There are many reasons why a car, truck or SUV can wind up with a reputation for being bad, unreliable or just downright difficult to live with. Some vehicles gobble gas, others can’t get through a month without creating a $1,000 repair order while there are some very unlucky few that do a combination of all the aforementioned issues.
Yikes! How can you avoid buying one of these positively putrid works of automotive malfeasance? Well, there are always terrific reliability guides like Consumer Reports to keep you from buying the car at the bottom of the 2010 “built to last” list. Websites like Edmunds.com and Automotive.com also list “true cost of ownership” guides which calculate how much gas, insurance, maintenance and depreciation will cost you on average over different time periods.
Then, of course, there is the difficult to gauge “coolness factor” which you won’t find in any other article relating to the five worst 2010 models. You see, sometimes it is hard to know if a sweater really does make you look fat when you are trying it on in the store. The purpose of this article is not only to keep you from buying an unreliable car but it is also intended to keep you from buying a dorky one as well. Do you want people to laugh at you behind your back?
Chevy Cobalt-This is the good old Chevy compact sedan that was supposed to compete, yet again, with the Corolla and Civic and, yet again, fell flat on its face. Never before has there been a more anodyne, vanilla driving experience than that which can be found behind the wheel of a Chevy Cobalt. The Cobalt is so insufferably average that it lacks even the driver’s seat padding comfort to be a capable commuter. It is best left for the Avis and Alamo counters where you are most likely to find it existing in large communal numbers.
The only thing memorable about this car is that it suffered the next large mechanical car recall after the Toyota unintended acceleration issue came to light. Apparently part of the reason that Cobalts do so poorly in reliability surveys is that their power steering systems are not very strong. Boring and unreliable are two nails in the coffin of yet another failed American subcompact car nameplate. The upcoming Cruze must do better. Oh wait, no they don’t. GM can just get bailed out again.
Chrysler Sebring-Truly a design, reliability and engineering disaster from day one, the Chrysler Sebring sedan and convertible both are the bottom models on the latest Consumer Reports Reliability Survey. And it’s no wonder if you have ever ridden in or driven one of these harsh riding, sloppily built American cars. They’re terrible.
Even worse, the automatic transmission and available engines are behind the times and as such feel harsh and underpowered. With so many good choices out there in a family sedan market, why would you? Bring on the Fiats. At least they can’t be more unreliable than last place.
Land Rover LR2-Although it is nowhere near as unreliable as its precursor (the Land Rover Freeloader, oops, Freelander), the LR2 is still too small and underpowered when compared to most North American SUVs and crossovers. It also really isn’t all that capable off-road considering it’s a Land Rover. This is one model that they should have left in Europe where it actually makes sense.
GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado-I don’t care if Scott Brown, the newly famous Senator from Massachusetts, loves his Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon so much that he decides to legislate from it. This five cylinder compact pickup is pure GM parts bin special engineered to cost its maker as little as possible. And besides, who puts a five cylinder engine in a pickup truck? Even the Ford Ranger isn’t this bad and it has been on sale longer than Phyllis Diller has been doing stand-up.
Toyota Corolla-I know, it’s reliable and well built. But it is also soul-less, the ride is jarring yet totally un-sporty, acceleration is a joke and the powertrains are all last generation stuff. If Toyota keeps this up they really are going to be GM sooner than they think.