German cars are often seen as over-engineered and well-built vehicles. It’s really no surprise, as many of Germany’s cars manage to do so much in a single high-performance package. And that’s not even touching upon the many world-class cars that have come out of the country. Cars like the Mercedes S-Class, the BMW 3-Series, and the VW Beetle have been trendsetters that still haven’t been matched to this day. After all, the German cars have become the standard for the automotive world. If there’s a new premium car on the market, you can expect it to be compared to the best cars that Germany has to offer. However, that doesn’t mean that every car that comes out of Deutschland is a trendsetter.
In fact, some German cars are downright terrible. Some cars suffer from terrible engine designs that’ll break down once they’re out of warranty, and some might not even last that long. While it should be no surprise that some of Germany’s poorly designed motors are in cheap cars, others are ambitiously designed engines made for performance and luxury cars. However, some of their worst cars are just questionable designs that should’ve never made it out of the concept phase. These cars are ugly and impractical and just defy all logic. How such offensive designs made it past the initial drawings is perplexing. Here are 20 times that German car companies had trouble designing a car.
20. BMW 7-SERIES E65
The BMW 7-Series is the second best large luxury car in the world, only losing to the Mercedes S-Class. However, if it’s extra performance you’re looking for in a high-end luxury yacht, the BMW 7-Series will leave you more satisfied that the big Merc. The M and the Alpina variants of the 7-Series can outperform considerably lighter cars while maintaining a serene interior. However, there are some 7-Series cars that were incapable of doing such things as elegantly as other models.
The E65 7-Series is an awful car in terms of reliability, looks, and resale value.
It was famously unreliable, as it couldn’t even keep its own doors shut while driving. With blobby headlights and a bizarre trunk shape, there are few things to like about the exterior. And of course, with all these problems, it’s unsurprising that these machines that used to cost $100,000 can now be had for 10% of that.
19. VW NEW BEETLE
There are many cars that feature retro styling to entice nostalgic buyers. While the modern muscle cars have likely benefited most from this tactic, the trend was first ignited by the VW New Beetle. After the incredibly long-lived original Beetle was discontinued in most countries, Volkswagen saw a way to get buyers into their new model. They started with the solid Golf platform and built a round body that was meant to remind buyers of the old car. However, this body was designed to look far cutesier than the original car, limiting appeal. But the worst offending feature of the new Beetle was the powertrain. The new Beetle had its power plant in the opposite location of the original car, going for a more conventional and boring layout. Today, VW has since realized that they don’t know what to do with the model, as it just sits in limbo without updates.