5 Cars That Really Shouldn’t Have Rolled Off The Production Line

For the most part, the cars that have been manufactured throughout history have looked just fine and worked just as they should.  They may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing of cars and they may not have functioned properly 100% of the time, but generally speaking, they’ve been suited to the era that they were built in and they were generally reliable.

There have been some cars, however, that have been nothing short of ugly and in terms of functionality, disastrous and the following five cars fit into one – or both – of these categories.

1.  Reliant Robin

A small, three wheeled car (which was one of the car’s only plusses, as it made it ineligible for car tax), the Robin first entered the UK market in 1973.

Boasting a four speed gearbox, it was considered by many to be a death trap due to its poor handling and difficulty – or danger – of turning corners in anything other than first gear.

Plus, make any sharp movements in it and you’d find yourself with a paint repair bill – for the side panels and roof.

2.  Fiat Multipla

Manufactured by Italian car giants Fiat and released initially in Italy in 1998, the saw respectable sales in its home country.

As soon as it became available in other countries, however, sales and positive reviews weren’t as good.

This wasn’t because the car didn’t have a sufficient amount of features or that it was poorly built, but it was more often than not simply because it is arguably one of the ugliest cars ever to be built.

Sporting what can only be described as a ‘roll of fat’ under the windscreen, after several years of attempting to sell the car, Fiat decided to revamp the design in 2004 to remove this detrimental design factor.

3.  Smart ForTwo

One of the first micro cars to be built and dominate the market in recent years, made for European city driving, with its length measuring a mere 250cm,  it’s hard to understand how one occupant is meant to fit in, never mind a passenger.

Whilst the small design is practical in some respects, it’s tiny engine – which ranges between a 0.6 litre and 0.8 litre – makes it almost impossible to travel for any long distances at a speed above 30 miles per hour without the car sounding like it’s going to blow.

In several countries around the world, the Fortwo is not only annoying to other motorists but the authorities as well, with some making it illegal to do what’s only possible in a ForTwo – parking sideways in a standard parking bay.

4.  Subaru Baja

The Baja was manufactured between 2003 and 2006 and was designed to look like a car / truck combination, but the whole concept never really took off, largely because it was capable of holding a fraction of a standard pickup truck.

The aesthetics of the Baja were not particularly pretty, with many enthusiasts claiming it resembled the more popular – if not still slightly ugly – Ipreza, fused with a mini truck.

Although available in both automatic and manual transmissions and with the same 2.4 litre engine in both, sales were expected to be 24,000 a year, but after just 30,000 were sold in four years, the car was deemed a flop and took out of production.

5.  Cadillac Cimarron

A household name and a brand that have been producing much loved cars for decades, it’s surprising that when you look at the Cimarron that was produced for six years until 1988, it’s hard to believe that the dent in the brand’s image that the Cimarron created wasn’t bigger.

Straying away from traditional Cadillac styling, the Cimarron looks very much like a child’s perception of a car – and this lack of Cadillac styling, whether surprisingly or not, is said to have been what put people off.

With only 132,499 being produced – and just a tiny 6,454 being manufactured in the last year – Cadillac achieved their goal of selling cars to non-Cadillac drivers, but this is about the extent of the achievements related to the Cimarron.

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18 comments
    • Trabant was not Russian but German, Eastern German, but nevertheless a far cousin of the Vlokswagen. Made of glorified cardboard but gave wheels to a lot of people in DDR. The deux chevaux was superb example of minimalist car design, drives very smoothly, also around corners, very hard to roll over. And has been in production for 38 years. Quite the contrary of any US gas guzzler.

      cheers.
      S

    • Oi! The french deux chevaux y’all so unfeelingly disparage had a proud history of service from the early ’50’s to the mid ’70’s amongst those of European “flower-power” community who couldn’t afford the ubiquitous “beetle” or its more upscale status symbol, the kombi…

  • There is a load of old tosh written about Reliant 3 wheelers. If you learn to handle them, they drive just great. I have done 85 MPH on a motorway in one and threw them around as well as a 4 wheeler. I owned 3 of them until I got a car license. The main attraction was not the car tax but they could be driven on a motorcycle license. You can roll any car if you try hard enough…..

  • I completely understand why the Cadillac Cimarron didn’t sell – why buy a high-end car for a high-end car price when it looks like a Buick Century. It’s like buying a Ferrari Chevette . . .

  • >long distances at a speed above 30 miles per hour without the car sounding like it’s going to blow.

    This is just a lie, you liar.

    What is it like, to be a liar?

    Have you even ever been in a Smart Fortwo?

    Liar!

    FFS. I hope you break a leg you lying piece of shit.

  • Having owned several Reliants I can say they are perfectly safe as long as you drive them like a three wheeler and not a four wheeled car. Also my current run around is a Smart Fortwo and people are amazwed at how much room there is inside – more than most 4 seaters cars. Even the luggage area is a decent size – I can easily get 2 bails of hay in it. I have other vehicles but choose to drive the Smart on long distances because it’s so comfortable and relaxed at motorways speeds. Accepted the max speed is only 80mph but it’ll cruise at 60 mph all day long with very little noise yet get amazing economy.

  • I disagree with your position about the Smart For-Two.
    Regarding the “parking sideways” situation, I’ve actually seen in many cities in Germany parking spaces specifically designed for Smarts (a sign indicates only smart for two can park there), where they can park sideways, and the parking fee is half of what’s asked to other car owners.
    Here in France, we can see more and more Smart-specific parking spots built into parking lots…

    Now about long trips, it has never been made for them, but for short in-city ones… Try using a Hummer in small French town : it’s just as ridiculous as going for a 500km trip with a For Two.

    Just my $0.02.

  • I can not believe the nonsens the author wrote about the smart for two…
    Here in Greece we have about 30.000 smart for two.
    Very economic – about one and a half gallon petrol for every 100 miles city cycle.
    Less with the diesel engine!!!
    Safe – the accident rates are very low for smart cars, also the death rate at smart car accidents.
    At highway it can reach easily 75 m/h.
    There are many salesmen that travel all the country with this vehicle.
    Two inside space is more than enough for two people – if they have no buggage….

    I have used for 5 years ago rental for my vacations – in a mountean site.
    I was alone – me buggages were at the godriver place…
    Almost 2000 miles in a 2 weeks time…
    .

  • “One reason the Cimarron didn’t sell is that it was simply a rebadged Chevy Cavalier, dressed up with leather & other trim additions, and I believe the buying public was well aware of it.