Here Are the Used Cars to Avoid

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Strike These Used Vehicles From Your List of Contenders

It can feel like you’re taking a big gamble when you shop for a used car. While you can learn a lot by looking at the car’s ownership and maintenance history, and taking it to a mechanic for inspection, there are no guarantees an expensive problem isn’t lurking just beneath that nicely waxed paint job.

One shortcut when shopping for a used car is to research which models to avoid altogether. While you can’t guarantee that late-model Corolla with the perfect reliability rating wasn’t poorly maintained by a previous owner, you can find the models with poor reliability, unimpressive reviews, and lackluster safety ratings and cross them off your list early.

We’ve done just that, using the data from our U.S. News Best Used Car rankings. Many of these vehicles failed to impress professional car reviewers or make an impression on consumers even when they were new. Over time, some of the more popular vehicles on this list that were decent when new have shown their true colors.

You’ll notice that some models make the list for several model years, and in those cases, the sales price, overall score, and reliability score shown are an average of all the years noted.

A note about the average prices and scores quoted here: They were compiled based on what was available at the time of this writing. The used car market changes every day, and these models might cost more or less near you, or might not be available at all. Our scoring can also change, as new reviews and data become available. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, and as always with used car sales, let the buyer beware.

We’ve limited this list to cars that are one to five years old, which is the meaty part of the used car market. Vehicles of that vintage have taken a depreciation hit but generally have low mileage.

Here on the following pages are the cars you should steer clear of, in order from bad to worst.

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