Pontiac Aztek Leads List of 100 Worst Cars of All Times
After the Pontiac Aztek comes the 1974 Ford Mustang II, the 1955 BMW Isetta, the 1987 Yugo, and the 1971 Chevrolet Vega. Here's what Inside Line had to say about each one of the top 5:
The vehicles in the top five include:
1. 2006 Pontiac Aztek - “Drive one and you quickly realize that the Aztek's exterior design is its best feature. It's the very worst car of all time because it's the only car on the list to kill an 84-year-old car company. It's undeniable that the Aztek's utter hideousness drove the biggest and last nails into Pontiac's heavily side-clad, plastic coffin.”
2. 1974 Ford Mustang II – “Built upon the spindly bones of the Pinto, this shrunken, malformed pony was instantly appalling to Mustang lovers. And, unfortunately, hugely popular with buyers stuck with serial fuel crises.”
3. 1955 BMW Isetta – “Originally designed by Italy's Iso, BMW built the atrocious, single-cylinder 12-hp, one-door Isetta for 7 years. Parked nose-in to a wall, the door wouldn't open. The whole car was a crumple zone.”
4. 1987 Yugo – “A Serbian-made version of the Fiat 127 that couldn't possibly be as awful as its low price suggested. But it was! Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary as shorthand for automotive crap.”
5. 1971 Chevrolet Vega – “An engine that couldn't hold oil, in a car built with contempt for its buyers. It's the car that invited Americans to buy Toyotas and Hondas. However, it did make a good Pro Stock racer.”
Interestingly, back in 2010, Time Magazine, in an article penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning auto writer Dan Neil, also included the Yugo. Itslist, though, was done by era and not ranked from 1 to 100. The Pinto and the Aztek both made the list but the Vega and Isetta escaped inclusion.
Read through the list and you're going to have some great debates around the holiday dinner table. I'm surprised the Pontiac Solstice isn't higher than 100 on the list. It was a horribly designed car. Inside Line blames the Aztek for killing off Pontiac but I think the Solstice in some ways helped hasten its decline because GM bet a lot on its success and the two-door roadster quickly fizzled after a couple of hot years. Plus, it was just a crappy car.
The AMC Pacer comes in No. 20 on the list but my deep dark secret is I never minded that car. Sure, it couldn't get out of its own way, but it was fun to drive when I was back in college. And, my second deep dark secret was I never really minded the Aztek. That sound you hear is my automotive journalism membership card being ripped up.
Keith Griffin has been writing continuously about new cars since 2002. He used to be the guide to used cars at former About.com as well as a contributor to The Boston Globe and Automotive Traveler. He is the founder and president of The Internet Car and Truck of the Year, where "Internet Pros and Average Joes" pick the car and truck of the year. Currently, Keith is the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter.