Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK

Mon dieu! These ten French cars, as selected by you, are the most horrible to ever drive the face of the earth, true examples of boîte de merde. Of course, we can think of worse French things.

Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our Jalopnik summer feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: MaxT

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


10.) Renault Le Car

Suggested By: Superfunk

Why It's a Horrible Car: As is the case with many of the crapcan econoboxes that give birth to hot-stuff offspring, the Le Car begat the R5 we all know and love. How something as awesome as the R5 came from something as terrible as the Le Car is beyond me. Even more strange, despite all logic, a version of the Le Car is still being produced in Iran today.

Photo credit: Tamerlane's Thoughts

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


9.) Renault 4

Suggested By: BZU

Why It's A Horrible Car: The Renault 4 was the original European hatchback. Good for it. It was also the original car with two different wheelbases. Due to its interesting parallel torsion bar suspension in the rear, the car's wheelbase is shorter on the left than on the right. That didn't stop it from going racing though. Some enterprising Frenchmen got an example entered in the 1962 Monte-Carlo Rally. It finished last. No one was surprised.

Photo credit: Cartype

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


8.) Simca 1307

Suggested By: dal20402

Why It's A Horrible Car: Simca was generous during the 1307's lifespan. They didn't want to keep its outstanding uniqueness all to themselves; as a result the 1307 was available as an Alpine, two kinds of Chrysler, four kinds of Talbot, and three other kinds of Simca. It was sold all over the world too, spreading its rusty joy to New Zealand, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and mainland Europe. The rusty joy didn't last though: in 1999 it was reported that only 15 examples have yet to completely decompose in the entire United Kingdom. Now, without a proper breeding program in place, the 1307 species is certainly endangered.

It is pictured here with a real-life example of its total power output.

Photo credit: autoevolution

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


7.) Renault Latitude

Suggested By: philaDLJ

Why It's A Horrible Car: French automobilia is defined by its sometimes outrageous design. So how then could the company that brought us the Avantime minivan and Megane II hatchback foist such a boring, beige abomination on the European public? If you gave a five year old a crayon, they'd come up with something as nondescript as this lump of metal. Renault, you need to go take a minute and think about what you've done.

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


6.) Citroen C5

Suggested By: zacarious

Why It's A Horrible Car: Similarly to the Latitude, the first-generation Citroen C5 looks like France's answer to the Camry. I think Pessimippopotamus said it best:

"Actually literal "Je ne sais quoi" is the perfect description for the C5. As in "I don't know what the hell it's supposed to look like." So amorphous."

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


5.) SEFAC

Suggested By: brandegee

Why It's A Horrible Car: Up until today, I thought the only SEFACs in auto racing were the handful of hot rodded Ferrari 250 Short Wheelbases. According to brandegee though, I was mistaken. The SEFAC was France's national entry into the world of 1930's Grand Prix racing. It was underpowered, unreliable, and a gas-guzzler. And despite efforts from the French government (however misguided they may have been) the thing just could not be made into a winner. Sounds pretty much par for the course, no?

Photo credit: Galerie des Damiers

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


4.) Citroen LN

Suggested By: tonyola

Why It's A Horrible Car: For those wacky Frenchmen who really dug the 2CV's engine but wanted a slightly more modern-looking body, may I present the Citroen LN? The LN combines the best of mid-70's European econobox styling with the best of then-30-year-old engine technology. It also includes trademark French reliability. Roll all that together and you get one atrocious automobile.

Photo credit: Histomobile

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


3.) Peugeot 1007

Suggested By: Judebutler

Why It's A Horrible Car: The French made the dual-sliding-door trick work with the Renault Avantime. Not so much with the Peugeot 1007. To quote JudeButler:

Ridiculously heavy (thanks to those sliding doors), ridiculously slow (thanks to its weight), ridiculously ugly (thanks to that corporate Peugeot maw and sliding door track), impossible to get into the back of (thanks to those sliding doors). Expensive.

Also mentioned is the fact that the doors go beyond the car and are electric, meaning you can dent them (and whatever is around you) if you park too close. French engineering at its finest.

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


2.) Renault Alliance

Suggested By: JalopJeff

Why It's A Horrible car: Maybe I'm biased. The second car I was in after being born was a red Alliance. For reasons unknown, Mom had one. I threw a banana peel under the front seat one day, Mom couldn't find it, and the car was never the same. Mom's smelly Alliance has nuthin' on Irishman72's friends' car though:

"We were cruisin— pardon me, we were chugging along one day in San Diego, hit a particularly deep pothole, my friend screams. Pull over quick and find that a spring in the seat had broken when we hit the hole and a piece of it, shaped sorta like a fish hook, had stabbed him in the back of the leg.

Blood everywhere, leg hooked securely to a broken piece of spring steel. Took me five minutes with a pocket knife to cut away enough of the seat to grab it with needle nose pliers. Sold it to the junkyard a week later."

Ouch.

Photo credit: Renault Alliance Club Passion

Ten awful French Cars still not as bad as DSK


1.) KV Mini 1

Suggested By: dingo_426

Why It's A Horrible Car: Where do I even start on this thing? First, it's ugly. Second, it looks to me like the wheels are attached to the body in the same way the wheels are attached to a Radio Flyer wagon. Third, it's belt-driven, using a series of complicated efficiency-sapping pulleys and rollers. Fourth, it has no reverse gear. In order to move backwards, one must turn off the engine and restart it backwards. The list goes on, but quite frankly, I've had enough.

Photo credit: Carsinpedia