Consumer Reports Called These Car Brands the Worst of 2018
If you want to talk reliability ratings, no company or data company compares with Consumer Reports. Between the nonprofit’s extensive testing and wide subscriber base, there’s enough raw data and survey feedback to make the annual rankings definitive.
But the story doesn’t end there. Sometimes, there’s something about a car, truck, or SUV that defies the practical. You can call it whatever you like — Consumer Reports calls it customer satisfaction.
When an automaker fails to satisfy and tanks in reliability, it takes its place among the industry’s very worst. Here are the 10 car companies Consumer Reports called the bottom of the barrel for 2018.
Poor reliability scores mostly dragged down the Mini brand. Models like the Countryman and Cooper scored below average in these tests for 2018, and it was more or less the same story as in recent years.
However, high customer satisfaction ratings kept Mini from a truly dreadful rating. People tend to like the look and feel of Mini, and that came across in their feedback.
Next: This brand’s heavy-duty pickup dragged it down among the worst 10.
There are only two Ram trucks that went under Consumer Reports microscope, so there was little room for error. Though the 1500 model scored high in both reliability and customer satisfaction, the heavy-duty Ram did not.
Meanwhile, the 3500 pickup sunk the brand further for lackluster reliability.
Next: While it’s another round of bad news for Dodge, it was actually better than in recent years.
Without the subpar Dart to bury the brand, Dodge made some upward movement for 2018. Nonetheless, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Journey SUV’s terrible satisfaction and reliability scores.
Grand Caravan, Durango, and Charger’s poor scores haven’t improved much since the brand’s low point a few years back, either.
Next: SUVs doomed this brand for 2018.
With one of the industry’s most dreadful reliability ratings, it was impossible for GMC to avoid its place in the overall 10 worst brands of ’18. SUVs were the primary culprits here.
Acadia’s tech failures and Yukon XL’s multitude of trouble spots ensured GMC was a flop in this year’s rankings.
Next: The debut of a Jaguar SUV didn’t help in the slightest.
It’s hard to sneak a new model past Consumer Reports. Testers expect defects and usually find them. Meanwhile, the vehicle’s first buyers learn about trouble spots the hard way.
We’ve seen that most famously with the Tesla Model X in recent years, but in 2018 Jaguar’s first SUV (F-Pace) also felt the burn. The E-Pace crossover also got hammered for predicted reliability, leaving the luxury brand among the six worst in the industry.
Next: Solid reliability and decent customer satisfaction ratings couldn’t save Mitsubishi.
With respectable reliability ratings and so-so customer satisfaction, you could almost envision Mitsubishi in a better spot among the brands of 2018. However, the Mirage sedan’s horrendous road test ended any such dream.
Consumer Reports skewered the Mirage for its “clumsy” handling, “awkward” driving position, and “weak, vibrating” engine. Out of a possible 100, Mirage notched a score of 29 — the second-worst (310th) of 311 models you might find on an American road.
Next: This Italian brand was a complete flop in reliability.
4. Alfa Romeo
Like a few other luxury brands, Alfa Romeo came out with a new SUV (Stelvio) for 2018. Predicted reliability was terrible for this model, and the returns for the Giulia sport sedan and 4C sports car weren’t any better.
This feedback landed Alfa in the basement. For what it’s worth, customer satisfaction remains high, likely because these cars look cool and don’t show up often on the road.
Next: Here’s what happens when horrendous reliability meets ho-hum customer satisfaction.
3. Land Rover
The Land Rover brand has six SUVs available on the U.S. market — and all six have the worst possible reliability rating from Consumer Reports. Most have bad customer satisfaction ratings and road tests scores, too.
All that adds up to one of the worst brands an American consumer could buy in 2018, if these metrics matter to you.
Next: Bad road tests, dreadful reliability and blah satisfaction scores doomed this perennial non-contender.
It wasn’t long ago (circa 2015-16) that the Jeep brand had five of the least reliable vehicles on the U.S. market. Since then, reliability has edged upward, but it’s nowhere near enough.
Take, for example, the Jeep Wrangler JK, which scored a 20 out of 100 in its road test — the worst of all the 311 vehicles available in the U.S. Sometimes, you just have to pass on a car, no matter how it looks.
If you care about performance or reliability, most of the Jeep lineup fall into that category.
Next: There’s only one Fiat, No. 34 of 34 car brands on sale in America.
There are some lists that have surprise finishes. However, finding Fiat at the bottom of Consumer Reports’ worst car brands won’t be a shock for most people.
As in past years, each of the five Fiats on the market has the worst-possible reliability rating. (Most have poor road-test scores, too.)
If there was one bright spot for 2018, it would be the return of the Fiat 124 roadster. To celebrate, Consumer Reports said some nice things about it and slapped it with an “absolutely unreliable” label. Welcome to the party, 124.
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