Archive for the ‘sedan’ Tag

The history of Dodge

The Dodge brothers initially worked with Ransom E. Olds and Henry P. Ford, using their skills to advance the fledgling industry as well as to hone their craft. The money the brothers earned working for Ford enabled them to set out on their own, launching the company that bore their name in 1914.

The first Dodges cost nearly twice as much as the popular Ford Model T, but were innovative and outfitted with 12-volt electrical systems and the first all-steel bodies. Dodges were also equipped with an electrical starter, which made it far easier and safer to engage the ignition.

Following the brothers’ deaths, Dodge operated independently until their widows sold the company to Walter P. Chrysler in 1928. Before that, the company expanded its product line, built its first trucks and took over the Graham Brothers company.

Initially, Dodge products under Chrysler were unique, but gradually Dodge assumed Chrysler engines and the separately managed company was renamed the Dodge Division in 1935. Leading up to World War II, Dodge continued to build a series of coupes, convertibles and sedans.

After the war, a collection of new models was released, including the Hemi-powered Coronet. The Dodge Royal and Lancer also debuted, and were followed in 1960 by the Dodge Dart, an all-new entry-level model.

In 1966, Dodge jumped into the pony car fray with the Dodge Charger, a model that was longer and heavier than the Ford Mustang and based on the Coronet’s chassis. It was joined in 1970 by the Dodge Challenger, a sport coupe that was built for five years than resurrected nearly four decades later.

The 1970s and 1980s had Dodge actively downsizing their vehicles and working with its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi, to supply product. Indeed, the subcompact Dodge Colt was imported from Japan, while the compact Dodge Omni was built stateside, but relied on Volkswagenengines initially.

Throughout the 1980s, 1990s and much of the 2000s, Dodge products were badge engineered twins to Plymouth or Chrysler brand models, and included the Dodge Aries K. But there were some distinctions too, including the Dodge Viper, which was introduced in 1992 as a competitor for the Chevrolet Corvette. The Dodge Ram truck line was also unique and a midsize Dodge Dakota pickup truck was also available.

In more recent years, Dodge has become Fiat Chrysler’s performance brand with the Dodge Charger sedan and Challenger coupe, including supercharged Hellcat models leading the way. Two utility vehicles, Durango and Journey, and the compact Dart round out the model line.

Dodge remains a mainstream brand, despite the emphasis on performance. Top competitors include Chevrolet and Ford, as well as ToyotaHondaNissan, Volkswagen, HyundaiKiaMazda and Mitsubishi. Ram trucks are now sold separately; Jeep might be considered for SUVs and the Chrysler brand for its midsize 200 sedan.

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Chrysler 300 Interior Bowls Over Competition

Is it any wonder American consumers ignore large cars and instead shop the abundant crop of functional, sometimes sporty CUVs?

WardsAuto’s Large Car segment is a lonely place, with only four entries, and sales through March are down 14% while the car market overall is flat, according to WardsAuto data.

Two years ago, the newest entry was the Chevrolet Impala, which is very sharp, but it didn’t win a Ward’s 10 Best Interiors trophy because the interior is less compelling than the beautifully sculpted sheet metal.

The same cannot be said of the refreshed Chrysler 300, which carries over many of the styling cues, inside and out, that have made it a perennial contender, while integrating a number of meaningful improvements.

The Chrysler 300 makes big sedans relevant once again and even tips its hat, by way of a nearly identical color scheme, to a high-end interior that dazzled us last year: the $122,895 Mercedes S-Class sedan.

The 300C Platinum rolled into our garage with a more palatable $51,175 price tag and, like the S-Class, parlays gorgeous satin metallic trim, quilted leather, excellent fit-and-finish and a first-rate human-machine interface that is easy to learn and simple to use.

With its latest Uconnect system, Fiat Chrysler makes what appears to be simple work of the HMI, which can be daunting because automakers need to incorporate so many functions within the central display screen to eliminate buttons from the instrument panel and center console.

But the 300 is much more than cool electronics. From the white-faced analog clock to the heated rear seats, the cabin is roomy, welcoming and luxurious.

“In a world overpopulated with giant SUVs, the Chrysler 300C Platinum reminds us how glorious big sedans can be,” writes WardsAuto editor Drew Winter.

“The ’15 model takes the award-winning interior of the previous version up another notch with even more features, comfort and sumptuous materials. It also has wonderfully practical details, such as stout grab handles and a truly sturdy sunglass holder,” Winter says.

For what it’s worth, Fiat Chrysler kinda owns the big-car segment. The 300’s platform mate, the refreshed Dodge Charger, is the only entry in the sector posting gains through the first three months, up 5% to 26,218 units, according to WardsAuto data.

The Charger is duking it out with the Impala for the No.1 sales slot, while deliveries of the 300 are flat. The Ford Taurus, overdue for redesign, brings up the rear; its sales are down 27.6% for the quarter.

Yes, the Charger also was in the competition this year, but we opted instead for the 300’s soothing, upscale persona.

“I could live in this car,” says one judge. And live well.

Read more at: http://wardsauto.com/vehicles-technology/chrysler-300-interior-bowls-over-competition