By on October 24, 2016

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Consumer Reports released its new car reliability ratings today, and one company should take a long hard look at itself in the Italian-American mirror.

The annual report covers brand reliability and includes a list of the 10 best, and worst, vehicles in terms of reliability. While there are some predicable favorites, Buick managed to hit an unexpected home run and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla surprised everyone with reports of mechanical issues stemming from — get this — the electronics. 
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles should be ashamed of itself. Consumer Reports ranks Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram as the bottom four brands in terms of reliability, calling it a “turbulent voyage.”

While Jeep fares a little better, it has nothing to brag about considering its Renegade made the “Worst of” list due to a buzzy drivetrain and subpar build quality. Also near the top of the FCA trash pile is Fiat’s 500L, which uses a long wheelbase version of the SCCS platform found in the Renegade. Faulted for possessing a slipping and seizing transmission, unreliable power equipment and failing electronics, the 500L also receives a terrible consumer satisfaction score. CR was keen to mention how poorly it did in small-overlap frontal crash tests and reminds us that the 500L was the least reliable vehicle you could purchase in 2014 and 2015. It’s now only the seventh worst.

The only models from FCA to receive an average or better reliability score are the Chrysler 300, Jeep Patriot, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

Also garnering some exceptionally low marks is Tesla. The publication lambasted the Model X for its malfunctioning electronic doors and wonky electronic interface. All of Tesla’s vehicles saw marks deducted for not meeting their claimed range in cold climates and, while Consumer Reports upped the Model S from bad to average reliability, the brand still ended up ranked as the fifth worst overall.

Underlying the assessment of Tesla vehicles is the continued worry over the company’s controversial Autopilot feature. Any reference to one of their vehicles included the following disclaimer, prominently displayed:

“This vehicle can be outfitted with a semi-autonomous driving package. Consumer Reports believes automakers should take stronger steps to ensure that vehicles with those systems are designed, deployed, and marketed safely. Please heed all warnings, and keep your hands on the wheel.”

While not maligned as a potential killing machine manufacturer, General Motors took some heat for the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon, Suburban/Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade. While GM vehicles span the gamut in terms of reliability, anything on the shared extended SUV platform is noted for problematic transmissions and unreliable four-wheel-drive components. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Cruze is billed as one of the most reliable American that cars money can buy.

Buick also receives accolades for reliability, coming in just behind the predictable Japanese favorites as the third most reliable brand. The company fared well last year but has jumped up four places to cinch the top spot for an American company. Ford fell slightly, thanks in no small part to troublesome transmissions in the Fiesta and Focus. Subaru, previously praised for their reliability, was asked to leave the VIP table and can now only be considered slightly better than average.

Out of 29 brands, Korea and Japan account for seven of the top 10 spots. Lexus placed first, with a Lexus-like reliability score of 86, followed by Toyota, Buick, Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti, BMW and Honda. Subaru follows close behind with an overall score of 54. For the sake of reference, Fiat received a reliability rating of 17.

To clarify, that’s a 17 out of a possible 100.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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174 Comments on “Consumer Reports Crowns FCA as the Four Least Reliable Brands Available...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It would’ve been the Five Least Reliable list, but they forgot to build any Alfa Romeos this year for the US.

    Also this report is FILTHY LIES, as a woodland creature will soon arrive to tell you – all Fiats are reliable and none have broken as well as Jeeps which do not kill their customers and the 9-auto is best transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      CR will obviously NOT be a part of Great America II.

      I mean, by GOD… George Washington drove a Challenger!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Considering I am currently driving a Jeep with a 9-auto, I would say a lot of the uproar about the transmission is imaginary. Granted, I have less than 100 miles on the car so far but I have absolutely no complaints on its performance or on the engine despite its supposedly low horsepower. Give the engine the right gearing and it makes the car surprisingly peppy for its size.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You mean you don’t have any complaints about a brand new car you just purchased with your own money and have driven <100 miles!? Waaaat!?

        But seriously, your FCA position is rather entrenched at this point, and I doubt there's a way to return from said entrenchment.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “But seriously, your FCA position is rather entrenched at this point, and I doubt there’s a way to return from said entrenchment.”

          Sure there is. When Ford or GM get their acts together and offer me what I want, instead of what they think I should want, then I might get interested. After all, I still have my low-mileage Ranger available to trade for something of similar size and capability (of which, for now, there’s NOTHING on the US market.)

        • 0 avatar
          Liger

          My partner has a Renegade with the 9 speed auto that he has driven a bit over 20,000 miles. I’ve driven the car lots as well. He hates the car, he thought it was cool when he replaced his juke for the renegade, but now realizes that was a mistake. It doesn’t seem like a bad car to me, except for the transmission, which he despises. The idle is really rough, like an old car with high miles. Plus the power delivery is uneven, which makes tight spaces difficult. When you accelerate from a stop, the car has good power; other than that situation the car is always in too high of a gear and feels sluggish. Besides the transmission the car has been reliable with no issues and is roomy and quiet. The Renegade seems like the next PT Cruiser, all cool and hot when it comes out, but then everyone realizes what a turd it is…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            When I rented a ProMaster City van, I was SHOCKED at the roughness and buzzy, awful unrefined nature of that Tigershark engine. Inexcusable in 2016.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            • The idle is really rough, like an old car with high miles. — Brand new car for me. Haven’t seen this… yet.
            • Plus the power delivery is uneven, which makes tight spaces difficult. — Will note that the throttle seems a bit ‘touchy’ from a dead stop, but nowhere near bad enough to complain about it. It’s no worse than when I come off the clutch of my ’97 Ranger a hair too quickly.
            • When you accelerate from a stop, the car has good power; other than that situation the car is always in too high of a gear and feels sluggish. — Have not noticed any sluggishness but do acknowledge that it shifts to the highest practical gear as it can to pull rpm below two grand for best economy. It’s not all that difficult to press down harder on the pedal OR pull the shift lever over to the ‘manual’ mode to select a more comfortable gear for climbing or descending grades.
            • The Renegade seems like the next PT Cruiser, all cool and hot when it comes out, but then everyone realizes what a turd it is… — The PT Cruiser’s biggest issue when it came out was that it was grossly underpowered; I couldn’t stand it. The Renegade, despite the 2.4L engine, does not feel in the least underpowered and that could well be because of the much lower gear ratios at low speeds and a much broader overall range of gears to keep the performance smooth at whatever speed you’re traveling.

            I’ll grant there are some who won’t like it but I like it well enough that I traded an ’08 Wrangler for one.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Honda uses the exact same ZF 9-speed, and CR seems to love it.

        • 0 avatar
          jdspielman

          Only in the Touring and Elite trim though. They might be testing the good ones with the 6 speed.

        • 0 avatar
          onyxtape

          We have an MDX with the ZF 9-speed. Honda gets their units directly from ZF, whereas FCA licenses it from ZF and makes their own units.

          As long as it’s a model made after 12/2015 (has new software) or has had the software update if made before that date, it’s buttery smooth. Still too many gears to shift through for my taste, but is quiet enough to not be too offensive.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Pete Z, see (above) for the reason the FCA ones aren’t great – it’s because they’re produced under license.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        No one considered that you’re driving a jeep with a 9 speed for the last 100 miles. They complained because their vehicle was having issues vulpine

    • 0 avatar
      Steve6225

      I happen to have a 2012 Fiat 500 and a 2014 Fiat 500L. Both cars are fine. I just ordered a Fiat 124 Abarth.

      I have subscribed to CR (it’s a gift subscription) for many years, and most of the cars I have owned (and were happy with) are cars that CR rated low. They seem to favor boring, uninspiring transportation appliances like the Toyota Camery and similar. They also like expensive brands like Lexus.

      My theory about this trend is that CR readers more or less fit a certain demographic. A person who reads CR reviews of laundry detergent before buying it, probably doesn’t move too far outside the box when buying anything, especially a car. I am guessing that there are not a lot of CR readers with Fiats, thus they are working with a small data set.

      By the way, the 500X shares a platform with the Renegade, not the 500L. The 2014 500L has a Dual Clutch Transmission. DCT’s feel and shift differently then a regular Automatic Transmission. I think that a lot of 2014 500L purchasers didn’t get that the DCT is different, so they kept taking it back to the dealer because they thought something was wrong with it. The 2015+ 500L’s have a regular Automatic Transmission.

      For all of you who are looking to buy a supercar, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and McLaren have all switched to Dual Clutch Transmissions exclusively… They are the fastest!

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Sports cars have dual clutch transmissions because F1 cars have them. F1 cars have them because they’re not allowed to have anything better. Williams was ready to deploy a CVT in 1993, and the FIA stopped them because it would have been so much faster.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve6225

          Theoretically, a CVT should be much faster than a DCT, and much more efficient.

          We traded my wife’s year old Nissan Versa for the 500L. The Nissan had a CVT and it felt like I was stuck in molasses every time I accelerated from stop. We both hated that car! It was the most boring, soulless and uninspiring car I have ever owned. The CVT in this car was also unreliable, it stranded us twice in the year we owned it, and it was replaced once.

          I agree that the CVT should be the very best transmission out there, but in my admittedly limited experience, I don’t think that the technology is quite there yet.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            It comes down to execution. If your only DCT exposure was to one in a Ford Focus while your only CVT exposure was to one in a Honda Accord, you might feel the opposite about the current state of transmission technology. Realistically, the best current DCTs can exploit more of their performance potential without longevity concerns than current mass produced CVTs.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Why are the links circling back on themselves?
    The “new car reliability ratings” link comes back to this page.
    And the “the continued worry over the company’s controversial Autopilot feature” link goes to an earlier TTAC article not the Consumer Reports address that is seen when the link is hovered (highlighted).

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    So I wonder where is VW in all this? Thanks to FCA, Mini and Land Rover don’t scrape the bottom any longer. Why doesn’t Sergio come out and try to discredit CR?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Corollaman
      VW is more middle pack. FCA is the pits, from our experiences in Australia. Unfortunate as some Jeeps have good driving dynamics

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        “VW is more middle pack.”

        VW was 22nd of 29 brands after dropping 9 points. How is that mid pack? Middle-ish of the bottom 1/4, maybe. FCA’s brands, Tesla and GMC were the only worse-than-VW brands.

        From the article:
        “Three brands dropped significantly: Subaru, Volvo, and Volkswagen.”

        But, no, Robert, all those reports of VW laying people off, extreme budget cuts, etc is just not important. As you say, they’re on a roll! And it sure looks like it.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N
          It is on a roll. It like Toyota and now Nissan will be with the only companies making 10million vehicles a year.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          Significant movement of brands on CR’s list in a single year is statistically suspicious to me. For example, Subaru made no major changes to any of its models from 2014 to 2015, nor from 2015 to 2016. And yet the brand’s reliability ranking changed quite a bit from CR’s report last year to this year.

          Assuming CR’s methodology is legitimate in every other way (a big assumption) this smacks of small-sample error. If, however, the problems reported by subscribers had to do with, say, response of an infotainment system’s touchscreen, then that shouldn’t even be considered a reliability issue. More of a customer-satisfaction issue.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      VW was still down in the suck zone with FCA, they just weren’t [email protected] last.

      Jaguar and Land Rover aren’t on the ratings at all from what I see.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Top 1/3: Lexus, Toyota, Buick, Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti
      Middle 1/3: BMW, Honda, Subaru, Acura, Nissan, Mini, Chevrolet, Porsche, Mercedes, Ford
      Bottom 1/3: Volvo, Lincoln, Cadillac, VW, Jeep, GMC, Tesla, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, Ram.

      No longer recommended: Audi A3, Chevy Volt (gasoline engine issues!), Dodge Durango, Ford F-150, Honda Civic, Lincoln MKX, Mini Cooper, Subaru WRX/STi VW GTI, Passat, and Jetta

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Mazda, the great vehicles no one buys.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I just talked to someone who had their second set of weekend plans ruined by flat tires combined with the stupid 19 inch wheels on his CX-5. Nobody stocks the tires in this hick hamlet, but the roads are fully stocked with shrapnel. Maybe Mazda lacks repeat buyers because they make bad decisions for their customers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            If the roads are so bad, wouldn’t they be better off dropping down to 18″ or 17″ wheels with a higher profile tire? Low profile tires are great for grip on cornering and improved fuel mileage but they’re terrible when you have to run on potholed roads and the tire just doesn’t have enough give to absorb those sharp edges.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yes, but that’s not too kewl for skool and therefore the opposite will continue to occur. Everyone wants to roll 22s, yo.

        • 0 avatar
          tankinbeans

          Just traded for a Mazda3 iTouring. This is the best stereo I’ve ever had not requiring any upgrades. I don’t have any experience with the upgraded systems in other vehicles though, so there are likely better ones out there, but I enjoy it.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      Wife’s 2016 VW GSW is in shop for 2 weeks. Sunroof was leaking because it had a pinched drain. Had to be from when it was built, poor manufacturing. So they had to order a new headliner as the old one was stained. While installing the new headliner they cracked the windshield, they ordered a new windshield. While installing new windshield they cracked the rear view mirror. Waiting for the mirror to arrive now.

  • avatar
    ajla

    TriShield b*itch.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      The Lacrosse is looking more and more attractive, and the TriShield is RED, WHITE, & BLUE again.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Just too bad that my mom’s 2012 Verano with all of 40,000 miles on it has decided it doesn’t like keeping the insides of it’s dashboard together and rattles like a tin can over every road surface. With a car that quiet on the inside, it just magnifies the irritation factor of any nuisance noise. Otherwise, the little Buick that is no more is rather brilliant for what it is and fits the bill for her perfectly. She keeps cars for 10 years (having had three Toyota products since 1981 before buying the Buick new in ’13), so I am keeping fingers crossed that this will run another six years for her.

        We’re all-American within the immediate family, so we’ll see how we fare (mom=Buick Verano, Sis=Ford Explorer, Son=Ford F-150 (oh, and a 1997 Toyota Tercel with 240k+ he refuses to part with), FIL=Chrysler 200, us= Chevy Cruze and Ford Escape). We’re trying hard to support American manufacturing and hope we’ve not misplaced our trust as we came out of mostly foreign nameplates.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And you get HELLCAT! And you get a Hellcat! And you get a HELLCAT!

    HELLCAT ALL THE THINGS!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Consumer Reports Crowns FCA as the Four Least Reliable Brands Available”

    Which is why I don’t trust CR to be Impartial any more. I’ve seen far more issues with Ford products than I have with any FCA I’ve ever owned and actual FCA owners argue that their vehicles are far more reliable than CR suggests.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “actual FCA owners argue that their vehicles are far more reliable than CR suggests.”

      I think you just broke the fourth wall.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        When looking at owner reviews of the different cars, you see very few issues and a LOT of people absolutely loving their cars.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          Vulpine – you realize that this reliability information CR presents is ENTIRELY based on owners’ experience, right? I can’t believe how often people are all ~BIAS~ ~BIAS~ ~BIAS~ with CR (usually domestic fanboys, not surprisingly enough) but they are literally just compiling the data given to them by actual owners and then presenting it. How you can argue with that by citing online reviews from fanboys is just…well, it’s the reason misinformation is so prevalent today.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, it is not. Much of CR’s reliability information comes from their own testing AND what few CR subscribers choose to send in their survey forms. You tend to get either the fans or the gripes and very few of the average owners. I’m not a CR subscriber so they wouldn’t even consider sending me a satisfaction survey.

            And I think a few of us here have already seen that TTAC report about the F-450 with “afterburner”.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            And what does the F-450 have to do with anything? Oh yeah, down with Ford, all praise be to our lord Sergio.

            I wonder what would happen if you put diesel in the DEF resivor on a Ram or Jeep EcoDiesel?

            Probably still Ford’s fault. And with all the 6.7L engines in service, no wonder we see hundreds of reports like this weekly. Probably explains why Ford trucks sell so poorly.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Probably still Ford’s fault. And with all the 6.7L engines in service, no wonder we see hundreds of reports like this weekly. Probably explains why Ford trucks sell so poorly.”

            Yup. So poorly that while I was buying a new Jeep, I watched TWO different people trading in their F-series trucks for new Rams.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I watched TWO different people trading in their F-series trucks for new Rams.”

            So, you spent some time in an FCA dealership during which at least three people did dumb things.

            I don’t think that’s gonna be a lead story.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        My son’s scout leader traded his Wrangler Unlimited onto another one right before the warranty was up on the old one. This dude is a hardcore Jeep guy. You want to know why?
        The answer is in the pages of CR.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “My son’s scout leader traded his Wrangler Unlimited onto another one right before the warranty was up on the old one. This dude is a hardcore Jeep guy. You want to know why?
          The answer is in the pages of CR.”

          Yet the Wrangler, even today, still carries a high resale value even at 9 years old, my having received a full 50% of what I paid for it in the trade for my new Renegade. I would have received more if I’d kept the hard top and been able to include it in the trade.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      To be perfectly honest with you, I had a warranty repair on every FCA vehicle that I owned, and not one on any Toyota that I owned (including Lexus). Each of them was a fairly painless, although on Neon I had a head gasket replacement that took them 2 days to complete. Compared to a Mitsubishi, it was nothing. On that car, there were warranty issues, but later I had a suspension failure and a wheel to fall off, and no end of transmission issues that costed me well over $5k in the end.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Taking all my Chrysler/Daimler/FCA vehicles in order:
        • ’79 Dodge Aspen: Absolutely no warranty repairs or after-warranty work in four years of driving it. (80k miles)
        • ’08 JKU Wrangler (Daimler built as FCA hadn’t yet taken over): Pot-metal handbrake ratchet which caused brakes to drag-forcing no fewer than four four-wheel brake overhauls before they discovered the cause.
        • ’14 Fiat 500 Pop: Broken spring in sun-roof track. No other problems.
        • ’16 Jeep Renegade: purchased brand new. Will have to see how it does but reviews OTHER than commercial reviewing houses give it pretty good reports AND I’m not experiencing any of the complaints made by anti-FCA zealots with engine or transmission. It feels far tighter in ride and handling than most other cars I have owned in the past.

        Every Ford I have ever owned would have cost me thousands within the first year of purchase with repairs.
        My last three GM vehicles each presented strange and hard to diagnose issues, a mass-air sensor on top of the head constantly breaking the lead; fuel injectors that clogged up for no reason; timing gear that literally shredded, THREE transmission overhauls in one vehicle, averaging about every 50K miles (managed a total of 160K miles before it died); and a front strut on my last GM vehicle–a Saturn Vue. My experience with Chrysler/FCA by comparison is stellar.

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          Vulpine, more passion than intelligence

        • 0 avatar
          Compaq Deskpro

          This is my understanding of current American reliability, mostly good, occasional issues but nothing that should stop you from buying the vehicle, but don’t expect Toyota reliability. And no matter what you are shopping for there will be lemons thrown into the mix. Buy something that has been made unchanged for a long time. That’s why stuff like Buick Verano, Cadillac ATS, cutesy new Jeeps are troublesome at first, while all the trucks, Equinox/Traverse crossovers, big cars like Impala, Charger, Taurus, are mostly bulletproof. Avoid turbos and gazillion speed transmissions for a couple more years (Escape/Fusion).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @CD: While I agree overall with your analysis of buying new vs established for the reasons described, I have to admit that my experience on average has been just the opposite. For instance, I purchased a Saturn Vue in its inaugural year and it was a highly reliable vehicle, only needing one warranty repair for a defective right front strut which the dealership discovered while performing a courtesy oil change. I put 130,000 miles on that wagon (insurance company labeled it as a “Sport Utility Wagon”) in ten years and it never needed engine work or clutch plates (5-speed manual) the whole time I owned it. I am aware the 6 cylinder version with Honda running gear had issues, but I had the Opel 4-banger and it was dead-on reliable for the life of the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      You don’t trust CR to be impartial anymore because they don’t feed into your illusions or perhaps delusions.
      Why don’t you mention the fact that one of those problematic Fords was a 1990 F150 that was 25 plus years old when you purchased it?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Lou_BC: CR lost its reputation for impartiality almost two decades ago when they praised a piece of junk and panned a better car where real-world examples proved their statements incorrect. Worse, despite their claims of not doing “paid reviews”, certain editorial individuals at the time were alleged to be receiving payoffs to make one product look better than another simply because CR was so trusted. The issue was supposedly settled shortly thereafter but I have consistently seen car reviews in particular that simply don’t jive with owner reviews of the same model ever since then.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “and actual FCA owners argue that their vehicles are far more reliable than CR suggests.”

    :(

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So the CR reliability report is based upon some facts and some opinions – YMMV.

    From the article at CR: “Tesla’s Model S has improved to average reliability, which now makes the electric car one of our recommended models.” No selective reporting here at TTAC!… although CR may be trying to justify its recent gushing over the Model S.

    All EVs have less range in cold weather, but at least Tesla provides a calculator to estimate it: https://www.tesla.com/models. I wish Nissan had done that for my Leaf. I actually thought the Model S achieved these estimates for cold weather, but perhaps not.

    Personally, I think the EPA should have a required measure for EV cold weather range that mfrs must publish.

    As for reliability figures, I’d start with http://www.truedelta.com/, which also shows poor marks for the Model S, incidentally.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @SCE

      I “think” my Leaf adjusts for cold weather temps. It could be adjusting the estimate down just because it’s basing the estimates on my actual driving and lower miles/kWh. But… there are times when I’d check the range via that app before bed, then it seemed like the range estimate dropped the next morning when it was colder. Another time, it seemed like it dropped once during the day when there was a downward temp drop. In all of those instances, it could have been faulty memory on my part. Maybe I’ll test it by saving/recording the range estimates some day.

    • 0 avatar
      Wunsch

      I thought it’d be fun to play with the Tesla range estimator to see how much cold weather affects it… but it doesn’t actually let you. It only goes down to -10°C (14°F), which isn’t even all that cold yet! That’s no fun at all, but it does hint that maybe I shouldn’t consider a Tesla where I live.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      We’re talking about FCA, not Tesla, here.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        We are? Looks like his comment was about Tesla, not FCA. Same with the replies until now. This article is not only about FCA’s wonderful performance in this latest report, its about CR’s ratings being released, period. And, those ratings include Tesla, no matter if you like it or not.

        However, if you wish everyone to continue the FCA bashing party so you can continue to try to explain everything away and minimalize it, I’m sure someone will be along soon to rant about an FCA product they have experienced.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      “So the CR reliability report is based upon some facts and some opinions – YMMV.”

      Nope, not even close. Online reviews and message boards are based on opinions. What we all say here — that’s opinion. As you’ve clearly never filled out a reliability survey from CR, I’ll lay it out in the plainest English possible: CR specifically asks each owner about REPAIRS they’ve had made to their cars. Then they make them break it out by category – issues with the powertrain, the suspension, the infotainment, the switchgear, the paint, etc. THE END. It’s the largest survey of its kind and trying to discredit it just to prove a point is a slap in the face of scientific research.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “CR specifically asks each owner about REPAIRS they’ve had made to their cars. Then they make them break it out by category – issues with the powertrain, the suspension, the infotainment, the switchgear, the paint, etc. ”

        And if there are no repairs? Well guess what; it doesn’t get reported. The vocal minority tend to overwhelm the silent majority.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Did you fail a statistics class, or did you never enroll in the first place?

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          What would Abbot have been without Costello?

        • 0 avatar
          BuzzDog

          “And if there are no repairs? Well guess what; it doesn’t get reported. The vocal minority tend to overwhelm the silent majority.”

          Over the last 40 years as a CR subscriber, that has not been my experience.

          Especially now that they’re online, they bug the ever lovin’ CRAP out of you to complete your survey. I’m not going to say that completely eliminates the positivity/negativity bias inherent in most self-selected surveys, but it does provide a degree of sample accuracy beyond that of the comments on a particular model’s fan page, or the experience of a handful of owners within a limited geography (a/k/a, “my family/buddies and I”).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Over the last 40 years as a CR subscriber, that has not been my experience. Especially now that they’re online, they bug the ever lovin’ CRAP out of you to complete your survey.”

            You’re a subscriber, of course they’re going to bug you. BUT… that doesn’t invalidate the argument that their data base comes from a VERY limited user base. I’m not a subscriber because I don’t consider the magazine (and website) worth paying for except as one-shot purchases at the grocery store MAYBE when I’m interested in what they have to say about a given model of product. That is the point. I look at review sites that are NOT, as you put it, “a particular model’s fan page,” but rather a site like Cars dot com or any one of a number of other independent review sites that aren’t even automotive-specific. Reviews found there tend to be less biased and more natural, though I won’t deny the possibility that you could find “paid” reviews on some products. Those “paid reviews” tend to be overly obvious, however.

          • 0 avatar
            BuzzDog

            My, my, we’re a defensive little fox…30+ responses to comments you don’t like.

            CR has millions of subscribers. Hardly what I’d consider a “VERY limited user base.”

            But you may believe what you wish to believe. This is America, after all.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            30+ responses to mis-information.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @quaquaqua:

        From the CR page:

        “We study 17 trouble areas, from nuisances, such as squeaky brakes and broken interior trim, to major bummers, such as out-of-warranty transmission repairs or trouble with four-wheel-drive systems.

        We weight the severity of each type of problem to create a Predicted Reliability Score for each vehicle. That score is then combined with data collected from our track testing, as well as our owner-satisfaction survey results and safety data, to calculate each test vehicle’s Overall Score.”

        Sorry, things like ‘nuisances’, ‘squeaky brakes’, and ‘owner-satisfaction survey results’ are opinions which may have nothing to do with actual reliability. I’m not discounting the value of such anecdotal evidence, but it is not FACTUAL evidence.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          From TrueDelta: http://www.truedelta.com/pieces/newdots.php (they also have other articles on this subject, too)

          From Allpar: http://www.allpar.com/cr.html Yes, it is a Mopar fanboi site, but the operator of that site also operates corolla.com…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s a shame that Mr. Karesh doesn’t hold his own website to the same standards that he holds others.

            His use of small sample sizes makes for a high margin of error, yet he brags about it as if it’s a feature instead of a bug. When you call him on it, he just spins and refuses to acknowledge that his methods are inherently flawed.

            I’m sorry that CR upsets the domestic fanboys, but you should consider the possibility that the domestics simply aren’t as good. The late acceptance of lean production and its uneven application hasn’t done Detroit any favors.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            sorry, but SCE is right. brake noise or interior squeaks don’t make an “unreliable” car. An unreliable car can’t be counted on to get you where you want to go. CR does have valuable data in that it can help identify particularly troublesome areas of certain cars, but they’re also a publication which used to mark cars down based on the number of exposed screws they saw in their interiors.

            the simple fact is that cars are *so* reliable now across the board that ratings bodies have to pick over brake squeaks, wonky infotainment, and functional but harsh-shifting transmissions and try to say those make cars unreliable.

            30 years ago, an unreliable car would fail to start more than once a month, or strand you on the highway every few weeks, or vapor lock and refuse to restart, or puke its coolant all over the road.

            perspective. gain some, please.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            So an entertainment system doesn’t need to work? Good to know.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            respond to what I said, please. not whatever the hell you want to pretend I said.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You’ve decided that some problems aren’t relevant to anyone because they aren’t relevant to you. Who crowned you the king of reliability standards?

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            JimZ – the interior squeaks on my GTI drove me absolutely bonkers. Had I known about them and the WRX not had the squeaks (LOL, I’m saying hypothetically), it could have definitely swayed my decision. It also takes time to fix some of these things after the fact and I’d much rather buy a vehicle that never requires me to spend my free time at the dealer than one that wastes my free time getting nuisance items fixed after the fact.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Anecdote doesn’t mean what you think it means.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Actually, “anecdote” means exactly what he thinks it means: “An account regarded as hearsay and unreliable.”

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Coming from a guy who relies entirely on dodgy anecdotes, your unintentional irony is amusing.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @Pch101:

            Not sure why you’re defensive on this thread. All I’m disputing is the claim that someone made, that the CR reliability report is based solely on facts. “Ownership satisfaction” covers a lot more than broken stuff, but CR chose to include in in their reliability score.

            Soft data like that is very valuable to know about, but not easily quantifiable.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Calling the behavior of this pch101 “defensive” is awfully generous.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m not being “defensive”, I’m correcting you.

            CR conducts a survey that aggregates the responses from numerous respondents. A survey is exactly opposite of an “anecdote”, which is a single data point.

            The survey asks respondents whether their cars had problems in a variety of categories. Specific issues are itemized in each category.

            That is exactly what a survey ought to do. If there are enough responses, then it is not anecdotal.

            So yes, I will affirm that an anecdote is not what you think that it is, as the reason to conduct surveys is to avoid relying upon individual anecdotes.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The survey asks respondents whether their cars had problems in a variety of categories. Specific issues are itemized in each category.”

            You can make a survey say whatever you want it to say by the way you word your questions. All you have to do is look at this year’s political surveys to see that.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            Hmmm…

            People complain of “anecdotal” evidence supplied by consumers – the organization collecting the data is called “Consumer Reports”.

            Coincidence? I THINK NOT, SIR!

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @Pch101:

            (long thread here)…

            Now I understand your meaning. Indeed, ‘soft’ survey data which is categorized and tabulated becomes ‘hard’ data when enough respondents say the same thing about the same topics. Agreed!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Now I understand your meaning. Indeed, ‘soft’ survey data which is categorized and tabulated becomes ‘hard’ data when enough respondents say the same thing about the same topics.”

            Then the question arises as to how many are ‘enough’. It should be a statistically-significant percentage of the number of vehicles of that make and model on the road but few sites bother to go to that extent and even fewer people choose to respond to such opinion polls.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s not particularly “soft”. If you ask a respondent whether the A/C compressor failed or the engine was rebuilt, it’s pretty much a “yes” or “no” answer.

            I find that those who whine the most about CR surveys don’t know anything about them. They aren’t perfect, but no survey is. Fanboys who are unhappy that the surveys don’t share their enthusiasm for a particular car aren’t the sharpest tools in the repair bay.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I look for honesty, Pch, not fanboyism. Unfortunately, I see far more fanboyism from detractors than I do from owners.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            What you see has no value whatsoever. I would say that your input is worthless, but that would be overstating its usefulness.

        • 0 avatar
          Chan

          Agreed.

          Interior squeaks, infotainment glitches, etc. are issues of initial quality, which JD Power surveys. I’m going to be pissed, but not stranded on a dangerous highway at 10pm trying to get a tow.

          CELs, transmission failures, powertrain leaks, etc. actually affect the product’s primary function–transporting its owners safely. This aligns more with the term “reliability of a car.”

          That CR bunches them together without even assigning points weighting is horribly misleading. This is a transportation device, not a smartphone.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “That CR bunches them together without even assigning points weighting is horribly misleading.”

            Aside from the fact that your statement is completely false, great point!

            CR has seventeen ratings categories, and the infotainment is not included in sixteen of them.

            Per CR, “Problems with the engine-major, cooling system, transmission-major, and driveline are more likely to take a car out of service and to be more expensive to repair than the other problem areas. Consequently, we weigh these areas more heavily in our calculations of Used Car Verdicts and Predicted Reliability.”

            So thanks for being so confident as you completely screwed up. It would be terrific if some of you would actually know what you’re talking about prior to posting.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve6225

        I disagree, I think that CR has a pretty limited Demographic.

        They are asking people who check CR before they buy laundry detergent about their cars. I don’t think many CR subscribers are car enthusiasts.

        They seem to love the cars that I think of as “transportation appliances” and they don’t seem to consider what the vehicle is when they test it. For example, I bought a new TJ Wrangler in 1998. CR didn’t like it at all, they said it had a harsh ride, ugly visible spot welds, and a spartan interior! Duh… It’s a Jeep!

        • 0 avatar
          Chan

          That leads to small sample sizes and high risk of self-selection bias.

          And that in itself is not CR’s fault, but what is their fault is painting too broad a brush with respect to what really impacts a car’s “reliability.”

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Thumbs up to both Steve and Chan.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            For example, they gave the 2013 Accord V6 models the “black circle” for a CONFUSING infotainment unit which had occasional glitches! Big overreaction.

            However, I understand that the upper-trim infotainment units on the Civic are worse by an order or two of magnitude, with multiple system failures, real and erroneous, all at once! No excuses — Honda should have tested the system more thoroughly! So here, the demerit is probably deserved until Honda gets a fix out there!

    • 0 avatar

      @SCE to AUX

      I have found using LEAFSpyPro provides for a much better estimate of DTE and it does monitor both battery and ambient temps, as a result it adjusts the range estimate as appropriate. You do have to manually adjust the Miles/kWh to match the cars readout when temps change significantly.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      CR is only as good as the sample size it gets.

      The less volume a model of car sells, the more it is subject to self-selection bias.

      A big issue with assigning hard ratings to modern powertrain reliability is the fact that Americans simply do not know how to use a DCT. They drive it and creep it like a slushbox and scream about unreliable cars when the clutches overheat and the dash lights up. They also complain about jerky gearshifts because there is no viscous coupling and–my gawd–the car is CHANGING GEARS.

      Ford and Fiat were foolish to attempt to introduce DCTs in mainstream cars.

  • avatar

    No surprise that Chrysler is the least reliable of the Detroit Big 3.
    It used to be joked that FIAT stood for Fix It Again Tony

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If Lexus had made a NX plug-in hybrid it would be sitting in our driveway right now, even at significantly more cost than the Ford C-Max that’s actually there. Performance like this year in and year out, even as other brands improve and fall, is a big part of the reason why.

    Meanwhile, the LS460 just keeps on eating up miles despite a city-heavy, unfriendly usage pattern.

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have a Buick? (except the Commie Car).

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Had two Buicks in my life, a ’65 Electra 225 and an 86 LeSabre T-type. Loved ’em both but the Electra was so heavy it had a tendency to split the steel rims at the bead.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The new LaCrosse is looking pretty good. I love the Buick Enclave, even though it is older than dirt. I hope they don’t shrink the new one too much, like GMC did with the Acadia.

    While waiting for service on my parents’ Traverse at the Chevy/GMC/Buick dealer I noticed they had a Buick Cascada in the showroom. According to the sticker the transmission was built in Mexico, the engine in Estonia? and the car itself was assembled in Poland.

    The Polish Buick.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I don’t understand how Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, can be ranked so much better than Volkswagen.

    Being one of the largest companies in the world, with a long history, massive R&D budgets, it’s crazy that VW STILL can’t build a car as reliable as a lowly Corolla…or even a Hyundai.

    Seriously, what is wrong with them?

    • 0 avatar

      WHat’s wrong with VW?

      You have been following the auto press over the last year right?

      It might be easier to ask what is right with them. VW = Very Weak.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        I’m not talking about the dieselgate stuff.

        The reliability thing, or lack of, isn’t new.

        It doesn’t make sense that a company with the resources and scale of VW is consistently at the bottom of these studies and surveys.

        Little Mazda can figure it out.

        How hard is it to reverse engineer a Toyota, make it drive real nice and look German?

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “How hard is it to reverse engineer a Toyota, make it drive real nice and look German?”

          At a given price point? It’s extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          You are basically asking for a Lexus , just redesigned to not ever be able offend anyone, with so many options available that there are no identical cars (except for fleet sales), and at the same price as a Corolla or Camry.
          VW in effect builds last years Audis as cheaply as possible, and if I were a lease only customer who wanted the most boring looking cars ever and I liked the sound and smell of tractors, I would say they aren’t doing to bad. I hate VW’s, but they are so much better than Toyotas at everything that I don’t care about, and some things that I do care about.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            I’m not asking for a Lexus.

            It’s not impossible to combine reliability, looks, and fun-to-drive.

            Mazda is pretty much already there. It’s not as reliable as a Toyota, but it’s also not at the bottom of every list every year for the past forever.

            Why can’t VW do it?

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            It’s not impossible to build the car, but it’s near impossible to do it and make money at this price point.
            Mazda can’t match VW’s ergonomics, build quality, sound insulation etc, and they have a lot less options than VW. And they still can’t match Toyotas reliability or general quality. They have to make certain compromises and end up in the middle somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Nels,

      What’s different between VW and Audi? The dealership experience. VW has been providing poor customer service in the US for years (not in Canada or Europe), which means that little issues that get fixed on Audis snowball into big issues on VWs.

  • avatar
    tmport

    Why is Mitsubishi not on the list?

    Edit: Never mind, I found an article on last year’s list–apparently they exclude brands for which they don’t have sufficient data.

    • 0 avatar

      Ha, now Nissan own them, expect Nissan’s numbers to drop if they combine the brands under one.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        We have a base 2013 Nissan Rogue and a base 2014 Dodge Avenger with the V6. In our household the Nissan is the piece of crap. Both have similar miles and the Nissan rattles over every little bump sounding like a coke can is in the fender well. The transmission goes into low RPM self preservation mode if it is worked hard.

        Toyota and Honda also don’t have the rock solid reliability they had 20 years ago.

        My wife had a Cavalier with 20k miles when we got married and it had to have the alternator replaced right before we sold it with 115k miles on it. An easy $80 fix.

        Dad has always used Dodge vans starting back when they had the engine between the seats. Other than changing the timing chain before 120k miles he had few issues and one needed new valve cover gaskets at 350k. One had transmission issues but it was bought at an insurance auction after having been t-boned hard enough to crumple the first row bench seat.

        So, it is all anecdotal and how you take care of them. Based on my mother in law’s experience with their Toyota truck, I would never buy one. It was a total dealership maintenance queen. My uncle had a Taco that was great, even though he abused the snot out of it.

        Based on our experience with the Rogue, I won’t buy a Nissan.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Ford Fiesta and Focus with poor reliability? And FCA. I rely on my real world experience, no issues – zero – with my Abarth after 53 months and nearly 36k miles. I don’t care for the Fiesta, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of Fiesta and Focus owners haven’t had a good experience with their cars, as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      I can’t complain (knock wood) about our 2015 Renegade, which has 18k miles on it so far without problem. And while I’m not sure what constitutes a “buzzy drivetrain”, at least with ours I control when I shift it as it’s the 6MT version. Not complaining about the consistent 30+ mpg either.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        6MT? You got the good one, presumably with the 1.4T engine.

        It’s the 2.4/9A that everyone tests (and buys) which has the ‘buzzy drivetrain’.

        • 0 avatar
          bill h.

          Yes, it’s the 1.4T, which also likely explains the noticeably better gas mileage vs. the 2.4/9A.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Yes, it’s the 1.4T, which also likely explains the noticeably better gas mileage vs. the 2.4/9A.”

            Driver habits also play a part. In a circuit of mixed town and highway driving yesterday, my 2.4/9A averaged only a hair shy of 30mpg while there are those crying foul because they can’t seem to exceed 15mpg no matter where they drive. I’ve got a long drive coming up in a couple months–probably 2000-2200 miles on I-81 from Pennsylvania to southern Tennessee over the mountains and back. I’ll be able to get a good reading on the kind of economy to expect after that run.

  • avatar
    Rday

    have a promaster 2500 gaa van. love the van but i am really worried about the long term reliability of any fca products. there have been several minor issues that should never have happened. With the grand caravan power train but in a body that is over 50%z heavier i doubt that the vehicle will stand up over time. Too bad that fca really doesn’t care about the customer and selling reliable products. FCA needs to take a well deserved ‘dirt nap’ and just go away once and for all. Maybe some other company can pick up the pieces and make a good car company out of it. Ordered a one ton diesel dually from gmc and it scares me to think of having to deal with gm. they are a few steps up the ladder but i think that they are just as big a bunch of con artists as Sergio and his pack of liars. Sad that no american company really seems to care about the customers. they only care about themselves. So much for ‘buying american’.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Where mah Two-Hunert?

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    i dunno why, but part of me really really wants an abarth convertible. but ill stick with my scion, 10 years on and not a single issue.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve6225

      I just ordered a 124 Abarth. Manual Transmission, Brembo brakes, leather interior, Bose audio, in pearl white tricoat. Around 35k

      Ordering the car was an exercise in frustration… I wanted the matte black hood and trunk lid, Fiat USA’s website shows it as an option, yet it cannot be ordered. I had to order it now for delivery in June! Orders for 2017 closed on October 19,and they are not accepting orders for 2018 yet.

      I am a Fiat Fan, but I don’t think that Fiat is well managed here in the US. They have created a lot of consumer confusion by naming everything “500” 500, 500L, and 500X are all different cars, but most people don’t know that. I have a 500 and a 500L and I spend quite a bit of time explaining the difference to people. They introduced the 124,but didn’t bring it into the country until July and most dealers didn’t get it until August. All the dealers got were automatics in white, grey, or black. Supplying a two door convertible roadster at the end of the summer, especially with automatic transmissions, seems kinda stupid to me.

      The available colors for the 124 Abarth are also disappointing. 5 colors and two of them are white, then grey, black, and red. (I won’t buy red… I think that a guy in his 50’s with a red sports car is just screaming mid life crisis!) I wish I could get it in yellow with the black hood and trunk, that would be perfect.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I like how they say that all but the Jeep Patriot, the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Grand Caravan are “not reliable” when the 300 and the Grand Caravan have platform mates that are allegedly “not reliable”: the Charger/Challenger and the Town and Country. The drivetrain combinations and an overwhelming majority of the subsystems, including the electronics are EXACTLY the same, so how is one more reliable than the other?

    I always take Consumer Reports with less than a grain of salt and laugh at people who “swear” by their “reports”. They are biased and rely on subscribers to do their work for them by sending ownership surveys to come up with what’s “good” and what “isn’t”. I’ve seen some of the products they “recommend” which turn out to be garbage.

    For the record, I’m at 72k on my 200. Nothing but tires, oil changes, recommended maintenance. I’m confident I will go another 72k with nothing but routine maintenance. However, according to CR, I should have headed straight to the Toyota dealer, no questions asked.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The difference can come down to trim pieces, which are counted in reliability and dependability surveys. This is where we’re currently at in the automotive world.

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        Of course, leave it to CR and most auto reviewers. An occasional rattle in the dash is just as bad as a breakdown. A glitchy infotainment system sends the car to the junkyard.

        When I think of reliability, I think of all critical systems working without a failure.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          And yet somehow Toyota manages to get both the mechanicals and the trim pieces right often enough to come out at or near the top of these surveys year after year after year — even when they have cost-cut their products so much that perceived quality suffers.

          To me that is a “luxury” all its own and a real reason to take Toyota seriously even when their products have other deficiencies.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Another reason (to some folks that care about this stuff) is the Camry is as of 2014 or so the single most American car on sale in the US today. In terms of US (not “North American”) parts content, as well as of course US assembly. This weekend I was replacing the rear hub assembly on my fiance’s ’12 Camry SE (she had curbed the wheel earlier this summer and it’s been making noise ever since). I was pleasantly surprised when the Timken unit I took a gamble on ($130 vs $400 for OEM) turned out to be a re-boxed OEM Aisin part that was made in the USA. Took about 4 hours total in my driveway with hand tools due to the emergency brake mounting plate getting frozen to the bore of the hub assembly.

            Aside from that user-error caused issue, we’re rolling up on 65k miles and 5 years now of trouble free motoring. When we were diagnosing the bearing issue, my brother also noticed some light rubbing on one of the rear brakes, the pad hardware was riding a bit tight from surface rust on the caliper surface. Cleaned them up and put new pads on, all set. Rotors are getting a bit crusty around the edges, I will probably replace all of them next year.

            Can you imagine that the dealer had told me I needed to replace both rear calipers outright to the tune of $1200?! In addition to misdiagnosing the bearing noise as coming from the front left wheel ($672 to replace the wrong thing). I just laughed when they told me that. Butler Toyota in Indianapolis folks, watch out.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’ll have to ask my aunt if she goes there. Because she drives her Toyotas into the ground, but whatever the dealer says she needs – she goes for it.

            “Well, ma’am we might ne–”

            “Yes!”

            (Her 2010 Sienna is rusting in a few places because she’s banged it up. Most notably on the rear hatch, which has a big dent in it because she backed into the garage door on her way to work. It wasn’t done lifting yet when she hit the gas.)

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The gold standard for research is this, ” Are the results able to be replicated”.
    What does other research say?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I know Buick came in 3rd in the JD Powers Long Term test (not the initial buyer survey) so it’s another meta point of self-reporting owners at the 3 year mark.

      Of course both of these surveys are a bit of a farce referring to themselves as “long term” when the average vehicle on the road is 11-1/2 years old. Three-years old in 2016 is just broken in.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    As the one weirdo who really likes the 500L, this makes me happy, as it drives down resale even further, to where maybe I could buy one just to have around for when my Ford breaks down (again) or needs a recall performed (again).

    Why 500L? MPV shape is best shape. Interior is cool. Abarth motor and 6-speed manual make fun noises. Careful selection of appearance package and colors make it appealingly weird outside rather than just ugly. And Christ, it can’t possibly depreciate any further…can it?

    And hey, our other Fiat is well built and dead reliable, now that they finally got the software sorted. Of course, it was engineered by Bosch, it has no engine or transmission as such, and it wasn’t built by Serbians.

    Speaking of broken Fords, I’m in a rental 200. Pretty car. Shakes at idle. Slaps hard at bumps, like a Dart. Not excited about dropping five gears to give you acceleration on request. But going uplevel a bit to get idle stop-start and paddle shifters would make it a nice car, honestly, especially at current discounts.

    HotPotato, potential future collector of misfit FCA cars…

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Vulpine is truly the “Baghdad Bob” of FCA.

    http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/images/07-minister.jpg

    Deflect, deny, dis-inform!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Deflect, deny, dis-inform!”

      I wonder who’s really spewing the mis-information here. The person who has owned the vehicles and brands in question, or the one who relies on hearsay?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I get to see enough fun episodes in Chrysler cost cutting and other “what were they thinking” moments (example: getting their own wiring diagrams in factory service manuals wrong) at my brother’s shop in addition to the loads of documented issues in publications and online to form a pretty reasonable picture of what they’re all about. I love the performance and technical characteristics of the Charger, and I would totally buy one, if they were made by Toyota.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The other big story here is that US-engineered GM products are near the bottom of the list, while German and Korean-engineered products are near the top!

    Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that GM gave-up on designing cars in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Expectations play a major role in how people perceive their cars. Daewoo was a miserable failure in the hands of import buyers when the cars had Daewoo or Suzuki badges. They’re great if the buyer was expecting a Chevrolet. Subaru may be even more extreme though, in the chasm between perception and reality. I talked to a Forrester driver about how great his Subaru is. He knows all the work arounds for its common failings. He doesn’t mind that its A/C is long departed, even though we live in an area that combines hellish heat and humidity half of the year. He’s replaced the transmission and big pieces of the suspension and running gear. His Subaru has covered almost 120,000 miles, but it’s a great car! Really, one of the best! I didn’t have the heart to ask if he’s had head gasket issues.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        I love this, it’s so freaking true. My neighbor family has 2, and even though his has been through the gaskets, and some AWD repairs, he continues to talk it up. I don’t have the heart to tell him it’s an AVERAGE car in so, so many ways.

  • avatar
    Badargs

    Consumer reports does more evil than most. They take reports from lay people and then announce to the world to try to change market forces.
    They contradict other organizations. FCA was rated fairly well scientifically. Consumer reports process is broken. Like HD power initial quality surveys. They rate this like color and cup holder size and call it deficiency, which people naturally assume is mechanical. Long term and power studies have put FCA well up the charts. Number 7 I think.

  • avatar
    lostjr

    Past the first couple, these rankings are quite different from the rankings of True Delta.

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability-by-brand

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Interesting item on that chart, lostjr, if you reduce the year range to 2015-only I will grant the chart puts Fiat in a poor light (though Caddy and others are still worse), Jeep comes right up to the middle of the pack and Ram up near the top. For 2014 you got Fiat very near the top instead of the bottom. So the reliability factor can be massively different just between years for any one model.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Anyone who considers CR’s data to be scientific is delusional. Is CR’s data published and subject to peer review? Is the data free from selection bias? Is it free from subjective judgement? To qualify as actual science these are three very basic principles CR doesn’t hold up to. Their data is a black box; they rely on people’s opinions which are hilariously flawed. They also only survey their own subscribers which is hardly a random or representative sample size.

    An example: One person’s rattle is another person’s perfectly quiet. In a rental we had I heard an annoyingly loud compressor noise when the A/C was on; the Mrs didn’t hear it at all. I would have taken it back to the dealer for replacement under warranty; the Mrs would never have done so. This is how subjective judgement finds its way into CR’s data collection.

    Another example: I’m very tech savvy; I have yet to encounter a car infotainment system that isn’t easy to use for me. I wouldn’t give any car negative marks for infotainment. Hell one’s selection of smartphone can have a big impact as well. Mine is modern and running Android 7.1.1 I have the latest features. Someone who bought a cheap POS LG running Kitkat from an MVNO with no hope of an update will have a different experience. None of this affects the reliability of the car itself.

    Then you have CR’s survey process. Its not randomized; there’s no control; its merely sent to readership. CR readers are already invested in CR’s results (literally as they’ve paid for them) and they’re going to operate with a bit of a hive mind; there’s not enough impartiality or diversity of opinion.. If I were to survey the readership of say phonearena about cell phone reliability the iPhone would shoot to the top. I could survey the readership of engadget and have an Android device take top honors. Why any discrepancy? Too many people that think alike do not make for a valid survey.

    An illustrative example confirmation bias in the typical CR reader: Jim is a CR reader and he buys a Charger and not a Camry because it looks cooler. He does this while having CR’s Toyota=good, dodge=bad in his head. Meanwhile John buys himself a Camry and pays more over the Fusion he liked better because CR says its good. Jim experiences a dash rattle at 15k and knowing that dodge=bad complains to the dealer that his POS Dodge is falling apart and he should have gotten a Toyota. Meanwhile John’s Camry experiences a rattle at 15k and he says to himself; this is a reliable car its just what cars do as they age and never acts on it.

    You have instances where rebadged cars perform completely differently, most famously the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix. That alone is evidence that their process is hardly scientific. CR is a circlejerk and should be taken with a boulder of salt.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      How does this rationalization exercise apply to what we saw with Ford a few years ago, when they went from being the darling of the ‘Detroit can do it!’ crowd to the bottom of the barrel in one product cycle? Bad transmissions, bad user interfaces, and miserable engine reliability took them from a symbol of Detroit’s resurgence to the best reason to buy a GM product. Today, Honda’s CAFE specials are plummeting down the rankings after being Toyota’s only real engineering rival for decades. How did that happen in your world of predetermined outcomes?

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        I’m not arguing that CR’s outcomes are predetermined. I’m arguing that their data collection method doesn’t even approach the label of scientific.

        I again point to the past Vibe vs Matrix. If CR was truly scientific the results for these two would be nearly identical with any differnces being “within the noise”. They’re rebadges with no mechanical differences. Its not the only example but its the most glaring one. Any journal that only surveys its own members is critically flawed and ends up being a circlejerk.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The reliability survey measures whether something broke. It’s not an opinion poll.

          It should make no difference unless CR readers are coincidentally getting all of the good Toyotas and all of the bad Chryslers, year after year after year. And of course, that would be an utterly absurd argument to make.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “I again point to the past Vibe vs Matrix. If CR was truly scientific the results for these two would be nearly identical with any differnces being “within the noise”. They’re rebadges with no mechanical differences. ”

          One, there aren’t huge differences between CR’s rankings of the two. That’s been debunked.

          Two, the Vibe and Matrix aren’t rebadges: the skin is different, the infotainment system is different, much of the trim, seats and such differ, and they’re made in two different facilities run by different management teams and supplied by (some) different suppliers.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Reminds me of my uncles 2002 Nissan Quest which he bought used with around 30K miles on the clock. In his mind it was a great reliable vehicle. Yet his wife was alway complaining about something in it and I verified most of her concerns in many test drives. One biggie that always stuck out was the obnoxiously loud rear wheel bearing that was howling away. To him it was no big deal. To us it was very irritating and could lead up to an eventual failure. And this was with but 65K miles on the clock. The paint also peeled off the hood and roof after 5 Winters, the A/C quit soon after, the trans-axle whined, the other rear wheel bearing went south around 80K and the alloy wheels were badly peeling from the road salt. Yet to my uncle it was the best vehicle ever and super reliable. To his wife it was a noisy rattle trap with non functioning A/C, a lousy paint job, uncomfortable hard to clean seats and the tires were always loosing air pressure and looked like crap. This was in a vehicles with only 80K miles!

      So who is right in this example? I would side with my aunt for sure that this was not a very good vehicle and that it takes more than starting up and running everyday to get the high ranking he gave it.

  • avatar
    scuzimi

    Love my Abarth.

    Problems I’ve had are… faulty paint area in front of sunroof, fixed by FCA replacing full sunroof. Next they fixed the Bluetooth. All under warranty. I now have 38k on the vehicles and it uses no oil.

    Issues for me have been the leather seats are miserably hard. Dealerships closing.

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