It’s the “Best of…” time of year again. This is the part of the year when we celebrate the best in innovation, sports, art, and science. The nominees and recipients shake hands and bask in the reflected glow. But a list that includes the best must, by definition, have a bottom. The best is counterbalanced by the worst. It’s yin and yang.
In the automotive world, “worst styling” is opinion, rather than fact. The AMC Pacer was a ridiculous looking car. But, it had its fans. “Least reliable,” is something else. A car that isn’t reliable, even if it looks like a million in your driveway, is to be avoided.
These are the least reliable cars on the market, according to MSN Autos and Consumer Reports. We are including the sins these cars commit that land them on the bad list.
10. Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Whoa! A shocker right out of the gate. M-B has experienced unresolved issues with the windows and the suspension.
9. Infiniti Q50: Another higher-end car with mechanical flaws. The Q50 is plagued with issues in the areas of navigation, integrated controls, Bluetooth, and power steering.
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee (Diesel): On the heels of Jeep announcing its next-gen GC, comes this unwelcome news. Fuel system problems, a faulty check-engine light, emission controls, and navigation top the list of problems for Jeep.
7. Dodge Dart (1.4-liter turbo): The Dart has sold relatively well since it was reintroduced three years ago. But the pocket-rocket turbo fails the reliability challenge. A rough shifting transmission, faulty O2 sensors, stalling, and hesitation are to blame.
6. Chevrolet Cruze (1.4-liter turbo): The Cruze has been credited with having a hand in the revitalization of Chevy’s small-car brand. But GM isn’t happy with the reliability reports on the Cruze turbo. Performance at a cheap price has long been problematic in the industry. Drive shaft and axle issues plague this one.
5. Mercedes-Benz CLA 250: The engineering folks in Germany are tearing their hair over the fit and finish issues bedeviling the CLA 250. Squeaks and rattles, the like of which Mercedes owners won’t readily tolerate, are the main problem. The audio system has proven sub-standard, as well.
4. Nissan Pathfinder: Nissan has built a reputation on reliability. The Pathfinder’s failure in that category is cause for consternation in Nissan’s Yokohama head offices. The transmission and torque converter is part of the problem. But the lift gate and windows are lower-tech parts of the car that are found wanting, as well.
3. Ford Fiesta: On the heels of word that Ford is slowing production of the Focus for low-sales reasons comes more bad news. The subcompact Fiesta has struggled to match sales with its competitor (the Fit) from Honda. Part of the reason could rise from the rough-shifting and slipping transmission issues ongoing in the Fiesta.
2. Jeep Cherokee (4-cylinder): A four-cylinder Cherokee can be all sound and fury. Unfortunately “sound” is part of what is wrong with this Jeep. Bluetooth pairing and the radio are headaches for Cherokee owners who chose the small powerplant. The rough-shifting transmission is no bargain, either.
1. Fiat 500L: What’s wrong with the stylish 500L? Sadly, what isn’t? The transmission will give you a rough go of it. The backup camera and traffic sensor are faulty. The radio is substandard and the navigation could take you into Okeefenokee Swamp. Other than that, a-ok!
Consumer Reports, MSN Autos, www.clark.com
Gildshire Reporter, Kim Hastings