Buying a new car is an exciting event for most people, but sadly, not every new car purchase ends in a blissful 10 years of happy ownership. Whether it’s the fault of pushy salespeople or buyers who have unrealistic desires, sometimes the new car experience is less than ideal.
Some people are just unhappy with their cars and drive them for the next several years anyway, but other times, they’re so dissatisfied with the vehicles they’ve purchased that they trade them in for something different after a year or less.
Industrywide, this only happens with about 2.7% of new cars, and it’s not necessarily a judgment of the cars themselves. A new, more desirable version may come out that makes the current model obsolete.
A couple who just bought a new sports car may find themselves pregnant and in need of a more family friendly vehicle. Then again, issues that weren’t discovered during the initial test drive may also come up and get to the point that ownership becomes intolerable.
Whatever the reason, here are the seven cars that got traded in the fastest in 2014, compiled by iSeeCars.
7. Nissan Frontier
Until recently, the Nissan Frontier was one of the only midsize pickup trucks on the market. It hasn’t been truly redesigned since 2005, but with only two midsize trucks to choose between, it’s still sold in respectable numbers over the last 10 years. Buyers may soon regret not purchasing a larger truck or perhaps a crossover SUV, because 6.9% of Frontier buyers trade their trucks in after only a year.
6. Chevrolet Cruze
There’s nothing about the Chevrolet Cruze that’s especially bad about it. Especially when compared to its predecessor the Cobalt, it’s a pretty good little car. Unfortunately, competition is fierce, and the Cruze can’t quite match the quality and content that its competition offers. Perhaps because of that reason, 7.2% of buyers decide they need a different car after a year.
5. Mercedes C-Class
When a vehicle receives a major redesign, buyers of the previous model often wish they had waited. For buyers of the Mercedes C-Class, it look like that’s certainly the case. 2014 was the last year Mercedes sold the previous generation C-Class, and it appears the 2015 version is giving a lot of them buyer’s remorse. According to iSeeCars, 7.4% of buyers traded their C-Class in after a year.
4. Dodge Charger
Dodge has done a great job with the Charger’s revival, and in its current form, it’s both a capable sports sedan and a cool car to own. The Dodge Charger isn’t, however, the most practical car to own. It’s much faster than your typical family sedan, it’s quite large, and some versions don’t get the best gas mileage. Whether it was because owners found it to be too much car for them or not, 7.7% of buyers traded theirs in after a year.
3. BMW X1
The BMW X1 is the best BMW 3 Series wagon that isn’t the BMW 3 Series wagon. It’s competitively priced and it offers a lot of performance for its size. Unfortunately, buyers who expect it to be more of an SUV than a station wagon will probably be disappointed once they begin to live with it. Even though it’s a slightly taller, turbocharged, 300-horsepower, all-wheel-drive wagon, 7.8% of owners trade for a different vehicle after a year.
2. Chevrolet Sonic
The Chevrolet Sonic is a small and fuel-efficient car that’s great in cities and for people who are concerned about gas prices. Like owners of the Chevy Cruze found out, though, the competition in the Sonic’s segment is fierce. Especially considering the fairly recent drop in gas prices, the Sonic doesn’t offer quite enough content to make its owners stick around. As a result, 8.9% of them get traded in after a year.
1. Buick Regal
Poor Buick Regal. It’s a rebadged version of Europe’s quite enjoyable Opel Insignia, and while it might not be better than the German competition, it still somewhat sporty and offers a lot of content for the money. The Buick badge on the hood makes it a difficult sell, though, with traditional Buick buyers preferring the LaCrosse. The Regal’s image problem likely contributes to the fact that after a year, 10.7% of buyers trade it in for a different car.