Everyone desires a luxurious car. They signify success and offer the promise of admiration and attention everywhere you go, becoming status symbols. However, owning a luxury car is not worth the investment if it fails to provide peace of mind to its owners. After all, luxury cars come with a hefty price tag, and if they boast top-of-the-line technology but have recurring mechanical or electronic failures, they are not worth the time or money.
While some of the most reliable luxury cars on the market come from overseas, such as the IS, LC, and ES series from Lexus, Porsche Cayman, and G70 and G80 from Genesis, American automakers like Cadillac, Chrysler, and Lincoln have also established themselves as reputable automakers. Nonetheless, over the years, they have missed the mark many times due to unreliable cars, poor build quality, or luxury vehicles that didn’t live up to their promises. Here are ten American luxury cars that remain unworthy of your investment today.
1 – 2014 Chrysler 300 – Original MSRP: $47,000
The 2014 Chrysler 300 was a high-performance sedan that boasted a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 292 horsepower, while the 300S models were equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that delivered 363 horsepower. The top-of-the-line SRT model was powered by a 6.4-liter V8 engine that produced an impressive 470 horsepower.
Although the 2014 Chrysler 300 was a powerful and luxurious car with a high price tag of $47,000, it was not a reliable luxury car. According to Consumer Reports, the 2014 Chrysler 300 received a poor 2/5 reliability rating, with only one point out of five for both its engine and drive system. Furthermore, the car has eight recalls, making it a used luxury vehicle that is still available for approximately $10,000 on CarGurus, but one that should be avoided.
2 – DeLorean DMC-12 – Original MSRP: $83,000 (Adjusted)
Before its launch in 1981, the creator of DeLorean DMC-12, John DeLorean, promised a powerful rotary sports car that would be both luxurious and make 200 horsepower. However, the final product turned out to be anything but impressive, making the DeLorean DMC-12 one of the biggest failures in automotive history, despite its popularity in the Back to the Future movies.
With an original MSRP of $25,000, equivalent to over $83,000 today, the DMC-12 was a pricey purchase. Yet, customers received a 130-hp underperformer that was plagued with mechanical issues. The leaky but iconic doors caused electrical problems, and the faulty suspension system caused frequent headaches instead of thrills. Although the DMC-12 sells for well over $50,000 today, this iconic luxury car is still a disappointment and not worth the high price.
3 – 2011 Cadillac CTS – Original MSRP: $45,000
Cadillac is a leading brand in the American luxury car segment, but it has also had a fair share of failures in making dependable luxury vehicles. One such instance is the 2011 Cadillac CTS, which has some of the worst scores in the nameplate’s history.
According to Consumer Reports, the 2011 Cadillac CTS received a paltry 1/5 score for its reliability. Moreover, the car only managed to get a 2/5 score in the Owner Satisfaction department, making it a poor choice for long-term owners, despite its powerful and eye-catching design. On the other hand, the 2014 Cadillac CTS is one of the most reliable luxury cars available, with a full 5/5 reliability score on Consumer Reports.
4 – Cadillac Cimarron – Original MSRP: $40,000 (Adjusted)
The Cadillac Cimarron, launched in 1982, was marketed as an opulent compact car, but it lacked reliability and value for its owners. Essentially a Chevrolet Cavalier with a luxury badge, the Cimarron was equipped with expensive features but failed to deliver dependability.
Despite its steep price tag of $12,000, which is approximately $40,000 today, the Cadillac Cimarron had nothing unique to offer. Its performance was subpar compared to the half-priced Cavalier, and it was widely regarded as an overpriced failure in the luxury compact segment.
5 Tesla Model X – Original MSRP: $121,000
Tesla is a company known for its innovation in the electric vehicle industry, but the Model X, one of their most expensive models, fails to provide reliable long-term performance despite its luxury features and power.
The Tesla Model X is widely considered to be the least reliable model in the Tesla lineup, with an overall score of 52/100 and a reliability score of 2/5 according to Consumer Reports and Drive Tesla Canada. Despite advances in automotive safety, the Model X has been subject to 11 safety recalls, including issues with airbag deployment, seatbelts, and emergency brakes. Furthermore, the build quality of the Model X, which retails for $121,000, has been criticized as subpar, leading some to consider it one of the most overrated vehicles in the industry.