From mid-size sedans with asinine ownership costs and low scoring pickup trucks, to cars with horrible fuel economy and abysmal reliability, there is something for everyone on this list, and nothing says “trouble” quite like a damning article from one of America’s most revered test specialists.
Now we aren’t insinuating that all of the vehicles on today’s cheat sheet are complete crap, as many of them have their merits, and even a select few offer some amazing perks that go unrecognized in said “audit.” But Consumer Reports doesn’t hold punches, and if word of rampant recalls or unsatisfied buyers reaches their ears, you bet your ass there is going to be an investigation and full write-up on the matter.
Consumer Reports is kind of like a buyer-based watchdog for the automotive industry, ever on alert for a crappy clunker to rear its ugly head, all while praising the best cars, thus making their style of review a “love it or hate it” kind of bag for auto manufacturers. So in the interest of giving you the facts (regardless of whether you like them or not), here are 10 vehicles that are the epitome of poor value, which surprisingly all come from extremely accomplished automakers.
1. Lowest-Scoring Car: Mitsubishi Mirage (29/100 overall score)
Oh Mitsubishi, wherever did you go wrong? You guys went from building amazing cars like the 3000GT VR4 and the turbocharged Eclipse, to… this. Scoring low points for everything from clumsy handling, noise, vibration, and acceleration, to feeling extremely “cheap and insubstantial,” the Mitsubishi Mirage lives up to its name and remains one of the cheapest cars on the market today for good reason. It may only cost $12,995 and get 37 miles-per gallon, but with words like “regrettable, slow, and noisy” playing crucial roles in the descriptor side of the equation, there is little doubt that this car fails where many others succeed.
Built completely in Thailand, and powered by a sewing machine-sized, three-cylinder that likes to vibrate uncontrollably when putting all 74 horses to the asphalt, the Mirage really doesn’t do itself any favors in the power department. Handling isn’t much better, with Consumer Reports saying that when driving the Mirage, it felt so clumsy that it “leans in corners like a drunken sailor.” Sure, it may have an impressive list of standard features to distract us with for a time, but a “Poor” rating by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) during a small-overlap crash test quickly negates these perks, thus putting the little subcompact back on the “not it list.” Check out Consumer Reports’ full road test to find out more.
2. Lowest-Scoring SUV: Jeep Compass (52/100 overall score)
Next up on our cheat sheet of cars you should not consider, is the overly unnecessary Jeep Compass. Dinged heavily for excessive engine noise, poor acceleration, lack of comfortable driving positions, crappy seat quality, and horrid rear visibility, this mid-size SUV is a disaster on wheels. Blend all that with repeated cornering failures, sloppy braking, and questionable reliability, and you’ve got a recipe for rampant recalls.
Sure, it may look like the Grand Cherokee we drove and liked so much, but Consumer Reports says that the Compass is nothing like the prior, with a cabin that feels “claustrophobic,” visibility that is “problematic,” and a tall sill that makes entering and exiting a pain in the arse. Scoring 52 out of 100 points after testing, the Compass scored so poorly that it even toppled the lowest ranked SUV of all time, the Jeep Wrangler. Here is the full report on what made this SUV so crap-tastic.