While you’ll find me over in the Jeep camp when it comes to FCA, I believe in credit where credit is due:
Dodge has become the first domestic automobile brand EVER to score a No. 1 ranking in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study – up from No. 8 in last year’s IQS results. Having watched (and participated) in the recent growing pains as FCA has built up the brand, I can certainly say that I’ve seen significant improvement in the overall quality as well as the focus on the customer over the last few years.
But – while kudos are certainly in order for the new No. 1 brand – it’s also important to note that Ram Trucks has jumped from 21st in the IQS all the way up to No. 3!
I have liked the Ram truck since the major redesign of the Dodge Ram truck in 1993 that gave it that “big rig” style (although to be fair, there’s a soft spot in my heart – or my head – for Rick Simon’s big ol’ orange 1979 Dodge Power Wagon). The latest iteration of the 1500 is probably the best pickup truck on the market, with the 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks (which includes a 2500 Power Wagon sporting the 6.4 Hemi!) completely changing the market for big full size trucks. I even like the ProMaster vans.
If you’re looking for a great American car, look at Dodge – the Challenger and Chargers are amazing machines. If you’re looking for something in a truck, Ram has got everyone else beat when it comes to full-size pickups. And with the TRX coming out shortly, it looks like the Ford Raptor is … well, it’s a nice little six-cylinder soccer mom truck.
From J.D. Power: “J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.”
From FCA: “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati.”