Old School Americana & Nostalgia


15 Cars That You Should Stay Away From Buying

15 Cars That You Should Stay Away From Buying

Flickr / b0922307387

1. Scion iQ

Consumer Reports considers the iQ one of the lowest-rated cars of the year. The initial quality, performance, and reliability ratings are far below average and the residual value is near the bottom. The rear seat is almost nonexistent, plus the cabin noise is extremely loud. This car performs about as well as it looks: not good!

Flickr / RL GNZLZ

2. Nissan Armada

The bouncy ride and heavy handling don’t make things easier on this SUV. The Armada has low marks from J.D. Power in initial quality and reliability. Not to mention it also has an abysmal fuel economy. Nissan hasn’t quite perfected their crossover and SUV line and the Armada is no exception. Edmunds gives this vehicle a 6.9/10.

Flickr / JLaw45

3. Lincoln MKS

With nothing more than a few cosmetic revisions, the MKS doesn’t quite cut it as a luxury sedan. The “MyLincoln Touch” adds insult to injury as a confusing and distracting multimedia operating system. Don’t let its graceful lines fool you; this vehicle suffers from sluggish acceleration compared to other luxury brands and has poor gas mileage. Below average ratings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports bury the MKS six feet under the rest of the competition. It’s no wonder Lincoln left his model behind in 2016.

Flickr / Crown Star Images

4. Nissan Titan

The Nissan Titan is easily outclassed by the other truck brands on the market. The Titan is rated below average in resale value and in performance. Consumer Reports notes it as being among one of the worst value buys. Nissan has yet to gain a foothold on truck sales and the Titan is certainly an example of why.

Flickr / Rutger van der Maar

5. Mitsubishi iMiEV

The i-MiEV has a mere 66 horsepower engine, with an estimated operating range of just 62 miles on a charge. Although it is one of the more affordable EVs on the market, its resale value is terrible and its tiny engine will leave you desiring something with more heft. All major publications rate the i-MiEV as one of the worst in overall performance. Mitsubishi discontinued this failed model in 2017. If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle be sure to steer clear of this one.

Wikimedia Commons

6. Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mirage lives up to its name. It looks like a quality subcompact car, but falls well short in every category. The sluggish acceleration made it easy for J.D. Power to give below-average marks on performance. Consumer Reports also ranks it as one of its lowest-scoring models. Unreliability, a bouncy ride, a paltry 78 horsepower, and a lacking interior landed this vehicle a 2.5/10 from Car and Driver. Yikes!

Flickr / AlBargan

7. Lincoln MKT

Low scores for initial quality and reliability from J.D. Power sink this SUV. The MKT shares the same engine and many features with the MKS, which is another poor performing model. Lincoln hasn’t made any major updates to the MKT in some time which only holds this SUV back.

Flickr / peterolthof

8. Jeep Compass

The recent cosmetic updates have helped boost the sales of the Compass but still hasn’t helped its overall ratings. The weak engine has been called “dull and sluggish” by Consumer Reports. Initial quality, performance, and reliability all scored below average. Some reviewers will call the Compass acceptable. It has tight steering and average handling, but for the price, there are much better and rewarding options on the market.

Wikimedia Commons

9. Jeep Patriot

Since being bought from Fiat, Jeep just hasn’t been the same. Simple controls and a compliant ride are the only positives from the Jeep Patriot. Otherwise, the Patriot gets low marks in performance and reliability from most publications. As a crossover/SUV, the Wrangler’s 2.0 and 2.4L offerings leave much to be desired. Though more affordable than other Jeeps, there is a reason for that; the Patriot suffers from some pretty expensive reliability issues. Unlike the Wrangler, the resale value on this ride is minuscule.

Wikimedia Commons

10. Jeep Wrangler

Though its iconic design and removable top make it a fan favorite, there is no denying that the Jeep Wrangler still has its share of issues. Limited passenger comfort, harsh ride, and excessive noise hurt the Wrangler’s overall performance. While their resale value is great, they are consistently placed among the lowest-scoring models in Consumer Reports’ testing. Low marks in performance and initial quality from J.D. Power doesn’t bode well for the Wrangler either. Fans will still enjoy its hefty 285 horsepower V6 engine though.

Flickr / peterolthof

11. Fiat 500L

The longer four-door “L” version of the Fiat 500 just can’t keep pace with other compact crossovers. Simply put, its just not a good wagon. Though competitively priced for its category, that does not mean a quality ride or performance. The 500L is mired by its poor acceleration, plain styling, and inability to stand out from other models. The 500L gets low marks in just about every category from J.D. Power, and the resale value isn’t any better. Car and Driver gives this ride a poor 4.5/10.

Wikimedia Commons

12. Dodge Journey

This seven-passenger crossover SUV is overdue for a redesign. The Journey features an underpowered 173 horsepower four-cylinder engine with a jerky transmission. If you’ve ever worked on one of these vehicles then you already have an opinion on it. The Journey is known for its weak transmission and poor ergonomics. Heck, you even have to remove a tire to even change the battery. Talk about bad design. Dodge finally gave this line the ax in 2020.

Consumer Reports ranks the Journey below average in reliability and performance. J.D. Power has unsurprisingly similar marks.

Flickr / Crown Star Images

13. Smart ForTwo

Easy parking is the only virtue of this “micro-car.” The fuel economy is decent, but this is offset by the need for premium-grade fuel. The tiny, two-passenger Smart ForTwo has a jerky and unreliable transmission to go along with an under-powered 89 horsepower engine. This model was discontinued in 2017, but that doesn’t keep it from popping up on car lots all over. Stay away!

Flickr / Stradablog

14. Cadillac XTS

Unless you plan on buying a 2018 or newer, the Cadillac XTS is better off left alone. Older, used models require costlier repairs than competitors ($875 average cost) and offer less performance compared to other brands. Cadillac, fortunately, gave the XTS a facelift in 2018 which has improved its performance and reputation but does little for the resale value of older models.

Before its revamp, Consumer Reports cited the XTS as being one of the worst values in the luxury department. 2017 models and older also get low marks in quality and performance from J.D. Power.

Wikimedia Commons

15. BMW 7 Series

With a terrible resale value and below-average performance score from J.D. Power, the 7 Series is one of the worst cars on the list. The 7 Series doesn’t have the technology you’d expect for the price tag, plus the handling isn’t what it used to be. Though BMW has improved newer year 7s, it still leaves much to be desired for its price and when compared to the competition. 

If you’re in the market for a sporty luxury brand, you’re honestly better off with a Mercedes Benz S-Class or the high-tech Audi A8, both offer superior styling and more consistent reliability than the 7 Series. This Beamer isn’t a standout.