The 10 Most Unreliable Car Models, According to Consumer Reports
Even when new, these models will have you spending time and money on fixes.
What makes an unreliable car?
It seems simple. We want a car that’ll keep going and not have us stranded on the side of the highway in the middle of the night. It’s easy to think a new car will solve automobile troubles, but this isn’t always the case. Consumer Reports recently released a list of the most unreliable cars based on a buyer survey, ranking specific models based on 17 problem areas including:
- squeaky brakes
- broken interior trim
- out-of-warranty transmission repairs
- trouble with four-wheel-drives
Consumer Reports ranked each area based on severity and then scored the vehicles from there. While some car brands rank lower on customer satisfaction, there are models from makers across the board that will send you back to the dealership for tune-ups more often than you’d like.
10. Volkswagen Atlas
Users noted trouble with this SUV’s climate system, steering and suspension, and power equipment. While experts commended it for its spacious third row of seats and easy-to-use control system, they also said the vehicle has poor gas mileage as well.
9. Cadillac CTS
While the Cadillac brand may be associated with luxury, drivers of this sedan say there are issues with the drive and climate systems, as well as its transmission. Consumer Reports notes that the entertainment and information systems are overly complex.
8. Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa Romeo is another car manufacturer known for its flashy vehicles. But the Alfa Romeo Giulia won’t get you far, according to users who complained about its power equipment, engine, and in-car electronics. Despite the sports car feel, Consumer Reports said the controls, seat comfort, and infotainment system fell short. There are certainly better car options for less than half of this car’s nearly $50,000 price tag.
7. Kia Cadenza
Issues with engine cooling and the emissions/fuel system make this car rank low with users. Road testers commented that while easy enough to use, this car is better for those that drive long distances.
6. Cadillac Escalade
Gene J Puskar/AP/Shutterstock
While test riders complained of this fancy car’s cramped seating and stiff steering, owners found issues with the climate system, transmission, and in-car electronics, which Consumer Reports described as “confounding.”
5. Cadillac CT6
Users reported similar issues with the CT6 as Escalade drivers had. Consumer Reports says the car does have an impressive driver assistance program to make sure the user is paying attention to the road, but these cars guaranteed to last over 250,000 miles may be more reliable than one with electronic and transmission issues.
4. Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
Don’t get swept up in the size of this truck. Users complained about its fuel/emissions and drive systems, as well as the steering and suspension.
3. Tesla Model X
For all the company’s hype, it seems the Model X will send you to the auto body shop frequently over repairs to the paint and trim, noises, and leaks. Users also reported issues with the in-car electronics and the body hardware. You’d likely be better off with what Consumer Reports found to be the best cars of this year based on their reliability.
2. Buick Enclave
Nicole S Glass/Shutterstock
Minor transmission problems, issues with the power equipment, and noise and leaks are some of the things you may encounter with this SUV. Test drivers at Consumer Reports said the gear selector is “fussy” and difficult to use when parking, a sure dealbreaker for some.
Users found this car takes the cake when it comes to unreliable vehicles. People reported trouble with the in-car electronics, drive system, power equipment, as well as noises and leaks. Consumer Reports said the ride is “stiff and choppy” and the touch screen for the entertainment system is “fussy.” Skip the trips to the mechanics and switch out the F-Pace for one of the most reliable cars instead.