Category Archives: Chrysler

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited. One of the reasons so many want to own flexible vehicles is their wide range of use. Although this Pacifica is a FWD vehicle and can’t go deep into the rugged back country where roads are non-existent, venues like the Mt. Whitney Portal area dirt roads west of the town of Lone Pine, California, are well suited for front wheel drive, low to the ground vehicles like this Pacifica.

For those who don’t know the area or history it is a beautiful part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range that is home to the tallest mountain in the contiguous US. It looms 14,505 feet above sea level. For the real adventurous traveler you can climb from the trailhead at 8,000 feet to go to the top.

For the movie buffs you probably know that 150 movies and about a dozen television shows have been filmed in and around Movie Road in an area named the Alabama Hills (Naming is a whole other story). In the early film days movies including Tom Mix films, Hopalong Cassidy, The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger and Bonanza used this spectacular setting.

Also Classics such as Gunga Din, The Walking Hills, Yellow Sky, Springfield Rifle, The Violent Men, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott “Renown” westerns, part of How the West Was Won, and Joe Kidd.

More recent productions such as Tremors and Joshua Tree, were filmed here. In Gladiator, actor Russell Crowe rides a horse in front of the Alabama’s, with Mount Whitney in the background, for a scene presumably set in Spain. Star Trek Generations was partially filmed here as well as Disney’s Dinosaur and even more recently, many parts of the films Iron Man and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

In the Mt. Whitney venue, where the scenery is awesome, you will appreciate Pacifica’s Tri Pane Sunroof… well the passengers will.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Windsor, Ontario, Canada; Parts- US/Canadian 58%, Mexico 29%; Engine – Mexicoand Transmission –USA; Classification is- SMinivan; Cars from- Chrysler:200, 300, Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid.

Handling & Performance:

On the highway Pacifica issuper quiet and a smooth ride even on the washboard portions of the dirt roads.

Styling:

Pacifica hasn’t changed much in looks over recent years, and to me that means it must be a winning design not needing major change. I get that change is generally a marketing ploy historically, and that I believe is because people want the newest in most everything. But even if your ego doesn’t require the newest design, what goes into the Pacifica is really most important.

Newer and higher tech stuff is what makes the most significant improvement in today’s car world. You can have all the cool stuff in the Pacifica. You can even have the newest and best seatback video systems for your passengers that include video remotes and wireless headphones (so they can be oblivious to the world around them).

Fit and Finish:

Beautifully assembled in Canada.

Cost:

A lot of car for the money even though many will say a lot of money for a car.

Conveniences and comfort:

Outstanding innovation that is, not only very impressive, it adds so much to owning a car like this. The stow-n-go seat storage is super easy to put the seats up or away and out of sight. Nice and perhaps the best of all in this class. And if you shuttle a lot of kids about you will appreciate the built-in vacuum cleaner that works great.

Sometimes it’s the small things that you appreciate and the one thingremained in my memory is the Capless fuel filler cap. Simple but a nice touch. And it doesn’t take much getting used to the hands-free power sliding doors and tail gate either.

Chrysler says wind noise is the best, quietest in class, allowing a speech intelligibility rating that is unsurpassed in its competitive set. Air leaking is to be around 225 CFM, also at the top of its class. This was done by using, among other things, acoustic 5.0-mmlaminate windshield glass; acoustic wheel liners; upper doors that don’t stick out; aero-optimized mirrors; and triple-sealed doors.Personally I think you will agree with me that the cabin is super quiet and very noticeable.

Consumer Recommendations:

Not a lot of cars to test drive in this segment so look at ‘em all. Sorry I can’t help much here because I like them all.

Recognised Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled Drive Train
Chrysler Pacifica 45,000 22 8 4 USA Canada FWD
Toyota Sienna 45,000 20 7 4 Japan USA AWD
Honda Odyssey 46,000 22 8 4 Japan USA FWD
Kia Sedona 43,000 19 8 4 Korea Korea FWD

Good News:

Super quiet comfortable ride with features that will spoil you while others will keep you safer.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 24 valve with VVT (variable valve timing) engine, 9-speed FWD automatic transmission, front, side seat and curtain airbags (all rows) and front knee airbags, LATCH Child safety system, rear back up camera, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection, park sense with stop assist, stability control, sentry key theft deterrent system, keyless enter with push button start/stop and remote start feature, capless fuel filter, hands free sliding doors and liftgate, 7” color driver info display, Uconnect NAV with 8.4” screen display, Apple CarPlay & Google Android capable, Tri Pane panoramic sunroof, vacuum system, Noise control system, heated and ventilated front seats, heated 2nd row seats, power 8-way front seats, power folding 3rd row seats, front seats have auto advance and return, heated steering wheel, SiriusXM radio and travel link with traffic and guardian service, 506 watt amplifier, 3rd row USB charge port, 18” aluminum polished wheels with all weather tires, power folding mirrors with turn signals, foglights.

Gas Stats:

$3.69/ Gal avg. June 9, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

19 City 28Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $43,695.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2017 Chrysler Pacifica(1180)

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring – L Plus Minivan. You would think in this field of Minivans Toyota would have the best warranty, but of the three it only covers half the miles for the Powertrain as others do. I guess the competition is willing to cover longer because the product is either more bullet proof or they are willing to earn consumer trust. Toyota must take the consumer for granted as the years of being a front runner.
Today the market is change and arrogance will give way to those newcomers and re-invigorated older companies. They came to play – Game on.

General Information:

It is assembled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Parts – US/Canadian 72%, Engine – Mexico and Transmission – USA; Classification is Minivan. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300, Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid & Town and Country.

Handling & Performance:

For an 8-passenger large van it handles very well and that was especially revealed on the over the challenging Angeles Crest mountain course.

Styling:

Typical for this segment of the market.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

It would, at first blush, appear there is collusion in pricing. BUT, you know technology is equally shared across the industry. Thus CAD (Computer Aided Design) compute software is so precise that pricing should be very close. . . and it is.

Conveniences and comfort:

Good standard features but Exceptional when you add $2,000 for options including Park assist, smart Cruise control, forward collision warning, land departure warning and auto high beam control. In addition the Stow’n Go fold flat seating will amaze you. Nice.

Consumer Recommendations:

In the order of best warranty, Kia Sedona leads, with Pacifica and Dodge equal good and trailing is Toyota Sienna. I was impressed with the folding flat seating design as noted because it is a nice disappearing act.

Dodge Grand Caravan cannot be ignored as it is the best in pricing. But the field is rather limited so if you need a 7-8 passenger vehicle need you’ll want to test drive them all.

I particularly like the options noted above and $2,000 is well priced for the safety and convenience it affords.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler Pacifica $39,000, Kia Sedona $38,000, Toyota Sienna $39,000, Dodge Grand Caravan $34,000.

Good News:

Top performer, great fold flat seats all three rows (special), good power and slightly best in fuel economy.

Bad News:

None noted.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 engine, 9-speed FWD automatic transmission, front, side and side curtain airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags, LATCH child anchor system, rear back up camera, blind spot and cross path detection, rear park assist and stop, security alarm, sentry key theft deterrent system, remote start system, keyless entry and go, remote proximity keyless entry, hill start assist, stability control, capless fuel filler, active grille shutters, tire inflator kit, active noise control system, 2nd and 3rd row stow’n go seats, power 8-way driver and passenger seats, heated front and second row seats, heated steering wheel, Uconnect 8.4, access and theatre package, seatback video screens, 3-channel wireless headphones, Blu-Ray/ DVD player, USB port, Video USB port, 3-channel video remote control, 13 Alpine speakers, 506 watt amplifier, Sirius XM Satellite radio with 1 year subscription.115 volt auxillary power outlet, 2nd and 3rd row window shades, 17” aluminum painted wheels, fog lights and power heated fold-away mirrors.

Gas Stats:

$2.75/ Gal avg. February 20, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

18 City 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $37,895.

2016 Chrysler 200 Limited Platinum (1153)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited Platinum. With such cars on the market it seems nearly impossible for anyone NOT to be availing themselves of great transportation.

Cars have captured the imagination of American youth from the turn of the 20th century as much or more than the 21st Century technology has. The major difference is that cars get people out and about while the computer age of smart phones etc. relegate people to a “Virtual Reality”. Sorry, folks, I appreciate Google and the research ability it affords but if it and other computer thing-a-ma-bobs replaces the exhilaration of getting out into nature and the adventures of exploring the real world it is a diversion I can do without.

Bottom line – Cyber world is a pretend existence but getting into your trusted car or truck and venturing outside your front door will breathe life into you. The kids of today are mesmerized by the make-believe and thus are missing so much that the world has to offer, it saddens me. To my grandkids I say, lose the iPods, iPads and all the gaming and go out and play while you still can learn something of value. You have plenty of time to vegetate on the couch watching football or some other useless pastime. Trust me on this one. You won’t be sorry.

General Information: It is assembled in Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA. Parts – US/Canadian 64%, Mexico 18% Engine and Transmission – USA; Classification is Midsize cars. Cars fromChrysler: 200, 300, Pacifica & Town and Country.

Handling & Performance:

Perfectly capable. It did well on the mountainous Crest Test and sports lots of power. However, for me I would have been just as happy with the 4-cylinder. As it was, fuel economy was still very good.

Styling:

unnamedThe 200 has the sleek design of today and I believe it is timeless.

 

 

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This styling will not go the way of the Edsel or the Dodo Bird.

 

 

Fit and Finish:

Very good in class.

Cost:

Exceptional value.

Conveniences and comfort:

Good set of features as far as standard equipment and of course as priced. Me, I still prefer some important options like Smart Cruise Control, Crash avoidance and blind spot detection which are a few of the more important developments of recent years. Consumers drive demand for such enhancements to the driving experience and its safety. Demand these things and more will come and more cheaply as we well know.

Consumer Recommendation:

Shop your need always. If you are alone with lots of cash in the bank or under the mattress, buy a Ferrari and some gold necklaces and travel in real style. But if you’re normal the Chrysler is a better option. It will carry all the kids and other liabilities you surround yourself with. But you know what, you’ll have fun either way.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler Ltd Platinum $28,000, Acura TLX $32,000, Nissan Altima  $32,000, Kia Optima Hybrid $32,000, Buick Regal $34,000, Toyota Camry $32,000, Volkswagen CC $35,000, Honda Accord $31,000.

Good News:

Affordable, attractive and comfortable transportation to reach out for adventure down the highway.

Bad News:

I can’t justify a Ferrari.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 engine, 9-speed automatice trans, stability control, traction control, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, electric park brake, power steering, keyless entry and go, security alarm, cruise control, ParkView rear back up camera, LATCH reard Child seat anchor system, front, side and side curtain front and rear airbags, driver & front passenger knee airbags, air conditioning, Uconnect 5.0,  6-speakers, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, audio jack input for mobile devices, remote USB port, steering wheel mounted controls, power windows and manual 6-way driver and front passenger seats, tire pressure monitor, compass gauge, tilt and telescopic steering column, 12-volt auxillary power outlet in console.

Gas Stats:

$2.34/ Gal avg. August 12, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information,

19 City 32 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $24,490.

2016 Chrysler 300 S (1129)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Chrysler 300 S. Right off the bat I have to tell you the brand has not always been a favorite of mine. We all have favorites and that changes over time. But old timers will remember the advertisements for GM’s Pontiac line where an American Indian says, “Ugh Pontiac Heap good car”. Well the memory makes older folks smile because we young kids changed it just a bit. We’d parrot the words in Indian inflection “Uggh, Pontiac Heap”! What an advertising blunder. Ugh is an Indian word of assent or approval or to say “Yes”, or “That’s so”. In the English vernacular Uggh is a word of disgust, hatred or disappointment.

But I digress. My point would be that my opinion has changed in recent years about Chrysler products because today you have to be impressed. Unfortunately it was mom’s old Plymouth that drove me away from Chrysler for many years. The company and cars have changed all for the good thanks to Daimler Mercedes-Benz.

Opinion:

I have a question: Why is it that CalTrans waits until rush hour to block lanes on the Freeway. What is that all about? What is your opinion? Share with me and all your fellow readers.

I’d be interested in your comments and so will others. Really. joe@atthewheel.com

General Information: It is assembled in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Parts – US/Canadian 65%, Mexico 22%; Engine Mexico and transmission – USA;Classification is Large Cars. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300 and Town and Country.

Handling & Performance:

It is reminiscent of the Muscle Cars of yesteryear. It is solid and fast and that makes it fun to drive. If you are into speed and super performance you may want to opt for the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 for an added $3,000 to the price shown.

Styling:

New-Voe (Nuevo) Classic. Ya gotta love Chrysler for bringing back a bit of the past in new clothes.

Fit and Finish:

Mercedes-Benz inspired improvement lives on and the influence made a big difference in the “Old” Chrysler company.

Cost:

Fairly priced but the abundant features available can make it pricey.

Conveniences and comfort:

Other options could be added with the exception of one of my favorite features – Blind spot and cross path detection I could live without all the rest that added $10,000 to my test vehicle price noted here. What wasn’t included was Smart Cruise and that is highly recommended.

Consumer Recommendations:

Not a lot in this field but I like them all equally and with very comparable price points it’s a tossup.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler 300 S $36,000, Buick La Crosse $39,000, Chevrolet Impala $38,000, Ford Taurus $35,000, Toyota Avalon $38,000.

Good News:

Solid performer, roomy, fun to drive 5 passenger sedan with many safety features.

Bad News:

Not the best fuel economy.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6, (add $3,000 if you want the V8 HEMI) 8-speed automatic transmission, leather trimmed sport bucket seats, front, side  and side curtain and driver knee airbags, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, rear back up parkview, stability control, roll mitigation, tire pressur monitor, traction control, Keyless go, remote start, security alarm, cruise control, dual zone climate control, Uconnect 8.4, Beats audio 10 speaker 552 watt amp., Bluetooth with voice command, Media hub for SD, USB and Auxiliary, leather wrapped steering wheel and leather trimmed seats, heated front seats, power front seats, 60/40 rear folding seat, Rotary Shifter, power windows, auto headlights, LED fog lights and power heated mirrors with manual fold away.

Gas Stats:

$2.30 / Gal avg. March 1, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

16 City and 25 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $35,470

2015 Chrysler 200 C (1106)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2015 Chrysler 200 C, and what a pretty car it is. But that is not where it ends. This is an overall lovely car. A little history explains my 180 degree turn around in my opinion of Chrysler cars. I was never a fan but times change and some really good things happened in the life of Chrysler.

A very brief history follows. Chrysler made many contributions to the industry and thus earned their position as one of the Big Three American Auto Makers – GM, Chrysler and Ford. And it is important to remember those three companies produced substantially all motorcars and trucks in the entire world in the early to mid-20th Century.

First after its birth in 1925 by founder Walter Chrysler, his company had a rocky existence that culminated in a new failure. In 1978 it had to be bailed out with tax payer money and substantially turned around by Lee Iacocca. It was then able to repay their loans. Then Daimler-Mercedes Benz took over between 1998 and 2007. That influence was most notable in the quality improvement that lasts to this day. Finally in 2014 Fiat acquired the remaining shares of Chrysler stock. I suspect that substantial company will positively influence the brand.

10 largest automakers in the world today.

#1 Toyota (Japan)

#2 General Motors (US)

#3 Volkswagen Group (German)

#4 Nissan-Renault Group (Japan/France)

#5 Hyundai-Kia (Korean)

#6 Ford (US)

#7 Fiat – Chrysler (Italian/US)

#8 Honda (Japan)

#9 PSA Peugeot Citroen (France)

#10 BMW (German)

General Information: It is assembled in Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA; Parts – US/Canadian 67%, Mexico 16%; Engine and transmission – USA; Classification is Midsize. Cars from Chrysler: Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Chrysler Town & Country.

Opinion / Observation:

Can someone tell me why there are so many city of LA Motorcycle police officers driving, off duty, on California 14 freeway headed north from the I5? Are the Taxpayers paying for personal use of state / city owned equipment? There may be a good reason but I’m unaware of what that is.

Handling & Performance:

I tested the very responsive 3.6 liter 295 hp engine that is an Option for $2,000 more than the MSRP. But it sucks up 3 mpg highway fuel economy down from 32 to 29 mpg.

Styling:

Personally it is pleasing to me inside and out.

Fit and Finish:

Very well done.

Cost:

MSRP is $26,000 and if you add the options I suggest add $1,200 for the SafetyTec option and if you want the V6 power add another $2,000 for a total of about $30,000.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very respectable with options suggested.

Consumer Recommendations:

Safety Tec options noted below are recommended. Of those noted under standard equipment I like most include lane departure warning – (if you don’t engage turn indicator it beeps at you).  with Lane Keep Assist – (this feature steers you back in lane unless you signal a turn. It eases the steering especially on mountain curves).  forward collision warning plus – (rapid changes in traffic conditions will warn of an indicated collission.)   and adaptive cruise control with ‘stop and go’ – (provides control of accellerator and braking, and reduces the stress of stop and go traffic conditions), blind spot and cross path detection – (sounds a warning of traffic in your blind spots).

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler 200 C $32,000, Honda Accord $33,000, Ford Fusion $33,000, Toyota Camry $32,000, Subaru Legacy $30,000, Nissan Altima $31,000.

Good News:

Good pricing, fast, nice handling, comfortable ride and very nice styling.

Bad News:

The Nav system was frustrating because generally they are only good to get you to your destination. My criticism is that ALL today’s systems can’t accurately get you around traffic jams and accidents. The alternate routes suggested are generally more congested than the primary route.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter 295 hp V6 engine, 9-speed automatic transmission, front, side and front and rear side curtain airbags plus driver & front passenger knee bolster airbags, LATCH Child safety system, rear back up camera, remote start system, stability control, traction control, anti-lock 4 wheel disc brakes with brake assist, electric park brake, electric power steering, keyless entry and go, variable intermittent wipers, security alarm, cruise control and ride and handling suspension.

Optional Equipment:

Note there are many options on this test vehicle that adds $8,000 to the MSRP price noted below of $26,625. Although all those options are not recommended there are a few that I do suggest, included in the “SafetyTec” features for $1,295. This cost includes: Advanced Brake Assist, rain sensing wipers, lane departure warning with Lane Keep Assist, auto high beams, forward collision warning plus adaptive cruise control with ‘stop and go’, blind spot and cross path detection and parallel and perpendicular park assist and stop.

Gas Stats:

$3.19/ Gal avg. September 18, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

19 City and 32 Highway MPG

For the standard 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine 18 City.

Pricing:

MSRP $26,625.

2015 Chrysler 200 Limited (1051)

Overview:

This week I had the opportunity to test the 2015 Chrysler 200 Limited. I’m always amazed at how American ingenuity dazzles us more every year. Old timers will remember the Avis car rental company who launched themselves into the spotlight by proudly proclaiming in their advertisements that they were “number 2 – they try harder”.  Now that American car makers are no longer number 1 in the world of automobiles they too are trying harder. It’s humbling to be knocked off your pedestal. But what is important is they got back up and they should be number one again. They really gave birth to the industry and set the standard of excellence for a world to shoot at. There is more innovation in our multi-cultural industrial machine simply because of that fact – producing everything imaginable from the minds of many viewpoints.

I never counted them out and the Big Three are still alive and well and it is they who continue to lead and yes be copied. A great big thanks to the consumer who wake up even sleeping giants with their purchasing power – $$$$$$.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 73%; It is assembled in Sterling Heights, MI USA, Classification is Midsize. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300 & Town & Country.

Handling & Performance:

Only adequate power for the most part from this 4-cylinder engine. It has a smooth ride but the drive train is not as smooth as I think it should be. I found myself being aware of shifting when it should be quiet. It’s not a deal breaker and it is just something you will want to watch for on your test drive.

Styling:

This is a strikingly good looking automobile and a new look I was quick to appreciate.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Wow. How can you go wrong? This is a lot of car for the money.

Conveniences and comfort:

Everything you could expect and for the money I didn’t expect as much. My most favorite feature in any car today is the “Keyless Entry and Go” feature that is usually not available on cars at this price point. Literally you will likely never need to take the key fob out of your pocket or purse ever… for me it was only when I changed my pants. You gotta agree it is the most useful of features. Also exclusive in this class is the electric park brake and Safe-hold feature.

One feature I found nice but mis-placed on the control panel is the ‘Rotary E-Shift’ knob. It is a nice replacement of the shift lever. However its placement on the panel is my problem. It is right below the temperature knob and it is so easy to grab the wrong knob and change from automatic climate control to manual fan. It is even the same size and if that knob alone were simply smaller and offset from the shift knob it would be better. I’m sure after a few years of driving my motor skills would be honed in perfectly and it wouldn’t bug me.

As an aside do you recall the older Chrysler products that employed push button shift up on the dash? This must be a Chrysler thing where they are futuristic in design thinking and this time they got it right. I like the electric shift knob approach.

Uconnect Bluetooth connectivity is among the best on the market. I must say however use of my iPhone is a bit confused by the streaming audio and input commands to my phone’s Nav system or in leaving voice messages. With the system connected to the cars audio / speaker system it doesn’t always pick up the command. On the other hand it could be me and not the sensitivity of the microphone on the car.

Consumer Recommendation:

You may want to move to the V-6 engine option model if you find the 184 horsepower 4-cylinder engine is not enough power for you. I like the highway 36 mpg performance more (V6 consumes 7 MPG more), because the 4-cylinder is not that much of a drawback for me.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler 200 $23,000, Audi A3 $30,000, Chevrolet Cruze $23,000, Dodge Dart $23,000, Honda Civic $24,000, Hyundai Elantra $22,000, Kia Forte $21,000, Mazda3 Touring $26,000, Mitsubishi Lancer  $21,000, Nissan Sentra $18,000, Subaru Impreza $22,000, VW Golf $20,000, VW Jetta $21,000.

Good News:

Attractive, great fuel economy with decent power and outstanding pricing.

Bad News:

Transmission shift not transparent, placement of the shift knob could be better.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter 184 HP inline 4-cylinder, 9-speed automatic transmission, front side and side curtain front and rear and driver and passenger knee airbags, Child LATCH system, stability and traction control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist, electric park brake and power steering, keyless enter and go, security alarm, cruise control, air conditioning, Uconnect AM/FM/Bluetooth, 6-speakers, audio input jack for mobile devices, Remote USB port, steering wheel mounted controls, power windows and locks, manual 6-way front seat adjustment, Ambient LED interior lighting, information center, tire pressure monitor, compass, O/S temp gauge, rearview mirror with Microphone, tilt and telescopic steering column, 12 V aux power outlet, rear armrest with storage cup holder, front center sliding armrest, auto headlights, LED tail lights, 17” silver aluminum wheels.

Gas Stats:

$3.65 / Gal avg. September 22, 2014

www.fueleconomy.gov
For more information.

23 City and 36 Highway MPG

Pricing:
MSRP $23,255.

2013 Chrysler 300 C Luxury Series AWD (996)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Chrysler 300 C Luxury Series AWD Sedan. You know, over the years the consumer has dictated how cars should look and so we have the look we see in this classic new Chrysler style. It was, after all, a practical lowering of the front of the car to reduce wind resistance long before wind tunnels were reshaping the design of the automobile. Of course we did it by hook or crook, and my first application was my 1949 Oldsmobile hardtop coupe that at the time was the love of my life. It was a very un-scientific heating of the front coil springs and then we jumped up and down on the front until we got the desired amount of “Rake”.

And those were the “Good old Days”? Well it was effective and looked cool. I doubt it improved the fuel economy which you must know those cars were lucky to get 8-10 mpg and the way I drove it was more like 5-8 mpg. But then at $.20 a gallon who was counting.

In any case I think this 300 C looks cool with the added benefit of actually getting great fuel economy at 18-27 mpg. You gotta love that for a large luxury sedan.

General Information: 

It is assembled in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Parts – US/Canadian 59% Mexico 15%; Engine – Mexico; Transmission – Germany; Classification is Large Cars. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300 and Town & Country.

Handling & Performance:

Outstanding.

Styling:

Distinctive – and pretty pretty pretty.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost:

Best bang for the buck amongst this luxury sedan line up.

Conveniences and comfort:

One feature that I never could understand is the remote start system… until I was in freezing conditions in the Pacific Northwest. I stood by the window pushed the start button and when I braved the freezing cold everything in the car was toasty warm. I was a believer there, but in many climates it is like an appendage that is not needed.

However there are some features I really liked as noted in the options. Although interesting, I could live without the auto high beams but if they throw it in that’s ok, but some that are worth paying for include: (in my opinion), the “smart cruise control” they refer to as adaptive speed control, and the sensors for rear and blind spot side and cross traffic detection. You really appreciate such features when you don’t have them as they are addictive and you come to depend on them very quickly. You may not want to wait until they are standard equipment… of course depending on your budget.

Consumer Recommendation:

There is little doubt in my mind that if you are in the market for luxury this 300C is the best bang for the buck. Some will be more impressed with the “Badge” rather than the value but clearly this wins the debate hands down as you don’t pay for the high end foreign imports name recognition.  Definitely one to strongly consider. Me, I’m conflicted because I love the Hyundai Genesis as the only other that would turn my head when making the decision to choose between them.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler 300 $42,000, Acura TL $43,000, Audi A6 $42,000, BMW 5-Series $48,000, Cadillac CTS $56,000, Chevrolet Impala $36,000, Dodge Charger $32,000, Ford Fusion $32,000, Ford Taurus $31,000, Hyundai Genesis $47,000, Indiniti M $51,000, Jaguar XF Series $47,000, Kia Cadenza $35,000, Lexus GS $47,000, Lincoln MKS $45,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class $39,000, Mercedes –Benz E-Class $51,000, Nissan Maxima $33,000, Toyota Avalon $36,000, VW Passat $34,000, Volvo S60 $45,000.

Good News:

Extremely well equipped luxury sedan that is priced well for all you get. Decent fuel economy, lots of power at your disposal, nice styling and an overall super smooth and comfortable ride.

Bad News:

None noted.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter 392 horsepower V6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel ABS (anti-lock brake system) performance disc brakes, stability control, traction control, power steering, front and side curtain airbags front and rear and driver knee bag, sentry key theft deterrent and security alarm system, keyless remote entry and remote start system, cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats, leather interior accents, power front seats, heated rear seats, Uconnect CD/DVD/MP3/Garmin navigation system, rear backup camera, 276 watt amplifier and 6-speakers, Bluetooth streaming audio, SiriusXM Satellite radio, climate control, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, heated luxury steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering column, power adjustable pedals with memory, rear power sunshade, 19” polished aluminum wheels, 4-wheel independent AWD suspension, heated exterior mirrors.

Options: 

for about $6,000 more you can opt for some pretty slick features, including blind spot and cross path detection, adaptive speed control, forward collision warning, rain sensitive wipers, adaptive headlights, auto high beam control, auto headlight leveling system, rear fog lights, dual pane panoramic sunroof and parking assist front and rear.

Gas Stats:

$3.99/ Gal avg. September 15, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

18 City and 27 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $42,345.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2013 – An Automotive Love Affair

2013 Chrysler 200 Limited (984)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Chrysler 200 Limited sedan. Few Chrysler models are shown, but there are many model editions or versions. Perhaps that is a departure from distinct model identities. Prices range from the high teens to the high 40s and although it has not always been the “Cadillac” in the industry it has been and is reasonably priced and is a real value in today’s world of cars. The real departure from the Chrysler of the early years began with the affiliation with Daimler Mercedes Benz.

The Germans have a way of imposing their will on what they do as history proves. I have had the opportunity to of seeing the good the bad and the ugly of both German influence and the history of Chrysler over the past many years. But when the two philosophies of the two companies came together a thing of beauty emerged. Chrysler was the overall big winner in the end as we experienced an explosion in quality and innovation. I hope it remains so but it can never totally wipe out the visions for me personally from driving mom’s Chrysler.

Mom was practical and price was really important and the fact that her car was a bucket of bolts it was reliable even though shoddily made. It was not significantly different from the Pontiac she owned, but both were light years better than the cars us kids put together with bailing wire and chewing gum.

The principle of good enough (sometimes abbreviated to POGE) explains it best. It was and is, quite frankly, an engineering method of most companies who make things just good enough not to last for a prescribed period of time. One BIG exception is when those companies design for the US Government where things have to be stronger, bullet proof and bomb proof because they are such nice fellows. The ordinary man just gets ‘good enough’.

General Information: 

It is assembled in Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA. Parts – US/Canadian 73%; Engine and Transmission – USA; Classification is Midsize. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300 and Town & Country.

Handling & Performance:

Super performance engine that is responsive but will affect fuel economy if you are heavy footed. Personal experience in passing slower traffic put me in sights of a CHP car I chanced to pass right at the peak of my passing speed. Isn’t it always that way. (Good news for me is that he didn’t cite me for exceeding posted speed).

Styling:

Chrysler has been brave and bold in design and I love that about them. So many great designs have come from them particularly in the past decades in part made possible by its affiliation with Daimler. Lovely. Thanks Daimler and thanks to Chrysler.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Exceptional value in a variety of products from this American Automotive Icon.

Conveniences and comfort:

All the good stuff as noted.

Consumer Recommendation:

Look at the competition and consider supporting this Made in America Company. We consumers can make a difference in shifting away from the Asian Tide of products that do little for our economy. On balance, those foreign car companies who also manufacture here in the US can be supported because it puts American labor to work and God knows we need to help this country’s employees.

Owner comment:

Sweet ride, quick, smooth, stylish, comfortable, handles good, good gas mileage and overall Great Buy. Overall rating from all owners polled is a 10. I believe such comments and rating are well founded.

Recognized Competition: 14

Chrysler 200 $25,000, Buick Regal base$29,000, Chevrolet Malibu $25,000, Dodge Avenger $23,000, Ford Fusion $24,000, Honda Accord $30,000, Hyundai Sonata Ltd $26,000, Kia Optima $24,000, Mazda 6 i $24,000, Mitsubishi Galant $24,000, Nissan Altima $26,000, Subaru Legacy 3.6 Ltd $29,000, (2012) Suzuki Kizashi $22,000, Toyota Camry $27,000, VW Jetta 2.5 $23,000.

Good News:

Comfortable, decent fuel economy, responsively fast, great looking and priced well for value and Made in America.

Bad News:

Insignificant.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter 283 hp V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, front, side and side curtain airbags, LATCH child anchors with rear door protection locks, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, tire pressure monitor, stability and traction controls, keyless entry with theft deterrent system, security alarm, remote start system, cruise control, power window and locks,  power 8-way driver seat, Uconnect CD/MP3, audio with 6 Boston Acoustics speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, audio jack input for mobile devices, steering wheel mounted audio controls, climate control, leather trimmed seats – steering wheel and shift knob, tilt / telescoping steering column, halogen lights with auto feature and fog lights, LED tail lights, power heated mirrors w/ manual fold-away and 17” aluminum wheels.

Options:

for $1,295 you can add touch screen display, Bluetooth streaming audio, 40GB hard drive, remote USB port, GPS Navigation and Uconnect voice command.

Gas Stats:

$3.97/ Gal avg. June 29, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

20 City and 31 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $27,470.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew (974)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew. With the advent of consumers beating a path to buy SUV models the original high capacity vans have been a quiet competitor. I believe the reason is because of the “Off Road” capability of the SUV. But the very high profile necessary for the SUV to go off road makes it far less convenient when it comes to getting in and out of, and that is a real negative for intended cargo – people. Old and young alike need a ladder to get into or out of an SUV.

I suspect that is why “Soccer Mom’s” gravitate more to the Minivan, and wisely so. It is the man of the house, who leans to an SUV. Why… because it is a Macho Man Thing. He wants the capability of going off road, BUT in fact less than 5% will ever get off road. Mom – stand tough and tell the ‘old man’ you want convenience not appearance for daddy to puff up his chest showing he can go anywhere in that bad boy SUV. Clearly from the stats it ain’t happening daddy and it won’t likely ever be needed as a battle ready off road machine. You know that, so man up and agree with mom that convenience in getting the little ones in car seats, or walking age kids able to step up into the Van profile, is more important.

General Information:

It is assembled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Classification is Minivan.

Cars from Dodge:

Avenger, Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Nitro & Viper.

Opinion and Observation:

I’m guessing you have wondered how safe it is to drive vs flying. Flying is the safest mode of transportation when you look at the statistics.

1.     In the US, each year there are about 40,000 deaths per year in automobile accidents vs. about 200 in air transport.

2.     Fatality rates per passenger mile traveled is illuminating in that each year in the US 1 out of 6800 drivers dies in an auto accident. The rate for airline passengers is 1 in 1.6 million.

Automotive Innovation:

History of Auto innovation: 1885 – first patent for seat belts; 1890 – Canadian Thomas Ahearn invented the first electric car heater; 1901 – invention of disc brakes by British inventor Frederick William Lanchester; 1920 – Power steering invented by Francis Davis.

Handling & Performance:

This minivan is powerful and responsive. Its low center of gravity gives it good road-ability to compensate for the softer ride for comfort that prevents it from being a “road racer”. Although I have to say, I’ve been on a race track with a race driver at the wheel of a Minivan who made me a believer that a van is able. But it is designed for kids on board that changes the performance requirements.

Styling:

Nice looking without much change over the years. Attempts have been made at being different, but it is clear to me it is difficult to improve on the basic design. The good news here is that it is not likely to go out of style and thus a good investment. However, many improvements have improved on original designs. Sliding and particularly power sliding side doors and rear lift gate are the most useful additions to the convenience of the van.

Entertainment systems and communications systems and other electronic devices like cell phone connection have helped occupy the kids from inevitable boredom for the ride. Let’s face it, that is one place where game boys can be used to help mom or dad concentrate on driving instead of bored kids.

Remember when a car trip conversation included, “are we there yet?” or “Don’t make me stop this car!”, etc.?

Fit and Finish:

Very nice job from this survivor of the auto industry attack by Asian made products and overpaid unions. Such developments in the auto industry were wake up calls for America’s domestic products.

Cost:

Great value.

Conveniences and comfort:

This is a very comfortable 7 passenger van that is also very convenient for young and old alike.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you have a need to transport lots of young and older people this is the most practical solution. SUV’s are an option but I’ve pointed out the differences you need to consider in what the purpose of use will be.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Grand Caravan $29,000, Chrysler Town & Country $31,000, Honda Odyssey $29,000, Kia Sedona $25,000, Nissan Quest $26,000, Toyota Sienna $27,000, VW Routan $32,000.

Good News:

Powerful, great utility, comfortable, 7-seater.

Bad News:

Cruise was imprecise with 4-5 mph change in speed before adjusting to preset speed.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 variable valve timing 283 HP engine, 6-speed auto transmission, front side and side curtain airbags all rows with driver knee airbag, LATCH child anchors, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, stability control, side power sliding doors, power adjustable pedals, tire pressure monitor, cruise control, keyless entry with immobilizer, power door locks, rear window washer wiper, second row bucket seats with fold in the floor seats, 8-way power driver seatpower second row windows, power quarter vented windows, Uconnect, audio with CD, MP3, Sirius XM satellite radio with 1-year subscription, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, tilt and telescoping steering column.

Gas Stats:

$3.79/ Gal avg. April 22, 2013

2005 Chrysler 300 C (518.5)

Overview:
At first glance the Chrysler 300 series makes a bold design statement with its massive front grill, chopped top, and low aggressive wheel stance. With its elegant designed interior, it feels like an early Rolls Royce with modern technology.  From the text choice used on the dash to the backlit luminescent displays, the interior design is seamless.  And at just over 4,100lbs, the optional 5.7 liter V8 Hemi pumping out 340 horses and 390 pound feet of torque, (standard on the 300C models), really gets this baby moving. My only argument on styling would be that Chrysler doesn’t offer a 20” rim from their factory options.

Performance and Options:

Well it’s easy to say that the 4,000 pound Hemi powered 300C is well equipped for a luxury sedan that cost under $40,000.  However if that’s over your price range Chrysler offers the very basic 300 at $23,920, and comes equipped with a 190 hp 2.7L V6 along with a few basic security and convenience options. Add another $4,000 and you get the 300 Touring at just under $28,000 with a more potent 250HP 3.5L V6, and a few better safety and security features.  Next in the array of the 300 line-up comes the Limited 300 at about $30,000. This buys you even more security and convenience options that come standard on the Limited version.  This would include; a 6-speaker stereo, A/C with dual zone control, powered- heated driver and front passenger seats, and a security alarm among other things.  For a base price of $35,000 you get the Hemi powered 300C with MDS (Multi-Displacement System Output,) rocketing you from 0- 60 in a claimed 5.3 seconds, and even more security and convenience features.  With MDS standard on the Hemi powered 300C, fuel efficiency is improved without loss of power.  Chrysler claims a 20% increase in fuel economy, although this number is relating to driving in city traffic with low acceleration and shallow grade climbing.

The 300C performed amazingly well given the size of the vehicle, and showed minimal body roll through turns utilizing every inch of rubber for increased traction.  Steering could have been a bit tighter, especially while turning at higher speeds. Although braking was good, pedal feel could definitely use improvement.  Turn off the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) button, or what I refer to as the “Danger” switch, and you’re in for some fun sideways racecar action.  Instantly that 340 horses that are begging to be let out, scream through every square inch of this beast and into the rear tires. Awesome!

Styling:

Styling of the new Chrysler 300 series is one in a million.  It’s elegant yet very useful.  The only argument is that the position of the cruise control takes place of the turn signal.  Constantly I was managing to hit the cruise control every time I wanted to turn. What’s the reason for this design Chrysler? 

Fit and Finish:

Beautifully styled with crisp lines and smooth design. 

Cost:

300- $23,920.00, 300 Touring $27,700.00, 300 Limited- $30,530, 300C- $33,495.00

Conveniences:

Everything you need, from an optional NAV System to front heated seats and everything in between.  

The Competition:

2005 Models: Chrysler 300C $33,495, Buick Park Avenue $36-41,000, Pontiac Bonneville $27-35,000, Ford Crown Victoria- $24-30,000, Cadillac Deville- $46-51,000.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 25 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $33,495.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2004 – An Automotive Love Affair