What’s The Least Durable Car You’ve Ever Owned?


A man drives a smashed up car down the highway

What cars have you owned that need encasing in bubble wrap to keep them running?
Photo: Nicholas Kamm/ Staff (Getty Images)

What does it mean for a car to be reliable? It’s something we all consider when buying a new daily driver, but it can mean many different things.

That’s what our own Jason Torchinsky tried to answer with his Reliability Spectrum, which broke the aspects of what makes a reliable car down into six different categories. Cooperative is probably what many casual fans think of as reliable, an oil change every 3,000 miles will keep any cooperative car pretty happy.

But Durable was the section that stood out to me the most. This, he says, is:

“A durable car is one that is capable of withstanding a good amount of hard use without things breaking. This does not mean that the car won’t ever break down, but suggests a certain robustness that can come as much from simplicity of design as well as being actually overbuilt.”

So these are the cars that can take a beating and keep going. The cars that you can bash around while rarely worrying about things going wrong. The most durable cars out there.

While we all expect big, rugged trucks to fit this descriptor, what kind of cars don’t meet this marker? What are the fragile vehicles you have to keep covered in bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking?

They’re the cars we want to uncover today, the least durable cars you’ve ever owned.

Maybe you once looked at your classic British sports car in a funny way, so it wouldn’t start. Or one seemingly light scuff of the bodywork on a modest hatchback might have left you stranded and in need of assistance.

Let us know your suggestions for the least durable cars you’ve ever owned, and we’ll compile some of the best ideas into a slideshow later today.

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