Ugly Cars from the 1990s
Was the decade before the new millennium supposed to be the time when ugly was the new beautiful? It seems there was an abundance of cars that offers style which we look at today and wonder “what were they thinking?” but certainly we could look at any decade in this manner. The 1990s were a time of growth and progress in the automotive industry that seemed to only be slowed down when the 2008 crash of the industry occurred. Even though some automakers were experimenting with looks and powertrains, they might have been better off leaving these ten on the drawing board, or at least putting a paper bag over them with a couple of eyeholes cut out.
Nissan Quest – We begin this journey with a minivan which by its own body style did itself no favors at all. This van looked like it has half melted across itself and the plain style it brought meant you really did have to get inside to see if the Quest was going to work for you and your family. The Quest has since gained much better style cues and looks in order to become a minivan that plays well on the eyes in its current form.
Saturn SW1 – This car was extremely ugly. The nondescript front end moved onto what appeared to be a simple and subtle sedan and then you reached the true ugliness. When the wagon was opted for it appears to be simply a wagon back end glued onto the backend of the car. This was an example of the laziest styling that could ever be made and Saturn made no bones about the abhorrent appearance of their wagon.
Chrysler Imperial – While the Imperial was a great looking sedan for the 1960s, when bringing back a style like this someone should have stopped Chrysler from thinking it would work. Not only did they come back with the boxy style that had long since been abandoned but they added a front end that jutted out in haughty arrogance at the stupidity that can be present when an automotive brand is stubborn, which is exactly what Chrysler was in this case.
Oldsmobile Achieva – The name of the car makes you think it should be able to achieve something, but the only thing this car does achieve is horrific appearances. The front end shows a blunt nose split grill that came up out of the bumper that stuck out like a sore thumb. There were no style lines on this car and even though it was a two-door coupe that should have swept back smoothly it stopped at a sharp angle in the rear. Adding insult to this putrid vehicle a spoiler was added as if it would make it cool.
Buick Skylark – Yup, this was one of the ugliest cars of the decade with a pointed front end that extended to the bumper as if it was trying to sweep people out of the way when it drove past. The lower portion offered a color and the upper another to make you feel like it had something to offer, but mostly the Skylark was as plain and simple as it got. Instead of adding all these little style features that were to be attractive, a full design would have made more sense.
Suzuki X-90 – As a tiny little car that appeared to be a Mini that was confused the X-90 was a car that was hard to look at without expecting clowns or cartoons to come pouring out of it. This car was tiny and squat in appearance as if it had been mashed into its current form. Pure ugliness in place the X-90 was not good for much, not even city driving and the most confusing part of this car was the addition of a spoiler which had no purpose on this trash can fodder.
Daewoo Nubira – The Daewoo is probably why it took Kia and Hyundai a while to really catch on. This car was awful and completely ignorable. Was there any styling on this thing? Only a little, in the grill where two vertical lines of chrome plating stood. As the most indescribable sedan on the market, the Daewoo became the subject of many jokes and was a car meant for only one purpose, but even at that it failed more than you would like to have admitted.
Ford Aspire – What does this car aspire to be? Whatever it is, it failed miserably. The Aspire looked like an egg on wheels and was a small two-door hatchback that Ford should have been ashamed to ever put to market. With the typical Ford front end that was also found on the Escort the Aspire starts off well enough, but by the time you reach the windshield it’s over and you are ready to toss it in the garbage to start over, I wish the Ford designers had done just that.
Eagle Summit Wagon – Even though it’s called a wagon it was supposed to be a minivan, but it seemed something was left out. There was only one bench of rear seats as this was one of the first attempts at a smaller minivan, and thankfully this trend did not catch on. The Summit Wagon had nothing to do with style, it was built for function only and certainly showed that function in the fact that no one in their right mind should by this thing unless they were truly desperate.
Pontiac Grand AM – This was a car that many people wanted and from the onset it appears to be a great looking car with plenty of style and a look that seems to invoke power, but once inside the story is different. This was a car that was ugly from the inside out with cheap materials and parts on the outside, such as the door molding that were prone to falling off, rendering the car ugly and one that you just couldn’t look at anymore.