Coming from someone who used to own a Mazda MX5, or Miata for those of you across the pond, I hate rust. The sight of bubbling paint give me a cold sweat, and the fear of looking under a car after a strong Winter keeps me up at night.
It’s not just the stuff you can see, either. The worst rust is the stuff you can’t see, the rot hiding behind the outer layer of metal that’s structurally integral to the car, never mind incredibly expensive to repair. Rust can damage your wallet just as much as your car. Plus, if your car has a history of oxidation, it could severely affect its saleability.
So, in order to keep myself sane, I decided to put together a list of cars that do rust, and a list of cars that don’t. Just so I know what to stay away from. Let’s get stuck in.
— this list has been made from trusted sources such as Cazana.com.
With many older model Ford Fiestas still on the road, it’s no surprise that the cheap runabouts are giving in to the salted roads. Another factor is of course the lower price of used examples. It could suggest that they’re not being cared as well as they should be.
While owners of this car have been extremely soft-core off-roader, the only drawback of this capable car is its ease to give in to corrosion. Despite it being seen on many consumer lists for high reliability and performance, it’s no surprise that this Japanese car, especially the older models, have failed to stay protected against what the roads and weather throw at it.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
The Range Rover was the car that started the SUV craze, and there’s a good reason behind it. It was comfortable, rode well and had adequate performance. Since its birth, it has only improved. But the car is still open to corrosion, with the earlier models suffering badly from rust. Worth it, though.
Like the Fiesta, this is on the list due to the high number of cars on the road. The older models are also extremely cheap meaning they may not be looked after quite so well. These hatches are great dailies for new drivers, being small with low levels of power and good looks.
Despite its excellent chassis and potent engine compared to its light weight, the Ka always suffered from rust around the sills and petrol cap. The rear floor also has a tendency to turn into a packet of crisps. However, after a quick drive, you’ll soon forgive it.
Jeeps are go-to off-roaders, but because of this, you must blame Jeep for its affinity to rot. The chassis rails and axles are prone to the stuff, however surface rust is quite normal. But more importantly on this car, it’s the middle of the frame that can go, as there are no drain holes.
Put a Japanese cars on any road outside of Japan, and they tend to develop rust, but the Mazda 3’s exterior is particularly susceptible to it. It’s been known that the older models were shipped with minimal rust protection on its underside and this has led to many old models being plagued.
Minis have always been incredible cars, starting their life with an innovative and small chassis with a low price. New Minis have exceptional chassis but the British manufacturer hasn’t managed to entirely stop rust on the frame. The older cars are also rusting heavily due to their age, but well kept specimens are still looking good.
Mazda MX5 Miata
It’s not a surprise to see the MX5 on this list. While the latest ND model hasn’t suffered, the earlier NA and NB models were especially susceptible to rust, with the facelifted NB model being the worst due to its dual-layer sills which would trap water. It’s difficult to find an MX5 without a history of rust.
Like the majority of old Fords, the Escort had an awful history of rust around the rear arches due to cost cutting during production. Unlike a lot of other manufacturers who produced galvanised chassis, Ford didn’t do this and their customers reaped the consequences.
Have a history of cars with rot? Let us know what you’ve owned in the comments!