Tips, Tricks & Trends

Avoid!: These 10 Vehicles Score Poorly In At Least 3 Categories

We have for you 10 vehicles to avoid that various groups like Consumer Reports and JD Power have found problems with. In fact, these have scored poorly in at least three categories. This should raise flags as to whether they will be on your list of possible new car purchases. Performance, quality, value, and more are all considered. Not in any particular order or category, you’ve been forewarned. 

Dodge Grand Caravan

White Dodge Caravan front 3/4 view
Dodge Grand Caravan | Stellantis

Minivans are actually gaining in popularity after faltering in sales for years. The Dodge Caravan was the first to create this vehicle segment. But the latest version of the ubiquitous van has some downsides you should check out. First, it lacks the safety features that many other minivans offer. Both Consumer Reports and JD Power give it low-reliability scores. They recommend that if you must have one buy it used to forego the depreciation hit.

Nissan Pathfinder

The all-new Pathfinder is an ideal family adventure vehicle not just in looks, but in modern capability as well. Every 2022 Pathfinder features a 284-horsepower 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 with 259 lb-ft of torque. The engine is matched with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission, which provides a smooth, strong, direct vehicle response.
Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

Numerous reviews say the Pathfinder does not perform well in both handling and engine performance. Additionally, the interiors look cheap, and it garners poor dependability scores. All of this also means resale is poor. 

RELATED: ‘Named and Shamed’ List of Cars to Avoid

BMW 7-Series

A close up of the front end of a BMW
BMW | Uwe Anspach/picture alliance via Getty Images

In general, BMW is not hitting on all cylinders lately. Even with sales up in 2021. The flagship 7-Series suffers from a number of negative characteristics. Whether due to its weight or more supple ride handling is poor according to Consumer Reports. It also says it suffers from depreciation resulting in poor value. It is also one of the most expensive vehicles to operate. And finally, isn’t the styling more than a bit boring for such an expensive vehicle?

Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS in blue
2020 Cadillac XTS | GM

Cadillac sales continue to falter. Could it be from being a bad value? Or how about low quality and performance? Those are some of JD Power complaints. As a result, it also suffers from low resale values. It might be best to consider an alternative or a used version that has depreciated already.

Fiat 500

A pink Fiat 500 on display
Prima 500 electric car | MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

The cute 500 suffers from the typical Fiat problems of old. Those include poor reliability and a rough ride. It also tops the list of poor resale values according to JD Power. An all-electric alternative like a Chevy Bolt might be a better choice.

Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli black side view
2020 Maserati Ghibli | Maserati

We like how the Ghibli looks. If it only performed in a like manner. Consumer Reports had a number of complaints about the Ghibli. These include an excessively firm ride, poor handling, and limited rear-seat room for a sedan. It also suffers from poor reliability over three years. 

Jeep Wrangler

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Jeep

It is surprising this ends up on the list of vehicles to avoid. We should preface this by saying that many of those who choose a Wrangler are willing to give up certain characteristics like smooth ride and comfort. We get it. But JD Power faulted it for being one of the worst values on the market. Also, it said that low quality, poor performance, and reliability are other negatives to consider. 

Nissan Armada

2021 Nissan Armada driving up a dirt hill
2021 Nissan Armada | Nissan

The Nissan Armada is a large SUV with a reputation for really bad fuel economy. Like 13 mpg. In 2021, this number should be a lot better. Ownership costs are the worst in this segment according to Consumer Reports. In addition, it says that the Armada suffers from poor reliability. All good reasons to look elsewhere for your big SUV fix.

Smart For Two

Orange Smart For Two
Smart For Two | Smart

The Smart car has suffered from the negative press for years so it is not surprising it landed on the Avoid list. But something we didn’t know is that for best performance it needs premium fuel. Consumer Reports says it generally scores the lowest in a variety of categories, calling it a “dumb choice.” Yikes! Its jerky transmission and underpowered engine are reasons enough to look elsewhere. 

Acura ILXLast but certainly not least is the Acura ILX. Both Consumer Reports and JD Power give it poor marks for reliability. In addition, both complained about the spartan interior, saying it is not very luxurious.