Why Does Chrysler Have a Bad Reputation? 11 Important Facts

Chryslers are one of the most influential automotive manufacturers in the world. This giant company has gained several milestones and a reputation that spans 2 centuries. Sadly, it has a reputation for manufacturing bad cars.

The reason for Chrysler’s bad reputation are due to reliability issues caused by quality control problems, inconsistent consumer satisfaction, and a perception of unreliability compared to rivals. This reputation is fueled by past experiences, negative bankruptcy press, and constant fears of failure. It’s important to research models and consider feedback before buying.

For a company established in 1926, one would be justified to ask: why does Chrysler have a bad reputation? Let’s find out the answer through this detailed guide.

Is Chrysler a Bad Brand?

Before deciding whether Chrysler is a bad brand, let’s look at a few data on Chrysler models.

ModelExpected Life ExpectancyAverage Mileage / YearReliability RatingAverage Maintenance CostProbability of Reliability Issues
Chrysler 30013 years and 4 months13,500 miles3.5/5$63113%
Chrysler 20014 years and 8 months13,500 miles4.0/5$54912%
Chrysler Town & Country17 years and 4 months13,500 miles3.5/5$63612%
Chrysler Pacifica12 years13,500 miles76/100$481N/A
Chrysler Sebring11 years and 4 months13,500 miles3.5/5$428N/A
Chrysler Aspen11 years and 4 months13,500 miles3.7/5$543N/A
Chrysler Crossfire8 years and 8 months13,500 miles4.2/5$422N/A
Chrysler PT Cruiser14 years13,500 miles3.5/5$64114%

Based on the above chart, all the mentioned Chrysler models have a good life expectancy of more than 11 years. Only Chrysler Crossfire has less than 10 years of life expectancy, and at the same time, its maintenance cost/year is $422 (least among all models).

Also, they come with an average reliability rating of 3.7/5 and an average mileage of 13,500. Besides, their maintenance cost/year is more average than other minivans or sedans. 

Furthermore, Chryslers have several driver-assistance features listed below,

  • Active braking
  • Full-speed forward collision warning
  • Stop and Go Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Automatic emergency braking system
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-path detection

So, it is clear that even with a bad reputation, Chryslers are a good car

Why Does Chrysler have a Bad Reputation

Why Does Chrysler Have a Bad Reputation?

Chrysler indeed has a bad reputation for manufacturing poor-quality cars, but all models are not the same.

JD Power did an Initial Quality Study in August 2021. The prime goal of the study was to find reliable and quality car brands. Chrysler ranked with a minimal score on the list.

Here are some reasons for their bad reputation.

1. Several Recalls

The quickest way of losing the reputation and vehicles of car manufacturers is by manufacturing subpar vehicles. Recall of cars happens when the manufacturer follows shortcuts during production. 

Chrysler recalled 4.8 billion cars for manufacturing defects in cruise control. CNBC stated that it was one of the largest issues in the US automotive industry. 

2. Made by Cheap Materials

Chrysler manufactured several vehicles that are successful and well-renowned for delivering outstanding performance. However, don’t assume that all Chryslers are made following the highest quality standards. Chrysler 300, Chrysler Voyager, and Chrysler Pacifica are some of the vehicles that became a significant success for the company.

But this company wanted everyone to own a car. For this reason, they started building cars using cheap materials. As a result, vehicles like the 2008 Chrysler Aspen, 2015 Chrysler 200, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire, etc., received many customer complaints regarding quality and reliability issues. 

3. Poor Design

Chrysler generally built mid-size sedans or minivans. Customers looking for minivans or sedans prefer vehicles with elegant exteriors, outstanding fuel efficiency, and a good reliability rating. 

Unfortunately, Chryslers scored less in all these categories. Moreover, people can buy good quality sedans or minivans according to their preference, spending a few more bucks than a Chrysler would cost. 

4. Poor Product Planning

When buying a car, the first thing people want from a vehicle is the WOW exterior. Although Chryslers has done well with the design of the Pacifica or Voyager, it has many car models that didn’t attract customers.

PT Cruiser is one of Chrysler’s worst-designed cars, as per the consumers. What about the Chrysler Crossfire? There are extensive differences between the design of Chryslers and other good quality cars.

5. Unconvincing Guarantee

Reliability is one of the key aspects that every potential consumer looks for in a car. They want a long time and efficient performance from the selected car. In order to assure long-term reliable performance, car makers provide warranties.

Unfortunately, Chryslers don’t have convincing warranties. Even the authorities didn’t confirm that it would honor the warranties.

6. Technologically Laggard Company

As stated earlier, Chrysler has been in the automotive industry for many years. But took a long time to introduce hybrid cars in the market. While other car brands like Toyota, Ford, Honda, etc., are more technologically advanced than Chrysler. Those car makers introduce upgraded technology in their vehicles every year.

Whereas Chrysler took a long time to use the newest technologies in their car. Even this company fails to solve some recalls related to advanced automotive technology.

7. Worst Model Failures

If you check the history book to find out the worst car models, you will surely find several models of Chrysler.

According to the Consumer Report, Chrysler Aspen, PT Cruiser was an unreliable car for several years. RAM trucks and Chrysler 200 was also named one of the worst models in terms of reliability.

8. Troublesome Used Cars

Many customers look for a used car, and Chrysler is listed as an excellent used car manufacturer.

Drive Mag studied a topic about which are the best second-hand car models. Chrysler can’t make its name on that list. The main reason was that Chrysler’s resale value was less than other parts of its range. Also, the maintenance cost of used Chryslers is high. That is why customers don’t prefer used Chryslers to buy.

9. Reduction in the Sales

If you want to know whether a car brand is worth an investment, read its sales report. Market Watch found that Chrysler’s sales have declined drastically over the last few years.

As per the report, the brands’ sales of Chrysler had dropped by 13%, Dodge brand sales reduced by 31%, and RAM trucks lessened by 16%. As a result, consumers are considering Chrysler as a brand not worth the price.

10. Inconsistent Consumer Satisfaction

Chrysler’s reputation suffers due to mixed consumer experiences. While some customers may have positive encounters, others report reliability issues and dissatisfaction with their vehicles. This inconsistency contributes to a lack of trust in the brand’s ability to deliver reliable products consistently.

11. Negative Bankruptcy

Chrysler’s history bankruptcy has cast a shadow over its reputation. This financial instability has raised concerns about the brand’s long-term viability and reliability. Customers may hesitate to invest in Chrysler vehicles fearing potential future uncertainties or disruptions in product support and services.

A user of this forum named Bob Lincoln stated that one of his friends were unaware about Chrysler’s unavailability of the business. His friend decided not to buy Chrysler cars when learned about the bankruptcy.

Does Chrysler Make Reliable Cars?

All the below Chrysler car models have an average rating of 3.7/5-star. This is a decent score than other sedans or minivans of the same price range.

The chart is prepared based on warranty coverage, maintenance frequency, and long-term reliability.

ModelReliability Rating
Chrysler 3003.5/5
Chrysler 2004.0/5
Chrysler Town & Country3.5/5
Chrysler Pacifica76/100
Chrysler Sebring3.5/5
Chrysler Aspen3.7/5
Chrysler Crossfire4.2/5
Chrysler PT Cruiser3.5/5

While comparing with other cars, it is found that the average maintenance cost of these models is $631. It means they are substantially inexpensive to maintain. 

On the other hand, the maintenance frequency score is 0.75, where the industrial average is 1.3, so it is clear that their frequency of maintenance is better than average. The score is calculated over a 3-year span. For instance, if any of the above models requires major maintenance once a year, it receives 3. A 0 score means the car can go many miles without major repairs like engine damage. However, remember that older vehicles will need more maintenance than usual. 

With all the above data, it is needless to say that Chryslers make good cars. 

How Long do Chryslers last?

Chrysler’s average mileage is between 210,000 miles to 240,000 miles. Among all models, Chrysler 200 has the highest mileage with a maximum of 260,000 miles. On the other hand, Chrysler Crossfire has a maximum mileage of 160,000 miles, listed as the lowest mileage car. 

Here is a chart of Chrysler car models’ mileage for your reference,

Model NameMaximum Mileage (Miles)Average Mileage (Miles)
Chrysler 300240,000200,000
Chrysler 200260,000220,000
Chrysler Town & Country320,000260,000
Chrysler Pacifica220,000180,000
Chrysler Sebring210,000170,000
Chrysler Aspen210,000170,000
Chrysler Crossfire160,000130,000
Chrysler PT Cruiser250,000210,000

One thing to remember is that Chrysler cars will give this much mileage when you ensure periodic maintenance.

Will the Chrysler Brand be Discontinued?

Right now, Chryslers are not selling enough units. That is why one question was raised – will Chrysler be discontinued?

Chrysler car sales have generally been reduced over the last few years. The Chrysler 300 has been the only branded car for several years. Since its launch in 2004, it has had nothing but occasional refreshes. 

General Motors is the manufacturer of Chrysler cars, and they announced to cease the production of sedan cars in upcoming years. The form factor of this traditional vehicle is reducing by 20%-30% every year in total volume and being replaced by crossovers or SUVs.

But Chrysler is going away as a brand and is getting its long-sought renaissance, the re-birth of Stellantis as a high-tech brand.

Final Notes

Chrysler has seen many fluctuations over its many years of journey in the automotive industry. This company manufactured good cars and some unreliable cars like all other standard automakers.

So, why does Chrysler have a bad reputation?

Due to the unreliable performance of different models, Chrysler got a bad reputation. But that doesn’t mean all Chrysler models are unreliable and deliver bad performance.

In this comprehensive guide, I showed that there are many Chryslers with good reliability ratings, inexpensive maintenance costs per year, and decent mileage.

In a nutshell, although Chrysler’s reliability has a bad reputation, they also have some reliable cars. 


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