Not all cars are created equal and some vehicles are clunkers, plain and simple. Whether it’s a faulty engine or bad interior, poor handling or a terrible safety rating, there are some vehicles out there that should be avoided at all costs. Ironically, some of the worst cars on the road today are also among the most expensive to own and operate; you can’t even buy these bad vehicles cheap and tell yourself you’re saving money. In reality, some of the top automotive brands have made some seriously bad cars, and are charging top dollar for them. Here is a list of the worst cars on the road today as ranked by various automotive expert sources such as Consumer Reports, J.D. Power & Associates and others. These are all 2016 model year vehicles, so consider yourself warned!
10. Acura RLX
The Acura RLX is billed as a luxury midsize sedan, and the cost reflects as much with a starting price of $54,000. However, critics agree that this car is a turkey and unlikely to hold its value. Consumer Reports gave the car an overall score of 59 out of 100 (a “D” grade). The vehicle was praised for having a roomy interior and standard safety features, but the car lost much needed points for having woeful handling and what was described as a “choppy ride.” The RLX was labeled as having poor value and scored a -68 out of a possible +100 for reliability. J.D. Power & Associates also heavily criticized this car, saying it would lose more than 50 percent of its value in three years and 70 percent of its value in five years. Not good news for consumers or the folks at Acura.
9. Chrysler 200
Ah, Chrysler. The car brand known for producing its share of jalopies over the years has worked hard to improve its reputation in recent times. However, the Chrysler 200 is a step backward as far as most automotive reviewers are concerned. The interior and overall design seems to have sunk this car. While critics did like that the Chrysler 200 has an optional V6 engine, they found the standard four cylinder engine to be underwhelming. Consumer Reports gave this car an overall rating of just 51 percent, barely a pass. Adding salt to the wound, J.D. Power & Associates claims that this car will likely lose 60 per cent of its value in the first three years you own it. Not good. Clearly, Chrysler has some work to do in the crowded midsize car market, as they won’t be able to improve their reputation making cars such as the terrible 200.
8. Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey is a bestselling sport utility vehicle (SUV), but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one. The main attraction to the Journey is its starting price of around $20,000. However, a reasonable price can’t hide the flaws in this vehicle. Consumer Reports gave the 2016 Dodge Journey a failing grade of 45 per cent overall, and a reliability rating of -79 out of a possible +100. Consumer Reports also criticized the Journey’s poor handling, weak transmission, abysmal fuel economy, tiny third row seat, and obscured visibility out of the back window. The Journey also got a poor score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on its front crash test rating. J.D. Power & Associates expects this SUV to lose 80 percent of its value in five years. Ouch!
7. Ford Fiesta
It’s marketed as a fun subcompact car for young professionals, students, and first time drivers, but parents may want to think twice about getting their kids into a Ford Fiesta if they value safety and reliability in a vehicle. Critical consensus is that people should avoid buying Ford’s smallest car at all costs. The Fiesta had an overall failing score of 44 per cent and achieved an abysmal reliability rating of -267 out of a possible +100. Other than having good fuel economy, there is not much to recommend about the Ford Fiesta. The car has little space inside, poor handling, and terribly designed controls, with the three cylinder engine taking the brunt of the criticism. Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates also claim that this car is way overpriced at a starting cost of $20,000. For that price, people can get a much larger, roomier, and more powerful vehicle. J.D. Power & Associates expects 70 percent of this car’s value to be gone in five years.
6. Infiniti Q50
Another luxury car that is less than luxurious is the Infiniti Q50. A compact luxury vehicle, the Q50 underwhelms across the board. The only thing that critics seem to like about this car is its acceleration. The handling, controls, and overall comfort all took a critical drubbing. Add in terrible fuel economy and sticky handling, and the Infiniti Q50 is a vehicle worth skipping. While Consumer Reports gave this car an overall rating of 57 out of 100, it was the worst score among compact luxury vehicles. Its overall reliability score was a dreadful -64 out of a possible 100. There is just too much working against this car to make it worth considering as a purchase. And J.D. Power & Associates expects 70 percent of this car’s value to evaporate in five years. Buyer beware!
5. Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is a heavily advertised vehicle and one that is promoted as providing power and luxury, but don’t try telling any of that to the folks who have reviewed this subpar SUV. In awarding the Jeep Cherokee a failing score of 40, Consumer Reports noted that this vehicle can only go off road if it has extra (and expensive) equipment placed on it. This SUV was also slapped for having bad visibility out of the front windshield, a weak four cylinder engine, a clumsy nine speed automatic transmission, and not much cargo capacity to speak of. The only bright spot for the Jeep Cherokee is its Infotainment system, which, we’re told, is actually pretty nifty. In terms of reliability, Consumer Reports gives the Jeep Cherokee a “poor” overall mark and J.D. Power & Associates expects the Jeep Cherokee to lose 55 per cent of its value in the first three years of ownership. Clearly, a bad investment.
4. Nissan Pathfinder
The Crossover SUV market, in which the Nissan Pathfinder competes, is one of the most competitive automotive segments today, and according to critics, the Pathfinder is the worst of the bunch in this category. A spacious interior can’t make up for bad acceleration, clumsy handling, and cheaply made controls to offset an equally cheap interior design. Consumer Reports has slapped the Nissan Pathfinder with a horrible reliability rating of -126 out of a possible +100, and given it an overall score of 53 (basically a “D” grade). J.D. Power & Associates was equally scathing in its review of the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder, forecasting that this SUV crossover will lose more than 70 percent of its value in five years.
3. Chevrolet Suburban
Built for big families and to tow boats and trailers, the Chevrolet Suburban is a behemoth built for big things. However, critics claim that this vehicle is a case of too much. Consumer Reports describes it as “vehicle overkill” unless you have a large load to tow. Tagged with a reliability rating of -154 out of a possible +100, the Chevy Suburban is described as hard to drive and park, underpowered for its size and overpriced at a starting cost of $50,000. There’s also no real reason to buy this SUV unless you truly do have a big load to haul or a family of eight to get to little league practice. J.D. Power & Associates predicts that fully half the value of this vehicle will be erased after three years of ownership. The comparable Chevy Tahoe scores much better and is definitely the wiser purchase.
2. Cadillac ATS
Billed as a compact luxury sedan, the Cadillac ATS is neither a sports car nor a luxury sedan, according to critics. Main criticisms include a turbocharged engine that underperforms, cramped seating, and tiny trunk space. The controls are described as “confounding” and several reviewers claim they had trouble even entering and exiting the car. Consumer Reports says people would be better off getting a BMW 3 Series car or a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The value of the ATS should be 50 percent below the sticker price in three years and 70 percent below its original price within five years. This is one Cadillac you should avoid.
1. Dodge Dart
It’s become a bit of a joke, but the Dodge Dart is a compact car that gets dreadful marks right across the board. Everything from the engine’s power to the fuel economy to the comfort of the seats takes a critical beating. Consumer Reports gives the car an overall score of 53 out of 100 and a reliability score of -81 out of a possible +100. Other criticisms include a small interior, poor design, and cheap controls. Basically, the Dodge Dart is a last resort compact car; if you can buy any other compact car, you should. J.D. Power & Associates expects to lose 60 percent of its value in the first three years and 80 percent within five. Dodge executives and engineers should head back to the drawing board and rethink their approach to a compact car because the Dart is just not cutting it,