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- Tesla Model X
- Cadillac ATS
- Lincoln MKT
- Porsche 911 Speedster
- Mercedes-Maybach GLS
- Alfa Romeo Giulia
- Maserati Ghibli
- What makes a good luxury car?
- Cheap car insurance
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From the most underwhelming to the most overrated, and from the most frustrating to the most behind-the-times, our list of the worst luxury car brands includes Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Maserati, Cadillac, and more!
After pointing out all that’s wrong with these mildly-to-outrageously expensive vehicles, we’ll zero in on what really makes a luxury car great (to each their own on both accounts, of course).
But before we do, it’s imperative to have a robust car insurance policy to protect your luxury vehicle, not to mention yourself and other drivers on the road.
With Jerry, finding said insurance policy has never been easier. Sign-up takes just 45 seconds, and then Jerry uses your current car insurance information to retrieve more than 50 quotes from the country’s best insurers.
Now, without further ado, here’s a list of the worst luxury cars out there.
Tesla Model X—Most gimmicky
Teslas may be the future, but the Model X’s wonky doors, surprising unreliability, and uneven drive make this a future-mobile to pass on.
No doubt the Model X’s falcon doors are totally cool and straight out of the future—when they work. There have been numerous reports of those space-age doors being agonizingly slow and not fully opening, making it difficult to get inside (especially if your sciatica is flaring up). The doors are surprisingly heavy as well.
The Model X has also been noted for its unreliability. Consumer Reports rated it an awful 1/5 in the reliability category due to:
- Rusting from poor paint jobs and trim
- Poor vehicle body integrity
- Subpar in-car technology—in particular, the navigation system freezing up
- Reports of the Model X suddenly, violently accelerating
With larger wheels, the Model X’s drive is bumpy and uneven. Also, the massive windshield can let too much light into the cabin and prove distracting for the driver.
MORE: Tesla car insurance
Cadillac ATS—Most lost in the 20th century
The Cadillac ATS looks and feels like a 20th-century relic, with a less-than-appealing design and a subpar interior.
If you’re a fan of old-school, American automotive styling, you still won’t like the Cadillac ATS—even if it feels familiar. The ATS’ box-like exterior and unflattering overall appearance make it a tough sell, especially at this price.
For that money, a customer would be right to expect a certain level of interior luxe. But the ATS is surprisingly basic on the inside, and certainly not fit for a king or queen (or even their fourth-in-line-to-the-crown kid).
The ATS features controls and an interface that are bulky and unintuitive, especially the audio system and HVAC system. Too much reflective material in the interior cabin can make you feel like you’re being blinded by the midday Fort Lauderdale (where many Cadillac drivers reside, coincidentally) sun. Not ideal.
The Cadillac ATS doesn’t measure up to its European rivals on style or performance, which is lackluster at best. If your heart is set on a Cadillac, avoid the ATS and explore other options within the line.
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Lincoln MKT—Winner of the “It’s a Rectangle” award
If you’re looking for a luxurious SUV, don’t spend it on the decidedly un-sexy Lincoln MKT, whose performance isn’t much to write home about, either.
If you’re big into geometry, the Lincoln MKT is for you—but if you’re not hot for the idea of driving an SUV that resembles a rectangle, we can’t blame you.
The Lincoln MKT stands out from the swooping curves and luscious design lines of rival SUVs for all the wrong reasons. Its staid looks and lack of any aerodynamic flair won’t get many hearts pumping.
In addition, the MKT’s driving experience is pedestrian. Its 3.5 L EcoBoost V6 is both a snore and a carryover from its previous generation. It doesn’t bring much of anything new, power or otherwise.
The fuel economy is also subpar—the MKT gets just 16 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 24 on the highway. Not exactly the stuff of road trip dreams.
Despite the Lincoln MKT’s size, the interior is cramped, and the rear seats are particularly tough on taller passengers.
Porsche 911 Speedster—Most deceptively unsatisfying
Initially unveiled in 2018 as a concept car, the 911 Speedster is an expensive, gorgeous machine—but it surprisingly doesn’t measure up, even to other Porsches!
If a customer expected to get absolutely everything when purchasing an insanely expensive roadster, we here at Jerry wouldn’t blame them—$275,750 is a fair bit of change, after all.
But while this open-top Porsche has the capacity to get even the most stoic of German hearts racing, the 911 Speedster is inadequate compared to other Porsches.
While blazing fast (0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds), the Speedster isn’t as exciting a drive as the electric Taycan, nor does it measure up to the 911 Turbo S, GT3, or Panamera, at least in terms of pure driving thrills.
Also, for the money (and that is a lot of Deutschmark—ok fine, euros), the Speedster is offered with manual transmission only. Many driving purists insist that a real driver sticks to a stick. But what if you really wanted automatic? As the Germans say—Nien!
One last tidbit—the 911 Speedster’s infotainment system isn’t exactly a marvel, as it is unintuitive, outdated, and feels like it was lifted lock, stock, and barrel from previous-generation 911s. For this kind of money, you get what you pay for...or don’t?
Mercedes-Maybach GLS—Biggest mirage
If you’re expecting a quick and spacious SUV, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is not the SUV you want.
Even with 558 horsepower, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is underwhelmingly slow compared to other high-end SUV rivals. Boxy and Volvo-esque in shape, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS doesn’t offer the aerodynamic flair one might expect from such a top-tier vehicle.
Even for this kind of money, don’t expect to fit the entire family and the dog in the cabin. Despite its size, the interior is cramped (if opulent) and seats only four. There’s no extra cargo availability as the rear seats don’t fold.
Don’t get us wrong—the GLS is gorgeous inside, especially the Nappa leather upholstery and wine fridge.
The GLS does provide a smooth ride, but its lack of power doesn’t do much to burnish the 112-year-old Maybach brand, nor is it the best vehicle on which to spend your money.
Alfa Romeo Giulia—Most Frustrating
A beautiful but unreliable Italian roadster with a cramped interior for both driver and passengers.
This budget-friendly (but still pricey) Alfa Romeo Giulia is a gorgeous Italian sports car that is a dream to drive and will get you from A to B in one piece—probably.
Why probably? Well, the wise souls over at Consumer Reports gave the Giulia only a 13% reliability rating within a 3-year period, due to a few not-so-insignificant issues:
- Problems with the fuel system
- Air conditioning-related issues
- Power equipment problems
- Interior electronics malfunctions
Also, this Italian dream is so noisy, not only will passersby notice, but you’ll notice inside the cabin—it is loud.
The Giulia won’t do your body any favors either. Its cramped interior features a driver’s seat that is very tight and leaves little room for adjustments. The backseat is not very forgiving for tall rear passengers.
As for cargo space...what cargo space?
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Maserati Ghibli—Winner of the “We’ve Been Had” award
If you’re looking for a premium ride, avoid the Maserati Ghibli and some of its very un-Maserati components.
Why have we been had? Because Stellantis (the Dutch parent company) decided to pair the elan of a Maserati with some interior characteristics (and parts) of...a Chrysler?
You read that right—a Chrysler.
What’s wrong with a Chrysler (also a Stellantis-owned brand)? Nothing! It’s a classic American brand … that can be stodgy, unimaginative, and bland.
But nobody’s perfect, right? Right—including (unfortunately) the Ghibli.
You’ll be wowed by the Ghibli’s exterior beauty, but take a seat inside the Ghibli and be struck (not in a good way) by the interior’s distinct lower-end feel. The dome lights and window controls, cheap interior trim, and low-quality plastic buttons make you feel like you’re in the cabin of an ‘89 Chrysler LeBaron. Which is fine—but not for nearly $78,000.
At least it’s got the best in safety technology baked in, right? Well, kinda. The newest driver-assist technology (adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, etc.) is available—but only on the Ghibli’s top trim. Go any lower and you’re on your own, so to speak.
Finally, in what seems to be a theme for luxury cars, the Ghibli’s rear seats are very tight. Most adults will have to crane their necks to sit in the back, though the rear is fine for kids.
While the Ghibli’s acceleration is decent, its gas pedal isn’t the most responsive, which takes some of the thrill out of this ride.
What makes a good luxury car?
We here at Jerry like to think we know a luxury car when we see one (to each their own, of course). Here are a few key features of a great luxury ride.
A good luxury carmaker uses high-quality materials to build these showstoppers. Instead of steel, top-tier carmakers are now using lighter carbon fiber and aluminum materials.
Additionally, more powerful engines, slick shift transmissions, and even suspensions are what make a luxury car purr, not to mention sublime handling and cat-like, road-gripping agility.
Nowadays, top-notch safety engineering and driver-tech assistance should also be standard—not available for the top-trim only.
From simple and elegant, like Tesla’s Model 3, to luxuriously opulent, such as the Mercedes-Maybach GLS (faults and all), a luxury car’s interior should be (or at least feel like) the best of the best.
Plush, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, as well as power-adjustable seats, are key for driver and passenger comforts.
And of course, the inclusion of the latest technology, including intuitive touchscreens and infotainment systems, top-notch sound systems and digital cluster gauges, as well as smartphone compatibility and internet access, should be no-brainers.
Of course, a great luxury car has an unquantifiable intangible—the ability to literally turn heads and stop people in their tracks.
Does that sweet ride of yours elicit oohs, ahhs, envy, and even jealousy? You’ve made the right purchase.
Insure your sweet ride with Jerry
Whatever luxury (or non-luxury) car you buy, you’ll need to protect that precious motor vehicle with a solid car insurance plan.
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Once you decide on a new policy, Jerry signs you up and cancels your old one, while you don’t have to lift a finger. Best of all, Jerry automatically checks for better rates before each renewal period, so you’ll always get the best deal!
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