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Old 04-11-2010, 02:00 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,994 posts, read 17,133,404 times
Reputation: 14300

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
They better get some new product out there very quickly as their current vehicles are pretty much "last in class" at a time when the other domestic automakers are launching some exciting product. And the fuel efficiencies of their vehicles is an absolute disgrace.
Is six months quick enough for you? I've already detailed some of the changes coming, and they will all occur before the end of this calendar year. They are substantial changes too. Also, the new Dodge Ram is hardly "last in class," and proves what Chrysler's designers and engineers are capable of doing provided they're actually allowed to do their jobs. (Demanding that interior development costs be reduced by 40% regardless of the outcome, the way Daimler did in 2005, is not allowing the designers and engineers to do their jobs.)

As for fuel economy, have you ever heard of the Pentastar V-6? Of course you haven't; nobody on TV has ever bothered to mention it. There are two Pentastar V-6's that will replace all of Chrysler's existing V-6's over the next two years as the vehicles that use V-6's in some capacity get redesigned. In its lowest-tech form, without stuff like variable valve/cam timing, the larger of the two engines is capable of 280 horsepower and 29 miles per gallon on the highway. With some minor tweaks, the power and efficiency will both increase. Pentastar V-6 production began on March 15.

As for the four-cylinder engines, the problem is not with them, but rather, with the continuously-variable automatic transmissions attached to them. Those transmissions are exactly why the compact Dodge Caliber gets worse highway fuel economy (25 MPG) than the mid-size Dodge Avenger (30 MPG): the Caliber is equipped with a continuously-variable transmission while the Avenger is not. The Avenger's highway fuel economy is competitive with other 4-cylinder mid-size sedans, while the continuously-variable transmissions offered with the Caliber hold the numbers back. The continuously-variable transmissions were designed, engineered and built by a company called Jatco, which is an independent auto parts supplier that supplies various car parts to many different automakers. The regular automatic transmission in the Avenger was designed, engineered and built by Chrysler.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:40 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,848,304 times
Reputation: 18526
For years, we commercial fleet managers have been hearing about the fine fuel efficient vehicles in "next years" lineups and then get stuck with turkeys like the Caliber, the Nitro, and the like.

I will believe it when I see it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:43 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,994 posts, read 17,133,404 times
Reputation: 14300
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
For years, we commercial fleet managers have been hearing about the fine fuel efficient vehicles in "next years" lineups and then get stuck with turkeys like the Caliber, the Nitro, and the like.

I will believe it when I see it.
That might have something to do with Chrysler having three different alliances in as many years (Daimler, Cerberus, now Fiat). Such changes tend to delay product development. Case in point: the Penstastar V-6 had been in development since 2006, and only now is it rolling off the assembly line.

The good news is, Sergio Marchionne seems to have a much better understanding of what it takes to run a volume automaker than Juergen Schrempp, Dieter Zetsche or Robert Nardelli ever did. Marchionne also said that rehabbing Fiat was a lot harder than rehabbing Chrysler has been.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,994 posts, read 17,133,404 times
Reputation: 14300
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
For years, we commercial fleet managers have been hearing about the fine fuel efficient vehicles in "next years" lineups and then get stuck with turkeys like the Caliber, the Nitro, and the like.

I will believe it when I see it.
The Caliber is a "turkey" because of the ****ty CVT it's saddled with (from an independent supplier, no less). As for the Nitro, it's a body-on-frame SUV, a breed of automobile that never gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:16 PM
 
1,891 posts, read 2,180,489 times
Reputation: 909
It's really sad how Chrysler has transformed in the last 30 years. Everything went downhill after 1979. Sure, there were bright spots here and there. But it's not enough.

Chrysler was once the mother of innovations.

I'd like to own a '94+ Dodge Ram with a Cummins one of those days.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Eastern Missouri
3,054 posts, read 5,032,895 times
Reputation: 1377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadro77 View Post
Chrysler has always been my least favorite out of the Domestic makes, but I still like them.

I'd drive a Jeep or a Ram any day of the week and I still like the Charger even though it's getting dated. The Challenger appeals to me simply because I'm 6'6 and the Mustang and Camaro are not as roomy.

I know here in Eastern MO, Chrysler is king. Half the people I know drive some sort of Chrysler product.

You are absolutely right about that! And if anyone thinks a Dodge truck isn't the fav truck here, they are sadly mistaken. Look at resale values on trucks, and the dodge is highest. Plus they have the best engine line up of all trucks!!
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:35 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,299,589 times
Reputation: 4005
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12GO View Post
You are absolutely right about that! And if anyone thinks a Dodge truck isn't the fav truck here, they are sadly mistaken. Look at resale values on trucks, and the dodge is highest. Plus they have the best engine line up of all trucks!!
Dodge doesn't have the highest resale value in any category.

http://www.kbb.com/car-awards/best-resale-value-awards (broken link)
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 22,981,168 times
Reputation: 7957
My wife drives a 2007 Chrysler Sebring with the 2.4L engine. She has the mid-level model. She likes the styling of the body but the main reason why she bought the car was the driver's seat. She is 4 feet 11 inches tall with severe scoliosis and other spinal problems. She's sat in many different vehicle driver's seats and in virtually all of them she would have needed a seat cushion to see over the steering wheel. With the Sebring, she can see over the steering wheel and the adjustable lumbar support goes right into the small of her back where the curve is deepest. I don't like the engine's harshness. It does sound buzzy. I do like it's acceleration for a 2.4L engine in a midsize sedan. It's a fine engine if they could smooth it out. The doors open very wide, seats are high, and plenty of entry head room which all make it easy for her 84 year old father to get in and out of the car when she brings him to the doctor. The Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring basic styling is fine. Where Chrysler missed the mark was engines and interior details. My aunt and uncle had a Dodge Avenger. They were in an offset crash with a Dodge Ram truck which hit the front end of their driver's side. My aunt, the driver, suffered a broken collar bone. My uncle later died from his heart condition. My aunt now drives a brand new Avenger. The fuel economy is pretty good. My wife is averaging 24mpg in city driving with her car. I wonder what her fuel economy would be if Chrysler had switched to a 5 or 6 speed auto transmission.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,632,366 times
Reputation: 9178
I recently rented a Sebring convertible.

It is one of the crappiest vehicles I have driven. It had 24K miles on it. The color on the plastic arm rests had worn through. It appears the silver color is just a coating on hard plastic.

The engine was noisy and had no power. When you accelerate hard, it downshifts, makes a bunch of noise, but hardly moves any faster. The interior overall was one of the most poorly built I have seen.

The car creaked in low speed turns.

Maybe the seat is a good fit for a 5 ft. person. But compared to ANY other vehicle in its class - the Sebring is a terrible car. I could not find a thing that it does well. CR has the Sebring as the lowest rated in its class.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 22,981,168 times
Reputation: 7957
And I agree. But she tried many different makes and models within our price range and not one single driver's seat would fit her body shape and size. Even though virtually all had manual or electric seat height adjustment, none but the Sebring would raise her high enough to see over the dashboard. She could have gotten the cars she liked better, Mazda 6 and Nissan Altima, but she would have had to sit on a pillow or two to see over the dashboard. After her accident, she had an Altima rental. Great engine but one cushion wasn't enough for her to see over the dashboard. We've even tried the wedge shaped elevated cushion for car seats and they weren't high enough for some models. Imagine her frustration when she spots a car she loves with a great engine, great build quality, but can't see over the dashboard without elevation cushions. I drive a 2003 Malibu and she needs a pillow folded in half to see over the dashboard. I haven't noticed some of the things you've seen in the rental like the wear on the interior pieces or creaks in turns or lack of acceleration. From a stop, the acceleration is fine for us. She use to have a lead foot but rapid acceleration causes pain to shoot from her spine down her left leg. Rentals are usually abused greatly. I do notice the slower acceleration when passing another vehicle but that rarely happens with us since we're the ones being passed most of the time. When we pass, it's usually a tractor we're going around. I would have rathered her getting a Mazda 6 or Altima but good driving position is vital to safe driving. She has to drive roughly two hours one way to take her dad to the VA hospital for regular appointments. Not something someone with spinal problems wants to do in an uncomfortable driver's seat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I recently rented a Sebring convertible.

It is one of the crappiest vehicles I have driven. It had 24K miles on it. The color on the plastic arm rests had worn through. It appears the silver color is just a coating on hard plastic.

The engine was noisy and had no power. When you accelerate hard, it downshifts, makes a bunch of noise, but hardly moves any faster. The interior overall was one of the most poorly built I have seen.

The car creaked in low speed turns.

Maybe the seat is a good fit for a 5 ft. person. But compared to ANY other vehicle in its class - the Sebring is a terrible car. I could not find a thing that it does well. CR has the Sebring as the lowest rated in its class.
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