Cynical journalists often scoff at reports such as J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study, noting dismissively how older models typically top the charts because automakers have had time to work out the bugs.
Fewer defects is good, but if the vehicles aren't compelling, who really cares?
While those studies can sometimes provide a hollow victory for a less-than-relevant model or brand, that is not the case with Ram's win in this year's study. Not only was it the first all-truck brand to take the new-car quality crown, it's also winning in the market: In the second quarter, Ram pickups ranked as the top-selling light-truck line in the U.S., meaning it was the top-selling light vehicle in the U.S.
To be fair, Ford's F-Series was still No. 1 for the first half of the year, and General Motors' Chevrolet Silverado topped Ram in the second quarter, if you count the medium-duty trucks that are actually bigger and heavier than those labeled "heavy duty."
Asterisk or no, Ram's sales win is nothing to be sheepish about.