It was in 1885 that the first automobile was introduced to the world. Cars have come a long way since then but every decade after that has brought something new and unique. Every year we get new models with upgraded features for our cars and every few years comes along a new generation for each and every model of vehicles from an automobile manufacturer. Usually, this includes a facelift and new, more modern features.
Still, if there is one decade that gets a lot of love from people all over the internet then it has to be the 90s because after all, even if you don't remember something, the 90s kids certainly do. All of that is for a reason because the 90s brought along with it some of the most memorable things. This was the time when new and improved technologies such as faster computers and the internet were being introduced. Walking around with a walkman would make you the coolest kid on the block and the cars, well, the 90s was definitely good. Take the McLaren F1 for example, it is still considered as one of the most amazing cars ever created and can still keep up with most modern supercars with relative ease. However, that was not always the case. There were plenty of cars that were not good and their existence simply didn't make sense. To get an idea of this, we did some digging and came up with a list of 25 cars from the 90s that just don't make sense.
25 Ford Aspire
A successor to the Korean built Ford Festiva which was a great car; the Ford Aspire was nothing like it. The car was really slow and there were complaints of non-existent acceleration. The car was not as spacious either even though it felt really heavy while driving. Additional features such as air conditioning cost so much that you could actually go for a Ford Escort that is superior. The Aspire does not face any mechanical problems, short-term maintenance such as oil change does not cost much either; however if you do get into an accident you will end up paying a lot for replacement parts. All in all, the car had too many downsides compared to a few good things about it which led to its failure
24 Land Rover Discovery II
Broken parts were a problem in most of the Range Rover family, and the Discovery 2 did not fray from this trend. It had problems such as rusting and easily damaged parts which topped up bills for the owners.
Adding on to the mechanical problems, the Discovery 2 also had a really bad mileage, specifically 12.7 miles per Gallon.
The first two generations of the Discovery disappointed the market so much that Land Rover had to change the model name to be able to avoid the negative impact of the previous two generations. The sheer unreliability of the Discovery 2, and the low mileage made it one of the worst cars of that time.
23 Chevrolet Cavalier
Only a few lucky owners were able to have no problems with this car. The other share of owners had numerous repair problems with the car such as timing chain to break causing damage to the engine. The car also had some issues with the driving. Owners complained about the suspension, the braking, and the steering being floppy.
There have been issues with the make too, as instruments and lights have failed numerous times causing confusion for owners. The electrical components such as the window motors cause problems too. The car is just plain hectic to handle and is only worth keeping if you do not plan on taking it for long rides, maybe just a few miles a day.
22 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
The earlier versions of the Monte Carlo were really appreciated by the market. Monte Carlo was reintroduced by Chevrolet in 1994 and unfortunately, it did not live up to its name. This was mainly because it was based off the Lumina and so it lost its identity which the market valued so much.
The older generations had flair and most people wanted to be behind the wheel on one of those, but it was not the same as the 5thgeneration.
While retaining the respectable engine performance, the reason why the Monte Carlo was dubbed a disappointment was the change in its body.
21 Fiat Multipla
Fiat tried to modernize the car industry but ended up with a really ugly design. Just one look at the car and it’ll make you think that two separate cars were just sandwiched into one. Yes, the design gave a lot of room, but the car was just ugly to even look at.
Compromises are usually made in the car industry by most owners as obviously there cannot be a car which is perfect in every aspect. This car, however, was not to be compromised on no matter what it could do, because the shape was just so bad.
20 Chevrolet Lumina
The Lumina was a design that seemed really clueless, as Chevrolet seemed like they did not know what they are building this car for. The exterior was a rounded shape, and a lack of features made it look plain and dull.
It was then rebranded under the name of Monte Carlo but it retained a similar shape which brought shame to the Monte Carlo model as well.
The exterior was, well, ugly; the interior was a disaster too, for example, the seats seemed really cheaply stitched giving no sense of luxury in the car. The driving experience was below par as well making it a failure of a car, and hence one of the worst of that time.
19 Pontiac Grand Am
The Grand Am was another one of those cars which had numerous mechanical failures. Frustrated owners complained about the quality of the parts used as most of them had to be replaced or repaired, causing the reliability of the car to suffer. These were cheap repairs, however, but there were still some large problems reported by a minority of users giving the car a bad review. The interior was fine, but the trunk space was comparatively small to most cars and the seats seemed really uncomfortable whilst getting out or getting in the car. To add on these problems the car does not have the prettiest of shapes.
18 Ford Explorer
Two hundred and forty lives taken, close to three thousand injuries; just some statistics which say a lot about why this car was a failure. All of this happened only due to the tires on this SUV.
Firestone produced these tires, and because of the problem, Ford ended up replacing 13 million tires. The problem was that the Explorer rolled over on its side which was because of tread separation on the tires.
Although this was a major defect, owners also reported that part replacement was too expensive and very few mechanics knew how to work on the car. No one would like to buy a vehicle which would bring them closer to their deathbed; hence it did not do too well.
17 Geo Metro Convertible
The convertible looks like a ride at a carnival. Certainly the car failed on its looks, it just looks toy-ish and funny. It had a decent mileage and was a good car when fuel prices rose. However if you ever turned up in one of these, you’d have to be embarrassed. They were trying to go for a sports car feel; however the mechanical parts were just economy class and of course, could not make it go as fast as a sports car. They failed at what they attempted and just ended up with a car with a good fuel efficiency, but one that isn’t enough to make up for its looks.
16 Ford Taurus
The first two generations did really great and were highly appreciated. The third generation of the Taurus received a facelift from designers which made most people unhappy. The facelift made the Taurus look really oval in shape, like a sea animal.
The Taurus had long trailing curves which resulted in an oval-shaped rear window making it really hard to look through the rear view.
Each corner was rounded off as well, and it made the corners seem very low which added fuel into the fire. Ford Taurus had few complaints on the mechanical side though, which is why it was not a complete disaster. If the car was maintained well enough it did pretty well, however, the shape of the car did make it one of the most disappointing cars.
15 Plymouth Voyager
The Voyager was a minivan which seemed like it could be used to transport a lot of loads. However it ended up being used for families. The voyager was really reliable for the first few years, however afterward the owners had many complaints. Some users reported problems with the transmission, and most were unhappy with the engine which ended up failing. Engine problems were related to oil leaks and burned valves. Small repairs are usually not a problem as car maintenance has to be done from time to time, but the Voyager called for major repairs after a few years of use. Enormous space alone could not help the Voyager be a complete success due to its mechanical issues.
14 Honda CRX
The CRX was a nimble sports car and a hatchback which you could use for grocery shopping and it came for a really cheap price. Rust was a major problem with this car as it is with most old Japanese vehicles. The chassis included rust at the edges of the body pans.
The car was treated as a tuner since parts were easily replaceable to improve the performance of the car. Being a tuner meant previous owners might have used body kits or panels which could also be a source of rust.
The interior was also susceptible to rust, not just the inner structure but also the panels on the outside. It was not too bad, but still bad because of the rust problems and the unsatisfactory performance when new and so owners had to tweak it to get the best out of the engine.
13 Dodge Shadow
The shadow was eventually replaced by the well known Dodge Neon. It was a convertible which can be now found rotting in junkyards. The shadow also came in an automatic variant, and it had a Japanese made engine which was maybe the one good thing about it. All of the generations of the Dodge Shadow had rust problems, not just minor ones, but really severe ones. The paint job on them was another culprit for people not liking the dodge shadow. Lastly one of the huge reasons was that the car became obsolete too quickly, most spare parts were very hard to find and the ones which existed were crushed by junkyards, unfortunately.
12 Mercury Topaz
The Topaz was dubbed as a failure because of a lack of outstanding features. The car had nothing special as compared to its rivals. The styling on the outside of the car was really bland, which did not make it stand out at all.
The engine was a four-cylinder, however, it massively underperformed. Acceleration was another issue as it was really slow to speed up, and fuel efficiency was not something to be proud about either.
Mercury could not even come up with a good interior to make the car a little bit interesting, the inside was as dull as the outside. Eventually, after failing, the Mercury Topaz was replaced by the Mercury Mystique.
11 Jaguar XJ220
Initially, this car was supposed to have a beasty V12 engine and four-wheel drive. The government came up with some regulations (and also because Jaguar had not planned out effectively), so they replaced the V12 to a twin-turbocharged V6. This is one of the few promises Jaguar did not keep when introducing its supposed car of the future. The supercar had gained attention before release and around fifteen hundred deposits of $70,000 were made. The deposits were given back as there were a lot of differences between the released version and the concept given.
In the end, not being able to live up to the high expectations of the customers failed the XJ220 and Jaguar only sold 275 units.
10 Subaru Alcyone SVX
The Subaru Impreza was one of the most famous cars made by Subaru. The WRX was so loved that the owners maintained their WRX even it meant having to rebuild them or install new engines one after the other. However, this was not the case with the Alcyone SVX. Subaru tried to go out of the box with this car and failed. The design was very unusual.
Firstly the windows had windows built into them which were just strange. The shape of the car was square like at one end and sharply angled at the other end. There were numerous other problems with the SVX which did not help it portray the idea of futuristic cars, and so people refrained from going for the Alcyone.
9 Mercedes Benz A-class
At some point in the 1990s compact cars were beginning to become a thing. Mercedes tried to get into the compact car market with their A-class. Mercedes makes really luxurious cars that not only feel that way, but they also look that way; they have a class apart.
However the A-class was ugly to look at, the shape was too tall for a hatchback. This shape caused the A-class to roll on the Elk test, which forced Mercedes to call back 2,600 units of the car as it was dubbed unsafe. They tried to save the reputation by adding in electronic stability control but the damage had been done and the A-class was not a success.
8 Oldsmobile Achieva
Just like the Mercury Topaz and Ford Taurus, the Oldsmobile Achieva was a really uninteresting piece of work. Cars like these depict the state of the car production industry of the 1990s. The design, like its cousins, was square, boring and it just performed averagely at most things.
The Achieva was available with many engine variants; however, all of them were said to underperform and were noisy as well.
The suspension was not the best either, so Oldsmobile installed an auto dampening control system which was just as ineffective. The car just did not excel at anything, and it had a handful of problems too, so it was not one of the favorite cars from that time.
7 Suzuki X-90
The X-90 was supposed to be a crossover-SUV that did well off roads and was compact. Looking at the X-90 in the red color without the roof it looks like a toy car for 3-year-olds.
It was a very compact car making it difficult for passengers to be comfortable and it also had less cargo space.
The car was impractical in terms of space; however, it did feature four-wheel drive which helped it surpass obstacles while going off-road. The attempt of a crossover was a failure though, as the X-90 underperformed on the roads, and it was not comfortable at all for off roads to the lack of space in the car.
6 Skoda Felicia
The Czech based car producers released the Felicia in many body styles which included a hatchback and a pickup as well. It was released in 1995 and Felicia was a short-lived model as it lasted in production only until the year 2001. One of the main shortcomings was the below 100 horsepower of this car, the car was extremely slow because of that.
The reason it stayed in production for so long was that Volkswagen purchased it and customers had faith in the car. The Felicia was nothing special like most failing cars of the 90s, it did not perform according to standards set by car enthusiasts and neither did have anything special about it causing it to fail.
5 BMW M3 (E36)
The E36 was released in 1992 after the successful E30 M3. The E36 did quite good in Europe; however, it did not fare as well here at home. The reason behind this was because the engine was not the same in both regions.
The European variant had a superior engine which could produce 286 horsepower and had individual throttle bodies. The local variant had lower compression ratios, single throttle body which produced only 240 horsepower.
Top speed was affected as well; the domestic variant had a cap of 137 mph while the Europeans enjoyed a cap of 150 mph. The E36, in general, was really heavy compared to previous models’ which was because of the wider and longer body. The car did not feel as much enjoyable to drive as it felt heavy.
4 Fiat Punto
The Fiat Punto did not have a good safety rating as there were problems with its dash. During crash tests, the dash got loose which could be very dangerous and hence it affected the safety ratings drastically for the hatchback. Once again buyers had to opt for the GT version to get rid of the dull interior and exterior. The Punto had an interior which looked very plastic and unattractive. The Fiat Punto had bad cabin quality all in all. Other than the dull interior and exterior Punto was really bad in the handling department as well according to user complaints.
3 Ford Probe
The sports car from Ford which succeeded the Ford Capri was sold for two generations until 1997. The Probe was manufactured between Mazda and Ford, most of the components were shared from the Mazda MX-6. The Probe was a decent car, it had a smooth drive and everything was good. However, the Probe had not lived up to its expectations as it was marketed as the next Mustang. It had no V8 and had Japanese Ancestry.
Initially sales were good, but as soon as the people realized that the car was not what they were expecting; sales dropped.
The folks at home were particularly unhappy as they had been expecting something more akin to a Mustang. The Probe although being a decent car was launched at a wrong time and in the wrong place hence making it a failure.
2 Porsche 911 (1996)
A Porsche is a Porsche, and most people would still go for it no matter the flaws. The difference here was that purists were not happy with the car. Water cooling the engine brought many problems to this car, and this was one of the main reasons the purists were not happy. One of the problems the water cooling brought was that the oil and water mixed and hence engines needed to be replaced. It was named as the 3rd least reliable European car in 2015.
These problems were solved cheaply in warranty; however, the warranty offered by Porsche was just 2 years. Maybe if Porsche did not include water cooling and went old school this may have been a huge success.
1 Volkswagen Golf (MK3)
The MK2, this car’s predecessor, was really reliable and durable. The MK3 did not carry the flag though. It did not have many styles, it looked bland and fat. The handling was unusual, and the interior was too simple, nothing fancy at all which did not help gather much repute. One of the new things was that it could be recycled easily, and it also had water-based paint. The water-based paint, however, led it to rot much easily. One of its selling points was the Ecomatic system, however, that cost close to $1200 at that time which was a lot. The MK3 was fairly good but not as good as the MK3, and so it did not fare well enough.