There are, of course, cars these days that just make one want to put the pedal to the metal, cruise around town, pick up some fun-loving friends, blast some hard rock, and yell at passersby about how amazing one's ride is... but there are some freakish, attempt-to-be-futuristic flops out there that make one want to cringe, hide behind the steering wheel, take detours away from friends' homes, hoping that one isn't yelled at about how ugly one's ride is.
These are some of the oddest, most misshapen, meant-for-the-scrapyard, sorts of designs from some fairly reputable, and reliable manufacturers... and from Smart: the car manufacturer whose aim is to stunt the growth of future generations, in order to fit cars two abreast and two behind per average-sized parking space, saving on fuel economy by sacrificing comfort, accessories, and the ability to car pool to save on fuel economy.
Yes, the way of the future is trending towards space-age-looking mishaps, with either too many curves, or too many straight edges, and while this is just a brief list, and while there are other automobiles out there that do still get people going in the right way, there are many more, beyond these that make people disgusted to think of the continued future of the auto industry.
15 Audi A2
Now, Audi has been pumping out fantastic cars for douchebags since 1909: they are heavily sought after, used as status symbols (and often to compensate for something...), and typically start at $40, 000. But here is the Audi A2! Half the cost, half the car, perhaps even half the douchebaggery, but at the cost of one's dignity. This little compact looks like it's a got a pug nose for a front end, and while the streaks over top of the headlights and along the door handles might attempt to give it the illusion of speed, the A2 can only go a max of 173kmph (107mph). Barely five feet tall, this squat little pug may look angry from the front, but only likely because of the rest of the body this critter has to carry around. Maybe just the car for the gremlins, or for someone with an incredible opinion of themselves, not a lot of need for storage or friends, nor long distance travel, the Audi A2 has got to be a fantastic flop.
14 Chevy HHR
The Chevy HHR... wow. Almost like Chevy joined up with Chrysler to take the PT Cruiser, give it some height, a bigger engine, and extend it into a van to make it look even more ridiculous, the HHR is a very interesting, small-windowed, bulk wheel-welled, compact van that has only 40km to the gallon (25miles), but can go a surprising 241kmph (150mph). Perhaps if one wanted to haul a similarly ugly pop trailer behind this horrendous beast, then there would be a relatively perfect match made, but apart from that, the HHR is one big, bumbling waste of surprisingly quick moving space. Of twenty three reviewed HHRs for sale, the best and most frequent qualities described by any owner were; low kilometre count, locally driven, and no accidents. So the very best of the HHR is that no one wants to drive, especially not from their home, and no one will drive near it.
13 Honda Element
Though one might not notice at first, this box with ample space from one side to the other, and wheels underneath, is actually a car. This great big chasm surrounded by fibreglass and paint, a few lights, and a VTEC four-cylinder, weighs in at 3,500lbs, and has a top speed of only 172kmph (109mph). According to Auto Trader, the most frequent selling points on their site are that they are typically accident free, and "lady driven". What's not clear is whether Auto Trader is incredibly insulting and sexist, or if they think that if a lady has graced the Honda Element with her presence, perhaps it will sell quicker, and become more popular. As for accident free, one is not like to crash a car one means not to drive. However, if one is inclined to drive an incredibly heavy box with the aerodynamics of a wall, then the Honda Element may be what one is looking for.
12 Hummer H3
This beastly, boxy waste of space and gas, is a jacked up, tricked out, clearly-compensating-for-something version of the Honda Element. Every 'little man's' big extension, the Hummer H3 is the biggest waste of gas a city driver could ever think to buy (at least an Escalade has some style, and an endorsement from every gangsta, and gangsta rappa in the world). One might suggest that the Hummer H3 would be a very handy vehicle to have out in the country, but a challenge could be issued to everyone who thinks the H3 is a common country cruiser. Country folk prefer the good 'ol battle between good and evil; between Ford F150's and Dodge Rams. Hummers belong to the city dweller with something to prove, or something to make up for, and given how incredibly impractical the H3 is, it's a wonder anyone bothers to get this uselessly gigantic box on unusually large wheels.
11 Fiat Multipla
The name of this Fiat is surely given to the idea that there are multiple cars mashed together to try and form some semblance of an automobile. Taking the lower half of a minivan, and jamming a modified version of the Pope-Mobile atop this already wreck of a vehicle is no way to improve on the style of the too tiny, relatively useless economy Fiat. Attempting to turn the traditionally minuscule Fiat into a futuristic family case of fibreglass and windows, has produced a monstrosity of a vehicle. Fiat, with a sense of just how ridiculous this 'car' is, even had "Wait until you see the front" set on the back window. It's unsure what is more absurd: the look of this actually roomy and practical (at least in the interior), family vehicle, or the fact that Fiat knew exactly how silly the design was, and still went through with production.
10 Jeep Cherokee
Jeep used to sell jeeps that looked like... well... Jeeps. This new Jeep Cherokee looks like any garbage SUV that a soccer mom or dad might drive if they wanted to look slightly meaner than the mini van-driving parents; just a slightly more intimidating edge over the weaker parents in the school parking lot. This 271 horsepower, V-6, nine speed, tops out at 191.5kmph (119mph): so it's got some power, and some attitude, though it's completely thrown by the wayside when it's discovered that this is, in fact, a Jeep! Jeeps used to have adventure painted all over it. Now, Jeep has been relegated to the ranks of the semi-professional, jumping between the office and soccer practise, while still trying to say... or scream rather, "I'm successful, and rebellious!" Unfortunately everyone can surely see through the facade.
9 Kia Soul
One would think that the automobiles of the future might be aerodynamic, with plenty of curves, and just enough space to fit what you need (it's amazing what cars and many men's thoughts of women seem to have in common), but apparently the cars of the future, or at least the cars of today, presented as the templates for the future, are all boxes with paint, windows, and wheels. Very straight-angular boxes, with no curves, no special qualities, and while equipped with enough space for plenty, no desire from anyone to fill them. This 1.6 litre, Inline 4 with 130 horsepower has the front end of a fat Mini, and the ass end of a hatchback that apparently stopped slouching. Fuel economy is nice, but if ever the though to transport... anything came along, it would be one hell of a game of Tetris to fit anything in this ridiculously four-doored, straight-back.
8 Mini Rocketman
Even Sir Elton John would be insulted by the title of one of his most famous songs being attributed to this miniature, micro-machine-esque, dinky little car. Thankfully still a concept car, Mini has at least the sense to consider that this car may not quite make it in the market... and has been considering this very notion for years now. With only a 1.5 litre engine, one best hope the fuel economy of this car is staggering when and if it ever makes it to dealerships - and that's assuming that anyone will want to flock to a new Mini that only makes city commuting slightly easier, and a social life much more difficult. With a yet-to-be-determined top speed, and an unimpressive crowd waiting for it to the market, the Mini Rocketman best be quick, either for its namesake, or for dodging the inevitable tomatoes lobbed in its direction.
7 Nissan Cube
This... this is what might be used to take someone to the loony bin in, but it's far more likely that the one driving is who needs to be taken. For starters, the name is a poor choice when the Nissan Cube is, for good reason, not a cube. It is, to be sure, cubical in design, but clearly more a rectangle than anything else, albeit a very ugly rectangle. Is it a car, a van, a rather stout SUV, or a limo that started on its way through a car compactor before someone decided to take it out and drive it home? With its sluggish acceleration, and more than poor cornering, the 122 horsepower Cube hasn't got that much going for it other than some comfy seats, leg room, and a ridiculous look. Thankfully it seems more than likely that most of today's drivers are still too hip to be square... or Cube... or a misshapen rectangle, parading around as a Cube.
6 Nissan Juke
The second Nissan on Santa's naughty list this year, the Nissan Juke, while topping out at a staggering 219kmph (137mph), looks like a failed contestant for the Insecticons from Transformers... some odd-looking kind of beetle (not the car, the actual bug). Though it might look like a sporty SUV, this teensy weensy little hatch is no bigger (or at the most, not much bigger), than the Mini Rocketman, and at least the Mini has a cool name given to it after a hit Elton John tune. Though the Juke has at least a better look than the Mini. If the Juke wasn't, by its name, reminiscent of a box that's only good for taking money, and playing music, and perhaps if it was the actual size of an SUV, then one may just be able to give this little insect of a car some credit, and maybe even call it badass, but the attitude of the car is cut at least in half, much like its size, when compared to a regular-sized car. But who knows, maybe Nissan will dig this little creature out of the soil, and let it grow into the vicious machine it should be.
5 Nissan Micra
Third strike for Nissan, Santa is likely leaving the company with a Nissan Cube-load of coal this year. The Nissan Micra, like the previous two minuscule autos, is one tiny little car in the lot, but one big, nasty blotch on the company's bottom line. Canadians don't seem to want tiny city cars, and while the Micra did outdo most of the competitors' equally tiny machines, it still landed itself a 27th place marker of all the passenger cars on the market. Not exactly a staggering victory for this unfortunate-looking dinky car. One might be more interested in driving a Tonka truck than this little city hatch. The depressingly popular Smart car is the Zipper car of choice in the big cities, and for those who drive anywhere else in the country are more concerned with mileage, power, and not needing to stop every hour to gas up and stretch their legs.
4 Pontiac Aztek
Walter White's signature SUV, this odd-looking Pontiac was chosen to be used in AMC's hit show Breaking Bad as the most unfortunate, and depressing vehicle an incredibly intelligent man who has lost all possibility of success, relegated to teaching in a high school science lab might purchase for him and his family. Seriously, the Pontiac Aztek (a misspelling of the ancient Aztec) was chosen for just how ugly, and unfortunately depressing it seems to be. Named, likely, for its Mexica assembly, the Aztek is a failure to show any sort of appreciation for the plant from which it originates. At its release it was named one of the ugliest cars of all time, and has since been placed high up on the list of 50 worst cars of all time. Pontiac should be thankful to AMC for making this ugly beast so popular among young idiots, but they certainly shouldn't expect this surge to last for very long.
3 Smart Fortwo Cabrio
Any car that can't fit a guitar, or a case of beer, in this country, is immediately rendered completely useless. Meant to be an environmentally friendly, economy car that helps the hip business men and women of the big city get to work faster, and more efficiently, the Cabrio is a slap in the face to all who enjoy fun, and carpooling to save the environment. True, this stunted little micro... MICRO machine can be fit six times over in place of a regular car (complete with trunk and back seats) in a singe-car garage, and still leave room for the man cave, but how the hell is the beer supposed to get to the cave if it can't fit in the car? Perhaps even more ridiculous than the size and lack of space in this little toy car, the fact that it also comes as a convertible is overwhelmingly laughable, especially when there is no more than a 1x2ft space for air to get through.
2 Toyota Yaris Verso
The Yaris was never a pretty car, or an exceptional car by any means, and was even featured as one of two opening garbage options in Forza before one is allowed to race useful, and sexy cars. Now the Yaris Verso, an extended, silly attempt at making a very, very mini van, with a top speed of only 165kmph (102mph), and only 86 horsepower, has neither looks, nor power on its side. Taking what was once used as a basic, and inferior rally car, and extending its ass end, as well as bumping the height a little, doesn't change the fact that the car was never attractive to begin with; it simply gives more car to find ugly. What could be worse than turning an ugly hatch into a minivan? Turning an ugly hatch into a minivan, and doing nothing to alter that fact.
1 VW Golf Sports Van
This fits in the same category as the Yaris Verso for previously ugly hatches turned into minivans. Complete with a sunroof, at least there's more chance for the people trapped inside to see just how pretty the world beyond this abomination is. Unfortunately, more windows give the rest of the world a better view of the idiots who purchased the hatch-van in the first place. At least in true Volkswagen fashion, the Golf Sportsvan tops out at a whopping 200kmph (124mph), and produces 125 horsepower. The turbocharged hatch-van is at least efficient if not pretty... and it certainly is not pretty. The contoured lines along the sides of the van do attempt to give the illusion of a serious, and streamlined vehicle, but no one is fooled: the VW Golf Sportsvan is no more than an extended version of the VW Golf, and neither are at all pretty, though the van is at least powerful. Again, what's worse: an ugly hatch, or turning that ugly hatch into an ugly hatch-van without altering the fact that it's simply more car to be disgusted by.
Sources: www.audiurquattro.com, www.audi.ca.com, www.autotrader.com, www.honestjohn.co.uk, www.caranddriver.com
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