Worst riding car you've had/been in?

Worst riding car you've had/been in?

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Discussion

Randy Winkman

9,542 posts

154 months

Tuesday
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Desiderata said:
Firmest ride- Mini Scamp kit car. It had standard Mini suspension, wheels and tyres, but was less than half the weight of a standard Mini. It just skittered about the road as if the wheels were welded directly onto the body. It only started to feel like it had suspension when it was loaded 4 up with some of my bigger mates.
Worst handling- FSO Polonez1500. Had one as a hire car once for a weekend but refused to drive it after the initial journey. Made alternative arrangements for the rest of the trip and abandoned it.
If it was worse than a regular Mini it must have been bad. The thing about proper Minis though is that avoiding bumps is part of the challenge and less worrying than avoiding puddles because of fear of drowning the electrics.

heisthegaffer

2,151 posts

163 months

Tuesday
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g3org3y said:
Fiat 500 Abarth. Had as a hire car in Scotland. Bit of a novelty but I suspect would wear thin on long drives.
When they first came out I went in a essesse. Lovely car but I hit a bump and it felt like the whole car skipped sideways a foot!

Still want one though as a station/fun car.

Chicken dinner

4,045 posts

33 months

Tuesday
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heisthegaffer said:
g3org3y said:
Fiat 500 Abarth. Had as a hire car in Scotland. Bit of a novelty but I suspect would wear thin on long drives.
When they first came out I went in a essesse. Lovely car but I hit a bump and it felt like the whole car skipped sideways a foot!

Still want one though as a station/fun car.
Same as the mini's with the chilli pack.
Wheels too big, tyres too small and solid run flats.

Wife has the 595c which replaces her R56 Cooper s, great for a quick play, but quickly becomes tiresome, especially as the passanger.

CDP

6,777 posts

219 months

Tuesday
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Frankthered said:
Sometime in the mid 90s, a group of us were picked up in a minicab that was an FSO Polonez.

The ride was outstandingly bad. Even though it was a relatively short journey, every imperfection on the road was communicated to the passengers without fail. It seemed that running over a pebble would have sent a crash through the whole body shell.

What made it even more outstanding was that this was combined with almost no control of body roll and an alarming tendency to lurch around corners makes this number 1 on my list of worst ride / handling combinations experienced in a car!
I had one. The ride was dreadful It felt like had non-linear spring rates in the wrong direction and barely functioning dampers. Admittedly it was 3 years old and 13,000 miles when I bought it so could have been worn out. Fast (OK, moderate) cornering and you could feel the rear axle moving side to side independently of the car, most disconcerting.

We had a couple of the saloons (4 year old for £500) previously and they weren't too bad but this was 250kg heavier and felt like it was all in the roof, which given the hatchback design it could have been.

Still I was a student. I paid £800 and sold it a year later for £1200. Spent about £250 after replacing the chewed through seatbelts and gearbox (no first) and other stuff which shouldn't have failed at that age and mileage.

Removing the dreadful graphics was a big help. Which tiny badging some people I know had referred to it as a VW which goes to show how ghastly that generation of Passat hatch was to look at....

DoubleSix

10,271 posts

141 months

Tuesday
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London ‘Black Cabs’.

CDP

6,777 posts

219 months

Tuesday
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My current A4 (SE spec) isn't great, especially considering how badly it handles. Nor was my wife's TT, she commented on how smoothly my Talbot Express camper rode the bumps....

There seems to be a theme with Audis.

I would quite like another Princess or a CX. The snag is they are now 40 years old.

CDP

6,777 posts

219 months

Tuesday
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wsn03 said:
stickleback123 said:
wsn03 said:
Austin Allegro - f me, if ever something made me decide the country had no future, that was it.
What an absolute heap of st. Didn't help that the suspension was collapsed, not that you'd have noticed.
It was just dreadful in every respect....most of all just being seen driving it. Mustard yellow with dog stickers on the windows! Properly destroyed my street cred, but it was a summer job I suppose (owned by the employer). Even the Reliant Robin I drove later was less embarrassing.
I'm not going to disagree with you that the Allegro was a POS for a huge number of reasons, but it would have had excellent ride quality if it wasn't broken. It was one area The Firm always excelled in.

That's interesting and I'll take your word for it. Nothing however could get me through the embarrassment of its mustard yellow paint job, hideous estate looks, and big doggy stickers all over the windows
We found a lopsided brown Allegro estate for my 18 year old brother for £130 and spent £60 getting the Hydragas working properly. The ride was pretty good and the handling OK.

My wasn't at all keen on that car and we couldn't see why. He replaced it with a VW Santana which was something of a disaster (though it too rode well enough).

Volvolover

563 posts

6 months

Tuesday
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Along the same lines as the OP my mate had one of the very first Mini Works Cooper S in the early naughties and it was on very low profile run flats. Rabid engine and went well on very smooth dry tarmac. However it was awful in every other scenario

Probably one of the worst cars I’ve ever driven

MC Bodge

15,610 posts

140 months

Tuesday
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CDP said:
My current A4 (SE spec) isn't great, especially considering how badly it handles. Nor was my wife's TT, she commented on how smoothly my Talbot Express camper rode the bumps....

There seems to be a theme with Audis.
It doesn't appear to bother many people, though. You all buy them!

Dannbodge

1,803 posts

86 months

Tuesday
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Focus ST (mk3).
Took one on a test drive. The seats were ridiculously uncomfortable and the suspension felt like it was on blocks of wood.
I'm fine with hard suspension but it was ridiculous.

MC Bodge

15,610 posts

140 months

Tuesday
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Dannbodge said:
Focus ST (mk3).
Took one on a test drive. The seats were ridiculously uncomfortable and the suspension felt like it was on blocks of wood.
I'm fine with hard suspension but it was ridiculous.
Ford know how to make cars with good suspension, so they must be catering for a market demand for "sportiness".

thebraketester

11,030 posts

103 months

Tuesday
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BroadsRS6 said:
Mini Cooper S on 20 inch alloys. Totally horrific.
I lost a filling just reading that.

Kawasicki

9,149 posts

200 months

Tuesday
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tberg said:
The worst car I have ever ridden in by far was my friend's Nissan GTR! He asked me to accompany him to look at a couple of De Tomaso Panteras at a dealer about 45 minutes away. (After driving my Pantera, he decided he had to have one). Not only was the GTR's suspension horrible, but the transmission clunked so badly it sounded like it was falling out of the car, and the terrible noise intrusion into the cabin was nearly unbearable. In fact, the ride was so bad that a} I told him I would never sit in that car again, and b) I was so shocked at how bad it was that I started reading car magazine reviews of the GTR from that year (2013) and other years just to see if anyone else had noticed. In nearly every review the terrible ride and the terrible transmission as well as the noise was mentioned, but the reviewers were so enamored with the performance, they just didn't care. What a piece of crap. Nissan out to be embarrassed that they could release a car so unrefined that my 50 year old Pantera feels like a Rolls Royce in comparison. I made my friend drive my 11 year old 185,000 mile Jaguar XKR afterwards and he even commented on how bad the GTR was. Fortunately, he sold it soon afterwards when he received his new C8 Corvette.

GOOD RIDDANCE!!
The GTR is also very controlled though, so if you don't want or need the control, then it probably is a poor choice.

Kawasicki

9,149 posts

200 months

Tuesday
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Dannbodge said:
Focus ST (mk3).
Took one on a test drive. The seats were ridiculously uncomfortable and the suspension felt like it was on blocks of wood.
I'm fine with hard suspension but it was ridiculous.
The Focus ST (mk3) is also very controlled though, so if you don't want or need the control, then it probably is a poor choice.

LeoSayer

6,327 posts

209 months

Tuesday
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I owned a 2010 X5 for a couple of years - that was the worst.

It was an SE so had the 'softest' suspension and the smallest wheels at 18". Even after removing the run flats it was still pretty bad.

The secondary ride was pretty good - it glided over rough road surfaces. In other words, it rode well until the road got bumpy!

It wasn't that bad at absorbing big bumps either. The problem was that it never seemed to properly settle down after any kind of bump. You would be constantly jostled around up and down and from side to side which became very wearing. It's shame because apart from that, the car was superb in all other aspects.

My 993 is a lot stiffer but it doesn't have any of the negative side effects described above.

I replaced the X5 with a 2014 A3 which rides so much better - that's probably the best riding car I have owned.

DaveZed

37 posts

39 months

Tuesday
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I guess I must like vehicles on the firmer end of the scale, as all of my recent ones have been mentioned here a few times, and yet I like them that way. 2009 X3 on MSport suspension, 2005 E90 330i on sport suspension and 2007 Z4 3.0si Coupe. OK, I did get rid of the runflats on the 330i and Z4, and the X3 never had them, but for the handling trade-off, I find them fine, especially the 330, which is more than compliant enough. Oh well, preferences I suppose. As with the manual gearboxes they all have, haha. One of the reasons I've never gone for a newer X3 is that I find all the subsequent ones too soft. Oh, and the lack of a manual gearbox.

Worst I can recall was a Suzuki SJ410 from many years ago. Rock hard, and the the short chassis made it feel like you were taxying a bit too fast on a bad surface in a Pitts Special aircraft.

DarthtaterM16

400 posts

67 months

Tuesday
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Focus ST170. Fine as long as the road was snooker table smooth (which obviously no roads in the UK are..) otherwise it bounced all over the place. Far too hard.

MC Bodge

15,610 posts

140 months

Tuesday
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DarthtaterM16 said:
Focus ST170. Fine as long as the road was snooker table smooth (which obviously no roads in the UK are..) otherwise it bounced all over the place. Far too hard.
The contemporary 2.0 Zetec was very good.

DarthtaterM16

400 posts

67 months

Tuesday
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MC Bodge said:
DarthtaterM16 said:
Focus ST170. Fine as long as the road was snooker table smooth (which obviously no roads in the UK are..) otherwise it bounced all over the place. Far too hard.
The contemporary 2.0 Zetec was very good.
I don't doubt it. I had a 1.8 Zetec before the ST170 and often wished I was still in it instead.

TameRacingDriver

14,381 posts

237 months

Tuesday
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Quite amusing for me to see my current car (R53 MCS) and two of my previous cars (Z4 Coupe and FN2 Type R) get enough mentions in this thread to take up three pages all on their own laugh

The Z4 I agree, it was the worst thing about that car, and ironically for all it had a punishing ride, it didn't even handle particularly well either.

The FN2 was at the very edge of what I consider acceptable, and that was on the standard 18s. Anyone who went for the 19" Rage alloys has my sympathies, as not only do they look worse, they are, as far as I know, much heavier and will less sidewall on those tyres I can imagine it would be unacceptable.

The mini, I'm probably not best placed to judge this one as I've never driven the standard car, mine has lightweight 16" alloys instead of the standard lead boot 17" that came on most. It long since ditched the runflats, but it does have track tyres on it, and lowering springs so the ride is not unacceptable but it is still too hard.

So I've got some coilovers waiting to be fitted, which are supposedly known to be better riding, which I'll run on the highest setting and plan on getting some 50 or even 55 profile road tyres and I expect it should ride very well on those.

Somewhat on topic but does anyone have experience with XL tyres (reinforced sidewalls) over regular ones, are they worth it?