The Pope gave Fiat the best press it’s ever had recently when he chose it as his preferred transportation during his visit to the United States.
Consumer Reports, however, has just given the compact minivan/crossover some of its worst publicity — “least reliable car.”
In a throwback to the 1970s when Fiat got the infamous slogan for the acronym of its name, “Fix It Again, Tony,” the Italian carmaker has been bombarded with problems from new owners.
Broken tie rods, slipping transmission, shoddy electrical system and even engine failures have all been reported in the publication’s extensive yearly study.
As the publication CheatSheet.com detailed, “Maybe the Fiat is just cursed. After all it’s built in the same Serbian factory that gave the world the Yugo.”
According to Consumer Reports: “The 2015 Annual Auto Survey allowed car owners to tell us, in their own (often angry) words, about service problems they had experienced in the past year. With more than 740,000 vehicles included in the survey, owners had a lot to say.”
From bad to worst, here are the five least reliable vehicles in the just released Consumer Reports survey and a comment on each vehicle:
5. Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon . . . “Among customer complaints, a wonky navigation system, a selectable two wheel/four-wheel drive system that doesn’t select, and overall poor fit-and-finish landed the Suburban/Yukon twins on this list.”
4. Nissan Pathfinder . . . “Owners complained about the CVT’s shaking, hesitant shifting, and even the occasional “judder.”
3. Jeep Cherokee . . . “The Cherokee has its problems, and they’re largely tied to FCA’s new nine-speed automatic transmission. Customers reported issues shifting gears, taking it to the dealership for software fixes, and even all-out failures.”
2. Ford Fiesta . . . “The Mexican-built Ford has a number of build-quality quality issues ranging from self-destructing transmissions to weak fuel pumps, faulty seat belts, and ineffective weatherstripping.”
1. Fiat 500L . . . We’ll say it again, “Fix It Again, Tony.” But Pope Frances did look cool in the little beast in his trip to the U.S.
Article Last Updated: October 28, 2015.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.