So bad it’s good: 10 ugliest cars in the world

Tadas Švenčionis

Tadas Švenčionis

You certainly are familiar with that feeling when you spot a brand new car you so much adore just in front of your eyes. Some of the vehicles are designed like a masterpiece, so it entertains only by staring at it. People are buzzed just by these lovely looks. But on the other hand there are truly horrible, utterly ugly looking things that for some reason are classified as cars. You just can’t help but think how on earth these catastrophic cars saw the green light for their dull production.

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Meet the ugliest cars in the world

Some of the ugly cars in this list made sensational success in terms of sales. It seems people do not take the looks very seriously, although it has to be said: you can’t really judge the book by its cover. On the other hand, the looks of a car is a matter of individual choice. Still, some of the cars are so bad it’s even good – it is not even a shameful thing to want one.

Fiat Multipla

Dark blue Fiat Multiple with black bumpers
Source: crash71100 / Flickr

The original Multipla invented its own class back in 1956. It was extraordinary and in a way, it remained the same in the period of 1998 to 2010. An MPV with 3 seats in the front row and huge windows all-around the Fiat Multipla was one of very few cars with such attention towards practicality.

However, Multipla is usually followed by a word ugly. Especially the pre-facelift model, which had a horrendous set of headlights sculpted right in the area below the windshield. Massive windows made it look like a sort of rolling greenhouse and things did not improve at all once you opened the door.

Whole instrument cluster was in the centre, slightly oriented towards the driver. If you love cars you may have had this one rhetorical question: how did Italians who are so good at car design came up with such a ugly looks of Multipla? If cars were food, it was ananas flavored pizza. And mind you, there are people who actually eat it with an extra blast of ketchup and even ask for more.

Rolls Royce Cullinan

White Rolls-Royce Cullinan parked by the side of the street
Source: Alexandre Prevot / Flickr

As Chris Harris from Top Gear once said, there are far too many tasteless rich people for it not to exist. But once the whole world seemingly went mad for cars with a greater road clearance, Rolls did find this as a great niche to boost the profit up.

Although it may be one of the most expensive cars in the present day market, it definitely is amongst the ugliest ones in the world, too. Yes, you can justify its presence by saying that without Cullinan in their range Rolls Royce would struggle to make their perfect saloon, coupe and convertible models. But it just leaves people speechless when it comes to the definition of this SUV’s design and looks.

From the front it looks like an overgrown Rolls Royce, but once you go further into the body, you may find it spiritless or too generic. In a way it even reminds of a London Cab – how exclusive is that, you might ask. To sum things up, the Cullinan seems like a Rolls Royce made in China. Might be a great car to live with, but for a spit to the faces for true car enthusiasts. Or a tragedy to look at.

Pontiac Aztek

White Pontiac Aztek in the parking lot
Source: Pandamera1 / Flickr

Hello there dear fans of Breaking Bad. You certainly remember this Walter owned Pontiac Aztek and it definitely is one of the few cars which easily make its way to the lists of ugliest cars. And if you think, did they do it just like that on a purpose? Well, there is a short answer to this. Yes, they did.

One of the guys behind the idea of this car was so certain about the Aztek’s success that it turned into his own ambitious project. And there was no room for non-believers on the team – everyone had to carry the same idea that the production version of this horrible car will astound the world. And boy it did. Just, perhaps not in the way the over-ambitious mister at Pontiac expected.

The whole car from every single angle looks weird, to say the least. Any petrolheads or car fans are likely to find it as the ugliest car in the world and that makes the Aztek play in a league of its own. It is simply so bad that it’s good and is often described as a future classic.

AMC Gremlin

Yellow AMC Gremlin with a black stripe on its side
Source: Crown Star Images / Flickr

American Motors Corporation might be amongst the manufacturers that you don’t know ever existed. Don’t be ashamed – it wasn’t there for long and in the end of the day it merged into the Chrysler Group. During its few decades of activity AMC managed to create one of the strangest vehicles in the history of the automotive industry. Or, to tell the truth, perhaps one of the ugliest.

It is called the AMC Gremlin. Have you ever heard of anything pretty with a name Gremlin? It’s a definite ‘no’ here in most cases. AMC offered a front of a classic american pony car and a rear end that was cut with an axe or a guillotine if you like it.

Try to combine a pony car and a french compact sized hatchback. It hurts even thinking about such a strange mixture. But for the guys at AMC it seemed sensible and they did it anyway. The Gremlin reminds of some projects when the design team is being split into two autonomous sides of which one is responsible for the front end of the car and another one – for the rear. What a strange way to build an automobile – no wonder why it is often described as the ugliest car in the world.

Nissan Juke

White Nissan Juke in the showroom
Source: AlBargan / Flickr

Nissan Juke – one of the cars that made the compact SUV segment erupt in Europe. Nissan did a great job with Juke when it comes to making money. But god, it was ugly. What made it so bizarre was the silly combo of headlights. Nissan decided to go for an unconventional mix on the Juke – they combined pointy and edgy lights with oddly shaped round pieces on the lower part of the car, creating arguably the strangest front end after the Fiat Multipla.

Or, perhaps it was inspired by the latter one from Italy? Nonetheless, the whole car looks like it misses the classy proportions: tall, oddly shaped front and rear, a little bit dull to drive, too. Nissan made it for China, too. However, it was called the Infiniti ESQ for that market alone.

Albeit the facelift which did not make things a lot better in 2015, Nissan made a massive leap forward with the second generation of Juke. It turned out to be a much better looking car in general. It seems that being called the worst or ugliest by a famous trio from The Grand Tour, made a big scar in the Nissan design department. Lessons were learned.

Ford Scorpio mk2

Orange Ford Scorpio mark 2
Source: Timo_Beil / Flickr

If you happen to spot this rare car nowadays, the rear part of the 2nd generation of Ford Scorpio might remind you of a Sperm Whale. That massive trunk line combined with a single rear taillight creates this illusion of the head of one of the biggest and perhaps the ugliest creatures of the sea.

Things are not improving a lot when you go towards the engine bay – although the profile of the car is classic shape of three boxes, the lines of the front simply do not match the ones of the rear. There is some sort of imbalance in the design language of this luxurious Ford sedan.

With the bizarre styling left alone, the manufacturer claimed the second generation of Ford Scorpio had met sales expectations. Controversially, it was taken out of production in 1998 – during the fifth year of production. Thanks god, there were not a lot of these sold and it takes a fortune to spot one in the present day.

Lexus SC430

Silver Lexus SC430 parked on grass
Source: FotoSleuth / Flickr

Lexus was always aiming to slice a piece of pie that was mostly shared by german trio (Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz) and some manufacturers from the states in their own market. However, when it came to the looks of sporty GT cars Japanese were out of the competition by a lightyear. If you did not like the first generation of the bullet train inspired SC class models, perhaps you will not approve the utterly bizarre or soulless design of the second generation model.

The SC430 was a coupe-cabriolet for the people who wanted something very different. It ended up in the garages of buyers who did not care about the looks of the car, the way it handles or the ride quality as well as the ergonomics. It looked dull – like it was designed by a sculptor and then left in the sea for years.

In terms of engineering, SC430 offered unmatched reliability, but the lack of a spirit in the design was so big that the car was paceless to rival others in the same segment. The Lexus SC430 is considered not only as the ugliest, but perhaps one of the worst cars generally, too.

Plymouth Prowler

Golden Plymouth Prowler on the street
Source: crash71100 / Flickr

Plymouth Prowler was shocking from the very beginning. And, truth to be said, it remained so to this very present day. It pays a unique resemblance to the hotrods – perhaps the only car that had such a small gap between the outrageous hotrod like looks and mass production.

Although the concept made some sense, it was too far from economic success. There were just short of 12,000 of Powlers ever made. It was impractical, it had no V8 and the fuel tank was tiny. When it comes to the design of this car it feels completely different from the lot, since the front wheels are completely open – just like in single seater race cars.

However, the narrow and pointy front looks misplaced in the context of the fat rear end of the car. The idea of making a hotrod-like production car was great but it was too much compromised by a number of requirements needed for the car to reach the assembly line. So the potential was great, but the whole outcome turned out to be disappointing and ugly on top of that.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Green Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet in the showroom
Source: _Tony_B / Flickr

Second generation of Nissan Murano was just another boring SUV for people who couldn’t care less about cars. However, Nissan decided to make a different version of Murano by sacrificing the practicality as well as purpose of the vehicle. That’s how the project Murano Cross Cabriolet was born.

In 2010 Los Angeles motorshow the CrossCabriolet was displayed. Even though Nissan claimed it to be the first convertible crossover on the market, it was not a big hit. Tall stance, relatively short wheelbase, massive doors (mind you, it was 200 mm or 7.9 inch longer than standard) and dull retractable roof design gave Murano a direct flight to the list of ugliest cars.

It is ugly, pointless and unsatisfying. Take note that this wasn’t the first Nissan’s attempt of converting an ordinary car into a convertible. What is strange in this case is that they failed again after they did horrendous Micra C+C back in 2002. Hopefully, it will not be remembered by the manufacturer.

SsangYong Korando

White Ssangyong Korando front
Source: RL GNZLZ / Flickr

Guys at SsangYong never had a car which could be described as a pretty one. Most of their models in the range were always considered to be ugly or even depressing to look at. That was the case right until the latest (fourth) generation of Korando showed up. It definitely is not a beauty queen, but a decent looking automobile. One of the greatest looking SsangYong cars, perhaps. But let’s take a glimpse at one of its predecessors.

Second generation of Korando might have been a big improvement from the first generation in terms of engineering or ride quality. It left the utilitarian costume hanging and dressed pretty much like any other car of its time. However, things at the SsangYong design department went downhill. With that bizarre front end of the Korando this car was perhaps the ugliest creation from the peninsula of Korea.

Tiny gap between the headlights and extremely wide turning indicator lights made it look outrageously odd when compared to the other cars of such class. The whole front is so much narrower than the rear end of the car – it may seem that the project was abandoned in the middle of the process. That’s how ugly the second generation of SsangYong Korando is.

Here are 5 vehicles just missed the list of ugliest cars

McLaren Senna

Orange McLaren Senna with black and blue accents
Source: Phil Guest / Flickr

This is a tough one for fans of supercars. McLaren Senna carries the name the best Formula 1 driver in the history of motorsports. However, McLaren Senna had some big issues with the possibility of catching fire and even though this may have been successfully solved, it is far from being a great looking machine.

It appears to be designed entirely by science with a total absence of people who care about the way cars look. Most of the body parts are likely to carry function, but the whole car just doesn’t look right. It looks more like a compilation of random car parts put together rather than a supercar as a whole.

Subaru Tribeca

Grey Subaru Tribeca
Source: crash71100 / Flickr

Subaru once decided to offer medium sized SUVs for the North American market which was later expanded to other continents. But let’s stop here for a second. Being a responsible employee in Subaru, what would it take for you to make a great car to conquer different markets? Comfort? Style? Refined ride quality and great power? Well, according to guys at Subaru, it was just a few tons of bad design.

Subaru B9 Tribeca is as bad looking as a Chrysler PT Cruiser. Who could even like it? Although some of the Subaru cars carry great amounts of rally pedigree, this one seems to be about nothing at all. However, they did improve the appearance for the facelift model but that didn’t save Tribeca, too. It was discontinued and will likely be remembered as one of the worst cars Subaru made ever.

Bentley Bentayga

White Bentley Bentayga front
Source: Alexandre Prevot / Flickr

Here we go again – yet another choice for the same tasteless people with way too much money. Although, Bentley had to make it one way or another. Declining sales and blooming interest in SUV cars was a sign for Bentayga to happen. However, this car might be not as ugly as some other cars mentioned before, but as such an expensive vehicle it can’t be mentioned in the same sentence with the word ‘beautiful’.

The hate started flowing back in 2013 when Bentley showcased the EXP 9 F production version. It instantly received too much negative comments from the media. The officials decided to correct the cosmetics for the production version of Bentayga, although sadly, it remained to be one ugly Bentley.

Chevrolet SSR

Red 2004 Chevrolet SSR
Source: Crown Star Images / Flickr

People who love cars are familiar with some great examples how retro inspired cars can be successfully reimagined in the modern world. For instance, a Chevrolet Corvette, a Porsche 911, a modern Mini or a Fiat 500, to name a few. However, there were some bad examples as well – just like retro Advance Design trucks inspired Chevrolet SSR. Just look for some images of Advance Design trucks and this horrible misery made by Chevy.

It may not be the worst looking car on the planet, but certainly is amongst the ugliest pickups made by mankind. It is too bubbly and lacks aggressiveness so much that it even hurts looking into it. The front end of the Chevrolet SSR packs so many objects of different shapes – it certainly is amongst the ugliest pickups ever made.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla lineup, including the Cybertruck
Source: jurvetson / Flickr

Oh, the Cybertruck. The car that set the discussions in car forums and social media on fire. There were people admiring the simplicity of the design of this car, but judging from the forms it seems that it was developed by a 12 years old or by Elon Musk himself, perhaps? Few solid brushes and that’s it – the car is ready.

It is hard to describe the design of the Cybertruck, but it redefines the whole concept of a truck – that’s for sure. It is impossible that a car with such sharp edges could make its way to the assembly line, especially when it comes to safety requirements in Europe. Tesla Cybertruck may be not the worst car in the world, but as a future concept it looks too raw and incomplete.

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Tadas Švenčionis

Article by

Tadas Švenčionis

Tadas is the Editor in Chief of the carVertical Blog. A fan of all things automotive and tech, he makes a point of making complex topics simple and engaging – after all, what good is a story no one understands? Tadas spends his free days reading, gaming, and bringing music no one’s asked for to Vilnius, Lithuania.