10 Worst Cars of All Time
DETROIT MainStreet) -- For me, it is the Chevrolet Vega.
I was living in Toledo, Ohio, in the late 1970s and working as a reporter for The Toledo Blade . One day, I was preparing to drive a friend's Vega. I sat down in the driver's seat and put my foot on the floor in front of me, about to step on the gas. And guess what happened?
It's not a tough question if you were ever in a Vega. My foot went right through the rusty floor. And for the ensuing three decades, I have had my own story about the worst car ever made.
Events like my Vega experience make a big impression on drivers, says Edmunds.com Editor-in-Chief Scott Oldham. "Everyone I know who had a Vega has a story like that," he says. "Even now, GM(GM) is still paying for the ill will towards the Vega. A lot of the people who bought Vegas won't buy a GM car, and their kids and grandkids won't buy GM cars either."
Yet as bad as the Vega was, it is not the worst car ever, according to Edmunds.com. About two dozen Edmunds.com staffers spent a couple of months refining a list of the 100 worst cars ever. They started with individual lists of bad cars, compiled them and put the cars in order, accompanied by lots of discussions, emails and meetings.
Our list is limited to Edmunds' top 10. We will tell you right now that the Vega is ranked as only the fifth-worst car ever built and that the competition to be the worst car ever was extremely intense:
10th-worst: 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Diesel
The Cutlass was once among the best-selling U.S. cars. In the late 1970s, GM decided to take advantage of its popularity and develop a diesel version. The 4.2-liter Olds diesel engine was sold only in the 1979 Cutlass.
Unfortunately, GM hadn't yet mastered diesel technology. "GM was trying to market a technology that wasn't ready for prime time," Oldham says. "The cars never really ran properly. They were underpowered. They blew up. They broke. It was a warranty disaster for GM."
The engine "reached 90 horsepower before shattering into shrapnel," Edmunds.com wrote.
The failure of the Cutlass diesel "turned Americans off to diesel," Oldham says. "It is one of the reasons why diesel is still a bad word in this country."
Ninth-worst: 1957 Trabant
Capitalists aren't the only people who sometimes make bad cars.
Edmunds.com calls the 1957 Trabant, a two-cylinder, two-stroke engine compact from East Germany, "one more reason why communism is evil."
The car was common in its home country, given the lack of competition, and was sometimes exported. It was East Germany's answer to the Volkswagen Beetle, and in some ways it was comparable, with the major difference being that the Beetle was a worldwide success and the Trabant was a spectacular failure.