By on November 16, 2018

There are those vehicles that are truly great. You love to look at them, to drive them (or dream of so doing), to buy them.

Then there are the worst. The stinkers. The overpriced, the ugly, the awful-to-drive, the cars and trucks that just don’t make sense.

We started out by asking you, the reader, to submit up to 10 nominations for best and worst vehicle for 2018. Then we used a scoring system to account for vehicles that were nominated in both categories. The worst 20 vehicles, adjusted for scoring, were then presented for you to choose from. The full list is here.

You had your knives out and sharpened, and you didn’t disappoint. Without further ado, here are the worst vehicles of 2018, as voted by you, the readers, and our staff.

  1. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (tie)

Y’all really aren’t fans of this four-door “coupe.” One of you said M-B can do better and any potential buyer should just get a C-Class. Ouch. Apparently an $33K Mercedes with sleek styling is a proposition that sounds great on paper but not so much in terms of execution. One of you called it “blasphemy.”

2018 Acura ILX Special Edition - Image: Acura

  1. Acura ILX (tie)

This luxury compact doesn’t stir your soul. Acura may be missing an opportunity here – a fun-to-drive sport-luxury compact would likely sell well, and it seems like Acura should be able to build a good one, based on brand history and the history of parent Honda. But the ILX continues to be a miss.

All-New Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Compact SUV - Image: Mitsubishi

  1. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Bringing back the name of a beloved sports car and slapping it on a crossover is not, repeat NOT, a good idea from a marketing perspective. But Mitsubishi did it anyway, perhaps hoping that the name recognition would overcome the perceived sacrilege. As commenter Ajla said, it’s “poorly powered” and “a mess.”

  1. Chevrolet Trax

Ah, yes. Perhaps the only subcompact crossover that can compete for “worst” trophies with Ford’s EcoSport. Chevy’s Trax is slow, a chore to drive, and even the name gives some people the heebie-jeebies. Chevrolet can do better in this class, but it hasn’t as of yet.

2018 Fiat 500 Urbana Edition

  1. Fiat 500

Fiat’s subcompact city car is on this list because whatever cute factor it may have, that’s not enough to overcome a subpar interior. Even the existence of the hoonable 500 Abarth isn’t enough. As commenter lprocter82 put it: “because it’s a Yugo.” That hurts.

  1. Tesla Model X

While other cars in the Tesla stable got good marks, not so with the Model X. Ripped as being poorly designed, Tesla’s SUV doesn’t stack up with the sleek Model S and Model 3 sedans. We eagerly await the Elon tweet.

2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

  1. Dodge Journey

Old age doomed this venerable people mover more than anything else. While Fiat Chrysler has updated the Chrysler Pacifica and turned it into one of the better minivans in its class, this crossover has been allowed to age quietly, to the point of neglect. Some of you cast judgment on Journey drivers – one of you called it a “rolling credit score indicator.”

2018 Ford Ecosport

  1. Ford EcoSport

Ah, the subcompact crossover that’s supposed to hack your life! Instead, it can barely hack it as affordable transportation. Spend any time around the EcoSport or behind its wheel, and you’ll assume it was put together in a slapdash effort for Ford to get a subcompact crossover to market. Instead of Americanizing a vehicle purpose-built for the Indian market, Ford would’ve been better served by reading market trends and building something new from the ground up. Alas, that was not the case.

  1. Fiat 500L

What’s worse than a Fiat 500? A Fiat 500L, apparently. One of you called it “a strange bubble,” though we just refer to it a people mover we’d rather not be seen driving – or riding in. Fiat probably needs a well-designed compact four-door utility vehicle to be competitive (the 500X is nice, but perhaps too small), and this ain’t it.

  1. Mitsubishi Mirage

Unlike the best car winner, our “winner” here is no surprise. The Mirage is supposed to be cheap transportation, but while it is possible to do cheap transport well, Mitsubishi seems to have missed that memo. One of you suggests that if your budget is this small, you’re better off with a used Civic. Consider this win a loss for Mitsubishi.

Final Thoughts

As with our best-vehicle voting, the results change if you sort by average rank as opposed to “first place” votes. If we’d done it that way, the Fiat 500L would be the worst car, followed by the Dodge Journey, Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport, and Mitsubishi Mirage.

It’s possible some voters thought that the worst car should be ranked 20th instead of first. That could explain how the Model X had many 20th-place votes. That, or the typical Tesla polarization. Then again, the Toyota C-HR had plenty of 20th-place votes, but very few first-place votes.

Either way, these 10 vehicles are the worst on the market, according to you in the B and B and those of us on staff. The hate is real.

[Images: FCA, GM, Tesla, Mitsubishi, Ford, Daimler AG, Honda]

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96 Comments on “Here Are TTAC Readers’ Choice for Worst Vehicles of 2018...”


  • avatar
    arach

    I still don’t understand the Journey thing, and I proposed it as one of the BEST !

    Yes, it aged, but dang it- there’s NO BETTER VALUE out there. We bought a durango over the Journey, and in retrospect its not worth TWICE the price.

    If all you need is a big ol’ machine that moves 3 rows of people from point a to point b, the journey is awesome. there’s no other affordable option in that segment, and all the alternatives cost 40+ percent more. Its inane.

    yes, it is outperformed in every way by vehicles that cost twice as much, but can anyone find me a 3 row SUV that sells for the same price as the journey that is better?

    Have you seen the things USED? There’s one thats 2 years old, 45k miles, and its for sale for 11900. Low mileage newer examples are UNDER $10k. thats nuts. A 10 year old ford explorer with 150k miles costs you $18k. I would choose a brand new journey over a 10 year old 150k explorer any day.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      @arach – for once I agree with you.

      Comparing the Journey to its competition and if money is no object, it’s terrible.

      BUT if you need a 3 row crossover, it has to be new, and budget is tight (like it is for those with kids) then it can be a godsend.

      • 0 avatar
        TCowner

        I would use the 3 row definition lightly – that 3rd row is useless for anything but very small children.

      • 0 avatar

        There was some comments over at ALLpar about this a few months ago. The journey still sells in very good numbers. A dealers salesman on Allpar (I think from NJ) said they can’t keep the mid trim ones in stock. He said very few are sold as a first choice, most people come in looking for a Durango Grand Cherokee Pacifica or Caravan, When they get one with the options they want they can’t make the payments but they can get them in a 4 cyl Journey. He actually mentioned if they added a few more features to the base model they might sell even more.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        @PrincipalDan

        “For once”? Are we that contentious? :)

        @Mopar4wd

        I’m not surprised by that. Cars.com ranks the journey a 4.7/5 and US news puts it at 7/10. People who own them generally like them, but the “review agencies” don’t. I love the pentastar, but agree if your not “budget” shopping, the journey isn’t what you want. It does miss a few “key” options though for those who are option-shopping that seem to surprise me.

        You and a few others mention the caravans. the caravan is 25% more expensive than the Journey in MSRP form ,and I see bigger discounts on the journey than the caravan, at least from here. For the “Stripper model” with bluetooth, the caravan is $28,335 They are offering $4000 cash allowance on them now.

        The Journey starts at 22,995 and has 6000 cash allowance on it now. (16,995 for a new car?). You can step up to the V6 with 6 spd transmission, and your looking at about 3-4k less than the caravan, which is more than 10%.

        Do you get 10% “more” from a caravan? maybe, I guess it depends on what is important to you. The Journey supposedly has better crash test ratings also, and AWD is cheaper, with an AWD SE Journey coming in at about the same price as a FWD Caravan.

        Again, I would probably say its “worth” spending a little more on a caravan and won’t disagree with you, but it really depends on what “worth” is to you. A base 3 row Journey (assuming 6 yr/9.25 rate) would be $309/mo while the stripper caravan would be $454/mo. That’s a difference in payment of $145.

        $145/month is a lot of money to many people, and is a 47% increase in monthly payment.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      My only argument for the Journey being awful is that the same Dodge dealer will likely have stripper Caravans for pretty similar money (especially with the 3rd row), and there’s something wrong with you if you’re embarrassed by a minivan, but not a Journey.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Agree regarding the Journey.

        If you are buying a car ‘by the pound’ the Journey is the ‘most for your money’. Up to 3 rows of seating, high ride height, decent visibility and road clearance for minimal money. And those in the market for this type of vehicle rarely rate driving dynamics near the top of their priorities. If we refer to the previous TTAC posting regarding ‘safety’ and ‘vehicle size/weight’ then the Journey should be right near the top of the list of preferred/best vehicles for young/new drivers.

        As for its lack of new technology, who really cares? How many of the B&B prefer a CVT to a 4 speed auto?

        Unfortunately the Journey does have 2 legitimate, practical strikes against it.

        One is reliability. On such an old platform/technology, FCA should have ironed out all the problems and created a simple, solid and reliable vehicle. They haven’t, it still ranks low in reliability scores.

        Secondly as mentioned by @Maymar, the Caravan is available on the same lots. For not that much more money, you can get a far more reliable and practical vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Isn’t the Journey basically a Caravan lightly disguised as an SUV?

        • 0 avatar
          scott25

          Yes, but the Caravan has the Pentastar V6 across the board, you have to move into the top trims to get it in the Journey.

        • 0 avatar
          geo

          The original Pacifica was a Caravan disguised as a wagon of some sort. The Journey was designed on the Sebring/Avenger platform.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Journey is based off the old Mitsubishi-sourced platform that underpinned the Dodge Avenger (sedan), last-generation Sebring and first gen 200. The Caravan isnt on the same platform to my knowledge.

          Given that the third row is practically useless in the Journey, its poor quality and reliability, I see no reason whatsoever to buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “Given that the third row is practically useless in the Journey, its poor quality and reliability, I see no reason whatsoever to buy it.”

            Says the guy that lusts over 20 year old and extremely poorly built Ford sedans…

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      The Journey R/T trimmed in leather with the V6 is far from a “terrible” vehicle. Its comfortable and AWD, that’s all alot of people ask for. Its also cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I don’t see too many Journeys in my neck of the woods, but the ones I do seem to be in good shape. My guess is the owners wanted something new, of a certain size, and well within their budget; they don’t strike me as irresponsible people who are barely getting by.

      The credit score snark from author and others on this site is obnoxious and unoriginal. I know a couple who own a ten-year-old subcompact as their “run errands in the city” car. They also happen to have a net worth in the high seven or low eight figures.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Read the book, “The Millionaire Next Door.”

        Many Americans with acquired wealth CHOOSE to project the image of border-line poverty and “barely getting by.”

        Often they drive Used, but when push comes to shove, they’ve got money in the bank, or in their mattress.

    • 0 avatar
      Grenade

      A friend of mine bought a new one for his wife. It has 24k on it, and decided it would shed its serpentine belt while they were on the highway with four kids in the back. Dodge covered it under warranty. Crazy thing to happen to a 1 year old vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      “A 10 year old ford explorer with 150k miles costs you $18k”

      ……it absolutely, without question, does not. 2008 Explorers are dirt cheap (as they should be).

      There’s a decent looking one near me for 2700 bucks.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      I am not embarrassed in the least to be seen in my old but still clean Odyssey, a dreaded minivan, but I didn’t want anyone I know to see me in the loaner Journey I had recently.

      As for the Pentastar V6, how can the same engine feel so good in a Pacifica, but borderline crappy in a Journey? It’s as if FCA crapped it up for duty in the lesser vehicle.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Agreed on the Journey. I don’t know of any other modern vehicle that relies upon a 4-speed automatic (in 4-cyl guise; the 6-cyl gets a 6-speed).

  • avatar
    Maymar

    So, the 10(+2) best vehicles have an average MSRP of $40,500 ($41,500, if you accommodate for the B&B realistically thinking about the $35k mass market versions of the Wrangler/F150 instead of their $28k base models), while the 10 worst average out to $27,500 (only $22k if you ignore the Model X ringer). I’ll just keep putting that out there as long as the worst/best aren’t near parity.

    Also, drove a BMW X1 last week. Too late to have nominated it, but disappointing that wasn’t brought up for the same sins the CLA has.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      Have you driven an X2? They make the newest generation X1 seem wonderful in comparison. Awful visibility (front, back, and sides), bizarre handling (lots of understeer and body roll), very sluggish acceleration unless you put it in “Sport” mode, no interior space, etc… We had one as a service loaner. After a day of around town driving I believe it got 18 mpg. Also – it had the worst orange peel I’d seen on a car in many years. The sticker in the glove box said had an MSRP of about $44K. Ugh.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Surprised the Camry haters did not get the Camry on the list.

    Just did a trip to the store in Newport Beach.

    A radio add just ran … “Toyota owners have a longer life expectancy than owners of other brands”. That seals the deal for me. Toyota forever.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I don’t get the ILX hate. A better looking Civic for not a lot more money. The only knock is that it’s still on the old platform.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Model X is excellent to drive, very fast, handles extremely well for an SUV and is extremely spacious. Way more spacious than a Nissan Armada, for example. I hate the idiotic doors but they do allow for very easy entry. When I bought my Model S, I could have gotten the MX for basically the same price. The doors and the windshield were the reasons I did not, even though the forward facing third row is more usable than the rear facing third row in my MS. I would have bought the MX instead in a heartbeat if it had conventional doors.

    I also think that the Journey is the kind of car we need more of. Simple and cheap, practical and no wasted space. I think the four speed automatic is an asset. Would have been even better with a manual, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I would have bought the MX instead in a heartbeat if it had conventional doors.”

      And it probably wouldn’t be on the TTAC 10 Worst list if it had conventional (or sliding) doors.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on the X, including the doors. Sales would at least double if it had normal doors. Even if I could afford one, I couldn’t park it in my garage because of those doors. Sure, they would safety stop before striking my ceiling, but the passengers would have to crawl out the bottom of the door opening.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Doesn’t it have that call-to feature where it can pull forward to meet you at a parking spot? Could it not do the same parking in a garage?

        I honestly don’t know since Tesla isn’t on my radar due to the expense and for practicality reasons.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Oh the poor Journey. An outdated vehicle that while not terrible is just so easy to make fun of.

    When I sold at a CDJR dealer, the Journey was my favorite. Looking at a used Jeep but can’t get approved? Journey. Want a Durango but can’t swallow the price? Journey. Grandma wants to trade her 200 on something bigger for the Grandkids? Journey. Need a used SUV with 3 row on the cheap. Journey baby! Plus you can now get them in F8 Green and Destroyer gray, so that’s sick!

    Pretty much agree with everything else. Would’ve liked to see the CH-R on the list. I was behind on yesterday watching it’s little front wheels spinning up a hill in the snow. How funny, you buy a lifted crossover and it can hardly drive in snow due to it’s all-seasons and no awd.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Wow, I’m almost convinced to buy… A Journey

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      @SixspeedSi: “Would’ve liked to see the CH-R on the list. I was behind on yesterday watching it’s little front wheels spinning up a hill in the snow. How funny, you buy a lifted crossover and it can hardly drive in snow due to it’s all-seasons and no awd.”

      You do know that the CH-R is lower than a Corolla, right?

      Lifted, my foot. People can convince themselves of anything, I guess.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I didn’t think the journey was that bad when it was introduced 10 years ago, but it is essentially unchanged. Compared to today’s cuv offerings, it just isn’t up to par. It is a brand new 10 year old dodge. Unlike the Nissan truck, which after so many years still fills the niche for a dead simple small basic truck, the Journey isn’t able to rest on its laurels.

    • 0 avatar
      forward_look

      I’m driving an 11 year old Caliber, with the CVT, and it’s old but fine. Other than wear and tear, no catastrophic failures. I can’t get my wife out of it and may have to buy a Journey to replace it. Plenty of cheap ones in the Hertz bargain bin.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Similarly the Fiat 500 wasn’t bad for a small car 11 years ago, but is essentially unchanged.

      Even the 2nd gen Ford Ka which shared a platform with the Fiat has been axed, the Brazilian Ka+ being the replacement.

      Fiat do have a thing for long lived models though, their sub-compact Punto was only axed this year because of safety ratings, it had been introduced in 2005 – 13 years ago!

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    So, here’s my take on the Journey.

    I traded my 2008 Accord for a 2007 Pacifica in the fall of 2016. I took it to one of the local CJDR dealers and walked around the lot while waiting.

    The Pacifica minivan had just come out and they had a couple of them next to a couple of Journeys. Compared to what I was driving, the new Pacifica was longer and rode higher with sticker prices that made my eyes water but the Journey was almost identical in size.

    I started thinking I might eventually replace my old Pacifica with a new Journey, because the form factor and ride height were half the reasons I landed on a 10 year old crossover.

    Then I started looking at how the rear seats were configured; they were way less useful and adjustable than the Flip-n-Tumble seats in the old Pacifica; with the front seat all the way back a rear-facing car seat wouldn’t fit in the second row, and there was no way to option it up from the base interior either.

    I chatted with one of the salespeople about it and they basically said if I thought the Pacifica was too expensive and the Caravan was too big that I should keep what I had and not even bother looking at the Journey. I found that interesting.

    I know the market sees the Pacifica crossover as a failure, but replacing it with a vehicle that is less capable in almost every respect is a head-scratcher. I guess because the Journey was based on the Avenger platform it had lower long-term build costs? Otherwise I don’t see why they didn’t just keep the Pacifica going and do a de-contented version for Dodge.

  • avatar
    ahintofpepperjack

    The Mirage is a great car. I owned one when I delivered pizzas. I had the 5 speed and regularly hit over 50MPG on the highway. It’s a simple 3 cylinder engine with a manual transmission. It’s super reliable and fuel efficient. No Turbo, no Direct Injection, no EV stuff and still hits 50MPG. Plus it has a 10 year warranty. It has all the modern conveniences you need, A/C, power windows/locks, ABS, Traction/Stability control, and Bluetooth.

    The local dealer here sells them new for $10,000 or you can buy a used one with less than 50,000 miles and tons of warranty left for $6,000.

    There is no other car you can buy that gets 50MPG, costs $6,000 and still has 6+ years left on the factory warranty. It is the perfect car for college students, pizza delivery, or just single adults.

    No, it doesn’t handle great, and yes it’s ugly. But it is super reliable, fuel efficient basic transportation. It’s the car half the people here say they would buy if only manufacturers offered “basic affordable cars”.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      If it was a class bigger and had more than 100 horsepower, it wouldn’t be the laughing stock that it is. See how the Yaris isn’t on this list.

      • 0 avatar
        ahintofpepperjack

        A quick look at specs shows that the Yaris and Mirage have pretty close leg and head room, within a half-inch. The mirage also has a larger cargo capacity.

        The Yaris has 28 more horsepower, but it also weighs 300lbs more than the Mirage. And the Mirage is more fuel efficient at a combined 39 MPG vs 35 for the Yaris.

        • 0 avatar
          afedaken

          That the Mirage made the list, but the Yaris didn’t speaks far more to the psychology behind Toyota’s reputation than it does about the quality of the vehicles.

          At the bottom of the market for utilitarian car purchases, the Mirage is the clear winner, especially with the warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      tmport

      The fact that the Mirage is #1 on this list shows how out of touch most TTAC readers are. Any car that has such high owner ratings cannot be the worst car in America, full stop.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        No it does not. It shows most readers on here know a piece of **** when they see one. It us a badly designed, badly built and badly looking car. Plenty of decent nearly new options. The current Fiesta will be going soon with big incentives and is a much better choice.

        • 0 avatar
          tmport

          mike978, you claim that the Fiesta is a far better car than the Mirage. Why, then, to take one example, does the Fiesta have an average 7.3 consumer rating on KBB, while the Mirage has a 9.4 (one of the highest ratings for any compact or subcompact car, by the way)? When you ask actual owners–i.e people who bought the car and drive it daily–they directly contradict you. The consensus at the Mirage forums is that it’s a phenomenally fuel-efficient car that has proven to be quite reliable. The 2017 refresh fixed many of the worst problems with the 2014-15 models.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            First to the other commentator I agree Ford was wrong to cancel their cars in the US.
            Now onto you a rating if a few owners on a website doesn’t make it correct. Also Mirage owners are avsoecual type of person either no expectations, so they will be happy if it just starts. I think a car should do more than just start each day for you to be satisfied. I have been in one and the quality is poor. Whether that us rough, unfinished plastics, very thin carpet etc. People can do better.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I forgive alot on my Fiesta because it is a tiny car with nearly 200 hp that handles like it is on rails and makes me feel like a rally driver when I drive up the mountain road to my house

            The best thing I can say about the Mitsubishi is that the fact I kept getting them from rental agencies prompted me to stick to National, and get status so I never had to drive one again.

            Sure, if you hate cars it is a cheap new car and frankly you have to spend a ton more to get a car we’d call unreliable by today’s standards (German at a minimum), but if you enjoy driving at all, this thing is terrible.

            I guess I’ll cross my fingers and hope for a Fit SI when the fiesta is done.

        • 0 avatar

          Unlike the Fiesta at least the Mirage is going to survive. If there is a worst list Hackett and the Ford management team belong on it. Ford’s management’s decision to cancel its entire carline is the disgrace of the year.

          • 0 avatar
            WallMeerkat

            Ford’s decision was painful.

            But I would put the buying public’s obsession with crossovers and SUVs at the top of the worst ‘things’ list. Ford’s action was a reactionary consequence of this.

    • 0 avatar
      Middcore

      The same type of internet car blog commenters who drool over Japanese kei cars and wonder why we can’t have something like them in the US treat the very existence of the Mirage, the closest thing the US actually does have to a kei car, as a crime against humanity.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I agree with most of these. I’m surprised the Nissan Versa was not included.
    I have a soft spot for the Fiat 500 if you option it with the better interior it’s ok. The 500L is too bus like but the 500X is a good value if you don’t like the platform mate Renegade.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I still hold out hope that Nissan will restore the SE-R badge to it’s proper glory by affixing it to the back of a Versa Note with a wild suspension and some crazy love under the hood.

      They won’t, but one can dream

  • avatar
    scott25

    Go drive a Journey and see if you still like it. It’s about the only current vehicle I’d ever apply “terrifying” to. And go drive a CH-R and see if you still hate it. The Trax and Ecosport are miserable to spend time in. The CH-R is not.

    Agree the Mirage doesn’t deserve the top spot. The Model X, CLA, and 500L are all far more embarrassing, let alone most of the entry level crossovers from premium brands. A proud cheap basic vehicle doesn’t deserve to be hated for it.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Even for its class, the C-HR is very slow. A quarter mile time in the 18s is just brutal for anyone not time traveling from 1981.

    • 0 avatar
      SixspeedSi

      I partly agree. The Journey isn’t the worst, it drives very numbly which annoys me, but besides that, it’s comfortable and quiet.

      The Mirage I think deserves to be on the list, but top, idk about that. It’s a cheap car that does it’s job fine. Would I recommend anyone buy one over something used? Probably not.

      I do think the CH-R is miserable. Per the class, it’s underpowered, only come in FWD, defeating most of the purpose of buying a CUV and feel very claustrophobic in the rear seats.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Meh, I drove an Audi S3 that was terrifying in that I kept finding myself at tripple digit speeds.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m surprised I was so salty about the Eclipse Cross. I mean, I don’t *like* it and I think it belongs on the list but there are things I hate more.

    Overall I really only agree with 4 choices on this list (Ecosport, Model X, Eclipse Cross, and CLA).

    Mirage- I don’t like it but can’t really hate something with a sub $15K price.

    500L- it is ugly but FCA replaced the *terrible* DCT with a conventional auto so it earns a “meh”.

    Journey- it’s affordable enough to be okay.

    500- it’s priced okay and now has the turbo as standard.

    Trax- I don’t like the Trax but the Encore deserves ire a lot more.

    ILX- I don’t care for Acura but I don’t see what makes this one worse than anything else they’ve built in the last decade.

    • 0 avatar
      Jessie Pinkman

      As a current owner of a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT (bought new) I recently went to a stand alone Mitsu dealer for a ride and drive on the new Eclipse Cross.

      I was impressed with it. Many subtle changes over the Sport. The split back window is unique. The turbo is a major performance upgrade as is fuel mileage. The interior appointments, fit and finish is excellent. Sorry but I liked it. Too early to trade but it will be on my radar when I do.

      On the Mirage. Pretty sure when we have a repeat of 2008 and the gas prices rise , economy is in the tank and everyone is in their big trucks. The people who DID buy the Mirage will be the smartest people in the room.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’ve never quite gotten these kinds of “reader’s choice” lists. I mean, how many cars do you folks buy in a year? I haven’t bought a new one in nearly 10 years and a used one in four. I’ve only rented one vehicle all year, and that was a U-Haul. I doubt anyone who comments on this blog has test driven all of these cars, much less done some actual wheel time behind any of them.

    So we’ve essentially got a weird kind of (anti-) beauty contest here, based on what people think the cars are like, due to their looks, specification or what someone else said.

    Nope, still don’t get it…

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “So we’ve essentially got a weird kind of (anti-) beauty contest here, based on what people think the cars are like, due to their looks, specification or what someone else said.”

      That’s basically what we’re doing. Back in 2006 the idea of the original “TWAT awards” was to spoof published “best of” lists that were seemingly made based on arbitrary criteria (or advertising revenue). These days I think it’s more for reader engagement and for VS to get some market research data.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      I haven’t driven a car newer than my 06 Odyssey. And I’m a car enthusiast. Obviously I didn’t vote.

  • avatar
    TS020

    There is one thing the Mirage is better at more than every other vehicle on the list (except maybe the Journey).

    Being honest.

    It’s a car that’s cheap to buy and run, and it doesn’t try and be anything more. No, it’s not an aspirational vehicle, but it does what it’s designed to do very well without any pretensions, and in an age where SUV’s and crossovers are marketed as being sporty and trucks have soft leather interiors, that’s almost refreshing.

  • avatar
    craiger

    Mitusbishi still makes cars?

  • avatar
    brn

    I’m confused.

    Per the “TTAC Readers’ Choice: The Best Vehicles of 2018” article, the Tesla model 3 received more 20th place votes than any other car. As such, it should be #1 on this list, as well as #1 on the other list (proving both lists serve no purpose other than to entertain).

    TTAC, help me understand.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I like Mirage quite a bit, considering the cost. Amazingly enough, it has enough space for me to fit in, while many much larger vehicles do not. This win only tells me that people are lemmings. The automotive press decreed that Mirage is the worst car, et voila.

  • avatar
    remusrm

    https://hooktube.com/watch?v=OcszMakTHCw This video explains very well how vain and foolish some are and really articulates why most of this comments are so ludicrous. The mirage is a great car for the money and its economical.

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    Are these cars bad because they do not appeal to enthusiasts? What am I missing?

    Personally, I do not think that any car on this list is bad when viewed from the perspective of the average consumer. You’re getting cars that are relatively built well, safe, reliable and will address your daily driving needs. What’s the problem? Oh yes, my bad, they do not handle well, are slow and won’t survive a lap around the Nurburgring…

    Half of the people on this board hate the CLA but have practically zero experience with it. My partner drives a CLA250 and it’s a wonderful little car. I find the design polarizing, it drives pretty well (from my perspective) and the engine is punchy and relatively refined. What’s not to like? Yes, rear head space is limited, but if you have two grown (tall) kids you’re not going to buy a CLA in the first place. I actually enjoy driving his CLA when I get the opportunity because it feels so modern and exciting compared to my two somewhat sleep-inducing W210 E classes. To me, the CLA is a good car and does not belong on this list along with the rest of the vehicles listed.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I completely agree with you – having had a bunch of them as rentals, my only gripe is that it is cramped and pretty expensive. But it’s a perfectly decent car, and I don’t find it to be particularly un-Mercedes like. The tiny women of a certain age who buy them probably find them quite roomy, and also probably don’t care about the price – they think they are “cute”. My Mother fits in that category, and if she could afford one, she would be driving one.

      I absolutely adore Fiat 500s too. I owned an Abarth, and it is a fantastically fun car, but all of them make me smile. They do what they are intended to do better than anything else. Very much a niche car, but what’s wrong with that?

      Having had a Journey or two for rentals, they are totally meh, but they are also STUPID cheap, so I really can’t fault them. They are what they are.

  • avatar
    Aaron Costello

    I own a Mirage. Bought it new with 14 miles on it, and not because I had to. Because I wanted to. It now has just under 107,000 miles, and hasn’t given me a day’s trouble. Not a squeak or a rattle in it. Over 40 mpg on a bad day. Came with the best warranty in the business…which I never had to use.

    I am convinced that 95% of the self-proclaimed ‘car guys’ here would like (or at least respect) the Mirage if they were ever to actually bother driving one. Why? For the same reasons they enjoyed the hell out of that ’77 Datsun B210 or ’86 VW Golf they had back in the day.

    But it’s more fun to be the 10,423rd guy on the internet to say, “Buy a used Civ-rolla instead! Or GET A BUS PASS!”

    Sheesh… Why do you guys like 3200 pound sleeping pills so much?

  • avatar

    I did not participate in this survey because I believe there is no such thing as a bad car today. Every modern car today offers technology and conveniences that were unheard of 20 years ago. Even the so called Mirage would probably be the best subcompact in the world back in 2005. I believe cars today offer different degrees of good, but nothing is truly bad like a Sunfire or Pinto. I could easily live with either a Fiat 500 or Mirage. This worst list could easily be the best car list from the early 2000s.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      When I ran an independent repair shop, I had many customers with Fiat 500s on account of the local FCA dealer wanting nothing to do with them. They are incredibly cheaply built and poorly engineered. Wheel bearings and driver seats don’t hold up as well as those on Sunfires. Hub caps fall off at a rate that Pinto owners wouldn’t have accepted. The license plate light bulbs fail after a few years and can only be replaced as part of a chrome trim piece that costs a couple hundred bucks. The retractable top models have problems with their tops. There were countless cars available in the early 2000s that are better than anything on the market today, but there were better cars than the Fiat 500 available in 1988.

      • 0 avatar

        Like any modern car I am sure the 500 will go 200,000 miles if properly taken care of. In 1988 the 500 would probably be one of the most technological advanced vehicles in the world. There are no bad cars today. Case closed…..

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          A 1986 Yugo would have been one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the road in 1958. Does that mean it was a good car? Do you know what a logical fallacy is? A soy protein bar is more technologically advanced than an organic chicken breast. Which is a better source of protein for men?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Every power retractable top car ever made has problems with it’s top. The thing with mechanics is they only ever see broken cars, so they have zero idea of what the real percentage of issues is. I am still fairly active on the 500 Forums and I would say these cars are aging reasonably gracefully with not a lot of epidemic issues. Yes, they are cheap – because they are CHEAP cars. There is nothing wrong with that.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I never saw any other car that was less than five years old and had issues with top mechanisms whereas the three 500Cs we worked on all had top mechanism issues. The only other wheel bearing failures that occur as early and often as 500s’ are rear wheel bearing issues on recent Subaru Foresters.

          “The thing with mechanics is they only ever see broken cars, so they have zero idea of what the real percentage of issues is.”
          That’s some real fine thinking right there! We pretty much live in a world of do-it-yourself go-getters who don’t need professionals to perform annual state inspections, change their cars’ oil or check their tire pressures, so shops only see cars that are broken! Brilliant! What else do you think you know about?

    • 0 avatar
      Magnusmaster

      Real bad cars today aren’t sold in first-world countries because they can’t pass crash test regulations. Here in Argentina we have really bad cars. The weather stripping in our family’s Fiat Uno falls off since day one, it has dreadful build quality, is unreliable, very slow and a deathtrap and it was still better off than most of the competition when we bought it. And it costs more than a regular car in USA because of taxes… But it’s still better than cars from the early 90 that didn’t even have rust-proofing.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Re the Journey:s some of you cast judgment on Journey drivers – one of you called it a “rolling credit score indicator.”

    It’s what internet snobs do best.

    Can’t be better than the vehicle they deliver pizzas in, can it ?

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    A good list. There’s not a single one on it that I’d defend with any real vigor. They are all, however, legions better than Dad’s 1981 Plymouth Horizon. Yeah, even the Fiats. When talking about the “worst of” something it’s always prudent to remember that everything’s relative.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Horizon designed by Chrysler Europe ended up a product of Peugeot.

      The Buick Regal of it’s day :D

      • 0 avatar
        riggodeezil

        It was truly an awful, awful car. Natch, the design was classic econo-crapbox. It would conk out every time you turned a corner the wrong way and the speedo cable snapped the first time it got below 20F. The really sad part was Dad traded a ‘66 Mustang for it. Needless to say, I was apoplectic. “Need better gas mileage” went the arguement and he was not yet sold on Japanese products(*) He didn’t like it much when I pointed out that his plan was working but only because wound up taking the bus a lot.

        (*) these days, you would have to take his Avalon out of his cold, dead hands.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Mirage is an honest vehicle. I’ll defend it and it’s three furious pistons creating 78 HP. Is there a better new vehicle at it’s price? No.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    The CLA250 is a hilariously bad choice for this list and I would guess that anyone who voted for it has never driven it. I had one for a week as a loaner while my GL was in the shop. It feels tiny on the road, it’s cramped but the trunk is huge, the interior is solid and well-designed, and it looks great. And it’s fast as hell when you floor it, and it’s an insanely fun corner carver. My (tall for their age) kids loved it, and they were the ones who had to deal with the shitty back seat.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    What’s interesting is this could also function as a ‘best value’ list. Most passenger space per dollar? Dodge Journey and Fiat 500L. Lowest price to get into a new car (with and without charm, respectively)? Fiat 500 and Mitsubishi Mirage. Lowest priced cars with premium brand badge? Acura ILX and Mercedes-Benz CLA. Least expensive ways to get in on the tiny CUV craze? Ford EcoSport and Chevy Trax. Least expensive new CUV that kinda looks like a Lexus? Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Yes, a lot of these puppies are arguably the worst in their classes, which should come as no great flippin’ surprise because they’re also the cheapest. That cheapness makes them attainable for a lot of people, and the worst new car is better than the majority of used cars from the standpoint of safety features, reliability, warranty, etc.

    The Tesla is a the oddball on here, I suppose present only because a) TTAC’s Tesla haters are as predictable and tiresome as Elektrek’s Tesla fanbois and b) let’s face it, the Model X, uh, LITERALLY resembles an odd ball.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    So, B&B, which car was the one that you would choose from your “worst vehicles” list (i.e. the best of the worst) if you were forced to? For me, it was the Ford Taurus. I had a new one with the 3.5-liter V6 as a free upgrade rental, and it was surprisingly capable, quiet and comfortable. A little thirsty, but once I drove it in some unexpected snow flurries I enjoyed the stability offered by its mass.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “Apparently an $33K Mercedes with sleek styling is a proposition that sounds great on paper but not so much in terms of execution. ”

    Sleek, ugly, same thing, right?

    The CLA is, by all accounts, low quality. And it looks like butts.

    (Even the GLA looks better; I kinda LIKE the GLA’s looks, even if the GLC is better at everything the GLA does, including aesthetics.

    I’m not as big a fan of the C class’s curvy current look, but it IS much more handsome than the CLA.

    The CLA makes the Mercedes brand cheaper. And I don’t mean “less expensive”.)

  • avatar

    Overall the list was pretty predictable. I agree with much of it, although I think the Journey still has its place due to the factors mentioned in other comments, and I have a big soft spot for the Fiat 500. The 2015 Sport my wife owns has been a great car, easy to own and she still loves it like she did the day she bought it. She says if she needs more space she wants a 500X and I’m fine with that.

    As for the Mirage, I think my feelings for that model are pretty well laid out in this review I wrote a few months back after I rented one:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/cars/comments/8xjyx7/rental_review_2018_mitsubishi_mirage/

  • avatar
    66Cortina

    Dumb question here… I keep seeing the phrase ‘B & B’ on this site, which I think means ‘bed & breakfast’ except that it doesn’t make sense given the context. What am I missing?


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