When it comes to choosing the right car for you, certain factors might come into play. First and foremost, you have to decide on the type of vehicle that would work best for you. After all, to make your car shopping more manageable, you want to be able to narrow things down to a sedan, SUV, pickup truck, minivan or a sports car. And while you are also choosing among these, you also need to consider the size that you need.
After choosing the vehicle type and size, you would then need to go over various available convenience, safety and comfort features to determine what you can't live without. Once this is done, you now have to go over possible models based on your preference. And the moment you have narrowed things down further, you can finally concentrate on checking which cars are more reliable than others.
Reliability is a factor that you should never take for granted. You want a vehicle that is quite easy to drive around with. Moreover, you also want a car that doesn't break down so frequently that you are barely able to use it. At the same time, you also want a car that can possibly stay in good condition for many years to come with the right maintenance. And most importantly, it would be great to have a car that has good safety features and excellent safety ratings.
During recent months, various automakers have released several vehicle models. Unfortunately, some are a lot less reliable than others. And to help make sure you can avoid them, we've come up with a list of cars to avoid for 2018. Aside from this, we also listed down some cars that are absolutely worth the money.
20 Don’t Buy: Mitsubishi Mirage
The Mitsubishi Mirage is one model that has been around for years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that many car buyers are choosing this car over others. In fact, according to a report from Forbes, Consumer Reports has decided to put it in last place among the subcompact sedans.
Meanwhile, this car has also received some unpleasant reviews on the website Car.com although it currently has a rating of 4.6 stars.
One review stated, “I'm now upside down in this car. It's slow, the air does not work right took it to get fixed they worked on it, I have to fill up on gas every week just going back and forth to work and I don’t live far from work.”
19 Don’t Buy: Ford Focus
When it comes to the Ford Focus, car buyers are essentially given a lot of great choices. After all, you can choose to get the sedan version or the hatchback version. Aside from this, you can also choose to get an electric variant for this model. Unfortunately, having all these choices won’t mean much if the car has some significant reliability issues.
As Consumer Reports had stated, the Ford Focus may feel “solid and sophisticated, but it’s plagued by poor reliability and, at low speeds, a jerky transmission.” At the same time, the 2018 Focus Titanium sedan variant has a relatively low rating of 73, based on reviews on JD Power.
18 Don’t Buy: Fiat 500
Fiat is one Italian carmaker that takes pride in producing vehicle models that everyone would like. Unfortunately, the Fiat 500 seems to fall short of everyone’s expectations despite its impressive fuel economy.
As Consumer Reports has explained, “The base engine and manual returned 33 mpg overall, but it lacks low-end thrust. On all versions the ride is choppy and the cabin noisy. Headroom up front is good, but some will find the steering wheel to be too far away and the driving position awkward.”
In addition, the cargo space is also relatively small. That means it would be hard to pack everything into this car for a weekend getaway.
17 Don’t Buy: Jeep Wrangler JK
Over the years, Jeep has decided not to make significant changes to its Wrangler JK model. Nonetheless, the Wrangler JK caused a bit of confusion in 2018. As J.D. Power has explained, “It's an older production model that saw the end of its production life in the middle of the year, while during that same model year, Jeep rolled out a completely new generation, this one known simply as the Jeep Wrangler.”
What seems clear, however, is that the Wrangler JK is not really known for comfort. Instead, this Jeep model tends to ride rough.
According to one review on Cars.com, “Basic 20-year-old technology. Rough riding, handles horrible, but still fun to drive if you have another daily driver.”
16 Don’t Buy: Cadillac Escalade
If you are looking for an SUV that’s got a good size, the Escalade would suit you, in theory. After all, it’s passenger seating stretches all the way to the third row, making sure that there’s room for both family and friends.
Before you make a purchase though, you may want to visit a dealership and check out passenger seats yourself. According to a review from Consumer Reports, the third-row seating inside the Escalade is particularly “cramped.” Meanwhile, the second-row seating is also reportedly not that comfortable.
If you are not exactly going to accommodate someone in the third row all the time, then this SUV should still work fine for you. Otherwise, you may want to consider another model.
15 Don’t Buy: Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90 is an SUV that comes in several available trims and variants for its 2018 model. Before you start checking them all out, you should know that there are some notable current issues with this vehicle.
Sure, the XC90 remains competitive in three-row SUV market. However, certain aspects of it could use some improvement. As Consumer Reports has noted, “Handling is commendable, but the ride is stiff though, the optional air suspension makes it slightly better.”
At the same time, its touch-screen infotainment system has also been described as “unintuitive.” That means it’s would not be easy for you to access your navigation system, phone or audio while in the middle of a drive.
14 Don’t Buy: Chevrolet Camaro
When you think of the Chevrolet Camaro, you immediately think speed and excitement. After all, this car has had the reputation to look and feel exhilarating on the road. Unfortunately, the ratings for its most recent model is anything but good.
The chief complaint about this car is that it is not exactly easy to drive.
As Consumer Reports has explained, “The easy-to-use MyLink infotainment system is a plus, but the low dash vents tend to freeze your hand when it’s on the shifter. Visibility is unacceptably bad, and rear-seat room is extremely tight.” Despite this, however, the Camaro is still a car that is known for its “impressive handling agility and sharp steering.”
13 Don’t Buy: Mercedes-Benz GLC
Overall, you can say that the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a pretty good SUV. However, it is not without some issues. As Consumer Reports has pointed out, the GLC model has a “complex infotainment system.” At the same time, not all safety features are relatively available. Hence, if you want all of them, you have to avail of one or more of Mercedes-Benz’s “confusing option packages.”
In addition, it is also worth noting that the GLC is not exactly the most fuel-efficient SUV out there today. In fact, estimates from Cars.com reveal that the GLC 300 only has an estimated combined fuel efficiency rating of 24 miles per gallon.
12 Don’t Buy: Jaguar F-Pace
The Jaguar F-Pace is meant to be a hit in a market that seems to have an insatiable appetite for compact SUVs at the moment. Despite the F-Pace’s powerful 3-liter V6 engine, however, it still falls short of expectations.
As Consumer Reports has explained, “The ride is stiff and choppy. The seats are comfortable, but interior quality isn’t as impeccable as in the German competitors. The infotainment system is behind the times, utilizing a slow and fussy touchscreen. The air conditioning system isn’t always up to the task.” Meanwhile, the 2018 F-Pace has also been the subject of three recalls in recent months, further questioning its reliability.
11 Don’t Buy: Tesla Model X
Generally, Tesla vehicle models are known to be impeccable in every aspect. However, it seems that the automaker’s Model X is gaining attention for the wrong reasons.
Based on the review by Consumer Reports, it seems the chief complaint is on the Model X’s doors and seating configuration.
For starters, when the doors open up all the way, it becomes quite a challenge to close it. Furthermore, Consumer Reports also noted, “Buyers can opt for five-, six-, or seven-passenger seating configurations, but unlike every other SUV, the second row doesn’t fold if you have the two captain’s chairs, which compromises utility.”
Meanwhile, the Model X could also use some improvement in ride comfort and noise.
10 Worth It: Toyota Corolla
Over the years, the Toyota Corolla has become one of the most recognizable sedan models in the U.S. After all, it’s the perfect car for just about anyone. Whether you’re single or have a small family, this car is spacious enough to accommodate as many as five persons.
What’s more, there’s also plenty of room in the cargo area for all your stuff.
According to Consumer Reports, it’s also great that the Corolla has a “strong reliability track record.” Aside from that, it also has excellent handling and amazing ride quality. What’s more, the Corolla is also known to have an impressive fuel efficiency rating. In fact, its combined estimated fuel economy is said to be 32 miles per gallon.
9 Worth It: Chevrolet Bolt
If you are in the market for a purely electric car then the Chevrolet Bolt is definitely something that you should consider.
For a relatively low starting price of $29,995 after tax credit, you get to drive around with a car that has an impressive 238-mile range on a full charge. What’s more, this car is also said to drive incredibly well.
As Consumer Reports has noted, “The driver sits high up in the Bolt, with a commanding view on a par with a small SUV. Like most electric cars, the Bolt is strikingly silent, and road and wind noise are minimal.”
8 Worth It: Toyota Sienna
If you are loving every minute of being a soccer mom, then the Toyota Sienna is definitely the vehicle of choice for you. After all, this particular minivan can accommodate as many as eight people.
That’s more than enough to drive around with your child and his or her entire team or group of friends.
At the same time, it’s also quite easy to keep all the passengers entertained onboard the Sienna. That’s because it is equipped with a dual-view blu-ray disc entertainment center that comes with a 16.4-inch color display. And in case you don’t want to get distracted in front, this entertainment center also comes with two wireless headphones that your children can readily use.
7 Worth It: Kia Sorento
The 2018 Kia Sorento is known to be an award-winning SUV. For starters, it received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). At the same time, it also earned a 2018 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Meanwhile, the Sorento was also named the Best 3-Row SUV for the Money by U.S. News & World Report. Aside from this, it also won in the midsize SUV category of the 2018 Autoweb Buyer’s Choice Awards.
The Sorento is known to offer a smooth ride. At the same time, it is also equipped with useful tech features which are said to be quite easy to use.
6 Worth It: Subaru Forester
When you are looking for a compact SUV that also happens to be a 4x4, the Subaru Forester is definitely the way to go. As Consumer Reports has explained, “The Forester is a wise choice that makes a pleasant travel companion, whether you're road-tripping or commuting.”
If you’re the type who enjoys a lot of power, then you would absolutely appreciate the standard 2.5-liter Boxer engine under the Forester’s hood.
This one delivers as much as 170 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 174 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Meanwhile, there is also the available 2-liter turbocharged Boxer engine. This one can deliver as much as 250 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 to 4,800 rpm.
5 Worth It: Acura MDX
Another SUV that is certainly worth considering is the Acura MDX. For starters, it’s more than spacious enough thanks to its third-row seating.
At the same time, U.S. News and World Report has praised MDX’s performance, noting that it has “composed handling.” It also added that “it’s easier to maneuver than its size would suggest,” making it fairly easy to drive around with. Meanwhile, it also enjoys reasonable fuel economy with the two-wheel drive variant achieving a rating of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2018 MDX is currently available with a starting price of $44,200. Meanwhile, the 2019 model is also available with a starting price of $44,300.
4 Worth It: Lexus RX 350
From the outside, the Lexus RX 350 is stunning, without a doubt. It’s also great that it has a relatively affordable starting price of $43,470.
Under the hood of the RX350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that readily produces as much as 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. As you can see, you are never short on power with this vehicle.
At the same time, you would also be glad to know that the RX 350 enjoys good fuel economy. In fact, it’s front-wheel drive variant has an estimated rating of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway, for a combined rating of 23 miles per gallon.
3 Worth It: BMW X3
If you want something that’s powerful, sporty and simply impressive, then look no further than the BMW X3.
You can say that the X3 has practically got it all. Under the hood, it is equipped with a 2-liter TwinPower Turbo engine that can readily deliver as much as 248 horsepower at 5,200 to 6,500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,450 to 4,800 rpm. It may have a relatively low top speed of 130 miles per hour, but it can readily go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just six seconds.
As you may have guessed, the X3 drives incredibly well. According to Consumer Reports, “The firm suspension makes you feel safe and confident, and yet the X3 does a good job soaking up ruts and bumps.”
The 2019 X3 is available with a relatively affordable starting price of $41,000.
2 Worth It: Audi A4
If you are in the market for a luxury sedan that looks and feels impressive, then you should definitely consider the Audi A4.
The A4 is undoubtedly a better buy than other models because it has good drivability. As Consumer Reports has explained, “It’s very satisfying to drive, with nimble, secure handling helped by its minimal body roll and responsive steering. The controlled ride is on the firm side, but proves steady and absorbent. The powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine accelerates with gusto, proving ever-eager to make a quick getaway, yet doesn’t hurt your wallet at the pump.” Indeed, this car has an estimated combined fuel efficiency rating of 27 miles per gallon.
The 2018 A4 is available with a relatively low starting price of $36,000.
1 Worth It: Tesla Model S
If you are looking for an electric car that is absolutely reliable, then you can’t do any better than the Tesla Model S. This car leads in both power and safety, a fact that any car buyer would surely appreciate.
The Model S is a dual motor all-wheel drive. What this means is that it easily gives you both traction and torque when you need it. In fact, it is a capable of “ludicrous acceleration,” going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a stunning 2.5 seconds.
Meanwhile, the Model S has also been rated for safety. In fact, it has received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA thanks to its features such as side collision warning and emergency braking.
Sources: consumerreports.org, cars.com, jdpower.com, tesla.com