Cars Your Family Will Want To Avoid Buying At All Costs

March 10, 2022

Ask anyone in the automotive industry, cars today are not what they used to be. No, we aren't just becoming old and crotchety and putting down recent technological breakthroughs because of personal taste. Indeed, it has become a reality that there is an abundance of truly wretched cars on the market today, just waiting to be ridiculed.

BMW 7 Series

BMW's flagship sedan appears to have lost its edge in recent years. It's lackadaisical styling just doesn't feel as sporty as it did in earlier years. With an odd product lineup that includes expensive yet not particularly efficient gas-electric hybrid model, Consumer Reports takes this 7 Series to task for being "a ponderous, technology-laden vehicle with ungainly handling," and finds itself included in the publication's lists of lowest-scoring cars, worst overall values and most expensive operating costs in its class. To add to the list of offenses, it also gets a rock-bottom resale value rating from ALG, as well as a below average performance score from J.D Power.

Cadillac XTS

To be frank, the full-size, front-drive XTS sedan is more of a guilty pleasure than a convenience. Unfortunately, a boulevard cruiser such as this seems to fall short in today's ultra-sophisticated luxury-car market. Consumer Reports cites the XTS as being within the industry's worst values. It has even been speculated that the Chevrolet Impala offers equivalent accommodations for less money. The biggest Caddy also receives low markings for initial quality and performance from J.D. Power and a below-average resale value rating from ALG.

Dodge Journey

This seven-passenger crossover SUV is long overdue for a redesign and is well-known for obviously revealing it's age. One point of particular demerit is the base 2.4-liter 173 horsepower four-cylinder engine that is mated to a dated four-speed automatic transmission. Whereas the Journey is much better suited to the optional 3.6-liter 283-horsepower V6 engine and a smoother six-speed automatic transmission. While it does offer some unusual features, Consumer Reports calls out the Journey on it's "below-average reliability, lack of agility and a transmission that's reluctant to downshift." It also receives low scores in the reliability and performance departments from J.D. Power and a below-average resale value rating from ALG.

Fiat 500L

While Fiat's pretty little 500 coupe and convertible exist as worthy alternatives to the MINI Cooper among those looking for small and fun urban-inspired transportation, the longer four-door L model just doesn't keep up with comparably priced compact crossovers. The 500L receives low marks in initial quality and performance from J.D. Power and a below-average resale value rating from ALG.

Jeep Compass

Recent cosmetic updates have aided sales of this compact crossover, but it still remains an obscure entry in a crowded market. In fact, Consumer Reports calls the Compass "dull and sluggish". Its base engine is a weak 2.0-liter 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine and its optional 2.4-liter 172-horsepower four-cylinder doesn't fare much better either. Though the Compass can be fitted with a 4x4 system called "Freedom Drive" for offroading, it is otherwise overshadowed by its competition. CR says the passenger cabin is "cramped and cheaply trimmed." It receives low marks in initial quality, performance and reliability from J.D. Power and a below-average resale value rating from ALG.

Jeep Patriot

Pretty much everything mentioned about the previous Jeep Compass applies to the Patriot model as well. Minus the fact that the Patriot assumes a more traditional Jeep exterior style. Consumer Reports says it benefits from "a compliant ride and mostly simple controls, but little else stands out." Furthermore, it receives low marks in performance and reliability from J.D. Power and a below-average residual value rating from ALG.

Jeep Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited

Although the Wrangler and it's four-door Wrangler Unlimited are arguably among the best-performing off-road vehicles, they suffer from limited passenger comfort, harsh and erratic ride and handling abilities and excessive wind noise at higher speeds. Indeed, they do have better resale value than their counterparts, but the Wrangler places among the lowest scoring models in Consumer Reports testing. With the Unlimited also falling on its worst-values list, the original Jeep's relative also receives low marks in initial quality, performance and reliability from J.D. Power.

Lincoln MKS

In the words of Consumer Reports, this full-size Ford Taurus-based model "doesn't cut it as a luxury sedan." While it is powered by a choice of either a turbocharged or non-turbo V6 engine, it gets a below-average performance rating from J.D. Power and a below-average residual value ranking from ALG. CR's editors further cite it for being one of the worst values among new vehicles. Furthermore, the MKS is fitted with the MyLincoln Touch multimedia operating system that confounds and distracts its drivers consistently.

Lincoln MKT

This seven-passenger crossover SUV shares its engines and many features with the previously mentioned MKS and has been in the business for nearly as long as the aforementioned model without undergoing a major update. Moreover, it receives below-average scores for initial quality and reliability from J.D. Power and below-average marks for depreciation from ALG.

Mitsubishi Mirage

After being highly criticized, Mitsubishi's return to the subcompact car market provides an affordable means of transportation with a little extra. This model falls short in many regards, mainly it's sluggish acceleration from its 74-horsepower three-cylinder engine. J.D. Power gives it below average marks for performance, and it is among Consumer Reports lowest scoring models.

Mitsubishi iMiEV

The small and strange looking four-door i-MiEV is an all-electric car that is rated on par of a meek 66 horsepower with an EPA-estimated operating range of just 62 miles on a single charge. Mitsubishi has yet to release the 2015 model information as of this writing, but the price was lowered by $6,000 last year, which makes it one of the most affordable EVs on the market today. However, it not only received the lowest possible rating for residual value from ALG but Consumer Reports also gives it one of their lowest overall performance scores.

Nissan Armada

This big and burly Nissan model is based on the Titan full-size truck, and while it's rather roomy and capable of towing a decent-sized boat, it's difficult to drive with heavy handling that makes for a bumpy ride. The Armada gets low marks from J.D. Power for initial quality and reliability and has one of the lowest overall scores from Consumer Reports. In fact, according to CR, "its overall fuel economy of 13mpg is abysmal, reliability is poor and ownership costs are the worst in the category."

Nissan Titan

This full-size Nissan pickup is in desperate need of a refresh. Although it tends to be in an intensely brand-loyal segment, it is continuously outclassed by Chevrolet/GMC, Ford, Dodge and even Toyota to a lesser degree. The Titan is rated below average in residual value from ALG and in performance from J.D. Power, it is also noted as being among Consumer Reports' worst values.

Scion iQ

This quirky model is a micro-sized two-door hatchback with strange seating alignment that is said to seat three adults and one small child, although it is best driven solo, if at all. It receives below-average ratings across the board for residual value from ALG and initial quality, performance, and reliability from J.D. Power. It too, is among Consumer Reports lowest rated cars, quoting "the rear seat is awful, the cabin is loud and acceleration is molasses-like."

Smart ForTwo

This two-passenger Smart Car gets decent fuel economy and is great for parking in those extra tiny spots, but these are arguably this microcar's only virtues. Any savings at the pump are negated by this vehicle's need for premium-grade fuel. While the ForTwo is reasonably priced, it's rated below average for depreciation and is also among Consumer Reports lowest-scoring new cars. CR bashes the poor ForTwo on the grounds of its, "tiny, two-passenger cabin, a herky-jerky transmission and an underpowered engine," also going as far as to call the Smart ForTwo, "a dumb choice." Ouch.