In the annual Consumer Reports car rankings, testers assess automobiles from each angle of performance and ownership. The most comfortable, best-driving vehicles notch the top scores, while overpriced duds and poorly made budget cars make up the bottom of the automotive barrel.
Regarding value, Consumer Reports considers midsize sedans the benchmark. Reliable, cheap to operate, and adaptable to more situations than other segments, the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and two Subaru models topped the class of 2015. On the other side of the ledger were the bloated, high-priced, or otherwise clunky automobiles the testers considered the worst for the money they cost.
Scores are based on five-year cost of ownership per mile, reliability, and road performance. Here are the five new vehicles named the worst values on the market.
1. BMW 750Li
The BMW 750Li ($91,000) packs a wallop with 445 horsepower from the rear wheels, but Consumer Reports testers weren’t impressed by the experience for the six-figure price tag. Complaints surfaced about the confusing controls and lack of agility in a long-wheelbase luxury sedan that should specialize in such things, while the 7 Series as a whole received lower ratings than it has in the past.
2. Fiat 500L
Priced at $19,195, there is no midsize sedan available for what you would pay for a Fiat 500L. Save your money, said Consumer Reports testers. The 500L, which is longer than the compact two-door by 2 feet, was plagued by an awkward driving position, stiff feel, and uncomfortable seats. Coupled with bad crash-test scores and cut-rate technology, this Fiat was rated a poor value even at its low price.
3. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
While loving the off-road attitude of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited ($26,595), testers bashed this vehicle for its endless cabin noise and subpar handling in everyday driving. Interior quality and general vehicle comfort also rated poorly for Unlimited models. Poor crash-test scores in the two-door model (with marginal ratings for four-door models) sealed the Wrangler’s fate in the eyes of Consumer Reports.
4. Mercedes S550
As with the high-end 7 Series sedan landing on this list, the Mercedes S550 has a lot to live up to with a base price of $94,400. Despite giving this car the third-highest score (96) of all vehicles tested for 2015, Consumer Reports considers the range-topping Benz one of the poorest values because of poor reliability and general complications in driver controls. Call it an automotive paradox, though we bet high maintenance costs doomed the S550.
5. Toyota Tacoma
In the Toyota Tacoma V6 pickups ($27,825), testers considered the engine excessively loud and the ride clumsy for anything other than short distances. An awkward driving position, small cabin height, and overall uncomfortable feel further cursed the V6 Tacoma among Consumer Reports testers. Despite its strong marks in reliability, the publication considered this midsize pickup a value bust, one of the five worst of 2015.
Source: Consumer Reports