What used cars NOT to buy?

Buying a used car can save you tons of money. But if you select the wrong used car, you may end up regretting it as you will spend more time in the garage than on the road. So, before you spend your hard-earned money on any car, it’s good to know which used cars you should avoid.

The worst used cars are Fiat 500, Mini Cooper, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Journey, and Ford Focus. These cars are not reliable and many reliability rating agencies have rated them as some of the worst cars to own. Hence, before you buy any of these cars, think twice! 

Most people buy used cars because they cannot afford new ones. On the contrary, others buy used cars for their teenagers or first-time drivers. But if the used car is not reliable, this will be a waste of time as money saved will be wasted in the garage on repair and maintenance.

Here are the used cars to avoid:

Fiat 500

The vehicle that tops our list of the used cars that you should stay clear of is the Fiat 500. Fiat-Chrysler has at least 19 models, but all of them perform poorly in reliability ratings. The 2012 Fiat 500 is the worst of them all as users reported problems with brakes, suspension, and power equipment.

Dodge Journey

Another brand that is popular for delivering unreliable cars is Dodge. This brand has at least 7 models with below-average reliability. If you’re looking to buy a Dodge model, stay away from Dodge Journey and Dodge Challenger. Dodge Journey problems include issues with the engine and suspension.

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Ford Focus

Ford also has several models with below-average reliability. However, Ford Focus is the least reliable Ford model. Surprisingly, it was the bestselling car in 2013, but issues with the transmission made the sales hit a wall and people lost trust in this model.

Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper is one of the loveliest small cars on the market. Even though its looks are tempting, don’t be tempted to spend your hard-earned cash on a used Mini Cooper. Models made between 2007 and 2011 have the most issues.

Jeep wrangler

Jeep Wrangler is one of the most notable 4X4 vehicles with a loyal fan base. Nonetheless, this car is very unreliable and has even had some recalls. For instance, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler had two recalls. What makes it unreliable are its technology and poor body integrity.

Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac Escalade is one of the least reliable SUVs on the market. Its 2015 and 2016 models rank last on most reliability rating agencies. Some of the problems that owners complained about include powertrain issues, transmission, and body parts.


BMW X5 is among the least luxury cars on the market. Its 2011 model through 2014 has some of the worst reliability ratings on the market. Common problems that used BMW X5 cars face include engine problems, bad climate control, and defective fuel system.

GMC Yukon

With a low-reliability rating of about 2.5 out of 5, a used GMC Yukon is one of the cars that you shouldn’t buy. The earliest models have problems with air conditioning and taillight. On the contrary, the latest model was recalled as it had a missing adhesive between two layers of the fuel tank shell.

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Audi A4

Even though Audi has improved a lot in terms of making more reliable cars, the Audi A4 has been crippled by issues in most of its models. The 2014 Audi A4 model is the least reliable. It’s followed closely by 2007 through 2011 models.  

Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan Pathfinder is an exceptional SUV for long journeys. Thanks to its comfortable seats. However, this SUV cannot be relied on. Owners of this car had to deal with airbag failure and brake problems. So, if you’re looking for a used car, you should avoid this SUV.


What are the best-used cars to buy?

After looking at the worst used cars to buy, it’s also important to know the best-used cars to buy. If you want a reliable and dependable used car, these are the cars that you should consider buying:

  • Honda Fit
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Honda Civic
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Volvo XC90

When is the best time to buy a used car?

Buying a used car helps you save money. But buying a used car at the right time saves you even more money. If you want to save a lot of cash on used cars, you should consider buying one during particular holidays like Black Friday and Veteran’s day.

Additionally, buying a car before the end of the year or on Christmas Eve can help you save a lot. Also, you can consider buying a used car at the end of the month, and during January, February, March, November, and December. Finally, you can also get good deals when new models are being released.

What to look out for when buying a used car?

Before you jump on a good deal and pay off the seller, it’s important to consider these factors when buying a used car. First of all, check reliability. Secondly, find out if the car has a warranty. Other things to consider are taking the car for a test drive, visiting a mechanic for a checkup, and looking upon the car’s history.

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What mileage is bad for a used car?

Even though mileage can be misleading, sometimes it’s very important as it can let you know how long the car will last. Note that most cars have a life expectancy of around 200,000 miles. So, if you intend to buy a car with over 15,000 miles per year, this mileage is bad.

A good used car should put on at least 10,000 to 15,000 miles. So, if the mileage is over 15,000, it can be considered high mileage, which is not good. Besides, this means that the car won’t last long and may develop serious issues quicker than expected.


If you’re in the market for a used car, it’s important to differentiate the best-used cars from the ones you should avoid. Failure to do so will cost you in the long term. Used car models such as Fiat 500, Ford Focus, Jeep Wrangler, Audi A4, Dodge Journey, and Mini Cooper, should be avoided as much as possible.

When picking a used car, consider one with a good reliability rating. Many affordable and reliable used cars on the market won’t cost you a lot when it comes to maintenance.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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