While driving through the streets of town, do you ever consider why some cars were ever even made? Especially the noisy hatchbacks that teens and young adults enjoy modifying? Perhaps your neighbor's fuel-efficient looker was conceptualized purely for profits off of the little guy. Or maybe, some people are actually attracted to small, life-threatening, and somewhat ugly vehicles. As eco-friendliness continues to be a more important feature in a car, these hot rides seem to show up more and more frequently. To spruce up these eco-cars, automakers began offering the option of making them hatchbacks, which has birthed the era of hatchback fanatics. And shortly thereafter came the love-hate pull for the odd-shaped vehicles.
Many hatchbacks have long been the butt of many car jokes. For some people, hatchbacks are a reminder of humble beginnings, and such people even have a soft spot for their first compacts. For others, a tiny ride serves no purpose to them. Regardless of your stance, however, there are plenty of duds that currently reside in hatchback heaven, a few of which were simply just a bad year for the model. Most of the cars you'll find below, though, are bad models altogether. Either way, there's quite a bit of dispute among car fanatics everywhere - namely, the hatchback community - about which one is quite possibly the worst of all. Depending on how you look at them (sometimes, quite literally), you'll probably find something you dislike in each of these cars.
20 AMC Gremlin, 1973
The Gremlin has a fairly interesting backstory which might explain its less-than-appealing exterior. Richard Teague and Bob Nixon were AMC's design chief and stylist (respectively) who were responsible for this beaut. In fact, Teague actually sketched the concept of the Gremlin on an air sickness bag while flying on a plane. Ultimately, he and Nixon were aiming for an even more compact car that was highly affordable, which birthed the concept of a Javelin with a flattened end. With that said, it should be a given that the Gremlin made this list. By 1973, inflation had taken its toll, and the cheapie hatchback was pushing $3,000. If the ugly half-muscle, half-compact car looks of this ride doesn't get you, then the obnoxious racing stripes just might. This car is full of personality, but it looks as if it doesn’t really know what it is.
19 Ford Pinto Runabout, 1971 - 1973
It seems like the '70s may have been a bad era for car designs, but the Pinto had a pretty good run of its own - as far as sales go - in spite of its quirky looks. Ford created it in order to answer the growing demand for compact cars. The German- and Japanese-made alternatives had dominated the 1960s, but Ford was determined to make history. The Pinto wouldn't have looked all bad... if it hadn't been for the shell-shaped backend and gleaning headlights. Though, what garners some of the worst attention in the Pinto Runabout is the large rear window. Hopefully, you won't be storing anything of value (or anything that you wouldn't want to be seen) in the miniature trunk because it's fully exposed to all nosy passersby. With a good pep in its step and an appealing price tag, the Ford Pinto almost had it all.
18 Honda Civic Si, 2002
The outdated Civic has crept its way into the palm of urban culture. Some roll their eyes at the thought of the hatchback roaming the city with obnoxious exhaust and Kenwood subwoofers - and let's not forget the custom paint and rims that cost more than the car itself - to others, the Civic is more than just a car. This subculture of urban Civic fanatics has really prepped the stage for what the car is today. But restoration fans have their work cut out for them with the 2002 - 2005 Civic Si body style. While the Si is a fun and cheap alternative to your conventional sports car, the '02 Civic didn't carry any features of one. Even the engine was at an all-time low (quality) for Honda. It's hard to convince people that it's worth fixing up a Civic when you're riding around in a glorified mini-van.
17 Alfa Romeo Mito, 2018
Amidst the era of gas efficiency, you'd think that big corporations would have compact-car design down to a science. The Alfa Romeo Mito supposedly exhales "style" - or the expectation of it anyway. The Mito has minimal comfortability in its cabin and little space, and it's not even competitively priced. Naturally, you'd expect that the one thing that keeps people coming is the exterior of this diesel-engine beast, but you'd be wrong. The Mito often has an off-putting effect during its introduction. People just don't like it. It reminds you of a VW Beetle or a Nissan Juke with much less attractive rims and finishes. The tiny wheels don't help its case - but keep the price lower - whereas conventional compacts seem endearing with their smaller wheels. All of the things that oddly draw you to a quirky hatchback were ruined in this model. Many design elements (or lack thereof) seem more haphazard than tasteful.
16 Fiat Multipla, 2002 - 2004
There's either a special place - or no place at all - in your heart for a Fiat. Most consumers have a hit-or-miss experience with their appeal for a typical Fiat, although opinions are almost unanimous about the hideous look of the Fiat Multipla. It was voted the "ugliest" by Top Gear but was also considered to be one of the best family cars in the early 2000s (shortly before its peak). Sadly - and not surprisingly - the design had such a bad stigma that it was affecting sales and that production has since stunted. But who can blame consumers? The Multipla must feel like public transportation because it practically looks like a bus. Its gawky set of wheels is sure to draw attention to anyone who drives it, which is only more of a reason not to buy it. Fiat may have wanted to produce something unique, but human nature, more often than not, leans toward conformity.
15 Nissan Micra, 2008
If there were ever a car that looked more out of place in the real world, it would probably be the Nissan Micra, specifically, the 2008 body style. This hatchback appears to belong more in a playset than on the road, but watch out for this hot rod because it has an astonishingly strange (and tiny) fan club behind it. The Micra has spent zero time on US roads (even the 2017 model) because of its iffy safety features. Other than the safety liability, though, the Micra excels in gas consumption and handling but lacks any sense of style. Perhaps, automakers feel that the Micra simply wouldn't make a great seller in the masculine US. Its shell-shaped cutesy exterior wasn't exactly a huge selling point for the car in Europe. Most Micra buyers were solely attracted to the price and reliability it offers behind the wheel.
14 Geo Metro, 1990 - 1994
One of the most tasteless rides of the '90s is the Geo Metro. Sure, it offers great gas economy, but no one's ever received any street cred for riding around in a gas-efficient death box. This hatchback has actually received a "safety concern" from the US government, possibly because the single airbag that it yields doesn't exactly provide the best resistance in the case of a crash. If the appalling exterior isn't enough of a turnoff for you, then the life-risking scenario may help seal the deal. General Motors must not have wanted to take full credit for this piece of work because the Metro was actually designed for GM by Suzuki. In retrospect, this makes sense since Japan has monopolized the compact-car market for decades. But it begs us to question whether or not Suzuki may have been sabotaging GM with such a hideous (and unsafe) design all along.
13 Subaru Impreza, 2001
It's been a long time coming that Subaru would have to live up to its name; having some of the ugliest cars on the market isn't something you can get around so easily. The WRX has always been Subaru's pride and joy, yet even the WRX has nothing on the competition in its own group. The early 2000s were an especially bad time for Subaru's body styles, but this one is the most cringe-worthy. The 2001 WRX looks like both a rally car and a family road-trip vehicle at the same time. That's not a good thing, Subaru. To make matters worse, the bug-ish headlights only add femininity to the car. This translates a confusing message to buyers who are either looking for a sporty family vehicle or who want a fast ride that they can (and would need to) customize. It's unclear what direction the designers were going with the WRX.
12 Ford Ka, 2001
It's a bit of a lesser-known vehicle in the subcompact-car world, but it's certainly earned its place in the repulsive car hall of fame. The Ka was conceptualized after Ghia came out with the Saetta. It seems like Ford may have only taken the things that didn't work for the Saetta, though. The bulbous edges and quirky headlights aren't nearly as flattering on the Ford Ka. To add to the despair, the Ka has quite a bit of plastic on it, which isn't the most attractive feature on a car but becomes even less so once the plastic fades. Let's not forget the wheels, though. Signature to every compact are tiny wheels usually dressed with bland rims or hubcaps (if you're even more savings savvy). The hubcaps on this hatchback are even more distasteful because even they lack detail. Needless to say, the Ka's cartoon-ish style is meant only for the eccentric and youthful.
11 Chevrolet Chevette, 1976
The name of this car has long been tainted by the very problems that it gives to each victim that might've purchased it. 'Chevette' was meant to make car buyers associate it with the Corvette, but instead, they've come to pair it more often with the term "cheap." It's not like the Chevette didn't earn it, though. Everything about it was dangerous - even for the Earth. In fact, it was considered to be "unsafe" by the government in its first year of production. The Chevette was conceptualized during the 1970s oil crisis and was meant to save dollars while offering a bit more style than the typical compact. The supposed 'style' turned out to be an epic fail on Chevrolet's part, especially since they decided to be influenced design-wise by Isuzu. With all of the bells and whistles included on a Chevette, it looks like a mini station wagon (at best).
10 REVAi G-Wiz, 2009 - 2012
If the model name isn't a red flag, then the photo is sure to send you running. The G-Wiz hatchback has a few kinks about it that kept buyers away. For one thing, it looks like a high-end golf cart, which is what it may as well be considered since it can't be driven on the highway (in the US). The smart ForTwo has captured more attention in the compact car community with its futuristic, techy style and options, but the G-Wiz didn't do a great job of emulating this same selling point, which is evident in its outdated design and lack of accessories. To be blunt, the G-Wiz is plain Jane to the core. Neighborhood compact cars aren't considered to be the most eye-catching vehicles on the road, to begin with, so it seems that the G-Wiz only had an uphill battle with overcoming its exterior.
9 Austin Metro, 1983 - 1987
The Metro earns an especially significant place in the hatchback world because of the strange disapproval that it's evoked internationally. It was considered to be much more spacious and comfortable than other hatchbacks of its age, although it still wasn't quite as successful as the British automakers had hoped. That being said, it could be that even the low-cost fuel mileage and roomy interior just wasn't enough when faced with flashier competitors. The Metro was later updated with the Vanden Plaas trim, which gave it a sportier feel and luxurious options, but it still lacked personality and style. The car was an epic failure in sales, and from 1990 onward, Austin Metro would be known as a Rover. It came with a facelift and an improved ride. A single glance at this hunk of metal, and almost no explanation is warranted for why it couldn't meet its quotas.
8 Honda Fit, 2007 - 2008
As most of us know, Honda is a prime candidate when buyers consider purchasing a five-door subcompact. They make reliable vehicles that usually aren't too bad looking either - with the exception of one hairy instance in '07 and '08: the Honda Fit. This car was highly successful right off the bat, but it had a huge void of issues that naive buyers found themselves sucked into. To start off, the Fit had a long-term problem with cracking windshields in addition to a problematic engine, faulty air conditioning and heat, and an iffy transmission. So, for those buyers who noticed that the 2007 body style of a Fit resembled a minivan more than it did a hatchback, they likely willed themselves into buying this garbage for the peace of mind that it would give them while they drove to work each day. Sadly, it didn't deliver.
7 Volkswagen Golf, 1996 - 1998
The Golf wasn't the belle of the ball in its 1974 debut, but it worsened as the decades loomed on this German-made hatchback. The Volkswagen Golf evokes a little sympathy for the unsuspecting passersby; it could be a cute car if it didn't look like a wagon. But the issues of the Golf were pretty much contained to the exterior. As far as reliability and comfort go, the Golf was one of the most successful models of its time. What really gets you is the zany design; it seems like a 'young-person' car that some urbanite 20-something would inevitably customize. The rims are sub-par at best, and the black plastic (everywhere!) serves as an eyesore - which might explain why it wasn't included as frequently in later models. Something about the Golf wants to be cool, but it still ends up being the kid sitting next to the trash can at lunchtime.
6 Peugeot 205 GTI, 1984
While the Golf may have been first to the party, the Peugeot 205 GTI left an even more memorable mark on the hatchback community. In spite of its off-putting façade, the sporty ride was fairly popular. In its debut year (1984), it had a low-quality build and ultra-stiff suspension, yet the buyers kept coming. The rims weren't the worst on the block - which says a lot for a hatchback - but it seemed like it had a lot going on with the design; a lot of the wrong stuff... For one thing, the rubbing strips were both obnoxious and detailed, but even they couldn't take away from the boxiness of the 205. This isn't necessarily a bad feature until you consider how many people disliked it. Topped off by the low level of comfort offered by the Peugeot 205, the ugly car hardly had a chance in such a competitive market.
5 Hyundai Excel, 1992 - 1994
It's a pity that Hyundai didn't receive much recognition for their cars until later in their car-making history. The truth is - up until recently - most models that Hyundai created weren't very pretty vehicles and didn't offer exceptional performance either. Unfortunately for the Excel, this was the first car that Hyundai exported to the US. And there was nothing remarkable about it. Scarcely will you come across a Hyundai fanatic, but even less likely will you encounter an Excel fan. The drab exterior was reflected inside, and while it was an efficient and relatively comfortable vehicle, it couldn't compete with other hatchbacks of its time. And to add to the horror, Hyundai wasn't a well-known name, so fewer people were willing to risk buying. Even now, it's not often that you see a '90s Excel roaming the streets like you do a Toyota Camry.
4 Toyota Tercel, 1982 - 1986
As the predecessor of what we know today as the Corolla, you can only imagine how popular the Toyota Tercel was in 1982. While Toyota has a strong history of making reliable vehicles with ice-cold air conditioning, we oftentimes forget that they're just like any other carmaker out there; they have their weak spots. And Toyota's just happens to be style. The Tercel looked as if there was pretty minimal creativity behind the design. The entire car is plain and simple, with only a swage line and black bumpers to give the car its depressing attempt at zest. Many of the hatchbacks and compacts from the 1980s and '90s were mostly box-shaped, but the Tercel takes it to the next level. If it wasn't for the slight angle of the hood and the sloped hatchback, it would seem as if the car was designed while playing Minecraft.
3 Lancia-Saab Delta, 1979 - 1982
While it may not be the ugliest of them all, the Lancia Delta had a tough run as far as hatchback cars go. The Delta was originally made by Lancia as a rally car; however, the maker allowed Saab to rebadge the Delta and sell it to the general public. Seeing as how there's nothing extraordinary about the Lancia-Saab Delta, consumers were astonished at its above-average price. It was practically a compact car with minimal features but at a luxury sedan's dollar range. Needless to say, only a little over 6,000 were ever sold. European consumers had become accustomed to their Volvos and Saabs with all of the bells and whistles for the same price. The less-than-exciting Delta had an incredibly short lifespan in the everyday world, and little attention is now paid to the ill-fated, boring box.
2 Mitsubishi Mirage, 1978 - 1983
The lines are a tad more blurred for the Mirage. Consumers had a love-hate relationship with it, but with good reason. For the most part, the Mirage was a fun, peppy ride that was clean looking and a nice size. On the other side of things, it had a few peculiar issues in the older years, such as engine problems (which is kind of a big deal). It did have turbo included as an option in models after 1982. Otherwise, the Mirage was a mediocre choice of car. The unimpressive exterior and decent reliability of the Mirage didn't garner nearly as much attention as Mitsubishi could've hoped for.
1 Ford Festiva, 1986 -1993
The tiny rebel, Ford Festiva has had an interesting history. Right from the start, it seemed that the Festiva had a pretty negative reception. The first impression of the Ford Festiva was enough to scare off most buyers, but for the unfortunate souls that settled for the inexpensive ride, they were soon done giving it a shot. The Festiva had a really bad problem with stalling while the car was stopped; this, among other mechanical issues, created quite an annoyance and somewhat of a liability. Speaking of, there were hardly any safety features on the car that would've even given it a good light in that sense. Nothing about the Festiva worked - the car even looked depressing. It's no surprise that it had a relatively short-lived appearance and that it's minimally seen today.