823,000 Cars. Which Ones Stink?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
823 000 cars which ones stink

I guarantee that every brand loyalist will have a reason to hate me after reading this article.

Every manufacturer sells a shitty car or two and then hides those defects behind a not-so-small army of lawyers, dealers, and corporate employees.


It’s the corporate American way. In our legal world, the power of denial can save you billions of dollars if you have the right army to fight your battles.

Every manufacturer plays this game. Every… single… one…

What happens is a train wreck filled with corpses, maimed men, women, children, and a smorgasbord of extra profit for the manufacturer. Your blown transmission, head gasket leaking engine, and cheap under-engineered wafer thin plastic piece of cost cutting junk now represents a brand new profit center for the creator of that crap.

A lot of folks who are not auto enthusiasts will throw up their hands and simply pay the exact same piper that played the shitty tune in the first place.

It shouldn’t take a village to sue a Fortune 500 company. At the same time, a few villagers shouldn’t sway the opinion of car buyers doing their research on the internet just because their car had a rare and infrequent defect.

What to do? Well, it’s taken about three years to make it a reality, but the Long-Term Quality Index will be one small ingredient in helping change that recipe. We now have compiled over 820,000 data samples from across the country, which means that we can finally offer the powertrain details that can turn the tide in these situations. If not for the benefit of the new car owner who got roasted after the warranty came and went, then at least for those folks still out there who are now spending a four to five figure sum on a used car.

In the real world of buying cars, divining this reality of inner beauty is where you get your best bang for the buck. Whether it’s opting for a manual transmission instead of an automatic if you’re shopping for certain years of the Accord, Pathfinder, or Patriot. Or getting a specific engine if you are in the hunt for an Audi, an old Volvo, or pretty much any model year or model type in between. The used car market is loaded with the good and the bad.

So feel free to read this article if you want to find out the indisputable ugly of each brand. Go here if you want the details, or here if you want to find out about a specific model. This has been a marathon of an undertaking which I hope will help a lot of folks avoid the rolling money pits of the used car market. As always, feel free to leave your own personal tale of rolling vehicular carnage in the comments below.

Hopefully nobody you know got killed over a two dollar part.

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2 of 78 comments
  • Don1967 Don1967 on Sep 10, 2015

    I commend the long-term focus of this research, and Steven Lang as a representative of the used-car industry. One wish list item for the future: Take the lessons learned from 18-year-old cars and use them to project the long-term prospects of newer offerings that people are actually buying today. I mean, if old Buicks were more reliable than old Hyundais because they used proven components, does that bode well for my stripped-down 2012 Veracruz with its manual seats, detuned 3.8 corporate engine and proven Aisin transmission? Or is it still "just a Hyundai", with bleaker prospects than the latest turbo-four Buick with heated wifi knobs? This wisdom is a bit fuzzy in the data as presented.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Sep 10, 2015

    It won't be long before the new Chevy Malibu shows up here.

  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that