AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
AutoGuide.com Five-Point Inspection, Done a little differently
Up for inspection this week is the Chrysler 300C with all-wheel drive, or maybe we should say “300Cs.” The vehicle gods have smiled upon the humble editors of AutoGuide; stars aligned, a comet passed and the tarot cards gave a thumbs up because two of us have been graced with essentially the same car.
Top 10 Affordable Rear-Wheel-Drive Cars
Lawmakers in Washington D.C. and California are armed with a legislative battleaxe and they’re bringing it to bear against the automotive industry. Fuel-economy regulations are hitting like a war hammer, disrupting the market and crushing carmakers. In a mad dash to meet upcoming CAFE standards manufacturers are dramatically shifting their product offerings. Downsized vehicles, hybrid drivetrains and diesel engines are some of the tools in their defensive arsenals.
One unfortunate victim of this efficiency stampede is rear-wheel drive. Slowly but surely over the last 30 years automakers have made the switch to front-drive, a layout that’s more economical in a number of ways. But not everyone is content driving a Nissan Sentra, or getting by in a minivan. For enthusiasts that care about performance rear-wheel drive is king, but it’s a monarch that’s under siege. Keeping the dream alive, here’s a list of the Top 10 (reasonably) affordable RWD cars on the market today. Act fast before they’re gone in a puff of tire smoke.
Top 10 Large Sedans With the Greatest Range
There’s something magical about going on a road trip. Whether it’s the allure of visiting a far-flung destination or just the call of the highway, piling into a car and eating up miles satiates mankind’s wanderlust.
Of course some vehicles are better for long-distance drives than others. A quiet interior, comfortable seats and smooth ride are prerequisites, but plentiful cup holders and storage spaces for snacks can’t hurt, either.
In a lot of ways large sedans were tailor-made for cross-country trips. They’re roomy, relatively efficient and don’t beat you up like a race-prepared Miata. Last week we examined 10 such cars, ranking them based on trunk space. This week we’re comparing those same four-doors but focusing on driving range.
We took each car’s EPA highway fuel-economy rating and multiplied it by the total gallons of fuel in their respective tanks to arrive at a maximum possible range. So, which of these full-figured cars is the ultimate bladder-buster? Click ahead to find out!
Top 10 Large Sedans With The Biggest Trunks
America is the land of the free and the home of large sedans. With miles and miles of miles and miles, drivers don’t have to contend with congested urban parking or dreadful highway traffic like their European counterparts. We’re free to relax and stretch our legs clear across the continent if we so desire.
U.S. Interstates and two-lane back roads were the breeding ground for a unique automotive species: the large sedan. Spacious, comfortable and smooth, Detroit’s Big Three created the original recipe for these highway cruisers, but foreign automakers have a thing or two to say about how to prepare them.
Trunk space is one of the most important metrics to examine when comparing big four-door cars. How many golf bags can be crammed into a cargo hold? What about suitcases for a weekend road trip to Atlantic City? People need to know! Here’s a list of the Top 10 large sedans ranked in order of trunk volume.
Traction is important; it’s the difference between moving forward and sitting still. Without any friction between your vehicle’s tires and the road surface you’d never make it to work in the morning, let alone to that Grand Funk Railroad concert on Saturday night.
Set to go on sale this fall, Chrysler has announced plans to offer a special “Glacier: edition of its 300 sedan.
10. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: $54,095
Today’s cars all seem to be focused on delivering fun driving experience that’s still friendly on gas. Those two elements are often an important factor in a car purchase, but sometimes you just want to feral thrill of a big, loud engine.
Oh the irony! After being selected as Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and earning a five-star safety rating from NHTSA, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans are being recalled for a possible malfunction of its anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC).
In total 119,700 vehicles are being recalled due to a problem with the power distribution center that could overheat causing both those valuable systems to fail on the vehicle. Without a doubt, the failure and loss of those two safety systems increases the risk of a potential car crash. Currently no accidents or injuries related to the recall have been reported.
“A plastic insert surrounding a fuse may be subject to distortion caused by thermal expansion and contraction,” Chrysler announced in a statement. “Such distortion could interrupt power to the ABS/ESC control system and temporarily suspend its function.”
Those affected by the recall can take their vehicles to a Chrysler Group dealership to have the ABS/ESC system fuse relocated for free.
In case you don’t recognize that name — it’s actually just a dressed up Chrysler 300, albeit with a price tag that jumped about $10,000 over the entry-level Hemi 300. For $49,700, you get a somewhat sinister black-and-chrome color scheme helped by blue pinstripes that set the car’s lines back in sight. 20-inch glossy black rims complement the matching grille and paint job.
The 300 ’12 interior is full of black leather with blue stitching to match the striped outside. The seats also get blue Mopar emblems embroidered in them, though they look gaudy in a car at that price.
You won’t find any engine changes here, the same 5.7-liter Hemi V8 making 363 horsepower is mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission, but it’s going to feel more punchy off the line thanks to a more aggressive differential. Drivers may also notice improved handling thanks to a stiffer suspension.
Have a look at our gallery and tell us what you think in the comments section below.
GALLERY: 2012 Mopar 300 ’12
The Mopar ’12 300, as it’s being called, is a souped up version of the 2012 Chrysler 300.
Earlier today we published a story featuring a gallery with four Mopar-modified cars, which will appear at next month’s Chicago International Auto Show. Since then, the company released detailed information on them. Here’s what we’ve learned about the Mopar ’12 300.
On the outside, the car features a black on black look that suggests improved performance. A single blue pinstripe runs from the front fender to the tail lights, keeping the car from looking more like a piece of auto-shaped obsidian than a sedan.
20-inch glossy black wheels with a matching blue stripe are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1s. Just above those wheels, the car sports “Mopar 75” fender badges that feature the Mopar Blue “omega” logo.
The interior is “monotone” black with die-cast aluminum paddle shifters, a thicker steering wheel and blue stitching. The sound system gets a boost too, featuring a 506-watt Alpine 9-speaker system.
Nothing changes under the hood aside from a new Mopar engine cover. The same 5.7-liter Hemi V8 making 363 horsepower is mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission that powers the rear wheels.
That power will feel a little different though, thanks to a more aggressively geared differential, which gets swapped from 3.06:1 to 3.91:1.
Though the 300 isn’t known for it’s nimble cornering, the Mopar ’12 edition will feel better than the 300C, which is minimum level Hemi version, thanks to a stiffer suspension.
The brakes also get a bit better, though it’s marginal for a car that weighs more than 4300 pounds. The Mopar package moves us up to bigger front brakes featuring two pistons over the standard single piston versions.
Before you buy one of these things, take a good hard look at what you’re getting. Sure, it looks different, but you had better be in love with the looks because at $49,700 you’re paying more than $10,000 for what amounts to a lot of makeup and marginally improved performance.
GALLERY: Mopar ’12 300
Would you pay a million bucks to put your butt in the same place as Barack Obama? Yeah, we wouldn’t either.
Nevertheless, Lisa Czibor is holding out hope that someone with an affinity for Obama memorabilia will shell out the big bucks for a Chrysler 300C that the President leased during his time as an Illinois senator.
For those who don’t remember, Obama opted for a more environmentally friendly car during his presidential campaign. It seems that you don’t win votes with V8s these days.
We should really be thanking Czibor for doing the internet a service by offering one of the most laughable Ebay ads since last December’s candy cane car.
The Obama car is still without a bid and if history is any indicator it will remain that way. The auction, which was supposed to end tonight has been extended another week. The reality is, $1 million for a car with an actual value of less than $15,000 is asinine.
What’s more ridiculous is the political nonsense and attempted price justification on the page itself. Some of the examples are simply offensive regardless of political affiliation. For example, the ad insists the price tag isn’t a joke, how could it be? Adolf Hitler’s Mercedes sold for $8 million.
As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, she cites the price Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball went for, as if that has anything to do with the car. It’s almost as if the ad is saying “look, other people waste money, you can too!”
Don’t forget to look at the ad yourself, it’s pretty funny.
Everyone had to know this was coming the second General Motors announced the For My Vehicle (FMV) OnStar system, an aftermarket setup that can be implemented on any vehicle. The second OnStar’s FMV would help recover a Chrysler, there would be news about it – and here it is.
Last weekend, on December 18th, Jean Franklin of Gresham, Oregon had her stolen 2006 Chrysler 300 recovered thanks to OnStar FMV, making it the first case of a recovered car with the aftermarket mirror. And GM probably couldn’t have had it better for their first success story, not just being a Chrysler, but having the recovery time a mere 64-minutes after the original call was placed by Franklin.
OnStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, helps recover more than 500 stolen GM vehicles a month and can now aid in recovering any stolen vehicle, GM competitor or not.
OnStar’s FMV is priced at $199 plus installation with monthly service charges of $18.95/month or $199/year.
Are you frustrated with your car’s nav system? Join the club – a new study out by J.D. Power and Associates Reports says that drivers are annoyed with their navigation systems.
Consumers are reporting that they are becoming increasingly frustrated with their in-car navigation and infotainment systems. The problem seems to be complexity of these systems, and drivers think that the systems available aren’t easy to use. Topping the list of complaints is the “Address/street/city not found”, followed by “Difficulty inputting destination,” “Route provided was not direct” and “Difficulty using voice recognition controls.” And instead of making these systems easier to use, manufacturers are adding even more features, such as climate controls.
“Routing the primary function of a navigation system is obviously an issue and will continue to be,” said Andy Bernhard, director at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, for nearly 10 years, the importance of ease of use has been emphasized by owners, and the continued high level of problems in this area begs the question: is the industry listening to how owners want to interact with their system?”
J.D. Power and Associates also ranked the top systems based on consumer satisfaction, and leading the way is the Garmin system that comes with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, as well as the Hyundai Mobis that’s found in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. At the bottom of the list is the Alpine Electronics unit found in a few Mercedes-Benz models, TeleNav in the Lincoln MKX and DENSO in the Toyota RAV4.
If you have GPS or an infotainment system in your vehicle, do you find it too complicated to use? Let us know in the comments section below.
On display at the upcoming SEMA Show this year will be a custom Chrysler 300 SF6, built and inspired by the annual Spring Festival owners gathering in Southern California. With a focus on discrete styling and Mopar performance parts and accessories, the 300 gets a nice overhaul just in time for the sixth-annual event.
Unfortunately Chrysler didn’t release a rendering or teaser image of the 300 SF6, but we can probably use our imagination by taking a look at the modification specs. The outside of the 300 will be overhauled significantly thanks to a set of 22-inch Savini Mono Di Forza SM3 aluminum wheels. Chrysler’s 300 SF6 will sport a staggered wheel set with 22×9.5-inchers in the front and 22×10.5-inchers in the rear. The 300 then received a set of custom Mopar/KW coilovers, front and rear strut tower braces and larger SRT8 performance brakes.
Additional horsepower comes from Mopar’s cold-air intake, long-tube headers, and a Mopar/Corsa custom exhaust system, giving the 5.7L HEMI V8 plenty of room to breathe. The styling of the vehicle was also enhanced by the addition of a unique body-color grille, front chin and trunk spoilers, and a gloss black-painted roof.
On the inside, an athletic-luxury theme was done with Mopar/Katzkin performance seats trimmed with black and black/blue perforated leather with Mopar blue accent stitching. Interior accents including the center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door-panel were all finished in Piano Black. Stereo-wise, Mopar equipped the 300 with their Kicker audio system, which features a pair of 10-inch subwoofers, a pair of two-way speakers, 6×9′s in each door and a pair of 3.5-inch in the front and right corners of the instrument panel.
Look for pics from the SEMA Show with live coverage starting here November 1st.
We’ve all seen them. The “Imported from Detroit” ads that Chrysler is flooding the market with. Some people think it is a clever way to gain favor with Chrysler’s home audience, others simply do not like the ads themselves. Nomatter how you feel about them, one thing is clear – they are kind of misleading.
A recent study by “The Made in the US Foundation” found that the vehicles in the ads are not even made in Detroit. Made in the USA chairman Joel Joesph said in a statement, “The Chrysler 300 is assembled in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and often includes a Mexican-made engine. Last time I checked, Detroit is not in Canada. Chrysler is flat wrong to imply the Chrysler 300 is made in the United States and we have asked the FTC to order corrective advertising.”
Chrysler responded by saying that Imported from Detroit is merely a saying and is not to be taken literally.
As every automaker looks for ways to save fuel in order to meet the upcoming CAFE targets, Chrysler is proving that thrifty doesn’t necessarily have to mean small.
The company’s two full-size sedans, the rear-drive Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger are mostly recognized for their stature and performance (especially in SRT-8 form). But an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is scheduled for introduction this fall, both cars have a chance to deliver some surprising fuel economy numbers.
According to CEO Sergio Marchionne, the 3.6-liter V-6 versions of both sedans are expected to deliver around 31 miles per gallon on the highway, significantly improved from the current car (around 4 mpg better) and even thriftier than Japanese offerings such as the Honda Accord.
However, start adding V-8 engines and all-wheel drive into the mix and it’s likely such numbers will be harder to achieve (though Chrysler remains fairly buoyant on V-8 mpg estimates, stating the 5.7-liter Hemi engined cars are likely to get around 29 mpg on the open road). Technology such as more advanced cylinder deactivation and a front-wheel decoupling feature on AWD models, could mean that within a few years, there’s every chance these cars could return even higher numbers.
Source: [Automotive News]
The first generation Chrysler 300 was famously described by comedian Katt Williams as ”…a [Rolls Royce] Phantom…until a Phantom pull up next to you…”, and that ignominious distinction was no doubt fueled by the frequent addition of an aftermarket Bentley-esque egg-crate grille by some owners.
Chrysler’s Mopar division is looking to capitalize on this trend by offering a range of eight grilles, ranging from $310 to $750. The higher end models are two-piece units constructed from billet aluminum, a far cry from the cheap plastic units common on most Bentley-fied Chryslers.
Mopar will also offer six wheel options, ranging from 18 to 20 inches in diameter, with a price range from $265 to $610 per wheel. While most of the choices will be finished in such “urban” styles as chrome, gloss black and “satin carbon”, two “Rallye” style wheel options will be offered, which we can assume mimic the classic 5-spoke mag wheels offered on some Dodge Challengers.
Chrysler will have a short 2011 model year, as its revamped efforts for this year haven’t even finished arriving, while ordering for the 2012 model year cars will begin in just over a month.
After its 2009 bankruptcy, Chrysler doubled down to bring out a slate of revised products for 2011. A total of 16 products were revamped within 18 months, but some cars, like the 2011 Chrysler 300, have yet to arrive at dealers. Meanwhile, ordering of the 2012 models begins in late May, with production commencing in July.
Dealers don’t seem too concerned with the issue, and anticipate a smooth transition to the 2012 model year. A whole host of changes are scheduled for 2012, including an all-new Pentastar V6 for the Jeep Wrangler, and a replacement for the underwhelming Dodge Caliber based on a Fiat platform.
[Source: Automotive News]