Chrysler – Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:45:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 AutoGuide.comChrysler – Top 10 Best Family Cars – The Short List Tue, 09 Jul 2019 21:58:01 +0000 Top 10 Best Family Cars – The Short List Top 10 Best Family Cars – The Short List
There's a car out there for every family more]]>

Got a litter of kiddies and can’t figure out what vehicle to buy? We’ve some recommendations for you!

So, what are the best vehicles for families? Well, that depends on what kind of family you’ve got. There are big families and small ones, fashion-forward families and eco-friendly families. Rather than, like, recommending 10 of the 18 million crossover vehicles available right now, we mixed things up a little by selecting the best vehicles for different kinds of families.

For Everyday Families: Honda Accord

Honda Accord

For your typical, everyday family that can live with a four-door car, Honda’s Accord cannot be beat. It’s probably our favorite model in the sedan segment. The Accord has a roomy and high-quality interior, TONS of standard equipment including Honda Sensing, (the automaker’s suite of advanced driver aids) and it also offers a pair of refined turbocharged engines, not to mention a fuel-efficient hybrid model as well. The Accord is safe, efficient and reasonably fun to drive. For a sedan, it just about does everything.

SEE ALSO: 2018 Honda Accord Review – VIDEO


Get Honda Accord Prices

For Fancy Families: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

But for all its virtues, that Honda is still a mass-market model. Certain families demand more luxury, an extra slathering of prestige. For them, we wholeheartedly endorse the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon. It’s far more versatile than your typical four-door and it seats up to seven (yay jumpseats!) Beyond that, it’s beautifully finished inside and out. Oh, and it even comes with standard all-wheel drive. The entry-level version features a twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers 362 horsepower, but you can also get a super-sporty AMG version with 603 ponies and an advertised zero-to-60 time of 3.4 seconds! Now that’ll haul some groceries!


Get Mercedes E-Class Prices

For Outdoorsy Families: Ram 1500

2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Review

Of course, certain families eschew life’s finer trappings. They love nothing more than getting down and dirty in the great outdoors. And for these sorts, there’s the new Ram 1500, currently our favorite full-size pickup. Rugged, capable and astonishingly premium across the range, this truck is more versatile than a proverbial Swiss Army Knife, and A LOT less neutral. With a maximum payload of some 2,300 pounds and the ability to tow up to 12,750, this Ram has no trouble hauling four-wheelers, loads of gravel, kayaks, you name it. And of course, it can drag massive campers without breaking a sweat.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Review – VIDEO


Get Ram 1500 Prices

For Eco-Friendly Families: Hyundai Kona Electric

Families that want to minimize their carbon footprint, driving a big, burly, Hemi-powered truck isn’t going to cut it. For them, we endorse the Hyundai Kona Electric. This vehicle offers all the benefits of a small crossover, like easy maneuverability, decent interior space and energetic styling with zero tailpipe emissions and sprightly performance. The Kona Electric is more than capable of roasting its tires if you get too enthusiastic with the accelerator. A standard 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack juices a 201-horsepower motor and provides an electric driving range of up to 258 miles. All around, this vehicle is a fine choice.


Get Hyundai Kona Prices

For Urban Families: Honda Fit

2019 honda fit

But in some instances, even the little Hyundai Kona might be too much vehicle. An ideal option for families that live in densely packed cities is the Honda Fit. You’d be hard pressed to find a vehicle twice its size that’s more versatile than this little runabout. With a wheelbase measuring under 100 inches and an overall length of around 161, it’s a snap to parallel park, maneuver in underground garages or dart in and out of traffic. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine provides up to 130 horsepower, while the second-row Magic Seat flips and folds to transform this subcompact hatch into a tractor-trailer-rivaling hauler.


Get Honda Fit Prices

For BIG Families: Ford Expedition

The all-new Ford Expedition is the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever, the ultimate full-size SUV to carry families through life’s adventures.

And at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Honda’s Fit is the Ford Expedition. This massive body-on-frame SUV is ideal for BIG families that love BIG adventures. This is one of the few vehicles on the road today that offers a truly usable third-row seat. In fact, way back there it’s roomy enough for six-foot-tall adults to be comfortable all day long. For EVEN MORE space, you can step up the Expedition MAX, which is about a foot longer overall and offers commensurately more cargo space. No matter the version, you get a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 tuned to deliver 375 horsepower with a walloping 470 pound-feet of torque, all of which gets sent through a 10-speed transmission.


Get Ford Expedition Prices

For Fashion-Forward Families: Kia Stinger

Stinger GTS

Serving fashionable families is the dramatic Kia Stinger. This fastback five-door features sporty styling and an upscale, Audi-esque interior. Add in pleasant driving dynamics with reasonable practicality and you have a vehicle that checks all the right boxes for those that appreciate seeing and being seen. A 2.0-liter turbo-four is standard, delivering 255 horsepower, but if you’re really in a hurry, opt for the silky-smooth 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. It’s rated at 365 ponies. An eight-speed automatic is used to great advantage across the board, though all-wheel drive is offered for an additional $2,200.


Get Kia Stinger Prices

For Crossover-y Families: Subaru Ascent

Families that can’t live without a crossover should check out the Subaru Ascent, an excellent all-around choice. With three rows of seats and room for seven or eight passengers, this utility can haul copious quantities of both kiddos and cargo. Naturally, all-wheel drive is standard, as is an invigorating 2.4-liter turbocharged engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Horsepower clocks in at 260, torque 277 pound-feet. Not only is Ascent the largest Subaru ever built, but it’s also one of the best vehicles in its crowded segment. Base price is right around $33,000.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Subaru Ascent Review – VIDEO


Get Subaru Ascent Prices

For Sensible Families: Ford Transit Connect

2019 Ford Transit Connect

One option that’s sure to appeal to families that don’t care about having the fanciest or most-stylish vehicle, is Ford’s Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, our Wild Card pick. This commercial-van-turned people-hauler features a tall and highly versatile interior with seating for up to seven people. The standard engine is a highly efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering 150 horsepower. It’s matched to a resourceful eight-speed automatic transmission. A 2.5-liter gasser and a one-five turbo-diesel should also be available for extra powertrain choice. Providing added versatility, you can get either a single, top-hinged rear door or barn-style double doors. It’s up to you!


Get Ford Transit Prices

For Road-Tripping Families: Chrysler Pacifica

7 Things to Know About the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Rounding things out, our final selection on this top-10 list is the perfect vehicle for road-tripping families, families that love to get out and explore. Hands down, the Chrysler Pacifica one of our favorite minivans. It offers style, a premium interior, plenty of passenger comfort and loads of room for cargo, all in one very versatile package.  The standard engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that provides 287 horsepower. It’s teamed to a nine-speed automatic transmission. But if maximum efficiency is a top priority, FCA also offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain, one that delivers 32 miles of electric-only range and an efficiency rating of up to 82 MPGe. Comfortable, quiet, smooth and graceful, the Pacifica will happily devour as many interstate miles as you care to feed it.


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FCA Recalling Almost 900,000 Vehicles that Don’t Meet Emissions Rules Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:54:02 +0000 FCA Recalling Almost 900,000 Vehicles that Don’t Meet Emissions Rules FCA Recalling Almost 900,000 Vehicles that Don’t Meet Emissions Rules
Owners stand to get a new catalytic converter out of the deal. more]]>
FCA has issued a recall for hundreds of thousands of Dodge Journey, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, and Chrysler 200 models for emissions non-compliance.

Fiat Chrysler claims its voluntary recall of 862,520 vehicles in the U.S. isn’t a big deal, as the automaker is simply complying with Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Owners stand to get a new catalytic converter out of the deal.

In a release, FCA repeated the EPA’s statement that the recall “is the result of in-use emissions investigations conducted by EPA and in-use testing conducted by FCA as required by EPA regulations.”

ALSO SEE: Honda to Recall 1.1 Million Cars for Second Time to Fix Takata Airbag Issue

The models affected are the front-drive 2011-2016 Dodge Journey, 2011-2016 Jeep Patriot and Compass (equipped with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission), 2011-2012 Dodge Caliber, and 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger.

In-use testing is one of four checks the EPA uses to keep the industry in line on emissions, with tests “occurring after the vehicles or engines have been certified and after they have been in customer service for some period of time.” These aging FCA vehicles didn’t clear the bar out in the real world, though the EPA says owners can continue driving them until their dealer brings them into compliance.

Of the six models listed, only two remain in production.

2011 Dodge Caliber

“Due to the large number of vehicles involved and the need to supply replacement components – specifically to the vehicle’s catalytic converter – this recall will be implemented in phases during the 2019 calendar year beginning with the oldest vehicles first,” the agency stated.

Under FCA’s recall schedule, 2011 model year vehicles will see shop time in the first quarter of 2019, with vehicles from 2012 getting a fix in the second quarter. Owners of 2013 and 2014 vehicles will have to wait until the third quarter, with the newest vehicles going under the technician’s knife in Q4.

“We are advised that today’s EPA announcement reflects a new policy for announcing routine emissions recalls,” FCA said in a statement. “This campaign has no safety implications. Nor are there any associated fines. This issue was discovered by FCA during routine in-use emissions testing and reported to the agency. We began contacting affected customers last month to advise them of the needed repairs, which will be provided at no charge.”

A version of this story originally appeared on

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Report: Chrysler Pacifica Could Gain All-Wheel Drive in 2020 Thu, 07 Mar 2019 19:24:32 +0000 Report: Chrysler Pacifica Could Gain All-Wheel Drive in 2020 Report: Chrysler Pacifica Could Gain All-Wheel Drive in 2020
The Toyota Sienna is the only minivan with AWD at the moment. more]]>
FCA may add an all-wheel-drive version of its Pacifica minivan next year, if a report out of the model’s hometown of Windsor, Ontario, pans out.

According to two named — and two unnamed — sources, the automaker wants to take a page from a certain Japanese company known for its hybrid vehicles and sweeten the minivan pot with all-wheel traction, casting a wider net for buyers. In other words: going the extra mile to woo the crossover crowd.

Toyota recently introduced an all-wheel-drive version of its Prius hybrid, announcing a hybrid version of its Corolla sedan at the same time. The automaker, heeding the cries of Northeastern buyers, decided to give people more buying options, and this seems to be what FCA’s up to, as well.

Automotive News’ piece cites Dino Chido, national auto director for Canadian autoworker union Unifor, which represents workers at the Windsor plant, and Joe McCabe, CEO AutoForecast Solutions. Chido said the automaker is looking at the possibility of an AWD Pacifica — a claim backed up by two unnamed sources, one of them a supplier employee tasked with designing a part to accommodate such a layout. The source was told he’d be working on a “Chrysler minivan.”

ALSO SEE: The 10 Best Portable Fridges For Your Car Or Truck

“FCA has not provided us with any intel with regards to future product, but they are looking at the viability and being able to bring that to market,” Chido said, adding that, as far as he knows, FCA hasn’t made a decision.

The automaker reportedly examined a business case for AWD before the model’s launch, but ultimately nixed the idea.

McCabe, drawing on industry sources, told AN that FCA plans to start production on an AWD Pacifica in the second quarter of 2020. “It’s going to help them with their leadership of the product,” he said. “It adds some relevance to it other than what a minivan is defined as.”

The minivan’s popular Stow ’n Go seating, McCabe said, could prove a sticking point, as the fold flat seats might not work with the addition of a propshaft sent to the rear wheels.

Currently, the only minivan offered with all-wheel drive in North America rolls out of a Toyota factory. While the Sienna stands alone in the shrunken segment, the perk of available AWD hasn’t helped it rise to the top. FCA’s ancient Grand Caravan, which uses its spacious cargo area to haul boxes marked “unbeatable value” to buyers across North America, remains in possession of the minivan sales crown.

The Pacifica, offered in a plug-in hybrid variant the Sienna and all other minivans lack, outsold its rival last year — 118,322 to the Sienna’s 87,672. And, while the Sienna’s sales fell 21.4 percent in 2018, Pacifica volume held steady.

FCA contacts wouldn’t say whether the sources’ claims hold water, though Mike Szymkiewicz, head of product planning at FCA Canada, did admit that AWD would probably prove popular with Canadian customers.

“I think it’s definitely an opportunity with our market,” he said. “If you look at some of the competitive vehicles, maybe not the traditional minivan, but even some of the bigger duty [trucks] you can get front-wheel and all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive take rate generally is quite high in all those offerings; I do think it would be an opportunity for us.”

Toyota Canada claims 58 percent of the Siennas it sold north of the border last year were all-wheel drive, bolstering FCA’s business case.

This article originally appeared on

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Cheapest Cars With a Heated Steering Wheel Thu, 28 Feb 2019 22:28:34 +0000 Cheapest Cars With a Heated Steering Wheel Cheapest Cars With a Heated Steering Wheel
Keeping your hands and fingers nice and warm while your wallet stays light. more]]>
Top 10 AutoGuide heated steering wheels

Updated March 2019

This winter just doesn’t seem to want to go away. During these soul-crushingly low temperatures, we’ve become quite fond of cars that are equipped with heated steering wheels, a premium feature that doesn’t need to be reserved for expensive luxury vehicles.

Folks in southern states might not get the appeal, but for drivers who live in colder climates, a heated tiller is like a warm hug for your hands. Why not wear gloves you may ask? Well, so many cars have touch-screen infotainment systems or small buttons that make using gloves in a car cumbersome.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Dependable Automakers of 2019: J.D. Power

After spending some time configuring hundreds of them, we came up with this list of affordable nameplates that are equipped with a heated steering wheel. Would you be surprised to know that you can get a car with such features for under $30,000? The price tag on most affordable model may surprise you too. All prices include destination and packaging information.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Used Car Bargains: 2019

This list is in no particular order – all vehicles on this list are priced between $20,000 to $30,000 and have a heated steering wheel.

Kia Optima EX (W/ Premium Package)

2019 kia optima

The first car on this list is the 2019 Kia Optima EX. Equipped with the premium package, the Optima EX becomes a cold-weather warrior, featuring not just a heated steering wheel but heated front and rear seats too. The EX model with the premium package is also well equipped for when the sun comes out, as it sports a nice panoramic sunroof and ventilated driver’s seat. All those features for just $30,915 before destination and tax mean this a pretty solid value in the segment.

2019 Dodge Journey GT

Don’t stop believing in the features found in the family-friendly Dodge Journey. Dodge Journey GT models come standard with heated seats and a heated steering wheel and start at $26,740 before destination and tax. This trim also gets you the V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and comes with a remote starter, perforated leather seating and 19-inch wheels.

See Also: The Weirdest Car Accessories

Dodge Challenge SXT

2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

Another Dodge makes our list, but it certainly isn’t the last car from the Fiat-Chrysler Alliance. We found that you can equip a $26,590 Dodge Challenger SXT with a $495 cold weather group package, which adds heated front seats and a heated front steering wheel, turning this rear-wheel drive muscle car into a cozy place when the temperature drops. Of course, the Challenger is saddled with a V6 at that price. If you want more power, you can always spring the extra cash for the R/T model, which hosts a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 under its hood. There’s also the Scat Pack or SRT models which use 6.4-liter V8s. Of course, if horsepower is what you’re after, maybe you can skip all the pleasantries and go straight for the Challenger Hellcat, which makes 707 HP.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD Review

Buick Regal Sportback

2018 Buick Regal

You haven’t forgotten about Buick, have you? Well GM’s premium brand can always deliver on the promise of value when you get the Buick Regal Preferred II trim, which comes with a heated multifunction steering wheel as standard. It also gets a push-button start, dual zone automatic climate control, a blind spot monitoring system and an 8-inch infotainment display. Don’t forget the standard 4G LTE in-car wifi that comes with the 2019 Buick Regal. All that for just $30,695? Sounds like a pretty good deal.

Jeep Cherokee
2015 Jeep® Cherokee Limited

Although there may be some people who wouldn’t dare buy a front-wheel drive Jeep, the new Jeep Cherokee may change their mind. The sport model, can come well equipped for just under $25,000, especially when you tack on the $895 Cold Weather Group which adds heated seats, a heated steering wheel, an engine block heater, a remote start system, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated mirrors. All of those are essential for those living in really cold regions.

See Also: Do you Even Lift? How Jack It is More than an Online Suspension Parts Store

Kia Soul

Another entry on our list comes in the way of the quirky, $21,485 Kia Soul. Under the hood is a a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 164 hp and earns 31 MPG on the highway, but once you add the $4,500 Primo Package, the Soul’s features are hard to beat. The package comes with a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and the ever important heated steering wheel. It all makes you wonder if there was there a fire sale on features at Kia HQ.

Nissan Altima

The 2019 Nissan Altima in SV trim, which starts at $28,080, features a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel as standard. That trim level also comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist suite of semi-autonomous driving functions, 17-inch alloy wheels and more. It’s a decent deal for a fairly well equipped four-door.

Nissan Rogue Sport

2018.5 nissan rogue sport

The Nissan Rogue Sport has a heated steering wheel as standard in SL trim, which starts at $27,960. That’s a decent deal for a crossover of this size and you also get leather-trimmed seats, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist suite of semi-autonomous driving functions, 19-inch alloy wheels, navigation and other useful features.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Dependable Automakers 2019: J.D. Power

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Chrysler Dead? More Wagons? Our Predictions for 2019 Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:49:42 +0000 Chrysler Dead? More Wagons? Our Predictions for 2019 Chrysler Dead? More Wagons? Our Predictions for 2019
This should be another wild year for the automotive industry. more]]>
Predicting the future is often a fool’s errand, but we’re going to give it a try anyway.

Actually, no: what we’re doing here is more like recognizing current trends and projecting them into 2019 to see how they might shake out for the automotive industry as a whole. The business is a big one, and like a supertanker, once it charts a specific course it can take months, if not years of back-pedaling, boardroom intervention, and economic hardship to head in a different direction.

What is the shape of things to come for the automotive world in 2019? Here’s our best educated guess at nailing down the trends and hot topics for the upcoming year.

Shrinking Sales Across the Board

The party can’t go on forever. Not even the mighty Ford F-Series could continue to move close to 900,000 units each and every year. 2019 will mark the dividing line between the go-go teens and the more modest ’20s when it comes to the overall size of the automotive market. We’re already nestled in a plateau between 17.25 million to 17.5 million vehicle sales per year, with an incremental drop in 2017 as compared to the previous year, and look for that flat line to stabilize somewhat before the inevitable downward slope makes itself more apparent.

There will be casualties, of course, but at least this time it looks like a few car companies are getting ahead of the impending slowdown by slicing slow-moving product lines and shaking off unsustainable jobs in the process. It’s that word – “unsustainable” – that best describes the sales growth of cars and trucks over the past decade. While there are certain to be losers when the music stops and the remaining chairs are occupied, absent of any overarching economic crisis in the background, there’s unlikely to be an across-the-board catastrophe like we saw in 2008.

Bold Prediction: More SUVs

2021 ford mini bronco teaser

Here’s the least-controversial prognostication you’re likely to read about the upcoming year in automotive trends: we’re going to get more SUVs. It’s virtually a given that crossovers will continue to dominate the conversation on dealer lots across the continent, especially now that General Motors and Ford are shuttering significant portions of their traditional sedan and coupe production in favor of stilt-walking family fare.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Cars We Said Goodbye to in 2018

What these trucklets will look like is a little more open to interpretation. From our vantage point, it seems likely that we’ll see a march downwards in terms of size as compact hatchbacks are increasingly phased out by similarly proportioned sport-utility look-alikes. At the same time, keep an eye on the mid-size segment as car companies begin to field duplicate efforts aimed at increasingly narrower niches of a profitable market.

Surprise: One Or Two New Wagons

Not wagons like you’re used to seeing in period pieces set in the ‘70s and ‘80s. No, we’re talking about lightly disguised imports, usually from Europe where these family haulers never flamed out in the face of the dual-pronged minivan/SUV invasion of the 1990s. They’ll look like crossovers with their mildly lifted ride heights and extra body cladding, but at the core, they’ll drive more like sedans than sport-utilities. Current harbingers include the Buick Regal TourX and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (a virtual twin of the Golf SportWagen).

ALSO SEE: Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo: The Fanny Pack of Cars

Car Companies Selling Your Data

It’s already begun, but the trickle of driver-generated data that major automakers monetize will most likely surge into a torrent in the new year.

The proliferation of connected car technologies linking drivers, apps, smart homes, and in-car shopping offers a treasure trove of information that OEMs can easily turn into a much-needed parallel revenue stream. The destinations you visit the most often, the routes you take on a daily basis, the music you listen to, and the products you link to your vehicle’s infotainment system to all offer marketers a glimpse into your personality, which can then be used to sell you services and stuff in a myriad of ways – not to mention the value of all of that information at an aggregate level.

“What about privacy?” you might ask. In the battle between your rights and a big barrel of money, always bet on the cold, hard cash.

The Slow Death Of Diesel

In two-wheel drive form, the 2019 Ford Ranger, with its turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, is officially rated at 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km) in combined driving. The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado with its pricey Duramax turbodiesel engine is also rated at 23 mpg combined (10.2 L/100 km).

Do you see where we’re going with this? Sure, on the highway, the diesel Chevy beats the Ranger (30 mpg versus 26 mpg or 7.8 L/100 km versus 9.0), but the general thrust is clear: gas engines are becoming more frugal than ever before, and that’s making it hard for buyers to justify the extra costs of a diesel engine in a vehicle that’s primarily used for daily driving. Throw in an increasingly hostile regulatory climate from an emissions perspective, and it’s not just expensive for consumers to buy a diesel vehicle, it’s also far from economically expedient for an automaker to bring one to market.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best Engines of 2019

Sure, if you need extra torque to tow, then diesel remains attractive. But we’re betting that you’ll see fewer options available outside of specialized applications in the coming years, starting in 2019.

Chrysler Says Goodbye

2018 chrysler 300

Were you aware that Chrysler currently only offers a pair of automobiles to the public? The 300 sedan and the Pacifica minivan (both hybrid and gas-only) hardly seem like enough of a lineup to sustain an entire badge, especially given that we’re now living in an Orwellian “five-doors good/four-doors baaaaad” future. The excellent Pacifica deserves to live on, but the relatively slow sales of the (probably still profitable) 300, which is duplicated by its better-received Dodge Charger twin, most likely doom it to the dust heap.

We’re not sure what the shakeup will look like, but the expense of keeping Chrysler afloat is unlikely to be justified by the existence of the Pacifica alone. Will the Pentastar be revitalized and transformed into an EV-focused sub-brand sold boutique-style in Dodge dealerships? Does it shrink to a single model before fading away? With so much reorganization and cost-cutting in the industry in the face of the previously mentioned sales slowdown, 2019 is likely the year we find out the answer to the Chrysler question.

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7 Things to Know About the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Wed, 02 Jan 2019 14:30:57 +0000 7 Things to Know About the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 7 Things to Know About the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
If you're considering a 3-row crossover, give this van a serious look. more]]>
[See image gallery at]

If you’re shopping for a three-row crossover, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING and go check out the Chrysler Pacifica.

Seriously, it’s worth dropping everything and heading over to your nearest Pentastar store for further investigation.

No, they’re not as fashion-forward, but minivans are often an appreciably more sensible choice for many drivers, offering far more practicality than a vast number of car-based utility vehicles available today.

SEE ALSO: Honda Odyssey vs. Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica, especially in fuel-efficient hybrid form, might be the best vehicle Fiat Chrysler Automobiles builds today, and that’s saying something because Jeep’s Wrangler is more refined and capable than ever, the redesigned Ram 1500 could be the nicest full-size pickup in America, plus the Alfa Romeo Giulia sports sedan may well provide the finest steering feel of any vehicle available today. Still, the Pacifica could be even more impressive than even these all-star products.

Backing up this lofty claim, here are seven reasons why this Chrysler hybrid is an outstanding vehicle and a more-than-worthy alternative to many of today’s larger crossover vehicles.

7. Looks Like Luxury

Tasteful and flowing, this family-hauler is more elegant than any other minivan in the segment. Seriously, have you seen the jowly Toyota Sienna or angular Honda Odyssey? This restrained exterior design makes the Pacifica look more expensive than it is. Conventionally powered models start at around $28,000. If you want the Hybrid variant, plan on spending more; they kick off around $40k, though the range-topping Limited version tested here, which was dressed up with a handful of options including a tri-pane sunroof ($1,595) and the Advanced SafetyTech Group ($995), checked out at a ritzy $49,825.

6. Well-Appointed Interior

Swing or slide open a door and you’re treated to an appropriately luxurious cabin. From the dashboard’s contrast stitching to the brightwork on the steering-wheel rim to the piping on the seats, designers did a knock-out job. The Pacifica Hybrid’s interior features swaths of nicely textured soft plastic, high-quality leather and, at least in the model tested here, flawless build quality. The folks working at Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant where these vans are screwed together also deserve a tip of the hat for their efforts.

The Pacifica’s various switches and dials are likewise dead simple and fall readily to hand, with the climate controls plainly laid out on the center stack. FCA’s ubiquitous Uconnect infotainment system is speedy and straightforward, though occasionally during testing the satellite radio would cut out if Apple CarPlay was being used. Changing the band to, say, FM and back again would correct this issue.

5. Comfortable in All Three Rows

The driver-and-front-passenger buckets are chair-height and quite comfortable. The individual armrests are an old-school touch that seem to enable more storage space in the center console, or at least a rollaway lid over the main cubby.

The second-row captain’s chairs are likewise ergonomic, if lower to the floor. Regrettably, Chrysler’s segment-leading Stow ‘n Go fold-away seating solution is not offered on hybrid versions of the Pacifica because engineers needed to mount the vehicle’s 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack somewhere, and amidships underneath your feet is the best spot for both weight distribution and a low center of gravity.

As for the third row, it will most likely be relegated to kid-hauling duty, with adult passengers choosing more premium seats. But this rearmost bench is perfectly hospitable for mature riders, with ample leg, head and hip room, plus a comfortably elevated bottom cushion so your knees aren’t at chin level.

4. The First Plug-In Minivan

Not only does that generously sized battery pack come with a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty, it also graces this plug-in hybrid Pacifica with an electric-only driving range of 33 miles (53 km), more than you might expect for a vehicle this size. The ability to smoothly and silently accelerate without using a drop of gasoline is unexpectedly satisfying, though internal combustion is always waiting in the wings for when the electron reservoir is depleted.

Replacing a traditional gearbox is Chrysler’s eFlite electrically variable transmission that’s comprised of two electric motors, both of which can power the vehicle thanks to a special one-way clutch. This component also allows one of the motors to function as a generator during braking, which puts electrons back into the battery pack. The Pacifica Hybrid’s top speed while running solely on battery power is 75 miles an hour.

Augmenting those motors is a modified version of FCA’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Running on the Atkinson cycle, it features a 12.5-to-1 compression ratio, special pistons, variable valve lift and certain friction-reducing measures. Total system output clocks in at a respectable 260 horsepower, though that’s a little less than the 287 you get in standard gasoline-powered models.

3. Does Your SUV Get 30 Miles Per Gallon?

But I’d wager most drivers won’t care about that 27-horse difference the second they see the hybrid model’s window sticker. Running solely on battery power, it’s rated at 84 MPGe, that’s miles per gallon equivalent. Burning gasoline, expect this minivan to average an impressive 32 mpg. For Canadian drivers, it’s rated at 2.6 Le/100 km in electric-only mode on the city test-cycle.

During my weeklong loan, I took the Pacifica Hybrid on an extensive tour of Northern Michigan, logging some 1,200 miles (1,931 km) in the driver’s seat. Charging it up at nights so the battery was fully replenished every morning, it returned just shy of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving. That’s a damn impressive figure, especially since it was hauling a load of four adults and two children during most of those miles, and there was lots of heavy-footed acceleration involved.

But back to charging for a moment. If you’re using a standard 120-volt household budget around 14 hours to fully replenish the battery pack, however, if you’ve got access to a 240-volt fast charger that time drops to as little as two hours.

2. Over-the-Road Refinement

The Pacifica Hybrid has curb appeal, a well-sorted interior and more versatility than a Leatherman multitool. Given these attributes, you’d probably expect it to deliver a refined driving experience, and for the most part, you’d be right.

As always, its Pentastar V6 is smooth and quiet, delivering brisk acceleration at all speeds. Running solely on battery power, this van moves with authority, especially off the line when its duet of electric motors punches hardest. You’re never wanting for performance in the Pacific Hybrid.

Thanks to meaty sidewalls and relatively soft suspension tuning, this van delivers a cushy ride. Impact harshness from potholes and expansion joints is minimal, yet the body never seems to bob or float, at least with a load of passengers onboard. Dovetailing nicely with its premium design and upscale interior there’s no sense of cheapness or fragility to the way this Chrysler handles itself.

1. Driving Weirdness

But there are two things that could stand to be improved, one of which is the regenerative braking. Pedal feel is a bit wonky and the deceleration rate before the friction binders kick in seems to change as the vehicle slows down; it’s like the braking force drops the slower the van is moving, which resulted in me charging annoyingly at stop sings and red lights. Beyond that, the powertrain makes all kinds of weird noises, especially in electric mode where the drive motors sound like an old power-steering pump with bad bearings. They can be quite loud at times as well.

In reality, these are minor complaints because there’s so much more to love about the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Discuss this story on our Chrysler Pacifica Forum.

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Top 10 Least Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 Fri, 26 Oct 2018 13:24:23 +0000 Top 10 Least Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018 Top 10 Least Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018
Domestic brands stumble, including Tesla. more]]>
If you’re shopping for a new car, you may want to avoid some of these automakers.

Consumer Reports has released its annual Car Reliability Study, based on responses from over 500,000 members. The data collected from the survey helps let shoppers know which vehicles are likely to have issues with reliability, ranging from powertrain and drivetrain problems to pesky infotainment and climate control systems.

Each automaker is ranked based on its average reliability score, which is calculated based on the models in its lineup that received enough data from survey respondents.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018

10. Lincoln

2017 lincoln mkz

Although Lincoln did move up two spots in this year’s survey, the brand continues to struggle and lands in the bottom 10 with four models taken into consideration. Its least reliable model is the MKZ, while the Continental is the automaker’s most reliable model. Lincoln received an average reliability score of 43, attributed to the Continental’s much better than average reliability. Both the MKC and MKX remain below average, while the MKZ sedan dropped to below average in this year’s study.

8. Dodge

2019 dodge journey

Dodge may have been one of the best brands from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), but it’s still one of the least reliable automakers overall. It scored an average reliability of 40, with five models as part of the survey this year. It did, however, move up three spots compared to last year. Dodge’s least reliable model in this year’s study is the Journey, while its most reliable is the Charger. Reliability of the Charger improved to better than average, while the Grand Caravan was average. Challenger owners reported issues with their transmission, and both the Durango and Journey models had multiple problem areas. As a result, the Challenger, Durango, and Journey all have below average reliability.

8. Jeep

2019 jeep compass

Jeep ties Dodge with the same average reliability score of 40, but only had four models that had enough reliability data. The American automaker drops two spots compared to last year’s ranking, with the Compass being its least reliable model. If you’re shopping for a Jeep and want something reliable, take a closer look at the compact Renegade. Overall, Jeep had mixed results in this year’s survey, with both the Grand Cherokee and Renegade models improving to average. The Cherokee and Compass, meanwhile, both had below average reliability.

7. Chevrolet

2019 chevrolet traverse

With 16 models supplying enough reliability data, Chevrolet owners had a lot to say about their vehicles. The American automaker finished with an average reliability score of 39, dropping five spots compared to last year. The brand’s most reliable model is the Impala, while the least reliable is the Traverse. According to Consumer Reports, the redesigned Traverse had much worse than average reliability, with the same transmission problems as the Enclave being a major issue. Owners also complained about the infotainment display freezing or staying blank. The redesigned 2018 Equinox did receive an average reliability rating, while the Suburban and Tahoe models improved to average or better. The Chevrolet Bolt remained average.

6. Chrysler

2019 chrysler pacifica

Putting the “C” in “FCA” is the Chrysler brand, dropping seven spots this year with just two models rated. The Chrysler Pacifica’s reliability fell to below average, making it the least reliable model of the two. Meanwhile, the 300’s reliability improved to average, contributing to Chrysler’s average reliability score of 38. Major issues reported by Chrysler owners included a frozen or blank display screen, navigation, and radio problems. Transmission problems included the transmission’s computer.

5. GMC

2019 gmc sierra 2500hd

Although GMC went up one spot compared to last year, the brand continues to struggle compared to other automakers. With an average reliability score of 37, GMC had eight models contributing to its ranking in this year’s study. The Sierra 2500 HD is the brand’s least reliable model, while the Yukon is its most reliable model. Three models in total had average or better reliability: the Terrain, Yukon, and Yukon XL. The GMC Acadia however, was worse than average plagued by infotainment and power equipment issues.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Least Reliable Cars: 2018 Consumer Reports

4. Ram

2018 ram 3500

With three models supplying enough reliability data, the Ram 3500 struggled and is the least reliable model from the American automaker. The 2500 was its most reliable, but with an average reliability score of 34, it may not mean much. Ram dropped one spot in this year’s survey, with both the previous-generation 1500 and 2500 having average reliability, while the 3500 was below average.

2. Tesla

2018 tesla model x

Tesla struggled a bit in this year’s survey, dropping six spots and tying with an average reliability score of 32. The Model S dropped to a below average rating, caused by suspension problems and other issues, including the extending door handle. The new Model 3 received an average reliability rating, while the Model X stayed much worse than average. Model X owners are having issues with the Falcon doors and center display screen.

2. Cadillac

2018 cadillac ats

Also earning an average reliability score of 32 is Cadillac, with the ATS being its least reliable model and the XTS being the brand’s most reliable. The American automaker drops one spot this year, with six models being accounted for in the study. Only the XTS sedan received a better than average reliability rating, with the rest of the models staying below average. Issues reported by CT6 and Escalade owners include rough shifting, while other models had issues with their in-car electronics.

1. Volvo

2018 volvo s90

It may come as a surprise to some, but the least reliable automaker in this year’s study is Volvo. Dropping six spots compared to last year, three models contributed to an average reliability score of 22. The least reliable model from the Swedish-Chinese automaker was the S90, while the XC60XC60 is the most reliable. Owners complained about the XC60 suffering from display screen freezes, issues with the climate system, and interior cabin rattles. The XC90 also received complaints about its infotainment system, mainly screen freezes and a blank display. Along with those problems, the S90 also received complaints about engine knocking or pinging.

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Rumor: Chrysler Portal Going Into Production as Electric Minivan Mon, 17 Sep 2018 16:25:42 +0000 Rumor: Chrysler Portal Going Into Production as Electric Minivan Rumor: Chrysler Portal Going Into Production as Electric Minivan
The Chrysler 300, meanwhile, will die in 2020. more]]>
[See image gallery at]
The Chrysler Portal Concept will allegedly see production as a fully electric minivan.

A new report published by Automotive News indicates the Portal concept, which was first shown at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will go into production in 2020 as a battery electric minivan. It won’t replace the Pacifica, with Chrysler instead choosing to sell the two vans alongside each other.

FCA’s intention to put the Portal into production could be at least partially inspired by its partnership with autonomous driving company Waymo. The Google subsidiary already operates a fleet of autonomous Pacifica Hybrid prototype vehicles and has plans to put another 62,000 of the self-driving vehicles on US roads. There have been whispers that FCA and Waymo may reach a deal to eventually put its autonomous tech into FCA vehicles, and the Portal, an electric people mover, would be well-suited to adopt such innovations. Who knows? Waymo might even want to use such a vehicle for its self-driving taxi service one day.

SEE ALSO: You Can Now Buy a Blacked Out Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

The Chrysler 300 sedan, meanwhile, will go out of production in 2020, AN reports. This was to be expected, with the American automotive industry now turning its back on small cars and sedans as consumers flock to trucks, SUVs and crossovers. FCA was among the first automakers to adjust its sedan strategy, canceling the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart in 2016 in order to free up production space to make other vehicle types. The Dodge Charger, which shares a platform with the 300, will continue on, with a redesigned version of the sedan expected to debut next year.

The Chrysler Pacifica is due to get a redesign in 2020 as well, with a next-generation version allegedly slated to arrive in 2024.

[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story on our Chrysler Minivan Forum.

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What Are the Safest Minivans for 2018? Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:30:39 +0000 What Are the Safest Minivans for 2018? What Are the Safest Minivans for 2018?
The Odyssey and Pacifica are among the best. more]]>

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has put three of the most up-to-date minivans on sale today through its various crash safety tests. 

The Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna were all recently tested by the safety watchdog group, with the Odyssey coming out on top. The Odyssey performed the best of the three vans in the IIHS’ demanding Small Overlap Front test, receiving a rating of ‘Good’. The Pacifica received an ‘Acceptable’ rating in Small Overlap Front testing, while the Sienna had the lowest rating of ‘Marginal’.

The Odyssey’s body structure received a ‘Good’ rating, higher than the Pacifica, which received a structure rating of ‘Acceptable’. The Sienna, meanwhile, had a body structure rating of ‘Poor’ as it allowed 20 inches of intrusion during passenger side impact collision testing. “The intruding structure crumpled around the test dummy’s legs,” the IIHS said of the Sienna. “A real right front passenger would sustain possible injuries to the right hip and lower leg in a crash of this severity.”

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Review

Because many minivans will be used as family vehicles, the IIHS also conducted extensive testing on the vehicle’s Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint systems. It’s easy for users to be confused by the LATCH systems, so the IIHS rates them based on ease of use. The top rating of ‘Good+’ is reserved for LATCH systems that provide additional seating positions with easy-to-use LATCH hardware. The Odyssey received the best possible ‘Good+’ rating, with the Sienna receiving an ‘Acceptable’ rating and the Pacifica a ‘Marginal’ rating.

The Odyssey and Pacifica qualified for the IIHS coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating, but the ageing Sienna missed out – getting an overall rating of ‘Marginal.’

Hear what the IIHS had to say about its 2018 minivan safety tests in the video embedded above.


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Most Appealing Cars of 2018: J.D. Power Thu, 26 Jul 2018 20:31:21 +0000 Most Appealing Cars of 2018: J.D. Power Most Appealing Cars of 2018: J.D. Power
All-time high for the industry average. more]]>
The 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study has been released.

This year, the industry average APEAL score increased to 820 points from 810 a year ago, with significantly higher scores in all 10 vehicle evaluation categories. The study also found that 23 of the 31 automakers included made gains in their performance compared to 2017. Other key findings in this year’s study include mass market brands continuing to close in on the luxury segment, with the average APEAL score for mass market hitting 814, marking a 10-point improvement compared to 2017. The luxury segment, meanwhile, improved 6 points to 851. J.D. Power says the gap between the two segments has narrowed to an all-time low of 37 points.

SEE ALSO: Most Dependable Vehicles of 2018: J.D. Power

The annual APEAL Study examines 10 vehicle categories: driving dynamics; visibility and safety; engine/transmission; audio/communication/entertainment/navigation; seats; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; exterior; interior; storage and space; and fuel economy.

The highest-ranked brand in this year’s study is Genesis, with a score of 884. Porsche came in second with 883 points, followed by BMW (863), Lincoln (861), and Mercedes-Benz (858). Among mass market brands, Chevrolet and GMC tied at the top with a score of 826. Ram came in third with a score of 825, followed by Dodge and Ford both scoring 824.

The following vehicles earned rewards for being the most appealing vehicle in their segment.

Small Car: Kia Rio

2018 kia rio

Topping the small car segment is the Kia Rio, beating out the Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Bolt, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Mirage, and Toyota Prius c. The Rio received high marks in overall performance and design, comfort, features and instrument panel, and style.

Compact Car: Volkswagen Jetta

2018 volkswagen jetta

Topping the compact car segment is the Volkswagen Jetta, which received high marks in overall performance and design, as well as comfort. The Jetta beat out the Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius, Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Beetle, Nissan Leaf, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Forte, Ford Focus, Mazda3, Chevrolet Volt, and Subaru Impreza.

Midsize Car: Honda Accord

2018 honda accord

The Honda Accord takes home the award for the midsize car category, receiving top marks in overall performance and design, performance, comfort, features and instrument panel, and style. The Accord is the only vehicle in its class to receive top marks in all five J.D. Power factors, beating the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat, Chevrolet Malibu, Subaru Legacy, Hyundai Sonata, and Honda Clarity.

Large Car: Nissan Maxima

2018 nissan maxima

In the large car segment, the Nissan Maxima tops the list while receiving highest marks in all five J.D. Power factors, just like the Accord. The Maxima is more appealing than the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Avalon.

Small Premium Car: Audi A3

2017 audi a3 sedan

Not a crowded segment, but the Audi A3 beat out the BMW 2 Series and the Mercedes-Benz CLA to claim the small premium car category. The Audi A3 received highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, features and instrument panel, and style.

Compact Premium Car: Kia Stinger

2018 kia stinger

With top marks in overall performance and design, comfort, features and instrument panel, and style, the Kia Stinger goes home with the award for the compact premium car segment. The Stinger beat out some serious competition including the Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 4 Series, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Lexus ES, Acura TLX, Lincoln MKZ, Cadillac ATS, and Volvo S60.

Midsize Premium Car: Lincoln Continental

2017 lincoln continental

Moving to the midsize premium car category, the Lincoln Continental stole the show with highest marks in overall performance and design, features and instrument panel, and style. The Continental scored higher than the Genesis G80, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CT6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo S90, Lexus GS, and Audi A6.

Midsize Sporty Car: Ford Mustang

2018 ford mustang

Only the big three American muscle cars competed in the midsize sporty car segment, with the Mustang leaving with the award despite only receiving highest marks in overall performance and design. The Mustang beat out the Camaro and Challenger.

Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica

2018 chrysler pacifica

Somehow there are more competitors in the minivan segment than there is in the midsize sporty car category. The Chrysler Pacifica, which received highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, features and instrument panel, and style, beat out the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

Small SUV: MINI Countryman

2017 mini countryman

This segment is becoming increasingly more competitive each year and this year the MINI Countryman sits at the top. Receiving highest marks in all five J.D. Power factors, the Countryman is more appealing than the Toyota C-HR, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Buick Encore, Jeep Compass, Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport, Mazda CX-3, and Honda HR-V.

Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox

2018 chevrolet equinox

Another crowded segment, the Chevrolet Equinox takes home the award in the compact SUV category after receiving highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, and comfort. Competition in the segment includes the Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V, Buick Envision, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, GMC Terrain, Mitsubishi Outlander, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and Jeep Wrangler.

Midsize SUV: Chevrolet Traverse

2018 chevrolet traverse

One of the most competitive segments in this year’s APEAL Study is the midsize SUV category. The Traverse receives highest marks in all five factors, beating out 18 other vehicles in the segment: Buick Enclave, Nissan Murano, Volkswagen Atlas, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, GMC Acadia, Subaru Outback, Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Ford Flex, and Dodge Journey.

Large SUV: Ford Expedition

2018 ford expedition

Another award winner for Ford is the Expedition in the large SUV category. It also received top marks in all five factors, beating out the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Sequoia, and Nissan Armada.

Small Premium SUV: BMW X1

2016 bmw x1

For now, there are only four competitors in the small premium SUV segment, but expect that number to grow in the coming years. The BMW X1 takes home the award this year, receiving top marks in overall performance and design, performance, and comfort. The X1 is more appealing than the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Infiniti QX30, and Audi Q3.

Compact Premium SUV: BMW X3

2018 bmw x3

BMW’s appeal continues in the compact premium SUV category, with the X3 taking home the award. It received highest marks in overall performance and design, performance, comfort, and features and instrument panel. Competitors in the segment include the Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60, Audi Q5, Range Rover Velar, Lincoln MKC, Lexus NX, Jaguar F-Pace, and Acura RDX.

Midsize Premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne

2018 porsche cayenne

The popular Porsche Cayenne tops the midsize premium SUV segment, receiving highest marks in all five factors except for comfort. The Cayenne scored better than the Lexus RX, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX60, Lexus GX, and Acura MDX.

Midsize Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

2018 honda ridgeline

This may come as a surprise to some, but a Japanese model is what’s most appealing in the midsize pickup category. The Honda Ridgeline scored highest marks in all five factors, besting the GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier in this year’s study.

Large Light Duty Pickup: Ford F-150

2018 ford f-150

There’s several reasons why the Ford F-150 is a perennial best-selling vehicle. It is this year’s most appealing large light duty pickup truck, scoring highest marks in overall performance and design, and performance. Trailing behind the F-150 is the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra.

Large Heavy Duty Pickup: GMC Sierra HD

2019 gmc sierra hd

Ford doesn’t dominate large heavy duty pickup category however, as the GMC Sierra HD is the recipient for this year’s award. Scoring top marks in all factors except for comfort, the Sierra HD beat out the Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Ram 2500/3500 models.

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You Can Now Buy a Blacked Out Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:29:55 +0000 You Can Now Buy a Blacked Out Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid You Can Now Buy a Blacked Out Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Welcome to 2018. more]]>
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can now be ordered with a blacked out appearance package. Welcome to 2018, folks.

The ‘S Appearance Package’ was already offered on the regular Chrysler Pacifica, but now the Pacifica Hybrid can get be ordered with the mean-looking upgrade kit. It consists of gloss black exterior accents including black grille surrounds, black headlamps accents, black 18-inch wheels, a black roof rack and black Chrysler badges.

The interior also gets some cosmetic changes in the way of black seats with light gray accents and a stitched ‘S’ logo, piano black steering wheel accents, gray gauge bezels and door trim and a black overhead console, headliner, visors, a-pillar trim and center console. In short, most things in the cabin are either black or gray.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Review

Chrysler says the ‘S Appearance Package’ for the Pacifica Hybrid is available for a $595 premium and can be ordered with any exterior paint color. It will become available to order in July and will land in dealer showrooms in the fall.

Apart from the mean-looking exterior package, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid otherwise remains unchanged for 2018. It is powered by a 3.6-liter Atkinson cycle V6 engine and a small electric motor with a 16 kWh battery pack. It has an EPA-rated 32 MPG combined, along with 32 miles of pure electric range.

Discuss this story on our Chrysler Minivan Forum

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Worst 10 Car Brands in Initial Quality for 2018 Wed, 20 Jun 2018 18:59:45 +0000 Worst 10 Car Brands in Initial Quality for 2018 Worst 10 Car Brands in Initial Quality for 2018
Can you guess which brand was the worst? more]]>
J.D. Power released it’s Initial Quality Study for 2018 this week.

The study examines problems experienced by original vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. A vehicle’s ‘initial quality’ is then determined by recording the number of problems a certain model experiences per 100 vehicles (PP100). The lower score, the higher the vehicle’s initial quality is.

SEE ALSO: Rewatch the Top 10 Fastest Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climbs Ever

J.D. Power’s study takes into account tech-related issues, which account for many of most vehicles’ problems in the first 90 days of ownership. Problems related to infotainment systems were down in frequency compared to last year, although active safety systems, which are becoming increasingly popular in new vehicles, still proved to be troublesome on many new vehicles.

Let’s take a look at the worst automakers for initial quality for the 2018 model year.

10. GMC

gmc yukon xl denali vail resorts

GMC was the best of the worst this year with 99 problems recorded for every 100 vehicles.

9. Mazda

Mazda had 100 problems recorded for every 100 vehicles. That’s 1 each! #Math

8. Honda

2019 honda fit

Honda was beaten out by its Japanese rivals at Mazda, with Honda vehicles experiencing 102 problems for every 100 vehicles.

7. Volkswagen

2018 volkswagen atlas

Volkswagen vehicles experienced slightly more issues than Hondas, recording 103 problems for every 100 vehicles.

6. Audi

Audi vehicles recorded 105 problems for every 100 vehicles.

5. Chrysler/Mitsubishi

Not surprisingly, Chrysler is among the worst automakers for initial quality, recording 111 problems for every 100 vehicles. Mitsubishi was tied with Chrysler at 111 problems for every 100 vehicles.


2018 subaru crosstrek

Subaru vehicles experienced 115 problems for every 100 vehicles.

3. Volvo

2017 Volvo V60 Polestar Track Test

Volvo is a bit of a surprise to see on this list. The Swedish premium brand’s vehicles experienced 122 problems for every 100 vehicles.

2. Jaguar

2017 Jaguar XE R-Sport

Performing truly terribly was Jaguar, which had a shocking 148 problems for every 100 vehicles.

1. Land Rover

land rover discovery utah

Blowing everyone out of the water, though, was Land Rover. The fancy SUVs experienced a scarcely believable 160 problems for every 100 vehicles.

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