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Least Reliable Cars That Don't Make It Past Their Warranty

Here are 10 surprising unreliable models that are money pits according to a car expert who says these are the ones to avoid if you expect your car to make it past its warranty.

It’s a fact that some of the newest car models are predicted to wind up in garages for repair more often than ever before due to the complexity of not just added on safety features, but the move to smaller engines fitted with turbochargers to make up for the lost performance of a bigger engine.

However, vehicle longevity affects not just some of the makes and models we are used to hearing about; It also happens to vehicles from some of the most reputable car makers…like Toyota.

How Long are New Cars Expected to Last?

Earlier we’ve reported on how that choosing the vehicle type can make a significant difference in how often that vehicle will wind up in a garage for repairs within its first year of purchase.

More recently we’ve touched on the question of whether or not some of the worst designed cars can reach 200,000 miles (or more) as long as you maintain it regularly and drive it gently?

Perhaps it will…with a little luck, because there are always those exceptions (outliers) you will find in car reviews where some commenters profess that they own a review-maligned model that has proven itself to be trouble-free.

However, according to a past discussion of an episode by the host of the Car Help Corner YouTube channel, it will come at a significant financial cost in repairs and headache to nurse these modern-day lemons further than 60,000 miles.

As a follow-up to his unreliable  model car review, the same host of the Car Help Corner YouTube channel reveals today that some surprising models are also not performing very well when it comes to reliability and are leaving a bad taste in the mouths of car owners who believed that by spending the extra bucks on a new car meant no problems (at least for the immediate future) but are discovering this is not always the case.


To help new car shoppers avoid some surprising models that are now developing problems that are expensive fixes, here are the models the host points a finger at and explains what the problems are in this summary.

  1. Current Generation Toyota Tundra: One of the biggest surprises in poor reliability the new 2022-2024 Toyota Tundra has shown the bad things can happen to an otherwise exceptional model when changes are made. The switch from a reliable V8 to a V6 with twin turbo made it an unreliable model when main bearing problems arose due to engine debris from manufacturing causing excessive wear and damage resulting in a recall of over 10,000 vehicles.
  2. Ford Bronco: The new Bronco is “…an unreliable mess” states the reviewer who points to its EcoBoost V6 engine plagued with fracturing intake valves due to overheating and other engine issues that can be summed up as “…an engine that is not very well made.” While the host admits that the warranty covers these issues, he questions the likelihood of any protection when these problems arise in some models immediately following its warranty, despite the expectation that it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” failure occurs.
  3.  Nissan Rogue: Another high-risk model that has had a better past, the newer models unexpectedly have had poor reviews due to engine downsizing that led to problematic turbocharging and variable compression technology issues with their 1.5L 3-cylinder VC-Turbo engine. Expect engine knocking and metal shavings from wear in your engine oil. And even if your model makes it past its warranty period engine-wise, there are problems with what the host refers to as its unrepairable fragile CVT transmission that will have to be replaced by a new one for $7,000 to $8,000!
  4. Jeep Compass: What used to cost an affordable $20,000 has now doubled in price with no apparent changes or improvements toward addressing what has a history of being a brittle, unreliable SUV with multiple engine, transmission, and electrical problems.
  5. VW Taos: “An absolute dud in every possible way,” warns the host concerning its tiny 1.5L turbocharged engine and known jerky dual-clutch transmission. VW inflated repair costs make this another good reason of a model to avoid.
  6. BMW X1: Unexceptional for a BMW at a ridiculously high price for what you get, it is not one of BMW’s best efforts evidenced by an annoyingly jerky stop/start system that screams expensive repair expectations down the road.
  7. Mercedes GLA and GLB: These least-expensive Mercedes models possess the worst quality and reliability issues, marking them by Consumer Reports as the least reliable cars dragging Mercedes down as the 2nd worst car brand.
  8. Jaguar: Not just any one model, but the brand as a whole with its ownership reality of being a disposable luxury car brand. Expect a wide range of engine and electrical system nightmare problems. Plus, with Jaguars expected move toward all-electrical, support for their earlier models will cease to exist.
  9. Land Rover: Jaguar’s sister brand has a well-known history of being a poorly made model “…that will drown you in expensive repair bills.” While popular for owners the first year or two of ownership, they quickly become expensive headaches unloaded on unsuspecting used car buyers.
  10. Maserati: For an expensive sports car, the Maserati is a big disappointment and will turn into a money pit of repairs as well as having the biggest depreciation value should you decide to sell it.

The Video Details for More Information

For more details about each of the models discussed, here is the video that is well worth watching:

For additional articles related to vehicle reliability, here are a few for your consideration:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

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