Top 10 New Vehicles With the Worst Value
An attractive price tag doesn’t always mean you’re getting a good deal for your money. That’s especially the case when you’re shopping for a car and you have to take into account its depreciation, cost of maintenance and even how much it’ll run you each time you have to fill up the gas tank.
Because of all those variables, Consumer Reports has released its list of new cars with the worst value, taking into account all the previously mentioned variables. As a result, the publication determined the five-year ownership cost for each vehicle and ranked them accordingly to determine which vehicles in today’s market gives you the worst bang for your buck.
While it certainly has its appeal as an iconic model in the automotive world, the Volkswagen Beetle 2.5-liter is actually the worst value in the compact/subcompact car category. With a starting price of $20,815 including destination, the Beetle 2.5-liter isn’t exactly an expensive car but considering it only gets 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, it’s not the most fuel efficient either. The Beetle is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, but over five years its depreciation is worse than the average car in its category and its cost to maintain certainly gives it poor value.
In the midsized car category, the Nissan Altima 3.5 SL ranked worst in value. Starting from $31,470, the Altima is more expensive than a comparable Toyota Camry while lacking the same reliability and dependability the Camry offers. What really hurts the Altima however is that it’s estimated to nearly half of its value over five years of ownership. It’s not very fuel efficient either with a 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway rating, meaning you’ll be spending more at the pump compared to other vehicles in the segment. It is however powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes a respectable 270 hp, mated to an Xtronic CVT.
Leading the large car category for having the worst value is the Ford Taurus Limited, which comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood. The standard engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and features 288 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque. With those performance figures, it’s no surprise that the Taurus Limited also only gets 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Even those opting for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine will only get 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway while letting power fall to 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The Ford Taurus Limited has a starting price of $34,995.
Perhaps surprising to some, the BMW 750Li offers the worst value in the luxury cars category. The German automaker’s flagship sedan boasts a starting price of $88,225 with a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine under the hood mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Though it provides 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, it only turns in 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The 750Li also has one of the worst predicted-reliability scores according to Consumer Reports. Of course if you’re in the market for a BMW 750Li, value might not exactly be your most concerning factor.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the list, the Chevrolet Camaro convertible was considered the worst value vehicle in the sports cars/convertibles category, despite its popularity. Now it’s worth noting that it’s the top-of-the-line 2SS model that is ranked worst value with a starting price of $43,945. Lurking under the hood however is a powerful 6.2-liter V8 with 426 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Camaro 2SS convertible gets an estimated 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway rating. Nonetheless, we feel if you’re heart is set on a Camaro convertible with a powerful V8 under the hood, being the worst value car in the category won’t matter to you.
In the wagons/minivans category, the Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L model ranked worst value with a starting MSRP of $34,990. Coming standard on the American automaker’s minivan is a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 283 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that gets 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The quality and reliability of the Town & Country has always been called into question, despite being on the road for three decades.
The worst value small SUV honors go to the Ford Escape SE equipped with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. Though it gets a respectable 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, the Escape lacks value due to its depreciation, which is estimated to be 40 percent of its overall cost-to-own over five years. The Ford Escape SE is priced from $26,445 and is expected to lose nearly half its value over five years. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine provides 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque and comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Ranking worst in the midsized SUVs category is the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara which is priced from $32,790. Included on the Unlimited Sahara model are embroidered cloth seats with leather available as an option, 18-inch wheels, body-matched fender flares, available hardtop and a seven-speaker stereo system. Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The Sahara gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.
The Nissan Armada Platinum was actually named Consumer Reports worst value vehicle overall, costing $1.20 per mile to own. The Armada was placed in the category of luxury/large SUVs and gets a paltry 13-mpg in the city. Considering that it starts at $50,605, it’s no surprise that the Armada Platinum doesn’t offer a lot of value for the money. The Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque and as we mentioned before, the 4×2 model gets 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Those wanting the 4×4 model will have to sacrifice one mpg no matter where you travel.
Priced from $42,925, the Ford F-250 Lariat was Consumer Reports‘ worst valued pickup truck. Powered by a 6.7-liter V8 turbo-diesel engine, the F-250 Lariat has 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque that is mated to a TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission. The F-250 Lariat has a maximum towing capacity of 12,500 lbs in Regular Cab form but can support up to 14,000 lbs with the Crew Cab variant. Unfortunately, those looking for a Super Duty truck may not have a lot of options on the market, but it’s good to know that the F-250 Lariat doesn’t offer a great bang for the buck.
Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.
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