10 used cars to avoid (Part 2)
5. MINI Cooper S
The MINI Cooper S may be a fun, stylish compact car, but is also one to avoid purchasing used. There’s no denying its popularity on the market, but the Cooper S isn’t free of troubles. In its current form, the Cooper S is powered by a turbocharged, 1.6-liter engine with 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.
The Cooper S, according to Consumer Reports, has reliability issues with its engine, engine cooling, transmission, and fuel system. Other categories that received poor marks over the years include Climate System (2003), Suspension, Exhaust, Paint and Trim (2008), Squeaks and Rattles, and Body Hardware.
4. Nissan Armada
The Nissan Armada is yet another SUV model to avoid on the used car lots, and has been in production since 2004. The full-size SUV shares its body-on-frame platform with the Nissan Titan pickup, Xterra SUV, Frontier pickup, and Pathfinder SUV. The Armada is currently built in Canton, Mississippi and was always designed for the North American market.
Consumer Reports found the Armada’s handling relatively responsive, but concluded that the ride is quite stiff and the interior quality is unimpressive. In 2004, the Armada got worse marks for its brakes, exhaust, and audio system. In the 2010-2011 model years, the Armada got worse in Electrical System (2010), Climate System, Paint and Trim (2010), Squeaks and Rattles, Body Hardware, and Power Equipment (2010).
3. Saturn Outlook
It may not be a surprise to see Saturn on the list, considering it’s always wise to avoid automaker that no longer exist when shopping for a used car. Nonetheless, it’s fair warning to avoid the Outlook, a crossover SUV that was sold from model year 2007-2010. The Outlook was never a hot seller either with its best year coming in 2007 with 34,748 units sold. It’s essentially identical to the GMC Acadia, which also makes the list.
Reliability issues plagued the Saturn Outlook in Consumer Reports‘ study. Categories with worse marks through its model years include Engine Major, Engine Minor, Engine Cooling, Transmission Major, Transmission Minor, Drive System, Electrical System, Climate System, Suspension, Squeaks and Rattles, Power Equipment, and Audio System. In fact, the Outlook only scored better in Exhaust, and Paint and Trim in 2007.
2. Saturn Relay
Joining the Saturn Outlook on the list is the Saturn Relay, the first and only minivan from the American automaker. Remember the Relay? Neither do we. Originally introduced for the 2005 model year, the Relay lasted until 2007 and was discontinued after a couple of years of poor sales. The Relay was ultimately replaced by the Outlook SUV, which didn’t really fare much better, new or used.
In testing the Relay, Consumer Reports found the minivan to have a stiff and noisy ride, reluctant handling, and its fit and finish insubstantial. Reliability suffers in the following categories: Engine Cooling (2007), Transmission Minor, Drive System, Fuel System, Electrical System, Climate System, Suspension, Brakes, Paint and Trim, Squeaks and Rattles, Body Hardware, and Power Equipment.
1. Volkswagen Touareg
Lastly is the Volkswagen Touareg, a midsize crossover SUV that is now in its second generation. It has garnered plenty of awards and attention over the years, but Consumer Reports is convinced that Toaureg owners also have their fair share of issues with the vehicle. The first-generation Touareg has received complaints for having premature failure of the center support bearings, an issue that would occur after the original warranty was over.
Though much improved in 2011, the older Touareg suffers from Engine Major, Transmission Minor, Drive System, Fuel System, Electrical System, Power Equipment, and Audio System issues.
MINI Cooper S, Nissan Armada, Saturn Outlook,Saturn Relay,Volkswagen Touareg