Buying a car is much less of a gamble now than it used to be thanks to all the information at your fingertips. You can instantly find out a car’s history just by entering its vehicle identification number on Carfax or similar sites. Even so, many consumers find themselves dishing out tens of thousands of dollars on a car with performance and reliability issues.
This an especially expensive mistake these days because of high car prices and rising interest rates. In July, the estimated typical monthly auto payment hit a new record high of $733, according to the Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index. The index found that you needed 42.2 weeks of median income to buy the average new vehicle — up 15% from the previous year.
Given the cost, it’s more important than ever to avoid sinking your money into a vehicle that could keep emptying your wallet because of maintenance/repair issues or a poor resale/trade-in value. Here’s a look at six American cars to stay away from based on various car review sites.
The Chrysler 300 ranked No. 6 on Money Inc.’s list of “20 Cars To Avoid at All Costs in 2023.” According to that review, the Chrysler 300 “lags behind” competitors in technology, doesn’t perform as well as other cars in its class, and features a design that might seem outdated vs. other new models. In addition, Money said the Chrysler 300 “is more expensive than many of its rivals,” and you might find it hard to get replacement parts.
Buick Encore GX
Buick was included on TopSpeed’s list of the “15 Most Unreliable Car Brands Of 2023,” with a Predicted Reliability Rating of 54 out of 100, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports. The 2023 Encore GX was cited as one the worst models to buy. Among the issues are high average maintenance costs due to problems with the vehicle’s brakes, engine, fuel system and emissions components.
The Explorer made Torque News’ list of “Worst Cars, SUVs and Trucks You Can Buy in 2023.” According to one review, the Explorer carries too high of a price tag “for a regular 3-row SUV,” making it a “poor choice” compared with other SUVs. “With its reliability problems, poor interior and poor performance,” the Explorer “really is not competitive with other SUV makes and models available today,” Torque News reported.
This vehicle ranked No. 1 on Money’s list of cars to avoid, mainly because of poor performance and fuel efficiency. Money cited the Caravan’s “slow acceleration” despite a “potent engine.” In addition, the Caravan “is known for its poor fuel economy” because it gets only 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. With gasoline costs still high, fueling up can get expensive in a hurry.
Cadillac XT4 Sport
The XT4 Sport landed on Motor1’s list of “Best And Worst Cars We’ve Driven In 2023 (So Far) — and in its case, it fell under the “worst” banner. In its review, Motor1 said “there’s no good reason” to choose the Cadillac XT4 over similarly priced but larger rivals such as the BMW X3, Genesis GV70 and Lexus NX. Among the XT4’s problems are a “thrashy” engine and cramped cabin. Although Motor 1 said the Cadillac XT4 is “okay,” you’re probably better off going for a competing vehicle “unless your dealer is giving you a killer deal.”
Lincoln was another entry on TopSpeed’s list of most unreliable car brands, with a Predicted Reliability Rating of 54/100. The worst models cited were the 2023 and 2021 Aviator. According to TopSpeed, the Aviator has had “more than its share of problems.” Those problems spread throughout the vehicle and range from the electronics, drive system and suspension to the steering system, paint, trim, seals and electrical system.
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