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11 Japanese Cars to Avoid

September 5, 2013

There's a common misconception that Japanese cars are reliable while domestic cars tend to be plagued with problems. That may have been true in decades past, but that's no longer the case today.

Consumer Reports recently released a list of the 10 Japanese cars they say don't make the grade in terms of their reliability and road-test score. All of the vehicles listed earned a score of less than 60 -- or an "F" -- on Consumer Reports' overall road-test score. Check out the full list below and make sure to reconsider if any of these vehicles are on your consideration list.

VehicleOverall Road-Test ScoreLows
Scion IQ29Ride, noise, acceleration, steering, driving position, fit and finish, radio controls, blind spots, tiny rear seat.
Mitusbishi i-MiEV SE31 Short range, long charge time, weak heat, acceleration, ride, agility, driving postion, spartan interior, radio.
Toyota FJ Cruiser36Visibility, ride, handling, noise, fit and finish, access.
Toyota Yaris LE41Noise, ride, agility, driving position, front seat comfort, fit and finish, radio controls, rear visibility.
Toyota Tacoma (V6)50Ride, handling, driving position, high step-in, low rear seat.
Toyota Prius C Two53Acceleration, ride, noise, driving position, rear visibility, fit and finish.
Nissan Versa SV53Handling, engine noise, front-seat comfort, fit and finish, reliability.
Honda Insight EX54Acceleration, handling, ride, noise, rear seat.
Toyota 4Runner SR5 (V6)55Handling, ride, driving position, fit and finish, access, turning circle.
Honda CR-Z EX57Only two seats, noise, ride, visibility, access, AC shut-off at stop.
Mitsubishi Outlander SE (4-cyl.)57Noise, ride, agility, acceleration, front-seat comfort, fit and finish

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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