Beautiful exterior, ugly interior.
1. Alfa Romeo GTV6
Once described by Jeremy Clarkson Himself as sounding like “having your soul licked by angels,” the GTV6 was characterised by its V6 motor which is often viewed of the finest sounding motors in automotive history. Like most Alfas (okay, we won’t mention the Arna) it was also very pretty. The rest, however, was quite shit. It was badly built, unreliable and rust prone.
The Delta, the Stratos, the Beta, the Gamma – all heartbreakingly pretty, all prone to rust, all poorly made and all their mechanicals were a bit Italian. Lancia has since been taken over by Chrysler and whilst they’ve sorted the reliability out, they’re VERY boring now and nothing like the Lancia of old. Sad.
Probably fake, but still funny:
3. SAAB 9-3:
SAAB’s are lovely things. They’re comforting and cars for people who aren’t gits. However, as pretty and quirky as the last generation 9-3 was, it was born at a time when General Motors owned the company before its demise in 2012. The last 9-3 was basically a badge engineered Opel Vectra, which made it floppy to drive and despite its good looks, not very exciting at all.
4. All Jaguars until about 2010
Jags look fantastic, but when owned by British Leyland and then in the early days of Ford ownership, they were plagued by electronic problems, crap build quality, and if you left one outside in the rain for long enough, it would rust so badly it would disappear. However, the XJ-R built between 1997 and 2003 is a thing of true beauty, and its V8 motor still makes it properly, properly quick. By the time the Blue Oval had fully acquired the Big Cat, the next generation XJ-R became one of the best Jags of all time thanks to its lightweight aluminium chassis and extremely powerful 400bhp V8.
5. Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk. 4
Fat, very, very fat. The Mk. 4 Golf was – and still remains – the heaviest Golf ever. Given it weighed the same as a whole American, this excess affected the sporty credentials of its much-loved GTi. Like all Golf cars, the Mk. 4 GTI looks fantastic in that understated way that Volkswagen has mastered, but God, it was slow. Very slow.
6. Audi Quattro
Yes, the Quattro is a groundbreaking car. Yes, it changed the way cars are designed, yes, it revolutionised the World Rally Championship and yes, it is beautiful. However, the world’s first 4×4 car is heavy, suffers from turbo lag, and suffers from that heavy front-end that characterised many Audis until about 5 years ago. You still would though, wouldn’t you?
An interesting fact: BMW has a history of shitty engines as well like N45. So don’t forget to check your BMW car history with a carVertical vin decoder.