Five popular cars to avoid

Discussion in 'Car Comparisons' started by V8stangman, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. #1 V8stangman, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Just because a car generates a lot of buzz or is a best seller doesn't mean that it's a good choice for you. The five models here may be on a lot of buyers' shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear. They didn't perform well in our testing or they suffer from subpar reliability. Either way, there are better choices.

    Honda Civic
    For years, the Civic has been an iconic small car. But Honda took too many shortcuts in its latest redesign. The Civic is still one of the more reliable and fuel-efficient cars in its class. But the current model suffers from a choppy ride, noisy cabin, vague steering, and mediocre interior quality. The Subaru Impreza, Hyundai Elantra, and Mazda3 are better small cars with similar or better fuel economy.

    Jeep Liberty
    You might be drawn to this SUV's rugged looks. But that style comes with an equally rugged and unrefined driving experience. The Liberty can tackle tough off-road terrain. But on pavement its ride is unsettled and handling is clumsy. The interior is cramped and cheap feeling. And the engine is noisy and thirsty, getting only 16 mpg overall. All of this has earned it one of the lowest road-test scores of any vehicle we've recently tested. You'll give up some off-road prowess, but the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester are much nicer SUVs overall, with notably better gas mileage.

    Toyota Prius C
    It's all the buzz: a less expensive Prius with great gas mileage. What more can you ask for? Plenty. Yes, this new subcompact gets a stingy 37 mpg in city driving and 43 mpg overall, 1 mpg shy of the larger Prius hatchback. But all-around quality really drops. Related to the lackluster Toyota Yaris, the Prius C suffers from a stiff ride, noisy cabin, slow acceleration, and cheap-looking interior trim. Though it can't match the C's stellar mpg, the Honda Fit scored much higher in our tests and costs thousands less.

    Dodge Grand Caravan
    This is one of the best-selling minivans on the market. It's versatile, comfortable, quiet, and well equipped. But according to our annual reliability survey, it's also the most problematic minivan, suffering from numerous reports of squeaks and rattles, loose interior trim, and power-equipment and sliding-door troubles. The Grand Caravan also didn't measure up to its competitors in our testing, delivering unimpressive gas mileage of 17 mpg overall and sloppy at-the-limit handling. We favor the front-wheel-drive Toyota Sienna, which has had better reliability and gets 20 mpg.

    Ford Edge (V6)
    The stylish lines of this crossover SUV might catch your eye, but we suggest that you keep on looking. In our testing of the V6 all-wheel drive version, we found a jittery ride, pronounced road noise, and distracting controls, especially with the complicated and unintuitive MyFord Touch infotainment system. And in our annual survey of subscribers, it had much-worse-than-average reliability. There is also a turbo four-cylinder engine that works well and gets better fuel economy, but it can't be paired with all-wheel drive. For about the same price, better alternatives include the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano, and Mazda CX-9.
  2. Actually a fairly solid list and reasonable recommendations from the people who treat cars like appliances.
  3. I'm really shocked about the Civic.
  4. Honda really #$%#ed this one up.
  5. the civic has been a turd for like three generations now
  7. Those aren't really popular are they?
  8. most of those arent even soldhere
  10. Have you actually driven the last one (06-2011)? It was way better than any civic from the 90s or early 2000s. Even the basic trim handled great, miles ahead of anything with a toyota badge of the same era.
  12. Reliability issues aside I actually think the liberty is a great car. I've had mine for almost 8 years and 100k miles. Handles great for an suv. Sure the ride is not the smoothest but, I have no problems going for 500 mile trips in it.
  13. When I went to the Ascari Race Resort for the launch of the Toyota Auris (Corolla replacement in Europe) we drove all the competitors on the track to see how it shaped up.

    I genuinely felt that the Auris felt better to drive than the Civic in a few areas. Steering feel was much better with the Auris, and it felt a lot more stable as a result - the Civic felt a little bit more vague in comparison.

    The stability control and ABS tests that we did also showed the Civic up - hard braking with one side of the car on a low friction surface made it weave around quite a lot, whereas the Toyota tracked straight.

    Overall they were pretty evenly matched, but the Civic model before they went all space-age handled a lot better - Honda's decision to drop the independent rear suspension in favour of a [much cheaper to engineer] torsion bar system wasn't a very good one. The Toyota had a similar setup but where Honda used one setup for all trims and engine options Toyota had a specific setup for each powertrain variant, and they used IRS in the most sporty.

    I have no doubts that the Type-R would have been a lot better but for the regular models the Civic didn't impress me as much as I wanted it to, or as its looks would lead you to believe.
  14. Apples and oranges. I think he was referring to the US/JDM Civic, which was completely different than the European version. It was also miles more interesting and entertaining than the US Corolla whose only selling point was Toyota's stellar reputation for quality and reliability.

    I kind of wish we had gotten the styling of the European version though.
  15. ah, of course. forgot you guys had different ones.
  16. Why do you hate those words?
  17. None of those are popular cars....
  18. I almost had to stop reading when I saw "The Liberty can tackle tough off-road terrain". My friend tweaked his Liberty's unibody just going over whoops, I'm surprised they can handle a good pothole without being totaled out. He never mentioned how thirsty it was for gas but I assumed he could beat the 16mpg I get with my 7.5 liter carburated brick without an overdrive.
  19. I don't know what you mean by "tweak" but the unibody design on the Liberty's and Cherokee's is simply not as rugged as body on frame. The Cherokee did well mostly because it weighed a 1000 lbs less, had better approach angles, solid axles, ground clearance and so on. That being said you could drive one wheel of a Cherokee up a ramp, open a door while that wheel is up the ramp, drive it off the ramp, and never have that fUcking door close right again because of the frame flexing.
  20. In general, unibodies are stiffer than ladder/perimeter frames. You're confusing the qualities of a class of chassis with the weaknesses of an individual example. I would also point out that the Cherokee was designed in the very early 80's, and was the first unitized SUV that I know of - so cut Renault/AMC/Chrysler some slack. The standards of the time were not what they are now.
  21. It's not all about 'stiff', torsional flexing in a uni-body has much worse side effects, especially at the extent you can experience off-road..and most would prefer the frame to flex (in a true off road vehicle). Some 4x4s frames are even designed to. Not to mention that damage to a uni-body is compounding.
    I've owned Chero's, I love them. What I mentioned was from experience, except it was an embankment not a ramp. A body on frame is tougher, more rugged, easily lifted, no worries of twisting and crushing body panels/jamming doors (as long as body floats correctly), easier to fix when it's mangled, no worries of rusted up/smashed up rockers and rear quarter ruining integrity (no stresses in the body) etc. Most people that seriously off-road cherokee's weld several hundred pounds worth of reinforcement to the uni-frame to help avoid damage to it, have a more solid platform for upgrades, and to try and stop it from twisting itself to pieces.. AMC did not choose uni-body because it was off-road superior, they chose it because it was basically 'everything else' superior (well, not great for towing either and road noise).. they saw it as the future, and weren't wrong. Not everyone needs a Wrangler/G-Wagen/Defender, in fact most/99% don't.
  22. A lot of newer unibodies are stiff to the point that flexing is negligible - eliminating the side-effects of twist (see VW Touareg). Again, don't confuse the Cherokees shortcomings with the unibody design as a whole.
  23. Again, it's (the Touareg/Cayenne) stiff for road use. It is far from a true wheeler.. They are notorious wheel lifters with VERY poor suspension travel and articulation (they can get through a lot, but that has a lot to do with available lockers and its traction control, they generally have to driven very slowly off-road, not that many would drive a $40K+ like an old jeep anyway, plus they have low profile tires that can be torn off the rim pretty easy off-road).
    A clampy XJ could probably run circles around one on a light trail.. they also weigh near 5,000 pounds. And a body on frame would still be more rugged, more flexible/articulate, easier to upgrade, easier to repair and more at home off-road. Any damage to it off-road could still be compounded to the entire vehicle, just like the Liberty/Chero platform. It is still a compromise for anything but asphalt.
  24. how much travel does an XJ have stock ... the Touareg has I think 5.5" with the air suspension, ground clearance is 11.8” , and the low profiles are an option , mine has these tires on it ... but stock for stock would beat the XJ becasue of the hardware.

    everything you said is pretty bang on though , the suspension is very stiff and you do get a lot of wheel lift , that being said I think its an Incredible off roader just not a great rock hopper. Especially considering the balance they stike between off road and on road. 95% of the time most owners will be on road anyway.

    the best off roader is the one your not afraid to wreck
  25. If they made it a real rock hopper it would suck on the road where it is driven like 99% of time.

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