On the whole, cars have become more reliable over the past several decades. The average age of an automobile on the road in America is almost 12 years. That rises almost every year. The gulf between the quality problem of cars made in Detroit and the better workmanship of Japanese and German cars has closed. Cars made in South Korea were hardly available two decades ago. Now, two are among the largest companies in the United States, and each has a strong reputation for quality products.
When consumers are asked why they pick one car above another, several factors are almost always present. Often at the top of the list is price. Gas mileage is often another. The conversation quickly moves to what features people want. Overarching all of this, however, is whether a car is considered well made. Research firms probe that differently, but usually the terms come down to “reliability” and “quality.”
The Consumer Reports Brand Report Car Rankings, among the most carefully followed car research, have just been issued for the current year. Because of Consumer Reports’ decades-long reputation as a nonprofit consumer testing company and the sample size of over 500,000 drivers, the rankings are highly regarded and widely used by car shoppers. Consumer Reports conducted 50 tests on each car it evaluated. The score, it says, is based on “a combination of predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction based on member surveys, and CR’s hands-on analysis that includes road performance, key safety features, and crash-test results.”
Small car brand Alfa Romeo performed the worst in the study. In fact, according to the researchers, “Alfa Romeo slid five spots to land in last place this year due to worsened reliability, though models from this brand also performed poorly in CR’s road tests.” A total of 32 brands were rated on a scale of 0 to 100. Alfa Romeo’s score was 44.
Alfa Romeo Automobiles is a unit of Italian manufacturer Stellantis. Its cars were sold in the United States from the 1950s until 1995, when they were pulled out of the market. The brand returned in 2008, but its sales in America remain very small, at 18,586 last year. That is up less than 2% from the year before.
Alfa Romeo sells five models in the United States. Its Stelvio sport utility vehicle has a base price of $41,400. The base price of its Giulia sedan is $39,400. Its 4C Spider coupe has a base price of $67,150. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV’s base price is $80,500, and the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan has a $74,500 base price.
Alfa Romeo sells few cars in America. With the new Consumer Reports rating, that figure may well go down.
Click here to read, “Cars Americans Keep the Longest.”
Click here to read, “This New Car Is the Most Likely to Break Down.”
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