Consumer Reports Has Some Surprising Cars To Avoid When Shopping Used

VW’s GTi Among Consumer Reports 10 Used Cars To Avoid

Every year, Consumer Reports editors sit down and, after sifting through thousands reports, they come up with a listing of used cars to avoid. This year, there are some surprises on the list.

Consumer Reports (CR) auto guys are a breed apart. In the world of car people, they are honest-to-goodness car nuts, but have a bigger job to perform: their mandate is to give you unbiased information about cars and trucks. It’s the type of information that is “need-to-know.” In other words, you “need to know” the information they present so you can make totally informed decisions whether the vehicles you are considering is new or used.

CR people are the super-studs of the car world. They could easily have had jobs at general auto publications. However, they have a sense of responsibility that leads them to the country’s leading consumer product analysis journal where they can share their knowledge with their readers. Their car knowledge is based on objective research and study of the vehicles they test. They also use the latest in analytics to help reach their conclusions.

Now, it is true that they are gearheads like most of the people who write about cars. However, they go steps further. They not only enjoy the fun aspects of this work – driving and putting vehicles through their paces – the key difference being that they use vehicles that are owned by Consumer Reports to keep their work on the up and up. When they are off the test track and sitting back at their desks they do the type of work that is among the most valuable services they perform; they analyze trends, looking back at years’ worth of data to help determine things the best used cars to buy or those to stay away from.

Just this week, the automotive journalists at CR came out with an updated list of used cars to leave at a dealer, while you look elsewhere for something else.

Here’s a look at what the CR guys found:

Chrysler Pacifica

CR has some interesting advice: never buy a new or redesigned make. That’s why they told their readers to put a sales stop on the redesigned Pacifica, even though just about every publication in the known world believes it is one of the bet minivans on the planet. Still, CR urges people to wait a year or two before buying one. Looking back at the records of the model it replaces – the Town and Country – Chrysler minivans have had less-than-stellar ratings from 2006-2013. The same was true of the Dodge-badged Grand Caravan, which is essentially the same vehicle as the T&C.

Volkswagen GTI

Golf is Volkswagen’s best-seller, bar none. It does make one sit up and notice when CR makes one of the family – GTi’s -- a car to stay away from. CR’s found that some GTi models, built from 2010 to 2013, have had poor reliability. Interestingly, the standard Golf did quite well.

Chevy Cruze

Chevy thought it had a winner with the first Cruze, but, it turned out Cruze models built from 2011 to 2013 were unreliable. Starting in 2014, Chevy’s redesigned Cruze went on sale and moved the bar significantly.

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