New Cars And Trucks To Avoid For 2017 – Forbes

Posted: Wednesday, March 08, 2017

About to be discontinued in the U.S., the tiny Smart Fortwo coupe/convertible’s sole admirable attribute is that it’s easy to park. (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s become difficult to find a real “clunker” among the nation’s fleet of new cars, with bad ratings and reviews these days having more to do with uncooperative and confounding infotainment systems and difficult smartphone paring than catastrophic mechanical failures. Even the most mediocre rides on the road tend to perform better, last longer, and come packed with far more features than did their predecessors from a decade or two ago.

While most every car and truck being offered for sale in the U.S. has its relative merits, the truth is there are a number of models for which a rational and researched individual simply cannot make a case.

Some vehicles suffer rock-bottom reliability ratings, dubious performance, and/or cash-squandering resale values, while others are simply tired models in need of a revamp that have been eclipsed by a bevy of newer and superior competitors.

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of 10 new cars, crossovers, and trucks from the 2017 model year that astute shoppers should steer clear of in the accompanying slideshow.

Let’s say this up front: We have neither pulled names out of a hat, nor are we promoting our own personal vendettas against any particular vehicles or automakers. Our choices are all based on the aggregation, extrapolation, and interpretation of hard data, including owner satisfaction and reliability surveys from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, resale values, and astute new-vehicle evaluations that include our own week-long test drives.

These are all models for which we can honestly say new-car buyers can do better.

Of course, there are any number of vehicles out there that are simply not for everyone, but that doesn’t necessarily make them entirely bad cars. For example, to most commuters the Toyota 86 sports coupe would feel unduly cramped inside, with too-rough of a ride and too little cargo space, and requiring a contortionist’s skills to enter and exit gracefully. But then, if comfort and convenience top your list of necessary automotive attributes, you shouldn’t be looking at a low-slung sports car that’s built to hug the corners tenaciously in the first place.

Ditto with the venerable Jeep Wrangler SUV, which we find to be one of the least-hospitable vehicles in production for its buckboard-rough ride, a noisy and uncomfortable interior, and its overall lack of sophistication. It’s among Consumer Reports’ lowest-rated models. Yet for those who can put up with its deficiencies as a daily driver, it exudes adventure and when properly equipped can traverse the most difficult off-road terrain; it also enjoys a remarkably high resale value.

In Pictures: 10 New Cars And Trucks To Avoid.

For those keeping score, four out of the 10 vehicles we’re highlighting (or is that lowlighting?) come from Fiat Chrysler, though to be fair, three of those models are being discontinued at the end of the current model year. Mitsubishi and Ford account for two slots each, with the latter representing dual versions of the same truck that’s lingered for a full decade since its last redesign. Nissan is represented by what is now the “oldest” pickup truck sold in the U.S. And number 11 on the list is a car that’s only dubious claim to fame is that it’s easy to park.

If there is a proverbial silver lining to this dark storm cloud, the inherently low resale values many of these models suffer tend to make them good values in the used-car market, so perhaps we shouldn’t write them off altogether.

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