We had more problems with our 1999 VW NewBeetle diesel. We loved the car, but had problems with the check engine light and starting problems. Couldn't have been that bad, we traded it for a 2006 VW NewBeetle diesel.
1984 Ford Mustang with some piss-poor 4 banger in it. Woefully underpowered, 99.95% plastic, and bits constantly falling off. Did about 100k miles in it, and managed to keep it running with duct tape and bailing wire, and it only stranded me once, so...
Mo, I had a 1995 4.6HSE, and evidently sold it before it started to be a pain - next owner lost three of the four suspension bags due to the idiots at a tire place putting it on a lift without securing them first...
A 1978 Dodge Omni, hey I was a broke graduate student. Hard to believe it was actually Motor Trend's car of the year. It did have 1 special feature, turning on the air conditioning was more effective at slowing down the car than the brakes!
Anything Japanese, Even my first new vehicle: 1987 Mitsubishi Mighty Max SPX Pick-Up Truck, Beige on Beige... 2.4L 12-Valve Hemi, 5-Speed Manual...
Let's see, driving over rail road tracks, glove box would pop open, right rear speaker would fall out. Two weeks old and it would not idle. Spent many times in to have things repaired. Luckily, I sold it to Dad. At 50 miles past the extended warranty (exactly 50,050) it threw a rod out of the side of the engine. $1,800 of engine put in lasted about 6 more months.
Then I loaned him my hateful Toyota Corolla wagon. My best man spent my whole wedding out in the parking lot getting a locksmith to help get the boken key out of the rear we brought the flowers with and make a new one so we could move the car out of the way.
Dad had to abandon ship at around 40 MPH as he was afraid the Corolla cum fireball was going to weld the doors before he could it stopped.
I knew my Japanese curse was sealed when the one time I got in Frank's RX330, some sensors failed and it lost ABS, anti-roll over and traction control. The first day with his LS430, and it would not start in the garage, and when I gave up trying to use the manual key even, I called him, took my foot off the brake and the car started itself. It subsequently tried to kill me even though I was taking care of it. At a car wash, it raised the seat up as I was getting out and I konked my head pretty hard. It acted up many times after that, but only when I was piloting it.
Can we count motorcycles? Honda Goldwing Aspencade, 900 lbs. dry weight, third day, defective front wheel baring, left turn, then me in the ditch with bike on top of me. Honda Nighthawk 650 with 3,000 miles leaked oil so bad, ended up setting the garage and house on fire one night.
Imagine, I almost got an Infiniti G35 coupe instead of the SLK!
My 2006 SLK has the shop time record. In it's first year of ownership, it more time in the shop (5 times for SRS system failure) then my two Fiero GT did their entire 15 years with me. It goes back in this coming month for mBrace, but also passenger seat noise over bumps (3rd time) the driver's seat control plastic side that appears to have been broken during last month's service, etc.
The 2008 Cadillac suffers kind of the same fate. Only they are more reliable about breaking something else everytime the car goes in for service, and it has fewer problems occuring outside the shop then the SLK.
I think much of both cars is the lack of pride in work found all over South Florida.
Coming close with the most problems per miles was my 1981 1.5L Fuel Injection FIAT X1/9. Although it went through many parts in the 5,000 miles I drove it, it was an amazing good time. It would last a maximum of 2 weeks (as a second car) of fun driving before something else went. Right up until it broke a fuel line and started spitting fuel all over a hot engine. It didn't catch fire, but that led to my "restoration" that I never finished and eventual sold with 43,000 miles on it.
The most reliable cars I ever owned were my 1986 Fiero GT Sunroof Automatic and 1988 Fiero GT T-Top 5-speed. Each car I then sold for around 10% more then I paid for them.
The most interesting worst car, was the 1983 Chevette Scooter Automatic, my mom's car I beat through high school. That thing would not accelerate when the air was on. I cannot remember how many reverse floats and neutral drops I did with that car, with more then 5 people in it too. Never broke. Mom never serviced it either. Just every three months we put a quart of oil in. Changed the spark plugs and air filter every couple of years. I decided to give it some love and had the dealership change the oil at 42,500 miles. They could not believe the factory filter was still on. I think the car lasted 2 months after that oil change then the valves went and it all stopped. I have fond memories of teaching myself skid control by going 65 on a gravel road, pulling the emergency brake and sharply turning to the left. Ah, that car was good times! "Little Silver Chevette, Baby You're Much Too Slow!"
I had a 1983 Plymouth Horizon TC3 I bought off a friend wrecked to part out. Folded hood, bent fender, headlight with duct tape. I ended up driving it through college. 1.8L VW engine. Drove the **** out of it, full throttle 60 miles on Christmas to go see Frank. Sold it to his kids for $100, then they sold it on for $100. At one point a mechanic looked at it and said "this car is just running out of pure spite."
You must have gotten the Horizon with the Peugot motor.
Nothing with my '89, still going strong with my son in Tulsa.
I still maintain, however, that these must have been made with steel left over from construction of the Titanic, as I've never seen a vehicle that lived its life here in SW USA that showed rust like this car did.
Car always made me giggle as to how crude it was. Inner front fenders looked like they were trimmed to shape with a cutting torch, and all the hype about boxed frame was really an excuse for the fact there was no capacity for making U-channel and the solution was cottage industry welding up of flat steel pieces instead. As noted, quite rust-prone. Probably still today smells better in interior than any Mercedes with purported leather upholstery.
Can't believe the Lexus' mentioned. We've had five of them, and only one burned out brake light bulb that whole time. Even beat the crap out of the last GS300 and went WAY past service intervals...no problem. Slightly less happy with our 4 Infiniti's, but really not anything major to complain about. Pretty damn reliable in those Chicago blizzards.
Skoda 120L.You could almost smell the sweat of the Czechoslovakian prisoners that built it. This is before the "VW" ownership.It was recalled once for the minor problem that there was nothing actually holding the brake pads in, and they would sometimes fall out.Cheers! Dang
I'm also shocked about the Lexus. I have a 94 SC300 with 170,000 miles on it. It runs like it has 170 miles on it. If I can keep up with all of the electronics that break I'm sure the car will be around for another 170,000 milesR)
I've had several 'worst' cars over the last n years...
My first car was an Austin A40. It was something of a wreck, I was constantly repairing it. But I brought it back from Wales one time, about 220 miles on just over 4-gallons of juice. So even in the 70's, 50 mpg from a hatchback was doable. Very basic car though.