Buying a car is a sizable investment. Doing your research and opting for the most reliable and economical car, can mean big things for your financial future. Breakdowns lead to missed work and high maintenance bills. While it is true that car owners can never truly shake their dependence on their mechanic, the internet is full of helpful tools to guide you.

Consumer Reports is an independent organization committed to protecting consumers through transparency.1 They release a list of products to avoid each year, cars being one of them.2 Today, we’re going to highlight a few of the most popular vehicles that made the latest Consumer Reports list and share a few reasons to steer clear of them.

2023 Jeep Wrangler

Reliability Score: 24

The Wrangler remains a popular choice for SUV lovers both young and old. It’s a sleek package that boasts some great tech features, premium upgrades, and it looks great parked in the driveway. Consumer Reports urges you to proceed with caution though.3

They predict that the 2023 Wrangler will prove to be less reliable than the average new vehicle. It’s already been recalled two times. Once in November of 2022 for a problem that caused the engine to shut down and again in October 2022 for a similar issue.4 The model appears to offer a rough ride on the roads and the pocket book, which is why you’d do well to avoid it in 2023.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

Reliability Score: 5

The Hyundai Kona Electric is emerging as one of the top choices among EV lovers. It’s as fun to drive as its gas-powered sibling and comes loaded with on-board tech. Sadly, the reliability of most EVs hasn’t been able to keep pace with combustion engines.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric earned a paltry reliability rating, which was generated using some of the numbers and ratings gathered from previous years.5 They may save a ton at the pump, but owners of these eye-catching cars should know that their decision to go green may mean a sacrifice in overall reliability.

2022 Ford F-150 Hybrid

Reliability Score: 4

We aren’t trying to beat up on green alternatives, but it’s hard to ignore a car that earned the worst reliability score of the year. The 2022 F-150 Hybrid is linked to a range of problems including electrical issues and a history of powertrain issues.6 Still, its powerful engine and great fuel efficiency make it a popular choice among Ford fans.

It’s worth noting that none of the F150’s combustion alternatives were listed on Consumer Reports’ poor reliability list. Those remain some of the most rugged, reliable, and most sought after models in the sector. In fact, F-Series trucks have and continue to be the best-selling trucks in the US.7

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE

Reliability Score: 23

Luxury car owners aren’t immune to car problems, as evidenced by the inclusion of the GLE on the Consumer Reports poor reliability list. The non-profit review aggregator relied on previous years’ models and user scores to predict below-average reliability for the premium-priced SUV.8

Mercedes-Benz has always been among the least reliable brands, and the GLE doesn’t buck that trend. Frequently reported problems include minor engine issues, electrical and climate system problems, poor body integrity, and unreliable interior electronics.9

2022 Ford Explorer

Reliability Score: 16

Consumer Reports doesn’t have a lot of love for Ford’s most popular SUV. The 2022 Ford Explorer earned a reliability score of just 16, which puts it far below all of its major competitors. The Consumer Reports pros attribute the poor rating to a stiff ride, a noisy engine, and a clunky transmission.10

Some of the score can be blamed on the poor performance of the models released in the previous years. The 2020 Explorer did have electronics, transmission, and body integrity issues, though the model did see noticeable improvements in 2021.11 It’s hard to tell how well a new car will stand the test of time, and there is reason to believe that the latest Explorers are built to last.

Shop Around Before Purchasing!

It’s easy to fall in love with a vehicle. Buying a car is exhilarating. The entire buying process is designed to sweep you up and get you spending. All the more reason to prepare ahead. Consume car knowledge a few weeks ahead of any planned dealership visit. Know your needs and wants, and establish a budget to avoid spending unnecessarily.

You’re allowed to enjoy buying a new car, but it’s important to protect yourself from buying one that you should avoid. Hopefully today’s exploration helps empower your search and build your car buying confidence. If you’re still unsure, keep reading blogs, watching videos, and asking friends until you narrow things down.