Category Archives: Dodge

2009 Dodge Sprinter 2500 Wagon Passenger Van (772)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2009 Dodge Sprinter 2500 Wagon Passenger Van. What a lot of attention this vehicle commands. Size makes a big impression but more than that it has more applications than I imagined. Several asked if it was available in a motor home / RV configuration and the answer is no – not an option from Dodge. But conversions are pretty exciting. Take a look at this link for a You Tube video of an amazing RV application. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4ZLF7NVoe4. You can also go to www.colonialairstream.com for more information.

Those who asked commented that their 40 foot outfits are simply too cumbersome to maneuver – especially for use by only two people. A modified Sprinter is a perfect application for those shorter get-a-ways.

As configured, this model seats 12 and is like a small bus that you can stand up in.

Coincidentally my neighbor was hosting a large party for a class reunion and had a need to shuttle folks from a parking area to the party. This was a hit and a real convenience for all. It was easy to maneuver and the roof air and lighting was great for the untimely heat wave.

These vehicles are very popular in Europe and becoming popular in the US as well. They are getting very attractive and although they are easy to drive and smooth on the highway it becomes a liability when it comes to parking.

General Info:

Parts –  n/a

Assembly – Germany

Class:  – Heavy duty.

Cars: – Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Durango Hybrid, Grand Caravan, Journey, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15-25-3500, Sprinter, Sprinter Wagon & Viper.

Handling & Performance:

The turbo diesel is plenty powerful for the application. On the open highway it will keep up with traffic in any condition. But as noted above when on the streets you will have to be constantly aware of the overhead clearance. Thus its application is more leaning to commercial use.

Fuel economy for this diesel is better than Ford or Chevrolet by 2-5 mpg with its Turbo V6 versus the V8 power of the others. The V6 is more than adequate even with the size difference.

Styling:

Streamlined appearance is really so much better than earlier models so it appeals to more people and more applications. It was unattractive in the earlier model years.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

$47,000 with basic stuff without roof air and special paint and tricked out with most all options it will cost about $63,000.

Conveniences and comfort:

Comfortable bus like with lots of storage. It has a smooth stable feel. Tall profile requires more care of overhead clearance areas. Thus most inside parking will be very limited.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you have a need to carry lots of folks and gear this is an option to look at. The competition is more conventional with larger displacement V8 engines but the Turbo Diesel is better overall. The others seat the same number of people with less cargo area and less head room. Sprinter is more unique and more commercial in size and application. There are only two others in this class so you can easily find the one that fits your need best.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Sprinter Wagon $42-47,000, Ford E Series Wagon $28-36,000, Chevrolet Express $28-34,000, GMC Savana  $28-34,000.

Good News:

Tall walk in passenger comfort, nice styling, powerful Turbo Diesel.

Bad News:

Tall profile that limits parking options that means you don’t park in underground facilities.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter V6 Turbo Diesel engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel antilock brake, adaptive electronic stability program, front stabilizer bar, traction control, power rack and pinion steering, keyless entry, power locks, power windows, emergency exit window, electric powered auxiliary heater, 25 gal fuel tank, climate control air conditioning, audio with CD player, 1st and 2nd row 3 passenger bench seats, 3rd row 4 passenger bench seat, tire pressure monitor.

Optional equipment:

Silver metallic paint is $1,185 and other options are available such as roof air and special interior lighting, added side airbags, cold climate special heating, increased insulation etc than will bring the total price up as high as $63,000.

Gas Stats:

$2.75/ Gal avg. August 8, ‘09

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

18 City and 20 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $47,220.

2009 Dodge Charger R/T Rear Wheel Drive (760)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2009 Dodge Charger R/T rear wheel drive 4-door sedan. My test vehicle was a bright fire engine red and I was concerned I would not be able to “Dodge” a ticket.

You gotta just love Chrysler innovation and guts to put out cars that are separate and apart from the pack. It would be a shame to lose this one. GM’s Cadillac division has similar courage and it produces my favorite car on the road the CTS.

But when you look at the number of cars each of these companies produce it makes you think this is an industry out of control to please a society out of control. The love affair people in America have with the automobile begins in society’s youth when they are most impressionable and searching for ways to define their independence. As they age they will make a market for nostalgic (then) classic cars and the cycle begins again with a new generation.

General Info:

Parts –  U.S./Canadian 66%

Assembly – Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Class:  – Large cars.

Cars: – Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Durango Hybrid, Grand Caravan, Journey, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15-25-3500, Sprinter, Sprinter Wagon & Viper.

Opinion:

Boom Boxes: Ignored young people strike back with “Boom-Boxes” on our highways to offend our sensibilities. It is for us to respond with better education of these kids who apparently can find no accomplishment beyond the ability to turn the volume dial up. It reminds me of a very young obnoxious child seeking attention.

Handling & Performance:

Charger – she purrs like a cat – a big cat – and when you press down on the accelerator pedal it roars like a lion – a very healthy lion. The big HEMI engine is famous for raw power and it won’t disappoint you. But the good news is that the fuel economy is fairly respectable which is a huge departure from the original muscle cars of half a century ago.

Styling:

Legendary, stylish and attractive which will draw attention with an approving eye from lots of folks. That’s not the case with the squeaky clean likes of Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, and others that are boring. Great cars but they don’t turn a head. To many buyers that is important – while others couldn’t care less what others think of their choice of cars.

Fit and Finish:

Very good 8 on a scale of 10.

Cost:

Competitive in class.

Conveniences and comfort:

Ilona and I took this Charger on a short road trip from LA to Scottsdale, AZ and her first comment was how comfortable the seats were. It can seat 5 adults but a little tight in the rear seat. You wouldn’t want to tote five on more than around town. Overall it was a great road car experience for us.

Consumer Recommendation:

An interesting resource to see beyond NEW car reviews is the follow on recommendations of a cross section of car owners over time. www.autopacific.com is a site worth your time to help with your car buying decision.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Charger $25-39,000, Buick Lucerne $29-40,000, Buick La Crosse $27-33,000, Hyundai Azera $25-29,000, Cadillac CTS $37-59,000, Pontiac G8 $28-38,000, Mercury Sable $25-31,000, Mercury Grand Marquis $29,270, Acura TL $35-43,000, Lexus ES $34,470, Chrysler 300 $27-44,000, Kia Amanti $25,855, Nissan Maxima $30-33,000,  $13-17,000, Ford Fusion $19-28,000, Ford Taurus $25-37,000, Ford Shelby GT500 $47-52,000, Chevrolet Impala  $24-31,000, Toyota Avalon $28-35,000.

Good News:

Great styling, great road car, powerful and fun to drive.

Bad News:

Only fair fuel economy for fuel prices today and the future.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 368 hp V8 HEMI engine, dual rear exhaust, 5-speed auto transmission, power rack & pinion steering, front air bags, touring suspension, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, traction control, stability program, power windows and locks, sentry theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, power adjustable pedals, air filtration system, tire pressure monitoring, air conditioning with dual zone auto temp, tilt and telescoping steering column, power heated front seats, 60/40folding rear seat, radio with CD/MP3, uconnect –Sirius satellite service, steering wheel audio controls, front and rear reading lamps.

Gas Stats:

$2.59/ Gal avg. May 31, ‘09

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

16 City and 25 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $31,860.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X2 (738)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X2 wheel drive pick up truck. These days, even trucks deliver a great ride and this Ram was especially smooth. Only problem was it snowed while testing and me with a two wheel drive truck. And trucks without a load are light in the rear and that makes for really poor traction with snow on the ground. Obviously in California the light fluffy stuff is a rare sight and I would have never imagined needing a 4-wheel drive vehicle the week before Christmas. So much for the weather mans predictions.

This HEMI powered Ram is special and I haven’t heard such a great exhaust system in a long time. And although it isn’t reason enough to buy this Ram it adds so much to the feel of driving a truck. And the ride is cozy and luxurious, yet it is solid and an all man’s truck. It is still the top of the heap of large trucks and no one does it better in my opinion.

In today’s world lousy fuel economy is a real turn off, but some folks simply need a truck as I do for use around the ranch. I’ve hauled a load of about 2 tons of hay in my Ram 3500 dual wheel 4-wheel drive model. It has been invaluable over the years and like old faithful for 11 years it has racked up over 264,000 miles and I don’t intend on changing trucks any time soon.

General Info:

Parts –

Assembly – Fenton, Missouri, U.S.A.

Class:  – Standard Pick Ups

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Challenger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon & Viper.

Handling & Performance:

Smooth ride and HEMI 5.7 liter fast. But 2 wheel drive has its limitations.

Styling:

Uniquely Dodge.

Fit and Finish:

Solidly built and the feel is rugged and incorporates large heavy duty components.

Cost:

Consistent with the competition – and all are a little pricey for a truck. Trucks are among the more profitable products of any car maker.

Conveniences and comfort:

Luxurious ride and appointments make it nearly indistinguishable from a passenger car. But empty as truck owners know the ride tends to be a bit bumpy.

Consumer Recommendation:

I’ve tested them all and it is a difficult decision on which is the front runner in my mind. I truly like them all… but I bought a Dodge Ram when it came to having a truck for the work to be done around the ranch. If you are in the market you couldn’t be doing so at a better time. Dealers are dealing because prices are “Soft”.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Ram 1500 $21-44,000, Chevrolet Silverado $19-41,000, Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid $38-47,000, GMC Sierra 1500 $19-43,000, GMC Sierra Hybrid $38-48,000, Toyota Tundra $22-42,000, Honda Ridgeline $28-36,000, Ford F-150 $22-39,000, Nissan Titan $26-39,000.

Good News:

If you don’t like shopping, the field of competition is easy to negotiate. Smooth riding for a truck, great sounding exhaust system echoing the HEMI engine. Good range from bare bones to luxury ride. It couldn’t be a better time to buy a new truck, because prices are very soft.

Bad News:

A little pricey and the fuel consumption necessitates a 26 gallon tank.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter V8 HEMI engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, multi stage front air bags, supplemental side curtain front and rear air bags, electronic stability control, anti lock 4-wheel disc brakes, power rack and pinion steering, heavy duty engine cooling, remote start, cruise control, keyless entry, theft deterrent system, security alarm, tire pressure monitor system, variable intermittent wipers, dual zone temperature control, Sirius satellite radio with 1-year included, heated front seats with 10-way power driver seat and 6-way power passenger seat, 40/20/40 split bench seat, rear 60/40 split folding seat with under seat storage bins, leather wrapped heated steering wheel with audio controls and tilt column, 115 volt power outlet, rear power sliding window, temp and compass gauge and trip computer, 20” aluminum chrome wheels, auto halogen headlights, power fold away mirrors, fog lights, trailer tow wiring with 4-pin connector and 7-pin wiring harness.

Options:

Leather bucket seats, heated second row seats, ventilated front seats, park sense rear assist system, power sunroof, Class IV receiver hitch, Video entertainment system, SIRIUS back seat TV service – $4,380.

Gas Stats:

$1.85/ Gal avg. Jan, ‘09

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

14 City and 20 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $40,020 and with Options listed and delivery charges $45,000.

2009 Dodge Journey R/T (716)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2009 Dodge Journey R/T SUV. August pretty much marks the time when new model years hit the fleet and shortly after, the show rooms. As far back as I can remember that was always a big deal and exciting to go look at what was new… kinda like Springtime in the Fall. Re-birth and fresh and interesting new stuff to be amazed about.

But that was more then, when there was no Disneyland or Six Flags and in fact no freeways to get to those places or the adventurous trip to the beach. A Sunday drive in the family car was a thing to do. Not so today I fear since we’re jaded by all the truly amazing accomplishments the world has made beyond my childhood imagination. Today we’re in limbo or a holding pattern in the auto industry awaiting the launch of cars that are truly innovative and exciting. In fact we’re still waiting for the cars of the future that were unveiled at the LA Auto Show in the 1950s when I was a little guy.

Several years back I tested a car powered by Hydrogen. I’ve tested all electric car technology but not an air powered vehicle yet, but everything new has awakened visions of those early Auto Shows that really tickled the imagination. I surely didn’t think we’d have to wait this long.

On the other hand, Boston University’s Andrew Bacevich says in his book “The limits of Power”- an end of American Exceptionalism”, that we need to change our attitude of expectation. I interpret that to mean that he’s saying we need to acknowledge that our demand for material consumerism is part of our problem and that which is bankrupting our country. Our balance of trade is way out of whack and so it is important to consider supporting products made in the US no matter what they are. We’ve been warned over the past few decades and now it has come home to roost that we’re suffering because our demand for cheaper material goods is pushing their production to China among other exotic places. It is predicted that in a decade or so China will be manufacturing more cars than USA production. Wow.

Green is the buzz word now and Al Gore is an icon of the concept of melting ice. I have news for Al who’s made a quick fortune of $100 million since he left office when his net worth was $3.5 million. Brokering fear has indeed been profitable especially since too many experts disagree with his contention this warming trend is anything but normal cyclical changes of earth’s history. Al baby can’t save us no matter how much we buy into his game. But it does give him lots of money to pay for his private plane, big mansion and fleet of fuel inefficient cars, trucks, boats and all the trappings of wealth and power.

Staying informed about what the REAL people are doing is a good idea. One current topical source is the Green Car Journal. If you are not already subscribing to this periodical go to www.gcjusa.com and for $20 a year you can stay tuned to new technology. One of the interesting companies can be reached at UQM.com. Good stuff.

General Info:

Parts –  US/Canadian 35%. Mexico 54%, Engine and Transmission USA.

Assembly – Toluca, Mexico

Class:  – SUV

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Challenger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon & Viper.

Observation:

Green Car Journal Summer 2008 outlined 5 ways to cut your gas bill. Briefly the are: 1. less driving. 2. Slow down… significant savings is achieved by keeping speed around 60 mph rather than the current average speed of 80 mph in California, for example. 3. Avoid Jack Rabbit starts. 4. Use Regular instead of Premium grades. It is very unlikely you’ll notice major differences in performance, and I hate to mention this one but here goes: 5. Check your tire pressure and be sure they are properly inflated. The news is talking about this a lot and giggling about it but it’s no big deal. Under inflated tires wear faster and you’ll see the results in uneven wear as the outside of the tire will wear faster. If you over inflate those tires the abnormal wear will be in the center. It is most likely your tires are already properly inflated according to manufacturer’s specifications.

Handling & Performance:

Comfortable as expected from a car in this class, but not as lush as its big brother – Durango. Even so this smaller version still has lots of power when needed from a 235 hp V6 engine. It will do better on fuel as well.

Styling:

You’ll notice it looks a great deal like a minivan rather than an SUV, and if you put sliding doors on the sides the transformation would be complete. Smaller is getting better every day and accepted more as time passes and oil prices continue to make more efficient cars acceptable no matter how unattractive they become.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Closely priced competition and with an average of $25,000 there is a lot of value in today’s world. One has to wonder how much of the good pricing can be attributable to its assembly in Mexico, and how much cheaper it will be when made in China.

Conveniences and comfort:

You’ll notice some innovative stuff like under-seat storage and built in adjustment that provides raised child seating areas. Third row seating easily folds down for expansion of cargo area.

Consumer Recommendation:

A number of competitors in class is a good thing but that means your work is cut out for you in making a buying decision. I’ve tested them all and I don’t have any real favorites and it’s interesting that all have city mpg of 15-17, unless you’re interested in the Hybrid listed that gets double that fuel economy.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Journey $20-29,000, Chevrolet Trail Blazer $ n/a, Cheverlot Traverse $28-41,000, Saturn Vue $22-30,000, Saturn Outlook $29-35,000, GMC Acadia $31-40,000, Subaru Tribeca $30-34,000, Toyota Highlander $28-34,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $21-30,000, Mitsubishi Eneavor $28-31,000, Honda Pilot $28-40,000, Mercury Mariner Hybrid $29-31,000, Mercury Mariner $22-27,000, Mercury Mountaineer $ n/a, Suzuki XL7 $21-29,000, Ford Edge $26-33,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $29-43,000, Hummer H3 $32-42,000, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Nissan Murano $27-36,000, VW Touareg 2 $39-68,000.

Good News:

Great size with good seating, small enough to be more economical, comfy and competitive enough to buy American.

Bad News:

I’m waiting “Impatiently” for the real technological breakthroughs promised over half a century ago.

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 235 hp V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, multi stage front air bags, supplemental side curtain and front seat air bags, LATCH system, brake assist 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, Elect. Stability program, traction control, remote start system, performance steering and suspension, cruise control, keyless entry, theft deterrent system, security alarm, tire pressure monitor system, heated front seats with 6-way power driver seat, 2nd row 60/40 split fold flat seats w/ in floor storage bins, power windows, stereo w/ 6-in dash DVD / MP3 player, SIRIUS  satellite radio, climate control air conditioning, flip – n – stow front passenger storage, tilt and telescoping leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, leather wrapped shift knob, trip computer with temp and compass displays, dual glove boxes with upper chill zone.

Options:

Many options are available such as Sunroof, 19” chrome wheels, multimedia Entertainment center with video, 3rd row 50/50 seats and trailer tow group. This and more can run the price up by over $6,500.

Gas Stats:

$3.95/ Gal avg. August 25, ‘08

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

16 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $25,920 – With options $32,265.

2008 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab TRX4 (712)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2008 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab TRX4 4X4 pick up truck. Generally I like pickup trucks and have had several personally and own one now (extra large Dodge Ram Dual rear wheel Cummins Diesel with 265,000 miles, which is just broken in).  I especially like the mid-size like this Dakota and if I didn’t have a need for Large, it would be a mid-size for me.

The very first thing I had to do was hanging some clothes in the back seat and wondered what idiot placed the hangers above the rear window that totally blocks your rear view. That foo-paw wasn’t mitigated by the very thoughtful nooks and cranny’s provided for all those things we seem to need at our finger tips. They even considered a spot for a cell phone if you happen to have one of those skinny ones which I don’t. My Blackberry  that does everything with a large display 8830 wouldn’t fit.

I just love the new vibrant colors, Chrysler in particular, paint their cars and trucks. This one was a bright yellow that people would easily mistake for days of “Bay Watch” (more commonly referred to as ‘Babe’ Watch) and if there were a couple of Orange rescue floats hanging over the side and babes clad in similarly colored life guard suits … ok, I’m day dreaming again… but the point is this is a great youthful truck with a color that gives it a special life of its own. If you want boring colors a move to China, where you’d disappear into the masses and be invisible. In high school my 55 Ford pick up truck was painted a stock Turquoise Blue. You gotta love those bold innovative days when cars had personalities. Thanks Chrysler for being brave with design to bring back a rainbow to cheer up our lives.

General Info:

Parts –  US/Canadian 77%. Mexico Engine; Transmission US.

Assembly – Warren, Michigan USA

Class:  – Standard Pickup

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Challenger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon & Viper.

Observation:

I had to transport an open container with liquid in it and it occurred to me that is a good lesson on how we should drive. You find yourself following at a safe distance, you approach turns more carefully and then you notice traffic doesn’t really leave you in the dust anyway. You’ll burn less fuel too – life is good!

Handling & Performance:

I tested the 4.7 liter 302 hp V8, but unless you have a need for 0-60 in just over 7 seconds go for the 4X2 3.7 liter 210 hpV6 that will get one mpg better at 15-19.

Styling:

Typical Dodge tough image which is basically true, but if you look at the Nissan or Toyota trucks they are beefy too. Why? Because Dodge is. The US sets the pace and other runners fall in behind and rarely take the exhausting lead in design. Copy cats save a lot of energy and money, so as usual we Americans do the tough work and others benefit from our multi-cultural amazing machine. We have been leading the way in how things look and feel and function for over 100 years.

Fit and Finish:

Typical Dodge bulky, large gaps but neatly symmetrical. More finely assembled German and Japanese trucks are not necessary in a truck because they are built for the four letter word, ‘work’.

Cost:

The reason we cheerfully pay the price in this country without haggling is because we’ve been Americanized over the past few generations. And the reason isn’t that we’re more polite but rather I believe we’re simply amazed and thankful that anyone could build anything as cheaply as we have since Henry Ford production line. Thank you Henry Ford for the vision. Sure it seems obvious now, but everything does AFTER someone else has thought of it. Remember the old saying, “”Ever notice how much people know when you tell them something, and how little they know when you ask them something”?

For most uses this is the perfect size and if you don’t need a 4X4 the 4X2 with the 3.7 liter V6 will save you $3,000 on the initial purchase.

Conveniences and comfort:

If you want really back to basic, save money features you can even get crank / roll up windows that are rare in today’s world. The utility rails in the box are really great and I wouldn’t have a pick up without them.

Consumer Recommendation:

Lots to choose from but one has to wonder how long that will last. This class is perhaps the most profitable being made for all car companies and they have milked it to the hilt until someone decided to drive the price of oil up unnaturally. But this is a mid-size and that makes it a good option to a full size that is much more cumbersome. As soon as the people, we consumers, wise up and demand pumping domestically and cutting off mid east oil totally prices will drop quickly. Bottom line – don’t panic. But we should all work to demand more fuel efficient vehicles by some date, say ten years from now. If we can put men on the moon and return them safely we can do the same with renewable and clean energy. Where is JFK when you need a great leader?

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Dakota $20-32,000, Chevrolet Colorado $15-27,000, Isuzu Truck $18-28,000, Mitsubishi Raider $20-28,000, GMC Canyon $15-25,000, Mazda Truck $16-27,000, Toyota Tacoma $14-26,000, Mitsubishi Eneavor $28-31,000, Isuzu Ascender $27-29,000, Ford Ranger $14-24,000, Ford Explorer Sport Trac $25-31,000, Nissan Frontier $17-28,000.

Good News:

Comfortable, convenient crew cab, serviceable bed liner and utility tie down system.

Bad News:

Poorly thought out clothes hangers.

Standard Equipment:

4.7 liter 302 hp V8 engine, multi speed OD auto transmission, dual front air bags, tire pressure monitoring system, front disc and rear drum ABS brakes, utility tie down rails, trailer tow wiring w/ 4-pin connector, cruise control, anti-spin 3.92 ratio rear axle, HD rear shocks, HD engine cooling, 4-wheel drive, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates, 750 amp maintenance free battery, tow hooks, power steering, remote keyless entry with theft deterrent key system and security alarm, stereo with in-dash CD/MP3 player, SIRIUS satellite radio w/ 1 year service included, air conditioning, power windows and locks, variable intermittent wipers, 6-way power driver seat w/ stain resistant fabric, stow-n-go under seat storage, rear sliding window, power mirrors, full size spare tire, fog lights and dual position tail gate.

Options:

Trailer tow group including: larger fold away mirrors, Class IV receiver, 7-pin wiring, Extra security including: side curtain air bags F&R, Upgrade audio: 6 in-dash CD player, remote start system, 6-alpine speakers, 275 watt amplifier, leather wrapped steering wheel w/ audio controls, elect. Full-time transfer case, heated front seats, multi media system with GPS navigation, SIRIUS Traffic system and under rail box bed liner. $5,390.

Gas Stats:

$4.33/ Gal avg. July 18, ‘08

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

14 City and 19 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $29,745 – With options $35,825.

2008 Dodge Durango SUV (711)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2008 Dodge Durango SUV. Ok, so SUV’s are a dirty name in today’s world, but for many it is the best vehicle to service their need. Friend Merkel did a lot of research to buy a fuel efficient family vehicle for wife FJ and young sons David and Simon. That 4-seat need resulted in choosing the Toyota Yaris with consistent performance of 38 mpg for them over the past year. FJ was on the last Olympic equestrian team and her teaching requires a big truck and at diesel fuel prices it is very costly to drive, but necessary for all the gear and pulling a horse trailer. In short, there is a need beyond “Want” that justifies individuals owning larger gas hogs.

Meanwhile Toyota will begin manufacturing the Prius in the US as soon as it is able to adjust its facilities to that production – they say about 3 months. With the slow down in truck based products all car makers will replace gas guzzlers with the growing demand for a shift to smaller cars. You likely are beginning to see the Smart Car on US highways and the shift will grow from here on out. Gas prices will not allow us to drive what we want to any longer as long as fanatic ecologists fight against smart energy like Nuclear and domestic pumping of oil estimated at a reserve of over 200 years worth in the ground. There should be a balance and those passionate ecology fighters should be placing their energy on pushing wind and other earth friendly sources of energy while we provide more domestic oil to refineries.

General Info:

Parts –  US/Canadian 75%. Mexico Engine; Transmission US.

Assembly – Newark, Delaware, USA

Class:  – SUV

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Challenger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon & Viper.

Observation:

e-mails I’ve received by many exclaim foreign oil use is simply “fueling” the anti American war machine. How could our leaders and “Real” Americans allow this to happen? With oil sands and shale in the US as touted by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer we have all the oil we need for a very long time. Link follows:  http://www.business.mt.gov/govsenergypage.asp.

People tell me they are mad as hell that we over regulate every segment of our economy that seeks to delay developing alternate fuel technologies. True enough.

The minority puts great energy into fighting against off shore drilling, a teensy weensy part of Alaskan oil fields or anywhere there is an insect, bird, fish or plant that might be inconvenienced. Yet when farmers begin to switch to turning our valuable corn crops into

Bio fuel they don’t really care that the price of consumable corn takes food off tables.

Handling & Performance:

If power is important the 5.7 liter HEMI option will do the trick. 0-60 in about 7 seconds. A 4.7 liter 303 hp V8 is standard. But that power is available with fair fuel economy performance for such a big vehicle because of the Multi Displacement System (MDS) where it runs on 4 of the 8 cylinders when all 8 are not needed on the highway.

I won’t say this is a porpoise but remember the big Buick Road Master – that we lovingly referred to as a road hog. Well this reminds me of the rolling ride of yesteryear, like the shocks were shot.

Styling:

Typical design with Dodge tough guy look. It is interesting that you must be stopped to use the nav system but finding a radio station is far more difficult yet equally as distracting. I have a suggestion – put knobs back on radios.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding, thanks to Daimler Chrysler ownership days and influence.

Cost:

Very good for serviceability level of this versatile vehicle with an exceptional features list. Once again you can save $3,000 by opting out of the Nav system and buy a portable version from Garmin or even Tom-Tom.

Conveniences and comfort:

Outstanding array of things that make life easier. The tire pressure monitor system has alerted me to impending problems on many occasions that often result in being able to take care of a problem before it hit me.

Consumer Recommendation:

There are lots of reasons why a larger vehicle is needed for many family functions. And you will have to be creative in how you travel. Your commute may mean driving a short way to the Metro Link for public transportation and save the difference in fuel cost back to the days when it was half today’s prices.

Above all, don’t panic, thinking you have to give up the big family car, truck or SUV. Just go out and buy another for those times when you don’t need that big car. I suggest you look closely at the Smart Car, Yaris and ask your Chevy dealer when the Volt will be available.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Durango $27-38,000, Chevrolet Trail Blazer $28-38,000, Buick Rainier $32-34,000, Saturn Outlook $29-33,000, GMC Envoy $28-37,000, Subaru Tribeca $30-34,000, Toyota 4Runner $28-39,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $21-30,000, Mitsubishi Eneavor $28-31,000, Isuzu Ascender $27-29,000, Suzuki XL7 $21-29,000, Ford Explorer $26-37,000, Jeep Commander $28-43,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $29-43,000, Mazda CX-9 $29-35,000, Kia Sorento $21-26,000, Nissan Pathfinder $26-39,000.

Good News:

Robust features list, lots of convenience and space, built Dodge tough with power to spare, Multi Displacement engine for better fuel economy and not the least of which is this vehicle is made in the USA.

Bad News:

More complicated than necessary radio controls.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter HEMI multi displacement 335 hp V8 engine, 5-speed auto trans, electronic stability, 4-wheel Antilock disc brakes, front and side curtain air bags, back up camera, tire pressure monitoring system, battery run down protection, variable intermittent wiper/washers front and rear, power lift gate, 27 gal. Fuel tank, air conditioning, rear air conditioning and heating, computer information, reclining 40/20/40 second row seating, overhead console, memory settings for radio, driver seat and mirrors and air, security alarm, remote keyless entry, power windows, power adjustable pedals with memory, power heated front seats with memory, cruise control, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, illuminate vanity mirrors in visors, multimedia system, SIRIUS Satellite radio w/ 1 year included, auto headlights, heated mirrors.

Options:

Technology group with GPS nav system, remote start system, hands free communications, Trailer Tow group w/ 4 & 7 pin harness’s, 4-wheel drive – $3,125.

Gas Stats:

$4.41/ Gal avg. July 11, ‘08

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

13 City and 18 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $37,215 – With options $41,160.

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Limited Edition (710)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Limited Edition. Hearts will be breaking all over the world for those who want one and can’t have one. And I have to tell you I didn’t want to give this one back.

Well, what can you say? This is a very special car and it draws attention where ever you go. And why not. It is different in today’s world. It is Retro so it will also have huge following from all my friends from the 1970’s, as the Model A Ford sedan or 1957 Chevrolet I owned back in High School and beyond. Our youth then was somehow better because of the cars that embellished our lives. They came before girls. Go figure. And now that we’re older cars have once again taken top spot on our “Hit Parade”. You know what I mean! Of course you do.

Jay Leno has a great piece on this latest addition to his car collection at www.jaylenosgarage.com. Take a look and see his 1970 Challenger and the new 2008 version. My question to Jay is – Why the black one. The Orange is Awesome.

People looked at and admired this car whether young or old. I didn’t quite understand that except you have to assume the young admirers were attracted because the style of that era cars were memorable and compared to the cookie cutter computer generated cars of today they expressed art and style only a human can envision.

Traveling down the highway elicits every manner of interest including simple head turning, thumbs up, cameras out the window and great big smiles. People’s comments included awesome, cool, beautiful, love the color, whose car is this? is it out yet?, how much is it, and on and on.

A Mercedes Benz owner pulled over as I parked and was so impressed he was certain he’d add this to his small stable instead of the soon to be released Camaro. He was ok with the price, but I have to tell you this will sell well over sticker.

Friend Peter did a photo shoot for the Norwegian magazine AmeriCar. Der neue Dodge Challenger unter 20.000 Euro. Take a look see at  http://www.americar.de/inside/inside_artikel/id=152. Then we did another for V8 Magazine in Findland. They will be sad to hear that this limited edition may only allow a couple of them to be sent over there. They are huge fans of the American Muscle Car as are most in the world.

General Info:

Parts –  US/Canadian; engine: Mexico, transmission: Germany.

Assembly – Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Class:  – Large Cars

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Challenger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon & Viper.

Handling & Performance:

If you have a need for speed as I often do this Challenger will impress every racing bone in your body. It will be as natural a high as you can get legally. Acceleration G force pins you back in the seat as you feel 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds. The Crest test delivered lots of fun and no Highway Patrol interruptions. I wish those guys would tell me when they’re going to be there. Then I could take my cars over another secret route over the San Gabriel Mountains. It has a solid tight ride that is light years ahead and better than any car of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Styling:

This is reminiscent of my Happy Days experiences and conjures up visions of Dukes of Hazard Sitcom which featured a 1969 Charger but this Challenger looks more like General Lee than the Charger Retro of 2007. It truly represents an American Muscle Car Tradition – and now that Daimler sold Chrysler back to an American company it is again an American product. Thanks to the design folks who did themselves proud to present us with such a great classic at this time of boring “Robo-Cars”. “I never felt more proud to be an American”, and I’m not even running for office.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost:

Not likely to sell at sticker price and you can bet the sales price will find its level based on supply and demand.

Conveniences and comfort:

All good stuff, and no comment needed here since buyers of this car won’t make a buying decision based on what creature comforts it has.

Consumer Recommendation:

From my youth to today’s youth everyone, including the lady buyers, loves this car. Don’t wait, if you’re interested, because it can only go up in price. Of the recognized competition the Mustang, of course, is the closest competitor and I suspect if you’re interested in this Challenger you’ll want to test drive the Ford Mustang.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Challenger $37-39,000, Chevrolet Corvette $46-78,000, Mercedes Benz CLK Class $46-90,000, Pontiac G8 $27-29,000, Ford Mustang $20-32,000, Mazda RX-8 $26-32,000, Chrysler 300 $25-42,000, Nissan 350Z $29-41,000.

Good News:

Beautiful, awesome, great color, fast and definitely fun to drive. This will get your heart started and give you a jolt from time to time.

Bad News:

“Green”? What green? And you can be sure this won’t be purchased as a commuter or those seeking fuel economy.

Standard Equipment:

6.1 liter 420 hp HEMI SRT V8 engine, 5-speed automatic trans with Autostick, 20” aluminum wheels, carbon fiber hood stripe, multistage air bags with side curtain front and rear, electronic stability control, all-speed traction control, 4-wheel ABS Brembo performance disc brakes, keyless system with push button starter button, cruise control, rear window defroster, air conditioning, power 8-way driver seat, halogen headlights, fog lights, heated leather seating, 13 speaker Kicker SRT high performance audio system with 6-disc DVD MP3 and 322 watt amplifier and 200 watt subwoofer and SIRIUS satellite radio including 1 year service, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, manual lumbar support front seats, rear 60/40 folding seat, tilt / Telescopic steering column, power windows, vehicle information and trip computer, illuminated vanity mirror visors, power heated mirrors, Hands free communication and auto dimming mirror.

Gas Stats:

$4.50/ Gal avg. June 18, ‘08

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

13 City and 18 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $37,320 – With gas guzzler tax $39,470.

2008 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Quad 4X4 (685)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the very versatile 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Quad 4X4. On a ranch trucks like this are commonplace because they are a necessity and not just cool to have. These are workhorses and when you’re hauling horses and hay and all the other stuff you’ll need for the lifestyle even the lousy fuel economy is a secondary consideration.

I asked Glenn how much fuel he burned in his 39 foot motor home from Medford to Los Angeles and the number is staggering at nearly $500 at today’s prices. Or, about 70 cents a mile. But that’s the cost of moving his entire home so fuel consumption is very relative.

You may recall several weeks ago I tested the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LTZ Crew Cab with a 6.0 liter engine and is direct competition to this Dodge Ram. I found that model to be quieter and smoother in ride and engine vibration.

General Info:

Parts – n/a

Assembly – US & Saltillo, Mexico

Class:  – Special Purpose

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon.

Handling & Performance:

It doesn’t get much better for pulling a horse trailer and all your tack, feed and kids with their dirt bikes. It pulls all that with ease. But you don’t need the 6.7 liter turbo diesel to do that… it just gives that margin of performance I like to have.

Styling:

The look and feel telegraphs the image of one tough truck. The Japanese are making strides at penetrating this big truck market but there is no doubt it will be an uphill climb. They know how much styling plays a role in what Americans like in their trucks, but 100 years of tradition of devotees to Ford, GM and Chrysler isn’t dead. In fact I believe most will reject the off shore invasion of the Asian car and truck competition and we’ll look to the familiar All American Truck icon that is not American buying them helps your cousin, uncle, brothers and sisters with a stronger economy here at home. Think about that when you consider buying Japanese trucks in today’s world. Style also means preserving our own Lifestyle.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding – let’s face it, US ingenuity and world leading technology has made American made cars and trucks every bit as good as intense cheaper labor in Asia.

No longer do we have to apologize for our US auto makers.

Cost:

Since I’d have to take out a second on my house to buy most trucks today I’d likely borrow a little extra so I could have the Cummins Turbo Diesel. And the added loan on the mortgage for the second largest of asset acquisitions makes total sense to do just that… unless of course they are giving no interest financing on the truck. The last company purchase we made was a Ford F-350 and that’s exactly what Ford financing did, so you should check that out first.

Conveniences and comfort:

As I mentioned above if you are an out-of-doors family this truck does it all, in style.

Consumer Recommendation:

There are a limited number of players in this class so you will surely want to test them all even if you don’t care for the brand. You may change your mind.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Ram 2500 $35-39,000,  $27-31,000, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD $24-40,000, Ford F-250 Super Duty $23-38,000, GMC Sierra 2500 HD $24-40,000.

Good News:

Perfect size, tough, very versatile and lots of torque to tote the entire family and all the gear, in style.

Bad News:

Poor fuel economy in a world of quickly rising gas prices.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 345 hp V8 engine, 6-speed automatic trans, 34 gallon fuel tank, sentry key theft deterrent system, security alarm, power steering, tire pressure monitor/signal, multistage air bags, HD engine cooling, 4-wheel power ABS disc brakes, power adjustable pedals, 600 amp maintenance free battery, air conditioning, tilt column, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, rear power sliding window, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, stereo with CD player, SIRIUS satellite radio with 1 year fee included, heated front seats, 6-way power front seats, rear 60/40 split fold down seat with storage compartment beneath, trailer tow wiring 4 pin connector, power heated fold away mirrors, full size spare, cargo and fog lights, 17” chrome aluminum wheels with all season tires.

Optional:

6.7 liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, O/H console, diesel exhaust brake, tow hooks, 750 amp battery upgrade ($6,100), leather seating ($490), DVD based GPS Nav system with 6-CD / MP3 changer, ($1,895) and power sunroof ($850) – other ($1,025)

Gas Stats:

$3.95/ Gal avg. Diesel fuel – January 12, ‘08

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

(no data) City and  Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $39,315 – With options noted above $49,675.

2007 Dodge Charger RT RWD with Hemi power. (684)

General Info:
Parts –  US/Canadian 72%. Engine Mexico, Transmission from Germany.
Assembly – Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Class:  – Large Cars
Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum,
Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon & Viper.

“An Automotive Love Affair”
By Joseph Mavilia       2007 Dodge Charger RT RWD with Hemi power.

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2007 Dodge Charger RT rear wheel drive with
Hemi powered awesome performance. It is a retro car reminiscent of the
muscle cars of the past. It will surely be a hit with nostalgia buffs and
the young car buyers are excited about this tough and great looking sedan.
Son Mike is impressed and says “Dad, should I buy the Charger or Sister
Jenny’s used Acura TL with 70,000 miles on it”.

Boy that’s a tough one Mike. In all honesty I had to say spend $18 grand for
the used Acura rather than pay $35,000 plus for the new Dodge. Friend Merkel
who used to be an engineer for Chrysler agreed. Mike’s wife Lindsey
disagreed and thought the Charger would be the better choice. Mike still has
his first car, a 1967 Camaro, so I know the Charger is more exciting to a
young man. You know – macho kind of car and a guy thing.

Handling & Performance:

Awesome power and it handles well. Standard is a 3.5 liter 250-horsepower V6
or the 5.7-liter 340-horsepower HEMI and finally the 6.1-liter
425-horsepower HEMI.

Styling:

Retro back to the 1960s but very much today and 4 doors that are now
acceptable, even in a muscle car. Remember when kids wouldn’t think of
owning a 4-door because it was what our parents drove – not a cool kid car.
I guess the youth of today is much more grounded than we were. Or is it the
4-doors of today are better designed? Fact is today’s car buyer wants 4-door
utility to go along with strong acceleration and a sporty ride and handling,
according to Dodge marketing, that is.

Fit and Finish:

Very good attention to detail and it earns an 8 out of 10 for me.

Cost:

In this class the prices range widely and for a family sedan that has some
pizzazz the competition is still rather stiff.

Conveniences and comfort:

Well endowed, but of course no free lunch here. It is at the higher end of
the price schedule in spite of the heavy list of features.

Consumer Recommendation:

Charger is definitely youth oriented in all respects. I like the Cad CTS for
a bit more money but there is something for everyone in this class. 65% of
buyers are expected to be Male – 40-59 with $75,000 median annual income,
and 75% of those are expected to have older children.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Charger $20-34,000, Toyota Camry $19-21,000, Nissan Maxima $23-24,000,
Cadillac CTS $28-40,000, Ford Five Hundred $18-21,000, Honda Accord
$17-22,000, Infiniti M $37-48,000, Mazda 6 $17-20,000, Chrysler 300
$21-37,000, Lexus GS $40-47,000, Hyundai Sonata $14-15,000.

Good News:

Very nice styling, roomy, powerful, good handling and fun to drive.

Bad News:

Questionable quality issues cited by some colleagues, not paying attention
to the “Green” movement for better fuel economy, high trunk opening.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 340 hp HEMI Multi displacement V8 engine, 5-speed automatic trans
with Autostick, performance exhaust, 18″ aluminum wheels, touring
suspension, power rack and Pinion steering, multistage air bags, 4-wheel ABS
disc brakes, traction control, electronic Stability Program, Power
adjustable pedals, rear window defroster, halogen headlights, fog lights,
power accessory delay, leather seating, 8-way power driver seat, lumbar
support front seats, rear 60/40 folding seat, air conditioning, tilt /
Telescopic steering column, keyless entry, power windows and speed sensitive
power locks, SIRIUS Satellite radio with one year service, stereo with CD
player and 6 Boston acoustics speakers, theft deterrent, illuminated vanity
mirror visors, power heated mirrors.
Optional: auto headlights, dual zone auto temp control, power – heated front
seats ($1,006), DVD based GPS navigation system w/ 6 CD/MP3 changer
($1,895), Hands free communication and auto dimming mirror ($360), Chrome
aluminum wheels ($625).

Gas Stats:

$3.28/ Gal avg. January 9, ’08
www.fueleconomy.gov <http://www.fueleconomy.gov>
for more information.

17 City and 25 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $30,515 – With options noted above $35,075.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
<mailto:joe@atthewheel.com>
Copyright (c) 2007 – An Automotive Love Affair

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (683)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the very versatile 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Swivel ‘n Go minivan. This is the epitome in family vans that provides the best of easy stowing of seats for great cargo space. Then when you travel the family theme provides a table and swivel the 2nd row seats for up to 5 seating around the table for games, snacks or whatever. Or you can leave the seats in the normal positions with multiple video screens overhead. So much for boring “are we there yet” comments from the peanut gallery. In fact if they are still bored stop the car and let them out because they are hopelessly spoiled brats.

When we were kids we had to endure a long journey from the back seat without iPods, game boys, DVD players for current movies and cell phones to keep us occupied. Of course I’m not sure that was all that bad. We had to rely on family interaction with road games kids today have little interest in or time to enjoy. I think I’d have to go with the old except I want to keep my cell phone and the Nav system.

General Info:

Parts –  US/Canadian 73%

Assembly – Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Class:  – Special Purpose

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van and Wagon.

Handling & Performance:

0-60 at about 9 seconds out of 251 horsepower that pulled the Crest mountain course with ease. I found myself passing traffic because it was smooth and responsive. And because these minivans are low to the ground there is much less tipping sensation than high profile SUVs.

Styling:

Creative thought for the most innovative and versatile of minivans today. Next thing you know they’ll put pull outs and overhead bunks. I suspect I could do without the power seat stowing feature however even though there is a manual over-ride in cash you lose power.

Fit and Finish:

Very good – an 8 on scale of 1-10. I hope the quality remains with the new ownership of Chrysler now apart from Daimler / Mercedes Benz control and influence. Time will tell.

Cost:

MSRP is good and options make this truly a great family van for the 21st century.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very creative Swivel 2nd row seats with table for interaction with 3rd row passengers. Games, coloring book, snack table etc., all quite convenient. All the entertainment system options make this van hard to beat.

Consumer Recommendation:

Great family vehicle with outstanding features for any occasion and use. You’ll fall in love with this versatile minivan.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Grand Caravan $22-27,000, Buick Terraza $27-31,000, Saturn Relay$22-28,000, Nissan Quest $24-34,000, Mercury Monterey $28,595, Ford Freestar $20-30,000, Honda Odyssey $26-39,000, Kia Sedona $21-26,000, Chevrolet Uplander $21-29,000, Chrysler Town & Country $22-36,000, Toyota Sienna $24-38,000, Hyundai Entourage $24-30,000.

Good News:

Great family van, decent fuel economy, powerful, handles well with lots of entertainment options for the traveling family, 2nd row seats swivel 180 degrees to face the 3rd row seats.

Bad News:

2nd row seats must be removed if extra cargo area needed.

Standard Equipment:

4.0 liter 251 hp V6 engine, 6-speed auto trans, front multistage airbags, all rows side curtain air bags, child anchor system, brake assist ABS 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability program, power adjustable pedals, tire pressure monitor, variable intermittent wipers front and rear, air conditioning with 3 zone control, rear seat A/C controls, 8-way power drivers seat, 2nd row stow and go seating with 3rd row 60/40 split bench, power windows and locks front and 2nd row with power vents in 3rd row, remote keyless entry with engine immobilizer, tilt steering column, cruise control, audio system with CD/ MP3 with 6 speakers, leather wrapped steering wheel, overhead storage and console, removable front console, steering wheel audio controls.

Optional Equipment:

Custom package with Swivel and go removable second row seating with center table, heated front seats, dual DVD entertainment system with multimedia features and 2nd and 3rd row O/H 8” video screens with DVD players, wireless headphones, video remote control, 9 infinity speakers with subwoofer, back seat TV and digital radio, 20 gb disc drive, single disc DVD player, Sirius (1 year service) power lift gate, security group with alarm, UConnect hands free communication, 17” aluminum wheels – $7290. Trailer tow wiring harness, load leveling and height control, heavy duty engine cooling and radiator and transmission oil cooler – $600. Leather seating, power passenger seat – $1,130. Power folding 3rd row seat – $595. Navigation system $1,300.

Gas Stats:

$3.25/ Gal avg. December 28, ‘07

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

16 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $26,805 – With options noted above $39,305.