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Popular Cars That Seem Cheap But Actually Burn Up Drivers’ Cash

Cameron EittreimJuly 7, 2022

Photo Credit: Chrysler

8: Chrysler Aspen

The Aspen has been attracting more attention lately, as consumers flock to the used car market. For those who don’t remember, the Aspen was a large luxury SUV that hit the market in the middle of the 2008 recession. This was far from great timing by Chrysler and even worse was that it was just an outdated Dodge Durango (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Chrysler

The Aspen had many faults but reliability is the biggest problem as the engine is prone to timing chain failure and the oil pump going out. The transmission on these SUVs is also trash as you can bet that you will be taking this to the transmission shop more than once.

Dodge Nitro - Dodge
Photo Credit: Dodge

7: Dodge Nitro

The Nitro was another compact SUV Chrysler released over the last decade. The Nitro had an upright look and it seemingly caught on with consumers. The problem is that the Nitro was also one of the more unreliable offerings. The transmission was the main problem as it is with most Dodge products (via Readers Digest).

Dodge Nitro via Chrysler Corporation
Photo Credit: Chrysler Corporation

If you were unlucky, then you’d have the transmission fail early in the ownership of the car. The reliability of the Nitro is also questionable at best. The head gasket tends to blow from time to time and the cooling system also fails.

Photo Credit: GM

6: Hummer H3

The H3 is a compact SUV released at the end of the Hummer brand’s lifespan. It had a lot going for it, other than the fact that there was a recession going on. This meant consumers didn’t want Hummers anymore. Another problem with the H3 was that it used the five-cylinder Isuzu engine as the base engine (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

This is one of the most faulty engines ever to enter a GM product. The engine is known for having an intermediate misfire that occurs from a defect in the air intake gaskets. This is not a cheap fix, and generally, once this happens, you’ll need a whole new engine.

Chevrolet Uplander
Photo Credit: GM

5: Chevrolet Uplander

The upright SUV-style minivans sold by GM in the mid-2000s have started to pique the interest of buyers lately. These vans never sold well when they were new, so it doesn’t make sense why consumers want these. The engines were notably unreliable and the vans had many issues that made them questionable (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Uplander was a van with a faulty V6 engine. When it was running right, the overheating problem would arise. And if you could skip those problems, the transmission probably would fail on you. The Uplander was not the best-looking van and didn’t stand out from the crowd.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

4: Honda Odyssey

Honda products have the reputation for being reliable. And while the Odyssey was popular, the van did have an expensive defect. The first and second-generation models of the Odyssey are widely known to have faulty transmission. The transmissions in these vans can fail at any time and will cost an arm and a leg to repair (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Another problem that the Odyssey is common for is the need for a valve job, which can happen at odd periods throughout the van’s life. The problem is that only a certified Honda professional can do this, and the repair is expensive. Needless to say, these early-model Odysseys might have been nice but repairs were pricey.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

3: Chrysler 200

Like the Dodge Dart, Chrysler had invested over a billion dollars in the design of this car. The 200 was supposed to be the next-generation sedan that changed the industry. Instead, consumers were critical of the car’s small size and high price tag. The Chrysler 200 didn’t do anything well, and its reliability was highly questionable (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Chrysler

The CVT transmission was panned from day one, and it caused consumers to flock to other car brands. The sales for the Chrysler 200 were incredibly poor, and you find them on the used car market all the time.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

2: Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 is perhaps another well-known compact SUV that has been popular with drivers lately. But if you know about Volvo products, then you know that this SUV is not as reliable either. The XC60 has many electrical issues that make the SUV inoperable. The transmission is also finicky and can need repairs early on (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Because the XC60 is such an advanced vehicle, there are many electrical components throughout the car. You’ll have to have a professional make these repairs, and that can be costly and something that most consumers don’t want to do. The XC60 is a vehicle that should be avoided by the common consumer.

Photo Credit: Ford

1: Ford Bronco

Consumers and the automotive press have panned the new Bronco for catastrophic engine failures. The Bronco is not reliable by any means, and when you open the hood, you are exposed to hoses and wires. There’s no doubt that the Bronco was simply rushed together and then pushed onto the market (via Readers Digest).

Photo Credit: Ford

Consumers have also complained about issues with the automatic transmission. Luckily, a lot of these issues are still under warranty, but once that warranty expires, these repairs will be expensive. Bronco loyalists are disappointed because the Bronco was traditionally an easy-to-repair rig with great styling.

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