These Are the 7 Cars Owners Regret Buying the Most

These Are the 7 Cars Owners Regret Buying the Most

Making the decision to buy a new vehicle can be tough, and it can be made much worse when you end up regretting it. 

Consumer Reports has released its list of the top seven cars that owners most regret buying based on the responses to more than 300,000 surveys asking new car owners about how satisfied they are with their cars.

The survey focused on the 2014 to 2017 model years and asked if the owner would buy the same car again, with 70 percent of respondents saying they were happy with their choice. But not everyone loved the car they chose to buy, unfortunately, and seven models in particular stand out as particularly bad.

Keep reading to the find out which seven vehicles owners regretted buying the most in 2016.

Small SUV: Jeep Compass


The Jeep Compass was called out in the small SUV category based on its uncomfortable seats, poor rearward visibility, and basic cabin. Just 42 percent of respondents said that they would buy one again while other complaints include slow acceleration and too much road noise.

Midsized SUV: Nissan Pathfinder


Nissan’s Pathfinder was a regret for half of its buyers, with 50 percent of respondents saying they would not buy one again. Owners called it out for being boring to drive, lacking the off-road prowess of its predecessors, poor fuel economy and reliability issues.

Small Car: Dodge Dart

More than half of Dart buyers would not purchase the car again, with the small car coming in as the third-least-liked vehicle overall in the entire survey. Weak air conditioning, plenty of mechanical issues, slow acceleration and uncomfortable seating were the range of complaints for Dodge’s small car. On the plus side, the Dart is being discontinued, so none of these owners will even have to face the possibility of buying a new Dart.

Midsized Sedan: Chrysler 200


Like the Dodge Dart, the Chrysler 200 is also being discontinued, saving future buyers from regret. Current 200 owners complain of poor handling, an underwhelming four-cylinder engine, a rough ride, a lot of road noise and a cramped rear seat.

Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan


Despite the Dodge Grand Caravan offering a low entry price for a family hauler, it seems that many respondents are not happy with it. A rough shifting transmission, uncomfortable second-row seats, a cheap interior and bad sound system made up many of the complaints.

Pickup Truck: Nissan Frontier


Regardless of size, the Nissan Frontier was the lowest rated pickup truck, criticized quite a bit for its age, not surprising considering it has remained mostly unchanged since 2005. High levels of road noise, clumsy steering, a poor turning radius and unsupportive, stiff seats were all the reasons owners regretted buying a Frontier.

Least-Satisfying Overall: Acura ILX


Of every single car out there, owners were most upset with the Acura ILX, though the Dodge Dart and Jeep Compass aren’t far behind. Still, the ILX ranks worst and is criticized for being a dressed up Honda Civic with poor quality paint, having a shaky ride, sluggish accelerating, lots of road noise and being very expensive for what you get.

 [Source: Consumer Reports]
  • Repairman

    Based on the report of the Acura ILX, it doesn’t sound as if it’s even as good as the Honda Civic. I have yet to meet a Civic owner that dislikes their choice. Oh well, every manufacturer turns out a bad apple every now and then.

  • smartacus

    aw yeah, you gotta be a real car guy to get an Acura ILX

  • jimbo124816

    Honda is known for taking a cheap car, putting in leather seats and a better radio, and changing the name plate to Acura, and charging a much higher price. At least Toyota can sell the Lexus for more money because it’s a different car, with a lot more standard equipment and a V-8.

  • bd

    What Toyota does with the ES, NX, RX and CT is not any different from what Honda does for Acura (and that’s not including what are essentially rebadge jobs for the GX and LX).

  • Jeff T

    That’s because ilx owners get passed by a 3 series, a4, etc… and thought “that could have been me” and civic owners don’t. Civic is good because you get a lot for a little.

  • Paul

    So, is the Acura pictured at the top but not included a good way to get eight for seven out the story?

  • pbug56

    I don’t know if Honda is still selling cars and minivans with V6 engines and a designed to fry automatic tranny like the 2002 we bought based on Honda’s rep for super reliability. What we didn’t know was that there was a class action lawsuit on the previous gen tranny, that Honda was happy to sacrifice reliability for better gas mileage, that there was a flaw in design of a valve, that the tranny needs a much bigger cooler, and to have a good filter, and to have the fluid changed every year. What happens is that in hot weather and heavy load, the torque converter and tranny starve for fluid, made worse by the valve problem, then fry the fluid. We had the 7 year 100k warranty, and noticed before it expired that the tranny was getting rough. But the lying dealer insisted nothing was wrong (unless codes pop). After the warranty expired, so did the tranny. Not knowing better (that Jasper had a rebuilt that fixed the valve problem and used better quality material for the rebuilt parts), we got the Honda rebuilt; the dealer conned us into believing that Honda had given us a price break. Soon afterwards we were warned by experts to add a Magnefine filter and Haydn external cooler, and change fluid every year. We did so. When we asked the dealer about it, we were told it would void our warranty. Sick. Btw, we’re told that the redesigned valve costs about $100, and that together with the add ons and fluid changes would greatly improve the life of the tranny. Instead, we also found out that the Honda rebuilds have a tendency to last a fraction as long as the originals. I nominate Honda for least trustworthy maker!

  • Sandy McNab

    I own a 2012 Frontier and it works, had a 2004 Xterra before. I bought it as a truck, not a car, so a bit of road noise and stiffer ride is expected. I love the manual transmission but I hate the power windows…

  • Jamisonjon

    A friend of mine went through at least 3 transmissions in his 1999 Ody before giving up. Another friend’s Acura CL trans went out around 90k. I was never much for Hondas, and that whole situation cemented it. I briefly owned a 1994 Accord, it shifted poorly, I am glad I didn’t keep it long.

  • pbug56

    Jasper has been putting out high quality rebuilds for these trannies; unfortunately I didn’t know at the time. But Honda seems to want the trannies to fail so they can keep selling replacements. Just the idea of not fixing the problem, not using a decent cooler or easily replaceable filter, and having dealers threaten voiding the warranty for the replacement if you add a cooler or filter, truly disgusting, IMHO.

  • Don Wadd

    I am a mechanic. We owned a 2003 Accord. The car was a JUNK! Trans went out at 65,000. The window motor went out twice. The air bag lights were on. The seat belt light was on. The traction control quit working. Brakes were missing the correct bleeder valve! Honda could care LESS about any complaints! We now have 4 Hyundais in the family with NO problems! My Sonata just turned 105,000 miles.

  • Don Wadd

    DONT buy ANY car with a CVT! They CANNOT fix them and they are 5 thousand installed new!

  • Don Wadd


  • Don Wadd

    Toyotas are number one and Hondas are junks!

  • EJ

    2006 Honda Pilot 230,000 miles, only major work needed new radiator at 180k.
    2013 Honda Civic 100K miles no issues
    2015 Honda Civic – we’ll see

    Good experience with Honda here.

  • Ron Feliciano

    Civic owners and ILX owners are very different with very different expectations.

  • Cy

    Just got a few months ago , I got the last new 2015 ILX Dynamic in Ontario (it was waiting on the Takata airbag recall almost a year) . I love it.. wear it like a snug suit… not isolated from the road feel and interaction, don’t see yourself every 3r. or 4th. car going down the road, the 2.4L 6 speed (stick shift the only way to go) currently is quite adequate but will have the benefit of a supercharger to crank it up to 270-290 WHP as I bring it back out at the end of the spring, Still relative simple for me to do all the of the mechanical and electrical work myself,… Oh and yes by the way I am just over 60 years old….Good enough for this old boy ….. most of today’s drivers are just too soft …..

  • Bruce Spencer

    Every Honda I have owned has been good to me, but none of them were automatics. If I were to say there is one weak spot in most Hondas it is there auto transmissions.

  • franxalot

    I have 2 Frontiers, both 4WD V6 automatics. The 2004 {$17,000 new} has 238,000 miles on it, runs beautifully, still 19 MPG on a trip, has had a battery, a muffler, shocks, all drive belts and front brakes. The 2016 {$25,000 new} was bought because my grandson is getting too big for the jumpseat in the 2004. It seats 5 comfortably, rides like a sedan, gets 19 MPG commuting and 21 on a trip. No problems or fixes in a year and 19,000 miles. All of the reviewers go crazy over the $60,000 Fords, Dodges and Chevys. Deeper pockets than mine. And, for what its worth, both of my trucks were built by Americans in the USA. As was my Mitsubishi Eclipse. Good value and good economics for OUR America. Rest my case.

  • franxalot

    Opinion. We’ve all got one…..

  • franxalot

    Forgot to add that these are easy to work on and parts online {I use Rockauto} are relatively inexpensive. Mine have needed not much of either, so far. The ’04 will go to my grandson Cameron, age 9, who watches its every move very carefully and reads the Chilton manual for entertainment.

  • Handlebar Said It

    Wow, the Dodge Dart sure must have gone down hill since I bought a new one back in 1971! I had mine for almost 12 years. Ir ran solid, smooth, had great acceleration, the 318 seemed to be bullet-proof. Mine was not sexy looking as the new Darts are now; mine looked more like the Police car on Adam 12…..white top, dark blue body……and often got mistaken for one just because I had more than the average number of CB antennas on it at a time when “THAT” look looked “official”. And the 2000 Caravan that I had was quite nice and comfortable but had the wrong engine in it, and got extremely poor gas mileage. But I still liked it!

  • Ulbe Bach

    Uh, looks like the ILX to me.

  • jbw9999

    No big problems out of my 2000 Frontier.

    There should be some Fords and Kias on this list. Definitely Fiat.

  • jbw9999

    We had a couple 70’s Darts that were turds. When I was a kid, I often had to remove the air cleaner cover and hold the carb bufferfly valve open while my mom cranked it. I could barely reach it. One of many problems.

  • crag keeper

    These kind of lists are pointless. Every new car has a bad rep. Including Toyota. Chevy cruze is the biggest turd out there with as many problems as the Dart, but GM people are
    like sheep. Ever meet a Corvette owner who did not like his car? Ha! Blown up engines don’t even matter to a GM fan.

  • None ya business

    I smell bias, the kind of bs spewed by opinionated reviewers like this really harm the reputation of automakers, I’ve spent time test driving all of the truck offerings in the same class as the frontier and it honestly is a decent contender.

  • Tom

    My 2013 dodge dart has been a darn good car and the only issues I’ve had are the tires need to be replaced soon and the brake caliper gide pins rattle, that’s it. I’m more surprised the Ford Fiesta didn’t end up on there also.

  • dickerin

    Don’t car owners have a right to be opinionated about the cars that they own? Did you read the part about over 300,000 consumers submitting their reviews of their vehicles?
    No one said that you have to agree with these consensuses. But, Consumers Reports, by definition, thinks that manufacturers should be held accountable for producing inferior products… at least financially.

  • dickerin

    It’s an ILX.

  • NotMe

    Because Honda Accord is built in the USA with a lot of non japanese parts so just like most makes built here they are inferior. I’ve owned several Toyota’s over the years and the only 2 I ever had any majors on before 300k were built here.
    The best example is the 4.7 Tundra engine. Add the Toyota TRD supercharger on the US built Tundra version and the rods/bearings fail for some strange reason but no such problems reported on the Japanese version in the Land Cruiser/4Runners/Lexus vehicles.
    The main bearings also failed on our USA made Camry at 182k, the shortest lasting Toy I ever owned btw.
    In fact all of the old Japanese built Toy pickups I owned are still driving around my town. One now owned by a small concrete company pulls a small mixer and bags of concrete around daily. I sold it to them with 300k in 1997.
    If the Vin don’t start with letter (J) I won’t own it. It is what it is…

  • Mike Carew

    Consumer Reports is a highly biased, politically correct rag.

  • Malik

    Consumer Reports make informed statements based on the consensus meaning the input of public who purchased those vehicles that are on the lists. How is that makes Consumer Reports bias or political correctness figure for that matter?

  • Darryll DiPietro

    I’m a car guy. I race cars on NHRA tracks, build engines and truly enjoy driving/ racing. I owned a 2014 ILX and it was great. It was underpowered, but you don’t get a 4 door passenger car to race. The independent suspension could take any corner while giving it power and it looked nice. For fun I took it down the Las Vegas drag strip and it ran an 18…… I logged 45k miles on it, on a lease, and when it was done, Acura paid me to take the car in, nearly $1500. That was my 4th Acura, and on my top 5 best cars owned. I would not, however, get a 2017 or better, the transmission can’t react fast enough and seems to always be trying to find the proper gear. I went with an RDX AWD with a traditional 6 speed auto and have been wheelin the piss out of it in the Vegas desert.

  • elkhornsun

    My 2001 Mercedes CLK has been by far the least reliable and most expensive car to keep running. The cost for repairs with 79,000 miles of driving has been greater than the cost of all the repairs on my prior 15 cars and trucks over more than 1 million miles of driving. The dash display died as the ribbon cables connections were glued on. New display cost $1200 plus labor. The transmission locked in park and cost $1200 to replace the mechanism and this same defect has been reported in Mercedes cars up through at least 2009. All wiring had to be replaced at 4,000 miles. Key lock fell into the dash – repair cost over $500. Radio and nav station failed, $800 CD player failed, engine seals failed, etc. and this is for a $50,000 coupe. A Toyota Celica costing half as much would be 10x as reliable. I put few miles on the Mercedes as I don’t take it out of town as I don’t trust it to get me back home.

  • Warda A

    3 nissans including the acura on the list and my friends 16’infinity Qx60 with transmission problems. No nissans for me they have there issues

  • Warda A

    That was the car i wanted back in my teens . My 90’s Oldsmobile back then held up ok

  • Boddhisattva Mih Nei

    sounds like you had a slant six with a small stock carb and the automatic choke wasn’t working. I had a 70 with a 340 v8 with a Holly carb while I was in High School in the early 80’s and never had problems

  • jbw9999

    Ours had a 318 V8.

  • Malik

    No Hyundai/Kia in the list? I guess they have come the long way.

  • Eric

    Thr dart had many tranny and engine options. Dual dry clutch italian tranny with turbo engine cost me $4000 extra and was worthvl every penny. Biased shitty report. Drive the dart i own before bashing it all you ill informed sheep