10 Least Satisfying Car Brands to Own in 2015
Now that the average transaction price of a new automobile has gotten over $30,000, buying a car is an even more expensive proposition than ever before. When you factor in depreciation, it becomes even more important to make sure you spend your hard-earned money on one that will be satisfying to own. After all, the better the ownership experience, the more likely you are to feel like you got your money’s worth out of the purchase.
To keep an eye on which brands do the best and which do the worst, the American Customer Satisfaction Index tracks and scores customer satisfaction on a 100-point scale. It just released its report for 2015, and now we know which brands are the least satisfying to own.
Here are the 10 you should be most careful about buying.
Coming in 10th with a score of 78, Audi earns the distinction of being the most satisfying brand to own out of all the brands on this list. Unfortunately, it’s pretty far behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz for owner satisfaction. Maybe the redesigned A4 and R8 will be able to change that.
Kia comes in ninth on this list, scoring 78 points. That’s down from last year, but more confusingly, it’s also significantly lower than Hyundai. Considering that they share platforms, you would expect Kia and Hyundai to have similar scores. Something tells me this won’t do much to help the relationship between the two sister companies.
With a score of 77, Nissan finishes in eighth place, far behind other major Japanese automakers like Mazda and Honda. Its score also dropped since 2014, which has to be a disappointment. The Rogue and the Altima are still selling pretty well, so maybe buyers don’t like Nissan’s continuously-variable transmissions.
Mitsubishi’s score of 77 puts it near the bottom of the list, but it’s not as bad as you might have expected. Mitsubishi didn’t even crack the bottom five. Even still, it appears buyers are finding out that spending less on a new car feels less like a good deal after a few months of living with the car.
With a score of 77, Infiniti barely manages to stay out of the bottom five. It also has the distinction of being the lowest-rated luxury brand and the lowest-rated Japanese brand. That’s a shame, too, because it builds some interesting, fairly attractive cars.
Finally cracking the bottom five with a score of 76 is Dodge, one of the many brands under the Fiat-Chrysler umbrella. On the positive side, it’s the best-rated brand in the group. It’s not much of a consolation, but surely it’s worth something.
With a score of 76, Mini takes fourth place, making it the only brand that isn’t part of FCA to be in the bottom five. It has its share of reliability problems, but at the same time, Mini makes cars that are incredibly fun to drive. Perhaps buyers enjoy the test drive a little too much and later come to regret purchasing such a small car.
Scoring only 75 points, Jeep is clearly struggling in the owner satisfaction department. That’s a little surprising since Jeep has traditionally been such a beloved brand, and its products are better than they’ve been in years. It looks like even FCA’s most rugged brand can’t escape the recalls and reliability issues that plague the company.
With a score of only 74 points, Chrysler narrowly avoids last place and instead lands second from the bottom. Cars like the 300 and 200 have scored well in initial testing, but with FCA’s junk automatic transmission, it’s easy to see buyers getting frustrated. That’s too bad, because we liked the 300C when we drove it.
Poor Fiat. With a score of 73, Fiat comes in dead last for consumer satisfaction in the United States. It’s probably been hit with reliability issues the hardest out of all the companies that are part of FCA. Hopefully a new model and some updates across the board will be able to improve Fiat’s score in the near future.