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Truly terrible cars - Subaru 360 (1968-1969)

Posted by David Newton at

The road to success is strewn with failure -- and nowhere is that more true than the automobile business. Stay tuned for twenty of the worst cars ever sold in America, presented in chronological order.

Subaru actually advertised the 360 as "cheap and ugly" (seriously -- watch the ads here), an attempt, no doubt, to ride the counter-culture sentimentality that made the Volkswagen Beetle such a hit. What Subaru did not realize is that sentimentality requires affection as a prerequisite, and as the 360 made the Beetle seem fast, safe and comfortable by comparison, affection for the Subaru was in short supply.The 360's sub-1000 lb. curb weight exempted it from what few safety standards the US had at that time; a 1969 Consumer Reports article (PDF here) said the 360 was "unacceptably hazardous," ending with "It was a pleasure to squirm out of the Subaru, slam the door and walk away." Ouch, babe.

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