A car dealerís scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion

Go Back  ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion > General Forums > Car Chat
A car dealerís scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles >

A car dealerís scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles

Notices
Car Chat General discussion about Lexus, other auto manufacturers and automotive news.

A car dealerís scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles

Old 01-18-14, 03:56 PM
  #1  
bagwell
Lexus Fanatic
Thread Starter
 
bagwell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: back in Denver
Posts: 10,091
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Default A car dealerís scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoram...222709616.html

Quality is something we all want when it comes to cars, especially older used ones. But how do we get it?

I have been studying this question in one form or another for nearly 14 years now. I began my automotive career as a car dealer, buying and selling hundreds of vehicles a year. As time went on, I became an auto auctioneer, a remarketing manager and a part-owner of a wholesale auto auction.

I saw thousands of cars come and go through the auction block during the course of each year, and as my worked changed, so did my understanding of quality. The overwhelming majority of the time, cars and trucks considered reliable in their early days would draw the strongest bids. But it wasn't always true; I observed some models experience costly transmission failure just as the odometer rolled past the 100,000-mile mark, while others would exhibit everything from blown head gaskets, to chronic rust issues to inoperative battery packs for hybrid vehicles.

Well-respected publications such as Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates do an outstanding job finding defect trends among new and slightly used vehicles. However, once that specific vehicle is sold by the survey participant, there's no access to the history of the vehicle. As the average car owner over the last decade has typically kept their vehicle for approximately five to six years, a lot of data has disappeared.

Because there is no tracking service covering the problems in these vehicles, the 10-year-old vehicle that everyone assumed had great reliability will at times have terrible issues. Who knew? No one really. Consumer Reports' database goes back 10 years, but the average car and truck is now 11.4 years old.

So I decided to test my guesses about used vehicles by using data from auto auctions and the problems dealers themselves disclose. As a frequent buyer and seller, I started my study with what I consider the key quality question for most car owners: “At what point does my car become so undesirable that I am willing to accept a wholesale used price for my vehicle?”

Trade-ins are a great measurement of that emotional question. Most consumers who trade their vehicle will get a price hundreds to thousands of dollars less than retail. Car dealers not only know the wholesale market, they know the retail market as well, and are often able to get cars repaired for a lot less than most car owners.

This isn’t always the case. Clean cars can sometimes be traded-in at a retail price, and then financed to a sub-prime car buyer for even more money. Dealers who specialize in a given car brand are usually more effective in marketing and selling that specific name, and they also get a greater share of trade-ins from the brand — along with a better selection of clean vehicles.

To remove this bias, I decided to gather data on trade-ins sent to wholesale auctions by large used-car retailers such as Carmax, J.D. Byrider, Drivetime, and other regional used-car retailers that don’t cater to a single automaker. This way there wouldn’t be an over-representation of a given brand. I also employed the help of Nick Lariviere, a statistician capable of creating visuals that would make all this real-world used car data easy to understand.

One year and nearly 300,000 vehicles later, we have developed a new quality index that you can find here. For now, we are focusing on brands and models. As the study continues to pool more vehicles, we’ll gradually introduce specific model year data, and even powertrain combinations, so that used car buyers can figure out where to find that older used vehicle that has truly earned its quality reputation.

So what out there is truly low quality? As far as those cars with the highest defect level at trade-in time, here are the 10 worst:



10. Volkswagen New Beetle (automatic transmission issues and cheap interior components; diesel models with 5-speed manuals are by far the best powertrain option.)

9. Mazda 626 (automatic transmission issues, all models.)

8. Lincoln Aviator (a gussied-up, unpopular Ford Explorer that had unique sensor and software issues which negatively impacted the overall powertrain and electronics.)

7. Jaguar S-Type (Extensive transmission and engine issues on all V-6 and V-8 models. Along with Limited edition models with ungodly replacement costs.)

6. Lincoln LS (Same basic powertrain as the Jaguar S-Type with nearly identical results.)

5. Mazda Millenia (Engine issues, transmission issues and cheap interiors that just don't wear well.)

4. Land Rover Discovery (Expensive parts. Expensive powertrains. Electronics that are apparently the spawn of Beelzebub.)

3. Mini Cooper (Bad transmissions that are unusually expensive to replace. Cheap interior parts. Cheap hydraulics.)

2. Land Rover Freelander (A cost-cutting exercise that went way past the bone.)

And a true shocker, the single worst used vehicle at the wholesale auctions when it comes to overall defect rate at trade-in time is....

1. Mazda CX-7 (Engine issues on these vehicles are legion with nearly a third of these vehicles sold with "Engine needs service" announcements at the auctions.)



No list can be perfect, and it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t offer at least a couple of important caveats here. There are cars out there that are worth so little money now that they go straight to the junkyards instead of the wholesale auctions: Older Chryslers with defective 2.7-liter engines, older Suzukis and Kias, and the aquatic late '90's Ford Tauruses sometimes fall straight into the crusher once a major problem takes hold.

Also, if the vehicle appeared to have reliability issues, but didn't have enough of a sample size at this point (for example: Mercury Mystique, Isuzu Axiom, Suzuki Forenza), I have kept it off the list for right now.

Finally some models, like the VW New Beetle, may have a pearl of quality in a specific engine/transmission combination within the overall swamp of trouble. This is one of the reasons why we are going to delve deeper as this study continues to take shape. In the meantime, if you want to know the top ten models in terms of long-term quality, click here. http://members.wolfram.com/nickl/Qua...dexRating.html
bagwell is offline  
Old 01-18-14, 04:16 PM
  #2  
Hoovey2411
Moderator
iTrader: (16)
 
Hoovey2411's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: California
Posts: 36,738
Thanked 41 Times in 38 Posts
Default

I don't agree with #8, had one in the family and friends of the family have had them too, never any major issues. While the Mercury Mountaineer was far more identical to the Explorer, the Lincoln Aviator had a 300hp 4.6L V8 while the former two used a 239hp 4.6L version and had a unique 6 seat layout that was later offered on the Explorer when the Aviator was dropped.

As to the CX-7. It was the car I almost got to replace my Explorer (handed that down to my sister), but ended up with my IS instead. Deal was on a 2008 CX-7 AWD Navi, GT full spec $32K OTD. It was the last day of the month in October so Halloween, I was at home on the phone with the dealer giving my info. When 9pm hit the salesperson interrupted me and said his system shut off and they would have to do the deal later. I took it as a sign I wasn't supposed to get the car. Because of it I ended up with my IS and here on CL . So looks like I dodged a bullet there with all the reliability issues. As it stands I still like the design.
Hoovey2411 is online now  
Old 01-18-14, 04:34 PM
  #3  
yardie876
Lexus Champion
 
yardie876's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SoFlo
Posts: 3,329
Thanked 58 Times in 48 Posts
Default

My aunt had a Mazda 626 and I remember reverse gear bit the dust. If you didn't park on an incline, you best believe you're backing that thing up Flintstones style.
yardie876 is offline  
Old 01-18-14, 05:44 PM
  #4  
bagwell
Lexus Fanatic
Thread Starter
 
bagwell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: back in Denver
Posts: 10,091
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Default

I'd be interested to see if any of these are CR best bets in used cars.

not much CX7 info....
Attached Thumbnails -capture.jpg  
bagwell is offline  
Old 01-18-14, 08:59 PM
  #5  
hlee12
Lead Lap
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: il
Posts: 477
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

dayum. didn't know about cx7. 3 mazdas? dayum
hlee12 is offline  
Old 01-18-14, 11:11 PM
  #6  
spwolf
Lexus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,719
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Hoovey2411 View Post
I don't agree with #8, had one in the family and friends of the family have had them too, never any major issues. While the Mercury Mountaineer was far more identical to the Explorer, the Lincoln Aviator had a 300hp 4.6L V8 while the former two used a 239hp 4.6L version and had a unique 6 seat layout that was later offered on the Explorer when the Aviator was dropped.

As to the CX-7. It was the car I almost got to replace my Explorer (handed that down to my sister), but ended up with my IS instead. Deal was on a 2008 CX-7 AWD Navi, GT full spec $32K OTD. It was the last day of the month in October so Halloween, I was at home on the phone with the dealer giving my info. When 9pm hit the salesperson interrupted me and said his system shut off and they would have to do the deal later. I took it as a sign I wasn't supposed to get the car. Because of it I ended up with my IS and here on CL . So looks like I dodged a bullet there with all the reliability issues. As it stands I still like the design.
well, when i was looking to buy new used car, i noticed that ALL of CX-7's depreciated like crazy... something like to 30% of the value for 3 year old cars, which was unbelievable... there had to catch somewhere.
spwolf is offline  
Old 01-19-14, 02:09 AM
  #7  
Tim1988
Driver School Candidate
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: CA
Posts: 49
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

There is a reason Lincoln is competing against Volvo in luxury car sales numbers in the United States.

If Lincoln had even a 10th of Lexus's reliability... they might actually compete against Infiniti.

Horrible Brand. Even BMW is more reliable.........that's saying something.
Tim1988 is offline  
Old 01-19-14, 05:57 AM
  #8  
Gekko
Lead Lap
 
Gekko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 634
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Top 10 Quality Index Rating
Lexus LX
Toyota Land Cruiser
Ford E250
Lexus LS
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Sequoia
Lexus GX
Ford Excursion
Toyota Tacoma

see a pattern?

http://members.wolfram.com/nickl/Qua...dexRating.html
Gekko is offline  
Old 01-19-14, 07:23 AM
  #9  
geko29
Oil Burner
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: IL
Posts: 4,119
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Gekko View Post
see a pattern?
I see two, actually. There's the blatantly obvious one you intended to point out, and also a more subtle one.

With the exception of the Avalon and LS, all of these vehicles are body-on-frame trucks. These less-complicated designs are a more mature architecture that, while less efficient in terms of space and weight considerations, are generally more robust and easier to maintain. They also don't have as many interdependencies between components and are less likely to suffer major lingering damage in minor to moderate collisions.
geko29 is online now  
Old 01-19-14, 07:27 AM
  #10  
stlgrym3
Lexus Test Driver
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: san gabriel, ca
Posts: 1,219
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Default

rule of thumb, unless you're getting a niche model of a particular make, otherwise stick with mainstream brands (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Chevy for non-luxury, BMW, Lexus and MB for luxury)
stlgrym3 is offline  
Old 01-19-14, 07:42 AM
  #11  
Gekko
Lead Lap
 
Gekko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 634
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by geko29 View Post
I see two, actually. There's the blatantly obvious one you intended to point out, and also a more subtle one.

With the exception of the Avalon and LS, all of these vehicles are body-on-frame trucks. These less-complicated designs are a more mature architecture that, while less efficient in terms of space and weight considerations, are generally more robust and easier to maintain. They also don't have as many interdependencies between components and are less likely to suffer major lingering damage in minor to moderate collisions.
now that's a new line of apologist BS that i've never heard before.
Gekko is offline  
Old 01-19-14, 07:49 AM
  #12  
Gekko
Lead Lap
 
Gekko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 634
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
Default

J.D. Power
Car Reliability Ratings - 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study
Attached Thumbnails -d113c91c0a0d02b701d3ac6eb051e9f9.jpg  
Gekko is offline  
Old 01-19-14, 07:49 AM
  #13  
SW17LS
Lexus Fanatic
 
SW17LS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: MD
Posts: 24,357
Thanked 479 Times in 401 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Gekko View Post
now that's a new line of apologist BS that i've never heard before.
He's absolutely right...they are all BOF trucks.

Originally Posted by Tim1988
There is a reason Lincoln is competing against Volvo in luxury car sales numbers in the United States.

If Lincoln had even a 10th of Lexus's reliability... they might actually compete against Infiniti.
Lincoln's problem is not reliability, its product. They just don't have any relevant products to sell. The only one is the MKZ and MKX, and they sell pretty well...for all intents and purposes they have no other models worth mentioning.
SW17LS is online now  
Old 01-19-14, 09:52 AM
  #14  
Hoovey2411
Moderator
iTrader: (16)
 
Hoovey2411's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: California
Posts: 36,738
Thanked 41 Times in 38 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by SW13GS View Post
He's absolutely right...they are all BOF trucks.



Lincoln's problem is not reliability, its product. They just don't have any relevant products to sell. The only one is the MKZ and MKX, and they sell pretty well...for all intents and purposes they have no other models worth mentioning.
Thank you

If it's not a Lexus or Acura he tends to go off on little tirades
Hoovey2411 is online now  
Old 01-19-14, 11:44 AM
  #15  
geko29
Oil Burner
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: IL
Posts: 4,119
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Gekko View Post
now that's a new line of apologist BS that i've never heard before.
I'm sorry, you're right, all 10 are mainstream unibody cars, and the E250 and Excursion only made the list because Toyota manufactures them in Japan under contract with Ford. All products of all types are **** unless they are made under the guidance of Akio Toyoda.

Further, I am categorically unqualified to comment on anything (and perhaps just a bit insane) because nearly half of the vehicles my family has owned over the past 30 years were not made by Toyota. I'll bow out now and head back to my so-called "real world". You'll recognize this as the sad, sorry place where people have non-uniform opinions and make their own observations about various phenomena, without the comforting support structure of single-vendor myopia.

Last edited by geko29; 01-19-14 at 11:49 AM.
geko29 is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: A car dealerís scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: