5 On Your Side

Acura ILX named least liked car in Consumer Reports survey

Posted January 26

Driving a brand new car off the lot is always exciting, but for some cars, the honeymoon period is short lived.

A Consumer Reports' annual Owner Satisfaction Survey asked 300,000 people about their experiences with new cars. The survey found three cars that owners said they most regretted buying.

The allure of new, shiny paint, fancy features and that new-car smell faded quickly for Ford Fiesta owner Felix Garza.

"I was really upset," Garza said. "I thought someone sold me a lemon."

At first everything was great with Garza's brand new Fiesta, but after only a year and a half it needed a new transmission. Consumer Reports' survey found Felix isn't alone.

"Seventy percent of the respondents in our survey said they were happy and they would buy their vehicle again, but of course that leaves 30 percent that were not happy," said Consumer Reports Autos Editor Mike Monticello.

Like Garza with his Fiesta, owners of the Dodge Dart were far from thrilled. They reported annoyances ranging from sluggish acceleration to weak air conditioning, along with multiple mechanical problems causing trips to the dealer for repairs. The problems made the Dart the most disliked compact car in the survey.

"People who bought minivans seemed to be pretty happy with their purchase, except maybe for Dodge Grand Caravan buyers," Monticello said.

Dissatisfied owners said the transmission shifts roughly, and it has uncomfortable rear seats with an interior that felt cheaply made. The owners didn't like the radio, either.

The pair of Dodge vehicles weren't the most disliked in the bunch, though.

"The least liked car in our entire survey was the Acura ILX," Monticello said.

Just 41 percent of respondents said they would buy the ILX again. Owners panned its lack of quality, pokey acceleration, excessive road noise and rough ride.

Monticello warned anyone looking to buy a new car soon: Heed the warnings.

"If these people were unsatisfied with the car, chances are, you're probably going to be unsatisfied too.," Monticello said.

Also on the car buyers' regret list: the Chrysler 200, Jeep Compass, Nissan Pathfinder, and Nissan Fronteir.

It wasn't all bad, though. Survey respondents loved their hybrids. The vast majority of owners of a Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius and Rav4 Hybrids said they would buy their cars again.

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