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Most satisfying pickup truck in America? Ram kills it in new survey

2021 Ram 1500 Limited

2021 Ram 1500 Limited (Image courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

Even to the casual observer, it’s clear Ram (not Dodge Ram, ahem) has been killing it in the full-size truck game. With a sharp exterior, amazing interior and a slew of powertrains — plus a badass TRX truck — the competitors have been put on notice. Now you can add one more accolade to its trucks – the most satisfying pickup truck in America.

Don’t take our word for it, this accolade comes from the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2019-2020. This survey was the result of 10,414 customer interviews chosen at random and contacted via email from July 1, 2019 – June 14, 2020. They were asked to evaluate their recent purchase and driving experience.

Overall, these customers reported they were not happy with the current automotive offerings on the market with only Ram not seeing a decline.

Ram climbs to the top

Looking at the index based on mass market vehicles, we see Ram at the top of the chart tied with Toyota. This is the first time, in the history of the ASCI’s mass-market list, Ram has stood on top.

While people can point out Ram sells vans as well, they really sell a lot more just trucks compared to the list, leading us to call them the most satisfying pickup truck in America.

ASCI Customer Satisfaction Survey

The ASCI said: “Customer satisfaction with the mass-market segment recedes again—down 1% to an ACSI score of 77 following a larger decline last year. Results among individual nameplates are mixed, with just under half of the measured brands showing declines year over year. In its first appearance at the top of the mass-market list, Fiat Chrysler’s Ram holds steady at 80 for a third year, tying with Toyota (-1%). Across the auto industry overall, only Lexus shows a higher satisfaction score (82). According to mass-market customers, Toyota is best in class for dependability whereas Ram drivers respond to their vehicles’ design, giving Ram the top rating for exteriors. In 2019, Ram was the only Fiat Chrysler brand to end the full year with a sales gain—up roughly 18%.”

What are customers upset with?

What has customers upset with regards to their vehicles? Several factors like dependability, driving performance and warranty. They continue to be irritated over fuel economy as well.

ASCI Mass Market Index 2020

With most factors backsliding in this report, it makes sense then that the overall trend is to be less satisfied with their vehicle. This is especially true when looking at the 5-year ASCI trends for domestic automakers. 5 year domestic brand trend

ASCI says even though the pandemic has played a role, this is part of a larger decline.

“One year ago, the ACSI reported widespread deterioration in satisfaction across the industry as 21 of 27 nameplates registered ACSI declines. This year, the trend has softened slightly but 17 brands still post downturns year over year. All told, the industry retreats 1.3% to an ACSI score of 78 (100-point scale), adding to the drop of roughly 4% from last year. This brings automobiles and light vehicles to a nearly unprecedented industry low, reached previously only in 1999 and far below the peak score of 84.”

Industry in trouble?

Looking at all automakers, the trend is not good.

ASCI Automaker Satisfaction Trends

While we don’t know specifically what the customers really said, it is pretty clear they want a cheaper, more reliable vehicle with better fuel economy and a better warranty all wrapped up into either a truck or SUV according to the sales trends.

What do you think? Is Ram’s performance surprising? Are automobiles getting worse? Comment below.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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1 Comment

  1. Brandon September 2, 2020

    I’m not surprised that customers are satisfied with Ram. As a brand, Ram really listens to what customers want and expect in a truck and they make it happen. Ram gives you what you want in a truck while to be honest, some of the competition tries to tell you what they think you should want in a truck.


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