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Some of the most popular cars had their share of troubles. Maybe a generation wasn’t up to snuff or the automaker refused to invest in continuing the nameplate. But some of the worst-made cars in automotive history are popular because they were terrible. We have a bit of both on this list of the 6 most popular worst-made cars ever to hit the roads.

The 1978 Dodge Challenger (right) with Chrysler Canada president C.O. Hurly
1978 Dodge Challenger (right) with Chrysler Canada president C.O. Hurly | David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Challenger of the 1960s was incredible. This car could go hard and fast, besting nearly all other muscle cars. Unfortunately, new emissions regulations and lower power outputs created one of the worst-made cars in the 1978 Dodge Challenger. Chrysler dropped a weak 105-hp 2.6-liter four-cylinder engine into an embarrassing Mitsubishi rebrand, creating a Challenger that no longer struck fear in the hearts of rivals.

The 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Diesel was 1 of the biggest flops

1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme worst cars ever made
Circa-1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme | Didier Messens/Getty Images

To be fair, the diesel-powered Cutlass Supreme was one of the most popular and worst-made cars ever put on the road. That said, this was one of the first times the brand attempted to use a diesel engine. The 1973 oil crisis and restrictions of the 1970s drove some automakers to try different things that didn’t always work. This diesel engine only offered 90 horsepower, and it was prone to exploding. Those cars that didn’t explode were often found broken down on the side of the road.

The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 is one of the most iconic cars, but not for its performance

The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 is one of the worst cars ever made despite its iconic status
The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 from the ‘Back to the Future’ films | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Even though the Back to the Future franchise made the DeLorean DMC-12 famous, this car wasn’t the best. Its 2.85-liter V6 engine achieved only 130 hp and a top speed better timed using a sundial. The movie series is all that saved this car from complete failure. Though it has cemented a place in history, this car caused many frustrated drivers to shake their heads.

The 1997 Plymouth Prowler never fully realized its potential

A yellow Plymouth Prowler, one of the worst cars ever made
Plymouth Prowler | Edward Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

The retro-styled 1997 Plymouth Prowler could have easily been one of the coolest and fastest cars of the decade. Unfortunately, the 3.5-liter V6 was underwhelming — generating 250 hp and hitting 60 mph in a plodding seven seconds. This hot rod was so cold it’s easily one of the most popular but worst-made cars of its time.

The 2001 Pontiac Aztek often tops worst-cars lists

The new-for-2001 Aztek was so terrible that Plymouth quickly scrapped this unsightly SUV, never to return after the 2005 model year. More recently, it resurfaced in the Breaking Bad series, but drivers could never depend on it. The bean counters at GM got their hands on this SUV and turned it into a lemon that frequently appears on worst-cars lists, including this one from Car and Driver.

The 2003 Hummer H2 was the worst 2nd act of any vehicle

The 2003 Hummer H2 is among the worst cars ever made
2003 Hummer H2 | Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Despite being a gas guzzler, the H1 Hummer was one of the top-performing SUVs. However, the H2 didn’t live up to its predecessor. This beast still gulped fuel like the original, but it was underpowered and lacked the first model’s beloved performance features. With only 316 hp and a slow sprint speed, this SUV would run out of gas before it got far.