Cars like the Mercedes S-Class, Aston Martin Vanquish and Volkswagen Golf show that those pesky Europeans can make some pretty great cars across almost any category. But, they can’t all be stone cold stunners, right?
To find out if there have been any misses throughout the history of car manufacturing in Europe, we turned to you. Yesterday, we asked what the worst car to come from Europe was, and you replied in droves.
Flick through the following slides to find out which European vehicles left a sour taste in your mouth.
2 / 20
“Exterior design shown off at MOMA (!!!!). Top Gear car of the year (!!!!): don’t care. With a wheezing 100hp motor combined with styling that makes the Pontiac Aztek look like the height of sanity and restraint, some cars are so awful looking, I’d rather walk than ride. This is that car.”
Fiat made a decision with the Multipla and they stuck with it, and I guess you have to respect that. At least with the Multipla they were making a car that didn’t look like literally every other vehicle on the road. But, it’s still real ugly.
Suggested by: the1969dodgechargerguy
3 / 20
“Unlike some of the choices commenters are posting that were never intended to more than basic transportation for minimal costs, here was a car from a high-end Italian company that was supposed to take on the 3-series, back when the 3-series was at its best.”
If you’re shooting your press shots with a brown car, you’re not off to a great start. Despite being the first production car to use a twin-turbocharged engine, this Maserati never quite lived up to the hype.
Suggested by: majordawlish
4 / 20
“I am going to vote for the Renault Fuego.
“These cars were sold for a short period of time in Canada, probably in the US too in the mid 80's.
“Although they looked nice and were relatively inexpensive, I remember mostly seeing them on tow trucks and or stranded on the side of the road.
“A Chrysler Europe/ Simca/PSA abomination with, of all things, Lucas electrics.
“Do not worry if you have never heard of it, the only positive from contemporary road tests was that the front seats were nearly as comfortable as those in a Volvo 240.
“The last one in the UK was humanely destroyed in 2016.”
The Tagora was on sale in Europe for just two years before it was canned and labeled a “showroom flop.” But, while this poster says the last one in the UK died in 2016, I’m afraid to report that last year there was one Tagora SX still on the road.
Suggested by: nic
6 / 20
“This isn’t my definitive answer, but my first inkling is something like the La Forza. It’s easy to come up with a list of terrible cheap cars (and I’m just waiting for the long list of questionable Eastern Bloc remnants to pop up), but it’s a bigger deal to make a terrible expensive car. The La Forza starts off with the frame of a pretty terrible Fiat military truck (we had them in the Canadian Armed Forces, built under license by Western Star, and it was generally agreed to be a bad idea of which we never speak again), and then wrap it in styling that would look like a cheap knockoff of a P38A Range Rover if it hadn’t come five or so years earlier. And despite using a Ford 302 to power the thing, they apparently still managed to make it unreliable.
“I would also accept the posh versions of the Mercedes G-Wagon. It still feels like a Mercedes from 1979, and that’s admittedly a very good thing, but a luxury vehicle that drives like an off-road vehicle from 1979 should have been Old Yeller’d long before they were ever federalized for North American sale.”
The Rayton-Fissore Magnum was marketed in the U.S. as the La Forza, but no matter which continent you bought one on it still sucked. Marketed between 1989 and 2003, the La Forza was created as an alternative to the Range Rover.
Suggested by: maymar
7 / 20
“Anything from British-Leyland post 1972. Terrible build quality? Check. Lucas wiring? Check. Catalytic converter ruining all semblance of performance? Check. Ugly rubber bumpers? Check. We owned 3 of them.”
Formed in 1968, British-Leyland had 14 years worth of good cars, according to this poster. But everything it shipped after 1972 suffered from build quality and reliability issues that eventually led to its demise.
Suggested by: dbutts
8 / 20
“And to actually mention a car that rightly deserves to be on this list: BMW X6 Coupe. The fuuuuuuugly monstrosity that started this whole horrendous SUV Coupe trend. Fuck this bloated gargantuan eyesore to hell and back. And it doesn’t even have the naked mole rat grille yet so prepare to rip your eyes out when you see the next generation.”
Look at it, just look at it! Need I say more?
Suggested by: felixthegrumpycat
9 / 20
“Besides the Hitler/Nazi birth, allowing VW to continue to give us other ‘gifts’ like diesel gate, service manager debt for the Passat, predatory extended warranties for your seven-year-old Jetta, and the greatest evil, Lohan Herbie movies.
Sure, would a different ‘classic’ Bumblebee (likely a MINI so it would be cooler). Sure, the Beetle was reliable, but a Fiat 124 was so much more fun. Beetle – the worst car out of Europe because it wasn’t bad but rather a vector for evil.”
Suggested by: futuredoc
10 / 20
Renault Le Car
Renault Le Car
“Le Car. If only for the terrible name.
“It is slightly redeemed by the R5, but not nearly enough.”
The Le Car was a rebadged Renault 5 for the US market. It debuted in 1976 with a 1,397 cc inline-four engine that could produce up to 55 hp. Its reign in the US ended in 1983.
Suggested by: hangovergrenade
11 / 20
“I’m with Trabant. I mean it was epic shitbox. Even Lada’s are quality machines (Niva is great in it’s own niche) compared to it. It doesn’t have any redeeming features, it’s not even pretty. Although 2-stroke smells awesome, but I can get my fix from chainsaw or moped.”
“1984 Jag XJ12 – my neighbor growing up bought one new. I remember it being towed out of his garage about once every other month for the first year and a half he owned it. Many, many dealer repairs. The final straw for him was when the gas tank rusted out at 18 months old. The gas leaked out onto the sidewalk and the fire department came while he was at work. It went away after that and was replaced by a new BMW 5er.
“At the same time, my other neighbor had a then-new (1984?) Alfa Romeo GTV6. It was beautiful and sounded great, and it too was usually broken. I remember the A/C compressor loudly and publicly committed suicide the first month he had it, in a Philly August summer. It was gone at the dealership for 5 weeks. After that, the outside trim fell off, and the power windows stopped working, it developed a hard start problem when hot, and the gauges would intermittently do their own thing, not connected to reality. His garage was open to the street so I knew when the hood was up, and he had a serious art with curse words. That car was gone in about 18 months too.
“The ‘77 Rabbit we bought new was a miserable turd, with exhaust valve problems and myriad electrical issues from brand new. And without A/C the puke brown basket weave cheap vinyl seats would sear the vinyl pattern directly and painfully into your thighs after sitting in the hot summer sun beach parking lot. It’s a mistake you’d only make once a year, on that first family beach trip.”
Three good suggestions of three awful European cars. It’s pretty unlucky to end up surrounding yourself with three hunks of junks, but we feel for you.
Suggested by: edvf1000r
16 / 20
“Once I had a 2016 Citroën C1 for a weekend rental and it was the worst car I’ve ever driven. Barely enough power to get out of its own way, and felt and looked cheap in every respect. So much worse than that time I drove a Peugeot 3008 on the Nurburgring, even!
“It probably isn’t the worst ever, but it’s at least gotta be close to the very worst from a major manufacturer in the last decade.”
The C1 from Citroën, the Peugeot 107 and the Toyota Aygo were all basically the same car. But, for some reason, it’s always the Citroën that gets called out as being the worst.
Suggested by: alsosprachalso
17 / 20
Fiat Spider 2000
Fiat Spider 2000
“Another contender for worst European car. Fiat Spider 2000 circa the late 1970s/early 1980s.
“This is the kind of import that should’ve ruined our diplomatic relations with Italy.
“The one I had was nicer than the one below, but I never really got to drive it because once I fixed something, another thing broke. In fact it was a collection of broken things. I was so happy when I unloaded this disaster.”
What was that we said about press shots of brown cars? What you might not realize about this car though is that it’s actually held together by brown packing tape and rust, it was never painted that color.
Suggested by: princegnarls
18 / 20
“Something by Škoda before it became VW, like the 105?
“A ‘rugged Russian’ Lada (which had a half-life of two years)?
“Though technically it’d have to be the Trabant, probably.”
Another good load of suggestions for cars that deserve a spot on this list of European trash. The Soviet-era Ladas had uninspiring design and poor performance that never really appealed to anyone.
Suggested by: bindolaf
19 / 20
“MG 3 / Rover 25. Boring and unreliable, literally sucked out your soul.
“Unforgivable for early 2000's.”
The Rover 25 will forever be a grandad car to me. It’s synonymous with old people driving ‘round the UK to take in the scenery and I’ll never forget that.