Top 10 Used Cars to Avoid

Plenty of articles talk about the merits of buying certain makes and models of vehicles, but what about the used cars you should avoid? When shopping for a used vehicle, you should always check reviews and avoid vehicles that rate poorly. Whether it’s poor performance, awkward seating, or just bad design, knowing which vehicles not to buy is just as important as finding the perfect one.

Check out this top 10 list of used cars to avoid, and why:

10. Mitsubishi Mirage

With a low output of 74-hp, the Mitsubishi Mirage rates high on a lot of worst car lists. The handling of the Mirage also leaves a lot to be desired. On top of its disappointing handling and low power, the Mitsubishi Mirage also garnered a poor rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The Mirage’s low price point is a testament to its bad design and poor quality.

9. Chevrolet Aveo

Displaying a total lack of style and substance, the Chevy Aveo offers little more than improved fuel-efficiency - though most cars in its class get better gas mileage. Its small, underpowered 100-hp engine and equally small interior make the Chevy Aveo a basic transportation option.

8. Jeep Compass

Bad reliability, poor handling, and numerous recalls are just a few of the complaints about the Jeep Compass. An SUV with a car-based design, the Jeep Compass is nothing like its predecessors. Gone is the rugged off-road vehicle that Jeep is known for, though the design still offers some off-road features. In its place, you find a more fuel-efficient small SUV designed more for driving around the local neighborhood. Some other complaints about the Jeep Compass include excessive engine noise, bad seating position, and a lack of rear visibility.

7. Mitsubishi Lancer

While relatively inexpensive, the Mitsubishi Lancer is underpowered and has poor driving dynamics, It has a small 150-hp engine, a lack of stability control, and ABS doesn’t come as a standard option on earlier models. While later models improved somewhat over previous generations, the Mitsubishi Lancer seems to always lag behind its competitors. Replacing the equally drab Mirage, the Mitsubishi Lancer offers a dull interior and so-so fuel economy.

6. Toyota Tacoma

Sporting a dated and uncomfortable cabin, the Toyota Tacoma offers little joy when commuting around town. With the awkward cabin access afforded by the vehicle's higher-than-normal vehicle floor and low roof, getting in and out of the Tacoma can be tricky at best and makes finding a comfortable driving position difficult. Even worse, adding too many options to the Tacoma package can drive costs up into full-size truck range. Definitely not worth the extra cost: the Toyota Tacoma has poor handling, less than desirable braking, and offers an overall bad driving experience.

5. Dodge Avenger

The starkly designed interior of the Dodge Avenger lends to its cheap look. It is designed to look like a smaller version of the Dodge Charger, but drives like a more passive vehicle. The engine was upgraded in later models, but many of its competitors offer better handling. Also, its interior has been upgraded from the original models, offering higher quality materials and added safety features.

4. Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L is considered the worst when it comes to reliability. Its slow acceleration, coupled with its awkward driving position, leaves drivers of the Fiat 500L frustrated and wanting the faster speeds of other cars. Lacking the engagement of other European vehicles in its class, the top-heavy driving and sloppy steering make the Fiat 500L a car to avoid, especially with its higher price point.

3. Dodge Charger/Dodge Magnum

Cheap and unfinished when compared to comparable cars from other manufacturers, the Dodge Charger and its more aggressive-looking station wagon counterpart, the Dodge Magnum, is considered a performance sedan. While not the same car as its 1960's namesake, current Charger models offer a 6.1-liter V8 engine option - though at a more costly price point.

2. Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Offering luxury in an off-road vehicle, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a shortened version of the Land Rover L3. And while it is enjoyable to drive, shoppers would be better served by going with a competitor, due in part to the subpar handling and acceleration of the Range Rover Sport. While there has been some improvement in the cabin design in more current Range Rover Sport models, the cabin of older models looked and felt cheap - and prior to 2012, also had outdated navigation and audio systems.

1. Suzuki XL-7

Neat in theory, the original Suzuki XL-7 had a flawed execution when released. Utilizing an extended-wheelbase version of the Grand Vitara and adding a third-row seat, the additional passenger capacity fell short, as the seat was too small to be of much use. Inside, the cabin was cramped and of poor design, though future generations tried to fix this. In addition, its small 252-hp engine added little to the appeal of the model line, which also featured poor handling and low fuel economy.

With a list in hand of used cars to avoid when shopping for a vehicle, you can now focus on finding the perfect vehicle for your needs. Whether you are looking for ample cargo space, the maximum in performance and handling, or a vehicle outfitted with the newest options, always make sure to have one of our expert mechanics here at YourMechanic perform a pre-purchase car inspection to make sure the vehicle is up to your standards.


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(4,929)

Rating Summary
4,601
176
36
38
78
4,601
176
36
38
78

Adam

17 years of experience
158 reviews
Adam
17 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler L6-4.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - West Palm Beach, Florida
Adam arrived on time for my sight unseen vehicle purchase pre-inspection and called me right after he was done to talk about the issues in the comments I left for him prior to his arrival. He was articulate, well spoken, and explained things to a tech geek in a way I could wrap my head around. Will definitely be requesting him in the future if I have anymore jobs in FL.
Lexus GX470 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - West Palm Beach, Florida
very thorough on his inspection. responds to all of my messages. very pleasant to talk to. highly recommended

Miguel

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Miguel
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-2.0L Turbo - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Teterboro, New Jersey
I booked a pre-purchase inspection through YourMechanic.com and Miguel Medina did the inspection. Miguel was very thorough and professional and answered all of my specific questions promptly and completely. I am completely satisfied with Miguel's service and advice and with the YourMechanic.com service.
Infiniti G35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Totowa, New Jersey
Miguel is professional he arrived to the appointment early and did a through inspection of the vehicle we are interested in purchasing.

Jeffrey

16 years of experience
85 reviews
Jeffrey
16 years of experience
Chevrolet Express 2500 V8-4.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Pinellas Park, Florida
Super cool guy. Did a very thorough inspection! I felt confident with my purchase after he checked it out. Seemed to be very knowledgeable and gave his honest opinion about the vehicle.
BMW 328xi - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Largo, Florida
Great Communications, and thorough assessment and evaluation of the vehicle. He clearly communicated the immediate needs of the car and also noted the items working well. Thanks for a great report, it definitely helps me make a decision!

Christopher

20 years of experience
271 reviews
Christopher
20 years of experience
Lexus RX350 V6-3.5L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
I hired Christopher to do a follow-up pre-purchase inspection to take a look at the dealership service repairs for issues he previously found and he was able to verify their work and even find a couple of new issues the dealership also addressed. He saved in several hundred of dollars of work and his reports were very detailed and thorough.
Lexus RX350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Christopher provided a very detailed report for my Pre-Purchase Inspection. He helped catch some issues my dealership later agreed to fix to close out the deal.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Buy a Car When You Don't Have Proof of Income
When When you apply for a car loan, most lenders require proof of income. If you are unable to provide that evidence because you don’t have a job or are self-employed, your options are somewhat limited. However, it is still...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Lincoln Navigator
The The Lincoln Navigator was the flagship luxury SUV which laid the roadmap for its followers such as the Cadillac Escalade and the Lexus LX. Lincoln truly adhered to a philosophy of “go big or go home” on this 8-passenger...
How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in California
Like Like all other states, California requires that vehicle owners have the title to their vehicle for a number of different purposes. If you decide to sell the car, you’ll need the title. You’ll also need it to trade it...

Related questions

How do I break in my new car?

If you purchased your car new, there are a few driving strategies that you should employ to help break your car in: For the first 200 miles of driving, you should try to avoid hard stops. For...

Fuel system issues - blue smoke this morning, check engine light on & off, engine vibration

Hello. Thank you for writing in. It sounds like you may be dealing with more than one issue. The first thing we should discuss is the blue smoke coming from the exhaust. This typically means that the engine is burning...

2004 Mazda 6s (V6-3.0L Automatic) VS. 2004 Hyundai Elantra GLS

From your tax dollars, and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the 2004 Mazda 6 has 0 Recalls and 0 Technical Service Bulletins - which all manufacturers are required to report for serious problems. The 2004 Hyundai Elantra has 5...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com