Fiat Chrysler's Initial Quality Rating Improves, J.D. Power Says

J.D. Power says all of FCA's brands have improved since last year.

Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler doesn't exactly have a reputation for the best quality vehicles in the industry. But according to J.D. Power, the automaker has improved across the board since 2016. All of FCA's brands scored better in the 2017 initial quality survey than the brands did in 2016. 

Although Fiat brings up the rear, they still improved from 174 problems per 100 vehicles to 163PP100. Dodge saw a similar improvement from 117PP100 to 106PP100. Jeep improved from 113PP100 to 107PP100, and Chrysler improved from 115PP100 to 102PP100. 

But the big success story here is Ram—the brand went from 114PP100 in 2016 all the way to 86PP100 in 2017. This is well above the industry average of 97PP100 vehicles. It also ties with Ford and beats Chevrolet at 88PP100. Though many have considered Ram, and Dodge trucks before them, an also-ran behind Chevy and Ford, Ram is trying hard to be taken just as seriously. It seems that when it comes to initial quality, they have succeeded.

When it comes to individual models, the Chrysler Pacifica was the best-ranked minivan. The Dodge Grand Caravan, another FCA product, took second place, and no other minivans ranked better than the industry average. The Dodge Challenger came in second to the Ford Mustang in the Midsize Sporty Car category. Again, only those two ranked better than the industry average.

More interesting is the Large Light Duty Pickup category. Though the Ram 1500 lost the win to the Chevy Silverado, both trucks beat out the Toyota Tundra. Much of Toyota's reputation is built on being a quality product, yet Ram beat them out, both in the Large Light Duty Pickup category as well as the overall nameplate ranging, where Toyota ranked just 95PP100.

Keep in mind, this particular survey ranks only initial quality, not long-term durability. The jury is still out on how well FCA's current offerings will last. But the auto group's initial quality, particularly Ram's, is a good sign that FCA is headed in the right direction.