Consumer Reports Says The Mercedes GLA Is The Least Satisfying Car In America

New vehicles are typically one of the largest purchases that consumers make so it’s important that you buy something that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen and sometimes owners spend tens of thousands of dollars on something they regret buying in the first place. Consumer Reports want to help people avoid this mistake so they’ve used data from their Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey along with their own testing and reliability ratings to come up with a list of the ten least satisfying vehicles in America.

Dodge Grand Caravan

The Dodge Grand Caravan dates back to 2008 and its $25,995 price tag simply can’t make up for its many faults. As Consumer Reports notes, the minivan has the worst fuel economy rating in its class and its second-row seats are just plain lousy.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 bills itself as fun city car but it’s simply a small, overpriced hatchback with retro styling. There are a handful of interesting variants but CR says the model suffers from a choppy ride, an awkward driving position, and a noisy interior.

Ford Transit Connect

The Ford Transit Connect was designed as a commercial vehicle and the magazine says consumers shouldn’t think about it as a minivan replacement. While it offers good handling and a decent ride, there are plenty of faults including mediocre fuel economy ratings, a cheap interior, and a lack of features.

Infiniti QX60

Luxury vehicles are supposed to be comfortable, quick, and luxurious. The QX60 ticks a few of those boxes but there’s no hiding the fact that the crossover is a Nissan Pathfinder in an extra-large suit. Despite highlighting the model’s spacious and well-appointed interior, Consumer Reports say the QX60’s fuel-economy rating is “so-so” and the driving experience is “mushy.”

Dodge Journey

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is prominently featured on this year list and that’s largely due to aging vehicles such as the Journey. While it’s relatively affordable, with pricing starting at $21,195, it suffers from worst-in-class fuel economy ratings. Consumer Reports is brutal when it comes to the Journey as the publication says “This low-rated model is a poor value anywhere — even at the airport rental lot.”

Nissan Versa Sedan

The Nissan Versa is one of the most affordable sedans in America but buyers might want to simply shop the classifieds. That bargain basement price is a result of some major tradeoffs including a cheap interior and an underpowered engine that is paired to a continuously variable transmission. The model also suffers from a stiff ride and clumsy handling.

Chevrolet Trax

The Trax recently received a facelift but Consumer Reports says one of the biggest issues is the model’s turbocharged 1.4-liter engine which isn’t powerful or fuel-efficient. The organization also notes the Trax has a cramped interior, a stiff ride, and ambitious pricing.

Acura ILX

Like the Trax, the ILX was recently updated to fix its many shortfalls but these improvements didn’t address the car’s “stiff” and “jumpy ride.” Other disappointments include incessant road noise, a bad transmission, and a confusing infotainment system.

Nissan Sentra

The Sentra has a lot going for it but even responsive handling and a spacious interior can’t make up for a stiff ride and a driving experience that is described as “ho-hum and joyless.” The base model is particularly disappointing as it is one of the slowest accelerating cars in its class.

Mercedes GLA-Class

The most disappointing vehicle might come as a surprise because it’s made by Mercedes-Benz. Despite its luxury ambitions, the GLA is a high-riding hatchback that is small, cramped, and expensive as pricing starts at $33,400. Consumer Reports say the crossover suffers from a stiff ride, a loud interior, a bad gearbox, and poor visibility – just to name a few things.

  • Christian Wimmer

    The GLA is cramped? This is news to me! You mean the people bought one didn’t test drive it and realize that it’s a small car?

    I’m 6’4″ and I can easily and comfortably fit into the driver or front passenger seat of a GLA. The rear is gonna be tight for adults – it’s to be expected in a car of this size. What I find more annoying in the are the fat, sight-robbing A-pillars. This also affects the A-Class and CLA-Class.

    Consumer Reports… I maybe it’s me but I can’t take these guys seriously. Way back the Hummer H2 received poor marks from them because “owners were surprised at the piss poor fuel economy”… what kind of morons participate in these surveys?

    • WTF

      I agree these comments are silly how do you test drive a small car than complain about small it is, how loud it is as if you never drove it, and how much it cost but it was worth it for you to spend hours of your life that you cant get back buying it. Its like they were blindfolded, forced to sign, and than surprised with a car theyve never been in. Now if it were more like this car is terrible because its not reliable thats something you “might” wouldnt have known when you bought it but all the other stuff is just typical CR click bait.

  • Carmelo Van Cabboi

    The Fiat 500 is small? Nooo really? OMG!
    Eemh why none of VW is in the list?

    • Fernando Bretón

      Because despite all the hate VW gets, their cars are overall nice to drive, use good materials on interiors and aren’t cramped at all. All of those are significant reasons for ordinary people to hate their cars, as styling is subjective.

      • WTF

        I would disagree there…..not EVERY VW has high quality materials those are words spoken by a fanboy or someone who has never been in a Jetta, tiguan, or passat. Not to mention theyre pretty unreliable as well and VW doesnt sell a car in America that is the size of the 500 so not really a fair comparison….

        • Fernando Bretón

          First, I said “overall” not “every”. Second, I have been on a Jetta and a Tiguan (last gen), and they have both been good. Base Jettas and Tiguans obviously have cheaper materials, hard plastics but the quality is there, compared to the ones used in the 500, which I have also driven. In the one I drove, the passenger airbag cover deformed under sunlight… and that isn’t even one of the concerns of the 500 here.
          Get on a GLI or a 4motion Tiguan and I dare you to say plastics are of terrible quality.
          On the subject of reliability, my entire family has driven VWs for more than 15 years with no horror stories at all. My dad loved GMs until his Sunfire started falling apart after 3 years, never looked back.

    • OdysseyTag

      You do realise VW never nears the bottom of these lists (almost always hovers around industry average)? I suspect what you’re getting at is pretty personal or exaggerated at best.

  • Bo Hanan

    The GLA is a girls car. Girls buy on looks. Think 4 inch heels that look good until their worn.

    • Finkployd

      My god are you serious ?

      • Bo Hanan

        Yep!

  • ediotsavant

    Not surprised about the GLA. Yes, it is a small car. But to get in and out of it is not easy.

  • thunder bolt

    I can understand why some people buy GLA and that’s for showing off, but I still don’t understand why anyone on earth would buy a Fiat 500

    • In Europe, it’s one of those fashion, chic city car.

      In US, When their affluent parents buy their children graduation car.

  • TheBelltower

    I’m surprised that the Transit van is on the list. I’ve rented the Transit Connect twice and thought it was one of the most enjoyable vans I’d ever driven. It’s by no means a luxury vehicle, but it performs nicely and is extremely practical. And I like the boxy style.

  • The GLA is no surprise…Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler are turning over in their graves…

    • Christian Wimmer

      It’s not a bad car. Consumers simply shouldn’t expect an S-Class Mercedes in the small shell of the GLA (A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class as well). These are entry-level Benzes aimed at generally younger buyers with different expectations from your typical Mercedes customer.

      A potential GLA customer probably does not want an C/E/S-Class because to them the GLA comes across as more hip, funky and youthful. That’s probably what they are looking for, plus a nice premium badge.

      Likewise the typical C/E/S-Class customer would never feel at home in a GLA.

      Mercedes’ has produced worse vehicles than the GLA: first generation V-Class, the Vaneo and the current Citan come to mind. The GLA is actually rather good!

      • Ben

        To be fair, the Citan is a rebadged Citroen so that’s why it’s crap.

        • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

          the citan is based on Renault kangoo, not citroen.

      • Well a non-AMG GLA can be optioned up to $60K…that ain’t no entry level vehicle price…

      • bd

        No, it is crap.

        The A3 is just as small, but so much better done (expect the same from the new 1 Series).

        The GLA has ride and handling that worse than most of the non-lux compacts.

  • Michael Smith

    America Says Consumer Reports Is The Least Satisfying Car information source In America

  • smartacus

    then why isn’t the QX30 even worse?
    It’s almost the same price as the GLA
    and doesn’t even have a Mercedes badge

    • An Existing Person

      For those reasons you stated are why the GLA is worse. People expect the entry level model to have S-Class levels of quality but then are severely disappointed when they find it does not. From Infiniti, the average consumer would let this slide. Every little option in the GLA skyrockets the price to an absurd amount whereas the QX30 tops out at $44k, which is thousands less than a similarly equipped GLA. It is also notable to mention that since its release, the QX30 has been praised higher than the GLA in almost all aspects from various journalists and media sources, despite sharing the platform and drivetrain.

  • An Existing Person

    For most of these vehicles, I don’t understand the high standards and expectations people have when they purchase an entry-level model of any manufacturer.

  • Ed Ward

    Chrysler destroyed it’s image with clunky fwd cars and just like Mercedes Benz, RWD is the only thing they do very well. Mercedes need to study the k car days at the Chrysler brand, it’ll do them some good.

  • JL T0x

    First of all, this particular category for a Consumer Reports survey is complete BS. Being “satisfying” or “styled good” are both subjective reasons to buy a car.

    Complaining that a small car is “too small” maybe indicates that these consumers bought a vehicle they actually didn’t want. Buyer’s remorse will find all sorts of excuses for getting something a customer didn’t want, didn’t need, or maybe couldn’t afford.

    Also, many complaints about vehicles are sometimes about consumers managing their own (expectations) about the vehicle they purchased. The Transit is a commercial vehicle – not meant for particular comfort – and has features for convenience not style. The Versa is a cheap vehicle, yes – did you know you can order the cheapest trim with manual windows & manual transmission?

  • Robert Ballard

    Loved my Fiat 500 Abarth. Drove it for 4.5 years. No mechanical problems but the super hard seat is what lead me to sell it. It says it’s a “overpriced hatchback” …? You can pick up a used for for pennies and buy a new one for less than 20k.

    “CR says the model suffers from a choppy ride”… DUH, it’s a small hatch with very aggressive suspension, once you learn it’s intricacies it’s a great, fun driving experiences as much fun as any of my MINI’s. Resale sucks and I was very lucky to get 10k for my 2012.

  • YUGE

    MB are unreliable.

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