Reader Question: The Worst New Car?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Tommy asks: What’s the worst car on the market right now? I have several in mind but was curious about which you’d pick. Love the rants; keep ’em coming!

My reply: Objectively speaking, there aren’t any bad cars; at least, not in the way we used to think about that – or rather, define that. If you are less than 30 years old, you probably don’t remember – and so cannot imagine – just how bad some cars used to be. And by “bad,” I mean unsound. Literally falling apart in some cases.

A good example being the infamous Yugo – but also first-generation Hyundais (e.g., the original Excel, which didn’t), Daihatsus and a few other memorable lemons. These cars weren’t afflicted merely by piddly problems such as door pulls that pulled off when you pulled on them; the entire car was a rolling defect. Engines that spat parts – or used as much oil as gas – before you finished making the payments. Paint that peeled like Zsa Zsa Gabor’s makeup.

These cars would just stop running sometimes – including times when you’d just pulled out into traffic. Reverse would stop reversing and you’d have to Fred Flintstone the car out of a parking spot.

There is no modern analog. Minor bitches, sure. Random electrical glitches. A leaky sunroof. But wholesale catastrophic failures and fundamentally shoddy designs are pretty rare.

My gripe with new cars is general and isn’t defined by the usual/historical criteria of slipshod engineering and quality control. Rather, I dislike the over-complexity, disposability and absurdly high cost. I rise in protest about the terrible visibility and nannying technology.

But the cars are – unlike their predecessors – fundamentally sound.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.  


Share Button


  1. Here in Australia the Asians call Daihatsu a Daishitsu. And these shitsus are only driven by white people. Asians won’t be caught dead in them.

    • I’d agree to a point, except for a Wrangler/Gladiator, Challenger or a Ram, which I got 3 months ago.

      Still, lusting for a 90s project car as my Audi is basically nearly done mod wise (Just needs a big turbo, and upgraded diffs), and RHD would be fun to experience (Sat in a Cappuccino at the NY Autoshow)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here