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Questionable Car Models To Avoid For 2020

Cameron EittreimOctober 8, 2019

Dodge Journey Via Auto Week
Dodge Journey via Auto Week

19. Dodge Journey

Feel like you just took a time machine back to 2009? Well, you did. Yes, the Journey is still around in the same form since it hit the market in 2009. The Journey has survived a recession, Chrysler being sold, and two presidential cabinets. But the crossover remains in the same form. We’re not exactly sure why Chrysler is hanging onto this outdated design, but the Journey has been outclassed by just about every crossover available. There’s no real reason to recommend a Journey to anyone.

The interior is utilizing pieces that you’d expect to see in a long-defunct Dodge Dakota – cheap plastic and lots of grey. In addition to the parts, the Journey also uses an outdated V6 engine. Its power is lackluster at best, even in the so-called sport trim. The standard V6 is just outdated compared to the stellar competition from companies like Kia. But being outclassed in power isn’t the Journey’s only problem. The high price tag that the car carries is just not justifiable for any sane car shopper.

Dodge Journey Interior Via Car And Driver
Dodge Journey Interior Via Car And Driver

For the 2020 model year, the V6 engine becomes standard on the lower trims. But it’s a little too late. The Journey’s competition offers more robust seating, more powerful engine choices, and more style.

That’s not to say that the Journey is bad for a used car choice because these crossovers don’t hold their value whatsoever. Overall, if you want a crossover that’s going to be a combination of performance and functionality, the Journey just isn’t it. The Journey is best avoided for the 2020 model year.

Fiat 500L Via Fiat USA
Fiat 500L Via Fiat USA

18. Fiat 500L

Perhaps one of the most notable additions to this list is an odd-shaped car called the 500L. When the Fiat brand hit the market once again the cars were unique and affordable. But as time progresses, the market for these tiny Italian cars just isn’t there. Consumers want bigger and more powerful crossover vehicles that can take the place of large SUV models. The 500L, therefore, looks minuscule in a world of giants.

The 500L has a very cramped interior, which is a problem because most crossover shoppers are families. In addition to the cramped interior dimensions, the underwhelming cabin materials don’t make this car feel very refined. Then you have the lackluster performance, which is surprising considering how the Fiat 500 was so fun to drive. Nonetheless, the 500L doesn’t offer Italian sportiness in any sense of the word. The 500L has a very limited market, which is why the 2020 model should be avoided.

Fiat 500L Via Car And Driver
Fiat 500L Via Car And Driver

Better crossovers are coming out for the 2020 model year that offer more features for a comparable price. In vehicles like the 500L, a comfortable interior is one of the most important features. Without that interior comfort, you’re paying for a smaller sized minivan. The 500L was an interesting concept at first, but with comparable models offering more value, this little crossover is best to be avoided.

Fiat 500X Via Motor Trend
Fiat 500X Via Motor Trend

17. Fiat 500X

You’ve got to give Fiat props for trying because the 500X is a much better car then the 500L. The little 500X comes to the market at a time when the Fiat brand is being questioned in terms of relevance. Alfa Romeo is already offering sporty Italian driving characteristics, so who needs Fiat? Well, we have to say that the 500X is a much better car but it still lacks when compared to other crossovers. When you first look at the 500X, you see a handsome utility with lots of personality similar to a Buick Encore. But as you delve into the car, you see the same problems the 500L suffers from.

First, the cabin is upscale and a lot better than the 500L. But it’s still cramped. A tall person isn’t going to be able to ride comfortably in the backseat of this crossover. Sadly, even a teenager will find the backseat a bit claustrophobic. Nevertheless, the infotainment center is a vast improvement over previous Fiat models. But the controls are clunky and the transmission feels like it’s fighting itself to take off. That’s quite limiting considering the peppy standard engine that the 500X has. The 500X is not available with a manual transmission anymore, which makes the Turbocharged 1.3-liter engine feel constricted at best.

500X Via Car And Driver
500X Via Car And Driver

At around 24 MPG for the city, the 500X is also not the most gas efficient small vehicle either. You tend to wonder what Fiat was thinking when they rushed this little crossover to the market. The reliability is still yet to be tested as the car is new to the market.

With the lack of features and the high price tag, the 500X is probably a car that’s best left avoided for the time being. There are better cars that you can get for a more reasonable price. Like with the 500L, the 500X just doesn’t bring anything unique to the table.

Jeep Renegade Via Car And Driver
Jeep Renegade Via Car And Driver

16. Jeep Renegade

No, you aren’t looking at a Scion XB. The Jeep Renegade is the tiny little Jeep box that hit the market in 2016. Looking to build on the success of the Kia Soul, the Renegade was meant to bring urban car shoppers into Jeep showrooms. So, what exactly does this Jeep offer? Not much if you want to go off-roading. The Renegade doesn’t really fit in with the Jeep lineup. The Renegade has seven different body styles to choose from, ranging from extreme off-road to an urban-themed setup.

Although the Renegade seems like a great idea on paper, the actual end product is a subpar compact. If the Renegade seems familiar, that’s because the model is derived from the Fiat 500L. If you couldn’t already tell, we aren’t too fond of the 500L either. The Renegade could have been the perfect compact Jeep. But the subpar drivetrain and cramped interior make it unlivable for most true outdoors types. The Renegade doesn’t have any cool features like a removable top, which makes the compact UTE generally useless to the average Jeep buyer.

Jeep Renegade Interior Via Car And Driver
Jeep Renegade Interior via Car & Driver

The Renegade does serve up some cool looks, but looks aren’t everything in the offroad market. There are certain features that you’re going to look for in a Jeep. The Renegade just doesn’t have these. Where the Renegade prevails is by offering an attractive looking compact utility that stands out in terms of style. But for the 2020 model year, many other compact UTEs offer similar features for a better price tag.

Land Rover Discovery Via Top Speed
Land Rover Discovery via Top Speed

15. Land Rover Discovery

When it comes to one of the most iconic vehicles, the Discovery has been around for decades as a capable offroad vehicle. But the current crop of Discovery models has become more authoritarian than ever. With that said, the Discovery is not necessarily a bad SUV if luxury and prestige are your things. But aside from that Land Rover badge, however, there are lesser offerings on the market that offer more bang for your buck.

From a distance, you may think that you’re looking at a Dodge Durango. That’s because the exterior styling of the Discovery is rather bland. The Discovery is lacking the third-row seat that most in this class offer. The Discovery is billed at the ultimate off-road machine, but the result is more or less a utilitarian grocery getter. Although the Discovery does have a dedicated off-road system the low profile tires don’t do much for going off-road.

Land Rover Discovery Via Top Speed
Land Rover Discovery via Top Speed

The Discovery has changed a lot since the iconic tall roofed vehicle. Sadly for the 2020 model year, there are going to be more capable off-road vehicles that offer more features than the Discovery. If you’re going to get a Discovery because of its prestige, that’s one thing. But if you want a Discovery to do some serious off-roading, you’ll probably want to look somewhere else.

Mitsubishi Mirage Via Motor Trend
Mitsubishi Mirage via Motor Trend

14. Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi brand has been around for decades now, offering cheap and fun-to-drive cars. But the company has been since been shifting its focus to the crossover market. The Mirage is a compact car that’s been around since the 90s, but it was discontinued for most of the new millennium. The subcompact has since made its return but it lacks in many of the standard features that are offered in compacts on the market.

Take a drive in the Mirage and you’ll feel like you are driving a compact car from the nineties. The tiny four-cylinder engine struggles to merge onto the freeway. And although the gas mileage is decent, its lack of power is disappointing. The Mirage has a very basic interior with lots of cheap plastic. You’d think the interior of the car was taken out of 2002. There is also excessive road noise at high speeds.

Mitsubishi Mirage Via Motor Trend
Mitsubishi Mirage via Motor Trend

If you want a compact that’s fun to drive and cheap to maintain, the Mirage isn’t it. But if you want one of the cheapest cars on the market right now, the Mirage might fit the bill.

We think the 2020 Mirage is best left avoided for the 2020 model year. There are better offerings you can get that offer more features and more refined ride quality. The Mirage just doesn’t stack up when it comes to ordinary automotive comforts.

Nissan Titan XD Via Motor Trend
Nissan Titan XD via Motor Trend

13. Nissan Titan XD

When Nissan originally entered the pickup truck market, their offering was reliable, cheap, and practical. As with most Japanese pickup trucks, these smaller models were quite popular for those of us who don’t quite need a full-size pickup truck. But nowadays, trucks are bigger than ever, and the Titan that was introduced in 2004 failed to find a niche in the marketplace. Nevertheless, not one to admit defeat, Nissan has come back with an even bigger Titan XD. It’s a mix in between heavy-duty and light-duty offerings.

The problem with the Titan XD lays in the product itself. You don’t quite know what you’re getting with this truck. It has a diesel in addition to a heavy-duty drivetrain. But you cannot get the XD in a dual configuration. And this is where the challenge comes in because most pickup truck consumers aren’t going to know where exactly this truck fits in. The Titan XD has a completely reconfigured interior, but the truck is not available in an extended cab configuration. You can only get an XD as a quad cab or a single cab.

Nissan Titan XD Via Motor Trend
Nissan Titan XD via Motor Trend

The Titan is available in five different configurations, but most shoppers will opt for the mid-range Pro-4X. Unfortunately, the Titan just doesn’t offer enough versatility to compete with the big boys of the truck world. You’d be better off shopping offerings from Toyota or GM before you settle for the Titan. This truck just doesn’t offer enough of what truck buyers in this price range are going to be looking for.

Smart EQ ForTwo Via Motor Trend
Smart EQ ForTwo via Motor Trend

12. Smart EQ ForTwo

The car that was once sold as the Scion IQ for a short period is still floating around under another moniker. The Smart EQ ForTwo is a tiny little car that’s more suitable for the golf course then actual driving. If you thought the original Smart Car was small, then you haven’t seen anything yet. The Smart EQ ForTwo is a compact car that takes the word ‘compact’ to a whole new level. The problem with the little car aside from the fact that a strong wind will blow it away is its lack of features and power. The tiny lightweight design means that the car is anemic to drive and noisy on the freeway.

The interior hasn’t changed much since the Scion days. It’s still full of cheaply-made plastic and cloth seats, and even seating two people in this car is cramped at best. You can get a car that’s similar in size from Mini and still get a lot of standard features. The EQ ForTwo is beyond bare-bones transportation. The 2020 model year has done nothing to add anything new to the mix aside from a different grill. If saving on fuel economy is your goal, there are better choices then the Smart EQ ForTwo.

Smart EQ ForTwo Via Motor Trend
Smart EQ ForTwo via Motor Trend

Although the Smart EQ ForTwo is available in a hardtop and a convertible version, the car is just too basic. For the price tag, various options offer far more to choose from. Sure, the Smart EQ ForTwo might get exceptional gas mileage but you are giving up a lot of comforts. If you want a car that will save you a ton on gas and still give you comfort, the Smart EQ ForTwo is not going to be it.

WRX Via Motor Trend
Subaru WRX via Motor Trend

11. Subaru WRX

Subaru is a brand that has been offering stellar vehicle models for decades. The WRX is the staple of the company’s rally offerings. But in recent years, the WRX has been outclassed by similar competitors that cost a lot less and offer a lot more. The WRX in its current form has lost much of the excitement it possessed in previous generations. The Civic SI is a comparable car that offers more fun less, and consumers are beginning to realize this. If you’re solely looking for a car to take out on the track, the WRX might be it.

But for daily usage, the WRX is just not going to be a practical vehicle for most people. The exterior styling is a bit difficult to look at or be taken seriously. The giant spoiler on the back of the vehicle screams boy racer, while the rims and ground effects make the car a challenge to drive in urban settings. If you have to parallel park, often the WRX is just not going to be suitable for daily driving. The high powered engine is extremely rev-happy, but in stop-and-go traffic the car is just unbearable to drive. Fun, yes; practical, no.

WRX Via Motor Trend
WRX via Motor Trend

If you’re in the market for a sports sedan there are more practical options then the WRX. For the 2020 model year, the WRX doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The standard Impreza offers a comparable amount of features and the same boxer engine for a lot less. Sure, with the WRX you get the prestige of driving authentic rally car but that’s about it. There are much better options for the 2020 model year that are fun to drive.

Ford Focus Via Motor Trend
Ford Focus Via Motor Trend

10. Ford Focus

For the 2020 year, the Focus is on its way out. So it’s understandable why there are no major changes to the car. When it comes to compact cars, the Focus has never been anything innovative or special. Perhaps that’s why Ford is giving it the ax. The Focus has routinely been billed as unreliable by Consumer Reports. There are issues with reliability in the transmission and vehicle electrical. The Focus utilizes in a four-cylinder engine that offers great gas mileage, but the trade-off is an uninspiring ride.

Even in the ST trim, the Focus manages to be overpriced in a market that’s saturated with household names such as the Corolla and Civic. The base trim of the Focus plays on the sportiness of the car. And while the Focus does offer more standard features than any other, it’s just not enough. The Focus has gained a reputation for shoddy reliability. With the 2020 model year, the car hasn’t gained any ground.

Ford Focus Via Motor Trend
Ford Focus via Motor Trend

With the continuing popularity of crossover vehicles, Ford has decided to phase out all of the sedans in the lineup. The Focus is one of the models that’s going to get the ax, which means that the 2020 model year is one of its final. There are better cars that you can get in this price range, and with a better reliability rating.

Ford Fiesta Via Motor Trend
Ford Fiesta via Motor Trend

9. Ford Fiesta

Ford just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to subcompact cars. Remember the Aspire? Probably not, because it was one of the forgotten relics of the 90s. Like its long-lost predecessor, the Fiesta is basic transportation. Although the Fiesta is dressed up in some of the most handsome metal to come out of Detroit, the features pale in comparison. The Fiesta has a bare-bones interior, which, similar to other domestic cars in this class, is the first drawback. Ford has worked tirelessly to improve the interior and exterior quality, but sadly, the Fiesta didn’t get the memo.

The Fiesta does come in some nice body trims including the ST. If you opt for the ST, you get a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. But aside from that, the car doesn’t have anything special to offer. The wheels are too small. The car feels like it’s going to tip over at highway speeds. While the built-in Sync system is a nice upgrade, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to this car. Basic Fiesta models suffer from subpar acceleration as well as the ho-hum exterior styling.

Ford Fiesta Via Motor Trend
Ford Fiesta via Motor Trend

If you’re in the market for a subcompact car for the 2020 model year, there are better choices than the Fiesta. For today’s buyer, the tiny Ford just isn’t going to be practical. 2020 is going to be one of the final years that you can get your hands on a Fiesta, and now we know why. The car just doesn’t stack up when it comes to features and value.

Ford Taurus Via Motor Trend
Ford Taurus via Motor Trend

8. Ford Taurus

The Taurus is the car that’s credited with saving Ford during the 80s. The sedan was everything that buyers were looking for at a time when the company was going under. But the modern Taurus is a mere shadow of its heyday. The big, bulky sedan is no longer a powerhouse when compared to Japanese models. The Taurus has been relegated to rental car fleets. So, what does the Taurus offer? Well, it boasts an extremely large interior. The sedan is quite large overall, but size isn’t everything.

The Taurus is lacking inadequate power to pull all that weight around, and that’s something buyers are going to notice. For what the Taurus offers, it’s extremely overpriced and more expensive than the competition. Even the limited edition SHO package has lost its luster. And there doesn’t appear to be anything that the company can do to revitalize it. The Taurus is one of the last large sedans on the market. With the rise of crossover vehicles, it looks to be the last.

Ford Taurus Via Motor Trend
Ford Taurus via Motor Trend

Boasting a large interior isn’t all that’s important these days. Buyers want more. Ford is shifting its focus toward the crossover market and the Taurus is going to be left behind. The large sedan is a car that you should avoid for the 2020 model year.

Ghibli Via Motor Trend
Ghibli via Motor Trend

7. Maserati Ghibli

Maserati has never managed to gain a strong foothold in the luxury market. The company’s cars are just not as appealing and well known as other luxury brands. Not to mention for the last decade the cars have had a distinct look that appears to be stuck in 2003. Nevertheless, the Ghibli musters on for the 2020 model year.

This is one sedan worth avoiding. The Ghibli is notorious for having electrical issues. In fact, consumers are complaining about this as soon as the car leaves the lot. If that’s not enough to make your wallet scream, the Ghibli is also only available with a V6 engine. So you’re paying a Bentley price for Volkswagen power. Most buyers in this price range want a V8. The interior is cramped for such an expensive car, and the control center still utilizes old technology. The tapping shift lever is among one of the worst designs in the automotive industry, and the trunk space is limited at best.

Ghibli Via Motor Trend
Ghibli via Motor Trend

With the Ghibli, you get the prestige of driving a Maserati but that’s about it. The Ghibli doesn’t offer anything in the way of value for the consumer. You’ll just be paying for an overpriced brand name and that doesn’t make much sense.

Acura ILX Via Motor Trend
Acura ILX via Motor Trend

6. Acura ILX

The Acura brand was the original Japanese luxury maker to come to the US. But if you look at their lineup today, you’d wonder what’s happened. Acura has been outpaced by Lexus every year since the brand’s inception. The Acura ILX is a prime example of this because the Accord-based sedan doesn’t showcase anything in the way of luxury. When you buy a luxury sedan, you want to feel like you’re being wrapped in luxury. In the ILX, you feel like you are simply in a top-level Accord. That’s probably not what most of us want to spend that much money on.

The ILX also suffers in the way of performance, with a basic engine at best. The car is advertised as being a sport sedan, but it’s hardly that. The infotainment center is the standard Honda fare. The ILX also has a backup camera and side view cameras, but as far as features go, the car is lacking. Most luxury sedan buyers are going to ignore the ILX. For the 2020 model year, there is little that changes to this aged sedan, and thus, you’d be better off looking somewhere else.

Acura ILX Via Motor Trend
Acura ILX via Motor Trend

Acura made its bones by offering luxury performance cars. However, the ILX just doesn’t live up to the company’s reputation. If you are looking for a sport sedan, the IS250 might be a better and more rounded option.

Q50 Via Car And Driver
Q50 via Car And Driver

5. Infiniti Q50

Infiniti is a brand that’s pretty much in the same boat as Acura when it comes to being lost. The Infiniti brand was launched to take on Acura and Lexus. However, the cars have never really stood out. Sure, you have the popular G35. But as far as brand awareness goes, Infiniti’s is low. The Q50 has been out for a while now. While it boasts an extremely classy interior, the technology under the hood hasn’t aged well. The Q50 doesn’t offer much in the way of performance and the sedan has been outclassed by its competitors.

The interior screams Nissan, and the materials are cheap at best. You’d think that the Q50 was the entry-level sedan. The Q50 doesn’t offer much in the way of rear legroom either, and the trunk is much smaller than other sedans in this price range. For the price, you can find better features in the IS250, and more legroom. In addition to that, the Q50 has been tarred with reliability issues. It seems that there’s a lot of issues with the CVT transmission, although the Q50 can be ordered with a manual.

Q50 Via Car And Driver
Q50 via Car And Driver

For the 2020 model year, not much is changing with the Q50. If you’re looking for an entry-level luxury sedan, this one is best to be avoided. You can find a far better deal coming out of a Lexus lot, and you’ll get more for your money.

ATS Via Car And Driver
ATS via Car And Driver

4. Cadillac ATS

If you don’t remember the ATS don’t feel too bad, because the big Cadillac sedan hasn’t been much of a success. The brand, in general, has had trouble selling its sedans in light of competition from the Germans and the Japanese. The ATS is a big sedan, and it looked to take some of the loyal DTS buyers. But the ATS isn’t available with a V8 engine. The sedan also has an oddball style to it that has not settled in with consumers. You might be wondering what does the ATS offer? Well, aside from the size advantage, the ATS is slim on features.

You can get a comparable luxury car for much less. Even the CTS costs less and offers more than its stablemate. The ATS has been relegated to rental-car fleets in recent years, and the 2020 model year is going to be one of its final. There was a good amount of excitement around the ATS when it first hit the market, but that quickly wore off as the sedan lost its luster. The infotainment center is aged, and the sedan just doesn’t offer anything innovative in the way of features.

ATS Via Car And Driver
ATS via Car And Driver

Cadillac is going to be phasing their sedans out in favor of crossovers. The ATS is the first to get the chopping block. The 2020 model year is going to be an uneventful one for the ATS, to say the least.

Suburban Via GM
Suburban via GM

3. Chevrolet Suburban

The good old Suburban has been around for decades. In fact, it’s one of the oldest nameplates on the market. But the Suburban is getting old. With new competition from the Ford Expedition, the Suburban has become aged and overpriced. The big, V8-powered SUV is only suitable for those who need to haul around an entire soccer team every day of the week. Otherwise, the Suburban hasn’t had a substantial upgrade since 2006. Sure, the body styling is new and improved but that’s about it.

The Suburban doesn’t offer anything new in the way of features that you couldn’t get in a used model. The 2020 model year is going to be an uneventful one for the Suburban as GM works to roll out their new lines of crossover vehicles. The Suburban still has the same hungry V8 and the same interior. The infotainment center is on the outdated side of things, and if you’ve seen one Suburban you’ve seen them all. There are going to be a few new pairs of rims added as well as additional exterior color choices, but other than that the 2020 model year is a dud.

Suburban Via GM
Suburban via GM

With all of the innovative features that the Expedition is offering the Suburban has some stiff competition. The Suburban is a vehicle that’s best avoided for the 2020 model year, it just doesn’t offer enough intrinsic value to justify the price.

Prius Via Motor Trend
Prius via Motor Trend

2. Toyota Prius

It’s been a long ride for the Prius, the vehicle that carried Toyota through a recession and became a staple for changing the world. But the world doesn’t love the Prius anymore. The rise of crossovers has pretty much killed the Prius’s sales, not to mention the addition of other hybrids and all-electric vehicles to the market. The Prius has lost its unique ability to sell itself as a vehicle of change. It’s now just another Toyota. The current Prius has been in production for some time now and still features that trademark design.

But for the 2020 model year, the Prius still doesn’t offer anything unique. You’ll see most of the options that have been offered on Priuses of the past. That’s not even mentioning the outdated drivetrain. The Prius is not going to win any races. The exterior is not going to garner praises anymore. With Honda launching its new Insight sedan, the Prius has some stiff competition in the hybrid world. The Prius still only seats five people, and the interior is the same size that it’s been for years.

Prius Via Motor Trend
Prius Via Motor Trend

2020 is going to be another uneventful year for the brand. If you’re in the market for a hybrid vehicle, the Prius is probably one that’s best left avoided. Other options on the market are packed with more features and offer similar gas mileage.

Dodge Caravan Via Edmunds
Dodge Caravan via Edmunds

1. Dodge Grand Caravan

We don’t know what it is with Chrysler and carrying on models, but the current Dodge Grand Caravan has been around since 2007. This is probably the most avoidable car for the 2020 model year, as it’s been outpaced by just about every other van on the market. The Grand Caravan is like riding in a time capsule because you’ll think that you’re back in 2007. Yes, the Grand Caravan does offer a competitive price and a boatload of interior space. But that’s because you are paying for a car from 2007.

The standard V6 engine is outdated and noisy at best, especially at highway speeds. The transmission shifts with a solid Chrysler thunk, and the brakes have a reputation for going out. Sure, Chrysler offers a great warranty with the Caravan, but you are going to be using it often. The Caravan isn’t going to be offering anything new for the 2020 model year, and the brand will continue for a few years.

Dodge Caravan Via Edmunds
Dodge Caravan via Edmunds

If you’re going to be looking for a people mover, the new Pacifica has been a hit with consumers. There are also going to be new minivan offerings from Hyundai and Toyota, so keep an eye out for those as well moving forward.

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