Detroit has been busy trying to clean up it's act and has made some strides but sill there some cars out there that you just shouldn't buy unless you just love trouble. Forbes in this recent article talks about the issue of those clunkers still coming out of Detroit and lists them. Great read for anyone looking for a new car!
Seven Clunker Cars To Avoid
Things have been looking up for troubled American automakers. In October General Motors saw sales across all four of its brands (Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC) rise 22% year-over-year. Chrysler's sales were up 37% during the same period, and Ford Motor's sales climbed more than 20%.
But overall life is still giving Detroit lemons: All seven vehicles on our roundup of 2010's biggest clunkers come from GM and Chrysler.
Behind the Numbers
To determine 2010's biggest clunkers, we revisited a series of worst-of-the-worst lists, starting with our own The Most Dangerous Cars On The Road, Most Dangerous Trucks on the Road and Cars that Lose Their Value the Fastest. (We included depreciation rates because depreciation is the biggest expense of owning a car, and gives insight into whether consumers like their cars, and if they perceive them as reliable.)
We also looked at the 34 least-reliable cars as rated by Consumer Reports, and all vehicles that received a score of two stars or less on JD Power and Associates' annual dependability ratings. Any 2010 model car that appeared on at least three of these five lists makes our final ranking of the year's biggest clunkers. We did not include clunkers from now-defunct brands like Pontiac and Saturn.
It's All Relative
The car models on our list may rank at the bottom when you compare them to other new vehicles in their class. But just because a car counts as a "clunker" doesn't mean it's inherently dangerous or unreliable. Automobiles released in 2010 are safer, more reliable and better-made than cars made just a decade ago, and they're vastly better than anything made in the 1940s and '50s.
"If you're going to [ask about] unsafe cars in the market, or unreliable cars the market ... you'd have to say there aren't any," says Karl Brauer, senior automotive analyst at automotive website Edmunds.com. "You're really just down to the least-good cars, the cars that are below average."
Brauer says improvement comes mostly as a result of increasingly strict federal standards, which will continue to require safer and more efficient vehicles in the future. Two brands that have jumped ahead of the pack in those terms, according to Brauer? Korea's Hyundai and Kia.
Bottom of the Barrel
Still, it's impossible to ignore when a new car simply doesn't perform. Take Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler SUV: While it enjoys a fiercely loyal following of off-road and vintage-loving drivers, it doesn't perform as well as its competitors on federal and private safety tests.
Consumer Reports gave the Wrangler only 17 out of 100 points overall (anything above 70 is considered a "good" score) and criticized its ride, handling, braking, noise, fuel economy, fit and finish, visibility, front-seat comfort and access. The SUV received a less-than-glowing assessment: "We expect reliability to be worse than average, according to our latest subscriber survey," the Yonkers, N.Y.-based agency said.
Another Chrysler-made vehicle, the Sebring sedan, also appears on the list of clunkers. It's notoriously below-average in agility and performance tests and a frequent recipient of well-below-average reliability scores.
"The Sebring is one of the least competitive family sedans on the market," says Consumer Reports. "We found the 2.4-liter engine noisy and unrefined, and four-speed automatic unresponsive. The ride is unsettled, and handling is ungainly but ultimately secure. The interior has cheap, hard plastics, poor panel fit and uncomfortable seats." It's no surprise that the Sebring will be discontinued after the 2010 model year, to be replaced with the Chrysler 200.
Silver Lining For Detroit
Even though General Motors cars account for nearly half of the models on this list, it's not all bad news for the manufacturer: The three brands that saw the biggest year-over-year increases in new U.S. registrations are also Buick, Cadillac and GMC.
Tom Libby, an automotive analyst for R.L. Polk, says the strong showing in sales of those GM brands supports the notion that the auto industry is still "all about product." Buick's 58% increase over last year is due mostly to the recent introduction of the all-new Regal sedan, as well as nearly doubled sales of the updated Buick Lacrosse. Cadillac's 44% rise has been driven by a tripling in deliveries of the redesigned SRX.
"There are some hard facts working in [GM's] favor," Libby wrote this week in his earnings report. Indeed. GM is eliminating clunker cars like the Chevy Aveo, which was listed as one of the most dangerous cars of the year on Forbes' annual roundup, and rated by Consumer Reports as one of the least reliable compact vehicles on the road. GM is said to be planning a name-change for the subcompact when its refreshed version hits showrooms next year.
Redesigned and rebranded 2011 models should create positive buzz for American automakers. "The domestics are designing exciting vehicles such as the Malibu or the Taurus or the Enclave," says Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting for Kelley Blue Book. "They're finally coming up with vehicles customers want to buy."
As early as next year consumers will see significant improvements in several key models from Detroit, Ibara says. In short: Don't splurge on a new car until the new models hit the market. You'll be glad you waited.Read more at autos.yahoo.com