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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Is the VW Beetle the worst car?
Volkswagen VW Beetle car
One of the world's most loved and recognisable cars, the VW Beetle, has received an unwanted accolade.

Richard Porter, author of the book "Crap Cars", named the VW Beetle the "crappest car" in Britain.

It is slow, noisy and uncomfortable, the author said.

Also at the top of his list of the 50 worst cars were the Austin Allegro, Suzuki X90, Morris Marina and the Lada Riva.

Is Richard Porter right? Have you had a VW Beetle? Would you buy a VW Beetle now? Do you have a "crap car story" that you would like to share? Send us your views and experiences.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Your comments:

I hired a Beetle about 30 years ago, I hated it, the sit up and beg driving position, the fact that the screen washers were powered from the spare tyre! The noise from the engine was terrible. I guess the air cooled engine, though noisy, is an advantage in very cold weather. It even managed to get me lost on a journey from Swansea to Southampton - horrible little cars! Ugh!
Richard Cotton, Isle of Wight, England

Has Richard Porter driven a 1958 deluxe beetle for miles and miles and miles, probably not... and then insult thousands and thousands of owner throughout the world... let's say - is Richard Porter the worst author in Britain?
Gunter Hofmans, Brecht, Belgium

Treat it like you would your grandmother
Thomas, Canada

The VW Beetle is a timeless design. It will be popular for many more years. The new updated variant is quite attractive. So what is the problem? By the way, when it comes to cars, Germans never produce crap. See, they have a thing called work ethic and pride. And although I ones was an owner of Austin Oxford, a well built and solid car, I loved a lot, its engine and electricals just did not cut it. Any time there was fog in Toronto it would not start. But by God, it had a hand crank. Give VW a break; it is well beyond its age. Treat it like you would your grandmother.
Thomas, Canada

I would love a Beetle, and have done for as long as I can remember. They may not be fast or comfortable, but they do have character. It's more than I can say for the cars that are being produced now - they all look the same!
Gemma, Preston, Lancs

The original Beatles were also inexpensive and reliable. The real crap cars are the vehicles that pollute the environment, use up too much petroleum, and obscure the vision of those in smaller cars. Surely, the modern SUV, however well constructed, is the real crap car!
David, Milwaukee, WI, USA

What about the Citroen 2CV?
James Rose, London UK
What about the Citroen 2CV? Surely this is the worst car ever. When VW stopped making the Beetle they sold the blueprints to other countries. Citroen destroyed them and all the machinery used to manufacture the ugly road beast. Good riddance too.
James Rose, London UK

How could anyone dare to suggest the beloved Beetle the worst car. This lady has been on our roads for more than half a century and is one of the most recognisable icons in the world. For Mr Porter himself, I have this to say: If he thinks the Beetle is the worst car, how much better are the British cars?
Chin Leong Lim, Singapore

Mr. Tom C from Aberystwyth claims that whereas the Beetle is in possession of a 'soul', Mr. Richard Porter is not. Mr 'C' is of course quite wrong. Mr Porter is, of the two, the one in possession of a soul. Man is made in God's image; a Beetle is a hunk of junk.
Fr. Paul Thomas, London

Has Richard Porter missed the point? Yes, by modern standards it is a "crap" car. However, this car revitalised German industry. Also, speaking as an ex-beetle driver they were simple to run, fix and repair. Unlike these modern things where you need a electronic engineering degree if anything goes wrong.
Matthew, Uxbridge

Richard porter is talking out of his backside...he doesn't understand a beetle is not just a car its a way of life¿ with loads of happy people getting together to show off their beetles and have a good time¿ I bet he can't do that with he's Volvo....
Wez Marchese, Sutton, Surrey

If I'm not mistaken, in my little Beetle car, I can cruise the M1 at 84 miles-per-hour. My little orange Beetle Bug brings such delight and love, to me my pals and passers by who always wave me out. Driving in a Beetle Bug is a bloody good old crack!
Larissa, Leeds

The beauty of the Beetle wasn't the looks or style or reliability, it was the cheap cost of manufacture
Nathan Hobbs, Luton, UK
The VW Beatle is still being manufactured and sold new. A company in South America bought the rights a few years back, along with the tooling to press the panels. The beauty of the Beetle wasn't the looks or style or reliability, it was the cheap cost of manufacture... anyone could afford one!
Nathan Hobbs, Luton, UK

At last! Someone has had the nerve to say what every non-Beetle enthusiast has always thought. There's only one word for the thing: Horrible! Well done Mr Porter. Also I totally agree with Martin about BMW drivers. Whenever you see or are the victim of a piece of breathtaking driving arrogance, its always an idiot in a Beemer.
Mike, Woking UK

The beauty of the Beetle was its mechanical simplicity which allowed not only home maintenance but also home mods... my particular preference was to junk the body, cut 14 inches out of the chassis add a Fiberglas body some big wheels and a noisy exhaust and hey welcome to the beach buggy....99% impractical in the UK but 100% fun..
Phil, Nimes, France

Back in the early 90's, a friend of mine bought a Beetle to replace his 6 year-old BMW which was always letting him down and which had cost him a fortune in repairs. That VW lasted him for ten trouble-free years. Nuff said!
Hazel, Cheshire, England

Richard Porter reports that Princess Ann owned a three-wheel Reliant car.. She did own a Reliant, but a Scimitar, strictly 4 wheels, upmarket and very sporty!
David, Salisbury

The Beetle was a car of its time - the Volkswagen or People's Car - built to fit a need for affordable motor vehicles after the war (although the prototypes were produced under Hitler's regime - I've seen one at a military show). However, the Beetle's last day when it could claim to be anything other than a polluting rust bucket was the 1970s. Now it looks like what it is - a tatty old piece of junk which is unsafe to driver, passengers and pedestrians and which fails every environmental test in the book.
Russell Long, Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK

The VW Beetle is more than a car; it's a way of life!
Derek Betson, Switzerland
The VW Beetle is more than a car; it's a way of life!
Derek Betson, Switzerland

No. I drove one about 20 years ago and it was passable if not brilliant. A much worse car in my opinion was the Citroen AX - it felt as though it was made of tinfoil and was going to fall to bits any second. I'm sure a good gust of wind would have blown a few panels off!
Andy, Manchester, England

Absolutely correct. The VW Beetle has to be one of the most hideous cars ever made. It sounded worse than a tractor, went slower and it has to be said, is ecologically unfriendly. It would almost certainly fail the Euro NCAP test. Even a cheap nasty new car would be better than the Bug
Darren Drummond, Whitburn, West Lothian

Let's not forget the awful Austin Maestro and Montego (which had a computerised voice that told you to shut the door). And any car made by Fiat in previous decades, who recycled sardine cans into... sardine cans with wheels. And what about Citroens (apart from the 2CV)? Packed with pointless gadgets (e.g. hydraulic suspension) that go wrong at great expense!
Bob J, Southampton, UK

At least it is made of metal! My new car is made of plastic. The front wings are plastic - Peugeot tell me that they are plastic to cut down repair costs - more like cut down on manufacturing costs.
C Civil, Suffolk, UK

Crappest car? Far from it I would say
Raheem, London, UK
I think the longevity of the Beetle and its immense popularity seems to contradict Richard Porter. Crappest car? Far from it I would say.
Raheem, London, UK

Well done Mr Porter you have sussed the easiest way to get maximum impact for your book by selecting the most popular people's car in the world to take a dig at, can we ask as to how long you've being an owner of a VW Beetle? I'm assuming 20 seconds!
Pat Magroin, Eire

This was a low shot by Mr Porter, who has obviously discredited one of the biggest selling cars of its time just to get some cheap publicity.
Uzma Saeed, Oxford, UK

When it comes to a crap car being sold as a genuine family car nothing beats the Morris Marina! My parents had one, the prop shaft actually fell off on one long journey and the suspension collapsed on another. But my vote for crappiest car available today goes to all 4x4s - not really a car at all, just a ludicrous status symbol for those who never go off road!
Tim Joyce, Wirral, UK

Porter's criticisms appear to blame the Beetle for being a pre-war design - by 1930s standards the Beetle was fast, quiet and spacious. Surely he should instead be praising it for having lasted so long in production, largely due to irrepressible public demand? Most of the others named could and should have been much better (especially the El Aggro), but the Beetle was robust, cheap and perfectly suited to its purpose: affordable mass motoring. The Beetle can hold its head up high alongside the Mini and the 2CV as a design classic, and a pathfinder for the cars of today.
Guy Chapman, Reading, UK

Richard Porter is missing the point. Its not about the poor 'lawnmower' engine performance, or noise levels etc. These cars have character and personality. That's where the 'Herbie' films came from. It is ridiculous to brand the VW Beetle in the same league as the hideous Austin Allegro and Lada Riva. Get a life, Mr Porter!
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

The Smart car - a Tupperware lawnmower driven by mental suicidal idiots
John, Lörrach Germany
Obviously Mr Porter knows very little about cars. The Beetle was one of the best selling cars ever and were fun to drive. Really bad cars were the Morris marina, the Allegro and today's worst car ever, the so-called "Smart", a Tupperware lawnmower driven by mental suicidal idiots!
John, Lörrach Germany

My friend once had a Reliant Robin...the best thing about it was that, if you went through a puddle, the back of the car would fill up with steam from the hot wheels and, if you braked suddenly, it would tip up onto its nose, hang there for a while and then fall back down onto 3 wheels....great fun, crap car.
MB, Derby

I heard Mr Porter interviewed on Five Live. He freely admits to owning and driving a Ford Ka and a Smart Roadster. Surely this renders his judgement unreliable to say the least. (Unlike the ever-dependable VW Love-Bug).
Chas Knight, Duxford, UK

A little unfair on the Allegro (and no, I'm not an owner). In the '70s it's ride and handling was matched only by the Citroen GS and the Alfasud in it's class, yet it knocked spots off both for interior packaging and rust resistance at a cheaper price. If only it had been built better! as for the Beetle, you either blindly love 'em or accept reality.
Mark, Banbury UK

The flat bottom/air cooled engine simply skimmed over mud flats in the wet season
Colin Bartlett, Oxford
I always recall the story our minister (of the church), regaled us of his times as a missionary in Africa. The only car available was a very aged VW Beetle. The flat bottom/air cooled engine simply skimmed over mud flats in the wet season, he even told us it floated across a river. Remember Herbie!
Colin Bartlett, Oxford

The Beetle was a triumph of substance over style. Now tell me again: how exactly does that differ from Mr Porter's book?
Ron Winkworth, Peacehaven East Sussex

Having spent a fortune the last 3 years keeping my 5 year old BMW on the road, I recently saw the light and ditched it in favour of a Beetle. It's cute, it's economic and it doesn't spend a third of its life waiting in an over-priced garage waiting for parts to be delivered from Germany!
Gemma, Newcastle, UK

Were all the British cars of the 70's and 80's excluded from the decision then?
Paul, Bracknell, UK

Richard, it is not too late to own one!
David, Malaysia
Richard Porter, if you are trying to wind up the public by degrading VW Beetle, you have succeeded. It is one of the finest car of the last century, an icon like Morris Minor. Even better with a soft top. Richard, it is not too late to own one! I even saw one floating on a lake, it must have been a PR exercise.
David, Malaysia

On that basis we should be making a lot of bad cars. Beetles top the 50 million. Austin got a very bad press for one very good reason. Political interference. This led to the Allegro and the Marina being launched when they were in fact obsolete. Ladas last forever. If I were to vote for my worst cars they would be in order 1. The original mini. 2 the Jaguar E type. 3 the Ford E93A 4.Vauxhall Viva 5.The Jaguar XJ6. 6. The Ford Capri 2.8i Other underrated cars are the Austin A60 and the ROVER SD1 particularly the 2 litre version which I found very economical and well balanced. Favourite has to be the 1966 Rover P5 before the advent of the V8 and of course the Range Rover. These are clearly elegant ,practical designs of the highest order.
Tony, Welling Kent

The best place to park a Beetle is in your nearest landfill site
Phil, Canada
Mr Porter is right of course, the Beetle is a rubbish car. It makes an awful noise, the engine is at the wrong end, and it is as ugly as sin. It was however well marketed for many years, which accounts for the large sales figures... but those large sales figures don't make it a good car. The best place to park a Beetle is in your nearest landfill site.
Phil, Canada

If it is so bad, and if anyone wants to get rid of it, I'll have it any day. Any year make accepted gracefully - because these cars last, unlike my 5 year old Mazda, which is falling apart already.
Raluca, Brit in the States

Don't knock the Reliant Robin, I had one once. I got it up to 85mph once, and the driver's window fell out!
Pauline Fothergill, Halifax, West Yorkshire

The Beetle was still selling long after it became obsolete
David Kington, UK
The Beetle was still selling long after it became obsolete. It kept going because nothing compared in terms of reliability, rust and garage bills.
David Kington, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

I've just bought a Beetle at the age of 38, and have been presently surprised. It's reliable, cheap(ish) to run, I can maintain it myself, and good fun to drive. The reason for buying it? My 4 year old Citroen has died after 52000 well looked after miles! My Beetle is 31 years old! 'Nuff said!
Alexander Cain, Liverpool

At least when you see a Beetle, you see a car with some individuality, some character. So many cars today are nondescript boxes that even those that drive them don't remember. I've never owned or driven a Beetle, but I'm thankful that they exist - they remind us that it's not how fast you get there that matters, it's how you travel.
Wolfie, Eastbourne, East Sussex

I drive a beetle every day and love it for it's looks and simplicity
Peter McCarter, Lurgan, N. Ireland
The beetle is a classic and holds a 'love it or hate it' position with most people. Just because Mr Porter thinks it's crap means nothing, he probably doesn't like early Porsches either. I drive a beetle every day and love it for it's looks and simplicity. People today have grown too used to the creature comforts that make modern cars so bland and uninspiring. For them the Beetle's appeal will never make sense...as they say "if I have to explain, you will never understand".
Peter McCarter, Lurgan, N. Ireland

I fully agree with Richard Porter. Being an engineer, I cannot see what's so special about the Beetle. Unless you completely renovate a modern car into a Beetle, I think the Beetle is a car of a past. Just as everyone's getting cars to go quieter, the Beatle's wailing like a siren. And what about safety? The world has changed, accept it!
Aw, Boston, USA

He may be right in that, of the cars available, those on his list were not of the best. However, the major benefits of older cars, including the ones on his list, is that they are easy to fix and not full of expensive electronic junk that we do not need, unlike today's' cars.
Adam Sutch, Bristol, England

Absurd! Where's the Vauxhall Nova - a glorified motorised shopping trolley?
Nick Ladner, Long Eaton, England

There is no one upmanship with a Beetle
Barry Kimber, Isle of Wight
I purchased my Beetle in 1975 and enjoyed it more than any other car I have had since. There is no one upmanship with a Beetle you buy for what it is - totally reliable, economical, sensible and well made. It is not a car for the small minded poser and irritant type of persons represented in this world by the likes of Richard Porter.
Barry Kimber, Isle of Wight

I thought the DeLorean was the worst car ever. But like the Delorean, the Beetle has a unique design that is still popular today in the new version. The Metro is one the worst cars and even has less space than the Beetle.
Katherine Rose, Minneapolis, USA

Everyday you see an old beetle driving about, often over 40 years old. How many other cars survive that long, in such abundance? I'll take a 1950's or 60's Beetle any day.
Grant , Caernarfon, Wales

I have an XXL size friend who used to drive one with a sack of concrete on the passenger seat
Gerry, Eastleigh , England
I agree about the Allegro in it's heyday it was known as the ALL AGGRO. I had two which says a lot either about my lack of mechanical knowledge or student budget or both. My fond memory is of the Allegro with a large rust hole in the nearside front wheel arch with which I could cunningly soak passengers feet by driving hard through large puddles. On Bond Bugs I have an XXL size friend who used to drive one with a sack of concrete on the passenger seat to provide ballast. Without it the bug used to lean over alarmingly !
Gerry, Eastleigh , England

Gerry, Eastleigh, England. I had a 15 stone friend who had a Robin. He kept 3 paving slabs in the passenger foot well to keep it stable on turns. Its seems quite a common solution!
Peter, Nottingham, UK

Whoever designed the VW Beetle wasn't exactly thinking of picking up girls in one, was he? It's one of the unsexiest cars ever. "Love Bug"? I think not.
Rob, London, UK

How can the Beetle be the crappest car in Britain when it was made in Germany? I suggest that Mr Porter looks closer to home - starting with MG Rover.
Ben, Liverpool

What amazes me is that he is trying to compare a car that is 40-50 years old to modern standards. I don't think this is fair. And yes I probably buy a Beetle now - as long as it is not the new one. I'm a proud owner of a Morris Minor, which I love driving. I think this is the most exciting car I ever had and did not get bored with it for past 7 years. And yes, I use it daily and in all weathers - it never failed yet. All I can say is, let's just be fair to what the vehicles are and look at how popular (or not!) they were in their day. This will tell us a different story, I'm sure. Good luck to all the classic car nuts.
Helmet, W Sussex

Who could fault the Beetle? Nobody has yet mentioned the story of the Beetles that were dug up in the desert, years after WWII. They started first time.
Phil, Wickham, U.K.

The gears were a broom in a bucket, the brakes grabbed, it was uncomfortable, slow, noisy
Anon, UK
By today's standards, of course the Beetle is a "crap" car, but it is a 70 year-old design and many decrepit versions are still being kept going worldwide with nothing more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. My parents used to have a Morris Marina and I could not begin to describe how terrible that was. In fact I don't know how they managed to cram so much of it into one vehicle. The gears were a broom in a bucket, the brakes grabbed, it was uncomfortable, slow, noisy, but most of all it was just so ugly. And how many of them are still going? My uncle used to have an Allegro, which is why I'm not giving out my name.
Anon, UK

The Maxi. A truly awful car, driven by truly awful people.
Alfie Noakes, North of England, UK

Come on, the Beetle had a certain charm which made up for all its sins. The Wartburg was pretty "crap" and it lacked style.
David R, Plymouth

The "crappiest" car is always the one that is broken down by the side of the road. The VW Beetle ( a 20th century icon), is one of the most reliable cars ever built. So much for Richard Porter's (informed?) opinion.
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

I suspect Mr Porter has chosen the Beetle as a controversial choice to guarantee publicity
Jill, UK
I don't see how the Beetle can be the worst car ever, I have no particular love for it but at least it has a certain character! I suspect Mr Porter has chosen the Beetle as a controversial choice to guarantee publicity for his book.
Jill, UK

It is simply a car of a different era. In its time it was probably quite advanced but you can't compare it with modern technology.
Tim Sowter, West Wickham, UK

I have just booked a fleet of old beetles to use for my wedding and I can't wait to arrive in style. Gorgeous cars
Kevin Miller, Penketh, Cheshire

Long Live Herbie and all original Love Bugs!
Pennie Forthem, Buxted, Sussex
Poor man! He obviously had a bad experience with a rogue Beetle, because the Beetle is a wonderful car! The old shape, mind, not the new fangled version - now that is rubbish! Long Live Herbie and all original Love Bugs!
Pennie Forthem, Buxted, East Sussex

My girlfriend has owned two of these little beauties in the past. They are such a lot of fun. The writer of this piece is probably a smug, self satisfied BMW driver whose idea of motoring fun is a cup holder and a copy of 'Brothers in Arms' playing on his stereo.
John Robinson, UK

I'm not sure if the Beetle is the worst car but I know BMW's have the worst drivers.
Martin, England

He has obviously never driven a metro.
Rob Watson, w

Beetles were reliable and also cheap to buy and run
John, London UK
A silly criticism. It has to be placed in its historical context - the first Beetle was made in the 1930's! It may be uncomfortable, but compared to British Leyland cars of the 1960's and 1970's, Beetles were reliable, also cheap to buy and run. Mr. Porter is trying to be controversial.
John, London UK

It may be slow, noisy and uncomfortable but it is a design classic!
Helin D, Newcastle, UK

Its a bit like saying the Spitfire was a "crap" fighter plane!! (Closely followed by the Hurricane and ME109!). When you see one today you still cant help but love the way it sounds, looks and moves. Same thing applies. This book certainly isn't on my Christmas list!
Chris Hartley, Kingston, UK

How can a car that has survived nearly 6 decades relatively untouched ever be described as the worst car?
Bob Head, US
How can a car that has survived nearly 6 decades relatively untouched ever be described as the worst car? Yes, I agree about the Leyland products which, thank goodness, only lasted a few years. What about the Yugo and all the other east European death traps? Actually, the worst "car" of all is the minivan.
Bob Head, A Brit in the US

I remember my Dad bought a blue Austin Ambassador to replace our brown Austin Princess. We thought it was dead posh because it was a Vanden Plas and didn't have the plastic seats of the Princess. On a hot day there was nothing worse than being peeled off the seats once you reached your destination.
Alex, Huntingdon

I'm going bananas! How dare you attack my curves. What kind of tip did you get for that, Mr Porter?
Herbie, Lanark

No Vauxhall Viva??!!! Now, that's more shocking!
Sean O'Kane, London, UK

Yes, it's noisy, uncomfortable, often unreliable and entirely impractical - but my MGB GT is an absolute joy to drive and still turns heads wherever I take it. No doubt Mr Porter drives something entirely 'safe', like a Volvo Estate.
Robbo, England

Now the Citroen 2CV, there's a people's car; just as uncomfortable as a Beetle, but cheaper to run
Duncan Philip Connors, London
It's interesting that the Beetle and the Trabant are at the bottom of the scale, when in reality they were both triumphs of engineering - providing basic, reliable cars which could be repaired with the minimum of tools. They were designed to bring car ownership to the masses, and this they did in spades. Some people can't afford all the bells and whistles on modern cars.
Jamie, UK

It's quite ironic really as Richard Porter's book "crap cars" is top of my list for crap books.
Andy Garrick, London

What on earth is the plastic pig doing as low as number 8??
Simon, UK

At last! Finally it has been recognised that the Beetle is an uncomfortable, unreliable heap of junk. The favourite of young pretend surfers in the suburbs, it can be seen all over Surrey and the Home Counties wobbling across the road as the newly- licensed idiots fight to control the unstable rear engined beasts.

Now the Citroen 2CV, there's a people's car; just as uncomfortable as a Beetle, but cheaper to run, more space and the handling of a rally car. Moreover, you can open the whole roof to aircondition the car and also for genuine surfers, so that you can get your board in the back...
Duncan Philip Connors, London, UK

Noisy? Quiet cars are overrated - I like the sound of an engine behind me
Dave Parish, Somerset
Where's the Maxi? A car that rusted so quick a rainy weekend would leave nothing but seats in the drive. Any car this bad deserves an accolade as the most rotten of lemons.
Ali Ross, Bedford

All I've ever owned are Beetles and to say they are the worst car ever is an affront to the millions of people worldwide that have bought them. Slow? Not when you put a 2 litre engine in the back (have you ever been to a beetle drag meet?). Noisy? Quiet cars are overrated - I like the sound of an engine behind me. Uncomfortable? Not at all! Ride quality is excellent in older bugs and if you don't like the seat then just put some different ones in.
Dave Parish, Somerset

I bought a Beetle in 1967 after a disastrous Morris Minor. The Beetle was so far ahead in nearly every area. When I took the Minor for part exchange the salesman told me that the maker(BMC) would go bust...how right he was. Now, the Minor was overrated - that should be in the list of crap cars!
Rudy Francis, Chelmsford, England

The Beetle has a soul. Mr Porter, however, clearly does not
Tom, Aberystwyth
I think that it would be very difficult to write a book about crap cars because some of the cars in that list have been some of the most reliable! Several cars which I have had experience of feature in the list (especially Austins, MGB and the Beetle) and all are not crap. They were made at different times and for different needs. Our Beetle was very reliable and my Dad had two Marinas which never let us down at all.
Daniel Russell, Halesowen, England

I quote: "Modern cars are quite boring to look at and to drive". I have to disagree. Modern cars have equipment, capabilities and handling far in excess of those of yesteryear. How can that be boring?
Mark Fendley, Chelmsford, UK

The Beetle crapper than a Trabant? The car famous for spontaneously bursting into flames? What criteria does Mr Porter make his decision using? Or is he simply jumping on the "Crap" books bandwagon without even carrying out a survey the way "Crap Towns" has done? And to say they are slow may be true when looking at specs, but I drive a 1972 VW1300 and I pull away from junctions far faster than many people in much more modern cars!
Jim Wright, Bristol, UK

I drove a VW Beetle once. It was awful, so I'm with Mr. Porter on this one. I also owned a Reliant Robin van and I'm amazed it only reached no.8!
Gareth, Sussex, England

The Beetle has a soul. Mr Porter, however, clearly does not.
Tom C, Aberystwyth, Wales

The Beetle worse than the Lada Riva, Austin Allegro and Morris Marina? I don't think so! the man's got no taste. What about the 2CV? It doesn't feature on the worst 20 list, and it's slower, rattlier, has worse brakes, is colder in the winter and handles much worse than the VW Beetle. I know, I've driven both!
Gribbley, UK

I just knew my beloved 2CV would not be on the list! A true classic!
Paula, Oxfordshire
This is obviously just a poor attempt to be controversial in order to get some publicity for a crap book destined to spend its life travelling from jumble sale to car boot sale. The Beetle is a masterpiece. When so many people love a car which is "slow, noisy and uncomfortable", it must have a hell of a lot besides going for it.
Alex, London

This is madness! The Beetle should easily be in the top 20 cars, not in the worst! OK it is noisy (but that's its own distinctive voice, just like yours and mine). You cannot complain about the shape either, how many cars of today have had a huge influence form the beetle...absolutely loads! Ok the guys at Top Gear are usually great, but they obviously need a new script writer! Lets see what the man himself Jeremy Clarkson would have to say.....I'm sure he would see sense!
Jay Baker, Deal, Kent England

I just knew my beloved 2CV would not be on the list! A true classic! (proud owner of 3)
Paula, Oxfordshire

I own a Lada and personally think it is pretty cool! I spend loads on it and even put alloys and a spoiler on it! Everyone in my town thinks it is a great car!
Steve Batchelor, London, England

Agree 100% and full marks for telling the truth. The beetle was, and is, an utter heap of junk.
Paul Kelleher, Scotland

No other type of motor vehicle in this country engenders such feelings of nostalgia, affection and camaraderie amongst its owners
Steve Thompson, Cardiff
I'm outraged! Only once you've experienced the fun of driving a '69 beetle down the motorway at 70mph and heard its roar can you comment on one. They were a best seller for a reason.
Rachel Heading , London, UK

The crappiest car I have ever owned has to be the Fiat Tipo, built like an Italian washing machine (micron thick paint, dodgy electrics, rusted at the first sign of water, broke down just outside the warranty period, cheaper to chuck on the tip and buy another rather than fix).
Bill Belfield, Macclesfield, Cheshire

Nothing compares to a Beetle!!! If you want crap cars - go and buy a Rover!
Justin, Bath, UK

Whilst it is probably fair to say that, from a mechanical point of view, the VW Beetle does not live up to modern expectations, I think that it is also fair to say that no other type of motor vehicle in this country (other than perhaps the VW Camper van - of which I am an owner) engenders such feelings of nostalgia, affection and camaraderie amongst its owners.

I wholeheartedly agree with the comments of Mr Wilson. As I am sure that most classic car owners will agree, it is not about simply driving a reliable trouble free vehicle.
Steve Thompson, Cardiff - UK

Outrageous, these cars were built like tanks and were decades before there time - how many Mondeos will be around in 50 years time? Not many.
John Goode, Manchester


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