Cars are ubiquitous. The market is saturated with numerous vehicles of different shapes, sizes, and prices. Finding the right vehicle to purchase is a tough decision for any buyer to make. The driver has to consider the exterior, interior, performance, and reliability.
Regardless of how many years experience a driver has in buying vehicles, everybody makes a mistake once in a while. Buying a reliable car has become more difficult for buyers since some manufacturers are masters at marketing. Automakers deliver a good marketing campaign and make the public believe that its car is the best on the market.
Some automakers fail to deliver on their promises on manufacturing a high-quality car, and it's the consumers who suffer the consequences of the automaker's negligence. Which automaker are the consumers supposed to believe, and which model is the best purchase?
Foreign cars such as Toyota Camry and Honda Accord have proven to be one of the best vehicles to enter the U.S. market. The two Japan-based manufacturers have produced some of the best selling vehicles in North America. Even Toyota and Honda make a subpar model once in a while. Which models should U.S. drivers avoid? We've compiled a list of foreign cars that U.S. drivers should avoid at all cost. Whether it's unreliability or an unappealing exterior, the cars on our list aren't worth the money.
20 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Most Japan-based manufacturers have garnered a reputation for producing reliable vehicles that have an appealing design. Nissan has produced good cars such as the Pathfinder, 370Z and the Altima. Many pundits wondered what the manufacturer had in mind when it took a bean-shaped crossover and chopped off its roof to name the car a Murano CrossCabriolet.
The car was supposed to be a crossover but devolved into a vehicle that provided almost no cargo space and had a hefty price tag. The Murano's handling was also poor, not to mention the unappealing exterior.
19 Volkswagen Atlas
The German manufacturer hasn't garnered a reputation of making numerous SUVs or ones that the majority of the market veered towards but is trying to change that with the Atlas. The Atlas is the largest vehicle produced on the Volkswagen Group MQB Platform and features a transverse mounted in-line four or Volkswagen's narrow-angle VR6.
The car drives well and provides a comfortable ride. The cabin is quiet and includes third-row seats that can accommodate adults. The car's 20 mpg combined isn't great, and the main problems with the Atlas are suspension, power equipment, and the climate system.
18 Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa has had many owners scratching their heads after being stranded on the side of the road. Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond joked about Alfa's problem with oil leakage. The only problem with their jokes was that it wasn't a laughing matter for Alfa owners.
The Giulia provides great handling and steers like a sports car. The interior has matte wood surfaces but cheap controls. Alfa compromised the seat comfort with a short cushion and a limited range of adjustments. According to Consumer Reports, the main issues with the Giulia were the engine, power equipment, and in-car electronics.
17 Kia Cadenza
The Candeza might fly under the radar of most consumers, but it has the potential to be a good sedan. The cabin provides ample space, and the ride is comfortable. The Cadenza is suited well for long-distance cruising, and the 3.3-liter engine provides good performance when it pumps out 290 horsepower. The automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning are available only on trims that cross the $40,000 purchase price.
The Cadenza offers a lot but also provides a few headaches. Consumer Reports featured it on its Least Reliable list due to the car's engine cooling, emission systems, and climate system problems.
16 Jaguar F-Pace
I've always said that one of the automakers that deserve more credit is Jaguar. The British manufacturer has produced magnificent models such as the F-Type and the XE. Under the bonnet of the F-Pace is a 3-liter V6, capable of pumping out 340 horsepower.
The ride of the F-Pace is stiff and choppy. Although the seats are comfortable, it doesn't match the competitor standards. The infotainment screen is slow. The other major problems with the F-Pace are the in-car electronics, noises, and leaks, as well as the drive system and power equipment.
15 Toyota Echo
The foreign manufacturer has produced numerous models that have given most of its drivers pleasure. The Camry and Corolla have produced outstanding sales around the world, and Toyota is one of the best selling brands in the U.S. Not all of Toyota's models were exemplary. One of those was the Echo. The car didn't have an alluring design, nor did it provide space in the cabin.
One would expect Toyota to make a car that provided a good ride. That didn't happen with the Echo. The handling was subpar and stepping on the gas felt like pressing your foot on a plate of mashed potato.
14 Land Rover Discovery II
One of the worst Discovery II models was 1998, not that the new models were much better. Land Rover manufactured Discovery II to provide great off-road capability. It did that when the engine didn't malfunction, which didn't happen often. The Discovery II proved to be one of the most unreliable Land Rover vehicles due to the electronics, which failed a few weeks after production.
Besides the electronics, the Discovery II also provided its owners headaches with common issues with the power steering pump, failed head gaskets and drive shafts. The interior space was decent.
13 Smart ForTwo
The design of the car seemed to be a smart idea. Who wouldn't want to handle a small car that could park almost everywhere? It seems that the Smart's car only perk was that it could fit into tight spots. The car's main problems were the vague transmission and the lackluster engine. Under the bonnet of the car was a 1-liter engine, capable of pumping out 70 horsepower. Don't expect too much performance from the Smart ForTwo.
The cabin space was sparse, and the trunk could fit one or two grocery bags. Considering the car was small, it didn't provide good fuel economy, according to Best Life Online.
12 Mercedes Benz CLA250
Most German cars are reliable and provide good performance. Mercedes wanted to exceed the market's expectations, so the German manufacturer produced luxury vehicles that could endure high mileage and provided good performance. It did well with most models to live up to that reputation but failed with the CLA250. The car had many good parts, but the most disappointing feature was that consumers got an unrefined engine and transmission.
Consumers were expecting the CLA250 to provide something that the precedent models hadn't. The other problems were that the ride was stiff and the cabin was noisy and cramped.
11 Aston Martin Cygnet
James Bond fans would've burst into laughter if they saw him driving the Cygnet. The car was a faster version of the Smart ForTwo car with the same design. Nobody would take Bond seriously in the Cygnet, regardless of how much power was under the bonnet. Aston Martin has established itself as a luxury, supercar manufacturer, so many people were surprised to see the unveiling of the Cygnet.
One of the perks of the car was that a Vantage S engine fitted under the small bonnet, propelling the driver to experience the 430 horsepower from the V8 engine, according to Motor 1. The short wheelbase prompted the car to move around a lot under braking.
10 Honda Odyssey
Who would've expected Honda to produce a poor vehicle? The manufacturer has produced some of the best selling vehicles in the U.S. but has also made a few mistakes with certain models. One of the mistakes was the Odyssey. When Consumer Reports speaks, drivers listen. The watchdog compiled a list of the worst cars in each segment. The winner of the worst minivan for 2019 was Odyssey.
Besides the exterior that looked dented, the Odyssey provided drivers plenty of headaches with the electric sliding door, vibration when braking due to the rotor problems and a power steering that leaked fluid.
9 Mini Cooper
Mini has come a long way since its days of producing cars that were suitable only for characters such as Mr. Bean. Movies such as the Italian Job and The Bourne Identity featured the car, propelling its status to a high level, but those days are long gone. The allure of the small Cooper has faded, and the British manufacturer had to produce vehicles such as the Countryman to allow the driver and passengers more space and performance.
The Cooper had a cramped cabin and even less space in the trunk. The car's performance was mediocre, and it was pricey. The car also proved to be unreliable.
8 Maserati Ghibli
Sedan and SUV manufacturers aren't the only ones that can produce a poor vehicle. One of the supercar manufacturers that produced a vehicle that many drivers weren't pleased with was Maserati. The Italian manufacturer's name is synonymous with luxury and style, but it tarnished its brand when it unveiled the Ghibli. Maserati priced the car around $80,000.
That sounds cheap for a sports car, but drivers were disappointed with poor quality built and an interior that contained Dodge parts. Most Ghibli drivers were disappointed with what they paid for. Maserati wasn't the only Italian manufacturer produce a poor supercar.
7 Fiat 500L
A car that hasn't failed to feature on Consumer Reports' Least Reliable list for several years is the 500L. Italian manufacturers such as Lamborghini and Ferrari have produced stellar vehicles, but other automakers from the European country such as Alfa and Fiat have left many drivers stranded on the side of the road. Apart from the cramped interior, the 500L has problems with the engine and the transmission.
Other areas for concern are leaks, rattles and the paint, which is prone to rust. Drivers shouldn't expect too much performance from the 500L but can expect a regular trip to the mechanic.
6 Scion xB
Toyota made the box-shaped 5-door hatchback from 2003 until 2015. Scion's design of the xB wasn't alluring, but the manufacturer made up the car's drawback's with nimble handling and a decent interior. The 2007 redesign converted the car from cool to lumpy due to a series of poor design decisions.
The new design consisted of a longer wheelbase, a 600-pound increase in weight and lower headroom. Drivers who bought the car before 2007 might not have liked the design of the car but tolerated it due to its other perks, but the 2007 design made the car more unappealing.
5 Suzuki X-90
Whether you drove the Samurai or the X-90, you wouldn't have experienced a comfortable ride. The X-90 provided a cramped interior and an uncomfortable ride. The car was a 2-d00r, 2-seater SUV with a 1.6-liter 16-valve engine. The X-90 was unappealing for many reasons. One of the main reasons was the most people didn't want an SUV that had limited cabin space and a weak engine.
The car was in production for only three years. Top Gear listed the X-90 on its 'The 13 worst cars of the last 20 years' list. The all-wheel-drive wasn't good, and the car was the base vehicle for Red Bull's marketing campaign.
4 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
When consumers demanded from automakers to manufacturer electric vehicles, one of the manufacturers that jumped on the wagon was Mitsubishi. Some automakers such as Toyota and Tesla had produced good electric vehicles, but Mitsubishi didn't do a great job with the i-MiEV. Drivers of the car weren't only disappointed with the cramped interior, but they also had a problem with the performance.
The car was slow and provided a range of 62 miles, as well as a charge time that could take up to 14 hours. According to Best Life Online, Mitsubishi sold only 2,000 examples of the car in the U.S.
3 Daewoo Nubira
The South Korean automaker produced the Nubira from 1997 until 2002. Daewoo struggled to enter the U.S. market due to its financial difficulty at home. The 2002 model was the last one that Daewoo offered, as that was the year the company declared broke. The South Korean automaker teamed up with an Italian team to produce a bland design.
Under the bonnet was a weak in-line 4-cylinder engine, and the interior was plastic. The overall built quality of the Nubira was poor, and the car didn't have an appealing exterior. The Nubira had numerous flaws that led to its demise.
2 Subaru WRX
Wait. What? How could we feature the WRX on the most unwanted list? No car is perfect. Although the WRX provided a fun ride since it was Subaru's rally car-like version of the Impreza, the car's unpredictable demeanor made it subpar when compared to other performance models. Besides its shortcoming against other models, the WRX was also expensive.
Consumer Reports wasn't fond of the vehicle, as the watchdog gave the WRX a low overall rating among sports cars, according to Forbes. JD Power and Consumer Reports gave the car a poor rating for reliability.
1 Lamborghini LM002
Otherwise known as the Lamborghini Truck, the LM002 was an off-road truck that the Italian manufacturer produced from 1986 until 1993. Lamborghini ventured into new territory with the production of the LM002, as it had gained a reputation for producing high-performance cars.
Although the car was in production for seven years, Lamborghini produced just over 300 examples. Intended for use as a military vehicle, the LM002 was not well received. Under the bonnet was a 5.2-liter V12, with the option of a 7.2-liter. The car featured in movies such as Fast and Furious and Toys.
Sources - Consumer Reports, Forbes & Motor 1