Reviews & Features

Cars that owners wish they hadn’t bought


Don’t buy a car you’re going to hate driving.

We’re all familiar with buyers’ remorse. That feeling you get when you make a decision without fully thinking it through, and then have to live with the consequences of that poor choice.

Nobody wants to experience buyers’ remorse, and that’s especially true when the item is something as expensive as a brand-new automobile. You’ll be reminded every day of your poor decision when you drive the vehicle, and you’ll be living with it, most likely, for several years… all while you’re making payments.

To help you make a wise decision, the experts at Consumer Reports have put together a list of vehicles that owners most regret buying. Some of the results are expected, and a few of them are at least a little bit surprising.

Least-Satisfying Overall: Acura ILX

The car with the very lowest owner satisfaction rating is the Acura ILX. This vehicle serves as the entry point into the Acura range, but it’s simply uncompetitive with the vehicles it’s going up against.

Owners cited poor performance, a shaky ride, loud noises, and a purchase price that’s too high. To quote one owner, “I will be trading the ILX in as soon as I can.” Ouch.

Least Satisfying Midsize Sedan: Chrysler 200

Seeing the Chrysler 200 on a list of unsatisfying vehicles isn’t surprising. Chrysler’s midsize sedan has a reputation of being underwhelming, especially considering the segment it occupies – competitors like the Ford Focus and Honda Accord are more enjoyable to drive, and the Toyota Camry enjoys a sterling reputation for reliability.

Complaints include a cramped cockpit that’s difficult to get in and out of, a rough automatic transmission, and loud road noise.


Least Satisfying Small Car: Dodge Dart

Again, it’s no shocker to see the Dodge Dart on this list of unsatisfying vehicles from Consumer Reports. The Dart has attractive looks, but its beauty is only skin deep. Sales have been so poor, in fact, that FCA chief Sergio Marchionne has said that the Dart will be canceled without a replacement in the works.

A stiff ride, overall poor quality, and bad air conditioning are all complaints cited by owners.

Least Satisfying Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan

The Grand Caravan is the second vehicle from Dodge, and the third from Fiat Chrysler, to make an appearance on this list of unsatisfying vehicles. Considering that this basic vehicle has been on sale since 2008 – a lifetime in the ultra-competitive automobile marketplace in America – we’re not surprised. Don’t expect it to last much longer, as the Chrysler Pacifica is now the minivan standard-bearer at FCA.

Premature wear to interior bits, a rough-shifting transmission, and uncomfortable seats are highlighted as problem areas.

Least Satisfying Small SUV : Jeep Compass

It’s important to note that the title of Least Satisfying Small SUV goes to the old Jeep Compass, not the new one that’s just hitting dealerships in the spring of 2017. The all-new model is a significantly better vehicle in pretty much every way.

Many of the complaints about the old Compass relate to its dated engine and chassis. It’s not particularly powerful, yet doesn’t make up for its lack of horsepower with good fuel economy. It’s also short on the kind of creature comforts that help make a car livable on a daily basis.

Least Satisfying Midsize SUV: Nissan Pathfinder

The Nissan Pathfinder used to be a rugged, truck-based SUV with genuine off-road credibility. Today, it’s more like a minivan, but without the sliding doors that make vans so accessible. Owners say it’s uncomfortable, unreliable, and gets poor fuel mileage.

Least Satisfying Pickup Truck: Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier is really starting to show its age. It’s basically the same truck that debuted in 2005, so the fact that it’s noisy, cramped, and lacks modern amenities is anything but surprising. Owners also say it’s uncomfortable for long road trips.