10 worst cars of 2013
10 worst cars of 2013
Each year Consumer Reports buys and tests more than 80 vehicles on our track (see how we test), and while there were some cars really impressed us this year (ahem, Chevrolet Impala and Tesla Model S), there are plenty of vehicles that missed the mark. Here is a list of the worst cars we tested in 2013.
Chevrolet Spark CVT
Price as tested: $15,420
The Spark’s low price and clever connectivity features may be tempting, but for daily driving, it is painfully slow, irritatingly noisy, rides uncomfortably, and feels Spartan—and not in a mighty warrior way. We expected at least fuel economy would be impressive, but we measured only 31 mpg overall, which is less than larger, quicker, more substantial cars. What the Spark can do is fit four adults comfortably with easy access in a tiny package. But most cars deliver so much more.
Price as tested $35,820
Designed to blend a sedan and an SUV, this platypus crossover doesn’t do either well. Its sloping roof creates huge blind spots, and it has less cargo space than many small SUVs. Plus, the 2013 update hurt handling and made the controls more complicated. We’re not seeing the upside to this genre-bending design, especially at the lofty as-tested price.
Lexus IS 250
Price as tested $43,823
Upscale sports sedans are expected to be fun and refined. But the redesigned IS 250 isn’t very sporty or luxurious. Its acceleration lacks punch, fuel economy disappoints, the ride isn’t plush, and the cramped cabin isn’t very quiet or well finished. The IS feels overwhelmingly cramped and closed-in, with a narrow cabin, wide center console, large overhanging dashboard, and snug back seat. It is quite simple to find an IS alternative without nearly the compromises.
Price as tested: $50,070
The Lincoln MKS, the flagship sedan of Ford's luxury division, is outdated and outclassed. It has plenty of luxury features, but they can't cover up fundamental flaws, including a cramped driving position and cave-like visibility. Handling is ungainly and the MyLincoln Touch interface makes the controls confusing, distracting, and frustrating. The MKS represents a $10,000 upgrade over the Ford Taurus upon which it's based, but comes up lower in our test scores. Both score too low to recommend.
Price as tested: $38,675
While the new CLA is stylish, it doesn’t deliver the Mercedes driving experience that you would expect. It is a cramped, noisy, front-wheel-drive compact with a stiff ride, impaired visibility, and exceptionally difficult access. It also lacks the handling finesse and refinement we expect at this price. Factor in the challenge in finding a CLA anywhere close to the heavily advertised $29,900, and this is a Benz to avoid.
Price as tested: $14,095
While we haven’t yet finished testing the Mirage, our initial impressions are not very favorable. OK, that is being charitable. It is one of the least expensive new cars in the market, but in this case, you get what you pay for. You need to hammer the gas pedal almost to the floor to wake up the groggy little engine and even then, acceleration is meager. Handling is clumsy and the interior is reminiscent of early 1980’s standards. Fuel economy is very good and parking is a cinch, but that’s where the accolades end.