Foreign Automakers Dominate List Of Worst Cars For 2018

Awards season is quickly approaching and the finalists for the 2019 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.

Regardless of which models make the cut, they’ll all be better than the cars that made Consumer Reports’ list of Automotive Turkeys. Designed to shame the worst of the worst, the list includes vehicles which had the dubious honor of having the worst overall score, the worst ride quality and the worst reliability ratings – among other things.

Without further ado, let’s start by taking a look at the worst offender: the Fiat 500L. While the model is relatively affordable and fuel efficient, Consumer Reports says the car has a stiff ride, flat seats and a driving position that is “similar to sitting in an office chair.” These issues helped to give the 500L the worst overall score.

Speaking of low scores, the Mitsubishi Mirage flunked the road test as its handling was described as weak and clumsy. That wasn’t the only major issue as the Mirage’s 78 hp (58 kW / 79 PS) three-three cylinder produces more noise than acceleration.

The Ford Fiesta ST doesn’t suffer from the same issues as the Mirage, but the magazine says the car’s focus on sportiness kills the ride quality. As a result, the model suffers from a “very fidgety” ride even on smooth roads.

While a rough ride can get annoying after awhile, it’s probably not as bad as a new car that needs constant repairs. If you want a worry free ownership experience, you might want to avoid the Ram 3500 as Consumer Reports says the truck has the worst predicted reliability. Among the issues cited by owners are problems with the suspension and steering as well as the fuel and emissions systems. Throw in cooling issues, leaks and noises and you’ve got plenty of reasons to head to your local Ford or Chevy dealer instead.

Mainstream automakers weren’t the only ones to make the list as Consumer Reports noted the Mercedes GLA received the lowest owner satisfaction score in their survey. Just 44 percent of owners said they would purchase another GLA. That’s should be worrying for Mercedes as the automaker is putting the finishing touches on the redesigned model.

  • Mr. EP9

    “The Ford Fiesta ST doesn’t suffer from the same issues as the Mirage, but the magazine says the car’s focus on sportiness kills the ride quality.”

    Not surprised at all; I expected it.

    • paulgdeaton

      I doubt anyone who buys a Fiesta ST is searching for its boulevard ride at the top of the list of attributes.

  • paulgdeaton

    I drove a (rental) 500L in Sicily; after all the negative comments I had seen, I was pleasantly surprised. It performed well; the ride was better than I expected on some not-well-kept roads; and the interior was comfortable, if somewhat bland.

    The “sitting in an office chair” description is not too far off the mark, but I found “sitting in an office chair” to be a comfortable way to sack away the miles (or, more correctly in this case, kilometers).

  • The GLA was based on a not so good car? So far the new A class has recieved a lot compliments, no dought the new GLA will be better.

  • Classic Bob

    One of the rare occasions i agree (mostly) with CR’s list. I’d just move the Fiat up one or two notches (it’s not that bad), there’s absolutely no worse new car i’ve ever driven than the Mitsubishi Mirage.

  • MarketAndChurch

    It’s pretty bad that most of these are small cars.

    • Bash


    • Matt

      It’s actually not surprising they are small cars. They have the lowest profit margins and are more likely to be compromised to bring costs down.

  • Matteo Tommasi

    Making obvious claims, as for the fiesta, doesn’t help this review: I wouldn’t take it so seriously

  • Stephen G

    CR sucks. If they don’t like the 500L maybe they would like a 1978 Lincoln Town Car better. It addresses all the dislikes about the 500L. In today’s automotive market place each brand is created to fit different needs. It’s no longer one size fits all. I’ve never driven one but I’m guessing that the 500L makes for an excellent grocery getter for running around town. It’s affordable, practical and efficient, although I’m sure it’s hard to beat the Honda Fit unless you want 4wd. I’ve read that the ride in the Countryman is stiffer! Many people appreciate a vehicle that is easy to enter and exit (especially as we age). It’s unfortunate that CR only seems to recognize cars for the well to do 25 to 35 years olds.

  • DMax

    You know CR is a joke when they compare a Mirage to the FiST, one of the all time hot hatch greats. The FiST ride is not fidgety on smooth roads, it is a quite bumpy on potholes and uneven roads, thanks to over dampened stock shocks and 40 profile tires. Anyway I drive it everyday on NYC pothole ridden streets and don’t mind it at all, but it’s not for everyone for sure.

  • alexxx

    This is a joke….

  • KAG25

    500L sounds as bad as it looks

  • onufree

    Ironically, the Fiat 500L is produced in the Serbian Zastava plants, where another worst-car-ever, the Yugo, was manufactured. Actually I think the Yugo is not really that bad, it even has some charm. The 500L was even once the official Popemobile for the American tour, but it was not enough to compete with its smaller brother in terms of cult and sweetness.

  • onufree

    In Europe, Mitsubishi Mirage is unproperly named Space Star, just like the 90s minivan produced for Europe in the Netherlands. Both cars are incomparable – the first Space Star is of a higher class, solid-built and still had the typical Mitsubishi quality. The new one (Mirage) corresponds to the increasing demand in Europe for basic city cars, being one of the cheapest. For sure there will always be a place in space for such cars, but this one is definitely not the brightest star. At least it shouldn’t have been called Space Star, as it has nothing to do with the original.

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