Fiat 500 L Named Least Reliable Car by Consumer Reports

Oct 31, 2014 11:00 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Consumer Reports has named the Fiat 500 L the least reliable car available for purchase.

Fiat scored the lowest of the 28 companies ranked in Consumer Reports' latest quality survey and the Fiat 500L was named the least reliable among 265 vehicles listed.

The survey is considered an important factor in influencing car buyers in the U.S.

The fourth lowest-scoring brands were all from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler, as were the five of the bottom seven, according to Reuters. Chrysler brands have been at or near the bottom since 2009.

"Chrysler has traditionally had more than its fair share of trouble. And the addition of Fiat in the mix, it really hasn't helped," said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, according to NBC Washington.

The least reliable vehicles, according to Consumer Reports, includes:

- Fiat 500 L

-Ford Fiesta

-Mercedes Benz CLA

-Jeep Cherokee

-Jeep Grand Cherokee, diesel

-Nissan Pathfinder

Whether it's just a coincidence or the reason for its problems, the 500 L is made at a Fiat factory in Serbia that once manufactured the Yugo GV, which is considered to be one of, if not the worst car ever sold in the United States.

Respondents mentioned a number of issues, like an unimpressive infotainment system, rough-sifting automatic transmission.

"Infotainment system problems generally don't exist in a vacuum," said 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." 

Fiat spent around $1.5 billion to update the facility, but most reviews of the 500 L cite its low-quality feel.

Toyota and its Lexus luxury brand finished one-and-two for the second year in a row in Consumer Reports' quality survey.

"Toyota has a strategy that emphasizes reliability over excitement," said Fisher, according to the Associated Press. "They take a conservative approach to redesign and roll out new features slowly. The risk is they may not have the latest bells and whistles, but the reward is world class reliability."

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