Fiat Chrysler Brands & Vehicles Make Poor Showing In Latest Owner Satisfaction Survey

There are dozens of car, truck, SUV, and minivan brands to choose from, but one carmaker is bringing up the rear in the latest owner satisfaction survey from our colleagues at Consumer Reports. 

CR released the findings of its annual survey of vehicle owners this morning, and the news was not good for Fiat Chrysler (FCA). Several of the car company’s brands — Fiat, Dodge, Jeep — fared poorly, and FCA models made up a majority of the list of cars that owners most regretted buying.

To determine which cars were the least satisfying, CR asked owners of model year 2014 to 2017 if they would buy the same car in the future. Although 70% of customers were happy with their vehicles, CR says seven models stood out as vehicles that won’t make consumers’ list of cars being looked at the next go-around.

Of the seven vehicles that CR found drivers regretted buying, four were from FCA: Jeep Compass, Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

7 Vehicles Owners Regret Buying

Brand Model
Jeep Compass
Nissan Pathfinder
Dodge Dart
Chrysler 200
Dodge Grand Caravan
Nissan Frontier
Acura ILX

When it came to the Jeep Compass, CR reports that many drivers had issues with “feeble acceleration and too much road noise.”

Dodge Dart owners reported being annoyed with the vehicles’ “sluggish acceleration” and “apathetic air conditioning,” with one owner saying that the engine sounds like it is going to die when the A/C is turned on.

Others said their vehicle suffered from multiple mechanical problems, leading to extra trips to the dealer.

The mid-sized Chrysler 200 lost customers’ love thanks to what they say is a rougher than expected ride and excessive road noise. Additionally, the cramped rear seat area makes it difficult for passengers to maneuver in and out of the vehicle.

Owners of the Dodge Grand Caravan reported that the vehicle’s transmission shifts roughly, the second-row seats are uncomfortable, and the interior feels cheaply made.

According to CR’s overall survey ranking of entire brands, only one FCA brand cracks the Top 10 for satisfaction, with co-namesake Chrysler scoring the No. 8 spot, with 73% of owners willing to buy the brand in the future.

On the other end of the spectrum, the remaining named brand, Fiat, ranked last, at No. 29, with just 53% of owners saying they would buy from the brand again.

Other FCA brands also didn’t fare too well. For example, Ram fell from No. 5 last year to No. 17 this year. Dodge came in at the No. 23 spot, while Jeep appears at No. 25.

The brand rankings represent owner sentiment across each brand’s product line, CR notes, adding that ranking was compiled by the straight average of the satisfaction score — if they would buy from the brand again — for each brands’ models.

To be considered for the list, the brand had to have at least two models with data. By this mark, CR’s survey looked at more than 300,000 vehicles from model years 2014 to 2017.

Despite the not-so-stellar satisfaction ratings, Anita Lam, auto data manager at CR, tells Consumerist that aside from Ram, which has a small number of models, FCA brands have been pretty consistent with ups and downs throughout the years.

“Owner satisfaction changes from year to year often have to do with whether new or redesigned models are added. otherwise, it’s pretty consistent,” she says.

She also notes, some models such as the Chrysler 300, and Dodge 300 and Challenger, are well-loved by owners. In fact, the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan is in the top 10 models for satisfaction.