Is there any more terrifying thought than spending a bunch of money on a car only to find out that it’s just plain horrible? Unreliable, underpowered, unsafe, low-quality. Well, luckily for you, I’m here to save you that heartbreak.
In this article, I’ll be going through some absolutely horrible cars from the last 20 years that you should never ever ever buy. These are the horrible cars that’ll make you regret you ever bought them!
2016 Tesla Model X
Despite the massive amount of hype around Tesla these days, we have to remember that they’re still a very new company. And as all new companies do, they’re bound to make some mistakes. The 2016 Model X was definitely one of those mistakes.
Apparently, there were major problems with this model year’s falcon-wing doors, and it was just an unreliable car overall. Apparently, too, the windshield on the 2016 Model X can cause drivers to experience double vision at night, a phenomenon that’s been named “ghosting”. Yeah, that’s a little scarier than your Tinder match not texting you back.
It seems like Tesla’s ironed out the kinks in the Model X by now, but it’s definitely best to avoid the 2016 model.
2006-2009 Pontiac Torrent
When you have a car named after a blackmarket internet browser, you can’t really expect quality. Okay, so maybe Pontiac didn’t name it for that reason, but this car still sucks, especially models built between 2006 and 2009. These were the worst of a couple lemons Pontiac left behind before disappearing in the midst of GM’s bankruptcy.
The Torrent was riddled with problems in the drivetrain, fuel system and power equipment from ‘06 to ‘08. And sure, it does share most of its parts with the Chevy Equinox, so repairs won’t cost you a fortune, but let’s just say it adds up when you’re running to the mechanic every other week.
2008 Jaguar X-Type
You probably wouldn’t expect a Jaguar to be on a list of horrible cars. And typically, Jaguars are fairly solid. Sure, they aren’t the cream of the crop in the luxury sector, but they’re still usually pretty well-made and fun to drive. What lands the 2008 X-Type on this list is the major problems it has with its front-wheel drive, the junkyard-quality material they used for the interior, the fact that it gets just 22 highway miles to the gallon, and last but not least, the unreasonably high price tag.
The 2008 X-Type retailed at $36,000, which isn’t ridiculously high, but do you really want to pay that just so you can go to the gas pump every five minutes until your front axle falls off? Didn’t think so.
2015 MINI Countryman
As much as we love BMW, and acknowledge that any car bearing a BMW badge is going to give you a solid level of reliability, something’s got to be done about their sub-brand MINI, specifically the 2015 Countryman. The transmission on that model year is more likely to break than your lazy coworker around noon.
And this problem is certainly not a one-off by MINI, Countryman’s made between 2007 and 2011 also had a similar transmission problem. And while it felt unnecessary to put the MINI Cooper on this list, those cars have had countless problems with the exhaust, clutch, turbocharger, and pretty much any other component you can think of.
2009-2010 Audi A4
Used Audis have been referred to as sinkholes of service problems. However, it sort of seems like their getting their act together in the last few years, but I guess only time will tell. One car that’s proven that it can’t stand the test of time is the Audi A4 from 2009 and 2010.
The A4 has been an oil-chugger throughout its entire lifespan, and that’s a problem that will start up right around 60,000 miles in the 2009 and 2010 models, and will probably cost you around $6,000 to repair. Another problem you might experience around 60,000 miles? Full-on engine failure, which is not only dangerous but can be extremely costly as well.
The A4’s reliability ratings have been steadily climbing since 2010, but I would definitely avoid getting a 2010 A4 or anything earlier.
2015 Jeep Compass
If you’re main goal in buying a car is to take it off-road and explore the mountains, then the Jeep Compass might be a decent purchase. However, in pretty much every other way imaginable, this car is garbage.
First of all, either of the 4-bangers offered in the 2015 model are somehow underpowered yet piercingly loud. If you’re going to shatter my eardrums at least give me some power with it… The Compass also isn’t great on handling, and, like all Jeeps, has pretty poor fuel economy. Exterior and Interior design on the compass are certain nothing to write home about, and the 2015 model got an especially bad reliability rating.
If you want to go off-road and you absolutely need a Jeep, you’re better off with a Wrangler or a Renegade.
Any Maserati Ghibli (Ever)
At this point, Maserati is pretty much the laughing stock of the luxury car world. Since 2016, they’ve ranked dead last in reliability scores across 40 brands, which is probably because they’ve changed ownership at least 6 times in their history, and no one knows what the hell to do with them. The Ghibli is perhaps the worst of all the awful cars they’ve put out.
The interior of the Ghibli is extremely low quality for a car that costs $80,000. It basically looks like the inside of an entry level Chrysler, with all its plastic buttons and dials. Plus, the roofline slopes so hard that you’ll be craning your neck even as you’re driving, And no, Maserati will not pay for you to go to a chiropractor.
The base 2020 Ghibli lacks many of the tech and safety features that brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes have been offering for years, like a 360 camera, lane departure warning, and forward-collision braking. If you want these features, you’re going to have to buy a premium package, which I think is just absolutely ridiculous on an $80,000 car.
And that $80,000 is going to go poof as soon as you drive off the lot, because like any expensive car that’s incredibly unreliable, the Ghibli depreciates like crazy. There’s more I could say about the Ghibli, but I think I’ll leave it off by saying: just don’t buy one… ever.
2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinder
Nissans in general have performed far better than the industry average in reliability scores, but one vehicle that’s definitely hurting their overall score is the Pathfinder, specifically the model years 2013 and 2014.
2013 Pathfinders had nine separate recalls for just about everything you can imagine. Brake issues, airbag failures, faulty hinges, electrical problems, leaky cooling lines, you name it. The 2014 model is notorious for a defective CVT control valve that causes it to shudder violently while accelerating. That just doesn’t sound pleasant at all…
Here’s an idea: find a path that leads you as far as possible from a Nissan Pathfinder.
2007-2014 GMC Acadia
GMC should stand for “Guaranteed Mechanic Call”, because that’s what you get when you buy one of their ridiculously unreliable rides. It’s hard to find any GMC model that hasn’t ended up on a most unreliable list somewhere, but the Acadia just might be their worst offering to date.
Any Acadia produced between 2007 and 2014 is going to come with a whole mess of transmission issues, drivetrain problems, and malfunctions in the climate control system. That means if you take your Acadia up to the cold Acadian regions of Maine and Canada, you might just end up freezing to death! No thank you…
2006-2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser
The PT Cruiser, particularly between the years of 2006 and 2008, is exactly what my ex-girlfriends probably say about me, fugly and unreliable. If you didn’t take one look at that super weird body shape and walk away, you already made your first mistake. But if you were to actually get behind the wheel of one of these strange machines, you’d soon find out just how many internal problems it has.
The 2008 model was especially plagued with electrical issues, while the engine also gave owners quite a hard time. I’d say if your engine breaks down on your PT Cruiser and you have to pull off to the side of the road, hitchhike out of there and leave that fugly thing behind.
Honorable Mention: Terrible Trucks
The RAM 1500 has been a solid truck throughout most of its lifespan, but absolutely do not buy a 2014 or 2015 model. For some reason, the reliability scores in those years absolutely tanked due to problems with the brake systems and power components.
The 2008 GMC Canyon was an especially weak year for this compact pickup. It’s powertrain in every trim level was underpowered, with the base four-cylinder offering just 185 horsepower. The interior quality was also disappointing, as is the price you’ll have to pay for such low quality.
Another truck that’s pretty underwhelming in almost every way is the 2007 Chevy Colorado. This pickup came out right around the time of the gas crisis, and so Chevy wanted to offer a fuel-efficient option to the larger Silverado. The result was a wimpy pickup with a weak engine, poor towing capability, zero off-road prowess, and an uncomfortable interior.
If you’re looking for more power, be wary of the Chevy Silverado 2500HD from 2015 and 2016. These trucks had serious problems with suspension, cabin noises and leaks, and power equipment, causing their reliability scores to drop way below normal scores for the Silverado 2500HD in other years.