When people shop for a new car, three of the most important factors that they consider are fuel economy, price, and reliability. Price is fairly simple to compare, and while gas mileage varies from driver to driver, EPA figures can give you a pretty good estimate to use when comparing models. Reliability, on the other hand, is more difficult to compare and predict.
Every year, Consumer Reports conducts its Annual Auto Survey to gather information on more than one million vehicles. When all the data was compiled and analyzed, some clear winners emerged, but there were also some definite losers. If reliability is important to you, then you should probably stay away from these 10 cars.
10. Mercedes S-Class
The Mercedes S-Class may be the least unreliable car on this list, but it’s still 127% less reliable than the average car. Owners are already having trouble with the windows, and while the air suspension gives it a silky-smooth ride, it’s proven to be the Achilles heel of Mercedes’ new flagship sedan.
9. Infiniti Q50
You probably won’t have a problem turning your Q50 on or driving it, but you might not be able to use much in the cabin. Owners reported problems with the navigation system, infotainment screen, integrated controls, Bluetooth, and power steering. Add it all up, and the Infiniti Q50 is also 127% less reliable than average per Consumer Reports’ findings.
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee
The gasoline-powered version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee seems to be mostly fine, but the diesel version has turned out to be troublesome. Fuel system problems have a habit of sidelining the diesel Grand Cherokee, and problems with the navigation system have cropped up as well. That puts the diesel Grand Cherokee at 134% below average.
7. Dodge Dart 1.4T
The Dodge Dart 1.4T might be an enticing option if you’re looking for a small car, but between its transmission and engine, there’s a good chance you’ll have problems. Problems include the oxygen sensor, rough shifting, hesitation and stalling, and a faulty transmission computer. In total, the 1.4T version of the Dart’s reliability is 140% below average.
6. Chevrolet Cruz 1.4T
Unrelated to the Dodge Dart 1.4T, the Chevrolet Cruz 1.4T also has problems. At 143% less reliable than average, this Cruz keeps running into drive shaft and axle problems. Those are pretty important parts, so go ahead and keep your distance.
5. Mercedes-Benz CLA 250
The CLA 250’s sheet metal sure looks great, but its reliability, sadly, looks pretty bad. With a rating of 145% below average, the CLA 250’s reliability problems come mainly from the audio system and a host of very un-Mercedes-like squeaks and rattles.
4. Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder offers a lot of practicality for a crossover SUV, but its transmission probably isn’t up to the task. People have had problems with the liftgate and the windows, but the worst problems have been with the transmission and the torque converter. Slipping gears may lead to both parts needing to be replaced, and overall, the Pathfinder’s reliability is 154% below average.
3. Ford Fiesta
If you get the Ford Fiesta with the automatic transmission, you could easily end up experiencing rough shifts and slipping gears. These transmission problems are prevalent enough that the Fiesta ends up 162% below average. If you opt for the manual transmission instead, though, any rough shifts are probably your own fault.
2. Jeep Cherokee
Not to be confused with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Cherokee also makes the list in its four-cylinder form. Owners had problems with its Bluetooth pairing and radio, but the transmission also has a habit of rough shifting. These problems are common enough to drag the Cherokee’s reliability down to 176% below average.
1. Fiat 500L
Poor little Fiat 500L. It tries to look cute and be different, but not only did it do extremely poorly in Consumer Reports’ road test, it’s also last on this reliability list. With a score that’s 219% below average, this Fiat is 16 times more likely to have a serious problem than the most reliable vehicle, the Scion xB. Problems with the navigation system, backup camera and sensor, and radio were paired with a rough-shifting transmission, dooming the 500L to the bottom of the list.
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