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5 Used Cars to Avoid and 5 Good Alternatives

Buying a used car can be one of the best purchases you ever make. A good used car can get you where you need to go in the style that you deserve without the costs and loss of buying a brand new car. If you pick the right used car you will likely have years of reliable travel, however, the wrong used car can bury you in repair costs or even injury. Here are 5 used cars to avoid and 5 good alternatives.

Chrysler Town & Country

The Chrysler Town & Country is one of the worst minivans on the market today. Problems ranging from suspension to climate systems and brakes to the power equipment make the van simply a bad buy. To sit down in the captain’s chair of a Town & Country is to be surrounded by a cheap plastic feel and a cockpit control layout that is less than user friendly. A used van shopper would be wise to look at the Honda Odyssey instead, which scored among the best with J.D. Power with a 4.5 for reliability.

Chrysler Sebring

Avoid the Chrysler Sebring if at all possible. With 2.5’s across the board from J.D. Power in the dependability categories such as overall dependability and powertrain, it’s safe to say the car may leave you out in the cold. Consumers complain of problems with everything from varying engine trouble to a/c and heating units to safety systems such as the airbags. Forget the Sebring and pick yourself up a Ford Fusion. You’ll fit the family, get a sportier look and find yourself in a car that won’t let you down.

GMC Canyon

While the GMC Canyon is a good looking truck, sharing features with the Chevy Silverado, the Canyon does not have the years of stability and proven history to back it. The Canyon sits on a wide stance making it look tough and with a V8 engine it certainly sounds mean, but many consumers complain that the ride is too bumpy and that the V8 lacks the power for a vehicle in its class. Consumer guide notes electrical problems with the GMC Canyon, as well as a penchant for engine misfires. If you need a solid truck with power and real reliability, a Ford F-150 would be the wiser choice.

GMC Acadia

Recent low scores from J.D. Power puts the Acadia on the outs. The GMC Acadia received a mere 2.5 for performance and only a 2 for the quality of the powertrain. Consumer Reports says that many consumers complain of suspension issues with the Acadia and of problems with the audio system. Oddly enough, the only 5 star rating the Acadia received was for the features category which covers the stereo. If you’re looking at a used Acadia, the Honda Pilot might be a better choice. Honda’s resell value holds much stronger.

Chevrolet Aveo

The Chevrolet Aveo is a failure across the board with 2’s in almost every category and nothing higher than a 3 from J.D. Power. The sub-compact vehicle looks like a bubbled safety hazard on wheels. In 2011 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) listed the Aveo in its ‘top five most dangerous cars to drive’ list. That alone is a great reason to avoid the vehicle. If you need a good small car, look at the Hyundai Elantra. Hyundai is making great strides in safety and technology and the 2011 model received a solid 4 for reliability from J.D. Power.

Categories: Gear Grinding

Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.