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Agree or Disagree? Consumer Reports says that these are the 10 'least-satisfying' cars to own...

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Actually, small CUVs are the 'least satisfying' to own, according to CR.

Consumer Reports' annual satisfaction survey results are often trumpeted by the automakers whose entries top the list. But there's a dark side to these rankings too. Down here, in the dregs of the list, we find cars that most owners say they wouldn't buy again, and this list is dominated by the sub- and midcompact SUVs that have slowly been replacing budget-oriented sedans and hatchbacks.
These 10 new models were rated by CR subscribers who were asked whether they'd make the same purchase again under the same circumstances with the benefit of hindsight, meaning it's not just a straightforward measurement of brand or model loyalty. The sheer quantity of small SUVs on this list suggests that owners may be unsatisfied with "big" options that aren't really big. Even the most satisfying car on this list, the Kia Forte, only managed to win over 47% of owners. For those in the #1 and #2 slots (we won't spoil them for you), the number of owners who would buy the same car again drops to fewer than 1 in 3. Yikes.

So, without further ado, here they are: the 10 least-satisfying new cars to own in the United States.

10 – Kia Forte


Kia's second-smallest model is due for upgrades, and customers seem to have noticed. We appreciate its enthusiast-friendly GT Line and GT offerings, but customers don't appear to be taking to it as an everyday car.

9 – Cadillac XT4


We have our own misgivings about the XT4's value proposition, and it appears buyers find it lacking as well. It's not particularly fun to drive, the interior is a bit of a letdown and it's not priced as aggressively we we'd like. Maybe the secret to success lies in tweaking that formula.

8 – Jeep Renegade


The Jeep Renegade has always been a hatchback in disguise, and the early manual-transmission, all-wheel-drive models were a ton of fun to throw around a narrow backroad, but that combination hasn't been offered in years. What's left is a Fiat 5-door with a Jeep badge, and that doesn't seem to be cutting the mustard with current owners.

7 – Jeep Compass


We'd say "see above," but that doesn't seem fair. The Compass addresses the Renegade's dimensional shortcomings, but we suspect its lack of powertrain diversity combined with the lazy nine-speed gearbox contribute to owners' dissatisfaction. Updates are on the way, and Europe's 4xe plug-in hybrid may make its way stateside eventually.

6 – Infiniti QX50


Nissan and Infiniti had a rough showing on this list, with three vehicles appearing between them. A QX55 "coupe" model was just added to the line and the QX50 received some content updates for 2022, but there's not much else visible on the horizon for Infiniti's small SUV.

5 – Nissan Rogue Sport


Prior to the regular Rogue's redesign, the Rogue Sport actually had some advantages over its larger sibling in terms of refinement and styling. That the Rogue didn't make this list speaks to the scope of its redesign, but that doesn't help the Rogue Sport's cause any.

4 – Infiniti Q50


Rounding out the Nissan/Infiniti section is the Q50 sedan. This descendant of the enthusiast-friendly G35 and G37 failed to capture the magic of its predecessors and has obviously left its buyers unfulfilled.

3 – Chevy Trax


A former Autoblogger referred to the Trax as a "homely little jelly bean" that wasn't a particularly good value and offered a subpar driving experience. It appears buyers have noticed.

2 – Ford EcoSport

Ford's subcompact stopgap was long in the tooth when it arrived on U.S. shores back in 2017, and things haven't improved since. This rental-fleet staple is cheap for a reason. We're frankly amazed the EcoSport didn't take first place in this "contest" by a significant margin, and this was likely its final opportunity to do so, as Ford is axing the model from its U.S. lineup this year. Good riddance.

1 – Toyota C-HR


Toyota is no stranger to topping Consumer Reports lists, but we suspect this is one honor they'd sooner hand off to the competition. The C-HR was initially panned as one of the most egregious SUV pretenders on the market given its lack of all-wheel-drive even as an option. The lack of decent cargo space (thanks in no small part to that sporty small-hatchback roof taper) probably doesn't help. We're surprised the C-HR edged out the EcoSport, but we're not that surprised. Only 29% of buyers would pull the trigger on the little Toyota again, CR says.
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I'm genuinely surprised the Q50 made the list.
 

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I'm genuinely surprised the Q50 made the list.
Must be all of the turbo V6 owners needing engine replacements/being blamed for sludge.
 

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I bought a dealer discounted 2015 Dragon Green Sonic Hatch (new) as a winter car to keep my MINI Cooper Coupe out of the snow...ended up liking it so much that I sold it a few years later and bought a (new and facelifted) 2019 Trax....LOVED the Trax...what a great fun useful and properly sized car. Definitely big enough to take 4 regular sized coworkers to lunch, the 1.4 turbo was pretty quick from light to light and easily cruise 75 MPH at 2200 rpm....took 87 octane gas...got pretty good MPGs (My fuelly average was 34.7).

I personally LOVED the Trax and would likely buy another if I needed a small SUV again. (y) (y)(y)

Curiously, the Buick version is identical in so many ways, including the hard-plastic and cheap cargo area carpet...they didn't even try to make the Buick "Fancier" than the regular Trax in the cargo area
 

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Must be all of the turbo V6 owners needing engine replacements/being blamed for sludge.
VR30 is a little disappointing. Complicated as hell to do the same 21 MPG in the real world as the trusty old VQ37. They should have spent that money on a new transmission.
 

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I'm genuinely surprised the Q50 made the list.
I'm not. Aside from something subjective like the exterior looks, it's less compelling than the V36 G in basically every way. I wanted to want one, but it's just not very good relative to the old one. The rest one that list aren't surprising either.
 

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I'm not. Aside from something subjective like the exterior looks, it's less compelling than the V36 G in basically every way. I wanted to want one, but it's just not very good relative to the old one. The rest one that list aren't surprising either.
They seem to be a pretty common fixture in the rental lot "premium" section. In fact, that's just about the only place I see them. I don't think they are bad per-se, but certainly uninspired. One of the comments on the original article said it well (to paraphrase):

20 Years ago, Infiniti asked the question: what if we did BMW, but better? Today they ask the question: what if we copied Buick?
 

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VR30 is a little disappointing. Complicated as hell to do the same 21 MPG in the real world as the trusty old VQ37. They should have spent that money on a new transmission.
100%. I have a 370z at one point and have driven g37x. The torque converter 7 speed they ran wasn’t a bad box, but a dct would of been great
 

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They seem to be a pretty common fixture in the rental lot "premium" section. In fact, that's just about the only place I see them. I don't think they are bad per-se, but certainly uninspired. One of the comments on the original article said it well (to paraphrase):

20 Years ago, Infiniti asked the question: what if we did BMW, but better? Today they ask the question: what if we copied Buick?
Yeah, I've had both a Q50 3.7 and a QX50 with that interesting but ultimately pointless VC turbo as loaners, and they just aren't that great. Infiniti peaked in like 2010 and then nosedived pretty hard. It's a shame, because they used to make neat things. While not as 'refined', they were more fun than the BMWs they were trying to beat back then (says the guy who has owned two Infinitis from that era... ha.)
 

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The most interesting thing about that lust is the number of small CUVs. They probably do suck but I wonder if Americans have lost their appetite for small vehicles. We killed the subcompact cars and now, if sales numbers remain low, small CUVs may be the next to exit the market.

Which wouldn't be a bad thing for these particular examples, they look horrible.
 

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The most interesting thing about that lust is the number of small CUVs. They probably do suck but I wonder if Americans have lost their appetite for small vehicles. We killed the subcompact cars and now, if sales numbers remain low, small CUVs may be the next to exit the market.

Which wouldn't be a bad thing for these particular examples, they look horrible.
Problem is, you build a small CUV and if it's cheap garbage like most of them are, people notice all the cost cutting and complain it's cheap and ****ty.

But then you build a small, expensive, premium or semi-premium CUV, and people just bitch about the price for the size they are getting (see Mk I Tiguan). "Well this is Amurr'ca and I'm fat and cheap without taste and for this money I could buy something bigger and crappier quality!"
 
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