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Don't Just Kick the Tires

Use these tips to avoid buying one of the worst cars of the century.

By Jill Amadio

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Those yucky Yugos and some of their ill-fated cohorts, theGremlin, Pinto, Vega, Fuego, Chevette, and on the luxury side,Cadillac's 4-cylinder-engined Cimmaron, have thankfully gone torest in the graveyard of Truly Awful Cars. Among the worstautomobiles of the past century, some even talked, warning that"Your door is ajar," which became a national joke.General Motors also got its share of taunting for its decision tosell diesel-engined passenger cars back in the late 1970s, all ofwhich were flops.

Sinking a significant amount of money into a new vehicle can berisky if you don't check out depreciation rates and considerother factors that indicate a bad buy. Some cars depreciate as muchas 20 percent the first year. Poor quality and novelty equipment,in particular, can label your new car a bad pick. If you choose aLexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lincoln, you've probably made agood choice, says Kelley Blue Book editor Charlie Vogelheim.

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