Top 10: Ugliest cars

Over the last few years, some of the world's car designers have kicked up quite a bit of controversy in their approach to styling. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes things are taken too far. Here are ten cars currently on sale that fell short of the expectations of even some of the brand’s most loyal followers...

1

MINI Paceman

If Alec Issigonis, best known as the creator of the original Mini, though that one day his small car would materialise into the Paceman with its “Sports Activity Coupé looks and athleticism" he would have no doubt turned in his grave.

Un-stylishly stretched and awkwardly high riding, even with the 'almost endless exterior and interior customisation options' this MINI is never going to look pretty. The eighth model to join the range, and perhaps a niche too far for the manufacturer.

Read the MINI Paceman review

2

Jeep Cherokee

A major departure from its outgoing models, the new-generation Cherokee drew a lot of negative comment from critics and forum users alike. The designer defended its controversial front end, saying “the brand needed to break away from a traditional look”, before concluding that “any reaction is good”.

We wouldn't be so sure. Drastically adjusting the seven-slat grille and ditching the signature round headlights, has made it look more like a car and less like a rugged off-roader. It's not a Jeep as we've come to know it.

Read the Jeep Cherokee review

List Price from £26,510
Buy new from £24,845
3

SsangYong Turismo

Sure, it's a spacious and well-equipped MPV - and when it comes to delivering the maximum amount of space per pound - the Turismo beats all its competitors. But this is a car only a mother could love.

There's no getting away from the fact that it isn't just plain ugly. From every angle it looks ungainly and if that wasn't enough, buyers can expect crippling depreciation, with all versions expected to lose more than 75 per cent of their value after three years.

Read the SsangYong Turismo review

List Price from £19,320
Buy new from £18,320
Contract hire from £331.92 per month
4

BMW 5 Series GT

A large hatchback designed to hit the middle ground between the 5 Series saloon and Touring, sadly the GT does neither. BMW is an expert at creating new automotive segments – and did it to some success with the X6 and the premium crossover coupe market.

But sadly the 5 Series GT is pointless and probably the ugliest car BMW has ever built, particularly from the rear. Luxury, yes. Practical, no. Good looking? God no. What's wrong with the Touring?

Read the BMW 5 Series GT review

List Price from £37,100
Buy new from £28,631
Contract hire from £290.39 per month
5

Porsche Panamera

There's no denying the Panamera has always been an outstanding performer. But it's never been the belle of the ball. It's awkwardly proportioned while the back end tapers down as if the designers couldn't end the car in time and had to suddenly abandon their pencils.

Even Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller admitted the exterior design of the company's four-seater could be better. Still, since its introduction in 2009, the Panamera has been one of Porsche's best-selling vehicles so its looks are clearly loved by some.

Read the Porsche Panamera review

Contract hire from £743.99 per month
6

BMW i3

It doesn't look good for BMW with two of its models in our top ten ugliest cars on sale, but they at least made an appearance in our list of cars that we reckon will be future classics.

On paper the i3 sounds great. An electric range of 80 miles and among the cheapest models offered by the Bavarian marque. But in person, its looks have been met with less-than-enthusiastic praise. It looks nothing like a BMW, and we think it will be difficult for people to see past its peculiar Smart-like styling.

Read the BMW i3 review

List Price from £34,075
Buy new from £26,408
Contract hire from £297.48 per month
7

Citroen C4 Cactus

According to Citroen, the C4 Cactus is "striking, bold and original." Striking, not so much, bold and original almost certainly with what appears to be bubble wrap adorning the sides and parts of the bumpers.

The flexible plastic with hollow, air-filled pockets is what Citroen calls Airbump to repel shopping trolleys and carelessly opened doors. The sight alone is perhaps enough to repel any objects coming into contact with it. Fashion accessory this isn't.

Read the Citroen C4 Cactus review

List Price from £19,145
Buy new from £13,477
Contract hire from £207.28 per month
8

Dacia Duster

Dacia is a bit of a mixed bag - a Romanian company owned by Renault that builds its 4x4 model in India. It’s also one of the fastest-growing car companies in the world, obviously catering for unfussy buyers who want low prices.

You can't fault that kind of business strategy but you can fault the Duster, not only for its name but for its looks too. It may be the UK's cheapest SUV, but it's also the 21st century equivalent of the Lada. The very definition of plain.

Read the Dacia Duster review

List Price from £9,995
Buy new from £9,245
Contract hire from £166.10 per month
9

Chrysler 300C

As the Chrysler 300C proves, bolder is not always better. Tasteless, brash styling has been a forte of Chrysler's, from its original 1955 model to the modern incarnation that blighted our roads in 2005 and then the facelifted model from 2012. And don't even get us started on the Crossfire.

If its in-your-face styling you're after then this is the perfect car for you, with its unnecessarily monolithic grille and squared off rear end. It's also seriously big – in the same league as a BMW 7 Series, but with a boot that's smaller than a 5 Series. Useless.

Read the Chrysler 300C review

10

Fiat 500L

Have you ever wondered what a Fiat 500 might look like on a diet of steroids? The new 500L is the answer. It’s about as far removed as it could be from a cute and cuddly Fiat 500. The five-door mini MPV is awkwardly proportioned, overly tall, and well, just massive.

The little 500 may have been Fiat’s saviour, but this is milking the concept to the extreme. People may try and tell you it's quirky but it's not, it is plain ugly. If ever a car shouldn't have been American-sized, the Fiat 500 was it.

Read the Fiat 500L review

List Price from £16,405
Buy new from £12,542
Contract hire from £159.84 per month