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Surprises in Consumer Reports list of cars to avoid

Black list of cars to avoid includes Canada's most popular car and minivan

Published: August 16, 2012, 3:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 4:05 PM

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

The September 12 issue of Consumer Reports (CR) magazine contains a list of five popular new vehicles to avoid, based on that organization's records and experience.

It contains some surprises as it includes, among other things, Canada's most popular car and minivan.

"The five models here may be on a lot of buyers' shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear," the magazine say. "They didn't perform well in our testing or they suffer from subpar reliability. Either way, there are better choices."

Typically, CR pulls no punches in its criticisms of the five vehicles, which include (in alphabetical order):

Dodge Grand Caravan

The Grand Caravan (and earlier Caravan) has been Canada's best-selling minivan since it created the segment in 1984. CR acknowledges its many virtues but says it is the least reliable of all minivans, with numerous "squeaks and rattles, loose interior trim, and power-equipment and sliding-door troubles." They also criticize its fuel economy and sloppy handling.

Ford Edge (V-6)

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Ford's Edge mid-size crossover, in V-6 AWD guise, earned CR's disapproval for its "jittery ride, pronounced road noise, and distracting controls." Specifically highlighted among those controls is Edge's MyFord Touch infotainment system, a sore point with CR since its introduction. The V-6 Edge was also said to have "much-worse-than-average" reliability.

Honda Civic

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The Civic has been Canada's best-selling car for 14 consecutive years. But CR says, "Honda took too many shortcuts in its latest redesign." While they acknowledge its reliability and fuel efficiency, they say it has a choppy ride, noisy cabin, vague steering, and mediocre interior quality.

Jeep Liberty

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Jeep's legendary off-road prowess may be an attraction but CR says it results in, "an equally rugged and unrefined driving experience." Specifically, they claim, its ride is unsettled, it handles clumsily, and the engine is noisy and thirsty. Plus, the interior is cramped and cheap as well.

Toyota Prius C

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Toyota's new sub-compact hybrid closely equals its larger Prius sibling in terms of fuel economy but CR says its overall quality is not up to par, accusing it of, "a stiff ride, noisy cabin, slow acceleration, and cheap-looking interior trim."

Three of the five vehicles (Grand Caravan, Edge and Civic) are assembled in Canada, although no suggestion was made of any correlation with that commonality.