Chrysler

Given Chrysler's history that dates back to the 1920s, and the name itself being associated as one of America's “Big Three” automakers, you'd think that the Chrysler brand would have a lot of cars in its lineup. The truth is, however, that while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is considered a main player, Chrysler itself hardly exists. Over the years, its lineup has continued to get smaller and smaller, and today, the company sells just two models – a minivan and a large sedan. If it wasn't for the Chrysler name being part of FCA's nomenclature, Chrysler would probably be belly up right now. It does consider its self somewhat of an “entry-level luxury automaker.” While this may be true to some extent, and its higher-trimmed models can compete with more luxurious offerings on the market, Chrysler isn't exactly a popular brand these days. It even goes so far as to consider the Pacifica Hybrid as a standalone model so that it has at least 3 models in its lineup.

2016 New York International Auto Show – Worst In Show

2016 New York International Auto Show – Worst In Show

Five debuts better left on the truck

Meeting the high standards of a major international auto show is not easy. It takes creativity, an appropriately sized budget, and no small measure of polish. When it all comes together, the result is a beautiful thing to behold. A single model can shed light on an entire brand, sparking passion and lust in every corner of the automotive universe. We’ll cover those drool-makers in an upcoming Best In Show piece, but this article hits the other side of the spectrum – the monotonous, the poorly conceived, and the yawn-worthy.

This time around, our list of Worst In Show has a theme – special editions that aren’t that special. The 2016 New York International Auto Show was chock full of ‘em this year, so we collected some of the worst offenders for a little collective disdain.

Enjoy!

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Chrysler 300S Sport Appearance Packages

2017 Chrysler 300S Sport Appearance Packages

Chrysler shows off two new appearance packages for the 300S at the New York Auto Show

Chrysler takes a lot of pride in its flagship 300 sedan. When it comes to the 300S, the S really tricks you into thinking it’s a more powerful version of the 300, but in reality, it’s just a darker take on the 300 Sedan. When it was first introduced, the 300S featured a blacked out grille, tinted headlights, black window moldings, and some black trim inside. In 2014, the 300S was upgraded to include a new Ambassador Blue interior and Beats by Dr. Dre audio system.

Now that the New York Auto Show has kicked off, Chrysler has dropped a new variant of the 300S that incorporates an Interior Sport Appearance Package and an Exterior Sport Appearance Package. The 300S V-8 model comes standard with the packages, and they are available as options on the boring V-6 variant. Tim Kuniskis, the Head of Passenger Car Brands for Dodge, SRT, and FCA of North America, said, “The new 2017 Chrysler 300S re-excites the passion of what owning an American flagship sedan is about." He continued, “And now for our Chrysler enthusiasts, two all-new sport appearance packages that take the 300S model’s athletic styling and appointments to the next level.”

In all honesty, these packages are nothing more than an extension of the 300S’ dark ambiance, but it’s worth a quick look to go over the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chrysler 300S Sport Appearance Packages.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

FCA’s new minivan might revive the segment

FCA has officially pulled the covers off its completely redesign minivan, sporting all new look, a vastly improved interior, and a slew of new technology, entertainment, and safety features – all riding on an all new platform. It’s so new in fact, FCA calls it the Pacifica. Gone is the Town & Country name along (with what FCA hopes) is the stigma about driving a minivan.

It’s no secret Chrysler basically invented the minivan segment back in the 1990s. The 1990 Town & Country revolutionized family travel, combining the space and versatility of the then-popular full size van with a car-like driving characteristic wrapped in a medium-sized package. Thirty years later, the minivan is suffering against the crossover SUV with young, hip parents choosing style over functionality – refusing to “give up” and buy a mommy-mobile.

It’s also blatantly obvious FCA is shooting for the moon with hopes of erasing that stigma of minivans. The new 2017 Pacifica wears a very attractive face, welcomes passengers with an upscale interior, and even offers a hybrid version that appeals to the eco-friendly crowd.

Will the Pacifica be enough to reignite the minivan segment? Perhaps. Chrysler has typically ran the segment, even in recent years with its aging Town & Country. Honda, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota offer highly competitive products, though none seem on the same level as the Pacifica. If any automaker has the chance to impact minivan sales, it’s FCA.

Update 03/21/2016: Chrysler announced the 2017 Pacifica will come with a pre-installed User Guide Application within the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system that helps guide users in learning their vehicle. It’s basically a digital copy of the owner’s manual.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

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FCA Looking For Partner To Build Dart And 200 Sedan

FCA Looking For Partner To Build Dart And 200 Sedan

Fresh hope for FCA’s sedans

In January 2016, FCA’s Sergio Marchionne announced that both the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 will be axed, as the company is looking to focus its resources to building more trucks and SUVs. You know, the kind of vehicles that bring bigger profits. The decision was far from surprising in the case of the Dart, a slow-selling car that has lost its appeal years ago, but unexpected for the 200. Sure, sales have declined shortly after the sedan went into production, but unlike the Dart, the 200 has received an extensive makeover for the 2015 model year. One that Chrysler was very proud of, being described as the car that "lays the groundwork for the future of the brand" and a model to become the "new benchmark for midsize sedans."

Two months have passed and it appears that Marchionne changed his mind about both vehicles and the brand is looking for a partner "who is better at it than we are and who has got capacity available" to continue building the Dart and 200. In other words, FCA wants to have the sedans built in another company’s facility, just like Mercedes-Benz has the G-Class manufactured by Magna Steyr in Austria and Toyota has the Scion iA made by Mazda in Mexico.

"There are discussions going on now," Marchionne said at the Geneva Motor Show. "I think we will find a solution. We continue to talk. It’s both a technical solution and an economic one. We need to find a solution that works economically."

If this happens, the Dart and 200 won’t be the first FCA vehicles to be built by partners. The

Miata

based Fiat 124 Spider is assembled by Mazda, while the ProMaster City van is manufactured in a join-venture plant in Turkey shared with its

Fiat

badged Doblo twin.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition

2016 Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition

The Chrysler 300S just got more sophisticated thanks to its new Alloy Edition package.

Launched in 2011, the second-generation Chrysler 300 received a facelift for the 2015 model year. The update brought a much larger grille, revised LED headlamps, a sportier rear end,and higher-quality materials on the inside. However, the facelifted second-gen 300 also came with a bit of bad news, as Chrysler decided to discontinue the Hemi-powered SRT model. Although the beefed-up sedan did get a similar refresh, Pentastar decided to sell it only in markets such as Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

With a third-generation model set to arrive sometime in 2017, you’d be tempted to think that the current 300 will be left to go out of production without much hubbub. Fortunately, Chrysler won’t let that happen just yet and the 300S Alloy Edition that’s scheduled to break cover at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show is proof that the full-size four-door is alive and kicking.

Available on the 300S trim with all-wheel drive and a choice of two drivetrains, the 300S Alloy Edition will be launched alongside a similar version of the smaller 200S.

“Chrysler brand embodies Detroit style, and our new 200S and 300S Alloy Editions are a perfect meld of our engineering innovation and craftsmanship, forged with cutting-edge colors and materials inspired by the Motor City’s ingenuity and creativity,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands of FCA North America.

Updated 02/16/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check the "Pictures" tab to see them.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition.

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2016 Chrysler 200S Alloy Edition

2016 Chrysler 200S Alloy Edition

Chrysler is offering a special edition 200S that will be available this spring.

Just a week after the world found out that Chrysler was dropping the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200, Chrysler announced the “Alloy Edition” of the soon-to-be-discontinued 200 sedan. It’s slated to debut next to the 300S Alloy Edition at the Chicago Auto Show this month, showcasing some unique accenting that includes a dark bronze and titanium finish inside and out.

In the press release announcing the 200S Allow Edition, Tim Kuniskis – the Head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA – said, “Chrysler brand embodies Detroit style, and our new 200S and 300S Alloy Editions are a perfect meld of our engineering innovation and craftsmanship, forged with cutting-edge colors and materials inspired by the Motor City’s ingenuity and creativity.”

Of course, one has to remember that the death warrant for the 200S has already been written, so even though Chrysler feels the 200S is an “athletically striking sedan with coupe-like proportions and a timeless look,” it’s not going to be around for long. So, will this new Special Edition be enough to increase sales and save the model from going down as a total flop? Well, probably not, but let’s take a look at what makes it special.

Updated 02/16/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check the "Pictures" tab to see them.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chrysler 200S Alloy Edition.

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Ralph Gilles Sketches A Possible Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat

Ralph Gilles Sketches A Possible Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat

Gilles shows his skills with crayon and paper

Let’s be honest, the minivan segment has pretty much fizzled away, much like the station wagon did a while back. With the invention of the crossover and the drop in the price of gasoline in recent years, the desire for larger, gas-sucking family haulers is going stronger than ever. The minivan segment refuses to die, however, as a few manufacturers are still pushing the hope that soccer moms everywhere will continue to persuade their husbands into keeping a minivan in the driveway. That was made pretty clear earlier this month when FCA pulled to covers off of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

What if the minivan became more of a “guy’s ride,” though? Would it revive the minivan segment and drive up sales in an otherwise struggling segment? Well, FCA’s Head of Design, Ralph Gilles, has apparently been wondering that himself. Just a couple days ago, the man behind FCA’s design team sat down for dinner and ended up sketching his vision of what a Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat would look like with nothing more than a crayon and some brown paper.

Looking at his Instagram post, where the sketch went public two days ago, the idea has been pretty well accepted by a lot of his followers. Comments like “This needs to be a thing!,” “This has SEMA written all over it. Do it do it,” and “Oh I beg you to make it” fill the comments section below the post that, at the time of this writing, has more than 650 likes. It is no indication that a 707-horsepower minivan is in the works by any means, but now that we’ve seen the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee testing, there is no telling what might come next.

Continue reading for the full story.

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FCA Prepares To Kill Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200

FCA Prepares To Kill Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200

Decline in sales and shifting consumer demand triggered FCA’s decision to cut ties with both models

Fiat-Chrysler is embarking on a new adventure as part of an updated five-year business plan that CEO Sergio Marchionne outlined in a recent presentation with investors. As with most updates of this type, changes have been made in the direction of the company and two models, the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200, have become unwitting casualties.

According to Marchionne, FCA will begin focusing its energy and resources into building more trucks and utility vehicles in response to what he describes as a “permanent shift in demand” in the market. Unfortunately for both the Dart and the 200, the pedestrian sales numbers of both cars made them expendable and with no signs in the horizon of both models improving their appeal to the public. FCA is now preparing its shovels for the two vehicles arguably untimely deaths.

With the Dart and the 200 out of the picture, FCA can realign its facilities to accommodate the production of more Jeep and Ram models. The company’s plants in Illinois where the Dart and the 200 were being built will now be used to increase the production of the Jeep Cherokee and Ram 1500.

It’s an ignominious exit for both models, especially for the Dart, which only returned to the automotive scene in 2012 after not being around since 1976. Dodge even had huge plans for the model at the time of its supposed comeback, even going so far as building numerous race and concept variants. But with the model turning out to be a sales dud, parent company FCA has deemed it – and the 200 – as baggage that it doesn’t want to carry moving forward.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Chrysler has made a massive splash at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with its all-new Pacifica minivan. Slated to replace the long-tooth Town & Country minivan for the 2017 model year, the Pacifica boasts several innovations on top of its good looks and swanky new interior. Leading headlines is the hybrid version. Not only is this a first for Chrysler, but it’s the first hybrid system found in a minivan.

The addition of the hybrid powertrain should help Chrysler clinch sales. The hybrid market is growing, but the choices of vehicles is limited. Families growing out of their Prius or Volt should find the Pacifica’s available eight-passenger seating most spacious. FCA is quick to point out the addition of the hybrid’s batteries does not impede interior space or cargo room. Sadly though, hybrid owners will have to give up their Stow n’ Go second-row seats.

Chrysler spent considerable attention to the Pacifica’s new looks. The minivan ditches the old, tired looks of the outgoing Town & Country for something more modern and fresh. The corporate design language is clearly seen in the front while everything rearward enjoys all new shapes. This is done in hopes of lessening the stigma of driving a minivan. The crossover SUV segment is hot these days, driven by people who don’t want to be seen as a professional parent. The Pacifica might not single handedly change that, but it should win over a handsome number of buyers.

Let’s dive into what makes the Pacifica Hybrid tick and its differences from the standard Pacifica.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

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Chrysler Reveals "Arsenal of Democracy" Documentary: Video

Chrysler Reveals "Arsenal of Democracy" Documentary: Video

It was early in 1940 when the U.S. government approached Chrysler with its need to build military equipment on a massive scale to help the war effort in Europe. Nazi Germany was growing more powerful and president Franklin D. Roosevelt challenged America to help its allies. He said in a poignant speech over radio broadcast that the U.S. should become the “arsenal of democracy.”

At first, Chrysler concentrated on tanks, namely the M3 Grant. The government helped build an assembly plant in Warren, Michigan just outside Detroit. The large facility soon began building a newer model of tank, the M4 Sherman, by 1942. Then other machinery including trucks, deck guns for ships, and airplane parts followed.

It’s important to remember that most of Chrysler’s build-up happened before the U.S. ever entered the war, prompted by Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Before that point, much of the U.S. wanted to remain neutral in the war, only agreeing to help its allies with supplies.

However, once fully engaged in war on two fronts, the U.S. pulled itself out of the Great Depression by mass production on a scale not seen before or since. Chrysler alone built 25 percent of America’s tanks for the war effort, pumping out more than 25,000 units by the war’s end in 1945.

This short documentary of Chrysler’s war efforts is a wonderful bit of history that’s definitely worth your time.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mopar Launches "Complete 360" Vehicle Protection Plan

Mopar Launches "Complete 360" Vehicle Protection Plan

Mopar Vehicle Protection is the official service contract division of Chrysler and recently, MVP has launched a number of new vehicle protection plans designed to provide customers with unmatched benefits and protection. The plans, collectively called the Mopar "Complete 360", were created to provide vehicle owners with full-scale mechanical coverage ranging from 5 years/60,000 miles or years/75,000 miles.

In addition to the wide-ranging mechanical coverage being offered by the "Complete 360" protection plans, it’s also offering scheduled and recommended maintenance for the cars, including access to parts and services. Coverage for mechanical wear and tear is also included. These could range from a variety of potential fixes, including wheel alignments and replacement of parts like brake pads and rotors, shocks and struts, belts, hoses, clutch assembly, headlamps, and even wiper blades, to name a few.

Vehicle owners are given a choice between vehicle protection packages that have been created based on their preferences. There’s what’s called a Lifetime Maximum Care Plan that provides complete mechanical protection for more than 5,000 components. This particular coverage also covers a blanket of perks, including a $100 Sign & Go Towing and Roadside Assistance, first day and extended car rental allowance, and a $1,000 trip interruption protection and key fob replacement for the initial 7 years/100,000 miles of ownership. There’s also an “All-In” option that according to Mopar, covers the total cost of two worn tire replacements for the term of the plan, in addition to full Road Hazard Tire & Wheel protection. This option also includes repairs for any minor physical impairment to a car. Things like dings, dents, cracks, and tears to the body and the interior of a car are covered by this option.

The features of the “Complete 360” plans that Mopar is offering is a way for Chrysler to back up its commitment of going above and beyond its responsibilities to provide customers and vehicle owners with protection plans that can quell any fears or concerns about the rising maintenance costs in the business today. Customers who’d like to know more about the plans are encouraged to contact their local Chrysler dealerships for more information.

Continue after the jump for the full story.

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Chrysler Launches Cool Star Wars Commercials: Video

Chrysler Launches Cool Star Wars Commercials: Video

December 18, 2015 will be the end of the world. Ok, that’s not really true, although it might as well be for fans of Star Wars who have waited since Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was released exactly 10 years ago. So yeah, the next installment in the gargantuan movie franchise, The Force Awakens, is a huge deal. Naturally, companies are already trying to hitch their wagons and leverage all that attention back to their brands.

Fiat Chrysler isn’t exempt from this and exactly two weeks before the most awaited movie this year opens, the automaker has rolled out an army of commercials for its sub-brands. All in all, there are five commercials that will likely be played ad naseum over the next two weeks, featuring Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram. Oh, and all five commercials are heavily tied into Star Wars in their own unique way.

I’m tempted to just let everyone skip through the next few paragraphs and just watch the commercials. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how Fiat Chrysler really went all-out in promoting what might as well be a majority of their model range. By my count, a total of 16 models were shown across the five commercials. There were five Dodge models, five Ram models, three Chryslers, two Fiat Abarths, and the Jeep Renegade.

It’s a good strategy to hedge the popularity and hype surrounding the Force Awakens to promote your own cause, which in Fiat Chrysler’s case would be its “Year-End Blockbuster Sales Event”.

I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but I have seen the previous six movies and I’m going to check out The Force Awakens when it hits cinemas. I just hope that after spending the next two weeks drowning in these commercials, I don’t get to see them in the cinemas before the movie starts.

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What is the Least Expensive Chrysler?

Chrysler’s cheapest vehicle used to be the 200 sedan, but that car went belly up in 2017. It was a decent car, but Chrysler’s poor build quality (just ask 300 owners about clunky front ends and constantly failing, $100, HID headlights) and lack of differentiation in design amongst models eventually led to the car’s demise. Today, the cheapest Chrysler you can get is the entry-level Pacifica, which starts out at $26,985 – not even $3,000 less than the entry-level Chrysler 300 sedan.

What is the Sportiest Chrysler?

Since Chrysler fancies itself as an entry-level luxury automaker, the brand doesn’t know the slightest about “sporty.” The only model that even comes close is the Chrysler 300C, but it looks more like a luxury sedan with cues stolen from a 2000’s Bentley and hair of German DNA hidden here and there. The only thing that helps its case is the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 under the hood that’s good for 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. It tops out at 149 mph and will get to 60 mph in just over six seconds. Of course, this is actually kind of amazing considering how boxy it is and the fact that it weighs nearly 4,400 pounds. It’s not exactly a corner bender, either, so it might be quick in a straight line and is RWD, but that’s about all it has going for it.

What is the Most Popular Chrysler?

The most popular Chrysler model is the Pacifica Minivan. For that last two years, Chrysler has managed to more than 118,000 examples of the Pacifica each year (double what it sold in 2016.) Its only runner up; the 300 sedan, saw sales figures of 46,593 in 2018, which accounts for the sixth year in a row that its sales have declined. At this rate, the Pacifica won’t only be the most popular Chrysler; it’ll be the only Chrysler. In the mid-2000s, Chrysler was able to move more than half a million vehicles each year. Today, its total sales, two-thirds of which come from the Pacific, totaled just 165,964 models for 2018, and that’s down from 188k the year before, 239k the year before that, and more than 300,000 in the years before that.

What is the Most Expensive Chrysler Model

Chrysler’s most expensive vehicle is the Pacifica Hybrid in limited trim. That’s the range-topping hybrid model and comes with an MSRP of $45,795 – just shy of $6,000 more than the entry-level Pacific Hybrid at $39,995. The range-topping Pacific Limited (non-hybrid) comes close at $44,695 while the Chrysler 300C – the range-topping 300 model – comes in at $41,945.

What is the Fastest Chrysler

No surprises here – the fastest Chrysler is the 300C sedan with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that delivers a reasonable 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. It’ll hit 60 mph in around six seconds and tops out at below 150 mph. You didn’t think we’d say the Pacifica, did you?

Are Chryslers Reliable?

Chrysler’s have a bad rapport for being poorly put together, clunky, and generally undependable. And, rightfully so, the last-gen 300C had a horrible front suspension design that was always clunky and the whole headlight fiasco with HID ballasts failing once a month made things worse. Today, however, Chrysler is ranked No. 17 by J.D Power in its yearly, 2019 vehicle dependability study. That places it in the middle of the pack and one spot higher than Ford (sorry Ford guys) but below other industry leaders like Lexus, Porsche, Toyota, Buick, Mini, and even Volkswagen and Subaru. On that note, it’s the highest-ranking FCA company, however, with Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Fiat falling much lower on the list. Fiat, for example, is ranked worst at No. 32. When you have only two models in your lineup, you kind of have to build reliable vehicles, right?

As far as cost of ownership goes, Repair Pal ranks the Chrysler brand, as a whole, at four out of five stars. It reports that the average annual repair costs only amounts to $531 — $100 below average – while the frequency of unscheduled repairs among all Chryslers on the road is 0.3 times per year. Only 11-percent of Chrysler’s unscheduled repairs are said to be severe. Perhaps Chrysler has made some improvement over the last decade.