The majority of cars sold today come with aluminum wheels, or rims, as they're often called. Once an uncommon sight, today they have become a must-have option for almost every car buyer. Not all cars come with alloy wheels that actually look good, though. In fact, some of the ugliest wheels out there are those that originally came with the car straight from the dealership.
Some people are not satisfied with whatever wheels are available options on their car, so they turn to the aftermarket to find something that suits their taste and, hopefully, their vehicle. This is where some drivers get it really wrong. A set of wheels can make or break a car. Few, if any, styling parts have such an overall impact as the wheels do. Choose the right ones and you can improve the car's performance as well as its aesthetics. That's the right way of doing it, and it sure sounds simple enough.
Then there's the other way, and to be honest, we're not really sure how some people manage to mess it up so badly. It could be a case of the wheels looking nice and shiny in the shop, but then they just don't go with the overall flow of the car itself. Or it could be that these people just don't have a sense of style or maybe they just lack taste?
Whatever the reason, there are some cars out there that are rolling around on rims that wouldn't exist in a perfect world.
25 Ronal Teddy Bear
The Ronal Teddy Bear rims are technically called 'URS' and they do have a following who consider them to be legendary. While we think calling them legendary is taking things too far, they are, however proof, that builders in Germany do, indeed, have a sense of humor. After being in continuous production for 26 years, Ronal finally came to their senses and stopped making them. Good riddance! Other than for ironic purposes, nobody wants to see these on a vehicle—unless they're toddlers and it's time for a nap.
24 Envy Monolyth
The Envy Monolyth rims are some of the worst wheels we've ever seen. Other than the fact that they are round, there is absolutely nothing good about them. In fact, the Envy Monolyth is so disgustingly ugly that when the team at Google decided to prank their boss, Sergey Brin, they installed Envy Monolyth rims on his pink Tesla Batmobile—and it would take a special kind of ugly to become the worst-looking styling feature on that car. You really can't ask for more proof that Envy Monolyth rims are a joke.
23 Lenso Roulette
Lenso gambled that these wheels would be well received, and they lost. We can be fairly certain these aren't the favorite wheels of any actual gamblers, but who really is the target market here? Most people find them to be awful, so they won't buy them. But let's follow the theme and see what we and up with. The average gambler hasn't got any money for fancy wheels because they have other priorities, so we're left with the high rollers, but only the ones with absolutely no taste whatsoever. This is clearly a very niche product.
22 Intra Koala
There is only one plausible explanation to the Koala wheels: someone from Australia must have seen the Ronal Teddy Bear wheels and thought they were kind of cute, but in order to look good on a V8 Holden, something slightly different was needed. Apart from the design being absolutely ridiculous—not to mention ugly—koalas actually sleep around 22 hours a day, so your commute would have to be carefully planned. Sounds like way too much hassle to us. That was, of course, a joke, just like this wheel.
21 Daisy Wheel
Aaaww, they're so cute. And perfect for the first version of the new VW Beetle. Because they're both useless. These wheels were probably a huge hit with New Beetle owners who kept flowers in the car's dashboard vase and all that cutesy stuff that makes us a bit queasy. This wheel was clearly designed by hippies, for hippies, and there's a certain level of hypocrisy in being a hippie and driving a car. You can't save the world and make it a better place by releasing toxic fumes.
Want a way to instantly make your car look worse? Fit some blinds! Omega Devins is the company behind these wheels, and they really should take a closer look at their hiring process. There is just no way whoever designed these actually finished design school. The market quickly dubbed the rims as 'Blinds' and it's not really difficult to understand why. Apparently, the Blinds weren't particularly cheap, either, so hopefully, there aren't many of them out there in the real world—which is just the way we like it.
19 Michelin Man
It's really hard to think of a less attractive way to self-promote your company. What happens when you get brake dust all over the wheels, making for a dirty Michelin Man? Or what happens when you curb a wheel? Worse yet, what if you decide that Michelins are too expensive and you buy Hankooks or Falkens instead? And why would we want to promote your company by fitting a huge rolling logo to our cars, Michelin? Are the rims complimentary when we buy tires? Surely, no one would pay to have these fitted to their car?!
Clearly, these were made for people who want to pretend they're Spartacus in a chariot race, or perhaps James Bond? Who in their right mind decided this was a good idea? Seriously? No one over at the Texan Wire Wheels office could see that there could be some potential dangers to driving around with wheels like these? The only good thing about them is the price. Coming in at thousands of dollars, they're too expensive for most people. This was probably the company's strategy to minimize lawsuits from people who have been injured by their product.
17 Weird Blob
This is just wrong on so many levels! First, there had to be someone to design these wheels, apparently someone who came from the modern art scene. Then, someone at the company would have to agree to put them into production. Someone would have to think these wheels would sell really well in order to have them on display in their shop and that's just poor business sense. But worst of all is the person who bought them thinking they would look good on the car. We can't think of a single car that would look better with these fitted.
16 Arelli Assassyn
Why would anyone buy wheels from a manufacturer who doesn't even take the time to spellcheck? This is not how you spell Assassin, Arelli!! Sadly, the spelling isn't the only thing they got wrong. The only things these wheels 'assassynate' is your credibility and your car's aesthetics. It's like anyone can just walk in off the street and land themselves a job as a wheel designer, no experience needed. Unless you really want to diminish the value of your car, we strongly suggest staying away from Arelli's mistake.
15 Dollar Bill
If you're a baller on a budget, a set of these bad boys will do the trick. We can't help but think that the reason these wheels are cheaper than spinners is that they actually manage to be even tackier and in even poorer taste. If you want to show off your wealth, get yourself some diamond-encrusted Asanti wheels; those will set you back a cool $1 million or so. If you can't afford that, then you have no business driving around with dollar bill wheels anyway.
14 Enkei Spider
What happened here? Enkei usually makes some really awesome wheels but these limited edition specials are proof that anyone can have a bad day. At least they are not available for purchase anymore, that's the most positive thing we can say about them. It could be that they were a limited edition because Enkei knew no one would buy them anyway, even as a joke. Please stick to making cool wheels from now on, Enkei, and everything will be forgiven—but we'll keep this picture so the world will never forget.
13 Forgiato Parlaro
Apparently, Forgiato is known to manufacture some really pricey wheels and they're somewhat popular with luxury car owners. Those must be luxury car owners who don't care about looks whatsoever. All of Forgiato's designs look like something drawn in art class—but not in a good way. They look horrible in the real world! Forgiato's entire lineup is a complete joke, the only thing they accomplish is making the owner of an expensive car look clueless. These rims wouldn't do a hooptie justice, and definitely don't belong on luxury vehicles.
12 Vision Morgana
Ah, the Vision Morgana. What exactly are they a vision of? They're more like an insight into the nightmares of a madman who wrote them down in his dream journal when he woke up and then sold the rights for this "exclusive" design to the guys over at Vision. The only people who should fit these wheels to their cars are those who really want their vehicle to stand out...in the worst way possible. These rims are so bad, they shouldn't be allowed into society.
11 Asanti Skin Series
Back during the height of the bling craze, when anyone wanted to be a baller, Asanti thought it was a great idea to put ostrich leather on wheels. They really thought this was going to be the next big thing, but thankfully, it was a massive flop. The main reaction Asanti got was utter disgust. We can't really think of who on Earth would actually buy something like this except those who have more money than taste and think West Coast Customs build the phattest rides in the world.
10 Forgiato Candy Look
Talk about terrible! We're not sure if the outer lip of the rim is painted or if it's just the chrome that's reflecting the center of the wheel. What we can be sure about is that these rims don't belong on a car, other than perhaps a clown car. As if the design wasn't bad enough, to begin with, these rims have been painted pink to match the car. Or perhaps it was the other way around? Either way, they end up looking like they were designed by a candy cane factory.
9 Firebird Wheels
Another twisted three-spoke design, another fail. This one seems to be a half-hearted approach to creating a different three-spoke. They've got the swirly thing going, they've made some holes in the spokes, but then they realized something... They figured it wouldn't look good anyway, so they didn't even bother covering the lug-nuts. Can't say we blame them, why put in extra work when you know the end result will turn out less than desirable?! There's no need to wonder why the aftermarket wheel industry is so huge.
There seem to be some magic numbers when it comes to wheel spokes. Multispoke wheels are just fine, all the way down to simple five-spoke rims. Two, three, and four-spokes just don't seem to work at all. It seems they really tried to make an effort with the rims in this image. They've split the spokes, they've got a lug-nut cover on there...and it still looks terrible. Most aftermarket wheel manufacturers have figured out that these kinds of wheels aren't selling and hopefully, car manufacturers will catch up soon.
7 BMW i3 Wheels
Let's just say it; none of the wheels available for the BMW i3’s are overly attractive, that's just a fact, but these rims seem like they're just an afterthought; "Guys, we've forgotten to put wheels on it and it goes out for sale tomorrow. Just draw something real quick!" The Plain Jane looks, with a bare silver finish and severe lack of styling and design, certainly don't do anything to help the BMW i3 and its already controversial appearance gain any new fans. No modern car should be sold with wheels like these.
6 Kia Soul Wheels
Yes, we know, the point of these wheels is to be aerodynamically efficient, not to look stylish. But these wheels are so dreary, they should be called the Kia Soulless wheels. The design seems to have taken its inspiration from an old vinyl record and it just isn’t working. Sorry Kia, but there are aero-efficient wheels out there that look much better than this, or at least aren’t quite so ghastly. Back to the drawing board and try again, these things don't belong on an otherwise cool-looking car.
5 Antera 109
The Type 109 was a huge hit back in the 1990s and actually won awards for its design, which not only incorporated a center cap to hide the lugs but also, it was integral to the wheel's overall design. Additionally, there was no traditional valve on the outer lip, as that was also hidden behind the center cap—one of the spokes had a hollow pipe allowing air to flow into the tire. Although it was cool back then, this design should stay in the 90s. There aren't many three-spoke rims that look good, it doesn't matter if it was once an automotive fashion statement. These days, it just looks awful!
4 TSW Venom
These wheels were probably the coolest wheels on the market when they were released, even today there's nothing really wrong with them design-wise. The problem is that everyone who modified their cars from Europe fitted these wheels. The Euro styling scene was over-saturated with TSW Venoms and since rims have such a huge impact on the overall look of a vehicle, all the modified cars using them ended up looking very much alike. After a few years, the Venom trend faded and hopefully, it will never again be repeated.
3 Rover "Serpent" Wheels
When you look at these Rover wheels from really far away, they don't look too bad. At a certain distance, they look like ordinary six-spoke rims. Nothing special, sure, but not ugly, either. Then you get closer and realize just how wrong you were. Apparently, they couldn't decide if they should just go with some regular six-spoke wheels or follow the DTM-trend that was popular back in the day, so they seem to have mixed both styles into one wheel. We get that they wanted to do something stylish to set themselves apart, but sometimes it's better to just keep it simple.
2 Ford Probe "Yoghurt Swirls"
The Ford Probe was actually quite a stylish car, unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the "yogurt swirl" wheels some came equipped with. As if a standard three-spoke wheel wasn't bad enough, Ford decided to use three-spokes that were twisted—and they looked ridiculously cheap. The only reason we can think why Ford would use these rims would be to save money and have the customers buy their own wheels that actually suited the car. Clever move there, Ford, but we bet there would be better-looking wheels out there for the same money these cost you.
1 Any Spinners
Spinners were huge back in the day but thankfully, they've faded into obscurity. There are a few reasons why you don't see these awful things anymore. First of all, in some places, the local authorities made them illegal. Second, the novelty wore off. But most importantly, the manufacturers experienced some liability issues. Turns out, there were cases where the spinning part of the spinners became detached, which could be a very serious issue. Luckily, they're mostly gone now so we don't ever have to look at them again.
Sources: Pistonheads, Jalopnik, and Autoguide.