If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you pride yourself on your car buying decisions. Sure, they might not all be winners in retrospect, but even for the most questionable choices in your history, there was probably a valid justification — some rationale that made it seem like a good call at the time. And try as we might, we can’t always convince our less car-savvy loved ones to heed our recommendations.
It’s with that in mind that I ask you: What’s the worst engine you’ve ever had the displeasure of driving?
I bring up the cars of our friends and family because I have a sneaking suspicion that’s where many of the responses here are going to come from. To that end, I can’t say I have a wealth of experience here. If I was a bit older, I’d probably relate something about the three (3!) first-gen Jeep Liberties my mom owned in succession, all with the 210-horspower, 3.7-liter Powertech V6. The complaints about fuel economy still ring in my head — I’m not sure my parents ever cracked 17 mpg. But I was not of driving age at the time, so I can’t speak to any first-hand disappointment.
This misplaced familial faith in Chrysler’s most questionable products also resulted in me leasing a Dart seven years ago. It had the 2.4-liter Tigershark, and it too was notoriously inefficient and sluggish — though the Dart’s unexplainable 3,300-pound curb weight certainly didn’t do its efficiency nor performance any favors.
That’s what I have to offer, but I’m sure y’all have more entertaining answers. What’s the worst engine you’ve ever experienced?