Every year car companies come out with new and improved versions of their cars—with new accessories, technology, and advancements. But sometimes those advancements aren’t as refined as they should be. A little more testing might have been a good idea before some of these cars were released to the public, because they’re getting scolded by sites like Consumer Reports and Car and Driver, and other companies that can make or break a vehicle’s life.
See, we have electronic vehicles that get upwards of 50 mpg and a driving range of 250 miles on a single charge. When you see that, and then you see a competitor that gets 35 mpg and a driving range of only 150 miles, it’s not hard to spot out the winner. But we’re here to help, to point out 20 of the most pointless cars that are on the market or coming out soon.
20 Smart Fortwo ED
TheDrive.com has called the new Smart Fortwo ED (Electric Drive) the most pointless car on earth. In fact, they’re written a whole article about it. Its most glaring and despicable flaw is the battery range, with an official number of only 58 miles per charge, that makes the car practically useless for daily drivers whose commute is more than 25 miles.
19 Chevrolet Sonic
The Chevrolet Sonic is one of the most bare-bones cars you can buy. It’s part of a small niche of cheap city-dwelling cars, originally started out as the Chevy Aveo before being rebranded as the Sonic in 2011. The car only costs $15,420 MSRP, but you get what you pay for. The standard Sonic uses an unimpressive 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission that is pretty bulky, but the automatic isn’t much better because it has to dig for gears almost constantly.
18 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is one of the cheapest EVs around, and it shows. Starting at $29,900, it still isn’t that inexpensive, and you’re probably better off saving for a $33,000 FIAT 500e or Chevrolet Volt or even a $30,000 Hyundai Ioniq EV. One of the biggest issues with the new Leaf is that it falls short on driving range, which is a big deal for electric vehicles. It covers just half the miles of Tesla’s Model 3 (though it’s also half the price), with a 150-mile highest range coming from its 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
17 Nissan Leaf Nismo
The Nissan Leaf is already on thin ice over here, and then Nissan is going to declare that they’re making a Nismo version of the car?! What gives? It’s the Nismo that no one asked for, but it’s coming later this year, apparently. The high-performance version of Nissan’s humble EV was confirmed for production at the Tokyo Motor Show, along with an unveiling of a concept version of the car.
16 Volkswagen Atlas
The Volkswagen Atlas has a lot of competition among three-row SUVs, and it’s not winning the race by any means. It drives well and is fairly comfortable and agile for an SUV of its size, but that’s where the good news ends. Its V6 engine and eight-speed automatic make the Atlas feel lively, but its acceleration is severely lacking against the competition, and its 20 mpg overall fuel economy is terrible for practically any car nowadays.
15 Jeep Renegade
The Jeep Renegade made this year’s list of “10 least satisfying cars by owner satisfaction” from Consumer Reports, which can seriously make or break a car. This modern Jeep looks striking and stylish, but it doesn’t take long for the Renegade’s charms to wear off. Firstly, the handling is cumbersome, the ride is reportedly quite choppy, the front seats are uncomfortable, and the view is restricted. That’s a whole lot of bad for one sentence.
14 Toyota C-HR
Toyota is always on the cusp of trying new things, and not everything they try stays with us, of course. The C-HR blurs the line between hatchback and subcompact SUV. The Coupe High-Rider, as it’s called, has pretty modern styling, and it drives decently, but there are a few glaring faults that will make you want to steer clear. It’s hard to recover from ANY faults when the subcompact SUV segment has such stiff competition these days.
13 Chevrolet Trax
The Chevrolet Trax is another subcompact SUV that struggles to get out from the (very competitive) pack, and it mires in mediocrity, making it a pretty useless car. A subcompact SUV is supposed to be budget-friendly, and have these things: interior versatility, easy access, available all-wheel-drive, good fuel economy, and an elevated driving position. The Trax basically has none of this.
12 Nissan Versa Note
When has the Nissan Versa Note ever been a good car? Not ever, that’s when. The one thing it has going for it is it’s one of the cheapest cars in the entire market, starting at just $15,650. But it scored a measly 2/5 from Car and Driver, who typically round up with their ratings, so that means it must be pretty terrible.
11 Lexus IS
The Lexus IS sports sedan is pointless because there are too many other cars that offer more, and they’ve been doing it for a lot longer. Namely, the IS competes with the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, both of which are pretty legendary car lines. If it’s a choice between these three, forget the IS—it doesn’t even come close to the handling prowess, fun, technological features, or luxury appeal of its opponents from Germany.
10 Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey is smack dab in the middle of the fastest-selling, most popular market segment: the midsized SUV. And unfortunately for Dodge, the Journey is dated and mediocre, where it really needed to stand out. It’s fairly quiet and rides decently, but that’s about all it has going for it. It has terrible fuel economy of 16 mpg overall from its 3.6-liter V6, its agility is clunky, it has a reluctant transmission, and a tiny third-row seat.
9 Nissan Sentra
The Nissan Sentra is a pretty popular car, but have you ever wondered why that may be? It’s really nothing to write home about, and overall, the compact trails the competition. A recent rejuvenation resulted in a quieter car, thanks to the less intrusive CVT, and handling is fairly responsive, but the ride is stiff and the driving experience is joyless.
8 Acura ILX
Acura is supposed to be the luxury brand of Honda, but sometimes you just need to cut your losses. The ILX comes from humble origins when Honda tried to make a premium model of the previous generation’s Civic, and the ILX falls flat. It simply can’t transcend its humble origins, and shouldn’t even try.
7 Mitsubishi Mirage ES
The Mitsubishi Mirage ES has the worst acceleration of any car on the market. And that isn’t an exaggeration: Consumer Reports checked, and it’s #1 as the “Worst accelerating cars” list, coming in with an absurd 12.1-second 0-60 mph sprint time. This isn’t the 1950s—cars should go faster than that! It has a rock-bottom sticker price and thrifty fuel economy of 37 mpg, but that’s all the good news of this economical runaround.
6 Chevrolet Spark 1LT
Coming in at #2 as the “Worst accelerating cars on the market” by Consumer Reports is the Chevrolet Spark 1LT, which takes 12 seconds flat to reach 60 mph. Now, that’s not the only reason this car is pointless, however. This urban-dwelling machine has small dimensions, which is great for parking, but you’re going to want to park it more than drive it.
5 Fiat 500 Sport
For a car that has “Sport” in the name, the Fiat 500 Sport is surprisingly un-sporty. The cabin is noisy, the ride is choppy, the driving position is awkward, the cockpit is too narrow, the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach so it’s often too far away, forcing drivers to sit uncomfortably close, the cargo area is dismally small, the rear seats are difficult to access… and we could go on and on.
4 Toyota Prius C Two
The Toyota Prius C Two is actually the entry-level, starter version of the actual Toyota Prius. The normal Prius is one of the most popular cars in the US, but the Prius C Two? Not so much. This car is a clinic in uselessness and pointlessness. It’s smaller and less expensive than the regular Prius (only by $2,000), and it feels like it.
3 Buick Encore
The good news first: it has a quiet cabin, a nice finish, and a ride that’s better than many other larger SUVs. But its little 1.4-liter turbocharged engine only gives this car an 11.0-second 0-60 mph time, which is very bad, and only fair fuel economy (23 mpg overall). The Encore is also quite expensive ($23,200) for what you get, which is questionable.
2 Cadillac Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade used to be the most popular luxury SUV around, but its fame and fortune have fallen by the wayside in recent years as other companies created better, more reasonable products. As a luxury SUV, the Escalade falls short in fundamentals: it rides stiffly, it can stop or handle gracefully like other large SUVs, and it’s not even that roomy inside, despite looking like it should be.
1 Cadillac CT6
The Cadillac CT6 is a pretty cool, sleek looking car, but it sort of sits in the middle of the herd for midsized luxury sedans, and doesn’t stick out like it should from the competition. It has precise handling and is one of the sportiest cars in the class, for sure, but it’s also a frustrating car.
References: consumperreports.com, thedrive.com, caranddriver.com