Love is in the air around this time of year, what with Valentine’s Day, and when we’re not showing affection for our significant others, we’re directing our love to cars.
But not all cars were created equally. While we love cars on the whole, there are some models that suck so much that it’s more fun to poke fun at them than actually drive them.
Flying in the face of all the lovey-dovey stuff going on right now, here are some cars we love to hate…
2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
This drop-top crossover-before-crossovers-were-cool didn’t even go on UK sale and yet it still attracts much ridicule.
In its fixed-roof form, the Murano wasn’t terrible. Sure, the ride quality was poor, the driver’s seat got uncomfortable after about an hour and its CVT auto gearbox was skillfully summed up as ‘a selection of expensive rubber bands’ by Anthony ffrench-Constant for The Telegraph at the time.
It was widely accepted that the Murano looked like a cheese grater too, but chopping the roof off could only improve its appeal, right? Wrong.
An account from someone on the ground when the convertible Murano was revealed noted “an audible gasp and silence” when the covers were ripped off.
It would be several years before anyone would dare market a drop-top compact SUV again.
The Countryman is not a bad car. In fact, it’s quite good, earning a respectable four out of five from Auto Express and Parkers for its inspired use of space, efficiency and advanced tech.
But to call it a Mini gets certain people irate.
When you think ‘Mini’, few would think of a crossover-style estate-cum-SUV and that’s the issue. It may wear the Mini badge on the bonnet but it’s Mini by name only and, for brand purists, it’s an outrage.
To everyone else, it’s mildly amusing.
Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
The regular PT Cruiser is one of those models that triggers guffaws from most car nuts and as with the Murano, if you want to make a bad car worse, just tear off the roof. That’s precisely what happened with the top-down PT Cruiser and the results are even more hideous.
A regular fixture in worst car lists, the PT Cruiser Convertible has had enough mud slung its way over the years, but it’s hard not to include it again here.
The standard car suffered from poor build quality and sloppy handling, but any semblance of structural rigidity was lost with the roof so Chrysler hastily added that gross roll hoop between the front and rear seats.
If sales for the original PT Cruiser were in the toilet then they were in the sewers for the convertible, and the car was flushed out of the Chrysler range within two years.
Electric cars have only recently started to be taken seriously, thanks mostly to Tesla and the Nissan Leaf, but a decade or so ago, purely battery-operated cars were a joke – and a large chunk of that is down to the G-Wiz.
Even describing the G-Wiz as a ‘car’ is a stretch, because technically it’s a quadricycle, which means anyone can drive it as long as they’re aged at least 16 and have passed their CBT motorcycle test.
The thing is, any 16-year-old with an ounce of street cred wouldn’t be seen dead in this tacky death trap. Produced in India between 2001 and 2012, build quality was leagues below what you’d expect from any new mainstream model in showrooms today.
Crooked shut lines and mismatching paint finishes were a common problem and it also meant no two cars were the same. Some even had gaps between the bodywork and doors, letting rain in.
But as hateful as it is, the G-Wiz was worth suffering if it meant we got nice things like the Tesla Model S.