10 Worst Rated Cars in 2021

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Edgar Moulton.

01/20/2022

Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

Table of contents

Cars these days are a necessity, and it would really muck up your life if you wound up owning one of the worst-rated cars. In this article, we present the 10 worst cars to buy. You’ll be surprised that this list is not limited to unknown models but includes popular brands and models. The rankings will help guide your buying decision and keep you from driving home with one of the dumbest cars in the market.

10. Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90

The new 2021 XC90 is cited as one of the least reliable cars to own. According to the Automobile Consumer Reports, the drive system, suspension, brakes, body integrity, and power equipment are the most troublesome areas. 

These XC90 issues have been documented across a wide range of critical components. Testing history reveals that major technical issues have plagued the second-generation XC90 since its debut. 

Maintenance during the first ten years of operation will cost between $12,000 to $13,000. This is about $3,000 to $4,000 more than the industry average for luxury SUV models. During the ten-year ownership period, there is also about a 36% chance that an XC90 will require a major repair. 

Major repairs like a throttle body replacement will cost between $2,000 and $3,000. Window motor replacements will run from about $1,500 to $2,300.

Minor repairs like oil pressure sensor replacement will cost between $200 to $270. 

9. Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

The Ford EcoSport is classified as a subcompact SUV. While it isn't currently rated one of the best cars in its class, the Ford EcoSport is widely considered decent. However, EcoSport owners have reported grinding noises from the brakes. 

Another typical criticism is its jerky transmission and gear changes. This has resulted in issues with acceleration and gear shifts. Owners of EcoSports have also reported random electrical short-circuit concerns. 

The EcoSport will cost about $8,000 to $9,000 for maintenance and repairs during its first ten years of service. There is about a 26% chance that an EcoSport will need major repairs during that time.

The cost of repairing a Ford EcoSport is projected to be between $95 and $1,650. Major repairs like control arm assembly replacement will cost you around $600 to $800, while an oxygen sensor replacement will cost about $500 to $700.

Minor repairs like brake pad replacements will cost around $300.

8. Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

Participants of the Consumer Reports have consistently given the Jeep Wrangler poor grades since 2010. Every year, the same issues continue to rear their ugly heads.

Wranglers are not terrible cars, but they aren't designed to be driven around curves. They're blocky, heavy, and tall - not great for taking turns at any speed. The ride is rough and bumpy, and they aren't as comfy as SUVs, but this is how the Jeep is designed, thus making it one of the worst handling cars for city driving. But still, men and women love their outdoor-driving Wranglers.

After ten years, the maintenance and repair costs should run up to about $10,000 to $11,000. There is also about a 31% chance that a Jeep Wrangler will require major repairs during its ten years of service.

Replacing the valve cover gasket will cost around $900 to $1,300, while strut assembly replacements will cost about $1,200 to $1,800.

Replacing a drive belt tensioner will cost about $300 to $400, and spark plug wire replacements will be around $200 to $300.

7. Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

According to Consumer Reports, Tesla's Model S had issues with its air suspension, main computer, and touchscreen controls. In the overall dependability survey, Tesla was placed second to worst. It went down two points from a year earlier owing to Model S’s troubles, and many of the faults listed by Consumer Reports have been ongoing for Tesla. 

Reported computer errors result in a blank touchscreen, drivers losing access to temperature controls, rearview cameras, and other features. It was caused by memory-device failures in the computer that stores vehicle data.

Many regular maintenance principles do not apply to Teslas because they are all-electric. During the first ten years of ownership, you’ll spend about $4,500 to $5,000 in maintenance and repairs. In 10 years of ownership, there is about an 8.6% chance that the Model S will require a major repair.

Common repairs are window motor regulator replacements, which cost between $600 to $900, and brake caliper replacements, costing around $350 to $600.

6. Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado

The Chevy Colorado has a lot of reported problems. Engine misfires and transmission problems are common in most of this truck's models. 

There are reported AC/heater issues as well as engine breakdowns. There are also gearbox and engine problems that manifest at low miles. When this happens, you need a company with a speedy junk car pick-up service like JunkCarsUS.

The maintenance costs will be around $9,000 to $10,000 for the first ten years of operation. There will also be an almost 30% chance that this truck will require major repairs during the first ten years.

Major repairs such as a radiator replacement will cost between $1,200 to $1,800, and replacing brake calipers will set you back $900 to $1,300.

Replacing a turn signal switch will cost around $250 to $350, and a ball joint replacement will be between $400 to $600.

5. Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y owners experienced problems with the car’s temperature system, power equipment, and in-car electronics. They also reported car body problems such as paint, trim issues, car integrity, and various body hardware. As a result of these issues, the 2022 Tesla Model Y is expected to get a one-out-of-five reliability rating. 

To make matters worse, Tesla is recalling almost 3,000 vehicles owing to a suspension problem that might cause the wheel to misalign, producing instability and raising the risk of a crash. 

During the first ten years of service, a Tesla Model Y will incur about $4,000 to $5,000 for maintenance and repairs. There is also an almost 12% chance that a Model Y will have major repairs done during the first ten years of operation. This is less than the industry average for luxury car models due to the vehicle’s electric nature, which does not need the usual mechanical maintenance of other cars.

As with the Tesla Model S, common repairs are for window motor regulator replacements, which cost between $600 to $900, and brake caliper replacements, which cost around $350 to $600.

4. Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass is a dependable compact SUV. However, it has its fair share of troubles and concerns reported by auto owners. A no-start scenario is a common issue, and the problem is seen even when the Jeep is still relatively new. 

According to owners, rain or snow would seep inside their passenger compartment anytime they drove through bad weather.

Owners claimed that the CVT transmission would overheat when the temperature outdoors was high or when traveling at high speeds on the highway.

During the first ten years of operation, a Jeep Compass will incur about $10,000 worth of maintenance and repairs. There will also be a 31% chance that the vehicle will undergo a major repair during those years.

Major repairs include a radiator replacement, which will cost around $800 to $1,200. Replacing the throttle body will cost about $900 to $1,500.

Minor repairs include replacing the turn signal switch, costing around $400 to $600. Replacing a control arm assembly will set you back about $300 to $400.

3. Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen's Atlas is a popular mid-size crossover SUV that has its own set of problems. Owners claim that the “forward collision warning” operates on its own, even when there is nothing in front of the car.  Some have reported that the emergency brakes engage on their own without warning.

Owners also reported engine shutdown even while driving and sometimes lost power while accelerating.

During the first ten years of operation, it will incur about $8,000 worth of maintenance and repairs. This is cheaper than the industry average for SUVs. There is also about a 23% chance that this SUV will require a major repair during the first ten years of service.

Major repairs include the replacement of the gearbox or steering rack, which will cost between $4,400 to $7,000. Replacing brake calipers is another major repair that will cost between $900 to $1,400.

Brake pad replacements will cost between $300 to $450, and a cabin air filter replacement will cost around $150 to $200.

2. Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent

The Ascent is Subaru's largest SUV with a 22 MPG engine, making it appealing due to high gas prices. On the other hand, Consumer Reports claim that the Subaru Ascent is one of the least reliable cars on the market right now - and possibly one of the worst new cars in the market.

This SUV has been noted to have transmission troubles, including a faulty gear selector, gear oil leaks, transmission computer issues, and clutch adjustment issues. The climate system has problems ranging from a faulty blower fan to refrigerant leaks.

A Subaru Ascent will accumulate $8,000 worth of maintenance and repair costs during its first ten years of operation. There is also about a 24% chance that this SUV will undergo major repairs during the first ten years of service.

Major repairs include replacing the disc brake, which will set you back between $700 to $1,100 for both rear and front assembly.

Brake pad replacements cost between $300 to $400, and a cabin air filter replacement costs $150 to $250.

1. Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The Silverado models have a slew of difficulties, including faulty air conditioning, stuck vehicles on the road, and major transmission problems. Some car owners brand it as one of the lamest cars in the market.

The Silverado’s powertrain is also reported to be problematic, with most reports stating intermittent vibration.

Owners also reported that the brakes, antilock braking system (ABS), and even the electronic stability control system (ESC) light indicators do not light up. This will leave the driver unaware of whether these systems are working or not. The possible harm from this issue puts the Silverado 1500 on the list of top cars to avoid.

The car will accumulate about $10,000 in maintenance and repair costs during its first ten years of operation. There is also a 30% chance that this pickup will have major repairs done during its first ten years of running.

Major repairs such as a fuel injector replacement will cost around $3,000 to $5,000. Replacing the control arm assembly also has a high cost of about $1,200 to $1,900.

Replacement of brake calipers will cost between $400 to $700, and replacing the oil pressure sensor will be about $500 to $700.

If You Wrecked Your Car and Don’t Want to Bother With Repairs — Let Us Junk it for You 

If you own an unreliable car, repairs and maintenance costs will start to pile up. When there’s too much damage and wear & tear, it’s better to sell your vehicle. If you’re looking for someone to buy your problematic car, look no further. JunkCarsUS is a trustworthy junk car buyer, and we offer the best deal in town. We buy non-running cars and pay cash for junk cars of any model or brand in any condition.

You can junk your car for cash in New York, Ohio, California, or any other state in the United States. Just call (855) 547-1550, and our friendly staff will answer all your questions. We pay top dollar with same-day processing, so you get your cash ASAP.  All our deals include free towing and paperwork.

FAQ

Which cars are the worst to buy in 2021?

You’d be surprised, but these cars are considered the worst to buy in 2021. Well-known and popular vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas, Jeep Compass and Wrangler, Tesla Model Y and S, Ford EcoSport, and Volvo XC60 and XC90 top the unreliability list of Consumer Reports.

What were the most frequent complaints about unreliable cars?

Frequent breakdowns and factory defects are what make a car unreliable. For modern cars, software glitches in the car computer are a common problem. This includes an unresponsive dashboard screen that typically controls most car features. Usual mechanical problems are transmission issues include failure of the gears to engage and when there are grinding sounds in the gearbox. 

What can I do with an unreliable car?

If you have an unreliable car that’s constantly breaking down or has a major nagging problem, repair costs can really pile up. Instead of repairing them, you can sell them as is to a junk car buyer like JunkCarsUS. Another option is to scrap it for parts and sell the expensive parts like radios, car seats, engine, and lights. You can then sell the entire car body to a junkyard that buys metal on a tonnage basis.

Edgar Moulton.

01/20/2022

Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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