Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive “It looks like a melted hearse”: The 20 ugliest cars to grace UK roads over the past 50 years

“It looks like a melted hearse”: The 20 ugliest cars to grace UK roads over the past 50 years

by LLB Reporter
26th Jan 22 12:03 pm

The Jaguar E-type is widely regarded as being one of the most beautiful cars ever made. The SsangYong Rodius, described by one car reviewer as looking like a “melted hearse”, is not.

But beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder, because the loaf-of-bread like Rodius, a bulky MPV launched to the public in 2004, may be one of the ugliest cars to ever grace UK roads, but there are still 3,177 Brits who own one.

And it seems that Brits have a soft spot for an ugly duckling when it comes to the cars we drive, according to research conducted by car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco.

LeaseLoco collected data on 20 of the ugliest cars from the 70s,  80s, 90s and 00s, ripped apart by reviewers for their questionable designs. And yet more than 14,000 Brits still own one of these quirky motors, and love them enough to look beyond their withering looks. 

Take the Rover CityRover. Top Gear Magazine called it the second worst car on a list of the worst cars of the 21st Century, only beaten by the Perodua Kanari which also appears in our list of 20. 

Despite being panned by critics, and pulled from production 16 years ago, 242 hardcore fans have just not had the heart to consign their Rover CityRover to the scrapheap.

And how about the FSO Polonez? Jeremy Clarkson described the Polonez as “a truly awful car”, adding that: “It wasn’t a car at all; it was a box under which the car buyer would find a 1940s tractor”. Yet, somewhere in the UK, there are 11 Brits who are still proud to say they own a Polonez. 

The following table lists 20 of the ‘ugliest’ cars ever built, compiled by LeaseLoco, and ranked (high to low) by the numbers still registered to drive on UK roads.

Make, model

Years in Production

Numbers still registered to drive on UK roads

Chrysler PT Cruiser

2000-2010

4,247

SsangYong Rodius

2004-2013

3,177

Vauxhal Frontera

1989-2004

1,401

Triumph TR7

1975-1981

1,129

Nissan Cube

1998-2011

1,082

Reliant Robin

1983-2002

1,054

Morris Marina

1971-1980

405

Perodua Kanari

2000-2009

368

Austin Allegro

1973-1982

248

Rover CityRover

2003-2005

242

Reva G Wiz

2001-2012

209

Lancia Beta

1972-1975

173

Renault Avantime

2001-2003

160

Suzuki X-90

1995-1997

131

Lada Riva

1983-1997

38

Zastava Yugo

1985-1992

13

Rover 800

1986-1999

13

FSO Polonez

1978-2002

11

Skoda Estelle

1976-1990

5

Renault Alliance

1983-1987

1

John Wilmot, CEO of car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, comments:  “There’s no accounting for taste, but Brits have always loved an underdog, and there are a few runts in this litter that the public clearly took to their hearts.

“Saying that, maybe the owners of these motors are more savvy than we think. These cars were trashed by the press and sales bombed, but as the years have passed, the notoriety and rarity of such cars will have increased their value and collectibility. 

“It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that some of these ugly ducklings, rather than being consigned to the scrapheap, will become classics in the years to come, if they’re not already.”

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