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12 Cars To Avoid in 2023

6 minute read

By Lesley Harrison

Key Takeaways

  • According to J.P. Morgan, the average car price went up 42.5% between February 2020 and November 2022 — so being selective while shopping for a new vehicle has never been more important.
  • Before choosing which car to buy, write a list of the features and functions that are most important and which ones matter less.
  • Whether you’re shopping for an SUV, minivan or sedan, the following list contains examples of models to avoid in 2023.

Cars are a big ticket item, and finding the best one for your unique needs requires plenty of research. Outdated designs, underwhelming engine power, and cramped interiors are common reasons a particular model made this year’s list.

Auto prices are sky-high, so choosing based on all available facts is important. To ensure you don’t end up with a car you’re disappointed by, check out the following list of 12 cars to avoid in 2023.

Ford Explorer

Almost everyone is familiar with the Ford Explorer, which came onto the market in 1990. Despite its status as the best-selling SUV of all time, the 2023 model leaves a lot to be desired. U.S. News and World Report gives the interior a 6.6 out of 10, and states that it has a low-rent cabin, seats that aren’t as comfortable as its rivals and a difficult-to-use infotainment screen.

However, the car receives praise for its versatility, wide range of trims, safety features, and large cargo hold. It’s not the worst car ever, but it’s by no means the Explorer’s best year.



The FIAT 500X gets a disappointing 2.9 out of 5 stars from Kelley Blue Book, which notes that the standard safety tech features are disappointing. It also states that the suspension is too firm, the transmission is unrefined and the ride isn’t particularly smooth.

Despite its attractive European-style exterior and customizable interior, the bumpy ride and lack of cargo and cabin space make it one of the worst cars of 2023. The plucky 2023 FIAT Panda appears to be better received in reviews and might be worth considering for someone in search of a small crossover auto.


Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban 2023 is a hefty vehicle costing $56,900 that might seem great for big families or commercial use. However, its size means it isn’t very fuel efficient, and it’s best suited to people who consider themselves confident at driving and parking.

Car and Driver magazine points out that the more expensive trims don’t deliver on the luxury promised in the specs. However, if you consider vast amounts of cargo space and an impressive 420-hp V-8 engine to be must-haves, you might overlook its faults.

Chevrolet Suburban

Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage costs $16,245 and scores 2.5 out of 10 from U.S. News and World Report, thanks to its numb steering, cheap interior and weak and unrefined powertrain. It’s priced reasonably, and it’s available as a small hatchback or sedan.

Because of its small size, it has excellent fuel economy and is easy to drive and park. However, the 78-horsepower engine makes it a disappointing ride, and the interior feels more cramped than it should. If you’re looking for a small, affordable car, you might prefer the Nissan Versa, which is faster and gets higher scores across the board.


Kia Telluride

Some cars don’t get a bad reputation for poor performance or a disappointing design — and the Kia Telluride is one example. Car and Driver magazine says the Telluride is stylish-looking and offers exceptional comfort, has an impressive list of standard features, and drives like a luxury car.

Unfortunately, car dealers have caught on to its popularity and are selling it for way more than it’s worth. High demand plus low supply equals huge markups for customers. So, despite the fact it’s a great SUV, you’re unlikely to find anywhere selling it for its MSRP of $35,690.


Nissan Titan XD

Back in 2016 when the Nissan Titan XD first appeared, it was impressive. It offered more features and capabilities than your average full-sized pickup but didn’t force drivers to wrangle with a heavy-duty truck. In 2023, it costs $46,380, and Kelley Blue Book says its towing and payload capacities are less than the Ford F-150.

That said, it comes with decent features as standard, has a comfortable cabin, and drives well. Just keep in mind that it only has one engine and costs more than other large vehicles of a similar standard.


Maserati Ghibli

The Maserati Ghibli certainly looks flashy, but 2023 is another year drivers report the overall experience to be style over substance. Its sleek Italian-style exterior isn’t worth the price tag or mediocre resale value, according to Kelley Blue Book — and critics also note that its interior is disappointing.

What’s more, it has similar features to significantly cheaper cars, which suggests you’re only paying extra for the car’s outward appearance. Kelley Blue Book writes that the car may be in its last year of production, and it’s easy to see why.


Infiniti Q50

Considering its status as a luxury small car and price tag of $42,650, drivers have found the Infiniti Q50’s interior and exterior are outdated and clunky. U.S. News and World Report says the ride and handling feel like throwbacks, with lightly weighted steering that makes taking corners feel overly strenuous.

The suspension feels stiff, and you’re likely to feel the smallest bump or rough patch on the road. There are some saving graces — namely comfortable front seats, twin-turbo engines, and an impressive range of standard features.


Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent isn’t everything it’s billed to be, and some people claim it’s not worth its $33,895 starting price. While it has three throws of seats, the third row is only suitable for children. With its mediocre performance, fuel economy, and clunky handling, this SUV is best suited to school runs and family trips. Despite its weaknesses, it has impressive safety and tech features.

Someone looking for a more sporty ride could opt for the Ford Explorer ST, while those looking for better fuel economy might consider the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.


Chrysler Pacifica

The 2023 Chrysler Pacifica costs $37,095 and gets a 67 out of 100 for quality and reliability from J.D. Power, making it one of the least desirable minivan choices. Take the highly-rated Honda Odyssey, which scores 81 in the same category. Like any minivan, it isn’t the best at taking corners or accelerating, but it does have all-wheel drive as standard and plenty of legroom in every row.

When it comes to reliability, the model is famous for having a leaky transmission and being susceptible to total system failures. Its dangerously below-average resale price is another reason to give the Pacifica a miss in 2023.


Jeep Renegade

With only 177-horsepower and weak acceleration, the Jeep Renegade is a letdown for many people. Although it has impressive off-roading capabilities, the engine isn’t quick or refined, and its toy-like design isn’t the first choice for many modern road users. Even worse, the chubby roof pillars create a large pair of blind spots.

It has decent safety features and a roomy interior, but even its affordable MSRP of $24,695 doesn’t make up for the lackluster fuel economy.


Honda HR-V

With Car and Driver magazine dismissing the Honda HR-V’s engine as wimpy, the 2023 model appears even more undesirable than the 2022 model. Despite its rounder, more modern upgraded shape, the generic exterior is uninspiring. The interior lacks the high-tech capabilities and comfort of cars in the same class, but the driving experience is ultimately the biggest disappointment.

The HR-V shares its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with the Honda Civic, which feels significantly more lethargic in an SUV compared to the smaller car. Even for $23,800, critics write this car off as underwhelming.


Lesley Harrison


Lesley Harrison is a technical writer and open source software enthusiast with a passion for all things "data". In her spare time she coaches youth sports and loves exploring the English countryside.



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