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6 Lemons to Avoid at All Costs

28 September 2020 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

2020 has thrown just about everything at us so far. But what would make it even worse is to purchase a car you think you love, only to find out you’ve been swindled. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many drivers. There’s nothing more disappointing than when a new car lets you down.

Luckily, Motor Matcher is here to help. We’ve compiled a blacklist of 6 cars that have a track record of causing problems. Hey, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

2008 Chrysler Sebring 

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There are plenty of these models floating around on the used car market for cheap. However, for a 2008 car, the Sebring looks antiquated and uninspiring. Its cheap and tacky interiors don’t score it any points, either. We could forgive its dated appearance if it actually functioned well, but sadly it’s proven to be very unreliable. Sure, it has some impressive features and a comfortable cabin, but the Sebring does not deliver the same driving performance or overall refinement of other cars in its league. Put simply, you can do better.

Here are some more of its cons.

  • Negative impressions of all but the top-of-the-line engine
  • Limited trunk space compared to other midsize sedans
  • Sebring's base model doesn't offer features like four-wheel disc brakes or traction control standard.

2012 KIA Optima Hybrid

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The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid simply wasn’t a good hybrid. Though the sedan had great gas mileage, getting 63km on the highway and 55 in the city, its interior is cramped and uncomfortable, its performance underwhelming and reliability questionable. To give credit where it’s due, no one can deny that this is a safe car, and the total cost of ownership is pretty good as long as you don’t have to change the battery.

But does that excuse the below factors?

  • Unimpressive fuel economy for a hybrid
  • Rough transition between electric and gas
  • Its regenerative brakes have a numb pedal feel
  • Small trunk.

2011 AUDI A4

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On the surface, the 2011 Audi A4 seems a solid car choice. Its styling is understated yet classy, it’s got nice interior even by luxury standards, and performs well overall.  It also ticks the safety box. However, despite all of these wins, it’s one of the most unreliable luxury cars on the market and is notorious for experiencing frequent engine problems. The 2011 AUDI A4 also has a reputation for burning through oil. While you might find a good deal on a 2011 Audi A4, its long-term value proposition is debatable at best.

Here’s what else lets this model down in a big way.

  • Cramped back seat
  • Electronics in-dash peter out quickly
  • Plastic finishes on front components tend to chip after 6-7 years
  • So-so gas mileage
  • Expensive to maintain especially if your clutch goes, with limited qualified mechanics outside of dealerships
  • Doesn't age that well, and tends to break down more after 9 years of age or >200,000km
  • Relatively expensive.

2016 VOLVO XC70 Estate

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This Estate is plagued by minor issues. The fuel hose is prone to cracking, the fuel gauge often shows incorrect levels and it experiences electrical problems that can affect the power steering. XC70 Estates are known to have faulty driver-side airbags, alloy wheels that tend to corrode, and many software bugs. Yikes. Steer clear folks (no pun intended).


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Let’s face it. The 2019 Toyota C-HR needs work. And a lot of it. Though it boasts high safety ratings, enjoys a wide range of features and has sporty handling, there are also a number of red flags associated with this car. It’s up to you to weigh up your options…

  • Does not offer an all-wheel-drive option
  • Cargo area is impractical, and does not easily accommodate awkwardly-shaped or bulky items in the back
  • There is a rattling noise that has been reported coming from somewhere in the back of the cabin
  • Sluggish acceleration

2019 Cadillac Escalade

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The Cadillac Escalade 2019 lags behind the competition in many ways. The interior isn’t necessarily bad, but rather it’s not as nice as you’d expect for a premium SUV. The seats are also quite uncomfortable, and the styling outdated for such a recent model. The infotainment system is a mess too, and cargo space isn’t fitted for such a large SUV. And when the time comes that you have to take your Escalade to a repair shop, prepare to fork out quite the pretty penny.

Here’s what else to expect.

  • Tight third row in standard-wheelbase models
  • Complicated infotainment controls
  • Feels less composed around turns than its rivals.

Final verdict

Don't just get lured in by redesigned cars and brand-new models that grab headlines and generate social media buzz. Instead, do your own research and talk to the experts. If you want to see what’s out there for yourself, we recommend visiting for a faster, safe and simpler way to purchase cars online.