Consumer Reports recently announced the results of its annual car tests. Manufacturers relish being on the top-10 list and, of course, don’t appreciate being on the 10-worst list. Consumer Reports tests more than 50 vehicles each year in a program that includes 45 individual tests — emergency handling to acceleration, fuel economy to bumper impact.
Here’s the list of 10-worst (actually 11) vehicles. That is, the vehicles with the 11 lowest scores (out of 100 points) and Consumer Report testers’ highs and lows comments:
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Score: 17; Highs: Off-road ability; Lows: Ride, handling, braking, noise, fuel economy, fit and finish, visibility, front seat comfort, access, reliability. 2. Hummer H3 (5 Cylinder) Score: 27; Highs: Off-road ability, turning circle; Lows: Acceleration, fuel economy, access, visibility, ride, heavy tailgate, emergency handling, reliability. 3. Jeep Liberty Sport, Score: 27; Highs: Off-road ability; Lows: Fuel economy, noise, agility, fit and finish. 4. Chevrolet Aveo5, Score: 32; Highs: Front access, turning circle, hatchback; Lows: Acceleration, handling. 5. Dodge Nitro SLT, Score: 33; Highs: None; Lows: Ride, handling, braking, noise, fuel economy, fit and finish, visibility, access, reliability.
6. Toyota FJ Cruiser, Score: 36; Highs: Off-road ability, powertrain, reliability; Lows: Visibility, ride, handling, noise, fit and finish, premium fuel, access. 7. Toyota Yaris (base, manual transmission), Score: 36; Highs: Front access, turning circle, hatchback versatility; Lows: Acceleration, handling, vague shifter. 8. Suzuki Forenza (base), Score: 36; Highs: Turning circle Lows: Acceleration, fuel economy, ride, IIHS sidecrash result, ABS option hard to find. 9. Jeep Patriot Limited, Score: 42; Highs: Transmission, unusual interior features; Lows: Acceleration, engine noise, driving position, visibility, front-seat comfort, fit and finish. 10. Chevrolet TrailBlazer LT (6-cylinder), Score: 43; Highs: Low-speed ride; Lows: Clumsy handling, braking, fuel economy, noise, uncomfortable front safety belts, fit and finish. 11. Mercury Grand Marquis, Score: 43; Highs: Large trunk; Lows: Engine noise, seat comfort, ride, fuel economy, IIHS side-crash result without side air bags, no curtain air bags.
Article Last Updated: March 25, 2008.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.