Do you ever notice the variety of other cars on the road? It seems as if any car company the makes a vehicle can sell it to someone. It’s baffling to me.
- They can’t all be good deals. Some cars are better deals than others. That’s just a fact. Whether you look only at sticker price, or cost of ownership, or reliability – some cars are traditionally worse deals. But that doesn’t appear to be a sales impediment.
- There is lots of data available about vehicle safety and reliability. There are free sources like Edmunds or Kelly’s Blue Book, or web searches for JD Power results, and paid sources like Consumer Reports. A 1-month Consumer Reports subscription costs about $5. Well worth it for a decision that will cost tens of thousands, and could be the difference if you walk away from an accident or not.
Take Fiat for example. I see little Fiat 500s on the road all the time. They are adorable. But the 2017 JD Power dependability study ranked Fiat dead last. Not just last but their score was so bad it skewed the graph. JD Power uses a horizontal line graph, and the Fiat result was so far to the right it bunched all other car makers together on the left. The second worst car was Jeep (owned by Fiat), which scored 209 while Lexus was best at 110. If Fiat were left off the chart, Jeep would look significantly worse than Lexus. It doesn’t because Fiat’s score was a whopping 298.
In 2018 Fiat “improved” to 192, making it only the 3rd worst car in the US. The dead last spot was taken by Chrysler (also owned by Fiat) which scored 211. In 2018 all Fiat brands were substantially below average, with Dodge receiving the dubious honor of “best Fiat brand” at 9th worst car sold in the US. Ram was 8th worst, and Jeep 4th worst.
So why do people keep buying Fiats, or any Fiat brand? Well, Fiat sales have been weak for awhile, and sales plummeted 44% this year. Maybe people are waking up, or maybe the company is victim to the demand for SUVs over cars.
But there are so many crap cars on the road. They aren’t cheaper, they are more likely to give their owners headaches, and may even cost people their lives. I don’t get it.