17 worst cars you can buyAugust 5, 2013Friends don't let friends buy these vehicles.Smart FortwoWorst Subcompact Car - 2013 Smart Fortwo: You can buy a Smart car for a very reasonable $12,420, but you'll do without power steering, power windows, air-conditioning or a radio. Adding those common items brings the cost to $15,160, a price greater than other similarly equipped subcompacts that include a backseat.Then there's the matter of driving it. The Smart needs 14.1 seconds to get to 60 mph and once there feels as if it'll be blown off the road by every passing tractor-trailer. Its three-cylinder engine returns a frugal EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined, but requires premium fuel. Its tiny dimensions allow it to squeeze into parking spots nothing else could attempt, but its horrible single-clutch automated manual transmission makes doing so a herky-jerky and potentially bumper-tapping experience. Once under way, that slow-shifting transmission will have you bobbing forward with every upshift as if a first-time driver is rowing the gears.You'll note we haven't yet mentioned the clown car styling, but why bother? On paper and in practice, the Smart is an oxymoron.Mitsubishi LancerWorst Compact Sedan - 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer: With Toyota's recent radical overhaul of its best-selling but thoroughly crummy Corolla, the Mitsubishi Lancer finds itself alone at the bottom. Though its edgy shape and shark-inspired nose look fierce when gussied up on the Evolution X, the volume-selling regular Lancer's small steel wheels, less aggressive styling and single exhaust transform this compact sedan from rally champ to rental chump.If anything, however, styling is actually the Lancer's best attribute. The cabin is burdened with an uninspiring design, cheap hard plastic, a tilt-only steering wheel and insufficiently adjustable seats. The base engine is thrashy, gutless and less efficient than its competitors, while the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) saps power and produces noises more typically associated with calf-bearing bovines. The optional engine is more powerful and can be equipped with all-wheel drive, but its fuel economy remains subpar.The Lancer's biggest problem, though, is a result of its advanced age in a segment that's progressing rapidly in recent years.Dodge Avenger undercuts Kia, Hyundai This undated image made available by Chrysler shows the 2013 Dodge Avenger Blacktop Edition. (AP Photo/Chrysler)Turbo Taurus is tops in fuel mileage In a March 12, 2012 photo provided by Ford, the new 2013 Ford Taurus is launched in Portland, Oregon as media have the first opportunity to drive the new product. The 2013 Ford Taurus is even more refined for the 2013 model year - with better fuel economy, more technology, enhanced design, improved craftsmanship and sharpened driving dynamics. (AP Photo/Ford) 2014 Lincoln MKSWorst Luxury Sedan - 2014 Lincoln MKS: For about $50,000 you can buy an Audi A6, BMW 5 Series or a loaded Lexus ES 350. Alternatively, you can buy a version of the car we just declared the worst full-size sedan, albeit with more equipment, fewer buttons and a grille inspired by the baleen of a right whale.Lincoln's MKS is not the only luxury vehicle mechanically related to a non-luxury model. The Cadillac XTS shares a platform with the Buick LaCrosse, for instance, while the Lexus ES 350 shares its underbits with the Toyota Avalon. The difference is that those plebeian relatives are better than the Taurus, and there is a much greater distinction between them. You'd be hard-pressed to spot their genetic similarities whether behind their wheel or simply eyeing them from the curb. The MKS, on the other hand, is pure Taurus: similar shape, driving experience, interior space, compromised visibility and engines.Many of the same complaints can be leveled against the Ford Fusion-based Lincoln MKZ, but it's dipping into a more gifted gene pool.Noul Ferrari California: un plus de 30 CP, 3,8 secunde pentru 100 km/hNoua versiune a bolidului California va fi prezentata la Geneva2013 Nissan AltimaWorst Coupe - 2013 Nissan Altima: A coupe should look better than its sedan counterpart. It should be better to drive as well. We'd actually prefer it to be downright fun, but barring that, we'd settle for more spacious, comfortable and refined than more dedicated two-door sports cars. In other words, you should get something in return for the indignity of having your rear passengers slither in between the B-pillar and a flopped-forward front seat.None of the above applies to the Nissan Altima Coupe. It's not especially attractive and it offers little dynamic improvement beyond the previous-generation sedan upon which it's based. Making things worse, a four-cylinder is the only engine offered, whereas you can get a V6 in the Honda Accord (let alone the cheaper Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang or more spacious Dodge Challenger). We would throw in that only a CVT is available, but we actually prefer it to the wonky six-speed manual that used to be offered.Besides the coupes we've already mentioned, there are any number of other two-doors on the sporty or grand touring spectrum that are better choices.Scion IQWorst Hatchback - 2014 Scion iQ: This could've gone to the Smart as well, but in the interest of variety, the nearly-as-diminutive Scion iQ is still mightily deserving of this title. Now, we will certainly commend Toyota for its engineering abilities here, as the iQ truly is a marvel of vehicle packaging. By moving the passenger-side dash and firewall forward, there's theoretically enough room for two passengers to occupy the right-side seats in this "2+1" hatchback. There is also something to be said for its ability to fit in many of the same tiny parking spots as the Smart does, but with a proper transmission.Nevertheless, there's something about the iQ that's utterly terrifying. The crash ratings and generous airbag count indicate it's safe, but we don't live in the crowded confines of Tokyo. Here in America, even the most congested urban areas are filled with irate Crown Victoria-driving cabbies and oblivious Suburban-driving soccer moms waiting to pulverize this little Scion like the bug it resembles. On the highway, should you dare to venture, the iQ lacks the stability and substantial feeling of other pocket cars like the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.Let us also not forget that the iQ spawned the Aston Martin Cygnet, which is a crime against all that is dignified in this world.Acura ZDX 2011Worst Luxury Crossover - 2013 Acura ZDX: Sharing roughly the same footprint and weight as Acura's MDX, the ZDX features an aggressively raked roof that creates a far sleeker vehicle. Fair enough, as people are often willing to sacrifice some practicality to make a fashion statement, but probably not this much. That slashed roof yields a backseat that's friendly only for those who lack heads, while the chopped rear door openings may be the reason they lost them in the first place. The cargo area is meager for a vehicle its size and its 4,438-pound curb weight doesn't do the 300-horsepower V6 any favors. The ZDX is a full second slower from zero to 60 mph than the similarly shaped BMW X6.Now, BMW's own coupe-crossover Frankenstein creation is hardly a bastion of buying sensibility, but unlike the ZDX, the BMW roundel is at least more likely to create that desired fashion statement than Acura's pinched A. Be it for fashion or transportation, we can't fathom why anyone would buy one.2013 Land Rover LR2Worst Five-Passenger SUV - 2013 Land Rover LR2: In Great Britain, the Land Rover LR2 is considered an alternative to compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. With its frugal diesel engine, a lower relative price and genuine off-road capability, it's a decent choice if you need a vehicle that can just as easily drive through a muddy pasture as it can cruise the grocery store parking lot. Plus, it's British, so why not fly the flag?In the United States, the Land Rover LR2 is considered an alternative to compact luxury crossovers like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. It may still have more off-road capability, but no amount of leather trim and fancy features can hide the fact that the LR2 is unsuccessfully trying to ford some very deep metaphorical water. Its new turbocharged four-cylinder engine is slow and inefficient for the segment, the cabin is comparatively stark in design, the cargo area is cramped, and unlike Land Rover's mechanically related Range Rover Evoque, nothing about the styling says luxury vehicle. Plus, we're American and there's this thing called a Jeep.2013 Subaru TribecaWorst Seven-Passenger SUV - 2013 Subaru Tribeca: The Subaru Tribeca was introduced as a 2008 model, but it seems so much older than that. Perhaps it's the center stack waterfall of mid-2000s silver plastic or the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. Perhaps it's the forgettable styling or the fact that virtually every other midsize crossover has been redesigned since its introduction. No matter, as the Tribeca wasn't appealing five years ago and it hasn't gotten any better.Since we're talking about seven-passenger SUVs here, there's no better place to start than the third-row seat that can only accommodate children. Adults can fit in many of its competitors' rearmost spaces. Should you lower rows two and three, you're left with only 74.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. That's about 30 less than a Mazda CX-9, and essentially equal to Subaru's own Outback, which is better to drive and far more efficient. In fact, the Tribeca's EPA estimates of 18 mpg combined and 16 city/21 highway match a V6-powered Ford F-150.Even if you were to consider the Tribeca a five-passenger SUV with a pair of occasional-use extra seats, it would be a stinker.Honda RidgelineOverview of the Honda Ridgeline2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT6. CadillacCadillac is tied for the highest-ranked American brand on the satisfaction list.Kia SedonaWorst Minivan - 2014 Kia Sedona: The Kia Sedona went away for 2013 but will be resurrected for 2014. Unfortunately for minivan buyers, it didn't really change in the process and is very much the same van that was introduced for 2006. Back then and in the subsequent model years, the Sedona was a smart alternative to the class-leading Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, while a clear step above Chrysler's vans. The Sedona offered loads of features for the money, a generous warranty, competitive interior space and commendable driving manners.Those same virtues remain, but the minivan segment has moved forward with fresher designs, added features, more refinement and better fuel economy. Today's Odyssey and Sienna, plus the Nissan Quest and the heavily improved Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan, are ultimately stronger choices.Mitsubishi i-MiEVWorst Electric/Alternative-Fuel Vehicle - 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Yes, they really do sell the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in this country. Yes, you really can drive it places besides the 18th fairway or the controlled confines of the Shady Pines retirement village. Yes, it really is that terrible and embarrassing to drive.Go beyond that, as well as the dime-store interior, and you'll find an electric vehicle with less range than every other solely battery-powered car. It can only go 62 miles on a full charge, which is roughly the distance-to-empty that triggers most drivers to start searching for the closest Shell. Plus, the i-MiEV takes longer to recharge than its rivals. True, this Mitsubishi city car is the least expensive EV on the market, but its price tag of $20,000 (including the $7,500 tax rebate) speaks to its cheapness rather than its value.With cars like the Tesla Model S, Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf, we know that electric vehicles can be viable. The i-MiEV gives them all a bad name.2013 Lexus LS 600h L2013 Lexus LS 600h L: How can the most expensive hybrid on the market be the worst? It may be hard to believe since the new-for-2013 Lexus LS is indeed a thoroughly impressive luxury sedan. However, let's take a look at some numbers.With its combination of a V8 engine and electric motors, the 438-hp LS 600h L is supposed to rival V12-powered flagship sedans. However, it goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. The V12-powered BMW 760Li does it in 4.5, while even the regular LS 460 does it in 6.1. As a hybrid, one would assume that the LS 600h L would be more efficient. Well, its 20 mpg combined is indeed better than the LS 460's: by 1 mpg. We wouldn't expect a thank-you card from Ed Begley, Jr. upon purchase. Rivals from outside the Lexus brand are quicker, more efficient and less expensive.Then there's the price. At a shocking $120,000, the LS 600h L costs $25,000 more than a similarly equipped LS 460L. As a recap, that would be $25 grand for a slower car that manages only 1 mpg more. If you think that's a good deal, then perhaps we should introduce you to this Nigerian prince we know.