Buying a car is a huge decision, so you want to make a good choice. How does it drive? What are its safety features? Is it a decent value? What kind of status symbol does it have? Auto fanatics have all kinds of opinions, but there’s one car company that you might want to avoid if you’re in the market for a new vehicle.
Every year, The Harris Poll surveys Americans to find out their favorite (and least favorite) companies. For the most recent “reputation quotient” rankings, 18,228 adults put in their two cents, rating high-profile companies on factors like products and services and emotional appeal. Eight car companies were on the list, but one was ranked way below the others. If you want to get a good car on a budget, these are the best car deals under $18,000.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) seems to be America’s least favorite auto company, landing at number 85 of all 100 brands in the poll. Its “reputation quotient” was 65.8 out of 100, giving it a “fair” performance, according to Harris Poll. For comparison, the car brand with the best reputation was Honda, ranked number 36 with a “very good” reputation quotient of 76.
Harris pollsters aren’t the only ones who aren’t fans of Fiat Chrysler. For two years in a row, Consumer Reports ranked an FCA brand as the worst in terms of owner satisfaction, performance, reliability, and safety. Among 34 brands, Fiat came dead last, according to USA Today. And that wasn’t the only hard hit for the company. Four other FCA brands—Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, and Ram—were also in the bottom ten, meaning the company took up a solid half of the "worst" list. Meanwhile, not a single one of its auto brands made the top ten list (though Chrysler almost squeaked in at number 11), which was headed by Hyundai Motor Group’s Genesis. Not good, Fiat Chrysler, not good. If you're looking to buy a new car, first learn about the best and worst car brands for customer satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) 2018 automobile report named Chrysler the worst—number 30 of 30 brands—and Dodge and Fiat were 28th and 26th, respectively. FCA’s top brand on the report was Jeep, but it still was in the bottom half of the list at number 16. ACSI gave Toyota Lexus the top spot.
Of course, you shouldn’t rely on reputation alone when buying a new car. Chrysler was fourth out of 30 brands on a Consumer Reports ranking of owner satisfaction, so drivers must think they’re doing something right. Do your research on the specific model you’re looking at, and don’t knock it (or buy it) ‘til you’ve tried it on the road. Before you shop around, make sure you know these 34 car-buying tips your dealer won't tell you.