October 11, 2023 | Sammy Tran

10 Most Dangerous Vehicles to Drive

10 Most Dangerous Vehicles to Drive

Car about to tip over and worried man split image

Hey there, car shoppers! So, we all have that friend who insists on driving a rust bucket, right? But safety's no joke, and some rides out there have raised more than a few eyebrows. 

Let's dive into some cars that have gained a bit of infamy in the safety department. And, hey, if your dream car's on this list, just make sure you've done your homework!

Quick heads-up: This list spans several decades, and while some of these models have rolled out safer versions in recent years, they're still pretty notorious for their past!

Chevrolet Corvair (1960s)

grey Chevy CorvairVitali Adutskevich, Pexels

The Chevy Corvair’s super quirky rear-engine design led to unstable handling, which resulted in unexpected rollovers.

Famous Critique: Ralph Nader’s book "Unsafe at Any Speed" highlighted its dangers.

Ford Pinto (1971-1980)

Brown Ford PintoWikipedia

The Ford Pinto had a bad habit of lighting up (literally!) in rear-end bumps. The fuel tank would rupture and ignite.

The Fixer-upper: Ford gave it a makeover with some crucial safety tweaks.

Suzuki Samurai (1985-1995)

White 1986 Suzuki SamuraiGeorge, Wikimedia Commons

The Suzuki Samurai was a compact SUV that loved rolling over when making sharp turns. Party trick, anyone?

What went down: Suzuki wasn't too thrilled with the bad press. Who would be? They disputed these claims, but its reputation was forever affected.


Yugo GV (1985-1992)

Dark green Yugo GVMaxim Kukurund, Adobe Stock

The Yugo GV was a tad on the fragile side and...let's just say it wasn't winning any safety awards. Its poor build quality created numerous mechanical problems.

Did ya know? It's crash-test performances were memorable, but not in a good way.

Ford Explorer (1990s-early 2000s)

Black 1992 Ford ExplorerSpanish Coches, Wikimedia Commons

The Ford Explorer early models, especially the ones with those Firestone tires, were a bit too keen on doing stunts. These vehicles also had a high risk of rollover accidents.

The Upgrade: Ford completely redesigned it and beefed up the safety.

Hyundai Pony (1980s)

White 1984 Hyundai PonyCharles01, Wikimedia Commons

The Hyundai Pony lacked many of the basic safety features that were standard in other vehicles of its era.

FYI: This vehicle was never sold in the US due to its huge lack of safety features.

Daewoo Matiz (1998-2007)

Red 2000 Daewood MatizBenespit, Wikimedia Commons

The Daewood Matiz didn't exactly ace its crash tests. It performed poorly all around, but especially in front-end collisions.

But wait: Newer models got their act together! The Daewood Matiz has since shown significant safety improvements.

Pontiac Fiero (1984-1988)

Two Pontiac FierosGreg Gjerdingen from Willmar, Wikimedia Commons

The Pontiac Fiero had a fiery temperament, and we're not talking about speed. Engine fires were a significant issue, especially in the 1984 models.

Recall: Pontiac recalled and fixed the issues, but the car’s reputation suffered.

Smart Fortwo (2008-present)

Black 2002 Smart CarDieselFordMondeo,, Wikimedia Commons

The Smart Fortwo, cute and compact, but size does matter when it's you vs. a big rig. Its compact size makes it less safe in collisions with larger vehicles.

On the bright side: The latest models come with some neat safety perks, but its size will always be a factor.


Chery A15 (2003-2010)

Black Chery A15KongFu Wang, Wikimedia Commons

The Chery A15 had extremely poor crash-test ratings. Crash-test dummies weren’t exactly lining up to hop in.

The buzz: Let's just say it became the talk of the town...for the wrong reasons. It was criticized globally for its lack of safety.

Alright, folks, we're not here to bash on anyone's car dreams. Just remember that safety should always ride shotgun!

If your heart's set on one of these, make sure you're in the know about its track record. Safe travels, and may your next ride be both stylish and secure!