Suzuki. They made many changes over the years. The second version of Jimney was renamed into "Samurai" when it entered the US market in 1981. The Suzuki Samurai was peculiar, colorful, optimistic and sporty—a perfect car for the '80s. Under the hood was a small 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with a pitiful 63 horsepower. Surprisingly, the power and handling were quite good. Suzuki Samurai stormed the American market. Then, first Consumer Reports started to appear. It turned out that the Samurai had a tendency to roll over or flip while taking regular corners at perfectly normal speeds. As a result, instead of being a huge success, the Samurai became a joke.
9 Smart ForTwo Cabrio
The Smart was a huge success for Daimler. It had fun and charming looks and great handling, and it could wriggle into any space or situation on the road. However, Smart’s Fortwo managed to lose everything its predecessor achieved. This isn't a powerful car. Its tiny 0.9-liter engine produces just 89 horsepower. Handling is also compromised, with the Smart's tendency to lean in tight corners. Electric Drive is the best driving option, but the problem is a limited range of just 100 miles (even less in reality) until the next charge is required. The biggest problem with this car is that its engine is rear-mounted with a four-mounted cooling system. This means that it passes directly under the passenger's cabin. Therefore, every rival offers a better overall car than the Smart Fortwo.
8 Nissan Micra C+C
In 2005, Nissan decided to cut the roof of its Micra and call it a car for girls. This shouldn't surprise you because looks are most important in the small-convertible category. However, the Nissan Micra looks weird. It feels top heavy with strange rear windows. The Micra also has a unique electric folding glass roof, which is ugly and unpractical. Driving, though, is good but not much fun. You have a choice between 1.4-liter and a 1.6-liter petrol engine. They both produce 108 horsepower and 153nm of torque. Also, while the handling is responsive, it's also snappy, and the interior is cheap and full of plastic. Maybe that's not surprising considering the vehicle's price. But with so many options on the market, the Micra isn't a good budget-convertible option. Top Gear even puts it on their list of the worst cars of the last 20 years.
7 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Chrysler claimed the Sebring would rival BMW’s 3 Series convertible—I'm not joking. Its price is much less, and it doesn't look bad. Okay, styling isn't its strong attribute, but the Sebring isn't ugly. Sadly, drive it on the road, and you'll see the vehicle's ugliness. The Sebring shakes, and you feel every bump in the road. Like many American cars, it's good on the straight, but turn it in the apex, and you can feel the weight shifting. The Chrysler Sebring has some redeeming features, though. Its interior has plenty of room and nice luxury features. Under the hood is a 2.7-liter V6 engine mastered by a slick-shifting six-speed automatic. However, with Consumer Reports claiming it has many issues, it's no wonder most petrolheads hate this car.
6 Suzuki X-90
The nineties were great for the Japanese car industry. Toyota's trucks became known as the toughest and most reliable, WRC was great for them, and Subaru and Mazda had many trendy and stylish cars... For some reason, though, Suzuki didn't use this hype well. For some reason, they thought this bizarre-looking X-90 concept would perform great in the market. As we said, in this category, looks are important. From the back, the Suzuki X-90 looked like a saloon. Up front was the classical Suzuki look. The Suzuki X-90 had two seats, and it looked like the roof was cut off—just the top part, though. All in all, the Suzuki X-90 is uncomfortable, impractical, and not fun to look at at all—a far cry from the Toyota RAV4 that people in Suzuki hoped their car would surpass in the international market.
5 MINI Moke
Alec Issigonis is the brain behind the Mini Moke. It was designed as a military vehicle. Unsurprisingly, the army didn't like it. Therefore, Issigonis decided to make a fun street convertible. The public didn't like it, though. If not for the cult following, this car would be long forgotten. The best version was a four-wheel drive of 1966. It's interesting that this version appeared in few movies, including the Bond ones. Mini Moke had two engines. They produced only 34 horsepower and torque of 33 lb.-ft. A four-speed manual transmission helped people to tame this beast. Just kidding—it was actually incredibly slow. The last official version was built in 1993. For some reason, though, a car with a similar concept is still being built in China.
4 Rover 100 Convertible
Rover was always trying to fill as many market niches as possible. Making a convertible was only natural. The Rover 100 Cabriolet first came out in the early '90s. It was created on a basis of an old five-door Rover model. And you can clearly see that the back end of the car was longer than necessary. This led to many structural modifications, especially on the rear end. The fully lined roof gave Rover engineers plenty of problems. It was replaced with electrically operated ''Grey hoods'' a few years later. Due to all these problems, Rover 100's production was delayed many times. Under the hood were K-Series 1.4-liter engines with 8 and 16 valves. The Rover 100 was terrible to drive, though—constantly wobbling and unpredictable in the corners. Rover hoped it would be a popular posh car. Instead, it was one of the worst convertibles ever.
3 Vauxhall Cascada
Vauxhall entered the convertible market with the Astra TwinTop. It wasn't a very successful adventure. Yet, in 2013, they presented the Cascada. It had some parts from the Astra but also some from the Insignia. Unlike the Astra that had the crude folding metal roof, the Cascada has a regular fabric roof. The Cascada is smooth and enjoyable to drive with or without the roof. Of all the options, the 1.4-liter petrol engine is the best choice, but the BiTurbo diesel is the most powerful. However, despite its size, you won't get much comfort in this car. The Vauxhall Cascada doesn't sound like a bad car at all. Yet, a Driver Power customer satisfaction survey says its owners hate it. That shouldn't be surprising as the Cascada doesn't look too appealing, and Vauxhall isn't a cool car manufacturer.
2 Citroen C3 Pluriel
Since the legendary DS model, Citroen has been known for its stylish-looking cars. When it comes to convertibles, today Citroen offers you a DS 3 Cabrio—a fun and stylish little Cabriolet. However, before this car, the first modern convertible that Citroen offered to the market was the C3 Pluriel. Style and a cheap price were there. Sadly, it was completely impractical. The roof was placed on rails. And those rails, you have to pull by hand, which wasn't that easy to do. Moreover, once you pull them, you have no place in the car to store them. Therefore, in the case of rain, you cannot put your roof on because you don't have the rails. In addition, without the rails, the car is too unstable to drive. You also feel every bump in the road, and the noise is deafening.
1 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
People from Chrysler knew that retro styling was coming back to cars in the '90s. As a result, many legendary cars got new restyled models. One concept, in particular, captured their imagination. That car was the Plymouth Prowler—the '50s-inspired hot-rod with the modern aesthetics. Chrysler was actually late to the party, but they still made it. The PT Cruiser Convertible was introduced in 2000. It was made on the Plymouth Pronto Cruizer platform. However, it was hideous looking, with the bulbous shape and the obvious five-door hatchback underneath this two-door convertible. In addition, this is another convertible on our list that's unstable to drive without a roof. It's no wonder there's almost no list of worst cars ever without the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible. Top Gear even named it the worst car of the last twenty years.
Sources: Wikipedia; Top Gear