Consumer Reports’ road testing is one of the most thorough and punishing automotive tests in the world. Its in-depth and impartial methods separate the serious contenders from the also-rans, and gives an unvarnished view of a car’s real-world performance. Because of this, the magazine has the unique position of being able to make or break a new car in a way that no other publication has. On top of the report card-like rating system, everything from the quality of interior trim to a car’s handling in emergency situations can be summed up in their five-point rating system ranging from excellent to poor.
On rare occasions, cars fall below even the lowest poor rating, earning a harsh and foreboding “Not Acceptable” rating. And as the last few decades have shown, that’s when all hell breaks loose. During the 1980s and 1990s, automakers began rushing SUVs to the market to satisfy the growing demand. Consumer Reports soon had its hands full warning the public about the increased risk of rollovers, and fending off lawsuits from irate automakers who felt the magazine’s tests were unfairly biased against SUVs. But CR issued its fair share of “Not Acceptable” ratings long before the SUV dominated American roads, and history has largely absolved the magazine, as it’s now conventional wisdom that older full-size SUVS are a bigger rollover risk than their smaller counterparts. From microcars to hulking SUVs, here are 25 cars that Consumer Reports never wanted to see on the road.