Cars, especially the kind we like to buy as enthusiasts, are all big, expensive decision. And the last thing you ever want is buyers remorse. You know, that sense of regret after you make a big decision, and you start questioning your actions. And we here in the Ideal fam unfortunately took home the four cars on this list, plus one regrettable mention, and definitely felt the intense pain of buyer’s remorse!
It may not be great to be the owner of these jalopies, but the least we can do is try to help everyone else avoid these fatal car-buying mistakes. Here are some cars you should never buy.
Don’t Buy A Subaru WRX
You get exactly what you wanted. The one that checked all the boxes. The Subaru WRX looks amazing, it’s fun to drive, it’s practical, and it’s not something you see every day. Dare I say… you might think its ideal! So why, after three months of ownership, are you feeling buyer’s remorse?
WRXs are enthusiast icons. They’re great from the factory, but you always want more. So, of course you couldn’t resist adding some boost, and you tuned your WRX with a full Stage 2+ setup. The dyno sheets say 300 WHP to the crank, but it feels more like 300 to the wheels! And a legit shop did the tuning and there’s no signs the car was abused by the previous owner in any way.
But here’s the thing… you’ll always be thinking in the back of your mind: am I going to grenade the engine today? Every single time you fire that turbo four-banger, you’ll feel a small pit in your stomach forming, because chances of that happening are higher than stock. So, what happens? You drive the car like a grandpa, the most you ever run it up to is around 5,200 RPM, scared that you’re not double clutching like you should.
Anyway, you do a tiny bit of spirited driving, but nothing too serious. You start to realize you rarely get it over 10 PSI of boost and almost never go Wide Open Throttle. Why? Because every single day you become a little more paranoid something’s going to happen that’ll pop the engine, even if you are babying it. And rightly so. Just recently, Subaru was hit with its not first, not second, but third WRX engine failure lawsuit. So, this might just be a Subaru problem. And if you dig into the forums, they’re littered with “How to Avoid Ringland Failure” articles.
So, if that’s not a big enough reason to not get a regular WRX, there’s also this. It’s the biggest hurdle of them all. You’ll be asking yourself: should I have bought an STI instead? Yes, you should have. You know, bigger brakes, limited slip diffs, the confidence of knowing you went big and got the best AWD Rally Banger you can get. The WRX is just half-assed, and you’re going to regret it. I mean, you might regret getting an STI too, but I’m not talking about a Subaru (wink wink).
Don’t Buy A Mazda RX-8
There was once this little JDM with this little twin-turbo Wankel that set the world on fire! Yeah, you remember how the FD RX-7 revolutionized the world and showed that the rotary was king? And then do you remember when Mazda discontinued the RX-7 and replaced it with the RX-8? There was so much promise for the successor. It had the striking good looks, and suicide doors. It kept the rotary Wankel engine. Wankel… now that’s a fun word to say. Oh right, and that little triangle-powered engine spun to a ludicrous 9,500 RPMs! It had the nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution, and it’s commonly referred to as one of the best worst cars ever! Even for the most inexperienced drivers, the RX-8 inspired confidence behind the wheel.
So, why would you regret owning one? Well, 9,500 RPM spinning triangles sound bomb. In real life, though, these things were actually bombs. The Renesis 13B-MSP engines that powered the RX-8 were really poorly built, with engine housings that warped and apex seals that were somehow worse than those found in the earlier RX-7. Whoever thought 200 horsepower to the rear wheels was lacking and wanted to add a little boost to their RX-8 just created a ticking time bomb. What the f*** was Mazda thinking?
Okay, maybe I’m overreacting. But Mazda really could have followed up the legendary FD RX-7 with something extraordinary. And they almost did with their chassis design that’s so well engineered and just asks to be tossed around. But that engine is such an Achilles’ heel, it’s not even funny.
So, if you ever find yourself dreaming about buying an RX-8, just remember this: Mazda was forced to extend the powertrain warranty to 100,000 miles because it was so unreliable. And nowadays, every single RX-8 is out of warranty. So, you’re on your own when, not if, something catastrophic happens.
Don’t Buy A Ferrari F355
You think your psycho ex has issues? Well, the Ferrari F355 has entered the chat. Before I tear the F355 apart, and get into why it costs more to keep it on the road than it does to buy in the first place, I want to share a spicy bit about what makes this Generation F car so special! See, the F355 looks like it was sculpted by Michelangelo. And when it was introduced to the public in the mid-90’s, it was without a question the most beautiful Ferrari to come out of Maranello in decades! Plus, the sound that 375-horsepower 3.5-liter V8 makes as it screams up to redline is absolutely intoxicating!
But, and there’s always a but, while the notes coming out of an F355s tailpipes might be intoxicating, the headers that supply those notes to the exhaust are purely toxic. They have a 100% failure rate. Yes, I mean 100% fail! And it’s completely at random, which is pretty terrifying. And if you drive around with these failed headers, there’s a good chance you’ll need a full engine rebuild or worse! Not to mention, an engine rebuild on an F355 will cost you about as much as putting a kid through college!
Also, the F355 has notoriously weak bronze valve guides, like weaker than a knife cutting through hot butter. And to replace them for peace of mind will cost you as much as a new purse and pair of shoes from Gucci for girl. Or you’ll just have to sell the car!
And thats not all. The main reason this Ferrari has more buyer’s remorse than any other F car? Four little words: routine engine-out service. Yes, every single 3 to 5 years, you will need to do an engine-out service to change the timing belts. And each time that’s performed, it’ll cost about as much as a nice E36 M3! And really, it’s sad that this is the last generation F car that needs engine-out service. Its successor, the Ferrari 360, has an engine-in belt service in the same timeframe, and it costs about half as much to keep on the road as the 355. And then, Ferrari F430 has a timing chain not a timing belt, and it’s even cheaper to maintain than the 360!
So, what did we learn? Buying a “cheap” Ferrari… isn’t that cheap at all! Invest the money up front on a newer generation ‘Rari, and you’ll not only spend more time on the road, you’ll spend less time working a third job to pay for keeping that ride alive.
Don’t Buy A 3rd Generation Range Rover Sport
Alright, show of hands, who here has wanted a Range Rover before? Yeah, me too. Yes, they’re gorgeous. Yes, they ooze success. And yes, Range Rovers are absolute nightmares. So, never get one! The amount of electrical gremlins these big British SUVs have is terrifying! They are a freaking fire hazard!
We just featured the Range Rover Sport as one of the six cars that will make you look rich in our video. So, if that’s your goal, go check out the other five options, and bring your bank account. But trust me, buy one with an extended warranty, because that air suspension is definitely going to fail on you. And once you fix that, something else is going to fail on you. Every single time!
Since Range Rovers are one of the most expensive SUVs available, those repairs will not be cheap! Sure, you just paid $10,000 to buy a lightly-used Rover, but to the mechanic, you’re still fixing a $100,000+ MSRP lemon. And that’s why these make you look rich: because everyone knows you have to be ballin’ to keep the thing running!
Don’t Buy A Tesla
Any new car brand is going to have growing pains. And sure, Tesla has been around for over a decade, making really incredible electric cars! But… many Tesla owners are being shocked into buyer’s remorse, and that’s because when it comes time to defibrillate their dying Tesla, it can take weeks, even months, to get them back on the road!
Why? Well, not just anyone can fix a Tesla. These aren’t run-of-the-mill passenger cars, they’re technological marvels, and there’s a huge shortage of qualified repair personnel. And unreasonably long wait times for parts and a lack of Telsa-approved repair centers has been a big problem since Teslas first hit the streets.
Plus, now that everyone wants to drive the car of the future, the problem is becoming exponentially worse! Not good if that’s your only ride! I mean, you bought the car to save the planet, right? Well then, it’s a good thing taking the bus is the greenest way to get around town because you’re going to be riding public transit for months while you wait to get your Model S repaired.