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Is Dodge More Reliable Than You Think These Days?

Consumer Reports performs extensive testing and sends out annual member surveys to collect lots of information about automotive brands. Each year, it determines which automotive brand makes the best vehicles. This year, Consumer Reports gave the “best vehicles” spot to Porsche. Genesis came in second, and Subaru is third. 

The top companies like Dodge have great results for their road tests and member surveys on reliability and owner satisfaction. Among the leading companies, they also have many vehicles that perform well each year. But how does Dodge, an American standard, fare in the rankings? And, did Dodge’s recent improvement in reliability help its standings at all?

Where Dodge falls on Consumer Reports’ “best vehicles” list

Dodge made a jump up in the “best vehicles” rankings for 2020, moving up four spots to 21 out of the 33 brands. This new spot places Dodge second among its fellow American FCA brands (not counting Ram, which wasn’t on the list.) Dodge has a better-than-average predicted reliability score, and its owner satisfaction rating is also better than average. It earned a road-test score of 77. Two of the four models that were tested earned Consumer Reports’ recommendation.

Chrysler is ranked 18 on this list with an overall score of 69. It’s up to four spots from last year. Its predicted reliability is just average. Owner satisfaction is above average, and its road-test score is 85. Consumer Reports recommended one of the two models tested.

Jeep moved down two spots and is now ranked 31 with an overall score of 49. Its predicted reliability is below average, and its owner satisfaction is average. It has a road-test score of 58, and only one of six models tested earned a recommendation from Consumer Reports.

Part of Dodge’s rise on this list is due to its huge improvement in reliability, which appeared in 2019 surveys.

Dodge’s reputation and the true reliability of its vehicles

Dodge hasn’t had a reputation for producing reliable vehicles. The 2014 Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey ranked Dodge near the bottom, with only Ram, Jeep, and Fiat (all FCA brands) below it.

Dodge has vastly improved in the years since then, though. It appeared in the top 10 of the 2019 Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey, which looked at vehicles from model years 2010 to 2019. 

The Dodge Challenger and Dodge Grand Caravan both received above-average ratings for reliability, helping the Dodge brand jump 13 spots up to number eight.

How Dodge improved and the influences of other brands

Jalopnik.com points out that the platforms for both the Challenger/Charger and the Grand Caravan are pretty old, so Dodge has had several years to improve performance and reliability. However, the Dodge Durango is still worse than average. The Dodge lineup has also been reduced in recent years, leaving just a handful of Dodge options.

Brands that had redesigns saw some drops in reliability. That included Acura, Volkswagen, and Audi. While Dodge’s dependability has leaped forward, fellow FCA US brands Chrysler and Jeep haven’t seen the same action. The 2019 Auto Reliability Survey saw Chrysler improve seven spots, but that brought it to just 19. Jeep, on the other hand, fell three places down to 26.

Consumer Reports provides extensive information in vehicle reliability, but its “best vehicles” list is also a reminder that there are multiple factors to consider for anyone buying a new vehicle. In addition to reliability, owner satisfaction and road-test results provide extra information. Plus, some models perform better than others, even within a renowned brand.

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