This Car Brand Has the Worst Reputation in America

It consistently lands at the bottom of polls.

Buying a car is a huge decision, so you want to make a good choice. How does it drive? What are its safety features? Is it a decent value? Should you buy used or new? What kind of status symbol does it have? Auto fanatics have all kinds of opinions, but there’s one car company that you might want to avoid if you’re in the market for a new vehicle.

Every year, the Harris Poll surveys Americans to find out their favorite (and least favorite) companies. For the most recent “reputation quotient” rankings, 8,392 adults put in their two cents, rating high-profile companies on factors like products and services and emotional appeal. Six car companies were on the list, but one was ranked way below the others. If you want to get a good car on a budget, these are the best car deals under $18,000.

Volkswagen Group seems to be America’s least favorite auto company, landing at #71 of all 100 brands in the poll. Its “reputation quotient” was 70.9 out of 100, giving it a “good” performance, as opposed to its competitors “very good,” according to Harris Poll. For comparison, the car brand with the best reputation was Toyota, ranked #15 with a “very good” reputation quotient of 78.5. Following incredibly closely behind is last year’s best brand, Honda Motor Company, with a “very good” 78.5 as well with slightly better individual metrics.

However, on the other side of the least desirable car company coin, is last year’s least favorite Fiat Chrysler. For two years in a row, Consumer Reports ranked an FCA brand as the worst in terms of owner satisfaction, performance, reliability, and safety. Among 34 brands, Fiat came dead last, according to USA Today. And that wasn’t the only hard hit for the company. Four other FCA brands—Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, and Ram—were also in the bottom ten, meaning the company took up a solid half of the “worst” list. Meanwhile, not a single one of its auto brands made the top ten list (though Chrysler almost squeaked in at number 11), which was headed by Hyundai Motor Group’s Genesis. Not good, Fiat Chrysler, not good. If you’re looking to buy a new car, first learn about the best and worst car brands for customer satisfaction.

Of course, you shouldn’t rely on reputation alone when buying a new car. Do your research on the specific model you’re looking at, and don’t knock it (or buy it) ‘til you’ve tried it on the road. Before you shop around, make sure you know these 34 car-buying tips your dealer won’t tell you.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.