If you’ve found yourself Googling “used cars near me,” then you’ve surely come across list upon list of vehicles that should be pursued. However, these articles will rarely elaborate on which models should be avoided. Fortunately, we’re here to help, and reduce the chance that you end up with a lemon.
Below, you’ll find seven used vehicles that shouldn’t be pursued by used car buyers. Whether it has to do with reduced performance, mechanical issues, or cosmetic problems, it will be pretty clear that these models aren’t worth your time or effort…
Used Ford Explorer
This vehicle has been one of the most popular SUVs on the road over the past two decades, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a used version of the model is a proper target. The vehicle has been touted for its power, interior room, and (most importantly) safety capabilities.
However, the vehicle has been known to deliver questionable reliability, with several model years (including the 2003 model) listed among the worst used vehicles that a consumer could pursue. Generally, drivers have found issues with the transmission, making for an uncomfortable driving experience. Former owners have also bashed the constantly-chipping paint and the quickly-developing rust, which makes the Explorer look considerably older than it actually is.
Used Audi Q5
Customers will generally be enticed by the Audi Q5’s luxurious features and opulent design. However, if you’re pursuing a used vehicle, you’re presumably valuing performance and reliability, and this particular model has a tough time delivering either of those attributes.
Sure, when you first drive a new Q5, you’ll be impressed with the V6 engine and the corresponding driving experience. However, after several years on the road, you’ll begin to see some troublesome issues. The appreciated climate control is often one of the first areas of the vehicle to die, leaving all of your occupants uncomfortable. Owners have also complained about the navigation and stereo systems, which prove more glitchy than useful.
Used Jeep Wrangler
Who hasn’t dreamed of driving around town in a hulking Jeep Wrangler? Similar to the other vehicles on this list, this particular vehicle will certainly satisfy their owners…but for a limited time. This model has been particularly plagued by recalls, as seemingly every area of the SUV (including the transmission, brakes, engine, and fuel system) have been highlighted for their failures. While these issues aren’t particularly difficult to fix, it will still be an extra chunk of change that’s coming out of your pocket.
Meanwhile, as many online pundits have pointed out, the Wrangler is a go-to target for those seeking an off-roading machine. While this is an attractive attribute for those in the market for a new Wrangler, it could be a potential cause for concern for those shopping for a used model. After all, those off-roading excursions can have some negative impacts on the vehicle’s mechanics, and there’s no guarantee that the seller assured that all of these components are working properly.
Used Dodge Intrepid
This stylish, futuristic Dodge Intrepid was an absolute hit when it was sold between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. The stylish vehicle wasn’t only innovative and one-of-a-kind; rather, the Intrepid was also capable of delivering superb performance capabilities. Experts have commended the model for its excellent suspension system and the handling mechanisms, and they’ve also been impressed with the comfortable interior and eye-catching exterior.
Many of the issues (particularly the Intrepid equipped with the 2.7-liter V6 engine) revolve around the compromised performance thanks to the consistent build up of sludge. Predictably, this also leads to a compromised engine, which can be particularly dangerous if the system decides to die while you’re traveling on a highway. Of course, considering the majority of these models will be older than 10 years, you should have anticipated reduced performance capabilities in the first place.
Used Chevrolet Aveo
Before the Chevy Sonic was cruising the streets, customers had to opt for the Chevy Aveo if they wanted a subcompact car. Sure, the vehicle was incredibly affordable, and the excellent fuel efficiency specs meant cost of ownership would be kept relatively low. That would make the model a logical used target, as it presumably wouldn’t cost much to make the purchase.
Of course, those are basically the lone positive attributes of the Chevy Aveo. The engine pumped out some of the lowest horsepower specs in the whole class, and the “plastic” exterior left a lot to be desired. Furthermore, the vehicle has seen plenty of mechanical issues, including problems with the brakes, leading to both performance and safety concerns.
Used Chrysler Sebring
From an outsider’s prospective, the Chrysler Sebring was seemingly a perfect target. It was stylish, comfortable, powerful, and chock-full of features, and these attributes seemingly don’t diminish due to age. Unfortunately, the vehicle led to too many repairs, making the cost of ownership astronomical.
Engine problems were uncomfortably common, meaning owners practically spent more time in the mechanic’s business than their actual sedan. Owners also complained of oil leaks and compromised head gaskets, as well as air conditioner and heating problems. While you may be able to find a good deal on a used Sebring, there’s a good chance that you’ll be investing even more money into the vehicle after you’ve completed your purchase.
Used Chrysler PT Cruiser
We don’t mean to pile on Chrysler, but the PT Cruiser is another vehicle that probably shouldn’t be targeted among used car buyers. While the model was a hit following its initial release, owners quickly jumped off the car’s bandwagon. Underwhelming performance was consistently a complaint, as the PT Cruiser didn’t deliver the power that some owners were expecting. Others had issues with the constant repairs, which included problems with the transmission and electrical system.
While you may be attracted to the name-recognition, you’ll ultimately be paying more for the PT Cruiser’s repairs than you will be for the actual vehicle. In other words, this isn’t an ideal used target.