Everyone Regrets Buying These 10 American Compact Cars


For many car buyers, compact car It seems like a sensible buying option without many drawbacks. With fuel prices soaring again, the SUVs and crossovers that dominate the market have drivers looking for alternatives, even in the used and classic car market.


Unfortunately, consumers have discovered that smaller vehicles are not subject to the same problems as larger vehicles. A lot of it happens during the design stage. Beginning in the late 1960s, American manufacturers always seemed to catch up with foreign companies offering a selection of efficient small cars that had been difficult to compete with. They were often rushed to market without a period of time. This has led to the not entirely inaccurate belief that some compact cars are of lower quality and less safe than their larger alternatives. While reliable options are available, the following 10 cars will leave buyers regretting the smaller choice.

Ten 2004 Saturn Ion

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Saturn was a brand launched by GM in 1985 to compete with popular, affordable Japanese cars that were squeezing American automakers’ profits. The Saturn’s downfall may coincide with his overall struggle with GM, but GM has also designed less well-received vehicles, like the Ion compact sedan.

Black 2004 Saturn Ion
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Marketed between 2003 and 2007, the Aeon was panned by critics for its shabby construction, with plastic panels succumbing to changing weather conditions and poor interiors. The Aeon was soon retired, but many unsuspecting buyers regretted their purchases before many recalls were issued.

9 1997 General Motors EV1

Silver 1997 General Motors EV1
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The GM EV1 was the first mass-produced all-electric vehicle designed to usher in a new age of automotive technology no longer dependent on gas or oil. The EV1 was inspired by his GM electric vehicle concept car in 1990 and was eventually released in 1996 through lease to avid customers in California, Arizona and Georgia.

Silver 1997 General Motors EV1
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Following the relaxation of emissions standards, GM has focused on more profitable hybrid vehicles and conventional vehicles that can meet the revised regulations. Controversially, the EV1’s lease was abruptly canceled by GM, but in the end this may have been for the best, as the standard battery pack only gave him a 100-mile range. RELATED: Here’s How GM’s EV1 Paves the Way for Modern Electric Vehicle Tech

8 1989 Dodge Shadow

yellow 1989 dodge shadow
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As part of a follow-up to the kei car generation, the Dodge Shadow was first sold in 1987, ushering in the slightly heavier P-series, which offered more standard features and was priced slightly higher. Sadly, the Dodge Shadow didn’t do much to overturn the reputation of kei cars, which are known for their cheap construction.

yellow 1989 dodge shadow
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The Dodge Shadow was built with a sturdier body, but, especially before 1990, it suffered from a variety of problems, including electrical problems and speed sensor failure. Combined with a lackluster interior compared to competitors like the Toyota Corolla, Shadow owners have expressed regrets about their purchase.

7 1977 Chevrolet Chevet

silver 1977 chevrolet chevette
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Faced with a recession-era economy calling for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, Chevrolet tried to compete against Japanese imports with the Chevette, a subcompact car introduced to the North American market in 1976. Cramped and terribly incapacitated.

silver 1977 chevrolet chevette
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The Chevette could only manage a top speed of 80 to 85 mph, was accompanied by a surprisingly noticeable rattle, and ranked lower in power output than imports from Honda and VW. Completely devoid of modern styling, the Chevette is a disappointing investment for used-car shoppers.

6 1975 AMC Pacer

Blue 1975 AMC Pacer
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The AMC Pacer was only sold for five years from 1975 to 1980, getting off to a good start and quickly falling out of favor with buyers, but this two-door compact car in hatchback coupe or station wagon format has a lot to offer. there was innovation. The Pacer was very wide for a compact car, but its unusual dimensions didn’t provide the expected extra interior space.

Blue 1975 AMC Pacer
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Often referred to as a fishbowl on wheels, the Pacer featured an enormous amount of glass that only added to its weight compared to other foreign compacts of the mid-to-late 1970s. Air conditioning is a must when considering his Pacer used. Otherwise, the hot sun shining through the huge windows could melt your drivers.

Five 1971 ford pinto

yellow 1971 ford pinto
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Nicknamed “Lee’s Car” in honor of Ford’s president Lee Iacocca, the company took a number of steps when introducing its first subcompact cars to counter the influence of the rapidly expanding foreign car market. I had a problem. The Pinto’s downfall can be attributed to a rushed production process in which Ford chose not to deal with a gas tank that explodes too easily in a crash.

yellow 1971 ford pinto
Via Mecum Auto Auction

Blamed for its dangerous nature, which sparked a series of deadly fires and lawsuits, the underpowered Pinto didn’t excel while driving on the highway. It was a harsh ride that made me think again, and it was uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time.

Four 2014 Cadillac ELR

Black 2014 Cadillac ELR
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In 2014, the Cadillac ELR compact coupe arrived at dealerships. This was intended to capitalize on the popularity of other plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the Chevy Volt. Reactions from buyers were less than enthusiastic, as the ELR cost him $35,000 more than his Volt and did not offer the luxurious interior Cadillac his fans have come to expect.

Black 2014 Cadillac ELR
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Adding to that problem, the ELR could only travel about 40 miles (about 40 miles), drivers had to rely on gas-powered engines, and the bulky structure felt clumsy to operate at high speeds. In the world of electric and hybrid vehicles, and between Cadillacs, far better investments are possible.

3 1972 Chevrolet Vega

orange 1972 chevrolet vega
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To combat the increasingly popular foreign small cars on American roads, the Chevrolet Vega concept evolved with some lofty goals in mind. Using a new automated manufacturing process, Chevy’s intention was to make the Vega weigh less than a ton of his and less expensive than the VW Beetle.

orange 1972 chevrolet vega
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Although the Vega failed to meet these goals when it was released in 1971, its mechanical problems, particularly the overheating aluminum engine, proved more fatal to its long-term success. I was. The rushed manufacturing process also created sheet metal quality control issues, leading to rust build-up early in the life cycle. RELATED: Here’s Why You Should Avoid the Chevrolet Vega

2 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible

Red 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
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The 1930s-inspired PT Cruiser is one of the most polarizing vehicles to grace the market in recent decades. Seemingly a retro mix of SUV, station wagon and VW Beetle, it was difficult to categorize, but the PT Cruiser has won a devoted fan club.

Red 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser
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To a lesser extent, Chevrolet developed a convertible PT Cruiser in 2004. Drivers complained of poor visibility, which was not helped by adjustable seats with limited range of motion. experience.

1 1971 AMC Gremlins

Silver 1971 AMC Gremlin
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The AMC Gremlin is often hailed as one of the ugliest cars ever conceived. AMC lacked the resources of other American car companies that had to deal with compact competition from Europe and Japan, and as a result resorted to cutting off parts of the AMC Hornet to make Gremlins. I was.

Silver 1971 AMC Gremlin
Via Mecum Auto Auction

Gremlin’s makeshift styling aside, unfortunately, the car had a number of other shortcomings. Its six-cylinder engine provided a jerky driving experience, but the windows behind it were notoriously fragile, making it very difficult to find examples of Gremlins that aren’t rusted these days.


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