By on July 17, 2015

 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earned the top spot overall in an annual survey of new car quality.

Strategic Vision, a San Diego-based research firm, ranked FCA No. 1 for the first time since the company began measuring customer satisfaction in 1995. Last year, Kia earned top honors.

FCA had six cars that topped their respective segments, including the Fiat 500 and 500e; Dodge Charger, Challenger and Durango; and, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

While FCA took the top spot this year, General Motors and Volkswagen followed closely behind, tying for second place, one point behind FCA on a 1,000-point scale.

According to Strategic Vision, 46,000 consumer responses were used for the study, which rated consumer satisfaction along with problems in each vehicle. The Mini Cooper Roadster earned the highest score among new cars. Land Rover was tops among luxury automakers, Ram was first among non-luxury automakers.

BMW had six segment winners including the i3, 3-Series Wagon, X4 and X5; Mini Cooper Roadster and Countryman.

According to the Detroit News, the Total Quality Index study comes out less than a week before the annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout survey that last year ranked all FCA brands below industry average.

Of course, TTAC has never really been a big fan of the report anyway.

 

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62 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Tops Annual ‘Total Quality’ Survey...”


  • avatar

    All my SRT’s need is GAS and OIL…and new tires and new brakes every 10,000 miles ( I drive really hard).

    No mechanical issues. No quality control issues.
    300SRT just hit 20,000 miles
    JGCSRT around 11,000.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      My Charger has had very disappointing initial quality so YMMV.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I could say the same about the last 6 cars I’ve owned. This report is pretty useless and even TTAC calls it a joke.

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      “No mechanical issues. No quality control issues.
      300SRT just hit 20,000 miles
      JGCSRT around 11,000.”

      That is not much to be proud of. I had 95 and 03 Q45’s that both went well over 200,000 miles on just tires, brakes, and batteries. My 09 335d (500 ft lb/300 hp @1700) has 80,000 and Ive replaced the tires and brakes once. At a 100 mph cruise it gets 30 mpg and it will go around a corner. How do your Dodges do at 100……lol.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      Wow, you celebrate no issues after 11k miles? Are you saying this is much better than your previous FCA products? A true fiat fan…like the VW fanboys celebrating that they could extend their ignition coil service to every 20k miles…

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @BTSR:
      “300SRT just hit 20,000 miles
      JGCSRT around 11,000.”

      Those cars are brand new.

      By my definitions, a car hasn’t even been tested until it has 100k on it or so. How can you tell if a particular car is any good until it’s been around the planet a few times?

      Of course, I’ve never bought new, and I’ve rarely bought below 100k. If I ever buy new, it’ll be something I can’t get used for a reasonable price – like a Honda Accord, or a Tesla.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    FCA top quality?

    I think Consumer Reports would seriously disagree with that like, for how long? Perhaps since CR’s inception, perhaps?

    Also Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM and just about all others would also take issue.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if it was true, though?

    • 0 avatar
      kkop

      2012 Challenger R/T: 68,000 (hard) miles: no problems, no repairs
      2014 Ram 1500 RC Express 4×2: 27,000 miles: no problems, no repairs
      2014 Ram 1500 CC Big Horn 4×4: 22,000 miles: no problems, no repairs

      Ram has great mileage for a truck (20mpg in mixed use is easy). Challenger is a great road trip car. I used to avoid US brands, but have been very happy with these vehicles so far.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        In general, our long ownership experience with many Chrysler vehicles was OK.

        Unfortunately, all those couldn’t hold a candle to our excellent Honda & Chevy vehicles since 2002, though. Would I be tempted to give FCA another chance? Time will tell.

        Different eras, for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        First, I don’t mean to be snarky, I genuinely wish you many more trouble free miles. But I am not sure these are numbers to brag about yet. The Challenger is starting to get up there, but sub 30,000 trouble free miles is something I would expect from any new car.

        For us, my wife’s ’07 Fit is now at 75,000 miles and has only needed a new wheel bearing (that may have less to do with Honda and more to do with her tendency to curb-check).

        My ’06 Acura RSX-S was bought in ’12 with 80k miles and is now at 110k miles. So far all it has needed is a new clutch at 90k and a new compressor clutch at 110k.

  • avatar
    Tom_M

    I love my 2014 grand caravan but I am a little sceptical of the honor.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I guess FCA wrote a fat check to Strategic Vision.

    This data runs almost 100% opposite of JDP and CR.

    Land Rover was one of the tops in the luxury segment? They actually said that with a straight face?!?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Read the press release. It includes owner satisfaction in its definition of “quality.”

      One should expect such a formula to give a boost to niche vehicles, since those buyers are part of a smaller, more engaged group. And sure enough, it does.

      It’s also done by class, which will also shape the results. For example, the Smart fortwo leads the micro car category. In this market where there are no other micro cars, can this be a surprise?

      • 0 avatar
        cwallace

        “Hello, Smart? Strategic Vision here. Sir, would you like to pay $10,000 to be a part of our Compact Car Quality Survey?”

        “So we can get our hats handed to us by Mitsubishi? No way.”

        “Yes, a manufacturer with such an, er, novel approach to design really should have its own category– The very exclusive, I-just-made-it-up Micro Car Quality Survey, for $30,000.”

        “Waaaait a minute, why is that so much more expensive?”

        “Would you rather see Smart rank below the Mirage, that egg-shaped electric car that nobody has ever seen on the road, and a shopping cart with a rattly wheel?”

        *wire transfer complete*

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Come on now. They sell the report, not the outcomes.

          There’s no conspiracy or corruption. Just because they don’t approach things exactly as you do doesn’t mean that they’re lying. You can learn things from these surveys if you use them properly and understand what they mean.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        I suspect that BTSR comprised a significant portion of the survey population. ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Pch101 – agreed. Combining things like satisfaction with durability will skew results.
        Case in point:
        JD Power splits Initial Quality from Durability rankings.

        This is straight from their site:
        “Strategic Vision also believes that it is essential to explicitly incorporate the emotional response to buying, owning and driving a vehicle into the measurement of Total Quality. The emotional responses which are derived from the experience with the attributes of the vehicle significantly influence Total Quality. ”
        …………………………………………………………..
        PLEASE NOTE:
        “These dimensions are not typically factored explicitly into the calculations of measures from other companies.”

        “emotional response to buying, owning and driving a vehicle into the measurement of Total Quality”
        This information is helpful to companies because they can play up the emotional aspects of ownership.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’m a bit surprised. Some recent high-volume Chrysler vehicles (WK2 JGC, LX cars) seem to do pretty well overall. But others (minivans, CUSW, JS-platform sedans) have famous troubles. I suppose maybe generally reliable and increasingly popular Ram pickups are helping.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      dal20402 – Ram is improving.
      JD Power ranked them #3 for durability this year.
      Ram HD’s even with the Cummins are perennial 3rd place trucks (4th if you count Silverado/Sierra separately).

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      You caught me at JS-platform. How did the JS-platform have “famous troubles”? The 200 and Avenger are stout vehicles; the previous-gen Sebring on the same platform was kind of bland but still sturdy.

      I own a 2013 200, and bought it due to the lack of any dealbreaking issues (engine, transmission, etc); It was one of the few newer vehicles that didn’t look like a morphed creature. I wanted something built in America and I’m biased towards most any Mopar made. There wasn’t a better match. I loved, loved, loved my 2004 Intrepid (3.5) but I was getting worried about the 35-mile one-way commute. At first I regretted trading it in as I loved everything about my Intrepid (and the LH platform in general) but my 200 has been great.

      I talked with many mechanics and rental car agency managers, the 200 and the Avenger are pretty solid–right up there with the Accord and (bleh) the Camry. I scoured the Internet, couldn’t find anything. I did the same search for the last-gen 2007-10 Sebring, which have the same stuff under the hood and in the car…nothing really came up.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Ultradrive Transmission. Every 62TE that I’ve driven has had poor quality shift problems; we had a Neon with the 40TE that exhibited the same behavior which ended up in numerous solenoid pack replacements and a full trans replacement.

        Poor factory brakes. Every single Chrysler I ever owned warped the front rotors and the JS cars are no exception.

        BTW the 2015 200 has 22 separate complaints about cars stalling at highway speeds.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    This has to be some sort of click bait, right?

    There’s lots of FCA cars that I’m a fan of, but this seems a little… odd.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      As I noted above, it’s a matter of methodology.

      Whenever you see an article about a survey result, you should always consider the methodology and the definitions of the terminology being used. For example, JD Power and Strategic Vision both measure “quality,” but their definitions of “quality” vary from each other and they probably don’t match yours.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        Yes and thank you. Someone understands these. They are potentially of little value in my opinion. If I remember, strategic vision relies on voluntary consumer response which further skews the results.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It’s a happiness index. If you found a car that made owners miserable, then you may want to at least know why before you bought it.

          One of the premises of their survey is that new cars are so reliable these days that the differences aren’t that meaningful. They kind of have a point, although that sounds like a bit of a gimmick to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        It all depends on what your definition of the word “is” is.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Shouldn’t this have been released on April 1st? It’s like Orwellian Doublespeak. By asserting the quality of the worst built cars on the market, these propagandists diminish the meaning of quality, taking away the advantage of more responsible competitors.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I found out what caused the issue with my Dart’s engine, there was a leak in the oil cooler.

    As far myself or Chrysler knows, my car is the first one to have this issue. Considering how many Tigershark 2.4 engines are out there, this is actually amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Uh yea…I heard the same thing when the radiator blew on our Neon.

      Turns out it was a design flaw that Chrysler failed to address.

      I wouldn’t bet on “what Chrysler knows”.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’ve noticed that many of the B&B hate it when vehicles or brands change their relative position.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Every other survey result I’ve read this year, puts them near the bottom of the pile, including JD POWER and CR. I’m starting to think that except for CR, these “surveys” can be bought out to favor a specific manufacturer

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “these “surveys” can be bought out to favor a specific manufacturer”

      As PCH said you need to look at what they are measuring. From their site:

      Satisfaction with the complete ownership experience
      Perception of quality
      Owner reported delight
      Future purchase intent
      Emotional attachment to vehicle

      Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Mitsubishi has worked out the bugs of the Outlander such that it’s bulletproof in terms of repairs. But, its loud, slow, ugly, handles poorly, the seats are uncomfortable, the radio is terrible, etc. Now, someone else buys a Grand Cherokee and loves it! The way it looks, the way it sounds, the power, the radio, the interior, how quite it is, etc. But, it has one warranty claim in the first 3 months.

      How do you compare that experience?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I dunno. It’s more fun to freak out and claim some sort of fraud that it is to just read the thing and figure out what they mean.

        Chrysler is well aware of how it’s doing with reliability — it has warranty claims that quantify that quite easily. It’s probably more useful to them as a company to know whether they’re building loyalty and connecting with customers.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Makes sense.

          But nothing will stop the marketing people from chanting “we’re number 1” in a press release, regardless of what those numbers actually mean…

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    everything I know is absurd, black is white, up is down, this must be the end of days

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    My sister’s JOURNEY did not have to make a single visit to the dealer for anything until the end of the warranty and then the flow of money from her account to the repair shops began with a fury

    yeY

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      A Fury? But Plymouth has been dead for 15 years!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      My impression from the rental Dodge midsizers I’ve had is that the engineers built *exactly* what they were asked to build.

      I respect that, even if they didn’t build a car I wanted. (A standard FWD midsize sedan in muscle car cladding isn’t my thing.)

      A car which is reliable until exactly the end of the warranty period, plus a specified margin of error, fits with engineers building exactly what has been asked of them, nothing more, nothing less.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Thanks for putting “Total quality” in quotes. According to these bozos the top pickup is the Nissan Titan. Anyone care to defend that decision?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      One can surmise that someone who would choose to be an outlier and buy one really wanted it for what it was, versus those who could have cross-shopped the majors and would have been reasonably happy with any of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I think that’s because the single one they’ve sold sits in a garage!

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      It’s a slow news week stateside. At least I’ve heard of Strategic Vision, couldn’t tell you the company that dinged Tesla on their sell-through rate.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    And following tradition, FCA cars will now have a new gluon badge “Survey Rated” to go with the “Trial Rated” Jeep badges.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Regardless of any survey ‘flaws’ or particular methodologies, reading “Land Rover,” “Top,” and “Quality” together still makes me start thinking of End Times.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Given how tightly grouped these scores typically are, I’m not sure they mean much.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The general public is afraid to leave a known comfort zone, which Toyota and Honda offer. Unfortunately the comfort zones usually mean boring to no end. Someone that’s never bought FCA, that’s heard so much bad about them, buys a new SRT, has reliability no worse than the Toyota, has fun to no end, and gets Gas mileage basically little different, is going to be happy. In that aspect this really isn’t a surprise. There’s more to cars than reliability, else VW wouldn’t be where it is in the ROW.
    The same goes for the Wrangler, CR and other (uninformed) “auto” reviewers try to compare a Wrangler to a RAV4 and it does poorly. That is stupid to no end. Obviously the Wrangler is a great vehicle and needs little to any change as is, the fact is, Wrangler buyers don’t want CUVs.

  • avatar
    SavageATL

    Y’all, REALLY? Do y’all REALLY think that Chrysler cars (I don’t count Fiats as cars) are the WORST quality on the market?

    Anecdotal evidence etc, but everyone I know with a Chrysler minivan hit well over 250000 miles before they died. Yes, there were some issues along the way but unless you got the first few years of the Ultradrive they were great cars. Not like Odysseys haven’t had transmission problems.

    If you avoided the 2.7 MITSUBISHI v6 the Cirrus/Stratus/Intrepids were pretty decent. There are a LOT of the 98-07 generation minivans driving around, I see some of the original LH cars, and the LXs have hit every rung on the buy here pay here lot tree and are still running in large numbers.

    My Caravan (anecdotal evidence) has the 2.4 and 208000 trouble free miles. One door lock, and an HVAC resistor, and maintenance, and that’s IT. I recommended a friend buy a 2011 Charger, he has 94000 trouble free miles.

    I don’t really know where Chrysler got the reputation for Krap Kars, but even the K cars, while not sexy, were more durable than the GM morning sickness plagued cars of the ’80’s and Ford’s Escorts and Tempazes. All the Chryslers we had were good, solid cars. I dunno if they’re TOPS in quality, but as y’all said, that depends on what you mean by “Quality”

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Oddly…I come from a buy Mopar family. Growing up the only ones that were issues were the Mitsubishi powered units, of which we had one. A Colt vista, it blew up,like all of them.

      My old man was a sticker for 200k, then it goes.

      I think the quality issue surrounds the basics that you had to deal with in a Chrysler product. Loose fitting interior parts that you had to tighten up yourself and what not. I suppose one could construe the whole car as bad but I guess growing up we assumed all cars needed to type of home repair. Apparently not.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      The 2.7 v6 was absolutely NOT at all related to any borrowed mitsu motors. It was a homebrewed design that wad supposed to show up all the imports with its DOHC heads and impressive hp/l. Unfortunately it was very sensitive to oil quality and had some water pump issues as I recall. The rest is history. The Mitsubishi 3.0 v6 in the vans is a bit of a slug and leaks and burns some oil sometimes, but was by and large a durable beast. Going back a bit in time, the 2.6 inline 4 with the balancer shaft was another mitsu motor. Again, not the most powerful or efficient thing, but reliability wise pretty solid.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      SavageATL – really? we had a 2001 Grand Caravan bought new in the spring of 2002. It was at the dealer at least 3 times a year. We got 1,300 for it on trade. I sold a rusty 15 year old dying F250 for 1,300 that same year.

      No thanks.

      If JD Power ,Consumer Reports, Vincentric et al say a product is crap I stay away. Learned that one the Grand Caravan way.

  • avatar
    hawox

    ahahahaha
    ahahahahahah
    ahahha
    that’s a joke!

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Recent purchases: 2013 MB E350 BlueTec… 21K miles now, too new to have issues… 2012 Abarth with 28K miles no issues… owned ’07 350Z that I sold with 78K miles before buying Abarth, only issue was replacement of clutch master cylinder under warranty… 2004 Civic Si bought new, no issues sold it with 75K miles to buy Z… ’01 Toyota Highlander w/225K miles, no issues, runs like new… Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Colt, 1st Gen Toyota Camry, 1st Gen Honda Accord, all no issues, trouble-free, many miles of service.

    Past vehicles bought new had trouble got rid of: Ford Windstar, Buick Turbo Regal (so soured, vowed to never purchase another GM product), Suzuki Samurai

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