The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

When you think of German cars you think of great stalwarts like the W123-E Class, the first-gen Golf GTI, and the 911 Carrera RS. You'd think this country would be incapable of making a bad car, but these ten prove otherwise.


10.) BMW 5 Series GT

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

The 5 Series GT represents the worst of BMW trying to create solutions to problems that don't exist. Much uglier than a standard 5 Series and not much added practicality.

Suggested By: Pcleez, Photo Credit: BMW


9.) Volkswagen New Beetle

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

This is the car that cemented the Beetle's reputation as a "girl's car." Something that VW is still trying to live down today, with the masculine style of the current-gen Beetle.

Suggested By: willkinton247, Photo Credit: Volkswagen


8.) Cadillac Catera

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

You're probably thinking "has this guy gone mad? What's a Cadillac doing on a list of the worst German cars?" However, this Caddy was made in Germany and was simply a rebadged Opel Omega. The Catera weighed 3,900 lbs and had to make do with a 200 hp V6.

Suggested By: Marimvibe,esq., Photo Credit: Cadillac


7.) Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W202)

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

The W201 generation Mercedes 190E was known for it's excellent reliability and over-engineered brilliance. It's successor the W202 C-Class was not known for either of those things, rather, it was known for dodgy electronics, and it's propensity to rust. The cheapening of Mercedes began here.

Suggested By: InRatMartin, Photo Credit: Michael Gil


6.) Opel Kadett E

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

Apparently it's as bad to drive as it is to look at it. Daewoo made a rebadged version of this, which came to America as the Pontiac Le Mans.

Suggested By: Lqueiroz, Photo Credit: free photos & art


5.) Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (W203)

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

We really could have given this spot to any of the DaimlerChrysler-era Mercedes failures but today it will go to the W203 C-Class coupe. It was Mercedes-Benz's failed attempt at selling a cheap hatchback coupe for America, one of the least hatchback friendly nations on Earth. Not to mention that these cars weren't exactly the most reliable things to come from Stuttgart.

Suggested By: Titan-E34, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz


4.) Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W168)

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

This Mercedes became notorious for failing the "moose test," a quick accident avoidance test that caused the A-Class to roll. Mercedes recalled all the cars sold and added a stability control system to the car to mitigate the problem, but the damage was already done.

Suggested By: schnitzeldoener, Photo Credit: order_242


3.) Volkswagen Golf (Mk. IV)

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

I'll let our man Patrick George drop some knowledge on why the Mk. IV Golf is on this list.

"This thing. Not because it was a bad car, because it and its fellow cars from that era were so unreliable they continue to haunt Volkswagen to this day.

Volkswagen wants to be a major brand in the U.S., to compete seriously in sales with Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet or Ford. They've even made their cars bigger and more boring to try and attract U.S. buyers. But a lot of potential customers still remember what maintenance nightmares their cars from the late 1990s and 2000s were.

They've gotten better since then, no question. But they still haven't lived that reputation down."

Suggested By: Patrick George, Photo Credit: Volkswagen


2.) Smart ForTwo

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

An overpriced car with a pretentious name car that's un-usably tiny, underpowered and relatively thirsty for fuel? Nice try Smart ForTwo. At least your advertising team has a sense of humor.

Suggested By: willkinton247, Photo Credit: Smart


1.) Trabant

The Ten Worst German Cars Ever Made

The Trabant isn't just one of the worst German cars of all time, it's one of the worst cars from any country. The Trabi had a pitiful two stroke engine which smoked like nothing else, needed oil every time you filled the gas tank, and didn't even have a fuel pump. The fuel tank sat over the top of the engine and let gravity do its job. Communism at its finest.

Suggested By: The Scrambler says it can be done, Photo Credit: P K

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Top Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz