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20 Cars To Avoid At all Costs In 2017

Every year new cars hit the market and consumers get anxious to plan the purchase of their brand-new car. By the looks of the new car, it looks like it has everything you want in a new car, but without proper research, you may not realize what all the auto makers and consumer researchers know about the automobile. A simple test drive will not tell you all you need to know about a car that you should know before making a large purchase like that. Not all cars make the cut for being the safest, most reliable vehicle on the road, or may be fails for other reasons. Finding out an automobile’s overall rating and what consumer reports have to say about a vehicle is one of the best ways to help you make an informed decision about a car purchase.

We have found 20 automobiles that did not make the cut for 2017 and should be avoided at all costs.

Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage is a compact car that is economical, getting an overall 37 mpg and for many people, it may seem like a fantastic deal. However, despite the upgrades and Mitsubishi’s attempt to improve on the automobile this year, there are plenty of negatives about the Mirage that have really made this one of the 20 automobiles that you should steer clear of this year, and here’s why:

  • Acceleration and handling – One of the biggest factors that makes this a bad deal is the overall weakness of this car. It was designed with a vibrating three-cylinder engine that delivers a very poor acceleration rate and the handling of the car is very awkward and gawky. This makes for a very uncomfortable ride, not to mention the fact that there are safety issues in passing other vehicles on the road. Careful planning is advised when passing cars and always take into consideration the slower acceleration when passing in dangerous areas. With a 0-60 time of 11.7 seconds, you can bet you can find faster compact cars with better reliability in acceleration.
  • Noisy engine – Along with the slow acceleration, the three-cylinder engine is very noisy. Even when driving at slow speeds the engine is noisy but certainly as you accelerate, the engine rattles and makes a lot of racket. The CVT adds to the racket due just a slight push of the pedal to increase acceleration, you will notice a substantial increase in the rpm’s.
  • Cheap interior – The inside of the cabin has a lot to be desired. Yes, it may be roomy, but where are the amenities? There aren’t any really. It has been depicted as drab boring, cheap and a flimsy put-together interior package.

Lowest-Rated Compact Electric/Hybrid: Mitsubishi i-MiEV

One of the cheapest all-electrical vehicles of all, available today, is the i-MiEV. Cheap in price and cheap in everything else as well. This is a very underdeveloped vehicle in many mays. Sometimes the fact that a car is not only compact but an electric hybrid, makes people think that it has got to be a good car, when in fact, this one has proven to not live up to an electric/hybrid compact car name. There are better comparison cars that would give you much more such as the 5-seater Nissan Leaf. It’s a much better vehicle for the dollar and here’s why:

  • Clumsy – Not one of the most well put-together vehicles this year, this car is lacking in many areas. This has been deemed and very underdeveloped vehicle with so many aspects of the car just not coming together well. It is stiff-riding, slow, and more of a blue-collar interior with little luxury touches to make it feel comfortable.
  • Slow charging times – For those who want to be able to charge and go, this won’t happen in this electric vehicle. This is a slow-charger so be prepared to wait 6-7 hours just to charge the vehicle on a 240-volt Level 2 charger ad a full 21 hours in a standard 110-volt charger. As far as distance run on these charges, the average is about 59 miles which is not a great deal of distance.

Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L has several flaws that leave this little compact car with much to be desired. The flaws are in many different areas of the automobile’s features, from flaws in the interior to its handling and low ratings on its road-test score.

  • Low road-test scores – The road-test score was low rating due its stiff ride that it offers to drivers. It also scored very poorly in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety small-overlap frontal test.
  • Interior lacking in comfort – The seats have been determined to be uncomfortable and flat, which puts the driver in an odd driving position. Seat position is one of the biggest factors in good handling of any vehicle.
  • Poor reliability scores – The Fiat 500L received one of the worst reliability scores among all of the new cars in recent surveys done on new cars which should raise flags for anyone looking to purchase this automobile. Most consumers who did not do their research and went ahead and chose this car, have all wished they had not purchased this vehicle, so stay clear of the Fiat 500.

Chrysler 200

There are plenty of this type of vehicle in the market that are better for consumers. They have gotten higher ratings and are far less flawed in many areas. This is one vehicle that has been recommended consumers stay away this year. Here are the reasons why this vehicle is one to avoid in 2017:

  • Cramped rear seating – Although the interior has been found to be decent on looks with high-tech features, still, the 200’s rear seating is lacking severely. It is cramped seating to where many describe it as claustrophobic, and most people find this to be a big negative.
  • Poor handling – The 200 does not perform or drive like it was designed and manufactured in this era. It has poor handling, awkward, uneasy and the four-cylinder engine is much to be desired. It does not perform near as well as many other autos in the same class of vehicle. A lot has to do with the fact that the transmission is uncooperative and has proven to be a real burden for owners.
  • Low scores and ratings – The 200 has had the distinct pleasure of receiving the lowest Overall score, which means that in all categories of auto-ratings, the 200 came in last. It also scored the lowest on the road-test, as well as it was the lowest in the predicted reliability rating.

Toyota Tacoma

Toyota has been known to produce some big wins when it’s come to compacted pick-ups but this year, Toyota has a new compact truck that is being blasted for being on the list for autos to stay away from at all costs. Here are some of the reasons why this year’s Toyota Tacoma is a big fail.

  • Poor acceleration – A new Atkinson Cycle engine was supposed to give this vehicle more horsepower, but consumers are saying, where is it? It doesn’t show. It’s slow and sluggish and loud. Yes, the constant drone sounds you get in the cabin from the engine and the exhaust is extraordinarily loud, which gives a very uncomfortable, noisy ride.
  • Rides rough – This is a rough riding truck; not smooth at all, which makes you always remember you are in a truck. Another part of the uncomfortable ride.
  • Uncomfortable cab - Inside the can, the seating is way too low, especially the driver’s seat, and it is uncomfortable on top of the low visibility aspect.
  • Shifting issues – Reports about the 6-speed auto is continually shifting and this is not only annoying for drivers, but it is hard on the engine and can be a hazard.

Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Mercedes is usually a class above all the others but when it comes to the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, however, this particular model has turned out to be a fail, according to consumer research. The CLA250 has numerous issues that range from mechanical issues to engine problems. Some of the most common complaints include:

  • Audio system – The audio system has been reported to have glitches that have been cause for consumers to complain.
  • Body noises – One of the biggest problems reported is with the integrity of the body, itself. The car makes a lot of squeaks and rattling sounds that are annoying and create an unenjoyable ride.
  • Power windows – The power windows do not work smoothly and have caused many owners to have to take their new Mercedes in for repairs.

Maserati Ghibli

Maserati has always been one of the most well-known automobile companies in luxury autos but every now and then, even they can build a car that doesn’t hit the mark. This time it’s the Ghibli model that doesn’t make the cut. Here are the reasons auto consumer researchers say this is a car to stay away from.

  • Fuel economy – The fuel economy for the Ghibli with their V6 turbo is weak, only getting 15/25 for city/highway, which has been ranked as dismal, as well as the engine emits a loud squealing sound that may be quite a distraction for drivers.
  • Stiff ride – Researchers have described driving the Ghibli as fatiguing. The steering and control is stiff ad long stints of driving can be difficult on the driver.
  • Rear seating – If a roomy backseat area is what you want, you will not find it in the Ghibli. The rear seating is cramped and short on space.
  • Cabin controls – Typically, Maserati creates a luxurious cabin with all the finest features and gadgets, however, although the Chrysler Uconnect touch screen is a plus, all the switches surrounding installed for the controls are cheap looking as opposed to other Maserati models.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

When you think of Land Rover, you think of sporty and a vehicle that will allow you to drive anywhere. Treacherous terrain won’t hold you back. However, you also expect that all the features and equipment would match its performance capabilities so when certain features don’t meet the standards you’d expect from a Sports vehicle in this price range, you may want to reconsider purchasing the car. Here are the reasons why consumer researchers are saying the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a fail.

  • Interior – The interior was obviously not constructed with the same high quality materials other Land Rover models were. The leather used and soft plastics are of lesser quality and cheap looking and feeling.
  • Third row seating – A third row comes in handy for multiple passengers but if the seating is cramped, it doesn’t do any good to have third row seating, which is the case for the Land Rover Discovery Sport. This third row is cramped even for small children.
  • Infontainment system – The infontainment system installed in this Land Rover is not up to par in comparison to others in the same class of vehicle. It is lacking in functionality, and especially when trying to use the maps in the navigational mode.

Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac has designed and produced some very fine automobiles through the years with luxury and comfort being a main driving force behind their designs. This year’s Escalade just happens to lack in some of the qualities we are used to seeing in a Cadillac. Here are the biggest this year’s Escalade didn’t make the cut for being a highly- recommended vehicle.

  • Uncomfortable ride – This year’s model has been found to be a stiff ride and does not offer good handling for the driver. It does not stop or handle with grace like others in its class.
  • Uncomfortable inside – Speaking of uncomfortable, the interior is not a comfortable ride either. Two reasons why the inside is uncomfortable for passengers are the second and third row seating. The second row is set too low, while the third row leaves no room to stretch out. It is cramped and does not offer much space at all.
  • Infontainment system confusing – Technology was not made simple in this Escalade. The infontainment system has been deemed as confounding and confusing, making it difficult to navigate around.

Lincoln MKS

Lincoln prides itself on big, luxury autos that are known for their spacious interior and superior performance. This year’s MKS model from Lincoln seems to be lacking in many areas that brings the quality of this automobile down from pervious Lincoln models. Here are some of the areas that make the MKS one car to avoid this year.

  • Outdated – Each year, Lincoln tries to up the ante on their new models and keep their automobiles in-line with the other vehicles in their class. The MKS has been found to be outdated ad outclassed by the other makes and models in this class. There is talk that this particular model may being phased out.
  • Pricing – For the price you would pay for the MKS, you will probably get more for your money if you go with something else comparable; recommended is the Nissan, Maxima, the Buick, Lacrosse or even the Acura or Infiniti models.
  • Low scores – This model has received the lowest-rated score for a midsize luxury car by the consumer reports, which is always a reason to take concern considering they dig deep for information and get the latest details on all the latest features and how they rate among all the other vehicles in their class.
  • Interior quality – The interior quality is very under-par for a Lincoln. Not near as luxurious or high standard as previous models. And despite the size of the outside, the inside space has fallen short in its appeal.

Dodge Journey

Dodge has created some very popular SUV’s over the years. This year’s Dodge Journey, however, isn’t quite panning out to be the popular Dodge SUV they’d hoped for, and here’s why:

  • Mileage and performance – This year’s Journey did not pull off the high ratings in gas mileage and performance for the V-6 engine that it was built with. It was ranked the lowest-rated family SUV in the consumer reports because of its poor gas mileage.
  • Tight seating – The second-row seating for the Journey is tight. Complaints have been made regarding the amount of space left for leg room.
  • Uncomfortable ride – Despite the improvements made on the suspension system for this year, there is still a lot to be desired in the way of a smooth ride. According to consumer reports, the Journey gives riders a harsh ride which makes it a low-rating comfortable vehicle.

Smart for Two

From gas to electric is the motivation behind this automobile and although there have been several electric vehicles to hit the market over the past years, many automakers are still trying to get these EV’s right. There are some that are better than others and have better features, while some still have some perfecting. This one is not one of the best, according to consumer researchers and actually one you may want to avoid.

  • Slow acceleration – This EV does not have good acceleration. It’s slow with its pick-up and makes it an annoyance to try to gain speed.
  • Poor ride – This is not a smooth handling vehicle. It’s actually a harsh ride and clumsy handling.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep makes very popular off-road vehicles. One of the most popular names in rough and rugged, but sometimes they can be a rougher ride than they should be. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is one that has had some bad rap and here’s why:

  • Rough ride – Consumer reports say this is a rough ride vehicle, and not just a rough ride, but miserably rough.
  • Poor handling – This Jeep does not have good handling and makes for a difficult and tiresome driving experience. You would expect more from Jeep and this time they did not hit the mark with this Jeep’s handling abilities.
  • Crash test fail – Apparently, this Jeep did not fare well during the crash test, which is a safety hazard for the owner. This should be a big reason to avoid this vehicle this year.

Chevrolet Spark

According to consumer researchers, the Chevrolet Spark gives you a lot of benefits for the money, however, when it comes to actual performance, it is not such a great bargain. To drive this car on a daily basis has been labelled as a horrible experience. Here’s why:

  • Uncomfortable – This is not a comfortable car to drive. It is loud, which makes it uncomfortable to be in for any length of time. It is also a slow car, which people who like cars that get-up-and-go, this would not be one you would want.
  • Low MPG – The car only gets 31 mpg overall, which is quite low for an efficiency auto and makes no sense if you can get a more pleasurable ride in something that gives you more features, comfort and better mpg.

Jeep Compass

Another Jeep model, the Compass, has an adventurous side like most Jeeps, however, this model also has some downfalls that consumer researchers shouldn’t be overlooked because they are significant. Here are the reasons to avoid this automobile this year:

  • Poor engine – The engine installed in this model of Jeep is not a powerful engine and does not offer the driver much power. Instead, this Jeep is sluggish with its power, and it has been a big complaint among consumers.
  • Poor interior features – Along with the performance problem, inside this Jeep there is much to be desired with uncomfortable seats and a cramped cabin. The space is just not there in this Jeep. Couple that with uncomfortable seats and you have an uncomfortable drive.
  • Not reliable – It has been reported that the Compass got a below average rating on reliability. That’s a big fail for this Jeep.

Nissan Versa Sedan

Nissan has made some very popular vehicles through the years that have had good ratings. When they introduced the Versa Sedan, this automobile did not impress consumer reporters at all and here’s why:

  • Consumer reports – This car has been reported to have received one of the lowest scores on Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction Survey. Not good marks for impressing consumers.
  • Poor quality interior – Other downfalls include the cheap interior features. Nissan did not class this vehicle up in the cabin and you can definitely find more car for your buck elsewhere.
  • Engine issues – This is a noisy engine that was installed in the Versa and can make for an annoying and uncomfortable ride to listen to it for any length of time. No quiet ride here.

Scion tC

Scion is a member of the Toyota family, so you would expect high quality when it comes to their automobiles. The Scion is a little sporty vehicle that does have some nice features but one big downfall to this little car is:

  • Loud exhaust – If you are looking for a nice, quiet ride in a small automobile, you won’t get it with the Scion, according to consumer reports. This little car’s “sporty” sound is a loud, exhaust noise that is very annoying to listen to for any length of time. It gets old, quick.

Jeep Patriot

Another Jeep has hit the, “Avoid” list. This is the Jeep Patriot and it, too, has some flaws that consumer reports warn consumers against. Here are a few that let you know you should steer clear of this car.

  • Outdated – The Patriot did not get new upgrades or features to make this an up-to-date vehicle. Compared to other vehicles in its class, the Patriot is outdated.
  • Cheap interior – The interior is cheap and not luxurious at all, this includes the small windows that do not give nice, open views that you’d expect in an adventure automobile.
  • Slow acceleration – There is not much of a pick-up with the Patriot. Consumers complained about the slow acceleration with this car.
  • Poor gas mileage – Yep, this is another poor gas mileage auto that between the poor acceleration and low mpg in gas, it is a bad combination to have.

Mitsubishi Lancer

Mitsubishi has developed some nice vehicles in its lineup, however, the Lancer is lacking a lot of what other cars in its class are not. Consumer reports says that this is one care you do not want to buy in 2017 and here are the reasons why:

  • Outdated – This is one of the worst outdated vehicles today. Mitsubishi did not give this car a facelift of any kind and it is very outdated and lacking in modern style.
  • Poor cabin – The cabin is also very outdated and everything from exterior to interior is way below even the 2016 standards for upgrades and modernization. This car will not be getting any new generations added to its lineup which is probably for the best.

Tesla 3 Model

Tesla has made a name for itself in the auto-world and has really gotten a lot of attention over the recent years. The new Tesla 3 model has had some problems meeting its production target and this is causing a great deal of trouble for the company. The main reason why consumers are encouraged not to buy this automobile this year is due to the growing pains of the new company and trying to meet the supply and demand quota. If you aren’t already on the waiting list for your new Tesla 3 model, you may want to put your dream on hold for owning one, for at least another 2-24 months to let this company grow and mature in its manufacturer demands.

Bottom line

Every automobile will probably have a little detail or two that doesn't suit every consumer, but when there are several issues, and especially big issues that can impact your safety, knowing what the consumer reports say about the automobile you're interested in, first, is a very good way to gain information your next potential car.




Maria McCutchen

Written by Maria McCutchen

Maria McCutchen is an author and freelance writer living in Chattanooga, TN. She is the published author of her memoir, “It’s all in Your Head,” and a children’s book. She has been writing for over 15 years; writing articles, whitepapers, product write-ups and more for multiple online media sites, blogs, company websites and individuals. She is also an advocate for brain malformations, including Chiari Malformation, and works closely with the non-profit organization, The Chiari Project, writing for their quarterly newsletters.

Read more posts by Maria McCutchen

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