These 6 American cars are some of the worst vehicles money can buy. Avoid them at all costs.
6. Saturn L300
If there was one thing that Saturn had over certain other companies, it was its unique, futuristic styling. Even to this day, Saturns are still easily recognizable with their grille-less front fascia and minimalist exterior. Despite these cars not being all that mechanically futuristic, the appearance worked well for the brand during the ‘90s and the 2000s. However, in Saturn’s infinite wisdom, it decided to completely redesign its L300 sedan. Its shape was rounded out, and it was given a chrome grille, which simply made it look far more generic. Where the old model could instantly be recognized as a Saturn, the new model could be mistaken for just about any other sedan in GM’s lineup. Of course, it didn’t have any interesting engine options, as it was only offered with either a weak four-cylinder or a feeble V6.
5. Dodge Avenger
Despite Dodge being a fairly ordinary company, it hasn’t had much to offer in the mid-size sedan segment. The Charger replaced the smaller Intrepid, and the lame Stratus was getting pretty old by the time it was discontinued in 2006. By that point, Dodge decided to make a new mid-sizer, which was called the "Avenger."
Unlike the Stratus, the new Avenger featured aggressive styling that fell more in line with the Charger’s looks.
However, despite this appearance, a glance at the car’s profile would be enough to tell you that the Avenger was based on the dreadful Sebring. Making it worse was the fact that the Sebring had some intention of being a luxury car, where the Dodge wasn’t. Needless to say, the interior was horrifying.
4. Cadillac Catera
In the late-‘90s, Cadillac again decided that it needed to stop building big, soft land barges and instead make cars that were able to compete with the German brands. Needless to say, Cadillac’s mostly front-wheel-drive, Northstar-powered lineup wasn’t enough to sway buyers from their BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes. As a result, Cadillac decided that they couldn’t beat the Germans on their own. The Catera was based on a rear-wheel-drive German Opel platform. However, there were many poor design choices that made the Catera yet another stain on Cadillac’s record. Under the hood was a 3.0-liter V6 that made a decent (for the time) 200 horsepower. And all of that power was smothered by a lazy four-speed automatic transmission. Worse still, the car quickly proved to be horribly unreliable.
3. Dodge Journey
(via Flickr/RL GNZLZ)
It’s fair to say that American car companies have greatly improved over the years. Many of their worst cars are in the past and have been replaced with considerably better models. This is most likely due to the American public realizing how bad many of these cars were and preferring to buy vastly superior imported cars instead. However, there’s still one truly awful car from the darkest moments of Dodge still in production.
The Journey is a mid-size, three-row crossover that, frankly, has nothing to offer over its competition.
It’s based on the same platform as the awful Dodge Avenger and the Chrysler Sebring, which should be telling of the Journey’s driving experience. The real sad part of this is that the car’s sales have been growing since 2010, with 2017 being the only year that sales dropped. Some people will do anything to avoid driving a minivan.
2. Lincoln LS
If there’s one brand that hasn’t changed much with regard to popularity, it would be Lincoln. Today, luxury cars are often associated with sporty driving characteristics and tons of technology. Lincoln hasn’t really offered much in that regard, except for in the early 2000s, when it sold a model called the "LS." Based on a Jaguar platform and powered by either a Jaguar V6 or V8, this rear-wheel-drive Lincoln turned out to be a fun-to-drive car. It could even be had with a manual transmission in its early years. This was a huge departure from the rest of the brand’s lineup, and it was actually well received by the automotive community. Unfortunately, the LS got not only Jaguar’s driving characteristics but its reliability as well. It seems as if the failure of the LS scared the company away from building competent sports cars.
1 Jeep Compass
Jeep has made a lot of cars over the years, but none have been as terrible as the Compass. The model entered production during Chrysler’s horrible mismanagement in the late-2000s. It was designed to be a Jeep for road use only and was basically a Dodge Caliber with softer edges and a seven-spoke grille. It also had Chrysler’s terrible 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a dreadful CVT. While the later models were redesigned with a less offensive exterior styling and given an all-wheel-drive system to make it “trail rated,” it remained every bit as terrible as the older model. It’s so poorly designed that it’s one of the most regretted cars purchased by consumers, as discovered by Consumer Reports. Worse still, it wasn’t even the cheapest Jeep, as the mechanically identical Patriot was cheaper, as was the newer, superior Renegade. Literally, any other crossover is better than the old Compass.