My boyfriend and I can talk about cars for hours upon hours. Often when I am driving in the car I guess the names and years of cars coming at me in the opposite direction or the ones visible in my rearview mirror. Maybe this is not the best thing to be doing while driving a moving vehicle, but it makes the long drives pass by extremely quickly and entertains me lots, especially when I beat my boyfriend time and time again.
These five ugliest cars are all fairly recent, and although there were ugly cars in the past such as the Marcos Mantis (1968-1971), the Ford Pinto (1971-1980) and the AMC Gremlin (1970-1978), these following cars take the cake for being unpleasant to look at.
All of these cars that are listed as “ugly” are just that, but some of them were useful and some of them were not. The practicality hidden behind some of these ugly cars is bittersweet because the look of them makes me wrinkle my nose and others have similar opinions. I have had a reaction to each and every one of these cars whether it be in person or now when I am studying pictures of them. It is disappointing that some of these cars were so aesthetically displeasing, but in the end some people do enjoy them and have bought plenty. Some cars sold in high numbers and others sold in astoundingly low numbers. Here’s the five ugliest cars ever made, and I apologize if some of you readers own one of these following cars. If you love your car, kudos to you!
1. Pontiac Aztek
The Pontiac Aztek came out in 2000 and stopped production in 2005. When the design was unveiled, it was meant to be innovative. It turns out that it did not and only sold around 120,000 units within those years of production.
It may be hard to imagine the Aztek because many people do not know about the Aztek, but if you have ever watched Breaking Bad then you know that the car Walter White drove in the series was in fact a Pontiac Aztek.
If the Aztek had a more appealing exterior it obviously would have sold more because the price was not too bad, ranging from around $22,000 to $30,000 fully loaded. It had quite a few features that made it worth the price, but the exterior completely killed the fun.
You could buy the Aztek with a console that doubled as a cooler and also even buy it with an option to make the Aztek into a camper. It had a tent and inflatable mattress available that was connected to the back as well as a tailgate package with a bunch of speakers in the back of the car and integrated seating, well kind-of seating, facing outwards. The average outdoorsy person could have made do with the open racks for canoes, kayaks and bikes, among many others, as well as the camper package. The pictures of the Pontiac Aztek as a camper are quite interesting, check them out!
2. Chrysler PT Cruiser
I love to hate on the PT Cruiser, and I am not the only one. It looks like it is supposed to be retro, but it missed its mark. The bubbled features of the PT Cruiser and the pointed, but somehow also rounded nose of the PT Cruiser makes it unattractive at best.
The PT Cruiser was produced from 2001 to 2010 and was produced as a four-door wagon as well as a two-door convertible. Both are unattractive, but the two-door convertible looks a little bit better on the exterior, but the interior is worse because of the way the convertible top gets in the way of the backseat. The interior was poorly manufactured in both the convertible and the four-door style and was not a selling point.
It was priced well, and it did get attention which inspired other car companies to create similar cars, like the Chevrolet HHR. The PT Cruiser did not have enough acceleration to be a truly fun car to drive and did not get the best gas mileage, either, and with this piled upon its poor exterior looks sales went downhill and eventually production stopped.
Operating the PT Cruiser with low horsepower and poor gas mileage always makes my mom, and I joke that it is like driving a sewing machine down the road. There is not much under the hood, and the engine is weak, but the PT Cruiser loses its battle because of its exterior which was at first innovative, but became pale and old to many.
3. Honda Element
The Honda Element is a box traveling down the road. The exterior styling scares away many from buying the Honda Element, but it did do somewhat well during its production years from 2003 to 2009.
The Element had plenty of cargo space and called to outdoor lovers and regular drivers alike because of its practicality with price and use, but the lackluster styling and “unique” look turned off buyers. It was not a comfortable car either, especially for those passengers in the backseat and it was not THAT fun to drive, but was safe and stable.
Nothing stood out about the Element except for its boxy, toaster-esque look and its space for a car of that size. Let’s be real here, if you needed space, you would go for a bigger car and not go out specifically to buy an Element to carry a bunch of cargo around. We have plenty of cars out similarly priced for that!
4. Fiat Multipla
This car is so bizarre to look at. It’s kind of like a dog that is so ugly it is cute. Hopefully, that makes sense, but that does not mean I want a Fiat Multipla and neither should you. I still think my Jack Russell is adorable, so I am not going to go out and find a dog that is so ugly, it’s cute and with the same principle I like my car that is attractive, thank you.
It was produced from 1998 to 2010, so it did have a long production time and obviously sold, but the looks of it were upsetting and disappointing for how useful the car was. It did well in Italy, but did not do too well elsewhere in sales.
The Multipla was versatile with its seating because it had three seats in the front row and the three seats in the back row were easily moved around or taken out. It also had plenty of space for luggage, which was a draw for the car, but the looks that made it look like a bug or more specifically a “tadpole” (TIME).
5. Nissan Juke
The Nissan Juke has a lot of good ideas behind it, but its look was not part of these plans. The Juke is the only car out of these five ugliest cars that can still be purchased today. It has sold very well, and Nissan prefers to continue to make money even if it has been called ugly time and time again. Apparently some people like it and Nissan is okay with living with the titles it has been given. It is proud of its ugly car.
The look of it is quite absurd, and it continues to keep looking uglier and uglier as Nissan stands behind its design. The Juke does not have much horsepower, but you can purchase different trims and engines, going up to 215 hp with pretty nice interior options such as Recaro leather seats and accent lighting. Still, the weird headlights and fog lights (how many are there?!) and bubbled features inside and out makes it look downright gross.
The Juke does have plenty of options for accessories and packages so that can be a selling point for some, but no matter what trim and packages you choose it will always look the same. Furthermore, if you do choose a lot of cool options and packages you can be spending a pretty penny of around $32,000 and up.
These ugly cars are entertaining to look at, but that is about it. Although some of them do have practicality their horrendous looks drive some buyers away including me and hopefully all of you. Ugliness is not the only factor that should be considered when buying a car and if you enjoy the other practical features found in some of these cars then by all means go ahead and buy a used version of one of these cars or one new car, a Juke.
The author, Taylor Thomas, is a resident of Plano, Texas and a car enthusiast who is always learning all she can about cars and finding the best deals. She is presently enrolled in the University of Texas at Dallas and uses freelance writing to supplement her income. For those needing to get their cars fixed (no matter how ugly) she highly recommends Linear Automotive.