Chrysler

  • Driving the 200

    Here’s the digest. The full treatment is at allpar. The Chrysler 200 was pretty much “all new” for 2015, though it shares dimensions with the Dart and components with, well, other cars. What’s funny about our 200S is that, in white, it looked a lot better than the dark red 200C we’d driven. I think it’s the color, not the relatively minor trim changes. Integration is the name of the styling game, inside and out, and they did a good job of tying things together, compared with other cars.   I didn’t think much of Sport mode, though I can see its uses on rare occasions. It keeps the engine revving higher, shifts faster, and optionally shuts off the stability control,…

  • The new Dart… updated

    It seems that every time I drive a new Dart, the experience is different. I don’t think it’s me, though. Most cars I get two versions of seem nearly identical, even, back in the old days, when I got four different brands of the same GM crossover. This time I got a Limited, which is a highly optioned car, with the 2.4 and automatic. Every Dart but Aero (1.4) and SE (2.0) get the 2.4 now, and the same automatic is on all but Aero. The GT has a performance axle ratio for faster acceleration at the cost of economy. A turbo (300-340 hp?) is coming… but it’s still not here. The seats hurt every time I sat down but were okay…

  • Why is Sergio insisting on a GM deal?

    Lots of people think they know why Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler, wants to join with General Motors. But the arguments I’ve heard are all rational: lower costs, capital problems, etc. I have a theory, based on my own experience as an editor. He hates to see a company badly run. I am not blaming Mary Barra. GM has been run into the ground for decades, and the culture apparently remains complacent. What GM needs is not a capable manager/engineer now; it needs a crazy workaholic who can get things done even if it means littering the landscape with ex-executives. (Come to think of it, he’d be a useful President if he wasn’t a Canadian.) I think Sergio Marchionne looks at GM and thinks about…

  • What to call FCA cars

    The other day, I saw someone refer to their cars as “FCA’s” in a forum. I see two problems with that. First, FCA is probably not the favored acronym for Fiat Chrysler products outside the executive suits of FCA itself; and second, for heaven’s sake, it’s not a possessive, it’s a plural, and there’s nothing being left out, so what’s with the apostrophe? It’s a conundrum, because right now there really is no good way to refer to FCA cars. The former Chrysler is supposed to be called FCA US LLC, “though it is acceptable to drop the LLC after the first use,” but to help readers, we tend to call it, well, the former Chrysler. It’s definitely longer and I wish they…

  • Is Chrysler deliberately slowing down its V6 cars?

    The V6 in my car is “made” by the eight-speed automatic that came with it. Before that transmission, the 300 V6 was almost pokey. With it, 0-60 times officially comes in 6.6 seconds (down from around 8.6), while highway mileage shot up from an EPA-registered 27 to 31. In real life, long highway trips yield 34 mpg, not bad for a full size upscale sedan. But it reacts slowly, compared to its potential. It is still faster shifting than the five-speed it replaced or the old Chrysler four-speed, or most competing transmissions, but when you get the Hemi, it’s tuned for faster shifts. The Charger SRT has faster shifts still. Why? Is this the nature of the different transmissions used in the…

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