Top 5 Reasons Why Car Shoppers Avoid Certain Cars

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Top 5 Reasons Why Car Shoppers Avoid Certain Cars

Ever wonder if you’re the only one that avoids buying a certain car because it’s ugly?

J.D. Power and Associates has released the results of its 2016 U.S. Auto Avoider Study, revealing the main reasons why car shoppers avoid certain cars. The study is in its 13th year and looks at the reasons consumers purchase, reject and avoid models in the marketplace.

SEE ALSO: 5 Dealer Options You Should Avoid and 5 You Shouldn’t

Below are the top five reasons why car shoppers avoid certain cars among non-premium brand models.


5. Didn’t Like the Image Vehicle Portrays

2016-toyota-prius

Of those surveyed, 16 percent said they didn’t like the image a certain vehicle portrays. Perhaps some shoppers don’t like the idea that owning a Toyota Prius or a Chevrolet Volt portrays the image of being “green.” Or maybe that getting caught behind the wheel of a Mazda Miata hints that you’re having a mid-life crisis.


4. Costs Too Much Money

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

This one might not come as a surprise, but 17 percent of car shoppers said they avoided a certain car because it costs too much money. Most car shoppers have experienced it before: seeing their dream car on the dealership lot while cautiously walking over to the sticker in the window. Then their eye catches the higher-than-expected price tag and they quickly walk away uninterested.


3. Concerned About Reliability

2016 Fiat 500

Vehicle reliability has become an increasingly important factor when deciding what vehicle to purchase. In this year’s study, 17 percent noted a concern about reliability when it came to avoiding a certain car, a statistic that likely doesn’t bode well for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which routinely finds its brands at the bottom of J.D. Power’s annual reliability study.

ALSO SEE: Top 5 Worst Cars of 2015 According to Consumer Reports


2. Didn’t Like its Interior Look or Design

2016 Honda Civic Display Screen 02

Sometimes, no matter how great a car looks on the outside, there are certain elements you just can’t get past once you get into the cabin. Maybe it’s too bland or maybe it’s too flashy, or sometimes it’s because certain buttons or knobs (or lack thereof – we’re looking at you, Honda) just aren’t where they should be intuitively. Whatever the case, 18 percent of shoppers avoided a certain car because the interior just didn’t appeal to them.


1. Didn’t Like its Exterior Look or Design

2001 Aztek

And the top reason shoppers avoid certain cars is that they just simply didn’t like its exterior look or design. An overwhelming 31 percent made it their reason to leave a car behind on the dealership lot, proving just how important a car must look if it hopes to succeed in the marketplace. And maybe that’s why the Pontiac Aztek was never considered a success, earning itself accolades like the L.A. Times naming it the “Worst Car Ever Sold in America.”

  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: while the Aztek was uglier than a bowling shoe, there are dozens of other cars the L.A. Times should have considered for the title of “Worst Car Ever Sold in America.”

    The Chevrolet Vega had severe rust problems, with some examples beginning to rust as soon as they rolled off the line.

    The Ford Pinto had an unfortunate tendency to catch fire if struck from behind.

    The Ford Mustang II was a warmed-over Pinto (albeit with the fuel tank safety issue resolved).

    The AMC Pacer looked like a mushroom and had a massive glass dome greenhouse that roasted its passengers in warmer climates, and had a larger right side door that theoretically made it safer in right-hand-drive countries, and a complete nonstarter in left-hand-drive countries.

    The Nash Metropolitan was so underpowered it couldn’t get out of its own way.

    The Bricklin SV-1 had a “safety” marketing platform, which was an interesting choice given plastic “safety” body panels that tended to melt, unreliable hydraulic gull-wing doors that trapped passengers inside, and electrical wiring that sometimes caught fire.

    And that’s just a tiny sample of domestic cars.

    Don’t forget that the Subaru 360 and the Yugo were sold here, along with the Delorean DMC-12 (technically a captive import, since it was inadvisably built in Northern Ireland, home of the Titanic’s shipyard).

  • dino

    Wow after 13 years of study, that’s what J D Powers came up with?

  • timothyhood

    The Aztek should have been given “Worst *Looking* Car Sold in America.” It’s ugly as sin, but certainly had enough going for it that it couldn’t be the worst car in America. If anything, it wasn’t unreliable and it’s hideous form did allow for much interior room, so by those two counts alone, it can’t be worst.

    That said, your own list seems rather flawed. For example, the Mustang II? OK, it was no tribute to Mustangs, but what makes it one of the worst? Just because it was based on a platform shared with a different car that had a major flaw?

    And simply because the Nash was super slow can’t make it one of the worst. No, for a vehicle to be truly bad, it must excel at being bad in multiple categories.

  • Richard

    And what about all the ugly front end on a lot of today’s cars, like Lexus, Audi, Toyota, Fords etc. they look like a whale with its mouth open feeding. Plus most of today’s car styling looks like the cars are going downhill while setting on flat level ground. The cars that have great styling like Porsche, Jaguar to name a few are out of the average consumers price range. How I long for some of the mid to late fifties to mid sixties type of design style with today’s
    safety features and electronics.

  • BroncosFan

    For 2016 the entire Lexus line is as ugly as homemade sin. That grill design is comical. There are those who say the design language is to attract a younger segment. I seriously doubt the younger segments will find the Lexus looks good. Also, the younger demographic isn’t driving or buying cars any longer anyway and Lexus is moving away from the demographic who still buys cars, especially premium cars. This may go down as one of the biggest blunders in automotive history because Lexus have botched their entire product line not just produced a single ugly vehicle.

  • Patrick Jackson

    ah the azteck days lol. at least the later versions got rid of all that black plastic