Horrible Cars - HF
What are other people's experiences of driving a truly horrible car?

I've had to make do with the Golf again this weekend, as the beloved and famous Astra has gone up to the wilds of the North West of England again.

Yesterday I managed to avoid driving completely, and even managed walking round to the local corner shop, for which Volvoman will be truly proud of me.

However, today I had no option but to drive (we were running out of beer ;) ) and it was awful.

I need to tie a sack of concrete onto my right foot to get any sort of acceleration at all, and reverse gear is in the same place as first, so I had to drive right out of my way to avoid any main roads/traffic lights etc where I might inadvertently reverse into the car behind me. Even then, there were several junctions where, after waiting patiently to pull out, I gracefully then started reversing back up the road. The mini-roundabouts were fun too.

The clutch is so high that I have to practically wrap my left leg around my neck to avoid keeping my foot pressed on it after changing gear.

As for the steering - well some people have said they had trouble with the Astra's steering, but not me. This Golf is a different story altogether, it's steering is almost as heavy as its owner, though not quite. :)

Much more of this and I will be taking on a Schwarzenegger-esque physique.

I really look forward to driving my proper car tomorrow.
Horrible Cars - Vin {P}
After my little "incident" on the M3, I've been given a hire Corsa. Awful. When I got it, it had done 4 miles. After four days, it's now done ten, and believe me, I've hated every one of those six miles. Awful. If I got this as a new car, I'd be mightily hacked off. It's just awful. No guts, no presence and it feels like it's already done 1,000,000 miles. Awful. It's as useful as a wooden compass. Awful. I'm tempted to crash it just so no-one else will ever have to drive it. It's awful.

Horrible Cars - THe Growler
Oh boy do I hate the Corsa as well. Diabolical thing. No presence and other traffic treats you as thought you weren't there, scary.

My other horror was one of those Mercedes bubble cars. Hertz LHR at the time had nothing else. Not only was it ridiculous to look at but it was a complete dog to drive. Back it went after 24 hours.
Horrible Cars - LongDriver {P}
Horrible cars....

Ford Ka(k) - all I can say is WHY?

New Vectra....current adverts compare to a bmw ??? I think not (and believe me I've driven plenty of new vectras)

Horrible Cars - Nsar
Kangoo - no redeeming features whatsoever.
Horrible Cars - Hugo {P}
The Lada Riva.

It was so horrible it was fast achieving cult status in the village where I live.

When my wife insisted I interrupted a busy day whilst plastering, to pick her, the children and her mother up from the train station to save them 15 mins walk DOWN HILL into the village, I decided to hook the trailer to the back of this thing, which I never washed, and drive it to the station.

SWMBO's face was a picture, as was her mothers!

I never went more than about 20 miles away from home in that thing.

Horrible Cars - Pugugly {P}
Ladas are cool ! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh
Horrible Cars - Clanger

Stranger in a strange land
Horrible Cars - Ian (Cape Town)
during my not-infrequent trips, I often get lumbered with Hertz 1300s. Great fun trying to get a carb'ed 1300 car with 3 occupants to approach the speed limit on the Johannesburg freeways, where the altitude is about 6000ft... and the traffic flows there at speed limit + 10km/h!
Horrible Cars - DieselBoy
HF - I'm glad that you are sooooo smitten with the Golf. I also found it a pig to drive, especially the whole reverse / first gear malarky.

Then again, at a cost of £100, it is a particularly cheap pig!
Horrible Cars - peterb
Megane 1.4 8 valve.

No go whatsoever. Terrible ergonomics (e.g. steering wheel blocking "main beam on" warning light).
Horrible Cars - Blue {P}
Modern cars = Missan Micra.

Older Cars = 1984 VW Polo. It's so old that it's cool, but like HF, I don't think I could get used to the gearbox, and the lack of servo brakes. I felt like I was standing on the anchors just to get it to slow down, I don't know how my mate manages to drive it all the time....

Horrible Cars - NitroBurner
Nissan Micra - Thoroughly horrible device. Had one earlier this yr for a while. It was a 1.0L 16V; sounded more like 1600...

Also Peugot 106 base model, no PS, even worse than the Micra!
Horrible Cars - RichardW
I have a 2000 Corsa D as a works car - horrible to drive, gutless, noisy, handles like a pig with a hangover, the gear box is like stirring treacle and brakes are dire. Had a 2001 Primera diesel before that. Noisy, rough and very uncomfortable for me and I had to clean the lights every 50 miles in winter as they just collected muck like it was going out of fashion. Had a Focus TD before that - pretty good, but I thought the suspension was overhard to make it handle, and the heated front window annoyed me. Had an Almera 1.4 before that. Handled like a pig, didn't go unless you got it over 5k rpm (when it was so noisy you had to wear ear defenders.) The good thing about all these cars was they were free....

I was pleased to get out of any of these cars into my own car - and at one stage that was 1992 BX TZD, now a Xantia Turbo D.


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Horrible Cars - veeduballan
my mates 1 litre POLO borrowed it last week. It is a 1990 1.0 catalyst equipped 4 speed. Do cars get any slower? dangerously slow and very dull.
Horrible Cars - PoloGirl
Vauxhall Corsa and Nissan Micra - both were mine as a result of the last crash, and I'm getting the big red frog back again on Wednesday while they try to put polo right again. The Corsa was foul.. felt like I was driving one of those tin cases that Mr Kipling apple pies come in.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - just nasty! Too cramped inside, and too stuck in the 80s. The one we had also had the "tasteful" wood trim...nasty nasty nasty.

Horrible Cars - Anglesey Ian
Thoughts of an orange Fiat Stada I owned (circa 1982) fills me with conflicting nostalgic memories: delight of the lively driving experience but dread of the 'measles rash' rust spots which appeared in the middle of the body panels and roof after the hint of rain or damp weather.

Horrible Cars - JamesG
I once drove a diesel maestro van, the dashboard rattled on tickover, the exhaust was hanging off, the engine leaked oil and diesel, but the emissions were splendidly good! Totally unresponsive. Handbrake came up 3 miles before hitting a brick wall type stop- not very imspiring. To be fair, it was road legal pretty much and the miles had stopped at 100,000 - 5 years previous.

More modern cars, the citroen Saxo, quite nippy, and generally fine, but having fairly big "plates" I seemed to get all 3 pedals at once, or not at all!

Horrible Cars - Ben79

The Saxo can be driven by people wearing size 14 dr marten's! I know, I did it for about 12,000 miles.

The 206 is a truly horrible car, awful seating position, made for short legged people, seat too high, height adjuster changes angle of seat and not height. Size 14 people have to drive bare footed and thats not nice in winter. No elbow room as the door panel is a silly shape. Visibility quite poor due to silly shaped pillars.

I'd rather have a Saxo than a 206.

On my 3rd Citroen. Saxo, Xsara, C5.
Horrible Cars - Rob the Bus {P}
As the owner of the car in question (ie the one which HF is referring to) I feel honour bound to leap in and defend it.

Except I can't....


Horrible Cars - jeds
Just had a Corsa for a few days - only a few weeks old. What a pile of junk.
Horrible Cars - HF
Pugugly/Hawkeye - erm - please can you clarify your points, I have no idea what either of you are talking about!

Thanks :)

Horrible Cars - Pugugly {P}
A blast from the past. LAC used to be (a may well still be under a new name) a regular on the site. There were issues. I thought my post had been deleted as it may have disturbed our editors !!
Horrible Cars - lordwoody
Not strictly a car, but I used to have an ancient Thames van with a column gearchange the convoluted linkages of which would bend if too swift a gearchange was made from neutral to first. This would then necessitate climbing out and straigtening the linkages ( which ran down behind the front wheel) with a few blows from a hammer. This made me a very popular figure at junctions in London.
Horrible Cars - HF
PU - TY for clarification. I have some knowledge of this from the archives!
Horrible Cars - arnold2
Sorry, worse car (my Father's, in fact) - Moskvitch ! The passenger door fell off !!!
Horrible Cars - paulb {P}
Old-model Corsa 1.0 3-cyl. YUCK! And no, engine that sounds like half a Porsche does NOT make up for that.

Drove a new model Corsa 1.0 (as accident repair courtesy car) recently and it was a bit nicer to drive overall, but couldn't help the feeling that instead of a flywheel GM have bolted a concrete paving slab on the end of the crankshaft. Should it really take almost 2 sec to drop from 3,500 to 2,500 rpm? Forget quick gearchanges in one of these, they don't happen. Also, you are in no danger whatsoever of getting done for speeding on the M-way!

All of this is particularly unfortunate in view of the fact that I have since driven a new-model Corsa 1.2, which just proved to me that when they put a proper (i.e. 4-cyl) engine in it, the Corsa is not bad at all.
Horrible Cars - bartycrouch
I agree with you on the old Corsa, but it wasn't just the engines that made it such a turkey. Lamentable suspension control was the thing that used to make me hate it. It could turn a superb country road into a thing of misery.

The power steering pump used to give up when parking and the dashboard plastics would disgrace a pedal car.

Horrible Cars - paulb {P}
Very true - and while we're on, let's not forget the accelerator pedal that needed a savage kick to produce any response whatsoever! At least they've sorted that out on the new one.
Horrible Cars - Robbo
Fiat Stilo. Nowhere to rest your left foot as the gap between the clutch pedal and the centre console is about 1cm. So your foot has to rest either on top of the clutch pedal, or right underneath it. The most uncomfortable car I have ever driven.
Horrible Cars - blank
Robbo and SeeFive:

Absolutely agree with both of you. I had actually forgotten why I hated the Stilo so much! It's also noisy and not otherwise very average.

206. Cannot believe how well this badly designed, cheaply made rubbish sells. Such a bad driving position should be illegal!

Horrible Cars - AngryJonny
Mercedes C180 Auto. I had one for a day as a courtesy car.

No power at all, even in "Sport" mode. I held a whole line of traffic up going up a minor incline - hugely embarrasing.

And whose idea was it to put the pedal for the "hand"brake where the clutch would have been? Crazy! I had to sit on my left foot for the whole day out of fear of stomping on the handbrake when approaching a junction.
Horrible Cars - OlafS
Worst car ever driven, brand new Renault Clio during a test drive. Driving position was crap. Handling was crap. Don't get me started on the road noise, and did somebody leave a window open somewhere?
For a long time, I was really considering getting a new Clio (the 1.5 DCi 80) Dynamique Sport, but after taking the 1.2 Dynamique out on a test drive it was a case of droping the keys on the sales persons desk and making a very, very quick exit!

I appologise in advance if I have offended anyone!
Horrible Cars - clett
The worst car I've ever driven is the BMW Z3. Yes it's comfortable but it is *slow*, has that horrible "steer first, corner (much) later" lack of any kind of responsiveness and has the most rubbery, vague and wallowy suspension of any car I've ever had to drive.

None of these would be any problem if it were some nasty diesel estate car, but what I still can't believe is that BMW have the cheek to market it as a "sports car"! It soooo is not....
Horrible Cars - r_welfare
Worst car for me so far is a friend's 1995 BMW 316i automatic. I know that it's a status symbol (well, it's debadged...) and the ergonomics, build quality etc are very good, but this is perhaps the worst engine/gearbox combination I have ever encountered. Lethargic is not the word - it feels even slower than a 1978 Fiesta 1.1 I used to drive - and the autobox is horrible: bury throttle to engage kickdown, 2 seconds of screaming engine and...thump, there it is. Reinforces my view that a BMW is only worth having with a six-cylinder engine, latest M5 excepted!

About that Fiesta...small cars have come a long way in the last 25 years, believe me. Rattly, fragile, real "brown-trousers" brakes (but it did have a servo!) and a real feeling of vulnerability from it's tinplate construction. Still, what can you expect from a £100 car?

Comments on the 206 and 106/Saxo - you chaps may dwarf my size 11s, but I still found the pedals too close together for my liking. Having said that a 2003 model 206 I hired a while back seemed much better than a 2002 model I had previously. They still haven't done anything about that awful dashboard texture though...

Horrible Cars - Hugo {P}
I cannot believe the Reliant Robin isn't on here!

I've never owned, driven or ridden in one, and nor would I want to!

When I was first commuting from Leiceter to Plymouth on a regular basis I saw the remains of a burnt out Robin in a services car park. You had to laugh really.

It looked like someone had positioned the engine, box, drive train, wheels, seat frames, metal frame of the steering wheel, steering gear, pedals, ect etc neatly in a parking space in their correct locations, then sprinkled ash in a rectangle around the whole lot. There was nothing left of the body whatsoever!

It would have made a billiant photo, I should have got one of those disposable cameras.

Apart from the Lada and the Robin, I would also nominate the old Nova. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

At 6'4" I really had a problem fitting behing the wheel of those things. I used to drive for a Vauxhall dealership.

Horrible Cars - stackman
Horrible cars ? For me it has to be the Land Rover Discovery.

I haven't driven one that didn't make me feel like I was driving a garden shed. Torpid acceleration, ponderous handling, tacky interiors, enormous thirst. Yeuch. Can't see why anyone gets so excited about them.

If you want a high up driving position get a transit van. They drive 10 times better.
Horrible Cars - Captain Alex Zippy O' Toole
My dad insisted on driving Maestros for years and years, he only stopped when the supply of "good" ones dried up. (He'd pay £500-£1500, drive them until they died, and get another one.)

The 1.6 was bad enough, but once he got a 1.3, a slower, more ponderous car I have never seen (nor do I wish to), and driving it was horrendous.

The gearchange was an act of faith, the brakes were slushy and ineffective, acceleration was non-existent, road noise was horrible if you did manage to get going and its cornering abilities (or lack thereof) were genuinely scary.

All that said, he generally managed to get them up to about 125,000 miles, and not a huge amount of things went wrong with them, plus they were always cheap to fix and insure.

And the seats were quite comfy, now I come to think about it. And the boot was a useful size too.

Cheap, relatively effective motoring I suppose - but a horrible car.
Horrible Cars - Roger Jones
Of the cars I've driven, the Ford Zephyr Mk IV -- the square barge of the early 1970s. I was unfortunate enough to have one as a compnay car for a few months. I've also driven a narrow boat, the handling of which was comparable.

Of the cars I've ridden in, the Austin Maxi, which must have had the worst gear change ever and a gearbox that whined at all speeds, closely followed by the Austin Allegro.
Horrible Cars - Captain Alex Zippy O' Toole
Of the cars I've ridden in, the Austin Maxi, which must
have had the worst gear change ever and a gearbox that
whined at all speeds, closely followed by the Austin Allegro.

I'll say one thing for the Maxi though, the back seats on it were fantastic - like a big comfy couch. (Before he got into the Maestros my dad drove nothing but Maxis. The 1500 or the powerhouse 1750, 0-60, possibly.)


Value my car