Consumer Reports is out with its annual Auto Reliability Survey, and Dodge, Ram, Jeep, and Fiat bring up the rear, with the 500L snagging the inglorious title of least reliable car among the 248 models CR included in the survey. Oh, and infotainment systems still suck.
According to the survey, in-car electronics generated more complaints than any other category in 2014 models, with unresponsive touchscreens, dysfunctional multi-use controllers, and phone pairing being common issues. Specifically, first year models from Cadillac, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Infiniti, and Ram were the worst offenders according to the people surveyed in the study. And those systems generally point to larger issues.
"Infotainment system problems generally don't exist in a vacuum," says CR's director of auto testing, Jake Fisher. "A close look at the results suggests that cars with a lot of in-car electronic issues usually have plenty of other troubles, too."
The Infiniti Q50 led the pack in problems, which combined with poor reliability on the QX60 (that's the SUV), managed to drop Infiniti's standings by 14 points to 20th overall, the furthest drop of all the brands.
CR has seen improvements with Ford's offerings, which have been routinely panned in the survey, as updates have made the systems ever-so-slightly less annoying. Same goes for HondaLink and Chrysler's UConnect. Buick shot up from 16th to 6th place this year, and Audi is amazingly holding down the number 5 slot.
But the worst of the bunch came from the Chrysler/Fiat crew, with the Ram brand sliding from 7th to 26th place, Dodge dropping a slot, and Jeep coming in second to last, putting nearly every American brand in the lower half of the standings. Lexus, Toyota, Mazda, and Honda hold the top slots, although it's clear by the survey – which generated information from some 1.1 million vehicles – that everyone needs to step up their infotainment game.