Terrible Cars That Are a Total Waste of Money, According to Mechanics
Buying a car — new or used — is a big step. If you choose a lemon, it can become a drastic misstep. Of course, if you’re in the market for a car you know to do your research on the models you’re considering, different dealerships, and pricing.
With so many models on the auto market these days, however, some personal opinions, particularly from mechanics, can really help you decide. When a Reddit user asked “Mechanics of Reddit: What vehicles will you absolutely not buy/drive due to what you’ve seen at work?” mechanics answered.
Keep reading to see which vehicles auto mechanics think are a total waste of money, and if yours is on the list, consider rethinking your choice. Next, take a look at the vehicles with the best reps, according to the website Car Talk, and see if one might fit the bill.
1. Ford Focus
Responding to the question of which vehicles mechanics hate, one Reddit user said, “Any new model, automatic Focus. The M/T are fine, but the automatics are the most trash pieces of s#@%. We’ve had multiple come in with less than 5K miles with transmission leaks. I’ve not driven one that doesn’t shudder when you accelerate from a stop.”
Another Reddit user said, “Do not buy a Ford Fiesta or Focus [automatics] from 2012 to 2016. Their power steering is f#$%&*. Their transmission is f#$%&*.” This just in: Ford is currently being sued in a class-action suit regarding the PowerShift Transmission in the Focus and the Fiesta.
Next: You’ll be surprised by this one.
2. Porsche Cayenne
One Reddit mechanic said in response to the question about what the worst vehicle is, “Gen 1 Porsche Cayenne. They’re getting cheap enough for most people to afford but the cost of maintenance is ridiculous.” Another user said, “ … you have a problem with your early 2000s Toyota and an engine swap will only run you a couple thousand dollars including the installation. You have an engine failure in your early 2000’s Porsche and you’re looking at $15,000 for the engine replacement.”
Next: But this one’s so cute!
3. Volkswagen New Beetle
Apparently, the New Beetles aren’t easy to work on. When questioned about his least favorite car, one Reddit mechanic answered, “My first car was a Volkswagen New Beetle. Needed a new radiator? Guess the whole front end is coming off … again.”
Another chimed in, “I loved how big the new beetle felt. I traded my 06′ beetle for a ’12 beetle right when I was able to. Except … I got a lemon. It would constantly studder when braking, the window motors were possessed and would open and close randomly as I was driving, the check engine light was always on, and it would randomly not turn on (even though the battery was fine). I was pretty much in the VW dealership every week for one thing or another, and with their stupid diagnosis fee it was just a sinkhole for me.”
Next: Take my car, please.
4. Chrysler Sebring
One Reddit mechanic thinks Chrysler Sebrings are the worst. In his answer to the question, he said, “Chrysler Sebring … specifically the V6 one.” Another said, “That’s my car! Take it back!” And the grandson of a Chrysler engineer had this to say: “My grandfather was an engineer for Chrysler’s aerospace division in the 60s. During his employment and retirement he was able to by any Chrysler vehicle basically at cost. He always drove a Ford.”
Next: A proper, agricultural workhorse
5. Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen
Yikes, Reddit mechanics were really hating on the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. One user said, “They may look nice (some people think so) but they are uncomfortable as f@$% to drive in, extremely expensive to fix and upkeep, and [they] tend to break fairly often.”
Another added, “I’d love to have an old G-Wagen, one of the proper, agricultural, workhorse machines. I see a fair amount of new ones and I just think you’d have to be mad or just mad rich [to buy one]. Spending £70K+ on what is essentially a 40-year-old tractor with nice leather seats.”
Next: Instead, you probably won’t be wasting your money with these popular choices.
1. Honda Civic
According to the website Car Talk, the Honda Civic is one of the most reliable cars you can buy. It rarely breaks down, but when it does it’s easy to diagnose and fix any issues. In addition, Honda Civic parts are cheap and plentiful.
Next: You knew this car had to make the list, too.
2. Honda Accord
The editors of Car Talk apparently dig Hondas. The Accord was No. 2 on the list of great cars to buy. Used or new, they — like the Civics — are reliable and inexpensive to fix and maintain. With an entry sticker price of just under $19,000, they also are affordable.
Next: Reliable and affordable
3. Toyota Camry
Car Talk reminded readers that the Toyota Camry was formerly the hands-down winner in the reliability category. Other makes and models are starting to catch up, but U.S. News & World Report still awarded it the “#1 out of 19 in Midsize Cars.” In addition to its being super reliable, the Camry is affordable to buy, maintain, and fix.
Next: Consider this compact.
4. Toyota Corolla
Corollas are also cheap to buy and easy and affordable to maintain. According to Car Talk, these cars need only “regular maintenance and an occasional brake job.” Consumers who review cars on the website Edmunds agree: They gave this vehicle 3.8 out of five stars, and one reviewer reported, “I read all the reviews before purchase and I am really happy with this car. It is a great value. The safety features that come standard are awesome.”
Next: Go green.
5. Toyota Prius
According to Car Talk, mechanics don’t make money from Toyota Priuses because right now, only dealers service their expensive hybrid components. Even when that changes, however, the Prius’ non-hybrid parts are easy to service.
Perhaps the most compelling Car Talk point? “From our point of view, the Prius is terrible news for mechanics — not even the brakes wear out, thanks to the regenerative braking system. All we get to install are wiper blades. How are you supposed to buy a pair of Jet Skis on that money?”
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