The Mercedes GLA is America’s Least Satisfying Car in 2017
That’s according to Consumer Reportsby Kirby Garlitos, on
If you’re in the market for a Mercedes GLA this Christmas season, you might want to hold off on that purchase. Despite being produced by an automaker that’s known for its refinement, the GLA has been bestowed by Consumer Reports with the ignominious distinction of being America’s least satisfying car in 2017. The magazine used data from its Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey along with its own testing and reliability ratings to come to this conclusion. It’s not a good look for the GLA, but it’s also far from the only model that made it to CR’s list of 10 least satisfying vehicles in the country.
It’s not the kind of list the Mercedes GLA-Class wants to be a part of, but it made it to the top of the list because of a number of worrying characteristics. According to Consumer Reports, the high-riding hatchback suffers from a number of deficiencies, including poor visibility, a bad gearbox, a stiff ride, and a loud interior. It doesn’t get better from there as the GLA was also criticized for being small, cramped, and expensive. Pricing for the crossover starts at $33,400, which is a steep price to pay for a car that has these many warts in it.
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes GLA-Class.
As bad as it gets for the Mercedes GLA-Class, it can at least find solace knowing that it’s not the only crossover/SUV to make it to Consumer Reports’ list of least satisfying cars in the US. Joining the GLA in this run of misery is the Infiniti QX60, a plush crossover that does have a few positive things going for it, including a spacious and well-appointed interior. Sadly, the that wasn’t enough for the QX60 to gain a positive grade because its rating was torpedoed by what Consumer Reports calls a “so-so” fuel-economy rating and a “mushy” driving experience.
Read our full review on the 2016 Infiniti QX60
The run of poor crossovers and SUVs continues with the Dodge Journey. While the mid-sizer looks relatively fresh for a model that’s late in its production run, it’s not enough to offset the myriad of issues that it has. According to Consumer Reports, the Journey suffered from a lack of agility in its tests. Its 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine also delivers the worst fuel economy class and it fared about as well as Homer Simpson taking a calculus test in the IIHS small-overlap frontal crash test. It’s a bit disappointing to see the Journey on this list because it does ride well and the interior still has some comfort to it. But there’s always a price to pay for a car as old as the Journey. Turns out, that “price” is a spot on Consumer Reports’ least satisfying cars in America list.
Read our full review on the 2017 Dodge Journey
Is it a surprise to see the Chevrolet Trax on this list? The short answer is “no” because the Trax suffers from so many problems that I’m actually surprised it’s not the least of the least in this list (tongue twister!). As much as I want to like the Trax, it suffers from a laundry list of issues, including a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that’s neither powerful nor fuel efficient. It can be one or the other and we’d look the other way, but “neither” is bad from the get-go. To make things worse, the Trax’s bite-sized appeal also lends to a cramped interior and a stiff ride that’s not going to do any wonders for the driver and the passengers. There’s an option to get a base model on the cheap, but if you’re getting a “premium” version like the Trax LT AWD, the $26,000 you’ll have to spend for one would be better of used on something like a Subaru Forester.
Read our full on the 2017 Chevrolet Trax
Mercifully, the run of crossovers and SUVs on this last has come to an end. We now turn our attention to the sedans, and leading the way is the Nissan Sentra. To be fair, the Sentra has far fewer issues than the other sedans that made this list. It handles relatively well, and it has a spacious interior for its class. But the ride remains stiff, and it doesn’t accelerate off the line as quick as a lot of its rivals. The issues aren’t enough for us to throw a red flag on the sedan, but it is concerning that Nissan’s most popular model found its way on this list. That should at least set off some warning lights on your head.
Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Sentra.
Oh, look, another Nissan sedan is on this list. Joy of joys. I was tempted to just skip over the Versa Sedan because it really is a mediocre car. The interior is cheap and noisy. The handling is sub-par. The ride is stiff. I could go on with all the things that ail the subcompact sedan. But I’ll stop here because it does have a trim - the Versa note - that offers much better for the price you’re going to have to pay for it.
Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Versa Sedan
I was actually surprised to see the Acura ILX on this list because I thought the sedan’s recent update addressed a lot of its shortcomings. Apparently, Consumer Reports still isn’t impressed with the sedan because of what it describes as continuing issues in handling and comfort. According to CR, the ILX’s ride is jumpy and the handling is sub-standard. It also suffers from a rebellious gearbox and a confusing infotainment system. It’s a pity because the new ILX actually looks good from a design point-of-view.
Read our full review on the 2017 Acura ILX.
For the record, I don’t think the Fiat 500 belongs in this list. I’ve driven one a handful of times and I enjoyed it, at least for the most part. Sadly, Consumer Reports doesn’t share the same optimism about the 500, which is described as having a choppy ride, an awkward driving position, and a noisy interior. I will admit that the ride wasn’t on the level of a luxury car, but shouldn’t that be expected for a pint-sized hatchback? Well, it’s not my list so I really don’t have a lot of say in the proceedings.
Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500.
Unlike the Fiat 500, this one is an easy call. The Dodge Grand Caravan is just bad in so many ways. It suffers from the worst fuel economy rating in its class and it has an interior that can be best described as uneven. It is affordable at just $25,995, but even I wouldn’t spend that much money on a car that’s on its last legs.
Read our full review on the Dodge Grand Caravan
Last but certainly not least is the Ford Transit Connect, the commercial vehicle that has also doubled as a minivan replacement in the past. Unfortunately for the Transit Connect, just because it’s served that purpose in the past, it doesn’t mean it should continue serving the same purpose. The Transit Connect has mediocre fuel economy ratings, has a cheap interior, and an alarming lack of significant features. If you’re going to spend money on a minivan, the Transit Connect isn’t going to offer any more than what it has at its disposal. It just so happens that there’s not a lot of them, to begin with.
Read our full review on the Ford Transit Connect