8 foreign cars to stay away from buying

Spanish Cars / Wikimedia Commons

When shopping for a new car, it’s tempting to be drawn to popular foreign brands known for their reputations for performance, luxury, value and style. However, experts advise caution with some models that have developed infamous results.

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While a flashy exterior or badge may attract attention, it’s wise to look under the hood, study reliability reports and listen to the experts before making a purchase.

Potential buyers would be wise to avoid the following foreign cars, which have been repeatedly criticized by industry experts and owners alike. From chronic transmission problems to exorbitant maintenance costs, these trips come with heavy baggage that outweighs any surface appeal. Test drives and independent inspections are strongly recommended before signing on the dotted line.

Also see six new cars to stay away from buying.

Nissan Pathfinder

This mid-size SUV has been criticized for transmission issues, particularly the continuously variable transmission (CVT). Owners report overheating, lack of durability and the need for expensive repairs or replacements.

Automotive Expert Er. Ankit Dhadwal, founder and CEO of Mount Shine, said: “Many owners have complained that their CVTs overheat and are not very durable. Consumers have expressed concern about the need for expensive transmission replacements or maintenance so often.

See: 4 luxury cars that will actually last for years

Toyota C-HR

Subcompact SUVs are often a smart choice for daily driving in congested urban areas. At first glance, it seems that the Toyota C-HR offers a lot of advantages in this class of cars. But, according to experts, the C-HR is actually one of the worst options among subcompact SUVs currently on the market.

According to Matas Bouzelis, automotive expert at carVertical, “The C-HR stands out as one of the baddest subcompact SUVs available. When we put aside the car’s somewhat ambiguous design and focus solely on its attributes, it becomes clear that the C-HR has no clear advantages. Build quality, interior space, dynamics, handling and comfort fall short. The C-HR is a worse option at best.”

Jaguar X-Type

The X-Type has been criticized for below-average reliability and expensive maintenance compared to rivals such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Owners cite more frequent mechanical problems and high labor and parts costs.

As Dhadwal noted, “The likelihood of high repair costs was one of the main justifications for exercising caution with the X-Type. The cost of labor and genuine Jaguar parts can dramatically increase maintenance and repair costs.”

Audi Q5 55 TFSI e

Experts noted that this plug-in hybrid SUV is unnecessarily complicated and expensive compared to gas-only versions of the Q5.

Bouzelis said: “Currently, the most affordable version of the Q5 55 TFSI e starts at around $57,000, which is roughly $11,000 more than a version with the same four-cylinder engine that offers similar performance without the added complexity.

“When you pair it with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, it becomes unnecessarily complicated and expensive. Also, when the hybrid’s battery runs out, recharging is not a quick and efficient process.”

Fiat 500

Although loved for its styling, the 500 has been plagued by electrical issues, including issues with the lighting, power windows and infotainment system. Complaints about the transmission and doubts about long-term durability are also common.

According to Dhadwal, “Electrical components have been a common source of complaint for the Fiat 500. Some owners have reported issues with lighting, power windows, bad clutch discs, faulty fuel injector seats and infotainment systems that can be aggravating and expensive for removal.’

Mitsubishi Mirage

This budget subcompact is known for poor performance, a noisy cabin, choppy ride quality and a lack of features compared to the competition. Acceleration is severely underpowered.

“Merging and passing maneuvers on the highway can feel awkward due to the lack of engine power,” explained Dhadwal. “The Mirage’s poor performance is one of its biggest criticisms as it has problems with its front brakes; also the airbags do not deploy as expected.’

Nissan Juke

Although the Nissan Juke has a unique design, there are some practical drawbacks to consider in long-term ownership.

According to James McNally, managing director of Self-Drive Vehicle Hire, “The Juke’s design includes a sloping roofline that gives it a sporty and dynamic appearance, but this design choice reduces the available headroom for rear seat passengers. Taller people in particular may find it uncomfortable to sit in the back due to limited headroom.’

Cargo space is also tighter than many competing SUVs.

Honda Civic (2012)

The 2012 Honda Civic is one model year best avoided.

According to Blake Shaw, automotive expert at the All About Wheels blog, “This model year Civic is known for issues with interior accessories and braking systems. Quite a few owners have also complained about premature tire wear.”

Problems with the 2012 Civic’s interior trim peeling or cracking early in the vehicle’s life have been frequently reported. Given this model year’s notoriety for various defects and below-average reliability, consumers are wise to look for other options in the used car market. The 2012 Civic’s problems outweigh its positives for most buyers.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 8 Foreign Cars Not to Buy

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