The Top 10 Least Reliable Cars in the Industry

5 min read

Before spending your hard-earned money on a new or used vehicle, learn which cars in Consumer Reports’ 2019 Annual Auto Survey made the top 10 least reliable cars list.

10. Chevrolet Traverse

Chevy Traverse
Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to Consumer Reports’ 2019 Annual Auto Survey, the Chevy Traverse is the 10th worst car for overall reliability. The car had been recalled due to structural issues. Not only that but an article published by says that the Traverse’s fuel efficiency doesn’t hold up against that of other SUVs. Unfortunately, it’s not just the 2019 Traverse that’s disappointing consumers. According to the Moneywise article, customers have told Consumer Reports that the 2020 Traverse has problems with its transmission, in-car electronics, and power equipment as well.

9. Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica
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Minivans are beloved by many Americans. Unfortunately for Chrysler, the Pacifica isn’t even in the top 10 best-selling minivans in America. That’s because its reliability rating has been stagnant over the last few years — mainly because of its poor selection of features available for the starting price, which is $33,745 for a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica. Unfortunately, “it can’t stack up against other minivans and doesn’t have a strong enough resale value to save it,” wrote on its website.

8. Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X
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For a vehicle with a starting price of $81,000, you would think it would be more reliable than it is. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. It seems as though the makers of the Tesla Model X are more concerned with specs than they are with functionality. Here’s something else: this vehicle offers virtually no trunk space and day-to-day utility. Not only that but the Tesla Model X is an electric vehicle. So, if you don’t live where there are many (or any) charging stations, you’re out of luck.

7. Acura MDX

Acura Mdx
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The Acura brand itself gets a 28 out of 30 for reliability from Consumer Reports, so it stands to reason that any of its models would receive a poor ranking as well. Such is the case with the Acura MDX. Sure, it’s a good looking car that’s both spacious and family-friendly. Unfortunately, that’s about all it is. According to the Consumer Reports 2019 Annual Auto Survey, the 2020 MDX has a “frustrating and distracting” in-dash infotainment system and doesn’t offer much driving excitement.

6. Volkswagen Tiguan

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan
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What makes the Volkswagen Tiguan so unreliable is its average fuel efficiency and poor acceleration power. As a result, its reliability score has fallen significantly from year to year. Consumer Reports gave it a score of 1 out of 5. The reason for such a low score, other than the issues we just mentioned, is because the Tiguan has a history of reliability issues in other model years as well. Ironically, the Tiguan was actually one of the most popular Volkswagen cars sold in 2018.

5. Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas
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When comparing the rankings of the Volkswagen Atlas to the rankings of similar cars from other brands, the Atlas comes in the last place. That’s because the car’s fuel system, body integrity, and power equipment have either remained the same over the years or have gotten worse. Not only that but over the years it’s engine and transmission have had issues as well, although those areas have seen some improvement over the past two years.

On the plus side, the Atlas ranked quite well in its road test. It has smooth handling and simple controls, and it offers a quiet ride. Plus, it’s very roomy compared to similar three-row seating SUVs.

4. Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia
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According to data from the Consumer Reports’ 2019 Annual Auto Survey, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is “ripe with frustrations.” This is due largely to the fact there’s not much legroom in the back seat, not to mention that there isn’t much trunk space either. Perhaps that’s why J.D. Power ranked it the 17th best sedan of 2019. And, while that may sound like a good score, it actually isn’t. On the plus side, the alternative sports luxury sedan, which was designed to compete with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series, does have smooth handling.

3. Jeep Wrangler

2019 Jeep Wrangler
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The Jeep Wrangler isn’t exactly known for being environmentally friendly — and the 2020 model is no exception. Not only has it received a subpar fuel economy rating, but it’s also known to be quite noisy on the highway. Additionally, the Wrangler is no vehicle that’s suitable to drive every day. So, instead of wasting $28,295 (that’s the starting price) on a noisy vehicle that only gets 18 mpg and can only be driven a few days out of the week, spends your hard-earned money on something that’s a bit more reliable and much nicer to the environment.

2. Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro
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Although the Chevy Camaro has “impressive handling agility and sharp steering,” it doesn’t offer much room in the back seat, and its outward visibility is sorely lacking. In fact, Consumer Reports referred to its lack of outward visibility as “downright atrocious.” Hampered visibility is an issue in older model years as well. Other issues plaguing the 2010-2019 models include hard-to-read controls, a small trunk, a small rear seat that’s difficult to access, and an awkward manual release for the convertible top. Meanwhile, the size and weight of the 2010-2015 models hurt the Camaro’s agility. On the plus side, the 2020 Camaro has a cheaper model known as the LT1, which starts at $3,000 less than the cheapest 2019 1SS model.

1. Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado
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Coming in at number one on this list is the Chevy Colorado. Its reliability score is 4. Most of the issues with Colorado stem from its transmission problems. Ever since the truck’s redesign in 2015, its transmission reliability has been ranked as “worse than average,” although it’s worth noting that in 2019 its transmission reliability did rise above “worse than average.” Additionally, the 2017 and 2018 models had issues with both their drive and fuel systems. And, here’s something else: Colorado is uncomfortable to drive due to its seats and steering wheel positioning, and the fact that it’s noisy and rides rough.

Unfortunately, Colorado’s issues go back further than in 2017. An article published by U.S. News & World Report warns consumers to steer clear of the 2007 Chevy Colorado. Where it “falls behind the competition is with its weak engines, poor towing capacity, subpar off-roading capability, and unaccommodating interior,” the article said.


Need more car advice? Here are some of the best SUVs to look for in 2020.