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The Most Embarrassing Cars To Drive


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The Most Embarrassing Cars To Drive a recent CarInsurance.com survey, 1,500 licensed drivers were asked to look at photos of 12 vehicles made in the last decade and decide if they would be embarrassed to be seen in them. Then they were asked to rank the three most cringe-worthy.

The cars they singled out as the most embarrassing were, well, not that surprising. Almost all of the vehicles on this list employ some pretty strange exterior aesthetics or come with a well-known and negative stereotype -- some much more than others.

The company then gave the cars a "Cringe Score," which represents the relative weight of all votes cast for a particular vehicle, based on a 1 to 10 scale. A single vote meant the person would be embarrassed to drive the car.

“All these cars are bold statements. You either love them or hate them,” said CarInsurance.com managing editor Des Toups.

Click through to see the cars that people actively avoid driving. Is yours on the list?

Cringe Score: 0.3


The Murano CrossCabriolet is ambitious, but it doesn't work. It looks ridiculous, is far too expensive and just doesn't make any sense. We've only ever seen a couple on the road (and we think those were owned or at least driven by Nissan employees). It's not surprising that people found this undesirable.

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12. Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Cringe Score: 0.7

With a similar body style to the Chrysler PT Cruiser (yes, that's on the list, too), the Chevrolet HHR was either loved or hated before it was discontinued after the 2011 model year. Its plasticky look coupled with round lines and cheap-looking paint made it look like more of a toy than a legitimate vehicle.

11. Chevrolet HHR
Cringe Score: 0.9

Boxy and covered in plastic, it's not too shocking that people said they'd be embarrassed to drive the Honda Element. Although it's a highly versatile vehicle, especially for pet owners, there's just no getting past the fact that it looks pretty goofy. The Element was discontinued after the 2011 model year.

10. Honda Element
Cringe Score: 1.0

The Chrysler PT Cruiser achieved infamy through its ability to wedge even the closest of friends and families apart with its odd retro design. Although many said they'd be embarrassed to drive it, the hatchback enjoyed a surprisingly long life and Chrysler sold more than a million of them. The Cruiser was scrapped in 2010, replaced by the Fiat 500 when the Italian company took over.

9. Chrysler PT Cruiser
Cringe Score: 1.4

This is one of the ugliest cars ever made, plain and simple. In fact, we're surprised this isn't up higher on the list of cars people would be embarrassed to drive. Just look at it: Its bizarre headlights, awkward rear end and gag-inducing paint job combine to create a Frankenstein's Monster of a vehicle.

Unsurprisingly, the Aztek only lasted from 2001 to 2005.

8. Pontiac Aztek
Cringe Score: 1.6

Although it's a classic luxury vehicle, the Lincoln Town Car just screams "senior citizen," which factors in greatly in its place on the list of cars people would be embarrassed to drive. The Town Car may be one of the most comfortable cars on the planet, but it's understandable that not many people want to be associated with its reputation.

The Town Car was discontinued after the 2011 model year.

7. Lincoln Town Car
Cringe Score: 1.6

The Subaru Baja is pretty weird. Half-pickup, half-car, it looks like someone took a chainsaw to the back of an Outback. There's no question that it's a useful piece of machinery, but Baja owners should prepare to be subject to some pointing and laughing.

6. Subaru Baja
Cringe Score: 1.9

Volkswagen reintroduced the iconic Beetle in 1997, and it had a pretty good run, winning some awards and becoming one of the most recognizable cars on the road. The main problem was, and continues to be, the fact that many see it as being feminine, even in darker and more neutral colors. The redesigned Volkswagen Beetle has addressed these concerns, employing a much more aggressive look.

5. Volkswagen New Beetle
Cringe Score: 2.1

The Chevrolet SSR, which was discontinued back in 2006, is an open-top, hot rod truck that employs a giant 6.0L V8 engine along with some truly bizarre aesthetics. Sure, it's fast, but with a front end that looks like the face of an offended robot, it's easy to see that people would be embarrassed to drive it.

4. Chevrolet SSR
Cringe Score: 3.5

The Hummer H2 is likely unloved due to the fact that it portrays a couple of undesirable qualities: disregard for the environment and, um, overcompensation. According to the survey, the H2 scored especially bad with women, likely because of its ludicrously overblown masculine design.

3. Hummer H2
Cringe Score: 3.6

The Nissan Cube is pretty weird, and it's not surprising to see it on this list. What is surprising, however, is that the older you are, the less likely you are to consider it embarrassing to drive one, according to the study. That's bad news for Nissan, as the Japanese automaker designed and marketed this car for a younger generation.

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2. Nissan Cube
Cringe Score: 7.6

The poor smart fortwo can't get any love. Although it's a pretty good car in the city, it's really not well-suited to much else, including looking cool on the road. Participants in the survey thought the fortwo made drivers look "like they couldn't afford a full-size car," also calling the car "dorky" and "ugly." Apparently, the smart fortwo is the most embarrassing car to drive.

Edited by slusher
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My English teacher weeps for whomever wrote this article. A "Drive In" is an outdoor movie venue.

Most Embarrassing Car to Be Seen Driving perhaps...

If you think this was bad, you should have seen the one about Chelsey Handler looking into her family's past. That one was so bad it almost made less sense than if the writer had used txt tlk to write it?! Edited by Joe Handley
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PT Cruiser? Chevy HHR? VW Beetle? Embarrassing to be seen in? Really?

I think those three cars are actually pretty cool, or at least certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. Another of those "who came up with this list???" type of list...

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PT Cruiser? Chevy HHR? VW Beetle? Embarrassing to be seen in? Really?

I think those three cars are actually pretty cool, or at least certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. Another of those "who came up with this list???" type of list...

Atleast it's not the 17 Cars not to buy list Harry, my 200 got the Dishonorable Mention for that in the part for the Dodge Avenger. Just as much subjective nonsense as this list in the and when it came to the JS sedans, some of it was just plain wrong like the guy never even sat in one?!

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Lets face it every survey where personal opinion is the guiding principle is going to be overly subjective.

Even if you managed to segregate the various "factions" around here into their building groups -- aka Drag Guys, Muscle Car Guys, Modern Car Guys, et al, you couldn't get the inner group to agree on 10 of the Best/Worst/Most Wanted "Insert the Survey Title Here", let alone the greater population at large.

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To be embarrassed about driving a car implies you care about what other people think when they see you in it. I don't care, and am quite happy with my Element. I have a large frame, and it was the smallest vehicle I found that I feel comfortable in (especially headroom). The only complaints I have are excessive engine noise in the interior,seats not good for long trips, and those goofy rear doors in tight parking. A+ on everything else (except styling. I don't hate it, but NOT A+).

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To be embarrassed about driving a car implies you care about what other people think when they see you in it. I don't care, and am quite happy with my Element. I have a large frame, and it was the smallest vehicle I found that I feel comfortable in (especially headroom). The only complaints I have are excessive engine noise in the interior,seats not good for long trips, and those goofy rear doors in tight parking. A+ on everything else (except styling. I don't hate it, but NOT A+).

I hear ya...I'd be more embarrassed driving a Cadillac Escalade than an Element

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Nissan Juke:

My vote for recent car that makes the least stylistic sense.

Designed by the same guys who did the Aztec? :lol: It's just as bad!

I imagine that's what a normal car looks like to you when you're on a bad acid trip... :lol:

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Yeah they totally forgot the Prius, that thing's a rolling joke around here. I can't believe the PT, SSR, and the HHR, are on the list, I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in any of them. The Aztec on the other hand, yeah that one is hard on the eyes followed right by the Pu... I mean Juke.

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PT Cruiser? Chevy HHR? VW Beetle? Embarrassing to be seen in? Really?

I think those three cars are actually pretty cool, or at least certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. Another of those "who came up with this list???" type of list...

Agreed!

While certainly the Aztec struck me as the one vehicle that could have looked better had it been offered in Afrika Korps Gelb with the black palm tree/swastika insignia of the German Army's Afrika Korps (and I'm being nice in saying that --yeah, in my eyes, the Aztec IS that ugly!), and the Toyota Prius is at best odd looking, I see most of the cars on this list as being the product of the writer's own opinion, and of course, in that we all have (along with a certain bodily orifice) one of those (opinions) as well.

Oh well!

Art

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I currently drive a Town Car, but I am once retired . :lol:

My son owned an Honda Element and I almost stole it from him I liked it so much.

Way subjective.

*edit*

"Embarrasing" is driving a fully marked Chevrolet Celebrity as a regular beat car. Not bad as urban patrollers, but really?

G

Edited by Agent G
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