Picking the right vehicle is important. Other than your home a vehicle is the largest investment you will make and the value of any vehicle drops almost instantly when you drive away from the dealership. Because of this factor you need to be aware of what vehicles offer less than others. We talk often about the great features of models, but here are some that should be avoided because they don’t measure up. Using the Consumer Reports calculations of road test scores, reliability, owner satisfaction and safety, these vehicles scored the worst in their respective categories.
Subcompact Car: Mitsubishi Mirage – Yes the Mirage is one of the most affordable vehicles on the road, but there is a reason why the price is so low. The drive of this three-cylinder engine and the low quality of the materials inside the cabin make this a car you should stay away from. The feeling is drab and depressing and the crash test rating came back as a score of Poor from IIHS which makes you feel it’s a bit of a risk to even get behind the wheel. The only upside to the Mirage is the fuel mileage which is an average of 37 mpg, but that’s not enough to make this a good choice.
Compact Car: Fiat 500L – The road test score of this car was higher than most, but the overall score was the lowest you will find on this list. The 500L is awful when it comes to reliability and gives you a stiff ride, flat seats and a driving positon that makes you wonder what the dimensions of an average Italian person must be. The satisfaction rating of below average and a Poor grade from IIHS make this a car you should stay away from unless there is just something you can’t deny about wanting this car.
Midsize Sedan: Chrysler 200 – As the second FCA model on the list it’s not surprising to find the 200 at the bottom of the barrel. The issues with this car stem from a segment that has passed it by and the 200 will no longer be offered after this generation run is over. The ride is considered to be rough and the handling clumsy at best. The one positive for this car is a quiet cabin, but in the midsized sedan class this car has the lowest reliability rating and overall score to make it a poor choice.
Compact Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz CLA250 – There is a new look on this new entry-level car but it doesn’t change the fact it’s not as luxury as you want in a car with the three point star on the front. The engine and transmission are harsh and unresponsive and the cabin is difficult to enter and is noisy and cramped. For reliability and owner satisfaction the scores came in well below average to make this a car you must avoid. There are certainly better choices in the same price range, just not with the Mercedes-Benz name on them.
Midsize Luxury Car: Lincoln MKS – At one time this was a good car to choose, but the name and build are now outdated and in this category that spells disaster. The engine is unrefined and the cabin feels like a cave while limited visibility is offered. Driving this car does not give you the feeling of luxury you want and even the trunk is lagging behind with a small opening which makes it difficult to load and remove items. In this class, there are so many choices you certainly can avoid the MKS and find the right car for you.
Family SUV: Dodge Journey – When you look at the spec sheet for this SUV you might think of it as a pretty good choice, but it has an aging engine that gives you the worst fuel economy in the class, a confined interior and very little agility. The Journey performed at a well-below average score for reliability and a poor grade for the crash test. This SUV is better left to the rental car companies to offer as an option and not as a vehicle you should want in your driveway as your everyday driver.
Luxury Compact SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport – The problems with this SUV start with the fact it’s really made to be off road and not used as a daily on road commuter vehicle. This SUV also has a four-cylinder engine which doesn’t give it enough power and has a feeling of either too little or too much power at different times. The transmission needs to be reworked because it’s not smooth at all and the handling is so stiff you feel every blemish on the road. This is unfortunately a vehicle that Land Rover needs to refine and remake sometime in the near future.
Large Luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade – This big brute has been one that was a status symbol of success for many celebrities, but for the average driver and their needs, it’s not the right choice. This SUV has a stiff ride and doesn’t carry the ability to stop and handle like the competition which makes it difficult to drive and feel confident in the performance. There is less space inside than you might think and the reliability scores are well below average making it an SUV that isn’t worth the high price tag unless all you want is a status symbol when you pull up to your next event.
Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country – It’s probably for the best that the Town & Country is on its way out the door; this minivan has lost the hold it once had on the market. The second row of seats are thin, low and uncomfortable and the fuel mileage is awful at only 17 mpg. This vehicle received a Poor rating on the crash test which makes it one you don’t want to drive. By not offering what minivans are supposed to give, fuel mileage and passenger protection, the Town & Country is a letdown to say the least.
Green Car: Mitsubishi i-MiEV – This car is now in a segment full of choices and a car that has been described as a “half step up from a golf cart” should not be your choice as a daily driving vehicle. This car offers a low range of 56 miles and has a noisy cabin, a stiff ride and uncomfortable seats. The low ratings for reliability and on the road driving make this a car you want to stay away from. Look to other EV models if you really want a green car.