Worst Used Cars To Buy 2023-2024: Let’s Find Out

Worst Used Cars To Buy – Are you in the market for a used car? Well, let me tell you, it can be a tricky process. From price to reliability to features, there’s a lot to think about before making a decision. And while there are plenty of great used cars out there, unfortunately, there are also some that should be avoided like the plague.

These are the worst used cars to buy, the ones that you don’t want sitting in your driveway.

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the top 10 worst cars to buy used, so you can avoid any potential headaches and costly repairs.

Buying a pre-owned vehicle comes with a lot of uncertainty. You can never be completely sure of a car’s history, no matter how many vehicle history reports you look at.

It’s natural to worry about whether you’re buying someone else’s problems. But fear not! We’re here to help. We’ve done the research and compiled a list of the worst used cars to buy. These are the cars you want to avoid like the plague.

Worst Used Cars To Buy

By looking at trusted sources like Carcomplaints.com, RepairPal, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Consumer Reports, we’ve gathered all the data you need to make an informed decision.

What Are the 10 Worst Used Cars To Buy in 2023 -2024

So, let’s dive into the worst used cars to buy. You won’t want any of these cars sitting in your driveway.

2002 Ford Explorer

Worst Used Cars To Buy

Ah, the 2002 Ford Explorer. While it’s true that most 20-year-old cars will have their fair share of issues, this particular model takes it to a whole new level.

Just take a look beyond the numerous complaints about body and interior accessory problems, and you’ll discover an alarming number of transmission and drivetrain issues.

Carcomplaints.com goes as far as saying you should “avoid like the plague” when it comes to this Ford. And if that’s not enough to convince you, there have been not one, not two, but seven defect investigations conducted by the NHTSA.

Trust me, this is one of the worst cars to avoid at all costs. Run, don’t walk, away from it!

Read Also: Ford Explorer Years To Avoid

2003 Honda Accord

used cars to avoid

The 2003 Honda Accord is a prime example of a car to avoid. Despite Honda’s reputation for building dependable vehicles, the 2003 Accord falls short.

Countless owner trouble reports and NHTSA complaints all point to one major issue: a disastrous transmission.

To make matters worse, this car was also plagued by 24 manufacturer recalls, many of which involved airbags. However, one of the recalls specifically addressed a transmission gear failure, adding to the list of concerns.

If you were considering an Accord, it’s best to steer clear of the 2003 model year. It’s one of the worst cars to avoid if you’re looking for a reliable used car.

Read Also: Honda Accord Years To Avoid

2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

worst cars to buy used

When it comes to used cars to avoid, the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 stands out. Now, it’s important to remember that no vehicle is perfect, and even popular ones like the Silverado can have their fair share of problems.

However, the 2007 model takes it to another level with its numerous reported engine troubles.

One major issue is excessive oil consumption, which only gets worse over time.

RepairPal even states that a common repair for this problem, replacing the timing chain tensioner, can cost as much as $1,884. If you’re in the market for a used car, this is one to steer clear of.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

worst cars to buy used

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee makes the list. It’s a prime example of a car that tried to fix something that wasn’t broken. Instead of building on the success of the previous generation (2005-2010) which was known for its reliability, Jeep decided to start from scratch.

And it turned out to be a disaster. The main issues with the 2011 Grand Cherokee are centered around its electrical system. These problems can be tricky to diagnose and may not even arise until years down the line.

Consumer Reports rates the 2011 Grand Cherokee as a mere 1 out of 5 for reliability. I think that says it all. This is one of the worst used cars to buy, and one you’ll want to steer clear of.

2011 Hyundai Sonata

used cars to avoid

Ah, the infamous 2011 Hyundai Sonata. This car deserves a spot on the list of worst-used cars to buy. Mechanics have long held a skeptical view of its 2.4-liter Theta II engine, which has been the subject of a heated class action suit that Hyundai fought against for years.

One of the major issues that plagued the 2011 Sonata is excessive oil consumption, which can lead to even bigger problems like fires.

Hyundai did extend the engine warranty to 10 years or 120,000 miles, unfortunately, that coverage has now expired. So if you’re considering a used car, it’s best to steer clear of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

Read Also: Hyundai Sonata Years To Avoid

2013 Nissan Altima

used cars to avoid

Ah, the 2013 Nissan Altima. It seemed like a good idea at the time for Nissan to use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to improve fuel economy. However, when engineering and manufacturing fall short, these complex gearboxes can become a real headache.

And that’s exactly what happened with the 2013 Altima. Just take a look at the countless complaints about transmission issues, and you’ll see why this car should be avoided.

Consumer Reports even gives it a dismal 1 out of 5 for owner satisfaction. Trust me, you don’t want this car in your driveway. It’s one of the worst used cars to buy.

Read Also: Nissan Altima Years To Avoid

2014 RAM 1500

what are the 10 worst used cars to buy

The 2014 RAM 1500 is a pickup truck that has gained popularity over the years, competing with other well-known models like the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ford F-150. However, owners of the 2014 RAM 1500 may find themselves wishing they had chosen a different vehicle.

This truck, despite its capabilities and ruggedness, is plagued by engine troubles and transmission problems, as reported by carcomplaints.com.

These findings are further confirmed by Consumer Reports. If that alone doesn’t scare you away from considering this truck, then the fact that there have been 16 manufacturer recalls should.

With all these issues, it’s safe to say that the 2014 RAM 1500 is one of the worst used cars to buy.

Read Also: RAM 1500 Years To Avoid

2015 Maserati Ghibli

what are the 10 worst used cars to buy

The sleek design of the 2015 Maserati Ghibli might catch your eye at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals its significant reliability concerns.

With a resale value that plummeted due to its notorious issues, particularly with seized engines and chassis cracking, the allure of this Italian beauty fades rapidly.

Although the reported complaints are limited due to its low sales volume, the risks overshadow any potential benefits.

2019 Subaru Ascent

cars to avoid

Subaru, renowned for its dependable vehicles, surprisingly makes an appearance on this list with the 2019 Ascent. Despite its brand reputation, the Ascent’s debut model year was marred by numerous issues.

Owners have reported recurring electrical problems, transmission malfunctions, brake issues, and climate control system troubles.

These “first-year gremlins” earned the Ascent a dismal 1 out of 5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports, further compounded by seven manufacturer recalls.

Read Also: Subaru Ascent Years To Avoid

2019 Toyota RAV4

cars to avoid

A shocking inclusion on this list is the 2019 Toyota RAV4. Renowned for reliability, the newer RAV4, unfortunately, presents a concern: transmission problems.

While it’s a relatively recent model, reports of transmission issues have surfaced, indicating potential forthcoming challenges. With a reliability rating of 2 out of 5 from Consumer Reports, this Toyota raises red flags that should not be ignored.

Read Also: Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid

The used car market offers a wide array of choices, but not all options guarantee a trouble-free ownership experience.

By arming yourself with knowledge about the worst used cars to avoid in 2023-2024 and paying attention to warning signs such as frequent recalls, low-reliability ratings, and reported owner complaints, you can steer clear of potential pitfalls.

Best and Most Reliable Used Car To Buy

Buying a used car, and finding reliable options on a budget can be a challenge. But fear not!

best used cars to buy

We will be uncovering the best-used cars to buy on a budget. So, let’s dive under the hood and discover the best-used cars to buy without breaking the bank.

Toyota Camry

Reliable used cars, the Toyota Camry is a name that often comes up. It’s no surprise, as this vehicle has a well-earned reputation for delivering a worry-free, low-maintenance experience for its second or third owners.

Buying a used Toyota Camry may not be the cheapest option initially, but it’s worth the investment.

These cars are in high demand and retain their value well, meaning you’re unlikely to pour more money into repairs down the line. If you’re looking for a reliable used car, the Toyota Camry is a contender.

Read Also: Toyota Camry Best Year

Kia Rio

Looking for the perfect used car combo? Look no further than the Kia Rio! This hatchback checks all the boxes, offering affordability and reliability that will last for years to come.

As Business Insider notes, hatchbacks are a better deal for buyers compared to compact SUVs, and the Kia Rio is no exception.

When searching for a used Rio, focus on models from three years ago. While a brand new Kia Rio starts at just $15,390, 2016 models now cost about a third less than that. Don’t miss out on this incredible deal for one of the best-used cars on the market.

Read Also: Kia Rio Best Year

Subaru Outback

If you’re in the market for a reliable and rugged car that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Subaru Outback. This all-wheel-drive workhorse is built to withstand tough conditions and high mileage, making it a reliable option for used car buyers.

Even when buying a used model that’s over a decade old, the Outback continues to deliver a low-maintenance and low-cost ownership experience.

Subarus, in general, is known for its value and reliability, making the Outback a great choice for those on a budget.

Read Also: Subaru Outback Best Year

Nissan Altima

When it comes to used cars under $15,000, the Nissan Altima takes the top spot according to Carmax’s 2019 survey. And it’s no surprise why. This mid-decade model offers the perfect combination of affordability, functionality, and style.

But it’s not just the price and performance that make the Altima a great choice. Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.5-liter, 182-horsepower engine that delivers a surprising punch.

So, not only will you get a fantastic deal, but you’ll also have a thrilling driving experience every time you hit the road. The Nissan Altima truly has it all.

Read Also: Why Are Nissan Altimas So Cheap?

Toyota Sienna

Looking for a reliable used minivan for your growing family? Look no further than the Toyota Sienna! While a used minivan may come with the remnants of kid-made messes, a pre-owned Sienna will still provide you with years of solid performance.

Toyota’s reputation for reliability makes the Sienna a safe choice in the used minivan market. And if you’re willing to go back a decade for your next family car, Autotrader.com believes you may be able to find a Sienna for less than $5,000.

So why wait? Grab this incredible deal and hit the road with confidence in your trusty Toyota Sienna.

Read Also: Toyota Sienna Best Year

Honda Civic

Looking to snag a great deal on one of the most legendary reliable cars? If you’re willing to travel back in time to the last decade, the Honda Civic is a fantastic option.

According to Trusted Choice, the best part about Civics is the range of models available, all of which are affordable. Whether you prefer a coupe, sedan, or even a hybrid, the Civic has you covered.

And the best part? There are always a lot of older Civics for sale, so you can likely find one from 2006 to 2010 well within a $5,000 budget. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to own a reliable and affordable car.

Read Also: Honda Civic Best Year

Hyundai Sonata

Looking for a great deal on a used car? Look no further than the Hyundai Sonata! With a generous five-year, 60,000-mile warranty, many used Sonatas are still covered when they hit the used car market. And that’s not all.

You can also enjoy the extra benefit of a used sticker price that’s about $10,000 less than the original cost of a three-year-old Sonata.

That’s right, one of the best used car deals available. So if you require an affordable used car, don’t wait around. And if you’re seeing any of those 14 signs that your current car is about to die, it’s time to make the switch to a reliable and budget-friendly Hyundai Sonata.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus emerges as a frontrunner in the realm of budget-friendly used cars. Renowned for its mechanical simplicity and widespread availability of parts, the Focus stands out as an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable yet dependable vehicle.

According to AutoTrader.com, models from 2008 to 2011 can often be acquired for less than $5,000, presenting an enticing proposition for budget-conscious buyers.

This small car leader not only boasts affordability but also exhibits a reliable performance, making it a preferred option for many.

Read Also: Ford Focus Best Year

Honda Fit

Earning the top spot in Car Gurus’ annual best-used car awards within the subcompact category, the Honda Fit seamlessly blends style, utility, and cost-effectiveness.

Praised for its eye-catching design and impressive value retention, the late-model Honda Fit remains a sought-after choice for those looking for an economical yet stylish vehicle.

Car Gurus highlights the Fit’s “tiny exterior dimensions,” which belie its spacious interior, catering to small families and young adults seeking their first used car.

Read Also: Honda Fit Best Year

Volvo XC90

In the realm of used SUVs, the Volvo XC90 stands tall as a symbol of luxury, safety, and exceptional value retention. Car Gurus reports that this second-generation SUV retains over 40 percent of its value even after 12 years—a remarkable feat in the world of luxury vehicles.

Renowned for its sleek design, safety features, and impressive longevity, the XC90 offers a blend of opulence and reliability that few SUVs can match.

Volvo’s commitment to safety also translates into a lower number of recalls, solidifying its reputation as a dependable and secure choice.

Read Also: Volvo XC90 Best Year

The appeal of these best-used cars extends beyond their merits. They represent a testament to reliability, affordability, and value retention, making them stand out in the ever-evolving landscape of the automotive market.

As you explore the market for the most reliable used car to buy or good car brands to buy used, considering these standout models can guide you toward a rewarding and satisfying purchase.

What cars give the least problems?

If you’re looking for a car that gives you the least problems, the recent study by Consumer Reports has some insights for you. In 2022, Toyota and Lexus emerged as the most reliable vehicles. These Japanese brands have a well-earned reputation for their durability and dependability.

Following closely behind them is BMW, ranked third in terms of reliability. However, it’s worth noting that Mercedes ranked the lowest in terms of reliability.

So, if you’re prioritizing a trouble-free ownership experience, it’s wise to consider Toyota, Lexus, and BMW as top contenders. Remember, choosing a reliable car can save you from costly repairs and headaches down the road.


Navigating the landscape of used cars demands careful consideration, especially when aiming for reliability and value. Identifying the worst used cars to avoid becomes imperative to sidestep the headaches and financial burdens that come with owning a problematic vehicle.

Uncertainty is inherent when purchasing pre-owned vehicles. Despite diligent research and perusing vehicle history reports, doubts about a car’s past linger.

Yet, armed with comprehensive data from reputable sources like carcomplaints.com, RepairPal, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Consumer Reports, informed decisions become feasible.

The quest for the best-used cars to buy on a budget doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge.

This pursuit entails uncovering reliable options that align with financial constraints without compromising on quality or performance. It’s about finding the sweet spot where affordability converges with dependability, ensuring a satisfying and trouble-free driving experience.

Remember, in the labyrinth of used car options, diligence is key. So, whether seeking the worst used cars to steer clear of or on the lookout for the best-used cars to drive home, meticulous research and informed decision-making will guide you toward a purchase that aligns with your needs, budget, and peace of mind.