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Used cars to avoid like they are on fire

There is plenty of information about cars that keep their overall value well. However where there is a high there is also a low, with so many makes and models out there it’s hard to know which ones are nothing but trouble. While it is safe to say that every year cars become more and more reliable, there will always be some that just don’t cut the mustard. Here we discuss several vehicles that should not be bought new or used at any cost.

The Heartbeat of America

Chevrolet S-10 Pickup
It seems the Chevrolet brand has quite a few on the worst of lists, if they are the heartbeat of America perhaps America should be concerned with the health of her heart. Chevrolet Blazer

The S-10 Pickup and the Blazer are both repeat offenders as bad investments due to overwhelmingly extensive and continuous mechanical problems.

It’s not just the trucks that Chevy seems to have a problem with, the Uplander Minivan was rated by Forbes magazine to be 123% worse than the average car’s score as far as reliability goes.

Even the full sized pickups have gotten a bad rap. Cars.com rated both the full sized Silverado and the mid-sized Colorado at the bottom of the heap with regards to their residual value.

Have you driven a Ford lately?

Ford F150

Ford built the first pickup truck way back when, you would think that they had perfected the art of lasting power within the market. This may be true for some models, but unfortunately not all of them. Again Cars.com rates the pickups poorly, both the F-150 and the Ranger were rated low for their overall residual value.

Ford Ranger
In fact Forbes magazine named the Ranger as the American car with the fewest satisfied owners. Shocking considering the roots of this little truck.

The Taurus showed up on multiple worst of lists as did the Freestar van. Even the Crown Victoria, a favorite of cab companies and police organizations alike showed up 1st and 2nd respectively on Consumer Reports ‘Worst of’ list.

Grab life by the horns

Dodge Ram 1500
This author owns a Dodge 1500 herself and was hoping not to see it on any of these lists, unfortunately however it did show up. MSNBC rated both the Ram 1500 and the Durango SUV poorly when it comes to residual value.
Dodge Durango

The Dakota mid sized pickup seemed to escape unscathed. However it was the minivans that seemed to fare the worst for Dodge with MSNBC, although the Sprinter Van had the highest value of all of the worst.

Dodge CaravanThe Caravan had no such luck with Consumer reports who ranked it fifth of the worst ten and said that they only sold due to the overwhelming numbers of them. In fact Consumer Reports ranked the Grand Caravan among the worst from 1998-2005.

There are many different ‘Worst Of’ lists to go through and each one deserves a look if you are purchasing a new or used vehicle. This data here is not definitive, only a cross section of the many lists researched, to be used purely as a guide to the worst of the worst.

3 thoughts on “Used cars to avoid like they are on fire

  1. John

    There is some bias in consumer’s report. Most Asian immigrants and students drive Japanese cars. Approximately a half of these drivers don’t know cars at all. They don’t complain as much as they should or they could.

    I own a 2005 Toyota Highlander, starting from 5000 mi, it started to have “steering wheel knocking”. I waited until it become more obvious and had it the steering column assembly changed at about 19000 mi. It’s under warranty. Yet the wheel alignment is not covered. You have to have it done after steering column is changed. I paid $80 for that. The knocking is not so easily detectable by most drivers (even inexperience auto mechanics). It can only be detected when the engine, hence the power steering system, is running, by wiggling the steering wheel at certain speed and a small angle.

    I had the exact same problem ten years ago with a Mitsubishi Magna Altera, which occurred at about 12,000 mi.

    I have good experience with Ford, Mazda, and GM cars. I have bad experience with a Dodge.

    Statistics does indicate overall quality of different brands. But luck can bring you a bad Toyota or a good Ford.

  2. Dee

    My Dodge Voyager is wonderful I’ve had it since 2000 and not a lick of trouble until 2007 and I am sure that could have been avoid with just regular maintance

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