The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

Brand is paramount in the car business, and one bad product can be remembered for generations. Jalopnik readers have picked ten cars that have brought shame to their company's name and helped tarnish, if even briefly, their reputations.

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Photo Credit: Alfa Romeo

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

10.) Honda Crosstour

Suggested By: Yield2no1

Why it's embarrassing: Oh Honda, your cars used to be light, and airy, and spritely and different. Now you build a fat, ugly crossover. It's slightly better for the world than a full-size SUV, but that is hardly an accolade for a once-great company.

Photo Credit: Honda

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

9.) Mustang II

Suggested By: Gamecat235

Why it's embarrassing: The best thing you can say about a Mustang II was that it was a very good Pinto. Otherwise it was a slow, rattling little crapcan. With engines choked by Ford's laziest attempts to meet smog regulations it was a disgrace to the company that put the world on wheels. We'd still drive one of those crazy King Cobra Mustang IIs, though.

Photo Credit: Ford/OldCarBrochures

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

8.) BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo

Suggested By: kooper

Why it's embarrassing: No car made by these Bavarians has strayed farther from the message of "the ultimate driving machine" than this bloated statusmobile, gorgeous interior notwithstanding.

Photo Credit: CarSpotter

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

7.) Cadillac Cimarron

Suggested By: Nate with shorter name

Why it's embarrassing: In the depth of the Great Depression, Cadillac built a V16 super-luxury car and then followed it with a V12. Few cars have ever been so bold. There was absolutely nothing bold about this wimpy, cost-effective, upmarket Chevy Cavalier.

Photo Credit: Cadillac

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

6.) Jeep Compass

Suggested By: frankiepoops

Why it's embarrassing: It's bad enough that Chrysler Co. stuck some trim on a family hatchback and called it a genuine offroader. But they pretended the Comapass was a real Jeep, the most renowned and respected American name in offroading in the entire world. And they chose to base it off of the hateful Dodge Caliber of all things. What a shameful mark on a brand.

Photo Credit: David Priddy

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

5.) Alfa Romeo Arna

Suggested By: Nuno Cardoso

Why it's embarrassing: Before and after the second World War, Alfa Romeo was the most dominant force in motorsports in the world, with a competition heritage already tracing back decades. At the end of the 1960s, it had built some of the greatest luxury cars the world had ever seen, some of the greatest affordable sports cars, and some of the greatest family cars as well.

Then, in the tough economic times of the early ‘80s, Alfa took a Datsun 310 and replaced the most trusted Japanese parts (like the engine and transmission) with their own. It managed to embrace the worst of both worlds.

Photo Credit: Alfa Romeo

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

4.) Lincoln Versailles

Suggested By: dogisbadob

Why it's embarrassing: Lincoln, the company that built a V12 grand tourer, a cost-no-object luxury coupe, and perhaps the most handsome American car built after WWII, went and took a Ford Granada, stuck on some chrome, and called it a Versailles. From '77 to '80, Lincoln charged three times the base price of its donor car for this thing. Unlike the lowly Cimarron, the Versailles was the most expensive car that Lincoln produced at the time.

Photo Credit: Lincoln/OldCarBrochures

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

3.) Saab 9-7x

Suggested By: teampenske3

Why it's embarrassing: Most of the world's small, strange car companies had died out by the end of the ‘60s. Saab plodded on long enough to be infected with this Chevy Trailblazer. Oh man, the key goes in between the seats! It's a real Saab now.

Photo Credit: Saab

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

2.) Chrysler TC by Maserati

Suggested By: Therage

Why it's embarrassing: Chrysler's Lee Iococca was friends with Alejandro de Tomaso, who owned Maserati in the late ‘80s. To make the most of the friendship, Chrysler stretched their front-wheel-drive platform to make cheap sedans for old people and then had Maserati build a custom body and tune one of their 2.2 liter turbo engines for it.

The only problem was that the body looked just like a regular Chrysler, the engine wasn't anything special, and the chassis was awful. The car was a complete sales failure, tarnishing both the once-proud Chrysler name and Maserati at the same time.

Photo Credit: Chrysler/OldCarBrochures

The Ten Most Embarrassing Cars From Great Carmakers

1.) Aston Martin Cygnet

Suggested By: Hadaken

Why it's embarrassing: Aston Martin builds ultra-desirable James Bond fantasy cars, not rebadged Toyotas. The Cygnet is a joke. If they want to meet emissions requirements they'd be better off building cars with bike pedals.

Photo Credit: Ed Callow