Archive for the ‘chrysler town and country’ Tag

What do little Jeeps and big vans have in common?

Sales numbers bump around a lot, but sometimes patterns emerge — and this month, two big ones showed up.

First, the rise of the little crossovers, with Jeep Compass and Renegade both doubling their sales figures from April 2015. This is the trend Sergio Marchionne was talking about when he rationalized dropping Dart and 200 development (Dart fell by 49% and 200 by 60%). The Compass has been around for years; yet its sales doubled. The new-ish Renegade still beat it. The Patriot, similar in most ways to the Compass, posted a 10% gain.

The small-crossover story continues “out of brand” with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V beating the Civic and Corolla, respectively. Only the Toyota Camry beat its crossover version. (Fiat’s 500X+500L together outsold last year’s 500L alone, but those numbers are still minimal: all Fiats combined hit 3,045.)

As for the big vans, both the Chrysler Town & Country and Caravan soared. The relatively inexpensive Caravan more than doubled in sales, rising 116% to 13,203 for the month — beating every other Dodge and every Chrysler (but only coming in middlin’ by Jeep standards). The pricier Town & Country hit 9,195 sales. It’s possible that some of this is due to incentives, as the company clears lots for the new Pacifica; and some may be from customers seeking to get a cheap Dodge minivan while they can, not realizing that the Dodge will stay in production for around another year.

Perhaps minivans are just having a good month: at Honda, Odyssey sales rose by 13%, hitting 13,047. But at Toyota, Sienna sales dropped by 8% to 10,795. It looks like this is an FCA phenomenon, and it’s pushed the Caravan to #1 best selling minivan in the US for April. Year to date, the Odyssey clocks in at 40,486 and Caravan at 46,915, a nice lead (Chrysler is at 40,811, also beating the Odyssey, though not be quite as much.)

The other big vans — the ProMasters — did well, too. The full sized ProMaster hit a 61% increase, to 2,835; and the City rose by 89% to 1,880. Ford dominates this market to an absurd degree, partly through consistency.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/05/what-do-little-jeeps-and-big-vans-have-in-common-31724

Advertisements

Exclusive: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica prices

Trusted source Moparian sent the starting prices for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica to Allpar, and they seem to be in line with current Chrysler minivans, though above the stripped-down Dodges. Bargain hunters can keep getting Caravans for another year, at least.

The base Pacifica LX will start at $28,595, a reasonable price given its standard features and advanced design. Buyers who step up to the Touring will pay just $1,900 more. The Touring L pushes the bar up to $34,495; the L Plus, to $37,895; and the Limited Platinum, the top of the line minivan with its own built in vacuum, will top the charts at $42,495. (See full descriptions of what each minivan trim level includes.)

By comparison, the Town & Country LX starts at $29,995, with the Town & Country Limited Platinum topping the range at $40,645. The Pacifica Limited Platinum contains more content, in addition to having a much more advanced suspension, upgraded seats, and a new suspension with a nine-speed automatic. Thus, there does not seem to be a true price increase to move from the old minivans to the new ones, looking at comparable models and ignoring incentives.

Over at Dodge, the Caravan starts at $22,095 for the American Value Package, with the more popular SXT starting at $27,795.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/03/how-much-will-the-chrysler-pacifica-minivans-cost-answers-below-31410

2017 Chrysler Pacifica: The new Chrysler minivan

The debut of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica marks a lot more than a name change and a new, sixth-generation version of Chrysler’s minivans.

For one, it’s the first minivan on the U.S. market to get a plug-in hybrid version, the Pacifica Hybrid, which will offer 30 miles of pure electric driving on a charge. Secondly, it signals a new direction for these vans—not just in their far more flamboyant styling, but in a package that for the first time won’t be essentially mimicked with a Dodge version.

The Grand Caravan and its sliding side doors on the way out, to be replaced this next year by a model that’s expected to offer comparable three-row seating and space but characteristically brawnier Dodge styling and hinged rear doors.

Last week at the Detroit Auto Show we caught up with Tim Kuniskis, the North American head of passenger-car brands for Dodge, SRT, Chrysler, and Fiat, for some more details. And while he wouldn’t reveal any more information about the Grand Caravan’s replacement, found out a lot more about the how and why the Pacifica took the form it did.

Chrysler minivans winnowed down to one—Pacifica

“It’s going to be ultimately the only minivan in the portfolio, going head-to-head against a long list of mainstream competitors,” said Kuniskis. “So making sure we had all the right package and content, and being able to price this vehicle… you’ll see that we’ll be lined up well against our competitors in the segment.”

The Pacifica is built on what’s called the RU platform. The RU vehicles don’t share any likeness, components, or geometric “hard points” with the RT predecessors, which arrived in 2008; and it’s not related to the “short wide” platform that underpins the Jeep Cherokee, among others.

It was entirely developed by Chrysler’s U.S. engineering team, with scalability and the easy addition of all-wheel drive in mind, and it can apply to cars, vans, or SUVs, down to compact (D) size.

Kiniskis says that the team wanted to overcome the “mental image of a minivan,” and decided on the name change from Town & Country to Pacifica “because as we moved through the development of the vehicle we realized that this is a complete, revolutionary change.”

Not the first time Pacifica has signaled a sea change

Reviving the nameplate might not be a positive to everyone, as the previous Pacifica did suffer from some quality issues—such as transmission woes—but it was noteworthy in design, as one of the first SUVs to undergo a rather revolutionary change, pitting it against the Lexus RX in some respects. Even today, Kuniskis says, they found that the name has “good consideration and awareness.”

The spark for emphasizing design this time around came in part from the strong (and mostly positive) reception of the Chrysler 700C Concept from four years ago, which was an early test of the waters for more radical change. Then, Chrysler then wasn’t sure what kind of reception the van might get from the press, and thus revealed it in “stealth mode,” quietly unveiling it on the auto-show stand, without a conference or immediate press release.

“We kind of tested the boundaries of how far can you push the design of a minivan [with the 700C],” Kuniskis said. “From that stage, we took several design concepts out to research, and invited several CUV and minivan intenders to come out and see it. At the end of the day, he says, the takeaway message was that they wanted a stylish vehicle but didn’t want to compromise on the space and comfort of a minivan.

“We pushed the design as far as we could,” he added.

A new opportunity with Millennials

Putting more emphasis on design and technology also goes over well with Millennials, who are having kids and looking for family vehicles—and in many cases, entering the vehicle market for the first time, without the preconceptions that Gen X parents had about minivans.

The automaker clearly has some big sales hopes for the Pacifca. Chrysler is targeting as many sales as for the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country combined—or about 190,000 sales this past year, when they were down somewhat as the result of four months of assembly plant retooling.

On the Chrysler side, the next big step is building the brand, Kuniskis concedes. “You know when you look for well-defined brands in the marketplace, it’s either a product attribute that helps people define the brand, or it’s an emotional, aspirational connection that helps people want to connect with that brand,” he said.

“On Dodge we have product plus bad-boy attitude; we’ve got to do a better job identifying a product attribute and an emotional connection for Chrysler, and that’s our next job.”

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1102021_2017-chrysler-pacifica-a-paradigm-shift-for-minivans-as-dodge-preps-crossover?fbfanpage

2017 Chrysler Town & Country Spy Shots

The current Chrysler Town & Country has been with us since the 2008 model year but a successor, the nameplate’s sixth generation, is in the works and has been spotted again, this time with the least camouflage gear we’ve seen yet. The new minivan is due on the market next year, as a 2017 model, and will make its debut at next month’s 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

2017 town and country

Not much is known about the new Town & Country except its aforementioned arrival date, plus rumors it will offer a plug-in hybrid option. Though it’s not common for multiple powertrains to be offered in the minivan segment, it’s likely a non-hybrid option will be available as well, either a four-cylinder or V-6. The transmission is expected to be a nine-speed auto and buyers should be able to choose from front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

As for styling, Chrysler’s 700C concept from 2012 hints at what’s to come. The new Town & Country looks to be a bit wider and more planted than the model it replaces. We can also see the new front end which has a similar design to the Chrysler 200.

Inside, look for a number of tech goodies including the popular Uconnect interface with an 8.4-inch screen in the dash. It appears that Chrysler may even add a digital screen in the instrument cluster.

This time around, the Town & Country won’t spawn a Dodge Grand Caravan twin. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] has confirmed that the Grand Caravan will be phased out as part of Dodge’s transformation into a performance brand. However, the Detroit Free Press reports that the existing Dodge Grand Caravan will continue to be sold for some years still.

Key rivals for the new Town & Country will remain the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna. You can see that FCA engineers are using some of these rivals for benchmarking.

Stay tuned for the debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, which gets underway January 13. In the meantime, see what else will be appearing at the via our dedicated hub.

Read more at: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1017648_2017-chrysler-town-country-spy-shots?fbfanpage#image=100538875

CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY | VERSATILITY FOR A LIFE OF ADVENTURE

The freedom to travel is about more than where you go. It’s about how you get there. When you arrive at your destination, do it in the vehicle that’s built for taking care of business or going on an adventure. The 2016 Chrysler Town & Country is as versatile as it is stylish, and capable of carrying the weight for almost everything from do-it-yourself projects to game-day tailgates. The 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine delivers 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with fuel economy ratings of 17 city/25 highway mpg1, making it efficient and powerful wherever your travels take you and whatever — or whoever — you’re bringing along for the ride.

SAFETY FEATURES PUT YOU IN CHARGE

We know keeping track of your kids’ busy schedule of school and practices requires enough thinking without also have to worry about safety. That’s why the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country was designed with the family in mind, with standard safety and security features including the ParkView™ Rear Back-Up Camera2 and Supplemental Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags3. For additional peace of mind, the available technologically advanced SafetyTec™ Package bundles an array of features, including Blind Spot Monitoring4, Rear Cross Path Detection2, Rain-Sensitive Windshield Wipers, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist2 and the Tire Pressure Monitoring Display, helping to keep your most precious cargo safe and secure when you have the family on the go.

GET YOUR DIY PROJECTS GOING

For all your do-it-yourself projects, you need a vehicle that can do it all. The 2016 Chrysler Town & Country is more than a minivan. It’s your DIY partner. When you’re hauling tools, construction materials or landscaping gear, the Stow ‘n Go® Seating and Storage System, which includes second- and third-row seats that fold into in-floor storage bins, will buy you extra room for cargo. And when your hands are full, keyless entry and power sliding doors and liftgate will lend convenience to your projects. With this many standard premium features, consider the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country your most important tool.

ADD SOPHISTICATION TO A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

When it’s time to drop the kids at the babysitter and enjoy a night for just the two of you, the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country has the keys to your evening. Dinner, a show, or a drive under the stars — announce your arrival with a distinctive modern exterior that features a dramatic front fascia and hood line, and turn heads with a classically styled rear fascia and rear spoiler, which all combine for an elegant appearance. Even in the cool night air, the available heated steering wheel and 1st and 2nd row seats will make your date night comfortable, and will ensure you’re as eye-catching as your vehicle.

MAKE RUNNING ERRANDS A PLEASURE

Life’s little chores have a way of adding up, but that doesn’t mean they have to weigh you down. Trips to the grocery store, to pick up dry cleaning or to pick up a take-out dinner should be a time you and your family both enjoy. With available Blu-ray™ and DVD Entertainment System, two available second- and third-row 9-inch VGA high-resolution DVD screens that flip down from the overhead console, two USB ports, HDMI connectivity and game-console inputs, the kids will be entertained. And their available wireless headphones will make sure they’re entertained on their own, allowing you to focus on the things you love; things like standard leather-trimmed seating and a Uconnect® System that integrates your phone, entertainment and music into a beautifully seamless experience. Set your navigation to your destination, turn on your favorite playlist, and turn running errands into the happiest part of your day.

THE WEEKEND BELONGS TO YOU… OR YOUR TEAM

Get ready for the weekend in a vehicle built for both fans and athletes. For those who take their fandom seriously, the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country ensures you’ll arrive at the big game with all the necessary gear — grills, tables, coolers and all your fellow fans — thanks to the legendary Stow ’n Go® Seating and Storage System that includes fold-in-the-floor second- and third-row seats along with a third-row tailgate feature. If your interest in sports is more about getting outdoors and getting involved, available SiriusXM® Travel Link5 brings national weather forecasts, fuel prices for local gas stations and local ski conditions right to your vehicle. Load up your skis, check the conditions and head for the slopes.

Read more at: http://blog.chrysler.com/vehicles/chrysler-town-country-versatility-for-a-life-of-adventure/

Chrysler celebrates nine decades of driving innovation

It has been nine decades since Walter P. Chrysler founded the car company that bears his name, and today, as it was in the beginning, Chrysler is on the forefront of design and innovation.

By being a leader in these areas, Chrysler has made cutting edge vehicles that are both stylish and fun to drive for customers.

These traits of innovation and cutting edge design at an affordable price can be found today in the Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Chrysler Town & Country.

These modern-day models draw upon the foundation laid more than 90 years ago by Walter P. Chrysler, who was leading Maxwell Motors in 1924 and released the first automobile to carry the Chrysler name, the Chrysler Six. The car featured a six-cylinder engine and four-wheel hydraulic brakes.

This spirit of innovation – and providing a safe vehicle at a fair price – continued after Chrysler founded Chrysler Corporation in 1925.

“He wanted to be a player in the industry,” said FCA US Manager of Historical Archives Brandt Rosenbusch, who stated that Chrysler focused on continuous improvement, firm engineering and building a safe vehicle at a fair price. “He always hoped to have a car bearing his name.”

The company soon introduced cars named after their top speed, such as the Chrysler 72 and the high-end Imperial model that competed against Cadillac.

In the 1930s as the Great Depression gripped the country, the company remained competitive with affordable cars and technological advancements, including “Floating Power,” which reduced the vibration felt from the engine in the body of the car. Chrysler also introduced the downdraft carburetor, automatic spark control and rustproofed, welded steel bodies.

It was also during this decade that the groundbreaking Chrysler Airflow was introduced. The car, which was introduced in 1934, took its design cues from aircraft with aerodynamic features in a teardrop shape.

Walter P. Chrysler pictured with a Chrysler Airflow model.

While it impressed the engineering community, it wasn’t commercially successful. But the new body construction and engine placement signaled a new age of automobile design.

The start of the new decade also marked the end of an era as Walter P. Chrysler died in August 1940. Despite the death of the company founder, Chrysler continued to move forward with innovations, such as the development of a four-speed gearbox with two ranges, the introduction of the Thunderbolt and the Town & Country sedan.

When the nation went to war, Chrysler halted civilian production of automobiles in 1942 and retooled. Among the products Chrysler made for the war effort included the M-4 Sherman tank, “Sea Mule” marine tugs and Chrysler-Bell air raid sirens.

The end of the war in 1945 allowed Chrysler to resume production of civilian vehicles, and led to the release of new, more powerful engines in the 1950s.

In 1951, Chrysler introduced its hemispheric-head V-8 engine – also known as the HEMI, which was initially installed in the Chrysler Saratoga, New Yorker and Imperial. The Chrysler 300 was introduced in 1955 and featured a 300-horsepower HEMI, which not only made it the most powerful full-size car in the world, but also a force to be reckoned with on the NASCAR circuit. The Kiekhaefer Mercury Outboard Racing team won 20 of its 40 NASCAR races.

The company’s entire line of cars was honored in 1957 with Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award, and that same year, Chrysler introduced the first rear window defogger and child guard rear door locks.

This focus on design and safety continued into the 1960s as Chrysler moved to unibody construction, which not only improved fuel economy, but also provided greater protection to passengers in a crash. The company also offered the first five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

In the 1970s, Chrysler began to offer smaller vehicles in response to fuel shortages and oil embargoes. While the company pivoted on the size of cars, it continued to offer new features, including electronic ignition.

The decade also saw the introduction of actor Ricardo Montalban as the pitchman for the Chrysler Cordoba in 1975, and three years later, Lee Iacocca was named president of Chrysler Corporation.

With the arrival of the 1980s, the company was dealing with a financial crisis, which led to a new generation of vehicles for the company. The Aries and Reliant K-cars were introduced in 1982 along with the front-wheel-drive Chrysler LeBaron. Then, in 1984, a whole new segment was introduced into the automotive industry with the minivan. The front-wheel-drive, compact van created a new segment in the automotive market and became an industry standard in the decades following its release.

The 1990s brought the debut of new sedans, minivan enhancements and the return of a familiar nameplate. The Concorde sedan debuted in 1993 and featured a new “cab forward” design, which created more interior cabin room for passengers. Two years later, Chrysler introduced the mid-size Chrysler Cirrus, which also featured the “cab forward” design.

The third generation of minivan was introduced in 1996 with new features, including a second sliding door for the passenger side Easy-Out roller seats. Chrysler brought back the 300 nameplate in 1999, and the 300M sedan was named Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year.”

As the decade came to end, Chrysler merged with Daimler and launched a number of new vehicles in the start of the new millennium. The fourth-generation minivan was introduced with new features, such as a power liftgate. In 2001, the PT Cruiser debuted and was named Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year.” The Chrysler Pacifica was introduced in 2004 and was predecessor to today’s popular crossover segment.

A rear-wheel-drive Chrysler 300 was introduced in 2005 and was named Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year.”

After undergoing bankruptcy, and becoming part of FIAT, the company introduced the new Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan in 2014, which included a number of affordable luxury features, such as lane departure warning, heated steering wheel and an all-wheel-drive system.

Ninety years ago, Chrysler founded what was known as “Detroit’s engineering company,” according to Rosenbusch, and that founding principle has remained in the company’s DNA with powerful engines, the latest in passenger safety technology and even creating a new segment – the minivan.

“(Chrysler) engineers have continued to develop and bring innovations into the Chrysler brand and models,” Rosenbusch said.

Stay tuned to see what Chrysler brand has to offer over the next 90 years.

Read more at: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com/2015/09/24/chrysler-celebrates-nine-decades-of-driving-innovation/

948TE Automatic for Minivans

Chrysler has been building the 948TE automatic for the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 for some time, regardless of whether they use four or six cylinder engines. The 948TE will also be used for minivans, Allpar has been told.

The 948TE is a heavier duty of the current nine-speed automatic, mainly engineered and designed by ZF, but altered and built by Chrysler. Mircea Gradu, Vice President of Powertrain, Transmission, and Driveline Engineering, said Chrysler “had a tremendous contribution … to the base development of the 9-speed.”

The first digit (9) is the number of gears, and the others (28 or 48) are the torque capacity in Nm/10. Thus, the 948TE should have 480 Nm of torque capacity, or around 354 lb-ft. This is far more than the Pentastar V6 produces.

A 928TE was also originally announced by the company but has not been used in the American Cherokee or 200.

There are reportedly changes to make the transmission fit into the minivans, which are to get both hybrid and all wheel drive versions, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne. Gear ratios range from 4.71 in first to 0.48 in ninth, an admirable spread.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/06/coming-soon-948te-automatic-for-minivans-29003

Must-Have Car Features for Expectant Parents

There may be no greater joy in life than knowing a newborn is on the way.

Soon, you’ll get to experience all the excitement and bliss that being a parent brings. But with this wonder comes great responsibility. The entire well-being of another human will rest in your hands. It’s time to evaluate some things in your life and make a few changes.

Remember that car you bought fresh out of school that was some combination of being affordable, cool, unique and youthful? Now it’s deteriorating into a pile of scap metal in your driveway. You gamble with whether you will or will not make it to your destination or not on every trip you take. Getting stranded on the side of the freeway is one thing, but having it happen with an infant aboard will be a nightmare. Looks like it’s time for an upgrade.

So what should a new parent look for in an automobile? Well a lot of things, really. But to help any soon-to-be progenitors, we have broken down the new car checklist into three key areas. First, there are those things that need to be in a vehicle to make transporting a baby safe and easy. Second are things that aren’t quite a necessity, but would make your time behind the wheel as a parent a lot less stressful. Third, there are the items that are icing on the cake; the added perks that parents might not need, but will gladly take if offered.

Must-Haves

The most important thing you can do as a parent is keep your child safe. This is especially true when it comes to cars and driving. Regardless of how skilled you are behind the wheel, there is always the unknown factor of weather, road conditions and other motorists that could result in a crash. Modern vehicles have jumped leaps and bounds in terms of crash worthiness compared to older cars, even within the past five years. A modern car will keep its occupants much safer than models from the past. But some are still safer than others. To check and compare how well prospective new vehicle purchases rate in crash testing, visit the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety database or the one offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Act.

A newborn is going to spend the next several years in child safety seats, so a vehicle with a rear seat is essential. Although most four- and five-person coupes do come equipped with child seat anchors, accessing them and the child can be a nightmare because there isn’t a door opening directly beside the rear seat. When your child is an infant and in a rear facing child seat this can be quite the struggle.

It’s best to look for a four-door vehicle because the easier accessed rear seat area will be easier to deal with. If your rear facing child seat has already been purchased, take it along when new car shopping so it can be test fitted to the backseat area. Pay attention to a vehicle’s official rear legroom measurement as these safety seats are deceivingly long. Not all smaller cars can accommodate one without forcing the front passenger seat to be placed uncomfortably close to the windshield.

Rear doors are also important when it comes to size and operation. Vehicles like a Range Rover L with the extended wheelbase give parents all the space in the world to secure their bundles of joy to the back seats, but the rear doors also require all the space in the world to open, which is a challenge in parking lots. When looking at new cars, see how far out the doors open in relation to the access they give to the backseat area. As well, the angle in which they swing open is important as the closer to 90 degrees the better. Still, there is one champion when it comes to rear vehicle doors for parents: the sliding door. Not only does it give them full access to their kids, but it also takes up minimal space when opened.

Nice-to-Haves

With the essentials taken care of, many other automotive features can help ease the transition into parenthood. Chances are you’ll become more distracted behind the wheel now that an extra, highly demanding passenger is frequently aboard. Vehicles with the latest active safety systems like lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and collision detection could be a life saver if you stop paying attention, even for a split second.

Babies call for a lot of stuff like strollers, pack and play cribs, diaper bags and more. A car with a large trunk is good, but one with a lift gate hatchback is better. Not only is it easier to load odd-shaped items into a hatchback, by usually there is more cargo room in a hatchback and items placed back there stay as warm or cool as everything else in the vehicle. Taking things a step further, a power lift gate, power trunk or even power side doors

will further help a new parent whose hands will inevitably be full each time they approach the vehicle.

And when it comes to loading a child and their gear into a car, a vehicle’s height is important. Crossovers continue to gain popularity with new parents due partially to their load height. SUVs usually sit too high, requiring some people to have to step up into the vehicle to secure their child in a safety seat. What-to-Look-for-in-a-Car-with-a-Baby-on-the-Way-07.jpgRegular cars, on the other hand, sit too low and force parents to hunch over in backbreaking slouches as they secure the safety belts.

While discussing access, safety anchors that are easy to reach for the child seats are a huge plus. Some vehicles require a lot of work to uncover and use these clips. While you’re at it, try folding the rear seats down to see how easy it is to do when children are not occupying them for added utility.

Finally, keeping the sun out of your child’s eyes is important, especially ones too small to relate any discomfort to you. A vehicle with factory or dealer installed rear window tint is good, but one with built in roll-up sunshades is better. This isn’t as unusual as it once was either as several minivans, crossovers and sedans are now offering this feature.

Icing on the Cake

Of course, there are some other items that will make life even easier on new parents, like extra cup holders for kid’s snacks and food as well as excess storage bins for other random items. Some vehicles now include a secondary wraparound rear view mirror so a driver can take a quick look back on their kids without having to turn all the way around or moving the regular rear view mirror down.

Removable rear headrests are a nice bonus as they make installing child safety seats much easier and built-in rear video screens can help entertain little ones on longer trips.

Ultimately though, it all comes down to what is most important to you and what you can afford. There are many choices out there that are great, child friendly vehicles. As long as all the Must Haves are checked off as well as a good portion of the Nice to Haves, you should be fine. Happy shopping and good luck with the new baby!

Read more at: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/01/must-have-car-features-for-expectant-parents.html

The dual-minivan plan, revisited

Rumors from Windsor suggested first that the current “RT” minivan body would continue for some years alongside the new “RU,” and then that it would be dropped as soon as the new designs came out — in Chrysler form only.

Where is Reid [Bigland]? If it was up to Reid, we’d be manufacturing up until 2250. There are technical reasons why that car cannot be sold for a much longer period of time than the current time. There are regulations that are coming into effect in 2017 that are going to restrict or are going to require a substantial amount of investment into the old architecture to make the problem go away. Or they’re just not assailable.

That, plus the combination of some of the inherent inefficiency of the architecture and the powertrain, will make the car just not square, to square the numbers. We’ll try to keep it alive as long as we can.

As for the next generation minivans:

Oh it’s done, yes. We’re tuning up now . . . there are bodies that are meandering around Auburn Hills out of the pilot plant. The parts are visible….You’ll see it at the show on January ’16.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/01/the-dual-minivan-plan-revisited

Town & Country Best in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study

When trying to decide which restaurant to eat at or which new TV to buy, the best reviews tend to come from people who have actually been there or experienced it. Sometimes it boils down to one simple question, would you buy it again?

Feedback is in from owners of the Chrysler Town & County, and it ranked highest among minivans for the third time in four years in the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS).

The IQS is based on responses from more than 86,000 owners of 2014 model-year vehicles after 90 days of ownership. The study asks customers to identify issues with their vehicles’ design, as well defects.

“This is the third time in four years that Chrysler Town & Country leads the Minivan segment in this quality survey,” Doug Betts, Senior Vice President—Quality, said. “It reflects the commitment of employees who develop, build and test these vehicles and their recognition that every employee has a role in continually improving the quality of our products.”

The Chrysler Group’s ultimate family vehicle, the Chrysler Town & County, was significantly updated for the 2011 model year and previously achieved the highest ranking among minivans in 2011 and 2013.

The Dodge Challenger also ranked at the top of the Midsize Sporty Car segment for initial quality in the same survey. The Challenger was updated for the 2011 model year and also led its segment for initial quality that year.

“While the Dodge Challenger’s legendary performance and style initially attracts shoppers to the car, its quality has a direct impact on loyalty and owners’ willingness to recommend Dodge to their friends and family,” Betts added. “Challenger buyers happen to be some of our most passionate and enthusiastic owners so this is a significant benefit to the brand.”

The 2014 Ram 1500 and Dodge Grand Caravan also performed well in the study, ranking among the top three vehicles in the Large Light Duty Pickup and Minivan segments, respectively.

The IQS study, now in its 28th year, is based on a 233-question survey conducted between February and May 2014.

As read on: http://www.chryslergroup360.com/featured_news/town-country-best-in-j-d-powers-initial-quality-study/