Saturday, December 17, 2005

Forbes.com list of worst vehicles of 2005

Forbes.com, the web site for the financial magazine, Forbes, has come out with their list of the worst cars of 2005.

They named the worst based on safety, another set for reliability, and a separate set for worst value (based on projections on value in 5 years).

Here's the short version:

Worst safety

Ford Ranger/Mazda B-series truck - 4-wheel drive versions have a 2-star roll-over rating according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Mitsubishi Lancer and Nissan Sentra tied for worst car safety with a 2-star side impact rating from NHTSA

Strangely enough, Forbes.com seems to ignore any other measures of safety in their online article to justify an overall 'worst' rating. If you want to find details yourself, go to NHTSA's SaferCar.gov website to find details on these and all other cars on the market.

Worst reliability

Infiniti QX56 full-sized SUV. According to Consumer Reports - 300% under industry average for reliability

No car was named as worst reliability. Also, no details were given on how CR arrives at the 300% worse reliability number - though it is accepted that the QX56 has been a problem vehicle for Nissan and they are working hard to get these initial problems corrected (the QX56 has only been on the market for about 2 years).

Worst residual value - after 5 years

Chrysler Sebring sedan - 19%

Second place is a four way tie between the Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey ;Jaguar X-Type; and Kia Optima - each with 21%.

Values are based on Kelly Blue Book estimates of how much these vehicles will retain of their initial MSRP.

All-in-all, this seems a bit of a year-end fluff piece to promote Forbes.com's automotive section, but it is an interesting attempt to pull resources already available on the web into an aggregate list of cars to avoid for various reasons.

See the Forbes story online here.

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