When Consumer Reports put out its list of the 10 least reliable vehicles for the 2021 model year, the Chevy Colorado was one of only two pickup trucks on it. The publication gave the Colorado a grade of 44/100, which was the worst overall score any Chevy model got from them for the year. The review particularly slammed this truck for a lack of reliability, comfort and fuel economy. In the entire class of compact pickup trucks Consumer Reports tested, the slightly pricier Honda Ridgeline was the only one to get high marks across the board.
Volkswagen — which is the world’s largest automaker — impressively also only had one model show up on this list with the long-running Jetta. Consumer Reports rated this sedan 50/100 for its 2021 edition and put it on the list of popular cars to avoid buying. The publication recommended instead checking out the similarly priced Toyota Corolla. It was praised for having great fuel economy at 54 highway miles per gallon but slammed for being unreliable.
Just as pickup truck buyers should steer clear of the Chevy Colorado, it appears those in the market for a midsize car should avoid the 2021 Chevy Malibu. Consumer Reports graded it at the bottom of that class of vehicles, settling on a dismal overall grade of 45/100. It got respectable marks in the road test, as the publication praised its fuel economy and transmission performance, but it got a 1/5 for reliability, which should make any potential buyer nervous.
Your $24,000 would be better spent on the Toyota Camry, the publication argued.
Compared to some of the other vehicles on this list, the grades earned by the Nissan Pathfinder are stronger overall but they are still weak when compared against the vehicles in its class. Consumer Reports handed the 2020 Pathfinder a score of 54/100, with a predicted owner satisfaction score of 1/5. The publication called it “practical but rather boring to drive,” stating that it was more like a minivan than an SUV because of its many seats.
Midsize SUVs are arguably the most popular rides on the road today and the top grade of the class went to the Kia Telluride, which Consumer Reports gave a remarkable 97/100.
Like its arch-rival, Chevy, Ford has a number of current models that auto reviewers recommend you avoid. Chief among them is the Ford EcoSport, a subcompact SUV that starts at $19,995. Consumer Reports included the 2021 EcoSport among its 10 least reliable cars for the year and gave the model a grade of 45/100. The Car Connection gave it an even lower score at 3.5/10 and called it the worst small SUV on the market out of 16 models it tested.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Dodge discontinued its long-running Grand Caravan model in May 2020 and that’s likely a good thing, if you read its reviews over the past few years. The most recent model was dubbed the worst minivan or van of its model year by The Car Connection, earning a remarkably low score of 3.7/10. Perhaps the most incredible thing about the publication’s grade is that it gave the Grand Caravan a 2/10 for safety, which is typically the most important factor of a minivan, which is designed as a family hauler.
In 2019, research firm J.D. Power rated the Grand Caravan as the clear loser in its rankings for dependability in the minivan class, giving it below-average marks across the board.
Another black sheep of the current Ford family is the Ranger. This small pickup scored near the low end of its class from Consumer Reports for the 2021 model year, getting an overall mark of 46/100. It got dreadful marks for reliability and performance factors fuel economy and braking. While the Ranger starts at the cheapest price in the small pickup class, it seems like you’d be better off spending a little more.
While the GMC Canyon is slightly pricier than the similar-sized Ford Ranger, its reviews are about the same. Consumer Reports gave the 2021 model a 44/100 and The Car Connection gave it a 4.8/10, showing both publications were underwhelmed. Consumer Reports admitted that the newest version was a slight improvement over previous years but slammed it for a “stiff and choppy” ride and uncomfortable driving position, as well as its predicted reliability. Given that the Canyon sells for up to $44,700 with all the offered extras, a full-size truck would likely be the more cost-effective option.