If you’re like me, you scour the internet for cringe-worthy content. If that’s the case, wait until you get a load of the cruelest car reviews of all time! Many of these pundits aren’t afraid to attack any aspect of a car, and one of these online reviews even led to a writer losing his job! While this information could be helpful if you’re in the market for a used car, it’s probably a better way to kill five minutes and laugh at the crappy products that some car brands try to push out.
Some online reviewers tend to ignore eloquence when they’re lamenting the issues of a vehicle. However, some of these pundits are actually professional writers, and they tend to do a particularly good job of articulating the specific issues they have with a vehicle. This goes for former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, who absolutely roasted the Honda Insight hybrid car back in 2009 (via Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition):
“It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.
. . . And the sound is worse. The Honda’s petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer.
So you’re sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you’re doing only 23mph because that’s about the top speed, and you’re thinking things can’t get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit.
. . . The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere. Canada, usually. It has to be shipped to Japan, not on a sailing boat, I presume. And then it must be converted, not in a tree house, into a battery, and then that battery must be transported, not on an ox cart, to the Insight production plant in Suzuka. And then the finished car has to be shipped, not by Thor Heyerdahl, to Britain, where it can be transported, not by wind, to the home of a man with a beard who thinks he’s doing the world a favour.”
There were an array of reasons why consumers were not particularly happy with the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage. Specifically, the weak engine offering left plenty to be desired, and some online reviewers were simply astonished that a hatchback could deliver such underwhelming specs. One of these disappointed individuals was John Pearley Huffman of the New York Times, who lampooned the car back in 2014. Besides stating that customers would be better off pursuing “hitchhiking” or a “Greyhound bus ticket,” the reviewer also described what he hated most about Mitsubish’s vehicle:
“Low expectations don’t guarantee happiness, but at least there isn’t much disappointment. The reborn Mitsubishi Mirage lowers expectations, strangles them and buries their remains in a deep unmarked grave. If this car wasn’t disappointing, it wouldn’t be anything at all.”
“Once at the peak, the powertrain settles into a bleak drone as the car grimly builds something like speed. The sound is flatter than the electroencephalogram of a dead hamster.”
“It’s the sort of acceleration that adds terror to every highway entrance and daring to any passing maneuver. A sense of peril is your constant driving companion.”
It might be difficult for a professional writer to review a boxy commercial vehicle like the Ram ProMaster. Well, that’s what Car and Driver’s Daniel Pund was tasked to do back in 2015, and it doesn’t sound like the writer was too thrilled with the experience. Pund wasn’t fond of the vehicle, noting that it was cheaply made and could barely keep up with traffic. However, it’s the way that Pund goes around reciting these issues that earns his review a spot in our top three:
“The Ram ProMaster, a Fiat Ducato with ram-head logos, is a detestable, shovel-faced thing that appears to have been cobbled together from spare parts. Too harsh? No, not really. The ProMaster itself is an insult. It is the only vehicle in any comparison test in memory to receive zero points in a subjective category from one of our voters. That would be for its dreadful single-clutch automated-manual transmission. The other voters each gave it one mercy point. Pull out onto a busy road and the vehicle comes to a near stop as the transmission pauses to find the next gear. It’s not just annoying, causing your head to bob fore and aft with every shift, it’s scary. The steering system is loose and numb and connected to a steering wheel that feels only a few degrees from a horizontal orientation. It’s better than the steering in an ex-military Hummer H1 or a Mercedes-Benz G-class, but worse than everything else.”
I’m personally a big fan of analogies, and Scott Burgess of the Detroit News may have made the best comparison of all time when he was reviewing the 2011 Chrysler 200C. In short, the pundit wasn’t critical of every aspect of the SUV, but he eventually admitted that the vehicle was shaped like a “loggerhead turtle.” Shockingly, some of the paper’s sponsors weren’t too happy with this article, and according to Aaron Brown of Jalopnik.com, the original article was heavily edited and Burgess was forced to resign. The notable part of the review is below:
“The new face of Chrysler isn’t a bad mug. The expansive seven-bladed grille and stretched logo above have a touch of class. The LED trim in the headlights sparkle like chrome. It’s no secret that the very best pieces of the 200’s exterior were taken right from the 300, which had undergone years of reworking. It’s a smart move.
But no number of LEDs can hide a profile that looks like a loggerhead turtle. If this car came in tortoise shell, the EPA would have to put it on the endangered sedan list to prevent trappers and automotive enthusiasts from rightfully shooting it into extinction.”