Archive for the ‘minivan’ Tag

Pacifica’s rings of silence

Reviewers have commented on the quiet interior of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, and have praised its combination of ride and handling. According to FCA US engineer Jeff Tibbenham, it’s a matter of rings.

As the engineer in charge of body structure, Mr. Tibbenham said that deflection — the twisting of the car body by rough roads — leads to squeaks and rattles, which have a major impact on owner satisfaction. To fix that, Chrysler placed five reinforcement rings around the Pacifica (see the illustration).

“These rings work together to minimize the effects of deflection caused by uneven roads,” said Mr. Tibbenahm at a recent conference. The added torsional stiffness also helps in cornering.

The market seems to be responding; the Pacifica commands higher transaction prices than the outgoing Town & Country did, and has shot up to the #2 sales spot though supplies of the new minivan may still be limited in some areas, and the “base model” slot is handled by the Dodge Caravan.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/10/pacificas-rings-of-silence-34225

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Family First with the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan

With school, sports, work and errands, just getting around can be a challenge. When you add in school projects, work projects, sports equipment and the occasional DIY project, everyone needs the flexibility of a minivan. The 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan provides enough versatility to accomodate whatever combination of passengers and cargo you can dream up.

At Dick Scott Motor Mall in Fowlerville, we know there’s a reason that the Grand Caravan is the most versatile vehicle in its class1, thanks to its convenient storage spaces located throughout the vehicle. You’ll appareciate the available overhead bin in the front of the vehicle, as well as a driver’s storage area for items, such as sunglasses or your phone. When heading to a Detroit Tigers or Lions game, the Super Stow ‘n Go® system provides an additional 12 cubic ft. of “out of sight” storage space when the second- and third-rows aren’t folded down. The Super Stow ‘n Go® Seating and Storage System is a class-exclusive1 feature and gives you a wide array of options when you’re loading up passengers and cargo. With both the second- and third-rows folded down into the floor, you’ll have an incredible 143 cubic ft. of space at your disposal for those weekend trips to Lowes or Home Depot. It’s also amazing how many moving boxes you can fit into the back of a Dodge Grand Caravan, however, you might not want to share that bit of information!

If you’re driving the kids and all of their friends to soccer or baseball practice, the Grand Caravan has room for seven passengers to fit comfortably. To make sure everyone can settle in when you’re on I96, the 2016 Grand Caravan has an available Three-Zone Automatic Temperature Control. It allows the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers to all set individual climates for ideal comfort. The premium cloth interior is also available with power front seats and 2-way lumbar support to help you find the optimal driving position.

When you are looking for performance, the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan for sale in Fowlerville, MI, excels with an engine that offers both power and efficiency. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful engines in the class with the standard 3.6L Pentastar® V6 Flex-Fuel engine. It offers best-in-class1 283 horsepower and best-in-class1 260 lb.-ft. of torque. With its Flex-Fuel capability, you can use unleaded gasoline, E-852 fuel, or a mixture of the two to give you options when you’re at the fuel pump. Even with its immense power, the Grand Caravan still provides 25 MPG hwy3 to keep you away from gas stations along your daily work commute to Detroit. All in all the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan is the perfect family vehicle that anyone and everyone can enjoy!

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

Crossovers replacing sedans: Back to the past

Sergio Marchionne’s comment that the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 would be allowed to “run their course” and then be replaced by cars from a “potential partner” caused a range of emotional reactions.

This is not the first time for such thoughts. In the late 1980s, GM, Ford, and Chrysler all lost money on each compact car. Chrysler changed that with the Neon and Cirrus/Stratus, which made hefty profits even while GM and Ford kept losing money. This time, though, insiders claim the company does not have the facilities nor the experienced engineers to make it happen; and even Ford now wants a partner for its sedans.

The earliest mass-produced cars included sedans, but many were the equivalent, in size and shape, of today’s crossovers — the area where Sergio Marchionne wants FCA to focus, at least in North America. Long, low, and sleek appeared as “the look to have” a few years after World War II, for 20-30 years; then the hatchback came into style.

Chrysler sparked a resurgence in the large sedan market in the early 1990s, then helped to rejuvenate midsize and small cars. The moribund large sedan market revived, and sedans in general gained a new lease on life.

Still, the popularity of the low sedan is recent and may be at an end. Ordinary sedans have been getting taller, with the 300 just two inches from the Nissan Juke and six from the Compass and 500L. The 1946 Plymouth was taller than any of them — and the Jeep Cherokee: 68 inches.

So why do many of us, including me, prefer sedans? Is it because they are lower to the ground and handle better? I don’t think so, given how most people drive, and the competent handling of most new crossovers (not to mention the popularity of BMW and Porsche’s crossovers).

Even gas mileage is not really penalized much now, with their larger frontal area countered by aerodynamic design, valve timing, and wide-range transmissions. They also have more space for the large batteries and other gear needed for light and full hybrid systems.

I have had numerous sedans in my life, no SUVs, and just two minivans; my only crossover was a PT Cruiser GT. Still, I can see the attraction of the crossover, especially now that everyone has minivans, SUVs, pickups, and crossovers, which makes visibility rather hard from a low-slung car.

I think the sedan will become more and more specialized over time. Two-door cars (including sedans) used to be extremely common, but they rapidly declined from the 1970s on, and now FCA US only makes the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Viper, Jeep Wrangler, Rams, and Fiat 500 in that form; and even in pickups and Wranglers, the two-door form is less and less popular.

I don’t think this presages the death of Chrysler or Dodge. The 200 and Dart (and Fiat 500) need high incentives to sell. Is replacing them worth delaying rear wheel drive cars for Dodge or large cars and crossovers for Chrysler and Dodge? Mr. Marchionne has a finite number of engineers at hand, and only so many factories. Paying off $5 billion in debt will earn the company more cash than building a new plant.

(I am very, very disappointed that Mr. Marchionne’s pledge that Chrysler would “lead” the engineering of future compact and midsize and large cars has been completely ignored and reneged upon.)

Limited resources, limited time, and a class of car that appears to be disappearing, selling only with large incentives … I can’t say I’d have been able to do anything different.

Or… it’s another trial balloon or an attempt to mis-lead competitors. We are talking about Sergio Marchionne, after all; and his announcements tend not to be set in stone.

Update: When buyers choose sedans, they almost invariably choose imports. Of the top ten 2015 best sellers in the US, there were no American sedans — Camry, Corolla, Accord, Civic and Altima accompanied two imported crossovers (CR-V and RAV4) and the three American pickups. The best selling cars (Camry and Corolla) combined barely outsold Ford’s pickups. In Europe, Fiat’s Panda has grown to challenge its best-seller, the 500; while the 500X, in its first year, nearly matched the declining Punto (both were beaten by the 500L). Fiat’s sales in Europe, 500 aside, are heavily biased in favor of crossovers, vans, and utilities. The same is not true for everyone — over half of Ford’s sales are the Fiesta and Focus.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2016/02/crossovers-replacing-sedans-back-to-the-past-31159

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/

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

New 2017 Chrysler minivan spy shots

The Windsor, Ontario plant that builds all Chrysler and Dodge minivans is currently down for a thorough refitting, which will clear out ancient equipment and presumably use all available space when the minivan line is complete: standard, plug-in hybrid, and crossover (some believe a large car will also be added, as the Volkswagen Touareg shared with the Volkswagen Phaeton).

In the meantime, Chrysler appears to still be running prototypes built in their Auburn Hills shop, anticipating the time when real pilots can run down the Windsor lines for a few months for testing before the all-important vans are made.

Chrysler, inventor of the modern minivan, is still the sales leader for the first four months of 2015, but it has increasingly relied on cheap versions, discounts, and fleet sales, while Toyota and Honda cherry-pick the high-end sales. The new version will, according to Sergio Marchionne, have a fully independent suspension, an all wheel drive option, and a plug-in hybrid option, and is extremely likely to have a crossover relation. Naming has not yet been announced, but many observers expect that we will see a Chrysler Caravan with a high-end Town & Country trim level, duplicating the current lineup but without diluting Dodge’s new muscle-car image.

Allpar now believes that the minivan will use the Chrysler 200 V6 nine-speed powertrain, with some rumors claiming there will also be a turbo four (possibly with the hybrid, so there is always torque available). The minivan is reportedly based on a stretched CUSW platform, and should start at $26,000 with lower or no rebates. We expect the exterior dimensions to remain about the same.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/05/new-2017-chrysler-minivan-spy-shots-28623

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

2015 Chrysler 300C revealed

Chrysler has revealed the 2015 300, 300S, and 300C, the company’s flagship cars (even if their prices are equalled by their own minivans).

300c 2015
All 300s get an eight-speed automatic, but none get the 6.4 liter engine used in the past 300C SRT, unless a future un-announced model will have it. All wheel drive is restricted to the V6 cars.

The cars continue into 2015 with relatively minor cosmetic changes: the front is more curvaceous, the side line emphasized a little, the grilles updated, a 200-like lower grille added, and the tail-lights simplified. Inside, the same basic forms continue, but with noticeably different styling.

For many more photos, including interior and exterior shots, along with pricing and other information, see our 2015 Chrysler 300 – 300C – 300S page.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/11/2015-chrysler-300c-revealed-2

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/