10 Least Reliable Used Car Brands

Makes and Models of Used Cars with Potential Problems

2010 Mercedes-Benz GL rated a used SUV to avoid by MojoMotors.com. (c) Mercedes-Benz

Recently, MojoMotors.com posted its list of the 10 most reliable used car brands. Now it has taken the data used to compile that list to create its list of the 10 least reliable used cars.

According to the site, "We used the same analysis of 500,000+ cars model years 1995 to 2014, listed for sale on Mojo Motors to determine the average selling price depending on a vehicle’s mileage," said Michael Milstein, Business Intelligence Manager at Mojo Motors.

"Using a linear regression model, we were able to calculate the dollars of value lost as mileage increased and ultimately, the number of theoretical miles where a car lost all value. We were surprised to find many top luxury brands in this list – but we have our theories."

In its list of 10 most reliable used car brands, Toyota comes out on top at 210,705 miles until worthless. That's interesting when you note below that Lexus, its sister company, which shares parts, is among the least reliable used car brands.

It's also interesting to note that there is only about 7000 miles difference between Mazda at No. 10 on the most reliable list vs. Volkswagen, which is No. 10 on the least reliable used car list.

Here is the list of the 10 least reliable used car brands. Except where noted, all text supplied by MojoMotors.com.

10. Volkswagen – 170,799 miles until worthless

Volkswagen has their eyes set on being the largest automaker in the world, but their new-car sales in the U.S. are floundering, effectively holding them back from numero-uno status.

The brand’s premium SUV, the Touareg, is the one to avoid, MojoMotors.com says.

9. Lexus – 170,440 miles until worthless

Surprised? Despite sharing many of the same technologies as the most reliable automaker, Toyota, Lexus does not have the same long-term reliability. The full size Lexus LS has the least miles to worthless which is a concern considering its hefty price tag.

8. Hyundai- 169,123 miles until worthless

As of late, Hyundai ain’t half bad. Like Buick and Kia, two brands that also make this list, stick to their newer models from 2010 and onward for something that holds its value a little longer. The model MojoMotors.com says to avoid is the Azera.

7. Chrysler – 166,076 miles until worthless

Chrysler has a reputation of varying quality and shoppers considering Chrysler for the long-term might want to avoid the full size 300 sedan and the Town & Country minivan. Surprisingly, the PT Cruiser and Pacifica are the tops for Chrysler. (Editor's note: Those are two horrible vehicles.)

Avoid the Town & Country minivan.

6. Kia – 163,536 miles until worthless

Kia has been on fire since it launched a completely redesigned Optima with Jaguar-looks in 2010. Along with the Optima, Kia’s lineup is among the most beautiful at the entry-level. What isn’t beautiful is the minivan, the Sedona, which is panned for its out-of-date design and efficiency. Steer clear.

5. Buick – 157,164 miles until worthless

Built primarily on the same platforms as Chevrolets, Buick adds a level of sophistication the bowtie brand can’t quite match. The LaCrosse might be the Buick to avoid in our study, but this is due to the first generation (2005 to 2009), which had an aging engine and platform.

Stick to the second gen LaCrosse built from 2010 on.

4. Cadillac – 156,837 miles until worthless

Cadillac has successfully rebuilt its image thanks to the CTS and ATS launches. Having one of the most popular luxury SUVS, the Escalade, doesn’t hurt either. Despite a world class lineup today, be wary of older Cadillacs that have really hurt the brands long-term reliability (specifically the SRX).

3. Audi – 153,120 miles until worthless

The least reliable Audi is the Q7, which shares many of its components with Volkswagen’s least reliable, the Touareg. So if space isn’t a necessity in your crossover, consider the Q7′s little brother, the Q5, which is among Audi’s most reliable.

2. BMW – 151,950 miles until worthless

BMW, like Mercedes and Audi hold their value for just the first few years of age. As they get older, difficult to maintain techno-wizardry and expensive consumables (brakes, suspension, etc) dings the brands high-mileage viability.

MojoMotors.com specifically says to avoid the 7 series, which is BMW's most expensive luxury sedan.

1. Mercedes-Benz – 147,032 miles until worthless

Shoppers don’t buy luxury cars to drive forever and this is probably a good thing for Mercedes-Benz and the other two luxury German automakers on this list. The newer GLK-Class SUVs are among their most reliable while their larger GL-Class SUVs among their worst. Mercedes’ full-size S-Class sedan, however, is among their most reliable which is important to note since the full size BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS are among the worst for those brands.

MojoMotors.com does add a good caveat on its research: "Please note that while this data is a great way to understand how vehicle prices correlate to reliability, no study of used car reliability and its value is perfect. This is a make-specific study, not a breakdown of models, trims or years. There can be a large variation between model trims and there are many factors that go into the price of a car. Things like color, options, warranties and whether a car is a certified pre owned or not all greatly affect a cars valuation. Our study did not account for these variances."