By March 9, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Wost Cars according to Consumer Reports

  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

jeepwrangler

The Jeep Wrangler received one of the lowest scores on Consumer Reports, getting just a 17% approval rate. While it is lauded for its off road driving, there are plenty of other qualities where the Wrangler falls short, such as the noise it makes, the handling and ride, the comfort (or lack thereof), the style, visibility, and more.

The car was test driven by Consumer Reports, and while it did excel in off road drivng, this wasn’t considered. The reason for this is because, while some may use the Jeep to drive off the road, most people are just going to use it for more everyday activities and won’t be interested in how well it rates in that area. Chrysler spokespeople cite this as the main reason that the Jeep Wrangler rated low, considering that the main point of the vehicle is for off road usage and heavy duty activities. We’ll leave it up to the consumers to decide.

  • Hummer H3 (5 Cyl.)

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The Hummer H3 did a lot better than the Jeep Wrangler, getting a 27% Consumer Reports satisfaction rating. Like the Wrangler, it also does well in the area of off road usage, and it’s also notable in its ability to do circle turning. It’s ballarina antics don’t save it at the end of the day, though, and the Hummer H3 fails fails to hit the mark on handling in emergencies, ability to accelerate, gas mileage, durability, among other things.

General Motors retorts that the Hummer H3 is prized very highly by Hummer fans, and that anyhow, when you buy a Hummer you are looking for one main thing: power. While some sacrificing has to be done to get to the degree of power and off road ability that the Hummer H3 offers, for many it is still worth it.

  • Jeep Liberty Sport

The Jeep Liberty Sport ties with the Hummer H3 at only a 27% Consumer Reports satisfaction rating, and for much the same reasons. Although it does well on hard terrains and off the road entirely, it has a low gas mileage, makes too much racket, is clunky and cumbersome, and lacks a defined fit and finish.

  • Chevrolet Aveo5

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As we get further down the list, the scores get better, and now we arrive at the Chevrolet Aveo5, a nice looking car which nevertheless received the low rating of 32% from Consumer Reports. It’s praised for its convenient hatchback, turning circle, and its easy access to the front seats, but the road gets darker when we turn to its lack in areas such as handling and its poor acceleration.

The Aveo5 is a tiny little thing, and the rating is based on testing done on the compact build of the car. There is also a sedan version of the Aveo5, which has not yet been taken out to test by Consumer Reports.

  • Dodge Nitro SLT

One tiny notch up you find the Dodge Niro SLT, at 33% satisfaction from Consumer Reports. CR was unable to find anything particularly noteworthy about it, but they did find plenty to criticize. Namely, they pointing to its poor handling and ride, shakey braking, inability to keep out noise along with its own contribution to the noise, low gas mileage, low quality fit and finish, low visibility, difficult access, and limited durability.

The Dodge Nitro is a poor copy of the Jeep Liberty, but it loses all of the qualities that kept the Liberty from being completely written off, such as off road ability an comfort.

  • Toyota FJ Cruiser

Next on the list is the Toyota FJ Cruiser, which comes in with a score of 36%. It has an excellent powertrain, is very reliable, and also drives admirably off the road–but all of this is compromised by the Cruiser’s weaker points, which include a low quality ride, poor handling, bad visibility, engine and road noise, a requirement for premium gas, and limited access.

  • Toyota Yaris

toyotayarisThe Toyota Yaris also gets a rating of 36%, and it has several features which might attract it to consumers: great access to the front, a tight turning circle, and an adaptable and useful hatchback. These are pretty much canceled out by the low points of the Yaris, which include a confusing shifter, poor handling, and low quality acceleration.

The ratings for the Yaris were based on the base model with a manual transmission–other models ranked better with Consumer Reports. It’s worth noting that Yaris does especially good when it comes to cost and reliability.

  • Suzuki Forenza

The Suzuki Forenza completes a three way tie, also getting a 36% rating from Consumer Reports. The only remarkable quality (positive, anyhow) on the Forenza is its excellent turning circle. Beyond that, it has an awful gas mileage, bad acceleration, dull ride, and bad crash test results for the side crash.

One other problem with the Forenza is that it doesn’t have the easiest control panel, and the anti lock brake system option is difficult to locate–and, considering that the ABS option is what keeps a vehicle from skidding out of control, this affects the safety of the Forenza.

  • Jeep Patriot Limited

The Patriot gets a 42% satisfaction rating from Consumer Reports, despite a sturdy transmission and interesting options on the car’s interior. While this is all well and good, the Patriot failed to impress with things such as high engine noise, low acceleration, uncomfortable driving positions, low visibility, and poor quality fit and finish.

The Patriot falls into the same category, concerning its engineering, as vehicles such as the Dodge Caliber and the Jeep Compass. One good thing about the Patriot is that you can buy an option for off road capability.

  • Chevrolet Trailblazer LT (6-cylinder)

chevrolettrailblazerBarely higher than the last, the Chevrolet Trailblazer LT receives a 42% rating from Consumer Reports. It does have a low speed ride, which is good, but at the same time it handles cumbersomely, has restrictive seat belts in the front, brakes nervously, has low gas mileage, loud noise, and low quality fit and finish.

Another vehicle not listed which has the same score as the Trailblazer is the GMC Envoy.

  • Mercury Grand Marquis.

Another tiny tick up is the Mercury Grand Marquis, with a rating of 43%. The Grand Marquis does have a large trunk, but while you can haul as many groceries, tents, or bodies as you like, a car needs a little more than that, don’t you think? The Marquis hits its low when it comes to several things, like the loud noises from the engine which disrupt the serenity of the drive, low gas mileage, a poor crash test result for a side crash, bad ride, lack of side curtain air bags, lack of electronic stability control, and uncomfortable seating.

The people of Ford Motor Company wanted to point out that Consumer Reports gave excellent grades to the majority of their vehicles. While this is all well and good, it doesn’t do much to redeem the Mercury Grand Marquis.

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