If you think about it, cars have been designed for a very specific primary use. That is, to take anyone and possibly everyone from point A to point B at any given time. Aside from this, cars are also supposed to be capable of transporting your items, things that you have to take along on your journey. Meanwhile, some cars are also capable of hauling a lot more, making it especially convenient for work or outdoor adventures.
This is perhaps the reason why there is a pretty significant number of car buyers in the U.S. and throughout the world today. Simply put, just about anyone could use a car. After all, cars have a way of making life more convenient.
Nonetheless, car buying is not exactly a straightforward process. In fact, many factors often play an important role in the buyer’s final decision regarding what car to buy.
According to recent Car Buyer Journey Study conducted by Cox Automotive, there are certain car buyers that like to look at the numbers more closely. As it further explained, “While 53% of car buyers look for monthly payment information while researching a vehicle, 47% of buyers said that the total price of the vehicle is more important than the monthly payment. In general, lessees, females, younger age groups (particularly younger females), consumers with lower incomes and those with children are among those more interested in a monthly price. That said, more than one-third of buyers feel the total and monthly price are equally important, highlighting the need for dealers to provide both options in their online merchandising.”
At the same time, other factors come into play when someone is choosing a car. In fact, reliability is a key issue that most car buyers think about. That means a car has to perform well and have minimal maintenance issues. At the same time, it would be great if the car has good fuel efficiency too.
Unfortunately, not all car models end up being reliable. In fact, some of them are rather useless. Just check out these 30 cars to see what we mean.
30 Stout Scarab
At first glance, you could say the Stout Scarab is quite futuristic. It looks like the mash-up of a car and a submarine. Oddly enough, it is also supposed to be the first minivan in the world.
According to the website HowStuffWorks, the Stout Scarab came out in the 1930s. The goal had been to create a rear engine car that provided the driver with “infinitely better vision from all angles.” Indeed, the Scarab has more than its fair share of windows. Inside, the car looked like an early version of a camper van. Overall, it was pretty weird.
29 Peel P50
One look at the Peel P50 and you might think that it only belongs in the museum. It’s safe to say that it continues to the smallest car in the world. And while you might find this amusing, driving the car itself can make you extremely uncomfortable.
According to a report from Digital Trends, the Peel P50 is only 54 inches long. Debuted back in 1962, it’s a three-wheeled car that can practically fit in any possible parking space available today. However, that is where the advantage ends.
The P50 is only capable of accommodating a single person. Moreover, the original 49cc engine barely had power. In fact, it only delivered 4.2 horsepower.
28 Suzuki X-90
From the outside, you might say that the Suzuki X-90 looks more like a submarine than an actual car. Developed back in the 90s, the X-90 is one of Suzuki’s earlier attempts at producing a successful SUV.
Unfortunately, it was anything but. According to a report from Forbes, the car suffered in sales when it hit the market. Perhaps, it was because the car was quite cramped, and the trunk space was just too small to fit anything you need. Whatever the actual reason was, the X-90 only stayed in the market for two years then it was gone.
27 Nissan Cube
Believe it or not, automotive mistakes are not as rare as you might think. Case in point is the Nissan Cube that looks like you’re driving your vault around.
In Nissan’s defense, the carmaker has acknowledged that the Cube is “squarely unconventional.” Moreover, it has also explained that the front grille of the car was “inspired by a bulldog wearing shades.”
In case you’re intrigued, the Cube comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. This one is estimated to have an efficiency rating of 27 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
26 Nissan Juke
Without a doubt, the Nissan Juke is a car that evokes strong feelings among car enthusiasts. However, these feelings are not exactly positive. As “Top Gear” host Richard Hammond once remarked, “I hate the Nissan Juke. I hate it with a physical passion, a gut-wrenching, colon-knotting, visceral twist that threatens to disrupt my digestive tract and direct bile into my heart."
Meanwhile, it also has some reported reliability issues. One Juke owner posted on Car Buyer that there are “automatic transmission gearbox issues have been widely reported by Juke owners at around 30,000 miles.”
25 Subaru Brat
According to a report from U.S. News and World Report, Subaru decided to come up with the Brat because it wanted to introduce a compact truck into the U.S. market as soon as possible. Back in the 70s, Chevrolet and Ford were doing well in this segment and the Japanese carmaker wanted a piece of the action. Unfortunately, taxes on pickups built abroad were high. Hence, Subaru decided to make a truck using a passenger car.
The result was the Brat, a car that looks too odd for a lot of people. At the same time, its cargo bed had very limited space too.
24 Plymouth Prowler
The Plymouth Prowler has always had a unique flair. It had the weirdest front bumper fitted into its narrow body. At the same time, its rear wheels were much bigger than its front wheels.
At the same time, many also pointed out that the Prowler lacked power for a sports car. As Road and Track had explained, “It was criticized for packing a 3.5-liter V6 in a body that screamed for a V8.” Moreover, its 3.5-liter SOHC V6 engine only delivered 214 horsepower.
23 Pontiac Aztek
Over the years, reviews have not been so kind when it came to the Pontiac Aztek. In fact, CBS News has named it one of the “world’s ugliest cars.” Meanwhile, Car and Driver has referred to the Aztek as a “vehicle best forgotten.”
One look at the Aztek and you are not exactly sure what it is. It can be a sedan trying to be an SUV or a very oversized hatchback. Either way, it’s great that production on this car has long been discontinued.
22 Dodge Grand Caravan
If you think about it, the Dodge Grand Caravan is one minivan that should already go into retirement. Compared to other current car models, the Grand Caravan feels rather outdated and unimpressive. At to the same time, it also has several issues.
As Consumer Reports has explained, “The second-row seats are thin, low, and uncomfortable. Although the 283-hp V6 is powerful, its fuel economy is lousy—the worst among all minivans in our tests. And the van scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap frontal crash test.”
21 2018 Buick Cascada
The 2018 Buick Cascada is one convertible car that has not been getting the best reviews recently.
For starters, the Cascada is quite heavy at almost two tons. And according to Car and Driver, this drastically affects its performance. In fact, a test revealed that the car takes as much as 8.3 seconds just to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. That is a lot slower than its competition.
Moreover, the car’s soft top has also been found to drop in 17 seconds. The same can happen if you were driving at a reasonable 31 miles per hour.
20 Chevrolet Malibu
The Chevrolet Malibu is one sedan that has been around for years. It’s got a good design and a reasonable price point. In addition, it’s been known to have a good safety rating though. However, certain things are still not in Malibu’s favor.
For starters, there was a recall made on the 2018 Malibu earlier this year. It concerns the car’s fuel pump, which “may detach from its mounting flange, possibly resulting in the pump damaging the high-pressure fuel line,” according to the NHTSA. Moreover, some owners have noted that its performance is not impressive. Meanwhile, some also reported trouble starting the car.
19 Chevy SSR
One look at the Chevrolet SSR and you would certainly be confused. It was intended to be a pickup, but it looks too weird to be taken seriously.
The SSR was built back in the early 2000s. According to a report from Motor 1, the goal had been to build something that pays homage to the classic Chevrolet pickups of the 1950s and 1950s. However, something must have gone seriously wrong during the design process. In the end, the SSR became a truck that was desperate to also be a convertible car.
18 Chevrolet Trax
The Chevrolet Trax is one of Chevrolet’s more recent attempts to win over the compact SUV market. Unfortunately, the carmaker's efforts proved to be relatively unsuccessful.
For starters, there are now several compact SUVs available in the market and the Trax simply fails to stand out. In addition, according to a review from Consumer Reports, the Trax’s 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine simply “didn’t deliver impressive performance or particularly frugal fuel economy.” Moreover, the cabin is also said to be cramped and the engine noise is quite pronounced.
17 Ford Transit Connect
To this day, it is unclear what Ford was thinking when it decided to come up with the Ford Transit Connect. As far as first impressions go, the car is absolutely not a sedan or an SUV. It is also too odd to be a minivan substitute.
According to Consumer Reports, the Transit Connect lacks a lot of things. It explained, “It remains a commercial vehicle at heart, with a lackluster four-cylinder, a low-rent interior, cumbersome folding seats, and a skimpy level of standard features. Unlike a minivan, it doesn't have power doors or a rear-seat entertainment system...”
16 GM EV1
Without a doubt, the GM EV1 looks like a pretty strange car. For starters, it is oddly shaped, resembling a bit like a spacecraft when you look at it from the side.
Nonetheless, the EV1 represents an important milestone as it was one of the very first electric cars made available to consumers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite a practical option. For starters, it could only accommodate two people at any given time. Moreover, there was some concern regarding the long-term reliability of the car’s batteries. Because of this, production on the EV1 eventually ceased.
15 Citroen C3 Pluriel
The Citroen C3 Pluriel is one convertible hatchback that started out as promising. After all, it could accommodate as much as four people making it quite a practical option. However, the car suffers from too many issues.
According to the website What Car, “This lack of thought shows in other areas of the Pluriel such as the dull drive. Without the roof rails in place, there's too much flex in the body and car squirms over bumps.” Aside from this, the side rails on the roof also reportedly take a long time to be removed.
14 Volkswagen Routan
The Volkswagen Routan is a minivan that had big hopes and dreams. It could accommodate as much as seven people. Moreover, the more recent models of the Routan came with features such a touch-screen audio system, captain chairs in the second row and foldaway third row split seats.
However, according to Consumer Reports, the handling in the car is rather “clumsy.” Moreover, its fuel economy is rather unimpressive. At the same time, the third-row seat and rear hatch also operated slowly. Eventually, production on the Routan was discontinued in 2014.
13 Volkswagen Phaeton
Another Volkswagen car that really missed the mark is the Volkswagen Phaeton. It was meant to be a stylish luxury car. However, it failed to impress in the end.
The Phaeton is equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine that is capable of churning out a respectable 245 horsepower. Moreover, it also a decent efficiency rating of around 33 miles per gallon, according to Top Gear.
Despite this, however, the Phaeton is rated poorly across several sites. Some point out to the car’s costly maintenance. Others have said that the car is simply lackluster.
12 Volkswagen Thing
When a car has been named a Thing, you don’t really know what to expect. Would it be remarkable, or would it fail big time? Unfortunately for Volkswagen, it would be the latter.
The Volkswagen Thing was a car that came out back in the 70s. According to a report from Auto Trader, it was originally commissioned as a military vehicle by the West German government. However, it was far from formidable.
For starters, its rear engine only managed to crank out 46 horsepower. Meanwhile, its top speed was also rather dismal.
11 Volvo S90
Generally speaking, Volvo cars are known to be pretty reliable. However, the S90 seems to be anything but.
Based on reports recorded on Repair Pal over the years, it seems the S90 has experienced every car problem imaginable. There are reported engine troubles that would put the car in a “no start condition.” Aside from this, there are also reports of vibration problems from the car’s rear brake rotors. Meanwhile, car owners also reported problems with the S90’s suspension, steering, heating, and air conditioning.
Recent reviews are also not favorable. According to one review on Edmunds, “The corporate 4 cyl. is.... well, a 4 banger. It isn’t particularly smooth and doesn’t sound that great either.”
10 Fiat Multipla
The Fiat Multipla is definitely a car that caught attention for all the wrong reasons. For starters, it seems to resemble an alien that mysteriously appeared from outer space. There are also lights placed in the oddest of places.
According to reviews, there are some Multipla owners who have enjoyed driving the vehicle. However, there are those who were miserable with it. In fact, according to reviews on Car Buyers Guide, some units suffered from maintenance issues and needed “regular repairs.” At the same time, another reviewer also said that the boot space is quite limited.
9 Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet
One look at the Range Rover Evoque Convertible and you would probably scratch your head. After all, why would ever build an SUV and proceed to transform it into a convertible? It’s just really strange.
At the same time, reviews point out that there is barely any cargo space in the Evoque Cabriolet for your cargo. Moreover, the rear seats also seem pretty cramped. Hence, it is highly doubtful if a ride in this would be comfortable. For all these reasons and more, this car has never been a good buy.
8 BAC Mono
The BAC Mono is one ambitious vehicle. In fact, it’s a race car that’s equipped with a four-cylinder engine capable of churning out 305 horsepower and approximately 227 pound-feet of torque. It has a maximum speed of 170 miles per hour and can reportedly go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds.
So far, everything sounds good. However, even if the BAC Mono can also be driven on public roads, it is not the most practical option. For starters, it can only accommodate the driver. Moreover, there’s practically no trunk space in this car. Hence, for a daily car, it technically has no use.
7 Lexus SC430
The Lexus SC430 is supposed to be a car that turns heads. Unfortunately, it had caught attention for all the wrong reasons.
The SC430 is supposed to Lexus’ very first convertible. It comes with a 4.3-liter V8 engine that could readily churn out 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. If you think about, the specs sound good. However, this car also comes with a number of problems.
According to a report from Car and Driver, the actual 0-to-60 time for the car ended up being 6.6 seconds, instead of the 5.9 seconds that was predicted by Lexus. At the same time, the rear seats are practically unusable.
6 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
It is possible for the Mercedes-Benz R-Class to leave you confused. After all, it looks like an SUV, but it’s supposed to be a wagon. In fact, according to Edmunds, this can is classified as a “large crossover wagon.”
Throughout its production from 2006 to 2012, the R-Class was offered with several engine choices. These even included a diesel V6 and an AMG V8. Moreover, its trims came with features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and Bluetooth connectivity.
However, there were issues associated with this car. According to the website breaker yard, “The actuator in the turbo is known to fail.” Moreover, the model is also “prone to rust.”
5 BMW Isetta
It’s safe to say that the BMW Isetta is the strangest car that BMW has ever built. The Isetta is supposed to be a “microcar,” something too small to be taken seriously.
Inside, the car can accommodate one adult and a possibly a toddler. Just keep in mind that the door opens right in front of the seat so tumbling out of the car is a possibility.
As far as power is concerned, the Isetta has practically none. Its original variant was only using a 248 CC single cylinder engine. This one could only crank out 12 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 10 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm.
4 Honda CR-Z
The Honda CR-Z was originally a hybrid concept that ended up disappointing the market big time. The car is ambitious, indeed, but it lacks everywhere else.
This sub-compact car is a two-seater that was powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine. Overall, it could churn out a respectable 122 horsepower. However, it does not exactly offer a great driving experience. As Consumer Reports has explained, “The ride is jumpy and the cabin is noisy. Having just two seats limits its appeal. Rear visibility is severely compromised, but at least a rear-view camera is standard on all trim lines.”
3 2007 Toyota RAV4
Overall, the Toyota RAV4 has been quite a successful car in the market. After all, this compact SUV offers good road reliability and good fuel efficiency. At the same time, it also comes with a reasonable starting price, making it a particularly good choice if you’re car shopping on the budget.
If you are looking for a used RAV4 though, make sure you stay away from the 2007 model. According to a report from The Motor Digest, this particular year model had over 4,500 total engine failure reports. There were also steering problems and leaks reported.
2 Kia Cadenza
The Kia Cadenza is a sedan that has been received with mixed reviews. This is mainly because the car has suffered from problems over the years. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Safety issued a recall for the 2014 Cadenza. According to the recall information, “The wheels on the affected vehicles may fracture from impacts such as large, deep potholes.”
At the same time, there are also those who believe that you are better off buying an Avalon than paying for a 2018 Cadenza.
1 Honda Clarity
The Honda Clarity is a green car that promises good fuel efficiency among other things. In fact, it comes in electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell variants. Moreover, its 2018 model comes with a host of driver assistance features. These include a collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and lane keeping assist system.
Meanwhile, reviews for the 2018 Clarity have not been extremely impressive. According to Edmunds, the touchscreen infotainment system is not user-friendly. Moreover, according to Car Complaints, it has also 10 reported engine problems and five reported brake problems.
Source: Cox Automotive, Forbes, Nissan USA, Car Buyer, Consumer Reports