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2011 Dodge Avenger

2011 Dodge Avenger

In the world of the American sedans, there are many different levels of quality. These levels are clearly defined, as some are terrible, some are bad, and a few are decent. There are a couple that are good, but not many, and that’s something that we hate to say because the midsize sedans from Japan have gotten a bit dull over the years.

In the good category, we have theFord Fusion. It looks good, drives well, but it suffers from a bad transmission. The Chevrolet Malibu is decent. It’s a start in the right direction, but not quite there yet. Then we come to the Dodge Avenger. For many years, this car was just appalling, a word that we don’t often use to describe a car, but in this situation it works quite well.

For 2011, Dodge has redone the Avenger in the hopes that it can climb out of the cellar and compete with the Fusion and the many other Japanese sedans.

Hit the jump to read on.

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

Dodge has just given us some images and details on the new 2011 Grand Caravan. For some time, theGrand Caravan has been less than grand, but Dodge hopes that this newest version will change that and put them in front of Honda and Toyota in the minivan game.

The van will pack Dodge’s new Pentastar V6, as well as a revised suspension that Dodge hopes will make the van more pleasing to drive. We haven’t been told what was changed, but the press release says that “virtually everything” was updated.

The motor is the 3.6-liter V6 and that will be connected to a six-speed automatic. That motor will replace all three of the previous motors. The V6 puts out 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the same numbers as the new Avenger.

While we aren’t sure if a V6 only van will sell well, we are sure that buyers will love the new interior with top-notch materials, better seats, and redesigned gauges. The outside of the Grand Caravan will get some LED taillights and a new front fascia.

We’ll have to wait and see how the van compares with the new offerings from Honda and Toyota, which have been stellar.

Hit the jump to see the press release.

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2011 Dodge Durango

2011 Dodge Durango

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the newest generation Dodge Durango for 2011. From the exterior, it certainly has the look to compete with the competition in a very crowded marketplace. At the same time, our first impressions upon seeing the car’s image were that of uneasiness. We’re not quite sure what to make of it yet.

For 2011, the Durango will ride on an all-new unibody platform. There will be three-rows of seating, but by the looks of the images, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of room in the final row. Buyers can choose from a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or a 5.7-liter V8. The V6 has a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds, while the larger V8 can tow around 7,800 pounds. All-wheel drive is offered with power engines.

The interior was done by the same people who did such a wonderful job on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but at the moment, we don’t have any real good photos of it. For those who were wondering what the new Dodge emblem would look like, check out the photo of the steering wheel.

Updated 11/02/2010: The new Dodge Durango will go on sale in four trim levels and two versions RWD and AWD: Express priced at $29,195 for the RWD version and $31,195 for the AWD version; Crew RWD priced at $33,195 and $35,195 for the AWD model; Crew RWD with CrewLux package $38,195 and $40,195 for the RWD version and Citadel RWD priced at $41,795 and $43,795 for the AWD version.

Hit the jump to see the press release.

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2009 Dodge Journey SXT

2009 Dodge Journey SXT

The American automaker Chrylser is accredited with the invention of the minivan back in the 1980s, however in an ever changing world of economy conscious consumers they are blazing a new trail with the more compact crossover utility vehicle offering the practicality of a wagon with the looks of an SUV and the ride of a car thanks to the crossover’s unibody underpinnings. The Dodge Journey is Chrysler’s latest addition to the CUV segment and our Deep Water Blue Pearl people mover came with all of the familiar features that define the crossover as well as a few unique touches that we think no soccer mom should go without.

After all that is what the Journey is all about, to provide consumers with practical transportation that can carry an entire extended family and all their stuff with a smaller footprint than the now frowned upon sport utility vehicle. For most CUV shoppers, third row seating is a must, and the Journey certainly delivers. Offering room for up to seven our bright blue crossover came complete with a host of high tech creature comforts like an infotainment system that brings everything from a large LCD navigation display to an in dash DVD player with SIRIUS Backseat TV, flip down 8 inch monitor and wireless headphones to ensure that mommy and daddy can enjoy the drive undisturbed as well as quite a few clever chilled storage compartments including a pair of in floor coolers.

The Dodge Journey clearly shares a resemblance to its minivan predecessors continuing the classic two box shape and crossbar grill but adds a bit of flair with a pair of headlamps that sweep back into the front fenders and a set of bulging arches at all four corners. Our Journey’s chrome clad wheels, measuring a rather large 19 inches in diameter, made the blue pear paint pop while the roof line tapered back creating a sort of tear drop effect making it look like a much more dynamic vehicle. Our car came with the optional 3.5 Liter V6 that pumps out 235 HP and gets and estimated 16 MPG around town and as much as 23 MPG on the highway. Starting off at $23,925 and our extremely well equipped Journey SXT is optioned all the way up to $33,375 and the fact that it has been awarded consecutive Top Safety Pick honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes the Journey an excellent choice for the family on the go.

Continued after the jump.

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2009 Dodge Avenger SXT

2009 Dodge Avenger SXT

The Dodge Avenger is certainly a vehicle that makes you reevaluate the entry level car market. Starting out at $21,500 the four door mini Charger may seem like a good deal, however after checking enough option boxes to make it a V6 powered Official Passenger Car of NASCAR complete with navigation and a set of stylish 18 inch wheels just like our fully loaded 2009 Avenger SXT, the price creeps up pretty close to the $30,000 mark. The Dodge Avenger is the smallest sedan in the Chrysler lineup and because of that it carries a few styling cues from its larger four door brother, the bold faced Charger, with touches like a squared off front end and bulging fender flares and a solid looking rear end.

Covered in a beautiful coat of Deep Water Blue Pearl paint our Avenger SXT came equipped with stain resistant cloth seats and a 2.7 Liter six cylinder engine mated to a four speed automatic transmission that made 187 HP while returning an estimated 19 MPG around town and as much as 27 MPG on the highway. Heavily optioned with features like a power everything including a sunroof, Chrysler’s Uconnect GPS with Sirius satellite radio, remote start and a cup holder that can either cool or warm its contents depending on what you wish, not to mention the $740 destination charge; a well equipped Avenger like this one will set you back a total of $27,955. Quite a bit more then you would expect to pay for Dodge’s smallest offering.

Continued after the jump.

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Chevrolet's 2010 Camaro sits atop the Pony Car Sales Charts

Chevrolet’s 2010 Camaro sits atop the Pony Car Sales Charts

Chevrolet’s 2010 Camaro is on top of the pony car sales charts outpacing Ford’s reworked Mustang and the last of the modern day muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger is trailing far behind. It appears that all the hype General Motors has been generating about the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is paying off, just last June the General sold 9,320 bowties with 10,000 more sales to fill; while the blue oval only moved 7,632 Mustangs and the Pentastar brand has only managed to find homes for 1,369 Challengers.

Ford offers more variety with the Mustang, but it looks like the General is offering what the people want with only two models. The RS being a 300 HP V6 that gets 29 MPG on the highway and the SS featuring the familiar small block V8 that Chevrolet fans have come to adore since the 1950. This is the same 6.2 Liter LS3 power plant that can be found under the forward opening hood of the Corvette.

While Ford offers a variety of power packages led by the Shelby GT500 that are available as both convertibles and hard tops, there is even an optional plexiglass roof panel. Perhaps by flooding the market with too many variations of the Mustang the American automaker has overwhelmed consumers. Perhaps Chevrolet has been able to sell more units by offering a less complicated buying experience and producing a much more desirable pony car. Either way this is only the beginning of the second chapter of the classic American rivalry, it looks like the muscle car days are making a comeback.

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Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Final thoughts

Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Final thoughts

The day has finally come when Dodge wants their Caliber SRT-4 back, and I have to admit that I am sad to see it go. I had just begun to find myself at home in the plush racing buckets racing through the gears of the Getrag transmission and the torque steer had turned into a fun predictable part of the turbocharged SRT-4 experience. However, like all good things my stint with this Mopar must come to an end.

Continued after the jump.

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Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Powertrain

Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Powertrain

Under the scooped and vented hood of the Dodge Caliber SRT-4 is a 2.4 liter turbocharged engine with enough oomph to make sure that you can feel the torque steer. The motor is rated at 285 HP and 265 lb-ft of torque with a 6300 RPM redline, about right for a stroked 4 cylinder. Good enough to send the Caliber down the 1320 in only 14.4 seconds at 103 MPH. While manufacturers have a tendency to fib about output, Dodge traditionally underrates their performance machines, so I was very impressed to find out that Edmunds brought a Caliber SRT-4 to a dyno in southern California where they recorded a 281 HP pull. That’s at the wheels. Go Dodge!

Continued after the jump.

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Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Interior impression

Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Interior impression

The interior decorators at Mopar have done something with the Caliber SRT-4 that is not easily accomplished. The interior is both functional and stylish at the same time. It incorporates comfortable materials, colorful accents and some high end pieces as well.

The seats are the first thing that you notice, and feel, when you get into the car. They are shaped like traditional racing buckets with large leather bolsters to keep the occupant in place, while the cloth inserts grip the driver even better in the event they decide to push the SRT-4 to the limit. Aside from being functional the seats are also stylish. The black leather is accented by two rows of red stitching running up either side of the buckets and feature large SRT logos embroidered onto the seat backs. The red accents continue with the shift boot and steering wheel. The two pieces also feature a leather material that looks like the weave of carbon fiber.

Continued after the jump.

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Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Exterior impresion

Dodge Caliber SRT-4: Exterior impresion

The 2009 Dodge Caliber SRT-4 has just arrived at the Top Speed garage and the mini muscle car is looking as good as ever. The Mopar engineers have done an excellent job transforming the appearance of this box shaped people mover into this aggressive looking pavement pounder.

The big mouth front bumper is unique to the SRT-4, the openings are larger to allow more air to flow through the large front mount intercooler, a piece that hints at the turbocharged Caliber’s capability. The redesigned front end also lowers the car to the ground which not only looks good, but is also functional, by blocking air from passing underneath the vehicle at speed, and when combined with the lower side skirts creates a low pressure zone that sucks the SRT-4 onto the pavement. The hood is another muscular touch, not only is made out of aluminum for weight savings, but the forward facing scoop and vents on either side hint at the bygone days of classic Mopar muscle cars.

Continued after the jump.

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TopSpeed Headline News

TopSpeed Headline News

New controversial federal law – Black Boxes in vehicles. DetNews
Smart for-two plagiarized by Asian electric car. AutoExpress
Pricing for new Infinity G35 - AutoWeek
Open spot at Ferrari for Michael Schumacher. FastMachines
Jorge Lorenzo – The new Champion of 250cc. Marca
New Gadget – Nokia 330 Auto Navigation. PR
No more fraud – Police uses High-Tech software. AutoExpress
Auto Parts supplier – Dura Automotive files for Chapter 11 – Bankruptcy (...)

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2007 Dodge Caliber

2007 Dodge Caliber

Dodge is taking a new slant on the global compact car market, introducing the 2007 Dodge Caliber at a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $13,985 (including a $560 destination charge), $410 below the outgoing Dodge Neon. Dodge Caliber redefines the entry-level vehicle by combining high value with bold styling and a flexible interior.

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