10 Models to Stay (Far) Away From When Buying a Used Car

We called them Bugs back in the 70's, with their cute little snub noses and engines in the hood. But did you know that Volkswagen Beetles, the new ones, are a brand you should walk -- no, run -- away from on the used car lot?

According to Steven Lang at autos.yahoo.com, a new quality index will help consumers stay away from the lemons.  What's considered low quality? The highest defect level at trade-in.

Lang categorizes the losers:

10. Volkswagen New Beetle (automatic transmission issues and cheap interior components; diesel models with 5-speed manuals are by far the best powertrain option.)
9. Mazda 626 (automatic transmission issues, all models.)
8. Lincoln Aviator (a gussied-up, unpopular Ford Explorer that had unique sensor and software issues which negatively impacted the overall powertrain and electronics.)
7. Jaguar S-Type (Extensive transmission and engine issues on all V-6 and V-8 models. Along with Limited edition models with ungodly replacement costs.)
6. Lincoln LS (Same basic powertrain as the Jaguar S-Type with nearly identical results.)
5. Mazda Millenia (Engine issues, transmission issues and cheap interiors that just don't wear well.)
4. Land Rover Discovery (Expensive parts. Expensive powertrains. Electronics that are apparently the spawn of Beelzebub.)
3. Mini Cooper (Bad transmissions that are unusually expensive to replace. Cheap interior parts. Cheap hydraulics.)
2. Land Rover Freelander (A cost-cutting exercise that went way past the bone.)
And a true shocker, the single worst used vehicle at the wholesale auctions when it comes to overall defect rate at trade-in time is....

1. Mazda CX-7 (Engine issues on these vehicles are legion with nearly a third of these vehicles sold with "Engine needs service" announcements at the auctions.)

My grandfather used to sell used cars and though I loved him dearly, I never bought a car from him.


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