Most people know that buying a new car is an “emotional” experience. The old saying goes…”when it comes to buying a new car, people generally make a choice based on emotion (i.e. how the car will make you feel when you own it)…then back up that emotional choice with a “logical” justification (i.e. I’ll save money because it gets great gas mileage). Sometimes though, one or both of those components go awry…and buyers remorse sets in.Consumer Reports recent survey of new car purchasers focused on asking owners of 2014-2017 model-year cars if they had it to do all over again…would they buy the same car again. The good news is that 70 percent of the survey respondents essentially said “yes”…they’re happy. That leaves many people however, that were something less than satisfied.
The following list of vehicles from the most most unsatisfied buyers are what you might call…the bottom of the barrel.
Least-Satisfying Overall: Acura ILX
The Acura ILX is a swing and a miss, in both CR testing and when judged by owners. It falls 10 percentage points below the Mercedes-Benz CLA in the same category, itself a disappointing entry. Across all car types, the ILX has the lowest satisfaction, followed closely by the Dodge Dart and Jeep Compass. The ILX was challenged from the start as a pricey, dressed-up Honda Civic. Acura made several key updates for the 2016 model year, but even when looking at ratings on just those freshened sedans, they are no different than older model years.
- “Lacks acceleration, noisy, poor quality paint, shaky ride… very expensive for the poor quality offered.”
- “It shifts too soon into higher gear, making acceleration feel sluggish unless under hard acceleration.”
- “Road noise is very pronounced. I will be trading the ILX in as soon as I can on something quieter.”
Small SUV: Jeep Compass
Lackluster performance, a cramped and austere cabin, narrow front seats, and difficult rearward views are just some of the faults we found with Jeep’s small SUV entry. The Compass has lost its way with owners, too. Our survey found that just 42 percent of respondents said they would definitely buy one again. Complaints included feeble acceleration and too much road noise, and it was rated uncommonly poor in overall comfort.
- “Doesn’t have any power; the gas mileage could be better.”
- “The driver’s seat cannot be raised, and it is hard for a short person to see over a bulky dash.”
- “The air conditioning indicator for on or off is very difficult to see.”
Midsized SUV: Nissan Pathfinder
The Pathfinder name conjures memories of rugged, truck-based forebears, but this latest softer, gentler iteration is more minivan-like. Frankly, it lacks off-road ruggedness and is boring to drive. Even owners are nonplussed, with the survey showing that they didn’t rate any areas of the vehicle highly. Just 50 percent of owners were very satisfied with its value. To make matters worse, reliability remains an ongoing concern.
- “It had quite a few issues when it was new which the dealer had to handle.”
- “I’m just very disappointed with the car. Sideboard popped off. Trim on front bumper keeps popping out. Gas mileage is severely lower than what was advertised.”
- “Seats are very uncomfortable. Four of us did a road trip, and all four drivers could not get the seat adjusted so your back didn’t hurt.”
Click Read More for details on these models too:
- Small Car: Dodge Dart
- Midsized Sedan: Chrysler 200
- Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan
- Pickup Truck: Nissan Frontier