Special Report

The Worst Car Brands in America

The U.S. auto industry continues to struggle with poor sales. In September, just over 1 million cars were sold in the United States, a nearly 30% decline compared to five years prior. The effects of COVID and the more recent inflationary period have kept Americans away from the dealership lots and have also caused supply chain issues, further cutting into sales.

Despite the difficulty that consumers have as they look for cars, the methods by which they decide which brand to buy have not changed much. Several car media and research firms supply highly followed evaluations of brands and models. These include J.D. Power, Motor Trend, Edmunds, and Car and Driver. (Here is another ranking: This is the least dependable car in America.)

One of the annual studies most carefully followed by car buyers is by Consumer Reports. For its recently released “Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?” report, 32 brands were evaluated. Each received an overall score, out of 100, based on four factors: reliability, road tests, safety, and customer satisfaction. The road test portion involved 50 tests. Reliability ratings were based on reports in troubled areas. Owner satisfaction data was gathered from questionnaires sent to Consumer Reports subscribers. Safety scores were based on independent research.

In the introduction to the new survey, the authors wrote: “Each year our brand rankings reflect the changes that inevitably come as automakers introduce new cars and fix problems in vehicles already on the market.”

The brand that did most poorly was Jeep, part of Italian auto manufacturer Stellantis. The company also owns the Chrysler, Fiat, Ram, Opel, and Peugeot brands. Currently, it is the sixth-largest car company in the world.

Jeep received the lowest score at 45. This put it just ahead of GMC, which was second worst at 48, and Mitsubishi and Land Rover, which each scored 49. 

Jeeps began as army vehicles in World War II. The brand has had several owners since then. Jeep is one of several popular commercial products you never knew were invented by the military.

Click here to see this is America’s worst car brand

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