If you’re looking for a new car, you’ve come to the right place. But we’re not here to tell you which cars to purchase. We’re here to tell you about the ones to avoid. Let’s be honest. Not every car that gets released is a winner. We all know this, but it can be tough to find out which ones are the worst out of the lot. Here you’ll find a list of 20 new vehicles we recommend you avoid for one reason or another. Using the trusted and reliable Consumer Reports, specifics vary from not being worth their cost to failing to live up to their promises.
No matter what you’re shopping for, this list will help you avoid the worst vehicles out on the market.
Mitsubishi Mirage, starting at $12,995
This car is marketed as smart, social, and fun as well backed by a 10-year 100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. However, it’s listed as the lowest-rated subcompact by Consumer Reports. Yes, the car is cheap and gets great gas mileage but it’s not the smoothest ride out there. The car has a tiny three-cylinder engine that vibrates and makes the car shake. This one was also number three on the list of worst cars in 2015. Sometimes a price too low can be a red flag. This is one of those cases.
Fiat 500L, starting at $19,495
The marketing line on this one is, “Make room for happiness.” But in all seriousness, what room are they talking about? This car is covered by a 4-year 50,000-mile basic limited warranty. Unfortunately you might need to use it pretty quickly. This one was the lowest-rated compact by Consumer Reports. It had a terrible showing on its road-test score and it also managed to land the worst reliability of any new car. Warranties were made for a reason. This car is one of them.
Chrysler 200, starting at $22,115
The Chrysler 200 stands out as the next-generation midsize sedan according to Chrysler’s website. It has a 5-year 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. However, this is the lowest-rated midsize sedan rated by Consumer Reports. Edmunds also didn’t speak very highly of this vehicle. It was considered mediocre at best with inept handling and poor road performance. If you’re spending $20-25k, still with an Accord or a Camry. You can’t go wrong with one of those cars.
Mercedes-Benz CLA250, starting at $32,400
This car, along with all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, is boasted to have superior performance, exquisite style, and cutting-edge technology. They don’t yet have an MPG rating listed on this model for 2017. A new vehicle warranty is included and covers the car for 48 months or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Rated the lowest-rated compact luxury car by consumer reports, it features a cramped and stiff ride with plenty of noise. Someone has to be worst in the compact luxury car section, and the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 drew the short straw this time around.
Lincoln MKS, starting at $39,010
Lincoln offers a 4-year 50,000-mile warranty and a 6-year 70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Little exists on their site about this particular car which may mean it’s being phased out for the next model year. This one scored lowest-rated midsize luxury car by Consumer Reports. It was noted to be outdated and “outclassed.” Yikes. At this price point you’re much better off with a Nissan Maxima, Buick Lacrosse, or slightly higher priced Acura and Infiniti models.
Dodge Journey, starting at $20,995
The Dodge Journey is termed “Fuel efficiency is muscle too,” on their website. This promise not entirely panning out may be the reason for consumer report’s rating. After all, many family SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicle) have both great gas mileage and excellent performance in the V-6. This one was the lowest-rated family SUV according to consumer reports due to its poor gas mileage on the V-6. The reality is creating a family SUV for under $25,000 is extremely difficult. Dodge hasn’t pulled it off and no one else really has yet.
Land Rover Discovery Sport, starting at $37,695
This one appears to have gone through a re-design for 2017, so if you’re really in love with the look, you might give it a second chance via a test drive. The Discovery Sport pitches as having excellent design, engineering integrity, and exceptional versatility. A new vehicle limited warranty lasts on this vehicle for 4-years or 50,000-miles, whichever comes first. As the lowest rated compact luxury SUV by consumer reports, it had awkward acceleration with too much or too little, a frequent problem. The transmission was also “balky.” Land Rover would be wise to stick to their higher prices vehicles instead of competing in the compact SUV market.
Cadillac Escalade, starting at $72,970
The Cadillac Escalade markets as a perfect combination of sophistication, functionality, and technology. They offer a 4-year 50,000-mile bumper to bumper limited warranty as well as a 6-year 70,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. Lowest-rated large luxury SUV was the title this one earned from Consumer Reports due to a stiff and cramped wide and the infotainment system receiving the label “confounding.” Ouch. That doesn’t sound too “comforting.”
Chrysler Town & Country – Starting at “no more.”
After many years of service, the Chrysler Town & Country has retired. The new model replacing it is the Chrysler Pacifica. In addition to earning the highest road test score among minivans by Consumer Reports, the Pacifica offers class-leading highway fuel economy at 28 mpg. The upcoming Pacifica Hybrid (pictured) – the first electrified minivan ever – offers up to 84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). The Pacifica was the only minivan to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ nod for 2017. To top it all off, Waymo (formerly the Google Self-Driving Car Project) purchased and retrofitted 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand it self-driving car fleet.”
Mitsubishi i-MiEV, starting at $22,995
The marketing pitch for this one is “Lead the charge. Lose the pump.” Fully electric, it offers what would be equivalent to 112 MPG in a gasoline engine. Mitsubishi offers a 10-year 100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. A “half-step up from a golf cart,” says it all. Consumer reports placed this one as the lowest-rated green car. This one was also the 4th poorest car from consumer reports in 2015. Sure you might get good mileage but if you’re spending over 20k on a car, you might want something that feels more powerful than a golf cart.
Scion iQ, starting at $17,260
The Scion iQ has completely dropped from Toyota’s website with no mention of what replaced it or if it might re-introduce after remodel. You’ll want to avoid this one on the used car market. This car came in as the 5th poorest car from consumer reports in 2015. They described it as “slow, noisy, and uncomfortable.” You know a car isn’t doing too well when it’s parent company wants people to basically forget about it.
Smart ForTwo, starting at $14,650
The tagline is “From gas to electric, see which smart is right for you.” There didn’t appear to be any warranty information on their website. The ForTwo line covers a wide variety of vehicles of different types. All options look to have the same body style. The near-worst car in 2015, coming in second to worst, it suffers from slow acceleration, a harsh ride, and clumsy handling. Hopefully they can right the ship and compete with other smart cars like the Mini.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, starting at $27,695
The tagline for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is, “Authentic to the core.” Jeep provides a 3-year 36,000-mile basic limited warranty as well as a 5-year 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. This one was noted to be “better than ever” according to consumer reports in its’ 2015 review. However, it still suffered from poor handling and a miserably rough ride. The uncomfortable interior, wind noise on the highway, and miserable crash test make it a poor choice of everyday car. They did, however, say that the off-road performance is excellent.
Chevrolet Spark, starting at $13,000
The tagline is, “built to fit in and stand out.” Warranty coverage lasts until 3-years 36,000-miles, and the limited powertrain warranty is in effect until 5-years 60,000-miles. While offering a lot for the money, it sounds like a horrible car to drive daily based on consumer reports’ 2015 description. They considered it uncomfortable, loud, slow, and it only achieved 31 miles per gallon overall. The number is dismal considering the tradeoffs required.
Scion tC, starting at $21,330
Scion describes the Scion tC as offering quality and durability as well as providing premium features not typically expected in a base model vehicle. Scion is now part of the Toyota family of vehicles. Each Scion comes with what they call the Scion Service Boost, a no-cost maintenance plan. It looks sporty but according to consumer reports its appearance promises much more than it can deliver. They found the “sporty” sound of the exhaust got old quickly and became more of an annoying background noise.
Toyota Yaris, starting at $15,250
The Yaris’ tagline is, “let’s explore your world.” It features safety and all the standard Toyota features. The warranty lasts 36-months or 36,000-miles, whichever comes first. They also provide a 60-month 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. Consumer Reports found this car noisy with a choppy ride an incredibly awkward driving position. They also noted slow acceleration disappointing agility. P.S. there’s a reason this is the car every single rental company in the Caribbean is pedaling.
Toyota Tacoma, starting at $24,120
The Tacoma’s tagline is, “built for the endless weekend.” It features safety and all the standard Toyota features. The warranty lasts 36-months or 36,000-miles, whichever comes first. They also provide a 60-month 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. It was noted to feel dated in the consumer reports rating for 2015. They also said terrible handling and long braking distances were issues.
Jeep Compass, starting at $19,695
“Inspired to explore,” the Jeep Compass is described as an adventure-seeking SUV. Jeep provides a 3-year 36,000-mile basic limited warranty as well as a 5-year 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. The main complaints in the 2015 consumer reports review were a sluggish engine, uncomfortable seats, and a cramped cabin. It also suffered from below average reliability. While the price is appealing for an SUV, the quality needs some serious work.
Nissan Versa Sedan, starting at $11,990
The Nissan Versa Sedan boasts a small size while still accommodating tall passengers. They call it a “big little car” because of the available storage in the trunk. Nissan offers a 36-month 36,000-mile limited vehicle coverage as well as a 5-year 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. This car received one of the lowest scores on the Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction Survey. Its’ cheap interior and the noisy engine doesn’t provide a lot to look forward to in this vehicle.
Jeep Patriot, starting at $17,695
“Adventure is always standard,” the Jeep Patriot is described as a trail rated compact SUV. Jeep provides a 3-year 36,000-mile basic limited warranty as well as a 5-year 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. Refreshed in 2014, the Jeep Patriot was immediately declared “pretty much outdated and outclassed” by consumer reports in 2015. Cheap interior with small windows was a common complaint. It also suffered from both slow acceleration and poor gas mileage — a miserable combination.
As always, we’d also love to hear your feedback. Feel free to leave your own personal review in the comment section if you own or have driven one of these vehicles.
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