5 Worst Car Redesigns of All Time

Some redesigns greatly improve on the original car, but others make it much worse. Here are five of the worst car redesigns of all time.

Each year, automakers show off the brand new editions of each model series they produce. The changes from year to year are typically minimal, but from time to time every model needs an overhaul to keep up with consumers’ ever-changing tastes. Most of the time, these redesigns add many good features. Sometimes, however, these redesigns do far more harm than good. What follows are some of the worst car redesigns of all time.


5. 1974 Chevrolet Camaro

The 1974 Camaro was a victim of its times, as new federal guidelines improving safety, emissions, and fuel economy forced drastic changes to the once great muscle car. 1974 brought about the most dramatic exterior changes, requiring a quick integration of new, sloping grills and cumbersome aluminum bumpers. Under the hood, the most powerful engine available was down to just 245 horsepower, a large drop from its previous high of 370 horsepower just four years earlier.


4. 2007 Chrysler Sebring

Repeatedly named among the worst cars of the 2000’s, Chrysler got it wrong at every turn with 2007’s redesigned Sebring. An exceedingly cheap interior (even by Chrysler’s standards) and poor handling made it a burden to drive, and the exterior design fell far short of the previous generation’s popular styling. The 2006 Sebring’s elegant curves were wholly replaced by sharp, harsh lines – lines much like the downward slope in its sales numbers after the redesign.


3. 2003 Pontiac Sunfire

Pontiac redesigned the Sunfire in 2003, and was kind enough to put the model out of its misery just three years later. While its previous design wasn’t exactly popular, it was at least distinctive. After the 2003 redesign, the new model almost looked as though someone went to Action Rentals Tools for an angle grinder and went to work on all of the Sunfire’s distinguishing features, leaving behind a car that, come 2006, no one realized or cared was missing.


2. 1996 Ford Taurus

In 1986, Ford’s redesign of the Taurus led to a drastic boost in sales. Alas, this was not so with the 1996 redesign. Going for a bold new look, seemingly every aspect of the 1996 Taurus is some kind of oval or another and, according to sales numbers, consumers didn’t like the new look. The Taurus lost its best-seller status soon after, and its numbers never recovered.


1. 1978 AMC Pacer

The design of the AMC Pacer was, and still is, controversial. Most car enthusiasts agree that it remains one of the ugliest cars ever made, yet most also agree that GMC found a way to make it look worse in 1978. Stark lines and contrast were the popular, modern look in the late 70s, so GMC moved away from them with the design of its 1978 Pacer by adding contours to the hood and grill. While the changes were simple, they had a devastating effect upon the overall look of the car.


Automotive redesigns are a necessary component of the industry, but they are also a dangerous move. They must be bold and innovative, yet functional and appealing. A redesign took the Taurus to the top of the charts, and another brought it tumbling down. Even the Pacer, known as one of the ugliest cars ever built, is subject to criticism over its makeover. Even with all the botched redesigns that continue to come out year after year, these 5 are some of the worst cases in automotive history.

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