Can You Name These Ugly Cars from the '80s?

By: Nicole Shein
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Name These Ugly Cars from the '80s?
Image: Pixabay by Ahundt

About This Quiz

The oil crisis of the 1970s signaled the demise of enormous gas-guzzling vehicles, and in the decade that followed, compact cars, many of them imports from Japan, began to dominate the American roadways. In 1982, Honda opened its first stateside auto plant in Marysville, OH. Manufacturers Toyota and Nissan weren't far behind.

Smaller, more fuel-efficient cars appealed to the no-nonsense, driven-to-succeed Yuppie population, but the 1980s also saw a resurgence in muscle cars and in luxury autos. Can you imagine Jake Ryan driving a Chevette instead of a cherry-red Porsche convertible, or Marty McFly using a Pinto to travel back in time? Neither can we.

A few of the now-standard technologies and features that made their debut during the Reagan Era include electronic ignition, fuel injection, disc brakes, front-wheel drive, fuel efficiency, self-driving vehicles (believe it or not, this achievement dates back to 1986), and even cellular car telephones.

There are some 1980s-era autos that have stood the test of time, and even become classics -- like "Ghostbusters" or the music of Michael Jackson. Yet there are far more dated models that, just like acid-wash jeans and crimped hair, have us scratching our heads and wondering if our judgment was impaired by all that cocaine.

Ready to put your car-identification chops to the test? Crack open a cold wine cooler or New York Seltzer and let's get started!


Rolls-Royce Camargue
Wiki Commons by Stahlkocher
Can you take a crack at this car's identity?
BMW 733i
Lincoln Mark VII
Rolls-Royce Camargue
Citroƫn GS Camargue
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although the Rolls-Royce name is synonymous with luxury automobiles, the Camargue has been roundly criticized as one of the ugliest cars ever to grace a highway.

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Chevrolet Chevette
Wiki Commons by IFCAR
What subcompact car is seen here?
Honda Civic
Chevrolet Chevette
AMC Pacer
Volkswagon Golf
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You couldn't swing a cat without hitting a Chevette in the '70s and '80s, when drivers were happy to forsake good looks for better gas mileage.

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Ford Pinto
Wiki Commons by Michael Dorausch
Take a guess at this car's name.
Ford Pinto
Dodge Challenger
AMC Hornet
Chevrolet Vega
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although this Ford Pinto barely made it into the decade, with the last model offered in 1980, it's so delightfully ugly that it deserves a mention.

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Ford Mustang GT
Wiki Commons by Sicnag
This image shows what kind of car?
Ford Mustang GT
Toyota Selica
Dodge Challenger
Plymouth Barracuda
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Ford Mustang has a long and storied history, and while '60s-era Mustangs were beautiful to behold, the company's design team must have been asleep in the '80s when they produced this GT model.

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Yugo 45
Wiki Commons by KGC626
Can you ID this notoriously terrible car?
Geo Metro
Ford Pinto
Chevrolet Chevette
Yugo 45
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Consistently named one of the worst cars ever, the fugly little Yugo was an import from Yugoslavia. There's a reason why Yugoslavia isn't known for its automobile industry.

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Dodge Grand Caravan
Wiki Commons by order_242
How well do you know your minivans?
Chevrolet Astro
Ford Aerostar
Dodge Grand Caravan
Mercury Villager
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

First-gen minivans took a lot of flak for their plain-Jane looks, but the Grand Caravan and others of its ilk became the defacto vehicle of suburbanites across the country.

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Chrysler LeBaron
Wiki Commons by Greg Gjerdingen
Can you correctly identify this behemoth?
Dodge Lancer
Cadillac Cimarron
Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler LeBaron
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The LeBaron was first introduced in the 1930s and resurrected many times before finally dying off in the 1990s. The '80s versions were by far the least attractive.

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Ferrari Testarossa
Wiki Commons by dave_7
*wolf whistle* How YOU doin'?
Porsche 959
Ferrari Testarossa
DeLorean DMZ-12
Lamborghini Countach
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There isn't much that screams "1980s" like a Testarossa. Maybe Cabbage Patch Kids or New Coke. Maybe.

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Ford Tempo
Wiki Commons by dave_7
Next up, here we have a _________?
Mercury Sable
Chevy Cavalier
Buick Skylark
Ford Tempo
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Ford manufactured the Tempo from 1984 to 1994 in response to the Chevy Cavalier, but many auto aficionados questioned the need for such a response at all.

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AMC Eagle Station Wagon
Wiki Commons by CZmarlin
Name this wood-paneled beast.
AMC Eagle Station Wagon
AMC Hornet
Volkswagon Fox
Mercury Bobcat
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Three words: Faux. Wood. Paneling.

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Pontiac Phoenix
Wiki Commons by dave_7
"Who am I?" -- this car
Pontiac Phoenix
Chevrolet Nova
Pontiac Grand Am
Dodge Peacock
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All we're saying is, Ferris Bueller would not have been caught dead in a Pontiac Phoenix. Neither would Cam, for that matter.

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Chevrolet Cavalier
Wiki Commons by Bull-Doser
Hit this with your best shot. Fire away.
Corvette ZL-1
Mitsubishi Mirage
Chevrolet Cavalier
Corvette "305" California
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Chevy Cavalier was produced until 2005 -- and is still a common sight on the streets, more's the pity -- but had its highest sales in 1984, also known as "The Year That Taste Forgot."

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Chevrolet Citation
Wiki Commons by Herranderssvensson
Let's see if you can identify this clunker.
Pontiac Phoenix
Chevrolet Nova
AMC Hornet
Chevrolet Citation
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Chevrolet made the Citation for five years, from 1980 to 1985. Developed as a replacement for the Nova, the Citation was Chevy's first front-wheel drive car.

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Subaru BRAT
Wiki Commons by Subarubratman
A car? A truck? You tell us what this thing is.
Volkswagon Rabbit
Dodge Rampage
Chevrolet El Camino
Subaru BRAT
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

President Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru BRAT. He could have been describing this weird car-pickup hybrid when he called the Berlin Wall "as ugly as the idea behind it."

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Cadillac Cimarron
Wiki Commons by IFCAR
Identify this vehicle, if you please.
Cadillac Cimarron
Chevrolet Cavalier
Ford Thunderbird
Bentley Turbo R
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The guys at Cadillac asked themselves, "What about if we took a Chevy Cavalier and made it uglier?" and the Cimarron was their answer.

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Honda Ballade
Wiki Commons by Charlie
What do we have here?
Acura Integra
Toyota Tercel
Honda Ballade
Ford Fiesta
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Remember the Honda Ballade? Of course you don't. Its boring, boxy silhouette makes it entirely forgettable.

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Mercury Lynx
Wiki Commons by dave_7
Here's an ugly car. Know what it is?
Mazda 323
Mercury Lynx
Ford EXP
Subaru Sailfish
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Once Mercury's best-selling car, the Lynx was axed in '87 due to sluggish sales. Its looks certainly didn't help matters.

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Renault Fuego
Wiki Commons by Riley
Do you remember this homely fellow?
Volkswagon Jetta
Ford Capri
AMC Gremlin
Renault Fuego
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Fuego was the first car to have a remote keyless entry, maybe because no one wanted to look at it long enough to unlock it with a key.

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Suzuki Samurai
Wiki Commons by order_242
Do you know what this monstrosity is called?
Suzuki Samurai
Suzuki Sidekick
Geo Tracker
Jeep Wrangler
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Despite being a halfway decent utility vehicle, the Samurai was the butt of many jokes as well as a smear campaign by Consumer Reports. The magazine went to great lengths to prove that this little car was a huge rollover risk, thereby making it a flop in the United States.

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Zimmer Quicksilver
Wiki Commons by HSV
What even IS this thing?
Chrysler Executive
Lincoln Town Car
Zimmer Quicksilver
Mercury Grand Marquis
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

With its absurdly long front, the Zimmer Quicksilver sure turned heads, but not in the good way.

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Oldsmobile Firenza
Wiki Commons by dave_7
Do you know what this car is called?
Chevrolet Cavalier
Buick Skyhawk
Oldsmobile Firenza
Pontiac Sunbird
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Given that the Cavalier wasn't that attractive to begin with, it boggles the mind how many knockoffs came rolling off assembly lines, like this frumpy Olds Firenza.

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Sterling 825 Sedan
Wiki Commons by order_242
What car do you see here?
Sterling 825 Sedan
Acura Legend
Ford Tempo
Toyota Corolla
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The little-known Sterling 800-series has been described as "an Acura Legend without the reliability" -- ouch.

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Triumph Acclaim
Wiki Commons by Charles01
Recognize this tin can on wheels?
Volvo 240
Mercedes-Benz 500E
Triumph Acclaim
Ford Sierra
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Once lauded for its sleek, wedge-shaped car designs, Triumph signed its death warrant with the boxy Acclaim, and went out of business just three years later.

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Alfa Romeo Milano
Wiki Commons by Mr.choppers
Oh goody! Another boxy 4-door sedan.
Toyota Cressida
Ford Escort
Saab 900-S
Alfa Romeo Milano
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Alfa Romeo's Milano looked like 90% of every other car on the market. It also broke down a lot and had a faulty computer system.

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Nissan Micra
Wiki Commons by Niels de Wit
ID this car and you'll get 50 points for Slytherin.
Audi Quattro
Nissan Micra
Ford Orion
Subaru XT
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yet another entrant into the overcrowded subcompact market, the Nissan Micra was built for commuting, not cruising.

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Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo
Wiki Commons by nakhon100
Identify this 1980s car, please.
AMC Eagle
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo
Pontiac LeMans
Ford Phoenix
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Just in case you weren't sure that this Firebird Trans Am Turbo was ugly, remember that it's the car Dwight Schrute drives.

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Cadillac Seville
Wiki Commons by User:Morven.
Name that ugly car!
Cadillac Seville
Chrysler LeBaron
Buick Riveria
Lincoln Continental
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The unique rear styling of the Cadillac Seville was inspired by 1950s English car designs. And by "unique," we really mean "hideous to behold."

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Maserati Biturbo
Wiki Commons by Mr.choppers
Will you be stumped by this set of wheels?
Maserati Biturbo
Buick GNX
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Lotus Esprit Turbo SE
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Maserati Biturbo boasted the novelty of twin turbochargers, but even they couldn't stop it from being named Time's worst car of 1984. And that's not even taking into account its appearance.

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Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel
Wiki Commons by Niels de Wit
Know what this car is?
Chevrolet Omega
Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Oldsmobile's line of diesel-engine cars, like this Delta 88, were heralded as the wave of the future, and boasted 30 mpg -- but the problems associated with diesel fuel soon outweighed its benefits.

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Oldsmobile Omega
Wiki Commons by Bull-Doser
Channel your inner Click and/or Clack to tell us what this big ol' beaut is.
Oldsmobile Omega
Oldsmobile Alpha
Pontiac Ventura
Chevrolet Citation
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The homely Oldsmobile Omega, which ran on the truly terrible Iron Duke engine, was in production until 1984, but plagued by recalls for most of its life.

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Geo Metro
Wiki Commons by Inkadove
Like ET, this car is so ugly it's almost cute. What is it?
Geo Metro
Mitsubishi Mirage
Chevrolet Aveo
Suzuki Celerio
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Car makers hoped that tiny cars, like this Geo Metro, would win hearts and change minds, but this truly awful vehicle had the opposite effect, causing many Americans to dislike small cars on principle.

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Pontiac Fiero
Wiki Commons by Greg Gjerdingen
Here's an easy one to get you started. What car is this?
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Fiero
Porsche 911
Pontiac Freebird
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Introduced in 1984, the Pontiac Fiero was only manufactured for 4 years, but the '88 model is still sought after by collectors.

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Cadillac Allante
Wiki Commons by Greg Gjerdingen
What car is shown in this picture?
Jaguar XJS
Mercedes-Benz SL
Cadillac Allante
Buick Reatta
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1987 and 1988, the only option available on the Cadillac Allante was a cellular telephone which was stored in a lockable center console. No doubt the sight of someone talking on the phone while driving would detract, at least temporarily, from the car's wretched design.

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Ferrari Mondial 8
Wiki Commons by DanielPenfield
Can you tell us what make and model this car is?
Audi Quattro
Ferrari Mondial 8
Rolls Royce Globillion
Porsche 959
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If a performance Ferrari is a world-class orchestra performing Vivaldi, this model -- the Mondial 8, with its pathetic 240 hp and pinched appearance -- is a sad trombone.

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Hyundai Excel
Wiki Commons by Hyundai Excel GLS
What do we have here?
Hyundai Excel
Honda Civic
Daewoo Pony
Ford Escort
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nowadays, Hyundai makes some reliable, efficient vehicles, but their earlier offerings, like the mid-'80s Excel, earned them the insult "Hyundai for one day."

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Subaru Justy
Wiki Commons by Niels de Wit
Who are you, little hatchback?
AMC Spirit
Renault Encore
Pontiac Acadian
Subaru Justy
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Subaru's Justy was another nail in the coffin of subcompact hatchbacks. It didn't offer power, speed, good looks or really anything you'd want in a car.

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Plymouth Caravelle
Wiki Commons by Bull-Doser
Take a guess at what this homely car is.
Plymouth Acclaim
Skoda Estelle
Plymouth Caravelle
Oldsmobile Ciera
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Named after a 15th-century Portuguese sailing ship that was renowned for its speed and agility, the Caravelle from Plymouth couldn't keep its head above water.

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Kia Concord
Wiki Commons by Chu
Any ideas as to this ugly car's name?
Daewoo Espero
Hyundai Elantra
Kia Concord
Kia Credos
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Concord was introduced in 1987, but Kia Motors did not yet have its finger on the pulse of quality car manufacturing. Or designing, as is painfully obvious when regarding this car.

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Ford Granada
Wiki Commons by Draco2008
The vehicle in this image is a...?
Mercury Zephyr
Mercedes-Benz 280 W114
Ford Ranchero
Ford Granada
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Ford Granada, which was originally intended to replace the Ford Maverick and which was marketed as a luxury compact vehicle, was produced between 1975 and 1982.

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Subaru XT
Wiki Commons by Maggot666PLb
Last but not least, this car is a ...?
Subaru XT
BMW M-3
Nissan Skyline GT-R
Shelby Cobra
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The New York Times called the Subaru XT "the ultimate in jazzy design," when it debuted in 1985. Well, even the Times has a bad day once in a while.

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You Got:
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Pixabay by Ahundt