Car Culture

Check Out These 8 Cringeworthy Car Trends

Cringeworthy car trends

Here’s What Happens When Car Lovers Have More Dollars Than Sense.

Car trends come and go, but some have a more polarizing effect than others. After all, who can forget spinners, Yosemite Sam mud flaps and the super-classy truck nutz? Yes, the whole point of customizing a vehicle is for the owner to give a car a unique, personalized touch, but that doesn’t mean we all have to love them. 

From wacky and overused to just plain offensive, here are 8 cringeworthy car trends that you’ll see right now.

8. Safari

No, this isn’t taking a Land Rover on an African safari. The modern car trend consists of taking a regular car (like a Porsche 911 or Mazda Miata) and transforming it into an off-road vehicle with a suspension lift and meaty tires. Sounds pretty cool, right? In theory, this trend of safari cars is a fun way to enjoy some dirt roads or trails without requiring a rock-crawling Jeep, but in reality, these bougie builds rarely see dirt.

7. Overlanding

Toyota FJ Cruiser set up for overlanding

Just like the Safari trend, there’s nothing wrong wanting to venture off the beaten path and spend a weekend camping in the wilderness. What is cringeworthy is seeing an SUV or pickup truck modified with off-road tires, a roof tent, and water tanks used as a daily driver and clean enough that it’s obviously never been off-road. 

6. Fake Patina

classic truck with patina

Patina is what happens when cars are left outside resulting in oxidized paint and light surface rust on the body. It takes years for this to happen to the paint and most people restore the paint, but some spend thousands of dollars to replicate the paint patina. When done right, fake patina might look good on a pre-war hot rod, but not so much on a ‘90s pickup truck!  

5. Stance

custom car with stance

Remember those old cartoons where the car is so exhausted or worn out that its front tires are heavily cambered? That’s basically what “stance” looks like on a car. Not only do these cars look incredibly uncomfortable to drive, but they also look incredibly unsafe with excessive camber that puts strain on the factory wheel bearings.

4. Houston Slab

Wire wheels and white-wall tires look great on a 1980s Cadillac, but not so much when paired with extensions that stick out a foot or so. This cringeworthy car trend looks like it’s trying to mimic  Craterface’s car from Grease. For extra effect, some of these Houston Slab cars also have a matching spare mounted on the trunk as a Continental tire kit.

3. Jeep Angry Grille

Jeep Wrangler with angry grille

Handing out rubber ducks isn’t the only wacky trend Jeep owners are into these days. There’s a growing number of Wrangler owners who are ditching Jeep’s iconic seven-slot grille in favor of an angry grille. It’s usually an easy way to tell the mall crawlers from the real Jeepers.

2. Carolina Squat

Lifted trucks are cool and lowered trucks are cool, but doing both to the same truck is most certainly not. This trend consists of big wheels and tires to go along with a lifted front end and a “squatted” rear end, which has made for plenty of entertaining memes on social media. Other than the cringeworthy looks, we can’t imagine it’s very safe driving a vehicle like this.

1. Rolling Coal

modified pickup truck

All of the previous trends are innocent customizations, but “rolling coal” is not only harmful to the atmosphere, it’s also part of an aggressive behavior. These owners retune their diesel engine to blow more soot through the exhaust system looking like an coal-powered train, which is where the nickname came from.


When it comes to spending money on vehicle customizations, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. So be sure to leave a comment and let us know what are your favorite and least favorite vehicle customizations.


Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

Jeffrey N. Ross
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a '91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

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  1. I really don’t like the grills on newToyotas and Lexis . Monster ugly. With that and the other excess in their design , reminds me of the late 50s.

  2. I didn’t know trucks ran on coal.

  3. I saw a nice Rolls Royce this summer . . . it had those oversized rims with small size tires . . . I thought it looked a little strange. The stupid part was the passenger side rear tire was a dinky looking spare ! On a Rolls ! ! The driver was driving into a neighborhood . . . probably was NOT going to change the spare anytime soon.

  4. Jeep tuning trends are becoming more and more diverse. However, I like to add lights to my car. I don’t want to remove any original parts of the vehicle.

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