The sports world has an expression that applies elsewhere in life. “Often, the best trades are the ones you don’t make.” It means avoiding the bad deal is as, or more, important than making the blockbuster deal. Major purchase decisions are like that, as well. It’s good to know where to find the best deals, but equally important is avoiding the clunker transaction. Since this is the week such reports come to light, Gildshire Magazines consulted with car experts from Consumer Reports, Auto Guide, Yahoo, and others to help you avoid the years-long headache of purchasing the worst car on the market.
The methodology used is an algorithm of car ownership factors. Factored in are acceleration, handling, and gas mileage statistics, as well as incidence of repair numbers. Your car can be the best-looking one on the street, but it never looks good with its hood up on a mechanic’s lift.
(We’re looking at you, 1976 Opel G.T. You were a showroom model and couldn’t be relied on for a trip to Dairy Queen.)
What models should you avoid, no matter how shiny they look on the showroom floor? Which ones would be on the lemon display if they were produce? The worst car you ever owned? These are candidates, from smallest to land yacht.
Mitsubishi Mirage: What could be wrong with a showroom-new ride for barely more than $13,000? It EPAs at 37 mpg! All true and it is still a lousy car. In spite of its small size, the Mirage handles like a truck. Also, who was it who thought three cylinders would be enough to power anything larger than a bicycle? If you think this is a good idea for your next car, look more closely. It’s a mirage.
Fiat 500L: There is no denying the “cute factor” in the new generation of Fiats. They show up in your rear-view mirror, looking like they want to be petted. Unfortunately, cute is where the value ends. The 500L scores below average on safety test and reliability results. Perhaps more alarming, a disproportionate number of new owners report buyers remorse when they get their Fiat home.
Chrysler 200: There are many nice cars in this size slot. Unfortunately, the 200 isn’t one of them. The handling is sloppy and it has that “Chrysler thing” going on with its automatic. Folks who owned the Cirrus in the late-90s know about that. Who wouldn’t want to own a car that scored poorly in both road tests and reliability reports?
Mercedes-Benz CLA: Let me find a chair and catch my breath. How is life worth living when I can’t count on a Benz? Sadly, pedigree is mostly for dogs and British royalty. CLA owners report odd throttle response (now a little now A LOT) and a poor ride.
Cadillac Escalade: Caddy’s full-size SUV doesn’t fit right, and we’re sorry if that isn’t specific enough. It’s as if the dry cleaners overstarched it. The ride is stiff, and the handling is oddly upright. For north of $70,000, these factors shouldn’t be an issue. Also, the highly-touted “Cue Entertainment System” must have been designed for the cast of The Big Bang Theory. It’s that confusing for mortals.
We hope none of these hits too close to your own driveway. Moreover, we hope our list helps you out on your next car-shopping trip. Happy hunting!