Consumer Reports Defines the Worst Used Car in 10 Categories

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From This List You Can Deduce the Worst Used Car in America

The Fiat 500L is considered the worst used car in the US by Consumer Reports. (c) FCA

Looking for the worst used cars out there? Consumer Reports has published its list of the worst used cars in 10 categories. And, using its ranking system, it’s possible to determine the worst used car on the market.

According to Consumer Reports (subscription required) its Overall Score provides a complete perspective for the worst used car in each category. The score combines:

  • road-test score,
  • reliability,
  • owner satisfaction, and,
  • safety, including government and insurance industry crash-test results.

The report by Consumer Reports refers to the 2016 model year but what makes these new cars bad is they haven’t been updated in years. In other words, their used car equivalents are not going to be good cars either.

Interested in buying one of these used cars? Please get a pre-purchase vehicle inspection because most of these are rated low for reliability.

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Lowest-Rated Subcompact

The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is the worst-rated used subcompact on the market. (c) Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Mirage – Score 34

Consumer Reports knocks this car the Mitsubishi Mirage for its three-cylinder engine and what it terms a drab and unsubstantial interior. However, you should be able to find good deals on one. On the plus side, it does get average marks for reliability, which is not that common among this list of worst used cars.

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Lowest-Rated Compact

The Fiat 500L is considered the worst used car on the market by Consumer Reports. (c) Fiat

Fiat 500L – Score 31

This is the car that Consumer Reports considers the worst of the worst. It has the lowest score among any of the 10 worst cars (and, therefore, the worst score on the list). Most disconcerting about the score from Consumer Reports is its reliability rating, which is a black circle. That’s the worst reliability rating the consumer testing agency can give a product. Plus, there’s the fact that its current owners seem to dislike it so much.

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Lowest-Rated Midsized Sedan

The Chrysler 200 is deemed the worst midsize used car on the market by Consumer Reports. (c) Chrysler

Chrysler 200 – Score 51 to 53

The big complaint with this midsize sedan comes from its black circle of reliability as well as concerns with its nine-speed transmission. Chrysler has been working out the kinks on the transmission for quite some time. It’s enough to give used car buyers pause. The score varies because of different engine options. This might be a good option as certified pre-owned.

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Lowest-Rated Compact Luxury Car

The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is the worst in its class according to Consumer Reports. (c) Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz CLA250 – Score 53

Once again that black circle of reliability pops up, which is disconcerting in a luxury car like the Mercedes-Benz CLA250. There’s a sense you should not be paying extra money for more problems. Consumer Reports also points out owner satisfaction is below average. Once again, luxury shouldn’t equal dissatisfaction.

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Lowest-Rated Midsized Luxury Car

The Lincoln MKS is rated worst in the midsize luxury segment by Consumer Reports. (c) Lincoln

Lincoln MKS – Score 59

At least the reliability is average on the Lincoln MKS. The problems associated with this car have more to do with its refinement, interior space, and, frankly, its age. Everything just feels outdated about the MKS. That makes it a loser in the competitive midsize, luxury sedan market. There are better near-luxury midsize sedan offerings from Hyundai and Kia that outshine the MKS.

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Lowest-Rated Family SUV

The Dodge Journey is rated worst in its class by Consumer Reports. (c) Dodge

Dodge Journey – Score 45

There’s an unnerving trend popping up among the FCA offerings. (That includes Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge.) It’s that nasty little black circle of reliability. The Journey is a nice SUV but it gets poor fuel economy and it scores poorly in the IIHS small-overlap frontal test, which is not something desirable in a family vehicle.

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Lowest-Rated Luxury Compact SUV

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is worst in its class because of low reliability. (c) Land Rover

Land Rover Discovery Sport – Score 47

The allure of Land Rovers continues to elude me. I find them overpriced and their reliability has consistently been an issue. The Discovery Sport is no exception with its black circle of reliability – and it’s not even an FCA vehicle. I find no compelling reason to go against Consumer Reports on this vehicle. It’s just a cheaply made vehicle for its pricetag.

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Lowest-Rated Large Luxury SUV

The Cadillac Escalade is considered the worst luxury SUV on the market by Consumer Reports. (c) Cadillac

Cadillac Escalade – Score 44

OK, if ever there were a vehicle I wish wasn’t on the list, it would have to be the Cadillac Escalade. It’s totally irrational how much I like the Cadillac Escalade. But the facts are there to refute my affection. It gets the black circle of reliability and it receives low marks for its ride and handling. Plus, there’s the maddening CUE entertainment system. I can agree with Consumer Reports on that point.

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Lowest-Rated Minivan

The Chrysler Town & Country is the worst minivan on the market but it's a competitive segment. So, its not that bad. (c) Chrysler

Chrysler Town & Country – Score 62

This isn’t so much a case of this being a bad vehicle. It’s just the lowest-rated vehicle in an extremely competitive segment. While it’s apparently easy to find a bad used car, it’s tough to find a bad used minivan. Plus, the Town & Country has average reliability, which is not a common trait among FCA vehicles. With the introduction of the new Chrysler Pacifica, you should be able to find good deals on used Town & Country models.

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Lowest-Rated Green Car

The Mitsubishi i-MieEV is the worst electric vehicle on the used car market according to Consumer Reports. (c) Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi i-MiEV – Score 45

The only thing surprising about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is how it managed to score so high. I spent a fairly miserable week with this car recently. The only thing going for it new is its price as the cheapest electric vehicle on the market. As Consumer Reports points out, though, it’s barely a step above a golf cart. I used to work at a golf course. Golf carts are a lot more fun to drive.