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Worst 10 Cars On the Market According to Consumer Reports

Updated May 27, 2018

When it comes to best cars in the market, most manufacturers, even more dealers, and many advertising houses will try to impose their opinion on the matter on you. You might have noticed that things are usually silent as the grave when it comes to worst cars. That is to say, when a bad car needs to be exposed, most sources keep quiet in hope that someone will bite the bait. Well; not us, and certainly not Consumer Reports where such things always get well-deserved attention. You could even say that most manufacturers dread the day Consumer Reports’ “Not the Top 10” list sees the light of day – and rightfully so.


There are more than a few criteria that play an important role when trying to determine if prospective car warrants that coveted spot in your garage or drive-in. To be honest, perfection doesn’t exist and the same goes for cars. However, when a car fails to impress in more than one of these categories, than it’s time to hit the alarm button. People down at Consumer Reports have decided to list a few of these categories and gave us a car that tops the list in every single one of them. Well, they don’t exactly top these lists if you get our meaning. In any case, here are some nameplates you should probably cross out from your “to buy” list if they have, by some means found their way there.

Mini Cooper S

Worst Used Car

When you don’t know where to begin with, do it with used cars. Mini Cooper S might look like a sweet little performer, but the truth is often hidden behind the facade. Same goes for this Mini which tends to become a real pain in the rear over the years. Consumer Reports state that it’s the absolute leader in number of major issues over the course of 10 years. No other used car has had that many problems as Mini Cooper S – not even Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T which follow close behind. If you’re still interested in getting yourself a used Mini – better get it as fresh as there is. Less miles on its odometer means longer grace period for you, but the inevitable will still happen.


Mitsubishi Mirage

Lowest-Scoring Car

Mirage is pretty much the cheapest car you can dig out in the US market, but that’s also pretty much the only perk it possesses, apart from good fuel economy. As you can imagine, Mitsubishi’s subcompact is sluggish off the mark, and it never actually achieves respectable speed. Furthermore, Mirage is quite noisy and it handles corners like Jabba the Hutt although being smaller. While economy factor never comes in doubt – with Mirage you also get plenty of disappointments along the way.


Jeep Compass

Lowest-Scoring SUV

Things aren’t as grim as they are with the lowest-scoring car, but Compass still isn’t exactly the recommended option if you’re thinking about joining the SUV craze. It comes short in many tests SUV’s are expected to pass with flying colors – namely cabin space. Apart from lack of room, Compass’ interior boasts poor visibility, bad seats and somewhat small doors thanks to its high sills. Not exactly boasting points, aren’t they? In any case, there are much better options out there if you’re thinking of getting a spacious SUV. Not to tell that there are plenty of stronger options as well.


Toyota Tacoma

Lowest-Scoring Truck

It’s not that Tacoma is unreliable or that it loses much of its value over the years. To the contrary – this is one of sturdiest mid-size pickups in the market and countless hordes of its owners will testify to that. Like most smaller pickups in the US, however, Tacoma hasn’t really been redesigned for quite some time. It is now, but this list doesn’t take 2016 year models into consideration. Furthermore, Tacoma is somewhat too hard and plasticky which has quite an impact on its overall comfort. While most of these shortcomings have been addressed, the question remains whether that’s enough.


Fiat 500L

Least Reliable Car

Well, what to expect from the car being assembled in the same factory as Yugo and Zastava 101? Though, to be fair, latter of the two was pretty reliable in its prime. Come to think of it, the former used to be as well (guess what yours truly drives by the way). But, I digress. Fiat 500L is much more plush than Non-Aligned Movement duo. Maybe that’s exactly what it lacks since Fiat 500L brings 16 times the problem rate than most reliable car according to Consumer Reports, Scion xB. Even if it wasn’t that unreliable, 500L would still be (and is) burdened by import taxes as a car made in Serbia. It looks nice though (in a way), but so does Mini Cooper.


Nissan Altima V6

Worst Value Mid-size Sedan

People are usually shopping family sedans for their practicality and solid fuel efficiency. Some of them lack latter of the two which labels them as worst value mid-size sedans. Stronger versions of Nissan Altima with V6 engines are especially inefficient, but that’s not everything. Consumer Reports rates overall test scores, 5-year ownership cost and predicted reliability among other things. With all this in mind, V6 Altima delivers the least in its niche.

altima v6

Jeep Cherokee

Worst Value Small SUV

Just like mid-size sedans, compact SUV’s too take a large chunk of overall US car market. That’s why they are making an appearance on this list, or rather Jeep Cherokee is, as their representative. If you must own one, take the V6 version since 4-cylinders don’t really have anything to offer. Apart from being slow and uninspiring, they don’t even manage to offer respectable fuel efficiency, so why bother with them?


Volkswagen Passat V6

Most Expensive Non-Luxury Mid-size Sedan to Own

Let us disregard the recent turbulence going on in and around Volkswagen since this report considers pre-scandal models. Now, strongest Passats are rather expensive to buy from the get-go, let alone to own over a certain time frame. For instance, V6 Passat costs an estimate of $44,750 over a five year period. This cost includes maintenance, repair, sales tax, fuel, insurance, etc. Nothing is just black on white with cars, it would seem. Sometimes a car costs much more than its initial sticker suggests and this is a perfect example of that kind of situation.


Nissan Armada

Worst Fuel Economy

This is a pretty self-explanatory category. Nissan Armada is one hulking body on frame SUV with fuel efficiency that fits the picture perfectly. Well, maybe not perfectly since 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway aren’t really figures a family car should be proud of. That, however is only the official story since Consumer Reports shows much lower actual figures. As they see it, Armada goes 13 mpg, but on average. It can, however, guzzle much more, evident by 9 mpg city figure. That’s what 5.6L V8 gets you when coupled with such a large frame.


Jeep Compass

Lowest Owner Satisfaction

It’s neither deja-vu nor mistake. Compass actually makes this list twice, only this time as a car that warrants lowest owner satisfaction scores. We have already mentioned Compass’ interior shortcomings so we might as well move on to something else. Owners of this SUV are mostly disappointed by its low fuel efficiency and drive experience. After all, Compass is quite a thirsty SUV considering it offers couple of 4-cylinder options. Needless to say, it’s also one of the slowest cars in its class, so this doesn’t really come as a surprise.




Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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