Try as they might, automakers aren’t always able to deliver the goods at the end of the day. Even though a car may look good, it doesn’t always mean that it will be well-built. Whether they’re getting slapped with recalls, aren’t measuring up in the safety department, or are just poorly constructed, cheap cars are a live landmine that must be dodged if you reallywant to outsmart the local dealership. Otherwise, get used to spending a lot more time and money there.
Over the years there have been numerous automobiles that have hit the highway and were destined for failure right from the start. Remember the Chevy Citation, first-generation Audi A4 Allroad, or Daihatsu Charade? Maybe it’s best you didn’t. While particular trim lines will occasionally do a bit better than others, once a car gets labeled “cheap,” it typically tarnishes the nameplate forever.
Now, it appears a new breed of bad has been born. A recent flurry of activity on Consumer Reports’ site has just crushed the growing misconception that all contemporary cars are made to last. While modern amenities, overall quality, and safety features are outstanding compared to what Americans were tolerated in the 1980s and 1990s, plenty of crappy cars are still out there today.
The following is a list of ten automobiles that are deceptively sharp looking, but have a few reasons why they don’t have the quality to back up all that curb appeal. Some of them will likely surprise, while others might not. So brace yourselves, because here comes “The Cheap Sheet.”
10. Mitsubishi Mirage ES
2017 Mitsubishi Mirage ES | Thunder Bay Mitsubishi via Facebook
The Mirage ES tops out at $17,000, averages 37 miles per gallon, and has been restyled for the 2017 model year, which should make it a great entry-level commuter car. But critics slam the Mirage, calling it out for being “perhaps the worst-handling new car on sale,” warning that drivers will hate how much road noise emanates within the cabin.
All those aesthetic updates can’t hide the fact that it’s still being powered by an anemic, rough-idling three-cylinder engine that delivers laughable acceleration. Being so small, you could assume that this subcompact handles nicely, but think again. Despite having a fairly roomy cabin, critics and consumers alike find it to be “drab, cheap, and insubstantial,” leaving shoppers with little reason to buy one when a base Honda Fit costs about the same.