6. Yugo GV
Back in the late ’80s, Yugoslav car manufacturer Crvena Zastava attempted to enter the American market with their compact model, the Yugo. The Yugo was a nice-looking three-door hatchback they built on a Fiat 127 chassis. However, that added improvements in design and technology. So under the hood was a 1.1-liter four-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection. But for the U.S. market, buyers got updated equipment, a radio, and even AC as an option. From today’s standpoint, the Yugo was a basic and even primitive car. But for the middle of the 1980s, it was a decent proposition as well as a solution to the economy car dilemma. The Fiat mechanics were relatively common in the U.S. since Fiat had just left the American market in the early ’80s.
So why did the Yugo receive such bad reviews from consumers back in the day? And why do most people consider it to be one of the worst cars Fiat ever sold on the American market? The reason was simple. Both the driving dynamics and quality were horrible even by the standards of the day. The engine had 65 HP going to the front wheels over a badly-assembled five-speed manual gearbox. The performance was painfully slow, but that is not the worst thing. The fit and finish were bad, too. But to make things worse, Yugo importer Malcolm Bricklin didn’t import enough spare parts. So if your Yugo broke down, and eventually they all did, spare parts had to travel for months from Yugoslavia to America.