Consumer Reports Dumps Acura Near Fiat in Owner Satisfaction Survey

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
consumer reports dumps acura near fiat in owner satisfaction survey

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey was released today, showcasing exactly how owners feel about the vehicular choices they’ve made this year.

While numerous manufacturers managed to keep owners living in automotive tranquility, some lacked the required magic. There was even one automaker that had a nearly 50/50 split of producing customers that, if given the chance, would travel back in time to stop themselves from engaging in the single purchase that created the dystopian hell they unknowingly forced themselves into.

It was Fiat.

Of course it was, and this news won’t shattering anyone’s reality. The automaker has consistently found itself near the bottom of every list we’ve come across this year. The Italian automaker did manage to keep all of its models out of the steaming mound of cars people most regretted buying, however — it happened to be one of very few FCA divisions eligible to make that claim.

According to responses on the over 300,000 vehicles involved in Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey, Acura’s ILX was the least endearing, most regrettable purchase you could make. Dissatisfied owners faulted it for being a dressed-up and over-priced Honda Civic, complaining that it was too slow, had an unrefined ride, and boasted loads of road noise.

The Nissan Frontier was faulted for similar niggles in the truck segment, just at a more reasonable price point, while the Rogue was condemned for its absolutely terrible initial quality.

Everything else on the short list of big mistakes were courtesy of FCA. The Jeep Compass, Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart and Dodge Grand Caravan all took hits for similar reasons — uncomfortable seating, subpar powertrains, and low-quality interiors.

It wasn’t all misery and regret, however.

The survey uncovered that 91 percent of Tesla owners agreed that they would “definitely” purchase their specific vehicle again if they were forced to make the decision a second time. That placed the EV company at the top of customer satisfaction by a noticeable margin. Porsche was a full seven percentage points behind, followed by Audi, Subaru, and Toyota. The remaining brands mostly remained in the 70 to 75-percent range, ahead of a handful of poor performers.

Jeep, Acura, Infiniti, Nissan, and Fiat all averaged a sub 60-percent satisfaction score.

Of the 29 brands surveyed, Lincoln and Hyundai were the most improved from 2015. Consumer Reports had Lincoln moving from 21st to 12th place and Hyundai rising to 13th from 24th.

Meanwhile Ram, at 70 percent, dropped from 5th in the previous year’s survey to 17th this year. BMW fell from 6th to 14th and Volkswagen sank from 16th to 24th place, according to the magazine.

[Image: American Honda]

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4 of 154 comments
  • OldManPants OldManPants on Dec 26, 2016

    Toyota has already sold more Avalons from Jan. through Nov. this year (43,029) than all the RL/RLXs sold since and including 2006 (39,782). Why is there no Honda Avalon, a flagship above the Accord but still with the revered H on the front?

    • See 1 previous
    • Mechaman Mechaman on Dec 28, 2016

      Maybe because they think it would be seen as just a bigger Accord?

  • Jacob Jacob on Dec 26, 2016

    Acura's long term strategy has been self-contradicting. Remember when they killed the RSX/Integra under the excuse of the need to move upmarket? Well, they killed the RSX but they never really took the rest of the brand upmarket. Remember the sad story of the generic-looking, widely unloved and unnoticed, under-powered, overpriced, vanilla soap bar shaped car known as the Acura RL? And in the last few year, they make a u-turn and bring us a new Acura ILX which was nothing but a Civic reski.

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.