If you’re going through a rough financial time, then there is usually the temptation to compromise on the purchases that you are going to make. While we would all want to drive the latest new vehicles on the market, we wouldn’t mind saving a few bucks, and it’s pretty obvious a ’97 Malibu is quite tempting if it’s going for only $700. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to hunt for a bargain, but when it comes to getting a used vehicle, there are a few things, or rather cars, that you might have to avoid. If you are planning on keeping your “new” used vehicle for a long time, then its reliability will mean everything when you are shopping on the used market.
According to car experts, it’s important that you look for a vehicle that people have rated highly for initial quality and are dependable once they have had a few miles on them. Recently, Consumer Reports did auto shoppers a solid one when they rounded up the poorest vehicle in the last decade that can be found on the used car market. If you are wondering what 15 of the worst used cars on the second-hand market are, then we have the right list for you. These vehicles should be avoided at all costs.
20. Chrysler Town and Country
According to reviews and expert opinions in the used car market, the redesigned Chrysler Pacifica is a much better bet and is an awesome minivan to buy. However, ever since Consumer Reports have recommended that shoppers should at least give all new models a year or two to settle in, then auto consumers might actually have to wait until 2019. According to statistics and auto shopper reviews, the Chrysler Town and Country has very poor reliability, and models from 2005 through to 2015 have been rated much worse. This still holds for the Grand Caravan, which is typically the same model with a Dodge badge and a few tweaks. In case you were looking to get this used car as a family hauler or a daily driver, then you’re better off using the subway.
19. Volkswagen Golf GTi
It’s one of the most popular and iconic hot hatch vehicles from Europe, and if you have watched some of its reviews or even driven one, then you understand what this vehicle can do. It’s clearly a great looking vehicle, and if you are shopping for a new used hot hatch, then you’d probably be tempted to get this ride if it falls within your budget. While that might be a great approach, there are certain models of this awesome European ride that you might want to avoid at all costs. According to expert reviewers, GTis from 2010 through to 2013 are rated more poorly than your average vehicle in reliability. The standard Golf is a much safer bet and did remarkably well in these surveys.
18. Mercedes-Benz GL
Well, considering the popularity and the price range that often comes with getting any Mercedes, you wouldn’t expect it to have issues from the start. However, for the Mercedes-Benz GL utility models, there have been so many complaints and problems raised, especially for the models between 2013 and 2015. These particular models have been lumped together as the least reliable of the bunch. If you are looking for a great and reliable used Mercedes, you are safer going for the E-Class or the S-Class, or even one of their redesigned SUVs. However, if you are the type of vehicle owner who enjoys hanging out at the repair shop every weekend, then by all means go for this model.
17. Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta has been rated as one of the cheapest yet best looking vehicles of our time. However, if you are planning to go in for a used Ford Fiesta, you better be careful. Overall, this company has over 10 models that are rated for poor reliability, and two of its small cars are among the worst. One of the models that has stood out on this list is the 2013 to 2014 Ford Fiesta, and even if you were thinking of the Ford Focus as an alternative, it didn’t do much better in that time frame. According to Consumer Reports, Ford compacts didn’t score well in their ranking at the start of the decade. While the Ford Fiesta is a great looking hatch, it wouldn’t be a great idea to buy a used one.
16. Mini Cooper
The Mini Cooper is one of the longest standing vehicles that is still in production from Europe. But, according to Consumer Reports, used car shoppers should write off getting Mini Coopers that have been produced in the past decade. This is because Consumer Reports flagged every model of this iconic hatch between 2006 and 2014. The review stated that the Mini Copper was way below average in reliability. While the Mini Copper would be a great car to buy new, it’s not advisable to get it used. Another car that you might need to watch out for is the Countryman, as it’s also been rated amongst the worst used vehicles for both 2011 and 2012.
15. Chrysler PT Cruiser
While the thought and site of the Chrysler PT Cruiser will turn off most auto shoppers, especially in the used vehicle market, there are many unseen things about this car that are worth disliking. According to statistics over the three years between 2006 and 2008, the Chrysler PT Cruiser has been a terrible choice for auto shoppers looking for a reliable vehicle. Therefore, if you are looking to get a Chrysler that was produced during the pre-recession period, then you need to rethink your priorities or have the vehicle thoroughly checked and inspected before purchasing one. According to Consumer Reports, the PT Cruiser isn’t such a wise choice for a used vehicle to buy.
14. Chevrolet Traverse
If you are looking to find out exactly how Chevrolet vehicles rate in the poor reliability section, the list would take up a full screen. According to reviewers and vehicle experts, there are a total of 17 models from the past decade that got below average ratings from Consumer Reports. The Chevrolet Traverse should be avoided at all costs when shopping for a used vehicle. According to the reports, any Chevrolet Traverse that was manufactured between 2009 and 2011 is a bad bet for used vehicle consumers. While this vehicle might have appealing looks and quite a nice reputation from their first owners, it might not be the best choice for an auto shopper in the used vehicle market.
13. Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet did a redesign of the Chevrolet Cruze that made is a more compact car. However, the previous versions had a significant run as one of the most reliable vehicles that the car maker has ever produced. According to Consumer Reports, this particular vehicle’s model from 2011 to 2013 had one of the worst records in terms of reliability. However, another popular model from the manufacturer, the Chevrolet Sonic, fared much better than the Cruze, making a better option for the used vehicle market. If you are looking to buy a used vehicle, you are better off Cruze-ing in another direction.
12. Jeep Grand Cherokee
There are very few auto brands that come close to the bad reliability ratings of Chrysler, and as explained earlier, the manufacturer’s minivans had very poor marks on the reliability ratings. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is right there with them. In case you are looking to buy a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, you better watch out for the 2007 model year along with all the other models from 2010 to 2014. According to Consumer Reports, these vehicles were far below the average reliability ratings. If you are really looking to own a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, you are better off picking one that doesn’t fall in the years listed here.
11. Telsa Model S
If there is a vehicle that has received the highest praise from Consumer Reports, it has to be the Telsa Model S. According to the ratings done on this vehicle, the electric performance sedan has broken the testing agency’s rating system. However, when it came to reliability, Consumer Reports didn’t add any extra points for the famous electric sports car. If you were wondering what model years had a red flag, the 2012, 2013 and 2015 Telsa Model S were given a thumbs down as a poor choice for a used car.
10. BMW 5 Series
While you might have been shocked that the European famed Mercedes GL made the list of cars not to buy used, there is yet another European luxury car that also made the list. The BMW 5 Series are among the cars you need to avoid when you set out on your used car hunt, and not just one model year, but seven model years of this German sedan. This includes BMW 5 Series vehicles that were manufactured for 2006 to 2008, 2010 to 2012, and even the 2015 model. Back in November of 2016, the BMW 5 Series models from 2011 and 2012 were recalled due to potential leaks and stalling problems experienced by consumers.
9. Dodge Journey
The Dodge brand might be a familiar and popular brand to most vehicle owners in the US, but it might come as a shocker that the manufacturer has around 12 model ratings that were found to be below average when it comes to reliability. A few models stood out in this pack. The Dodge Journey scored especially poorly, especially the 2009 model year and 2012 all through to 2014. While the new car reviews spoke highly of the Dodge Journey, the used car shoppers could easily fall prey to the unreliability of this used crossover utility vehicle.
8. Fiat 500
Fiat-Chrysler has more than 27 models that have been listed as below average in reliability by Consumer Reports in the past decade alone. Therefore, just like the Chrysler PT Cruiser, the Fiat 500 is a definite “no” when it comes to buying a used vehicle. If you are a used car shopper considering one of this brand’s vehicles, then you need to research more about them before purchasing a used one. One of Fiat’s worst performing vehicles on the reliability table is the Fiat 500, and some of the model years that need to be avoided are 2012, 2013 and 2015.
7. GMC Acadia
It might come as a shocker to most people that in fact all GMC vehicles have turned up on the list of unreliable vehicles of the past decade. The GMC Acadia SUVs from 2007 to 2014 all had the dishonor of being the worst bunch when it came to their reliability, and while these majestic SUVs might be on your to-buy list, it’s not advisable to go for them. According to Consumer Reports, used car shoppers are advised to avoid all 8 editions of this truck that can be found on the used car market. However, if you are still bent on getting a used GMC Acadia, you need to get it thoroughly inspected before purchasing one.
6. Nissan Pathfinder
According to statistics, the Japanese carmaker Nissan sold over 150,000 Pathfinders in the U.S. alone between the years 2013 and 2014. However, this group has been ranked as the worst when it comes to reliability according to Consumer Reports, and used car shoppers have been advised to avoid this model. The Nissan Pathfinder’s 2013 model alone has had 9 separate recalls made. Some of the issues being brake problems and airbag failures, while the 2014 model made it on the top 10 worst list. It’s a no-brainer that the Nissan Pathfinder is a bad bet when it comes to buying a used SUV, and shoppers need to avoid it like the plague.
5. Mini Countryman
While its sister model the Mini Cooper has had one of the worst ratings in terms of reliability, the Mini Countryman didn’t have an easy run either. The start of this decade clearly hasn’t been easy for the BMW sub-brand. The Mini Countryman model from the years 2011 and 2012 have had one of the worst ratings any car could have, and after a few years, Consumer Report rated the Mini as the least reliable vehicle brand in America. Therefore, if you are looking to get this used car, you need to do a little bit more research before going for one.
4. Volkswagen Tiguan
The Volkswagen Tiguan is among the cheapest new cars in the American market for its appealing looks. The European manufacturer has actually gone a mile further to ensure that this car looks presentable enough to make enough sales, especially in America. However, the Volkswagen Tiguan flunked the test in all the model years from 2009 to 2012, making it one of the worst models that need to be avoided by used car shoppers. For those four models, the Volkswagen Tiguan has performed alarmingly below average in reliability. The Volkswagen Tiguan however is a fairly good bet of you are looking to get it as a first owner. This is due to its low price tag.
3. Dodge Challenger
If you are looking to get a cool car, the Dodge Challenger is your best bet, and is one of America’s most appealing classic cars from as far back as the muscle car era of the 60s and 70s. I bet every young boy at some point had a full poster of the Dodge Challenger stuck on their bedroom wall. If you plan on owning this car, you might need to compromise a lot on its reliability, especially if you are getting a used Dodge Challenger from earlier this decade. According to Consumer Reports, the Dodge Challenger from 2013 and 2014 model years failed the reliability test.
2. Ford Focus
The American manufacturer Ford hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to Consumer Reports on the reliability of their vehicles, since 14 of the manufacturer’s models from cars to trucks have been ranked as poor in reliability. This makes the Ford Focus a car that needs to be avoided when looking for a used car for sale. The Ford Focus models from the years 2012 through to 2014 were among the worst products from the American manufacturer. According to Consumer Reports, auto shoppers looking for vehicles in the used car market need to avoid buying this model from Ford.
1. Pontiac Torrent
The Pontiac brand is, unfortunately, a victim of GM’s bankruptcy and subsequent bailout. However, before its axe, the Pontiac brand left a few lemons on US car consumers. One of the vehicles from the Pontiac brand that was notorious for its unreliable track record is the Pontiac Torrent. This SUV received one of the worst reliability ratings for its models that were released between 2006 and 2009. And in case you have no idea about their reputation, ask any expert vehicle reviewer, they will tell you for free that the Pontiac Torrent is no go zone when looking for used vehicle to buy.
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