‘Consumer Reports’ picks the 10 worst new cars by category – USA TODAY
There’s no shortage of worthy new cars for buyers’ consideration, but figuring out the worst of the lot is another matter.
Consumer Reportstackled the challenge, looking for the lowest-rated car in 10 vehicle categories. In this case, the low score wasn’t just about the car’s projected propensity to break down.
Rather, the magazine says it chose its losers based on a variety of factors — road-test score, projected reliability, owner satisfaction and safety. While there is no shortage of publications rating cars, Consumer Reports commands special attention in the auto industry because it buys all the cars it tests from dealerships just like a typical customer, rather than borrowing them from automakers, as a way of preserving its independence.
Of course, some of the underperforming models make up for their unimpressiveness with a lower price tag. Consumer Reports notes some of them are due to be replaced soon with newer models that could perform better.
For now, though, here’s the list and a synopsis of what the magazine had to say about the models it chose:
• Lowest-rated subcompact: Mitsubishi Mirage. Cheap to buy and good gas mileage, but it’s “tiny, tinny” and the three-cylinder engine vibrates.
• Lowest-rated compact: Fiat 500L. Worst reliability of any new car and a “dismal” road-test score.
• Lowest-rated midsize sedan: Chrysler 200. “Mediocre,” with clumsy handling and poor on the road.
• Lowest-rated compact luxury car: Mercedes-Benz CLA250. Stiff ride, noisy, cramped.
• Lowest-rated midsize luxury car: Lincoln MKS. — Outdated and outclassed.
• Lowest-rated family SUV: Dodge Journey. V-6 engine had poor gas mileage.
• Lowest-rated luxury compact SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport. Too little or too much acceleration, and a balky transmission.
• Lowest-rated large luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade. Stiff ride, not that roomy and the Cue infotainment system is “confounding.”
• Lowest-rated minivan: Chrysler Town & Country. Poor gas mileage and didn’t fare well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap crash tests.
• Lowest-rated green car: Mitsubishi i-MiEV. A “half-step up from a golf cart,” slow and clumsy.