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Chrysler makes major reliability gains: report

by Chris Vander Doelen on

Led by quality improvements by Jeep and the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the two FCA brands made big gains in a widely-cited reliability rating for 2018 as measured by Consumer Reports.

Mainly because of gains made by Pacifica, “perennially lagging Chrysler is the biggest mover this year” among all the world’s brands, the magazine announced Thursday, jumping 10 places on the overall list of what it calls “predicted reliability.”

 

The Pacifca is now ranked “average,” while the Chrysler 300 also improved to “below average. Although Chrysler remains in the lower half of all brands, this represents a huge improvement,” CR said. Chrysler now ranks 17th among 27 brands.

“The other FCA brands, including Jeep, Ram and Dodge, also improved,” CR said.

Jeep moved up three notches, although the Renegade and Grand Cherokee were a bit of a drag on the brand’s ranking by remaining “below average.” Cherokee was the most reliable nameplate for the brand.

Deep in the report, CR notes that “reliability has been a major weakness of every FCA brand of late.” But the 300 has been generally “impressive,” while Pacifica “has been a standout for FCA, with a top score in our road tests and excellent fuel economy.” The 200 remains at the bottom of its reliability category.

Ram moved up four notches thanks to improvements made by the 1500 model. Neither the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 gained any ground in reliability, however.

Overall, Consumer Reports reported a lot of movement on its scale among most brands, the major exception being Toyota and Lexus, which remained in the first and second slots, respectively. You can see the list here.

Using tens of thousands of reports filed by current owners of vehicles, CR rates each nameplate and brand on a scale of one to 100, with any rating between 41 and 60 being “reliable.”

 

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; He was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.

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