Mopars rose in the JD Power initial quality (IQS) score, which measures the rate of problems in the first 90 days of ownership. Every Stellantis brand rated in the United States went up against last year’s numbers (shown below), bucking the industry trend.
Dodge was the first of all 33 brands, its fourth year in a row in the top two. Ram was second, and the most improved mass market brand; Ram took its third top-three place since 2020. It was a very good showing for Dodge and Ram, to say the least.
Alfa Romeo was the top premium brand and third overall, leaping up a stunning 24 places. Maserati and Alfa Romeo were the most improved premium brands; Maserati appeared above average, between, of all brands, Nissan and Jaguar.
Chrysler’s score went up by 6%, saving the brand from appearing at the bottom of the survey—Volvo, Tesla, and Volvo/Polestar all managed to come in below. Ram 1500 was the best full size light duty pickup, and Jeep Gladiator tied for best midsize pickup, though Jeep as a whole came in just above average (between Honda and BMW). The Alfa Romeo Stelvio was the best compact premium SUV.
General Motors did quite well, with Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac all coming in near the top—below Dodge, Ram, and Alfa Romeo, but above anyone else other than Porsche, which appeared between GMC and Cadillac (GM brands are denoted in green). Ford did poorly, with both Ford and Lincoln falling below the average; and Tesla, which did not participate in the survey, came in below Chrysler and Volvo.
Being an import didn’t help automakers from faring poorly. Volvo and Polestar both bottomed out the survey; Volkswagen came in quite close to dead last among participants, and Audi and Infiniti were next from the bottom. Toyota, Mercedes, and Mazda all came in below average.
The following figures are from 2022, for comparison purposes (and because we don’t have 2023 yet). They were split into two columns. Note that Maserati was quite close to the bottom last year.
For reference, these are the 2021 results, which also showed Ram and Dodge at the top of the mainstream brands. Chrysler was the bottom brand, most likely due to Pacifica PHEV issues. Tesla, which does not participate in the studies, was above Chrysler and Audi, but otherwise performed quite poorly—albeit far better than in 2023.
Achieving top marks in the IQS™ is a positive sign, but the real test comes with the 14-month and three-year “dependability” surveys, which measure performance over time. Issues such as failing batteries are unlikely to occur in the first 90 days, which in the past have measured factory or dealership inspections more than quality.