Consumer Reports Says Beware These New Cars With the Most Problems Off the Showroom Floor

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Buying a brand-new car should be a very exciting day for any customer. However, being among the first buyers of a brand-new model or refreshed model might not always be the most fun way to go. Consumer Reports found these new cars with the most problems may need maintenance much earlier than expected.  

2021 Hyundai Elantra | Consumer Reports

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is already having problems

According to Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra has already proven to be a new car with at least one serious problem. While testing the pedestrian detection system, CR testers found a strange issue. 

The automatic emergency braking (AEB) system successfully stopped the compact sedan and avoided striking a test dummy, but the engine sometimes stalled in the process. This engine failure required the driver to shift to Park or Neutral and restart the engine. 

When Consumer Reports reached out to Hyundai about the issue, the South Korean automaker said they hadn’t heard of this issue before and confirmed that the Elantra shouldn’t shut off like that. After Hyundai replicated the test and found the same result, it issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) to address the problem by updating the Elantra’s transmission software. 

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is having handling issues 

A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue parked in a suburban driveway with a basketball hoop
2021 Nissan Rogue | Nissan Motor Corporation

RELATED: Nissan Has Intern Sit in Stop-and-Go Traffic Every Day for Months – for Research

Consumer Reports does a wide variety of tests while assessing new vehicles. One of these tests is emergency handling, where the tester swerves like they are avoiding something in the road at speed. 

While performing this test, CR noticed that the 2021 Nissan Rogue briefly lifted the inside front and rear wheels off the ground a couple of inches. However, the driver could still maintain control of the vehicle, so they didn’t see it as a safety concern. But, anytime tires leave the ground in any capacity, the stability of the vehicle is compromised. 

After reporting it to Nissan, the manufacturer quickly repeated the test and found the same wheels lifting during emergency maneuvering. Nissan had to retune the Rogue’s electronic stability control (ESC) system, for which Nissan issued a TSB to its dealers. 

After the retuning was completed, Consumer Reports retested the 2021 Nissan Rogue and found the tires were no longer lifting. As a result of the handling fix, the 2021 Nissan Rogue is a Consumer Reports recommended vehicle. 

The 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid had some sticky brakes

A red 2021 Toyota Sienna parked outdoors
2021 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota Sienna Won’t Make You Embarrassed to Drive a Minivan

Minivans are positioned to be the next big thing. It seems like the 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid was leading the pack with its crazy-comfortable seats, killer gas mileage, and super-spacious cabin. However, Consumer Reports and other early customers reported that the brake pedal feel was off. The brakes were so grabby that it made coming to a smooth stop nearly impossible. The results were a great van that was ultimately too annoying to drive for CR to give it as good of a score as they wanted to. 

Unlike the other new cars with the most problems, Toyota had already issued a TSB by the time CR reached out about the brakes. After the 2021 Toyota Sienna was taken back to the dealer to have the brakes addressed, the minivan got much better to drive, particularly at slower speeds. 

A new car isn’t always better

Although new cars are often worked out by the time they hit the dealer lots, new cars have growing pains. These examples should serve as a good reminder that owners shouldn’t be bashful about taking a new car to the dealership if something feels off. 

With all the new tech getting piled into new cars at record speeds, there are bound to be hiccups and bumps along the way.

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