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United States Hardware

Worst Cars Of All Time Rated 1017

prostoalex writes "Forbes magazine complains that people nowadays do not have a real understanding of how awful a car can truly be. Hence they compiled a list of the worst cars available in the US, or 'lemons' created after World War 2. In the former Eastern Bloc, there are plenty of other choices, including this Ukrainian jewel, as well as many Soviet cars did not make it to the Forbes article."
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Worst Cars Of All Time Rated

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  • by caino59 ( 313096 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:33PM (#8094032) Homepage
    they never really had problems to really warrant labeling them as 'lemons'

    They were just butt ugly.

    there are definately other cars out there more fit to recieve "worst car ever"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:36PM (#8094067)
    Too bad it's only the american cars.. Peugot was a *gem*. I also had a few imports which weren't worth anything, and nearly died several times in my trooper II. As of now, I pretty much buy only american, because they have such a bad rep, they *have* to do better :) (however, the UAW is what I have always seen as the culprit behind why us cars aren't seen as the greatest. They can't lose their job, so why should they care)

    Plus, I'm too tall for anything anymore.
  • Ford Focus (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:40PM (#8094097)
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned the 2000 Ford Focus. With its constant recalls and general ass-like appearance, I'd be surprised if those cars have any resale value. Just when you think Ford couldn't screw anything up any worse...
  • by Lurks ( 526137 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:42PM (#8094118) Homepage
    Hmm, well as a European - I pretty much consider all American cars as being pretty amusingly bad. That's not trying ot be insulting or whatever, it's obviously just a cultural thing.

    Those big cars, big engines, sloppy suspension and those looks, oh my word. Hmm, I must catch myself because I do like plenty of yank sports cars. And obviously the Ford GT36 is probably the finest muscle car in the world.

    But SUVs, Hummers and those station wagons with wood panels on the side? Oh God, make it stop.

    I wish they'd stop trying to bring Cryslers over to Europe too, it's just embarrassing when they sell 3.

  • Re:Soviet Cars (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Via_Patrino ( 702161 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:42PM (#8094131)
    I forgot to mention, one of the reasons that soviet cars didn't evolve is that they didn't suffer the oil crisis on the 70's, because they had all the oil they need and weren't in the market, so they didn't need to care about efficiency
  • Zaporojetz (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:44PM (#8094153) Homepage Journal
    Soap box [startua.com](Milnitsa, ) was a very popular car in the Ukraine, as well as in the rest of the former USSR. Same goes for the rest of the former soviet cars. Of-course the popularity was mostly due to the fact that this car was very cheap and much more accessible than other cars, especially by foreign manufacturers (foreign to the soviet population.) So the soviet cars definetly do not belong on the 'lemon' list, simply because they in fact were really popular among the soviet population.

    I am originally from the city where this car was manufactured, the most polluted city in Ukraine, btw.
  • LADA Niva (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bigjocker ( 113512 ) * on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:44PM (#8094155) Homepage
    I'm thinking about buying a Lada Niva. I've been in love with this car for a few years and now I have the chance, but I'm intrigued by the comment in the article mentioning them as bad cars. I have a few friends who have been owners of this car and, althought not the best car around, they seem to perform really well.

    The new generation of Nivas comes with a motor that is 1700 cc, inyection motor (I really don't know the correct translation of this spec ...), 4x4, air conditioning and few gadgets.

    Is this car really bad? or is it suffering from bad PR?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:47PM (#8094195)
    GM is the Wal-Mart of automotive manufactures. They have been for a LONG time, at least since a little before your Fiero was built. They build cheap shit, with the possible exception of Cadillacs and Corvettes.

    Their latest stinker is the Cadillac CTS. It's a real POS. All I can say is: expect recalls.

    One of my good friends is a GM mechanic instructor. He trains the guys who are going to work on your cars, and he's great at it, and the students are excited about being mechanics.

    Problem is, GM, in their infinite cheap-bastardosity treats them like shit. Warranty service does not pay well. Say that you've got a problem with your transmission, and maybe it takes 5 or 6 hours to fix it. The bean counters at GM seem to think that it'll take maybe 3 hours max to do it. As a mechanic, you work 6 hours, they'll pay you for 3. No negeotiation. What's worse is that it's compounded even further by GMs focus on manufacturing stuff cheaply. They don't design stuff to be easy to maintain. They don't design things so that it's easy for a mechanic to replace or repair. They'll sure as hell make it cheap and quick to put together, but the mechanics pay for it in the end.

    The only way to make decent money as a GM mechanic is to work for a dealership, where non-warranty service like oil changes and collision repair make up for GMs jew-osity.

    GM is being run by a real bunch of motherfuckers. No wonder they're having troubles.
  • by NetNinja ( 469346 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:56PM (#8094310)
    Why is it that computers and other goods get cheaper but car prices continue to rise?
    Cheap ass plastic, inferior paint that just barely coats the car.
    How come the Japanese cars use better plastic?
    Maybe we should export all manufacturing of American cars to India.
    Please don't tell me all the R & D justify's the prices.

    By the way I drive a Ford Taurus SHO.
  • by Phil John ( 576633 ) <phil.webstarsltd@com> on Monday January 26, 2004 @07:58PM (#8094319)
    ...the thieves probably figured (somewhat correctly) that since the other cars were nice, new and expensive they would be harder to break into. Your 1998 shitmobile would, however, be easy to break into and simple to hotwire (no immobilisers etc.).

    Now, if you had blended in and had a nice car, there wouldn't have been so much to mark yours out.

    If you got it back, they didn't steal it to sell, they stole it to commit a crime in (joyride or as a gettaway vehicle).

    As the parent poster said, it's all about blending in! :o)
  • Re:Ah, the Pinto. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bob Davis, Retired ( 717968 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:00PM (#8094338)
    Actually, carjackers are usually too cracked out to care what they steal. I don't know how many episodes of Cops I saw with five or six gangbangers piled into a Geo Prizm.
  • by rynthetyn ( 618982 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:04PM (#8094373) Journal
    I dunno, I kind of think that the Edsel reaches the so-ugly-it's-cool level. There is a small segment of the population that are Edsel fans.
  • Re:results (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WotPeed ( 613645 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:05PM (#8094393)
    The Fiero was marketed as a commuter car because Pontiac wasn't allowed by Chevy to market it as a sports car (at GM that honor goes exclusively to the Corvette).

    What about the Camaro and Firebird/Trans Am? Those both have to be considered sports cars. But otherwise I agree with you, Forbes should stick to financial press.

  • by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:10PM (#8094443) Journal
    The Trabant has an interesting place in economic history. Once the Berlin Wall fell, economists could examine the books of the Trabant factory. Of course, manufacturing businesses work by taking raw materials and adding labor to produce a finished product, and if the value of the finished project doesn't exceed costs, they lose money. That's not uncommon, but with the Trabant, the value of the car was *less* than the value of the raw steel, glass, plastic, etc. used to make it, not even counting the labor! I love the irony of East Germany disproving Marx's labor theory of value by producing a "value-subtracted" product ....
  • Porsche 924 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crusty Oldman ( 249835 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:11PM (#8094454)
    As the ex-owner of a Chevy Vega, I can say with authority that this list is nowhere near complete. The worst car ever built has to be the Porsche 924.

    Lack of power was only one of its negative attributes. The body panels over your legs rusted and let in rain water. The exhaust system would shake itself apart. The headpipe, catalytic converter, and resonator all tore themselves apart from vibration. The cast iron exhaust manifold actually split longitudinally from the shaking. The cooling system was designed with the radiator lower than the engine, so it would constantly develop an air bubble and overheat the engine (and eventually crack the engine block). And oh yeah, the driver's door fell off. Literally!

    The nickname I gave my Porsche 924 was "two-dollar whore", and it must have liked the name, because it had me calling it constantly.
  • by Nakito ( 702386 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:13PM (#8094470)
    Yes, I think criticizing the Edsel is evidence that the author of this article does not have any independent conclusions. He only criticizes cars that others have criticized before him. The Edsel was only considered ugly in the context of its own time. That time is long gone, and today we can see that it's kind of cool looking.
  • by Colonel Cholling ( 715787 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:15PM (#8094501)
    I'm surprised they didn't mention this. For those who don't know (they weren't exceedingly popular), this was Subaru's answer to the mullet-car craze spurred by the Ford Ranchero, GMC Caballero, and Chevy El Camino. Picture a malformed Justy with a pathetic attempt at a truckbed welded on.

    Then there was Dodge's entry, the Rampage, sort of a K-Car for Journey fans. But I think the Brat has even that beat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @08:25PM (#8094595)
    That sounds exactly like my experience with an 86 Olds Regency 98. They also shopped around for cheap parts and replaced the Olds engine with a cheap Buick engine.

    If you believe that an Oldsmobile engine is different than a Buick engine, than the rest of your post is suspect.

  • Re:Canyonero (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:19PM (#8096415)
    Hint... if you're going for Funny, use the preview button
  • Re:LADA Niva (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:44AM (#8098002) Homepage
    That was kind of the whole point. It would be stupid building a 4x4 that is actually *designed* to be taken offroad, that might need highly specialised tools to repair. What if it broke in the middle of 1,000 miles of the Steppes of Russia?

    Most of the Lada and Skoda reliability problems were simply down to owners failing to maintain them. Since they are built on 30-year-old designs, they need just as much care and attention as cars did 30 years ago.

  • by phoenix321 ( 734987 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:45AM (#8098357)

    It may get worse than that:

    Friend of mine drives around with another friend. He had to stop at an intersection, his friend behind just did not. So they made a crash with a Lada Samara (small 2-door hatchback) in front and a Ford Escort from behind. Guess what? The Lada was not even dented, the Ford was totally ruined in the front, engine damaged - not recoverable.

    Lesson learned: Lada may be low tech, but it's durable like the proverbial panzer. Oh and it heats up in less than 5 minutes in even the coldest (-20C) winter we'd ever experienced.
  • RX-Family (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thelizman ( 304517 ) <hammerattack@nOspAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @10:27AM (#8099232) Homepage
    The problems with emissions were understated - at the time of the RX-2, nobody really gave a shit about emissions except some nuts in california. What did the RX-2 in was low-end performance. Rotaries stink for torque in the sub 5k rpm range. Mazda finally introduced turbo on the RX-6 and more popularly on the RX-7. Poor sales killed the 7 in the 90's, but Mazda kept doing research and we have the RX-8 which is a damn fine engine, and clean to boot. The problem is the stigma of needing turbo is hurting sales, and Mazda is still waiting to introduce a RX-8 Twin Turbo.till this summer.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill