We have until January 8th, 2024 to submit comments to the FTC about proposed rules to BAN CAR DEALER JUNK FEES. Please visit to be heard!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Don't Buy the Worst New Car!

CR Scores Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Lowest of All New Cars

When you think about buying a new car, you're considering purchasing the best you can afford. There are lots of good, even great, new cars today. The quality, safety, reliability, and cost of maintenance have all improved tremendously over the past few years. You almost can't go wrong when you buy a new car. Of course, getting a fair price is still a huge challenge, but that's fodder for another column.

As far as which make and model of new car you should buy, a lot depends on your individual needs and tastes. There are a lot more good cars to choose from today than ever before, but there are still a few bad ones that you can't learn about from advertisements or the car salesman.

Consumer Reports magazine or online is your best friend when it comes to spotlighting the new cars you should NOT BUY. CR (Consumer Reports) calculates the predicted reliability ratings for almost every new auto on the market. They measure twenty potential problem areas (including the engine, transmission, electric motors, leaks, and infotainment systems) and include responses on 330,000 vehicles. You may know that CR is a non-profit organization that derives all revenues from contributions and subscriptions. Their loyalty and responsibility are 100% to you, the consumer. When they test cars, they buy them directly from a dealership and pay full retail just like you.

The January issue of CR lists reliability reports on all nineteen types of new cars, like subcompact SUVs, electric cars, full-sized pickups, luxury mid-sized large cars, etc. For example, in the category of subcompact SUVs, the best is the Subaru Crosstrek with a score of 99, and the worst is the Volkswagen Taos with a score of 18. My point is, you needn't buy the Subaru because there are several other subcompact SUVs with good scores, like the Honda HR-V, Toyota Corolla Cross, and Mazda CX-30, which scored 85, 71, and 66, respectively. But don't even think about buying the VW Taos with its shockingly low score of 19!

Even if you get a much better price on a very low-rated new car, you're better off paying more for a highly rated make. This is because the total cost of ownership is undoubtedly higher for the less reliable vehicle. The higher costs of repair, maintenance, depreciation, and insurance will more than erase the savings you might find in the purchase price.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Earl Stewart On Cars welcomes comments from everyone - supporters and critics alike. We'd like to keep the language and content "PG Rated" so please refrain from vulgarity and inappropriate language. We will delete any comment that violates these guidelines. Oh yeah - one more thing: no commercials! Other than that, comment-away!