Whenever we buy a car, we hope for many different things. And one thing that really drives us when we're shopping for a car is its looks. And looks don't just come into play when we are going to buy a car either, but when we look back on older machines and marvel at their beauty. When we think of beautiful cars, what comes to mind? Perhaps such cars as the Jaguar E-Type, the Ford Mustang, and perhaps even some beautiful race cars, like the Ford GT40. All of these cars are wonderful to look at and admire.
But of course, there is always another side to everything, and there is another side to the style of cars, too. Some cars are horrifically ugly. Others are just hit-and-miss with some people. But one thing to remember is that this doesn’t mean the cars are bad. Some of the greatest cars in the world have had very subjective looks. You could look at a whole host of pickup trucks and realize just how awful they are to look at, but then see the workhorse potential in them.
So what is this list? This is a list of some of the ugliest cars that you can find, but that are some of the very best cars out there, all at the same time. And not only are these some of the best cars out there but they will probably last you a good while, too. Because we need our vehicles to make it many years down the line and want them to be there for us for as long as possible.
22 Arial Atom
What the Arial Atom looks like is unlike virtually any other car that is currently on the market. Set up by a small UK company, the Atom is a crazy high performance machine that is so light it can accelerate to speeds that could rip your face off. But it does sort of resemble an extra bit of constriction scaffolding that has been left around by a builder and to which someone bolted some wheels and a supercharged or turbocharged engine. The Atom is so good that it is license-built in Virginia at the International Raceway. It may look like some building materials but this car is seriously good and pretty rugged, as well.
21 Fiat Multipla
Please do hear me out on this one. Well, before that, let us address the looks of this thing. It is awful. I can’t argue in any way that there are good points about this car's aesthetics. I have seen some ugly cars in my lifetime but this is perhaps the worst. However, there are good points. The Multipla is a very spacious vehicle and with all that glass, you can see a lot of the world. That might sound trivial but a spacious and well-lit car can make for a much more pleasing environment, especially if you are about to embark on some long drives on holiday.
20 Porsche Panamera
This is another car in which I simply cannot argue has any good looks. The Panamera is an interesting car, a four-door tourer that has been around for a few years now, and its performance is nuts. It is crazy fast and well-engineered by the team at Porsche. But it does look a bit like a Porsche 911 has gone through some weird stretching machine, and has caused it too look like some…well, I'm not sure, but it sure doesn’t quite look right. But that’s okay because underneath that frog-like exterior is a very good car and one that can rival its counterparts at Aston Martin and, indeed, Maserati.
19 BMW i3
This is another of those cars that we can’t really argue about when it comes to looks. There isn’t much pretty to look at when it comes to the BMW i3. The i3 is, perhaps as you might expect, an electric vehicle from BMW that has, quite frankly, surpassed all expectations. It is a wonderful little car and one that has impressed many with its performance and rather modern design. That modern design, though, has come with some ungainly looks attached to it—not to mention the hefty price tag. But there is no denying its good performance.
18 Volkswagen Up!
The Up has comically been referred to as the ‘Up, exclamation mark' by Top Gear, which is rather humorous and does make you wonder if you're actually supposed to shout its name out. The Up! is like the i3 in that it is a very good car but it does actually differ in the looks department. This isn’t one that I would say is a particularly bad looking car. But perhaps more along the lines of the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, it isn’t the most attractive car in the world, yes, but it is just maybe a bit…dull. But for a compact car the Up! is actually rather good and comes at a much fairer price point than the i3, as well.
17 Nissan Juke
Every time I see a Nissan Juke, I always want to find the nearest waste bin because there is nothing that I can find in the looks of a Juke that can make it redeem itself to me. Let’s forget that it is actually a comfortable and decent car, the Juke is an ugly machine, aesthetically. In yellow, it is eye-wateringly bad to look at and I am convinced that it gives me a headache whenever I see one. And the sport version is…well, a bit of the same, really, not all that great to look at. Oh yeah, there are worse out there, but this is surely one of the very worst-looking cars you could buy. But it's not a bad machine, really.
16 Bugatti EB110
Looks are very much subjective and the EB110 will probably divide opinions for the rest of eternity. Personally, I adore the way this thing looks but not everyone does, which is why it’s made the list. The EB110, together with the Jaguar XJ220, was one of the fastest cars of the 1990s, with a top speed of just under 210 mph, defying physics at the time and making it one of the best supercars of the period. It must have been good, as Michael Schumacher had one when he was with the Benetton F1 Team. Nothing can be a better endorsement than that of a then double F1 world champion.
15 Mazda MX-5
I’m sure this will bring up a few differing opinions and this is simply my own. I have never liked the MX-5. I find it ugly, dull, and a bit overrated. If I was to buy a car of this type, I would go for an older Honda S2000. There is much more to them. But the MX-5 is still a good car. It must be to be still in production and to sell in huge numbers worldwide. Looks-wise, the earliest models from the 1990s models are probably the best, aesthetically, and nowadays the MX-5 looks too generic, and too much like any other small sports car out there.
14 Range Rover
I can’t see anything good about how a Range Rover looks. They are much too big for their own good and are some of the most vulgar things that you may see on the road. A lot of people love how they look and there is an element of sleekness, to be fair. But still, they are too big and most models are poor when it comes to the looks department. But, they do a good job and are probably one of the best all-around 4x4 models that you can get, even in the United States. As such, it earns a place on this list, but is certainly a contender for the ugliest car of them all on this list.
13 Bugatti Chiron and Chiron Divo
Now, I can already feel quite a few people coming in with their opinions on this one. And I completely understand. When I first saw the Chiron, my jaw hit the floor and I was in awe of how the thing looked. The same for the Divo edition. But then, as time has gone on, I’ve adjusted my eyes, had new glasses, and grown into not being a big fan of it. I’m not saying it is horrifically ugly; it’s not and there are far worse looking cars out there. But it isn’t going to win any beauty pageants anytime soon. There is no doubt about the performance, though, and the Chiron is surely Bugatti’s greatest creation thus far.
12 2004 Chevrolet Corvette
The 2004 Chevrolet Corvette is perhaps a bit of a departure from a lot of Corvettes and I am particularly referring to the modern versions of the Corvette. They all have some quite aggressive styling to them, especially ones that are raced in IMSA or the WEC, but the 2004 isn’t perhaps the best. It’s a great car but…perhaps, a bit dull? That doesn’t really mean it is ugly, per se, but I have seen a few people wish it had that bit more aggression to it to really evoke the muscle car craziness. Still, there is some elegance to its plain lines, so it isn’t all bad for the 2004 Corvette.
11 Ford F-150
Yeah, you surely knew a pickup would make this list, didn’t you? The Ford F-150 is surely the best-known of all pickup trucks the world over, and can be bought internationally. The F-150 is surely the best all-rounder pickup out there, if you don’t want to go for the largest in the range, which is the F-350 Super Duty. You surely can’t argue that any pickup, barring those from the mid-20th century and earlier, is good looking but there is no doubting the dependability of thing. The F-150 is a fantastic pickup vehicle and will probably remain that way for years to come. It just ain’t gonna win any beauty contest.
10 Chevrolet Silverado
You might have been wondering if this pickup would sneak in and indeed it has. Coming in at mid-table (there is no order, by the way) is the Chevrolet Silverado. This is another great pickup that is rather dependable, in all of its iterations, but the Silverado is even uglier than the F-150 and is certainly not going to be the belle of the ball. And another thing, as well, the Silverado isn’t actually as good as the F-150. It doesn’t sell in as large of numbers but it just isn’t as strong, or reliable, or dependable as its Ford counterpart. That's not a bad thing, per se, but it is certainly the weaker of the two.
9 Toyota Hilux
Another pickup truck and this is another one that is rather ugly. Although, to be fair, it's certainly not as ugly as those that have come before it. The Hilux has risen to fame via Top Gear after being declared the strongest car in the world. In fact, it was labeled as the invincible car. The Hilux is one of the most dependable trucks on the market that isn’t a US-built pickup and is certainly worth the time of day to consider purchasing as your own if you aren’t totally sold on the offerings of Ford, Chevrolet, and the likes. Plus, it is one of the more understated pickups out there so by far, not the ugliest in the world.
8 Dacia Sandero
Upon first glance, the Dacia Sandero may not appear to be very interesting. And indeed it isn’t, while also being a bit ungainly. And it was, of course, the recipient of many Top Gear jokes, with ‘Great news’ coming from James May about the car before Jeremy Clarkson swiftly moved on. The thing is, though, when actually reviewed by Top Gear for the website, the verdict came out pretty positive, especially on durability. Whilst not a great design, its seven-year warranty option is a sign that it is clearly a reliable car, plus later models have improved a good deal in safety terms. And that's not to mention that the great price point has stayed the same—around $8,000!
7 Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen is one of Europe’s leading car manufacturers and the Golf has been a fixture in the company’s lineup since 1974. One of the original ‘hot hatches’ that rose to prominence—especially throughout the 1980s with the GTI variant—the Golf has grown in stature and size and also dependability and is a true workhorse for anyone that owns one. It won ‘World Car of the Year’ in 2009 and is one of only three cars to have been voted ‘European Car of the Year’ twice—alongside with the Vauxhall Astra and Renault Clio. Yet despite all this, it is never really spoken about as an exciting car. But then again, most cars like this aren't, really.
6 Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion is another example of a Ford that has that has perhaps become very hit-and-miss looks-wise over the last few years. Of course, there is nothing wrong with an odd-looking car if the performance is there and it still is there in the Fusion today. The NHTSA gave it incredibly high safety ratings and it, impressively, holds out very well in that regard but if you want a better looking Fusion, the 2010 model features a refreshing look compared to later models, which have become perhaps a bit too buff and big for their own good.
5 Honda Civic Type R
The Honda Civic Type R is one of those cars that really does attract a wide range of opinions when it comes to appearance and looks. Seen by many to be very aggressive and incredible, it is also seen by many to be way too over the top and nothing that people want from a sports car. What is hard to argue with is simply just how good the Type-R is and it is, indeed, very good. Fast, durable, and engineered with all the precision that you would expect from a company like Honda, the looks of this car shouldn’t distract you from what is an amazing driving experience.
4 Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta may well be one of the world's most well-known cars, even if it is not perhaps the most exciting car in the world. It is, however, ultra reliable and a long term fixture in Ford's lineup, however, looks wise it can be rather hit-and-miss, really. Remarkably, the first Fiestas were rolled out back in 1976 and the model is currently in its sixth generation. The Fiesta has truly grown in size since those early days and, thankfully, now looks much better than the uninspired fourth generation model that rolled out in 1995. If you want a car to last a long time, you really should consider the Fiesta.
3 Toyota Aygo
The Aygo is one of the best little cars out there and is, perhaps, the natural successor to the original Toyota Yaris, though later versions have grown somewhat bigger than the original. The Aygo is a city car and has, perhaps as expected, grown a bit in size since the first models were introduced in 2005. But it is still incredibly affordable and, thanks to the Toyota workmanship, an incredibly likable and reliable car. If it is anything like my 2004 Yaris, it is going to last someone a very long time, indeed. Hopefully, it doesn't become too large like the Yaris, either.
2 BMW 3 Series
BMW is another car company who knows how to produce very reliable and fairly inexpensive cars. The 3 Series has been around since 1975, spread across six generations, and has become the base point for the incredible BMW M3, which first appeared in 1986. Early versions were incredibly elegant but the car is quite unrecognizable now compared to how it looked then. Nowadays, it has become rather dull and dreary and nothing special compared to a lot of other vehicles. But it has been on Car and Driver’s 'Ten Best' list 22 times consecutively from 1992 to 2014—which is a staggering achievement and shows the great qualities and dependability of the car.
1 Bugatti Veyron
The Bugatti Veyron relaunched the brand to the world stage and has become one of the most revered supercars of its time. With 1,000 horsepower and a base-model top speed of 253 mph, the Veyron achieved legendary status and has become a favorite of many. But you have to address its looks, which are similar to the Chiron but still, quite hit-and-miss depending on what it is, exactly, that you like from a car. The Veyron is not the best-looking supercar that there is. It is by no means the worst but there is something a bit off about it, at times.
Sources: Wikipedia, Autocar, Car and Driver, Motor1, Wired