American Models Top List of This Year’s Worst Cars

Consumer Reports has named its worst cars of 2016, warning buyers not to be lured in by "significant incentives" or "generous negotiating room."

American Models Top List of This Year’s Worst Cars Photo (cc) by NZ Car Freak

Consumer Reports has named its “10 Bottom Picks for 2016” — and most of them are American cars.

Each vehicle on this list earned the lowest overall score in its respective category, such as “subcompact” or “minivan.”

The nonprofit Consumer Reports notes that buyers should also beware these models because they’re likely to come with “significant incentives” or “generous negotiating room”:

As the maxim goes, great deals are rarely found on great cars. In these cases, falling for a smooth sales pitch and a swell cash-back offer could lead you to suffering years of buyer’s remorse.

For much better choices, check out the 10 vehicles that Consumer Reports named the best for 2016.

The worst of the worst is Chrysler Fiat’s Fiat 500L, a compact that earned an overall score of 31 of out 100.

Consumer Reports’ overall scores reflect several key aspects of a vehicle:

  • Road-test score
  • Reliability
  • Owner satisfaction
  • Safety (including government and insurance industry crash-test results)

Poor reliability and low owner satisfaction, for example, helped doom the Fiat 500L.

The compact has the worst reliability of any new car in Consumer Reports’ recent survey of more than 740,000 vehicles. It also has below-average owner satisfaction — “meaning a strong percentage of owners wish they hadn’t bought this hatchback,” as Consumer Reports puts it.

In a statement to CNBC in response to Consumer Reports’ ratings, Fiat Chrysler said the company “continue[s] to aggressively pursue both product and launch-quality improvements as they are top priorities for the company and our internal measurements are showing progress.”

The complete “10 Bottom Picks for 2016” are:

  • Subcompact: Mitsubishi Mirage (overall score of 34)
  • Compact: Fiat 500L (31)
  • Midsized sedan: Chrysler 200 (51 to 53)
  • Compact luxury car: Mercedes-Benz CLA250 (53)
  • Midsized luxury car: Lincoln MKS (59)
  • Family SUV: Dodge Journey (45)
  • Luxury compact SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport (47)
  • Large luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade (44)
  • Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country (62)
  • Green car: Mitsubishi i-MiEV (45)

If you’re in the market for a car loan, or looking to refinance one, here’s how to make sure you don’t pay too much.

Would you add any vehicles you’ve owned or driven to a “worst” list? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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