Ever looked at a car and wondered which insane designer drew it up? Worse, have you ever seen a man step out of that ugly car looking all jazzed up as if he is driving a supped up Ferrari? I have had those feelings countless times.
Here is one thing we all know – a man and his ego are like a child and his/her candy; inseparable. But at times in life, a man’s ego gets tested not by the amount of cash in his bank account but by the car he drives.
As much as you are what you eat, you are also what you drive. Now, not everyone can afford a Lamborghini or a 3 million dollar Bugatti, but there are some cars that despite not even being worth the display at the showroom, are just an embarrassment to drive.
Which ones are these? Well, I have a list, a long one to be precise. If you happen to own, let alone drive any of these cars, then the definition of a man’s rich ego lies nowhere close to you.
But don’t be upset if your mid-sized sedan or boxy looking two-door car is in this list of the 15 cars men are embarrassed to drive; just first do yourself the honor of going through the list, then get yourself a better car.
15. Smart ForTwo
Smart is a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz and is well known for its Smart ForTwo. On the green side, the car has a good score but on the drivability end, it scores a resounding zero.
Carinsurance.com conducted a study where it interviewed close to 1500 drivers on what car they would not want to be seen driving. An overwhelming tally of almost half of the participants chose this part-Daimler product as one of the cars they would not want to be seen in.
But why? The Smart ForTwo is not a car for any smart guy. Apparently, it has been labelled with names such as “dorky” and “girly”; yes, “girly”. Based on the latter tag, if the manly you is found driving this two-seater, you will have a whole century to rebuild your social image.
14. Nissan Cube
Should we start with the good news about this car, or the bad news? Well, optimism at first wouldn’t hurt.
The Nissan Cube is amongst the cheapest small cars in the US, ranked among the top 30 cheapest cars according to a recent survey conducted by U.S. News. But as we all do know, cheap cars can be very costly in other ways.
With its cheap price tag, the Nissan Cube carries huge embarrassments with it. To start with, it has a very noisy engine; not “sports car” noisy, “tired engine” noisy. The mileage is nothing to call home about, as the boxy design gives it no aerodynamic edge. And here comes the most interesting part – one out of three drivers who were surveyed by carinsurance.com claimed that driving in the Nissan Cube is potentially one of their most embarrassing moments. Please don’t by this one, boys!
13. Honda Element
Here is another box passing for a car. The Honda Element was probably designed to mimic a top of the range SUV, but all it gave us was top of the range embarrassment.
But hey, its reviews are quite good. The technical aspects of the car have been described as good, if not satisfactory by the auto magazine “Car and Driver”. The mileage is impressive, and the blend of sportiness with off-road performance is well, satisfactory.
But the demographic, who are not much interested in the technicalities, find this car nowhere close to appealing. As a matter of fact, 15% of drivers aged 45 and above – who would have been thought to be fans of this car – termed it as “embarrassing to drive”.
12. Mitsubishi Mirage
This car is cheap – as a matter of fact, it’s one of the cheapest new cars you can get on the market. And what’s better, it comes with a factory warranty at no added cost! Should you buy it? Well, no!
The Mitsubishi Mirage, apart from the very appealing price tag, has nothing mind boggling to offer on the table. As expected, its cheap price tag comes at a hefty cost. There are no standard features such as automatic headlights or air conditioning. Most buyers prefer going to the second hand market to purchase a ride instead of buying a new Mirage. And when it comes to your dignity, the Mirage does exactly what its name suggests; it turns it into a mirage.
11. New Beetle
The old beetle is a classic car. A masterpiece of two designers – J Mays and Peter Schreyer – the Beetle has for long been described as a classy car and a product of excellent design and engineering. Sadly, that can’t be said of the new Beetle.
Straight from the concept table, this car was clearly not meant for everyone. It had flower-inspired rims, a flower holder in the cabin and some variants came with a Barbie inspiration; this is the Malibu Barbie New Beetle to be precise. Trust me, men, I know what you’re feeling right now.
Clearly, no man would want to be spotted next to, let alone driving this car. This car is best fit as a birthday surprise for your 6-year-old daughter – but getting a male driver for her will be a tall task.
10. Mitsubishi i-MiEV
This car was born out of the desire to go green and save the planet; but sadly, it won’t save your ego.
This mid-engined car with a mated electric motor is not bad on the road; though the electric range is a lackluster 62 miles. What’s bad about it is the design. The car has been described by many drivers and car buyers as having a quirky and alien-like shape. Though there are some people with likings for small cars, the i-MiEV comes nowhere close to sexy.
9. Subaru Baja
Colin McRae was a Subaru die hard, but I doubt whether he would have had the same love for this particular Subaru. Subaru clearly forgot about its crazy acceleration and much hyped sporty engine sound when they drafted the design for the Baja. But according to Car and Driver, this is not the first time Subaru has ignored the standards of designing good cars.
The Baja can best be described as a merger of a station wagon and a pick-up. The end result of such? Disaster! Drivers surveyed by carinsurance.com stated that they would rather take a cab to work than drive in a Baja. Others described it as “funny looking”, with the ladies even claiming that they hate the car. (Alert, boys! This is not the car for any of your dates.)
8. Chrysler PT cruiser
When this car first rolled out of the assembly line, buyers went crazy. The line-up for this vehicle stretched up to several months – until people realized that the car was simply a fad.
Months into service, the PT Cruiser was the hallmark of chronic failures, poor reliability and build quality issues. The local mechanics became fans of this car and sooner than later the car that was once described as cool became “too grandpa”. But the very optimistic Chrysler did not quit. They launched a convertible variant that was not only lame but also scary to drive. And come to think of it, this car looks like a smaller rendition of a big rig – you won’t catch me dead in it!
7. Nissan Murano Cabriolet
The Murano SUV is a great car, but its sister cannot be described in similar fashion. The Murano Cabriolet convertible might look fairly good, but that’s not an adequate description when it comes to a car a man should be spotted driving.
Despite the close to sporty looks and a convertible design to top it all off, this car has no keys to men’s hearts.
As per a carinsurance.com survey, the Murano Cabriolet doesn’t impress the men. Most drivers interviewed described the car as “too girly”. Some of the interviewees went on to call the car “ugly as hell!” Well, avoiding this car would be a wise choice if you want to save your dignity.
6. Pontiac Aztek
Nearly everyone is in love with SUVs. But for the Pontiac Aztek, it lacked love as soon as it came off the assembly line.
The Pontiac Aztek has been ridiculed as a car with lackluster design; the ultimate result of cost shaving a car down to to its bear ugly plastic parts. The car has been ridiculed to the extent that the producers of “Breaking Bad” had to put their loser character in a Pontiac Aztek. Car critique Dan Neil once joked that the car would have sold better had it had a swastika tattooed on its forehead.
5. Geo Metro
Here goes another cheap car that your wife will send you back to the showroom with. The Geo Metro was friendly to your pocket, but not to your dignity.
The car was packed with either a three cylinder or four cylinder engine which produced nothing beyond 90 hp. Getting into the car, you would be greeted by a handful of, if not zero equipment. For the few surviving Metros still on the road, they look like an old age replica of the first car ever made.
4. Chevrolet Aveo
This car was made to mimic the Geo Metro and clearly they made a bad choice. The car looks nothing short of ugly. Worse still, Forbes magazine went ahead and described it as one of the worst cars ever made on the road – now who would want to go to a showroom and buy such a care?
Even in their efforts of taking after the Geo Metro, the Chevy Aveo failed the fuel efficiency test. It compared to its 1989 role model badly; raking in a poor 26 mpg for a car designed and manufactured in 2004. To add the icing to the cake (bad, vanilla cake), the Chevrolet Aveo was described as not safe at all as per modern standards. If you want to drive home with a mask covering your face, drive this Chevy.
3. BMW 320Ti hatch
Most of us know the German machine talk; where cars made from Germany are applauded for their superior design and engineering expertise. Well, for this car, the talk is a little bit different.
No denying that a man would feel on top of his world in a BMW, but the entry level BMW 320Ti was best suited for silent testing in your garage. The car looked more like an egg, with some critics claiming it was a half car with some parts missing.
You should thank the critics for their harsh words because the failure of this entry model is what led to subsequent generations of 2 series being far better; and far much drivable by the dignified man.
2. Chevrolet SSR
I would not be very wrong to insinuate that Chevy went the Baja way on this one; though frankly Chevy took the mix-up a notch higher. The SSR was not a blend of two car design variants but rather every single car design variant you can possibly think of. The car was supposedly a blend of sports car, roadster, pick-up truck, hotrod and cruiser.
The niche market it was meant for (I wonder if it existed in the first place), was confused on what to do with it. The car was too slow for a hotrod, too geeky for a truck and too truck-like for a cruiser. Having failed in all aspects it was designed for, its production had to end three years into the line. Guys, being spotted at a ball game with this ride is akin to social life suicide.
1. Lincoln Town Car
When this car was made, it was designed to be luxurious and offer a smooth and comfortable ride around town. But that was when your grandpa was going for his prom. Today, this car should not ride past your garage door.
The Lincoln Town Car is old, very old. Its large size comes in as a barrier to achieving close to neck breaking speeds, thus the best you can do on the freeway is let other drivers zoom past you as if you are some speed camera waiting to issue some speeding tickets.
However, some still serve as limousines, at times rented for a trip to the airport, but if you are keen enough to notice who’s behind the wheel, it’s not a young man who’s driving it. Get behind the wheel of this car today and you will be the joke of the town, provided you are not beyond fifty years old.
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