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What are some of the most terrible cars you can think of? Some cars you see or remember that you wonder how they ever made it past the design phase. Unfortunately, some cars sound great on paper but aren’t nearly as good once you get them on the road. Here are five terrible cars that shouldn’t have ever been built.

The Ford Pinto might be the worst car in automotive history

Yellow Ford Pinto which was one of the most dangerous cars ever made
Ford Pinto | Wiki Commons

In a scramble to keep up with small cars from Honda and Toyota, Ford rushed the Pinto to production in the early 1970s. This car was popular at first. It had a low price, a nice design, and a long list of options to make it attractive to many buyers. Ford gave Pinto owners the choice of either a four or six-cylinder engine.

Unfortunately, the Ford Pinto became known as the “car of death” because it could burst into flames due to leaking fuel tanks. It seems Ford forgot to protect the fuel tank in the Pinto, making this Ford one of the worst cars that shouldn’t have been built.

The Lexus CT 200H was a terrible car that hit all the wrong notes

Gray Lexus CT 200H driving down a road
Lexus CT 200H | Wiki Commons

What do you want in a luxury car? Do you want it to be a small hatchback that barely touches the luxury features list? No one else wanted this either, as the Lexus CT 200H proved. This terrible car came to the market as a premium hatchback that offers decent performance. Take off the Lexus garb on the body and you’ve got a car that’s nothing more than a Toyota Prius wearing a Lexus coat.

The Prius’s performance showed its ugly head with painfully slow driving from a stoplight and poor driving dynamics in the Lexus CT 200H. Thankfully, this little hatchback didn’t last long.

More thought should have gone into the Chrysler 200

Blue Chrysler 200 posed
Chrysler 200 | Wiki Commons

Many people admire the Chrysler 200 for what it is. This car straddled the line between the compact and midsize sedan class, and it offered a nice modern design. Unfortunately, the quality of the 200 was poor and rear passengers didn’t have much room in a car that was bigger than most compact sedans.

The 2.4-liter engine didn’t give this car much power, which made it an even harder car to live with. If Chrysler had taken a little more time, the 200 could have been a great car, but instead, it’s one of the terrible cars that shouldn’t have ever hit the market.

Maybe Lexus should have learned from the terrible qualities of the Cadillac Cimarron

White Cadillac Cimarron posed
Cadillac Cimarron | Wiki Commons

What happens when the market changes to smaller cars but most of your lineup is made of land yachts? This was the identity crisis Cadillac faced in the early 1980s. This decade was a dark age for the auto industry, but Cadillac had serious trouble attracting customers.

Cadillac chose to do something other luxury brands have done. They wanted to attract customers with a small car at a lower price point. Unfortunately, as Motor Junkie highlights, they didn’t have a small platform. The result was the Cadillac Cimarron which was nothing more than a dolled-up Chevrolet Cavalier.

The Oldsmobile Cutlass Diesel should have been left in the trash can

Oldsmobile Cutlass Diesel parked on the side of the road
Oldsmobile Cutlass Diesel | Wiki Commons

The 4.3-liter V8 diesel engine of the Oldsmobile Cutlass is considered the worst diesel engine in history. In the 1970s, most automakers were working to solve the fuel crisis and new regulations. Oldsmobile tried a diesel engine, which sounded like a good idea on paper.

Unfortunately, like some of the other terrible cars on this list, the Cutlass Diesel should have been scrapped before being built. The 4.3-liter V8 engine was subject to massive recalls. Worse than the recalls, the engine tended to explode and shatter during normal driving, turning the Oldsmobile Cutlass Diesel into scrap.

If you want to see more terrible cars, scroll down to the next article.

Next, check out the Ford Explorer Timberline, or watch the Top Gear team talk about the worst cars ever made in this video below:


5 Sports Cars That Should Have Been Driven Straight to the Junkyard