Fifth-worst: 1971 Chevrolet Vega The Vega preceded the Ion as a symbol of GM's failure in the small-car market. It wasn't just the rust. The Vega had "an engine that couldn't hold oil in a car built with contempt for its buyers," says Edmunds.com. "It's the car that invited Americans to buy Toyotas and Hondas." Perhaps fifth-worst car of all time is too good for the Vega.