The following are seven examples of beautiful pieces of automotive engineering, that are aesthetically stunning and yet functionally only a step or two up from totally useless.
These models were rated the lowest for their mechanical reliability in owner surveys from the very reliable outlets JD Power and Consumer Reports.
So, we’re going to round up these cars and give you the lowdown on exactly why they’re so terrible. The surveys are based on results from over 35,000 people’s opinions so to be fair, they’re pretty accurate, we’d argue. What we’re focussing on here is the side of the showroom where your larger vehicles can be found: trucks, SUVs, pickups, that kind of thing. Some of them are all out trucks, some of them are hybrids. We basically started the research by identifying models that received the lowest scores in powertrain durability (that is, two out of five stars or less) from JD Power. We then filtered that list yet again for trucks and SUVs that also came below average in the reliability criteria in Consumer Reports.
You should note here that we found no absolute consensus among the two sources of information we used. Therefore the following list, while conclusive in identifying which of these models truly suck, can’t be relied upon for justifying just which of them suck the most. It is still subjective. We also weren’t able to single out any truly terrible minivans, although the Dodge Grand Caravan, soon to be discontinued in fact, did score pretty poorly.
We also have no light duty trucks on this list for that very same reason. The Chevrolet Silverado did score pretty badly on JDP, but it made up for it and avoided proper scrutiny because it actually scored five out of five in all major mechanical areas. Therefore, while we’re damnig it somewhat by mentioning it here, it doesn’t appear in our hall of infamy.
So, without further adieu, let’s get on with the show…
7. Ram 2500/3500
This is a heavy duty piece of kit. Both the Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks got JD Power’s absolute lowest scores for dependability across the board. Not great going, Rams. They were outperformed in every single category by the Ford and Chevrolet.
The 2500 model weighs in at three quarters of a ron, and the 3500 at exactly a ton. One could argue they’re both white elephants, as they scored terribly in the projected and historical reliability from Consumer Reports, too. In fact, they were so bad they were actually rock bottom in that respect. The main issues were problems with the suspension and fuel systems. Both kinda vital for any sort of car, to be honest.
6. Land Rover Range Rover Sport
This is a super expensive piece of kit and while it performs OK, it suffers from a truly horrendously low powertrain dependability rating from the JD Power side of things. In other areas it scores just averagely.
Consumer Reports had an even harsher viewpoint though, scoring it only one out of five for its predicted and historical reliability. They even listed it in their top 10 worst cars of 2017. Ouchies.
5. Infiniti QX60
This is a midsize car with bad ratings, and that’s why it comes in at number five in our list of the top 7 bad buys.
The Infiniti QX60 luxury SUV scores around the same level as the previous car at no 6, with under par ratings in powertrain, overall, and body/interior dependability. It did score average for its features and accessories, but for a start, average isn’t great, and also, these are hardly the parts of your car that you want it to achieve its best results in. Things like its reliability would be foremost in your thinking, and unfortunately for the QX60, Consumer Reports awarded it the lowest rating for this, historically speaking. Specifically, its transmission and drive systems were the huge culprits.
Back to the drawing board for you, Infiniti.
4. Nissan Pathfinder
This is an impressive looking Nissan model which counts as a crossover SUV model. What it doesn’t do, is score well for powertrain, getting below average from JD Power in this aspect. It also scored below average for its body/interior – harsh, we feel – and overall – probably fair enough. Again, scoring higher for its features and accessories isn’t going to cut the mustard, in our book.
Consumer Reports gave this red beauty a one out of five score for it’s historical reliability. They named the biggest problems again being its transmission. Tut tut.
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee
JD Power gave this one really low marks for its powertrain dependability. It also ranked poorly in the overall category, and because it didn’t even have the saving grace of scoring well in it’s features and accessories, this one comes in at number three. The one thing the Grand Cherokee did do well at was its body/interior durability. Big whoop.
Consumer Reports gave the GC its absolute lowest ranking for its reliability. Nuf said.
2. Jeep Cherokee
Continuing the trend, another Jeep, and another Cherokee. This compact crossover SUV scored awfully in JD’s powertrain, feature/accessory dependability (a big red flag from us – even the failures above scored OK in this!) and overall. Even its body was rated at only average. Oh dear, oh dear.
Consumer Reports gave this 2014 automobile its lowest possible rating in terms of its reliability. It did get a little saving grave in the 2017 version, where it at least bumped up to two out of five in that area. Hardly game changing, though, and justifiably sitting at number two on the list.
So, mirror, mirror, what is the worst one of them all?
1. Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL
It looks nice, but it scores terribly. In fact, if we think about it, does it even look nice? It’s got a big ol’ fat arse that hangs in an ungainly manner over the back wheel. It looks a bit like a box on wheels. We take it back. It looks ugly, and it scores terribly too.
The XXL Chevrolet Suburban SUV got JD Power’s absolute lowest rating across the board for its dependability. In terms of Consumer Reports, both the Suburban and Yukon XL versions achieved a dismal one out of five score for its predicted reliability. In case you were wondering, one out of five is the worst score they could give it.
We feel this justifies putting the Chevrolet at number one in our top 7, whichever version you’re talking about. It’s just plain bad. Steer well clear – especially if one is coming towards you.