Using our unique Expert Rating Index, The Car Expert consistently highlights the most impressive, efficient and affordable cars available in the UK, to help readers find the best new cars to meet their needs. But what about the cars you should avoid?

By aggregating more than 13,500 new car reviews from 30 different media titles, our award-winning Expert Rating Index now includes nearly 450 different cars across an automotive industry that is constantly trying to evolve and innovate with the times.

It’s inevitable that some new cars will struggle to compete, whether they’re older models that have fallen behind the curve, or models that were simply substandard from the start. Using the Expert Rating Index, we have listed the ten worst new cars on sale in the UK, as judged by the country’s top motoring websites.

All of these cars are (or have been) available for sale in 2022, although several will be withdrawn or replaced before the end of the year. The good news is that you can pick most of these cars for a relative bargain – either brand new or second-hand – which makes them a lot more attractive.

Last year, the bottom three cars were all from Mitsubishi, which has now departed the UK car market altogether. Six of the cars below have carried over their inclusion in this undistinguished list from last year, however,

With comprehensive review data backing the rankings below, you can be confident that this is the definitive guide to the worst new cars in the UK.

10th place: Subaru XV (51%)

Subaru XV (2017 onwards) – Expert Rating

On sale since 2017, the second-generation Subaru XV SUV has not had much love from the UK media. Journalists generally conclude that the XV is a competent car in isolation, and a capable off-roader. But alternatives are more practical, and cost less to buy and run.

Now available as an ‘e-Boxer’ mild hybrid as standard, the XV has become slightly more appealing to UK buyers in recent years, but its partial electrification is not enough to make it stand out in a very competitive medium SUV class.

  • Fuel consumption: 36 mpg
  • Prices start at: £33,195
  • Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

9th place: Maserati Ghibli (51%)

Maserati Ghibli (2013 onwards) Expert Rating

The Maserati Ghibli is an upmarket saloon that’s often been described as alluring and compromised in the same sentence. Beyond the attractive exterior styling, strong performance and brand image, the Ghibli has the highest fuel consumption of any car on this list and has been criticised for its comparatively high price tag.

The Ghibli’s biggest issue, however, is the strength of its executive saloon rivals. The Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class offer superior interior refinement and ride comfort for a much lower price. Essentially, the Ghibli is a decent car in a field dominated by outstanding cars.

  • Fuel consumption: 32 mpg
  • Prices start at: £69,155
  • Warranty: Three years

8th place: Abarth 695 (50%)

Abarth 695 | Expert Rating

The quirky Abarth 695 hot hatch is the range-topping model in the brand’s performance-focused range, and its punchy performance, sporty styling and exclusive limited-run model releases offers a unique driving and ownership experience.

Considering this, it’s rather unfortunate that the hot hatch has been widely described as both outdated and expensive. The three-door car is certainly not the most practical hot hatch on the market, and some reviewers argue that you can have just as much fun in the more comfortable Ford Fiesta ST for thousands of pounds less.

  • Fuel consumption: 35 mpg
  • Prices start at: £31,735
  • Warranty: Three years

7th place: Fiat Tipo (48%)

Fiat Tipo | Expert Rating

The Fiat Tipo is the Italian brand’s competitor in the budget end of the crowded family hatchback class – praised for its keen pricing, spacious cabin and good standard equipment levels.

However, the car’s cheap price tag has caused compromises in other areas. The Tipo is widely regarded as dull to drive and cheap inside, and its engine is not as efficient to run as other budget alternatives, which raises running costs in the long term.

The Tipo also has a questionable three-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and when you look to sell it on, its resale values won’t be very strong either.

  • Fuel consumption: 41 mpg
  • Prices start at: £20,175
  • Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

6th place: MG 3 (46%)

MG has made large strides recently with its latest models – like the highly praised MG 4 electric family hatch – but the ageing MG 3 is a relic from previous generations. Originally launched in 2014 and facelifted in 2019, it has received fairly negative reviews throughout its lifespan.

The MG 3 has been frequently commended for its affordability and extensive warranty, and did show some promise as the budget alternative in the supermini class. But that was before the arrival of the latest Dacia Sandero, which is a better car in every aspect for a slightly cheaper price.

Reviewers generally conclude that the MG 3 makes for a very uninspiring driving experience – a wheezy and under-powered engine, cheap interior trim, and lack of basic safety features and infotainment gadgets culminating in what is a very underwhelming car.

  • Fuel consumption: 43 mpg
  • Prices start at: £13,295
  • Warranty: Seven years or 80,000 miles

5th place: MG ZS (45%)

MG has been a sales success over the last few years, with the petrol-powered MG ZS leading that charge, but media reviewers haven’t been as kind as customers. The petrol ZS languishes with an Expert Rating score of just 45% – although the electric ZS EV version does markedly better, with a score of 63%.

One of the unique positives of the MG ZS is its seven-year new car warranty, and this budget SUV does offer great value for money, offering a starting price far lower than its rivals. However, MG has been outclassed again by Dacia, as the Dacia Duster is a better package than the MG ZS in every category, and all for a cheaper price.

Much like the MG 3 supermini, the MG ZS has received criticism from the UK media for its cheap build quality, poor safety rating and its inferior engine quality. In summary, it’s good value but not really a good car.

  • Fuel consumption: 43 mpg
  • Prices start at: £17,295
  • Warranty: Seven years or 80,000 miles

4th place: Smart EQ Fortwo (45%)

Smart EQ Fortwo (2015 onwards) – Expert Rating

Designed to be the ultimate budget city car, the latest refresh of the Smart Fortwo coincided with the brand’s bold decision to make its range electric only back in 2019. Unfortunately, this has not improved the UK reviews of this pint-sized urban car.

The EQ Fortwo has often been described as fun to drive, and its size means that it is very agile in urban scenarios and quite easy to park.

However, the short battery range makes longer trips outside the city impossible. Add to this that there are cheaper combustion-powered city car alternatives with more storage space, rear seats and better infotainment, and you can see why the EQ Fortwo is simply not a viable option for most car buyers.

  • Battery range: 81 miles
  • Prices start at: £17,550
  • Warranty: Three years

3rd place: Ford EcoSport (45%)

Ford EcoSport (2013 onwards) Expert Rating

Launched in the UK in 2013, it is fair to say that the Ford EcoSport did not get off to a great start, being poorly received across the entire of the UK motoring media for being a sub-standard package in pretty much every area.

The EcoSport was markedly improved by its 2017 facelift, which greatly improved its interior trim, exterior design, and tech feature line-up, but it still faces very tough competition from SUV alternatives with more value for money, more practical features, and better performance.

The Ford EcoSport even has competitors within the Ford family – the 2020 arrival of the energetic yet sensible Ford Puma suggesting the EcoSport’s days are numbered. We thought it may have finally bitten the dust when pricing was removed from the Ford UK website last year, but it is now available to order once again, not that we expect Ford to sell many when the Puma and larger Kuga are proving to be far more popular.

  • Fuel consumption: 48 mpg
  • Prices start at: £23,435
  • Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

2nd place: Smart EQ Forfour (41%)

Smart EQ Forfour (2020 onwards) – Expert Rating

The second Smart entrant on this list with an Expert Rating of 41%, the EQ Forfour is currently the lowest-ranked new small car in our Expert Rating Index. Er, congratulations?

The EQ Forfour suffers from a lot of the same ailments as its sister model the Fortwo; it has only a little boot space and a poor battery range, and simply does not stand up very well to other (admittedly petrol-powered) city car options like the Hyundai i10 or Volkswagen Up.

There’s obviously more cabin room than in the smaller EQ Fortwo, and it’s very nimble in tight urban areas, but from a value for money perspective, it is the lowest-rated compact EV you can buy today. Having received largely negative reviews across the board in recent times, it is clear to see why Smart has only sold just over 1,000 vehicles in the UK so far this year.

  • Battery range: 68 miles
  • Prices start at: £19,795
  • Warranty: Three years

1st place: Nissan e-NV200 Combi (39%)

Nissan e-NV200 Combi (2014 onwards) – Expert Rating

An all-electric seven-seat people carrier that’s essentially a modified delivery van, the Nissan e-NV200 Combi is certainly not one of the most comfortable passenger vehicles you can buy, and is currently the lowest ranked car still on sale in our entire Expert Rating Index.

The e-NV200 Combi has been around since 2014 and spent most of its production life in a category of its own. That changed this year with the arrival of the Vauxhall Combo-e Life/Peugeot e-Rifter/Citroën ë-Berlingo triplets, which are all far more refined. The Nissan will soon be put out of its misery, to be replaced by an all-new model called the Townstar before the end of the year.

Devoid of industry awards, the e-NV200 Combi does have one unwanted accolade to its name; it received the lowest score ever given in an Auto Express review. Particular criticism is directed at the e-NV200 Combi’s poor safety standards and so-so battery range.

Nonetheless, the Nissan e-NV200 Combi does have low running costs on its side, along with a roomy interior. Production has now ended but there may still be new or near-new vehicles available at Nissan dealers. Maybe you can snag a bargain to make it worthwhile?

  • Battery range: 124 miles
  • Prices start at: £27,855
  • Warranty: Five years or 60,000 miles

For the definitive rankings of the worst new cars on sale in 2022, we’ve used The Car Expert’s award-winning Expert Rating index. The index analyses new car reviews from 30 of the top UK motoring websites, using an advanced algorithm that we have developed specifically to compare review scores.

It constantly recalculates and updates the Expert Rating score for every single car every time a new review is added to our database to make sure you’re getting the most accurate and reliable ratings for every new car. The Expert Rating Index is now the definitive ranking for every new car on sale in the UK.

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