Today’s new cars just aren’t what they used to be, and we mean that positively. That’s because it’s become increasingly difficult to find a true and terrifically bad car, truck, or crossover sitting on a dealer’s showroom floor. Gone are the days of monumental mechanical calamities, finger-sized fit-and-finish gaps, uneven trim, and overall shoddy workmanship. While no vehicle is perfect, the average model today performs at a higher level, is safer, offers more amenities, is built better, and is much more durable than at any time in motoring history.
And yet the proverbial cream still rises to the top. Some models lead while other lag with regard to their designs, measurable performance attributes, and the degree to which their buyers are ultimately satisfied. Some are plagued by questionable reliability and/or poor resale values, while others are saddled with dated designs and/or technology. Certainly, with the average vehicle selling for $33,871 (according to Kelley Blue Book), astute car buyers should ensure they’re getting the most for their hard-earned money.
While the midsize RLX luxury sedan is likable enough, it lags behind the segment leaders in terms of performance, accommodations, and brand cachet. What’s more, its lofty sticker price prevents it from being a bargain-priced alternative. With an overall score of 59 (out of a possible 100) and a reliability rating of minus-68 (out of a possible plus-100), Consumer Reports liked the RLX’s spacious interior and standard safety systems, but felt its ride was choppy and it’s handling ungainly, and overall found it to be a poor value. It scored below average in the JD Power Initial Quality study and is expected to hold onto just 47% of its original value after three years and 30% after five years.
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