20 Vehicles You Should Avoid At All Costs

7 min

Shopping for a new vehicle can be an exciting, enjoyable, exhilarating experience but if we are being completely honest with ourselves, it can also be quite daunting. This isn’t just some decision you make on a whim, for most people at least. The task of purchasing a new vehicle requires thought, research, and alot of planning.

This is especially so if you are a budget shopper. Your research will be more in depth; you may have to call around and visit various dealerships. You may even visit websites that specialize in car sales but their database can contain thousands of vehicles to choose from.

Consumer Reports is one such site and based on ratings gathered, here is a list of 20 cars you should avoid. (Overall ratings are based on road-test scores, projected reliability, owner satisfaction and overall safety of the car.)


Though beautifully designed with a good exterior, this sporty Cadillac ATS leaves a lot to be desired. Not only is its turbocharged engine lacking power but the design itself features cramped seating, overall lack of support and a smaller trunk space. Consumer Reports gave it an overall score of just 57 percent with an abysmal -120 rating for reliability.


This family SUV does have some great, advanced features along with its increased passenger seating but even these could not keep it from making our list. The first thing we must highlight is its fuel usage; if you do not want to break the bank then this vehicle may not be for you. It is a serious guzzler with a consumption rate of 10 mpg. Other cons include poor greenhouse gas awareness and overall cost-effectiveness. Its Consumer Reports rating stands at -154 for reliability.


Crossovers have been the vehicle of choice when compared to larger SUVs but the Dodge Journey’s transmission problem, which is noted to be unresponsive, has made it difficult to be considered one of the better options. Along with this unfortunate fault, its awful rear visibility, smaller third-row seat and inadequate fuel economy have added to its poor ratings.


Although some improvements have been made to the Cherokee, including the towing capacity and infotainment, one of the main complaints has been about its attractiveness. Essentially, consumers find it unattractive. In addition, its four-cylinder engine is mated to a transmission that doesn’t offer the performance you would expect from an SUV. As a result, Consumer Reports has suggested avoiding the 2011-2015 models.


If you’re looking for more than great acceleration and a spacious interior, then this cool sedan will leave you disappointed. Although it possess some great qualities, it fails when it comes to powertrain, handling and fuel economy. Said to be “super uncomfortable and rough to ride,” Consumer Reports cites issues with the car’s navigation system, touchscreens and Bluetooth connectivity as some additional complaints made by consumers.


Due to a changing consumer market in the United States, with buyers moving away from passenger cars in favour of crossover SUVs, it’s no wonder this compact sedan has been labelled by both Consumer Reports and JD Power as a “swing and miss”. It’s nice but just not good enough. Consumer Reports gave the Acura ILX a below-average rating plus a poor reliability rating and the lowest satisfaction among all car types. It is deemed as a pricey, dressed-up Honda Civic.


Labelled as the “last of the original minivans” the Dodge Grand Caravan is still holding strong as being the brand’s bestselling model. Despite its longevity, this vehicle continues to be plagued with problems. Consumers have reported it to be unreliable and lacking in terms of the latest safety features. Additionally, the majority of complaints involve the electrical, the brakes and the interior. It is advised to avoid the fifth generation (2008-2028) models due to its overall PainRank of 30.72.

13) FIAT 500

Coming in both convertible and coupes options, this stylish subcompact car, though rated highly as a Fiat, falls below average by consumer standards. Its rating of just 45 out of 100 is due to its many shortcomings, namely the small interior size, less than comfortable ride and poor reliability.

12) FIAT 500L

It can’t be said that the Fiat 500L doesn’t come with some great features because it truly does such as the crisp handling, terrific outward visibility and spacious interior. However, these are coupled with some detrimental flaws. Its 2018 model is the worst-rated vehicle by Consumer Reports, according to Forbes, scoring a bare 30 out of 100 points.

11) FIAT 500X

The Fiat 500L is a stylish vehicle offering sheer driving pleasure coupled with exclusive designs and unmistakable detailing. It features satin chrome-effect roof bars, off-roading bumpers with protective shielding and a new 7-inch touchscreen DAB radio with bluetooth. Despite these features though it still only manages to score 35 out of 100 based on Consumer Reports. This is due to a faltering issue on the road, according to Forbes. It is also rated below average in terms of projected durability sonic you are looking for a car to withstand the tests of time, this is not it.


The Ford Focus has been around for quite sometime beating out many of the small cars now appearing on the market. Its best model would have to be the its sports version but the RS is quite expensive. It also was found to be intolerable with the harshness of its ride. Despite some great features such as leather-trimmed seats, turn-by-turn Navigation System and dual-zone automatic temperature for individualised front-seat climate comfort, the Focus was still considered below average and unreliable by Consumer Reports.


With an overall score of 44 out of 100 points and a dismal reliability rating of-267 in 2016, it is not surprising that the Ford Fiesta has once again made our list. Ford has not done much into terms of redesign on the Fiesta despite it’s long presence on the market. This has result it the car being described as “boring” and “unpleasing”. Both Cinsumer Reports and JD Power rated it as below average and unreliable.


There’s not much that can be said that earns the Ford Taurus a place on the list to be honest, except maybe the fact that it hasn’t seen much redesign since 2010. Unfortunately, it is still seen as unreliable by JD Power and Consumer Reports. Maybe the excessive size of its back-seat and its poor durability have something to do with it. But overall, the Ford Taurus is a genius with a 3.7L engine which produces a robust 288 horsepower, an EPA rating of approximately 27 highway mpg and a twin independent variable camshaft timing that takes control when the valves open and close, resulting in improved performance.


The Jeep Wrangler in many different forms but they all seem to fall short when it comes to reliability. The 2018 JK is highly regarded for its off-road abilities but that’s where the praise ends. It has been described as campy, a noisy ride, being unreliable and ruthless over bumps. Even its newest version did not improved its standing despite the more advanced features. Rather it received a meagre 26 out of 100 by Consumer Reports.


No one would expect to find such a stylish Italian midsize car on the list but nevertheless, here it is. The features of the Gran Sport model are quite frankly outstanding such as its grippy and sporty steering wheel, gearshift paddles that improve the race-bred, convenience and flexibility of the Skyhook suspension system. It even has parking sensors. But here’s where it goes downhill.

Both of its V6 engines, either petrol or diesel, leave alot to be desired as the do not offer enough power to deliver an excellent performance. It has been ranked last out of the 17 midsized luxury cars by Consumer Reports due to its sloppy handling, limited rear-seat space and unreliability.


Coming in as the lowest-rated sub-compact vehicle is the Mitsubishi Mirage. It has received praise for being smart, fun and social but these great attributes could not make up for its flaws. Despite its low price and great gas mileage, its three-cylinder engine vibrates way too much , resulting in a shaky ride. In 2015, it was ranked as the third-worst car; include its sub-par qualities and low price and alarms sound be going off in the heads of potential buyers.


Having great features and a beautiful design doesn’t seem to be able to save this mid-size sedan from our list. The Chrysler 200 has a stunning body design and exquisite interior as well as a 5 a-year 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. But still it is rated quite low on the list of midsized sedans. Unfortunately, it is seen as a mediocre vehicle with inept handling and poor road performance.


Not even your brand can protect you. This is evident by the placement of the Mercedes -Benz CLA250. We all know Mercedes does not play when it comes to ensuring that its cars feature superior performance and the latest cutting-edge technology and style. However, it must be noted that the 2017 model for this particular car still does not have a MPG rating listed. It is also the lowest-rated compact luxury car by Consumer Reports as a result of its cramped interior and its stiff , noisy ride.


Ranked as the lowest-rated midsize luxury car by Consumer Reports, the Lincoln MKS seems to be currently on the way out. It is described as outdated and outclassed by its competitors and with little to no information forthcoming by the brand, it is indicative that the model is probably being phased out. However, the Lincoln MKS does still come with a number of nice features as well as a four-year 50 000 mile warranty and a six-year 70,000 mile powertrain warranty.


The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport, though a redesigned 2017 model, showcases engineering integrity, excellent design and amazing versatility. It comes with a new-vehicle limited warranty which covers the vehicle for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Despite some truly outstanding features, Consumer Reports still rates it lowest among compact luxury SUVs due to its awkward acceleration which, when coupled with its bulky transmission, caused frequent problems.

Delano Greene

Delano Greene is an avid travel enthusiast. He has been writing articles for the past 15 years for a variety of websites.


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