Who Builds the Worst Cars?

Okay, so last time we talked about who Consumer Reports thought built the best cars, most all of which we agreed with. In case you didn't rush out to buy a copy of their April auto issue (we told you that you should), here's what they say, and what we think about who builds the worst vehicles...

Relying on their road tests and consumer reporting data covering 1,300,000 vehicles on 250 models, here's the ones they say are the worst:

Least Fun to Drive? For the sports car category it's the Mitsubishi Eclipse. In the small car group it's the Chevy Aveo. For mid size sedans, the Chrysler Sebring wins, if you can call it winning. We've been in all three and yup, CR's got it right on this one.

Worst Miles Per Gallon? In the small car group it's the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution tied with the Subaru Impresz WRX STi at 20 mpg. For midsize and large sedans, the Chrysler 300C ties the Mercury Grand Marquis LSE. In the SUV category, the Dodge Durango Limited bottoms out at 12 mph, beating out even the mammoth Cadillac Escalade's 13 mpg. With the new federal mpg ratings about to come out, maybe we'll get some honesty soon. But in the meantime, these are some miserable numbers...

The Slowest Vehicle? The new Smart ForTwo, which won't be out until 2008, is miles behind the pack when it takes 23.2 seconds to get up to 60 mph. But the Kia Rio LX wins the slow race for now until the cute, but terribly slow, Smart car hits the showroom floor. At this rate you can almost walk faster than the Smart car will go!

The Most Uncomfortable Cars? In no particular order (after all, if you don't like sitting in it, it doesn't really matter what one you're sitting in --- you just want to get out!), the Dodge Viper, Jeep Wrangler, Lotus Elise, and the Smart ForTwo.

The Worst Braking Car? We call this the "First Car to Hit the Wall When the Brakes Don't Stop You" award. It goes to both the Nissan Versa 1.8 S and the Toyota Yaris. They manage to slide more than half way down a football field (163 feet) before coming to a frightening, "say your prayers" stop. The Cadillac Escalade stops only 5 feet shorter, but at least with the Caddy you get lots of metal in front of you to absorb the brick wall before it gets to your front teeth!

CR gave also gave out "Most Disappointing car" booby prize awards to the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, Toyota Yaris, Dodge Nitro, and the Chrysler Sebring too, for various reasons.

If you haven't read the auto issue, it's well worth the couple of books the bookstore charges for it. And it should be mandatory reading if you are thinking about buying a new or a used car anytime soon. We don't want to sound like a commercial, but the whole issue is dedicated to telling you all about the new cars, the used cars, vehicle ratings, recommendations, and capsule reviews of 250 models. It's worth the price.

And who knows...maybe it'll keep you from getting a lemon. But if you do, call us. We'll help you out.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers, and Consumer Law Attorneys, Since 1978