15 Used Cars To Avoid At All Costs


Used cars are cheap and may need only minimal initial repairs to get them running like new. If you’re lucky, you may run into a distress sale offering more than your money’s worth. However, some brands are notorious for low resale values, making their old versions more of a liability than an investment. Here are 15 car models that would be a serious headache if purchased as used cars.

Ford Fiesta (2011–2019)

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The Ford Fiesta, famous for its compact size and affordability, has faced several common glitches across its model years from 2011 to 2019. One recurring problem is transmission issues, specifically with the PowerShift automatic transmission. Owners have reported rough shifting, hesitation, and collapse, leading to costly repairs or replacements. This issue has been the subject of numerous lawsuits and recalls.

Mini Cooper (2007–2011)

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Mini Cooper models, specifically those from 2007 to 2011, have garnered a mixed reputation for reliability. Common flaws plaguing these old vehicles include transmission flaws, especially with the automatic variants, which might manifest in jerky shifts or entire breakdowns. Electrical hitches are another frequent complaint, ranging from faulty power windows to erratic dashboard warning lights. Cooling unit failures and oil leaks are also not uncommon.

Dodge Journey (2009–2019)

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Owners and critics of the Dodge Journey 2009–2019 models persistently complain about its lackluster reliability. Issues such as rough shifting, transmission errors, and slipping gears have been recurrent themes. People have sometimes criticized the cabin’s cheap materials, uncomfortable seating, and outdated technology compared to competitors in its class.

Volkswagen Passat (2006–2010)


The 2006 to 2010 model years of the Volkswagen Passat have faced their fair share of challenges. Faulty electronic parts often lead to sporadic warning lights on the dashboard and unpredictable system behavior. Mechanically, the Passat of this era also experiences a breakdown of the timing chain tensioner, potentially causing significant engine damage if not left unaddressed.

Chrysler 200 (2011–2014)

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Most Chrysler 200 models released from 2011 to 2014 have been affected by transmission fluid leaks, leading to unreliable performance and dangerous driving conditions. Another common issue with this generation’s Chrysler 200 is related to its electrical system: malfunctioning power windows, interior lights, and door locks. Electrical errors can affect the vehicle’s overall reliability and safety.

Nissan Pathfinder (2005–2010)


Pathfinders produced between 2005 and 2010 have experienced radiator coolant mixing with transmission fluid, leading to further transmission failures and potential engine damage. Several of these editions face suspension and chassis breakdowns and quick wear of the suspension bushings, ball joints, and control arms. This fault can result in poor handling, uneven tire wear, and potentially unsafe driving conditions if not addressed.

Chevrolet Aveo (2004–2011)


Many critics do not trust the Chevrolet Aveo versions produced from 2004 to 2011. They cite the vehicle’s mechanical problems, including faults with the engine, transmission, and electrical components. Moreover, Aveo’s build quality and interior materials leave much to be desired. The cabin is often criticized for its cheap plastics and lackluster design, while the safety features in earlier models may not meet modern standards.

Jeep Compass (2007–2017)


Engine performance is one recurrent fault with the 2007 to 2017 versions of the Jeep Compass. Some owners have mentioned engine overheating, oil leaks, and other mechanical faults. Additional reports of rust, particularly in regions with harsh winters or coastal climates, are rife. While the Jeep Compass offers off-road capability, potential buyers should thoroughly investigate these reports.

Land Rover Range Rover (2006–2012)

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Purchasing an old Land Rover Range Rover from the 2006-2012 releases can be risky due to leaks in the air suspension parts. These leaks result in uncomfortable rides, uneven suspension, and expensive repairs. Furthermore, the electrical system in these vehicles is notorious for malfunctioning navigation systems, air conditioning, and sensors.

Fiat 500 (2012–2019)


Though the Fiat 500 is known for its charming design and compact size, most releases between 2012 and 2019 suffer from defective dashboard lights and erratic infotainment systems. Another major frustration is its lack of interior space and comfort, especially for taller passengers. Also, the ride quality of the used versions may not be as smooth as desired, with the suspension sometimes feeling stiff.

Volkswagen Jetta (2006–2010)


Faults relating to automatic transmissions affect several 2006 to 2010 Volkswagen Jetta editions. These failures consistently stem from various factors, including faulty transmission fluids, sensor malfunctions, or more serious mechanical faults. Malfunctioning power windows, faulty door locks, or vehicle lighting challenges can be frustrating to diagnose and repair. They often require professional assistance and add to the overall cost of ownership.

Hyundai Veloster (2012–2017)


Some used Hyundai Veloster editions between 2012 and 2017 have a dual-clutch automatic transmission challenge. It can be experienced through rough shifting, hesitation, and even complete failure. Some drivers have also experienced problems with the engine’s excessive oil consumption or premature wear of engine components. While not all vehicles may encounter these issues, prospective buyers must tread carefully.

Chevrolet Cruze (2011–2016)


The Chevrolet Cruze, spanning model years 2011 to 2016, offers an appealing combination of affordability, fuel efficiency, and modern features. However, some pieces face quick wear or failure of engine parts, including the water pump, thermostat housing, and valve cover gasket. The resulting outcomes are coolant leaks, overheating, and loss of engine power, posing safety hazards and requiring immediate attention from a qualified mechanic.

Mitsubishi Mirage (2014–2019)


The Mirage’s handling and performance may not be up to par with competitors in its class, especially in models produced between 2014 and 2019. While Mitsubishi has improved quality over the years, it regularly encounters problems like electrical glitches and premature wear on brakes and suspension parts.

Smart ForTwo (2008–2015)


Despite its compact size and urban-friendly design, the Smart ForTwo has faced several issues over the years, particularly in its used models from 2008 to 2015. The automated manual transmission is a prominent concern, resulting in rough shifting, hesitation, and premature failure. Smart ForTwo’s electrical system is not left out. Repeated electrical glitches, from malfunctioning sensors to complete failures of crucial components like power steering glitches, are regular occurrences.

Written by grayson