10. Ford Pinto: Hey, only a couple of hundred fuel tanks exploded, so your odds were still pretty good of surviving a Sunday drive in one of these sweet rides.
9. Chevrolet Cavalier: Here's a plan: let's go a decade without upgrading any technology plus try to pawn off a high-end model (the Cadillac Cimarron) on an unsuspecting public. AKA the rubes. AKA us.
8. Chevrolet Astro: Hey, we need a minivan! Let's slap some sheet-metal on a truck -- no one'll know the difference!
7. Ford Taurus: Introduced in '86 to great acclaim, Ford went on to ignore the sedan for two decades, at which point only captive rental car companies and government agencies would buy it.
6. Jaguar X-Type: Speaking of the Taurus, may I introduce the Jag X-Type? When Ford bought Jaguar, its first "brainstorm" was to create this Jag-Taurus. Or, as some like to call it, The Brand-Killer.
5. Pontiac Aztek. What can I say about the Aztek that hasn't been said by others?
• "I had an Aztek as a rental car once. I asked the person at the Avis counter if they gave me a mask with it."
• "It reminds me of a Simpson's episode where Homer was allowed to design a car."
4. Chrysler Sebring: It's called the Sebring because the names Vapid and Inane were taken.
3. Chrysler K-Car: to quote some experts: "The K-Car represented badge-engineering at its most cynical. The K-series were cheaply built, poorly-engineered cars with legendary brand names slapped them. The K-Car was available as the Dodge Aries, the Plymouth Reliant and the Chrysler LeBaron, a name that evoked a Chrysler luxury brand that dated back to the 1950s. The K-Car version was a cheap imitation of that substantial vehicle – calling it a LeBaron was like putting a Hilton sign on a rent-by-the-hour motel."
2. Chevy Cobalt: What's it take to win the "Least Reliable Small Car" award from Consumer Reports? Or a two-star review from TAC? Or blogosphere reviews like "...the worst vehicle I have ever driven..."? Simple. It takes a Cobalt.
1. Chevy Vega: Some of the quotes from Car Talk's worst car list say it all.
"As near as I could tell, the car was built from compressed rust."
"My Chevy Vega actually broke in half going over railroad tracks. The whole rear end came around slightly to the front, sort of like a dog wagging its tail."
"Burned so much oil, it was single-handedly responsible for the formation of OPEC."
But, hey, let's expand unionization throughout the country, even if employees don't want it!