• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Chrysler Recalls 26k 200 Models For Nine-Speed Transmission Woes


    • More bad news for the Chrysler nine-speed transmission


    Chrysler can't seem to catch a break with their nine-speed automatic. Case in point is a recall for around 26,000 Chrysler 200 models equipped with 3.6L V6 and nine-speed because the transmission will not go into park. According to a statement, the problem is due to inconsistent assembly procedures at a supplier's plant. At the time of this writing, five owners have experienced this problem.

    Dealers will inspect the transmission and replace if necessary. In the meantime, Chrysler is asking owners to put on the parking brake to prevent their vehicle from rolling back.

    Source: Chrysler

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Statement: Park Engagement

    February 26, 2015, Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC is launching a recall of certain model-year 2015 cars to resolve manufacturing issues that may prevent the vehicles from shifting into park.

    Inconsistent assembly procedures at a supplier's plant have been linked to five reports involving customers who could not shift their vehicles into park. Without park, a vehicle may be subject to inadvertent movement.

    FCA US is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.

    The campaign is limited to the Chrysler 200 equipped with a V-6 engine. There are an estimated 22,107 in the U.S.; 3,600 in Canada and 213 in Mexico.

    Customers will be advised when they may schedule service. FCA US dealers will inspect and, if required, replace transmissions at no charge. In the interim, customers who own models with V-6 engines are advised to activate the vehicle's parking brake before shutting off its engine, because the shifter may incorrectly indicate park is engaged.

    Customers with additional concerns may call 1-800-853-1403.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Sad that this is what it has come too. Chrysler had such potential and yet Fiat seems to continue their trend of building low quality auto's and are now pushing it out across their full line of auto divisions.

     

    Sad! 

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Sad that this is what it has come too. Chrysler had such potential and yet Fiat seems to continue their trend of building low quality auto's and are now pushing it out across their full line of auto divisions.

     

    Sad! 

     

    I don't think FIAT can do much to worsen Chrysler's already bad transmission reputation. 

    2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    We had exactly the same issue with the same ZF 9-speed on the TLX V6 models, however nothing more than a quick stop sale and Acura sent special engineers to every dealer nationwide to inspect and repair any of them. Something bolt or bracket related that they could check and fix quickly.

     

    I would venture to say it's the same thing here, just found out later. Should be an easy fix.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Wait, they're replacing the entire transmission?? or replacing something else?

     

    The whole transmission

     

     

    Wow! That's gonna hurt the bottom line...

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. dufus22
      dufus22
      (43 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports February 2017 U.S. Sales
      Ram Truck brand sales up 4 percent compared with same month a year ago Three Jeep® brand vehicles record sales increases in February; Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 11 percent Three Dodge brand vehicles post sales increases in February; Dodge Journey sales up 55 percent  February 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 168,326 units, a 10 percent decrease compared with sales in February 2016 (187,318 units).
       
      In February, fleet sales of 44,898 units were down 26 percent year over year as FCA US continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 27 percent of total FCA US sales in February. FCA US retail sales of 123,428 units were down 3 percent for the month, and represented 73 percent of total February sales.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales were up 4 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Three Jeep® brand vehicles topped February sales from a year ago, including the Jeep Renegade with an 11 percent increase. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the brand’s volume leader in February, were up 11 percent as well. Three Dodge brand vehicles recorded year-over-year sales increases in February led by the Dodge Journey’s 55 percent sales gain. Sales of the Fiat 500 and the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan were up year over year as well.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Ram Truck brand sales were up 4 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 5 percent year over year in the month. The brand introduced new special-edition Night packages for Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show in February. The new Night editions further expand the Ram factory-custom truck family from the half-ton Ram 1500 announced in September 2016 to the brand’s three-quarter and one-ton models. Production of the 2017 Ram HD Night models began in early February.
       
      Dodge Brand
      The Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, and Dodge Viper each posted sales gains in February, led by the Journey’s 55 percent year-over-year increase. The Challenger turned in a 19 percent increase, while Viper sales were up 23 percent in the month. The Dodge brand unveiled the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV – at last month’s 2017 Chicago Auto Show. In addition, Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com announced at the show that the Grand Caravan earned its 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the minivan category for the third time in four years. The awards honor the vehicles and brands (luxury and non-luxury) with the lowest projected ownership costs, based on Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period.
       
      Jeep Brand
      Three Jeep brand models recorded sales increases in February. Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the brand’s volume leader for the month – and the Jeep Renegade posted 11 percent year-over-year sales increases. In addition, the Jeep Wrangler logged a 2 percent increase in February. Jeep brand retail sales were up year over year in February. The latest Wrangler – the new 2017Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon – debuted at the Chicago Auto Show last month, featuring improved off-road prowess with a stronger front axle, enhanced rock rails and heavy-duty cast differential covers. Also last month, KBB.com announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited earned its 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the Mid-size SUV/Crossover category for a third-consecutive year.
       
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500 were up 1 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the new Fiat 124 Spider were up 26 percent compared with the previous month of January. The 124 Spider was named in February as one of the Best Cars for the Money in the Sports Car category by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, according to the valuation experts at Hagerty, is one of 10 vehicles this year that stand out as the likeliest to grow in value and appeal to classic car enthusiasts. That puts the 124 Spider Abarth on the “Hagerty Hot List” for 2017. 
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – the most awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up in its second month of year-over-year comparisons, and increased 36 percent compared with sales in the previous month of January. The Pacifica continues to earn a plethora of awards and accolades in 2017. In February, the Pacifica was named Best Minivan for the Money by U.S. News & World Report, 2017 Family Vehicle of the Year by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and MotorWeek’s 2017 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Minivan. The Chrysler 300 full-size sedan turned in a 2 percent year-over-year increase in February.
        
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 443 units were up 843 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
       
      Maserati Brand
      Maserati brand sales of 1,087 units were up 49 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      U.S. Sales Summary February 2017
                Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      2,737
      8,893
      -69%
      5,901
      15,164
      -61%
      Patriot
      5,512
      11,363
      -51%
      10,212
      19,947
      -49%
      Wrangler
      13,641
      13,349
      2%
      24,975
      24,336
      3%
      Cherokee
      13,615
      15,353
      -11%
      26,166
      32,136
      -19%
      Grand Cherokee
      18,925
      16,990
      11%
      36,226
      30,965
      17%
      Renegade
      7,915
      7,115
      11%
      17,280
      13,282
      30%
      JEEP BRAND
      62,345
      73,063
      -15%
      120,760
      135,830
      -11%
      200
      2,194
      6,259
      -65%
      4,055
      10,944
      -63%
      300
      5,386
      5,304
      2%
      10,094
      10,969
      -8%
      Town & Country
      108
      11,645
      -99%
      246
      23,028
      -99%
      Pacifica
      9,042
      71
      New
      15,712
      110
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      16,730
      23,279
      -28%
      30,107
      45,051
      -33%
      Dart
      1,683
      5,824
      -71%
      3,080
      11,104
      -72%
      Avenger
      0
      6
      -100%
      0
      15
      -100%
      Charger
      6,930
      8,765
      -21%
      14,083
      17,547
      -20%
      Challenger
      6,107
      5,142
      19%
      9,500
      10,803
      -12%
      Viper
      54
      44
      23%
      107
      72
      49%
      Journey
      9,906
      6,375
      55%
      22,542
      17,961
      26%
      Caravan
      13,682
      13,978
      -2%
      24,452
      24,933
      -2%
      Durango
      5,516
      6,851
      -19%
      10,223
      12,852
      -20%
      DODGE  BRAND
      43,878
      46,985
      -7%
      83,987
      95,287
      -12%
      Ram P/U
      39,046
      37,087
      5%
      72,815
      69,651
      5%
      Cargo Van
      0
      0
      0%
      0
      2
      -100%
      ProMaster Van
      2,648
      2,697
      -2%
      5,999
      5,039
      19%
      ProMaster City
      1,091
      1,509
      -28%
      2,016
      2,665
      -24%
      RAM BRAND
      42,785
      41,293
      4%
      80,830
      77,357
      4%
      Giulia
      412
      0
      New
      482
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      31
      47
      -34%
      69
      115
      -40%
      ALFA BRAND
      443
      47
      843%
      551
      115
      379%
      500
      1,131
      1,120
      1%
      2,349
      2,101
      12%
      500L
      72
      370
      -81%
      178
      727
      -76%
      500X
      640
      1,161
      -45%
      1,240
      2,202
      -44%
      Spider
      302
      0
      New
      542
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,145
      2,651
      -19%
      4,309
      5,030
      -14%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      168,326
      187,318
      -10%
      320,544
      358,670
      -11%
          Total Car & MPV
      47,134
      58,575
      -20%
      84,949
      112,468
      -24%
          Total UV's
      78,407
      87,450
      -10%
      154,765
      168,845
      -8%
          Total Truck & LCV
      42,785
      41,293
      4%
      80,830
      77,357
      4%
                    MASERATI BRAND
      1,087
      728
      49%
      1,976
      1,253
      58%

    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports January 2017 U.S. Sales
      Ram Truck brand up 5 percent; pickup truck posts 4 percent increase Three Jeep® brand vehicles record sales increases in January; Jeep Renegade sales up 52 percent Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 24 percent in January Fiat 500 sales up 24 percent compared with same month a year go February 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -  FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 152,218 units, an 11 percent decrease compared with sales in January 2016 (171,352 units).
       
      In January, fleet sales of 42,868 units were down 31 percent year over year as FCA US continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 28 percent of total FCA US sales in January. FCA US retail sales of 109,350 units were flat for the month, and represented 72 percent of total January sales.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales increased 5 percent in January, compared with the same month a year ago, as the pickup truck posted a 4 percent sales gain. Three Jeep® brand models recorded increases in January, led by a 52 percent increase in Jeep Renegade sales. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the brand’s volume leader in January, were up 24 percent for the month. Sales of the Dodge Journey mid-size crossover were up 9 percent, while Fiat 500 sales grew 24 percent year over year.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 4 percent in January, compared with the same month in 2016. In addition, the Ram ProMaster van turned in a strong 43 percent sales gain. Ram Truck brand sales were up 5 percent year over year in January. At the 2017 North American International Auto Show in January, the brand introduced a special edition of the popular Ram 1500 Rebel – the Rebel Black. The Ram Rebel Black special edition traces its origin to one of the truck brand’s fastest-selling off-road powerhouses, adapting dark features as a design component. The package is offered with all available Rebel colors, adding black wheels, brush guard and theme-matched all-black interior.
       
      Jeep Brand
      Three Jeep brand models posted sales increases in January, led by the Jeep Renegade and its 52 percent year-over-year sales gain. The Jeep Grand Cherokee – the brand’s volume leader for the month – recorded a 24 percent sales increase in January. The Jeep Wrangler logged a January increase as well. Last month, FCA US confirmed the addition of new models to the award-winning Jeep lineup – an all-new Jeep pickup truck and the storied Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer. These actions are planned to be completed by 2020.
       
      FIAT Brand
      The Fiat 500 recorded a 24 percent sales increase in January compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat 124 Spider was named “Best New Convertible” of 2017 by the experts at Cars.com. The all-new Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design.
       
      Dodge Brand
      Two Dodge brand vehicles recorded sales gains in January. The Dodge Journey mid-size crossover turned in a 9 percent increase, while Dodge Viper sales were up 89 percent. The Dodge brand announced in January that its new ultimate performance halo – the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – will be unveiled during the New York International Auto Show week in April.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – the most awarded minivan in 2016 – were up in its first month of year-over-year comparisons. Cars.com editors named the Pacifica the “Best of 2017” at their annual 2017 Best of Awards show hosted in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show. The Pacifica also was named the 2017 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by a panel of automotive experts last month at the auto show. The award is unique and considered by many to be one of the world’s most prestigious based on its diverse mix of automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada who serve as the voting jurors.
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 108 units were up 59 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
       
      Maserati Brand1
      Maserati brand sales of 889 units were up 69 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
      U.S. Sales Summary January 2017
                          Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
        Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
        Compass
      3,164
      6,271
      -50%
      3,164
      6,271
      -50%
        Patriot
      4,700
      8,584
      -45%
      4,700
      8,584
      -45%
        Wrangler
      11,334
      10,987
      3%
      11,334
      10,987
      3%
        Cherokee
      12,551
      16,783
      -25%
      12,551
      16,783
      -25%
        Grand Cherokee
      17,301
      13,975
      24%
      17,301
      13,975
      24%
        Renegade
      9,365
      6,167
      52%
      9,365
      6,167
      52%
        JEEP BRAND
      58,415
      62,767
      -7%
      58,415
      62,767
      -7%
        200
      1,861
      4,685
      -60%
      1,861
      4,685
      -60%
        300
      4,708
      5,665
      -17%
      4,708
      5,665
      -17%
        Town & Country
      138
      11,383
      -99%
      138
      11,383
      -99%
        Pacifica
      6,670
      39
      New
      6,670
      39
      New
        CHRYSLER BRAND
      13,377
      21,772
      -39%
      13,377
      21,772
      -39%
        Dart
      1,397
      5,280
      -74%
      1,397
      5,280
      -74%
        Avenger
      0
      9
      -100%
      0
      9
      -100%
        Charger
      7,153
      8,782
      -19%
      7,153
      8,782
      -19%
        Challenger
      3,393
      5,661
      -40%
      3,393
      5,661
      -40%
        Viper
      53
      28
      89%
      53
      28
      89%
        Journey
      12,636
      11,586
      9%
      12,636
      11,586
      9%
        Caravan
      10,770
      10,955
      -2%
      10,770
      10,955
      -2%
        Durango
      4,707
      6,001
      -22%
      4,707
      6,001
      -22%
        DODGE  BRAND
      40,109
      48,302
      -17%
      40,109
      48,302
      -17%
        Ram P/U
      33,769
      32,564
      4%
      33,769
      32,564
      4%
        Cargo Van
      0
      2
      -100%
      0
      2
      -100%
        ProMaster Van
      3,351
      2,342
      43%
      3,351
      2,342
      43%
        ProMaster City
      925
      1,156
      -20%
      925
      1,156
      -20%
        RAM BRAND
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
        Giulia
      70
      0
      New
      70
      0
      New
        Alfa 4C 
      38
      68
      -44%
      38
      68
      -44%
        ALFA BRAND
      108
      68
      59%
      108
      68
      59%
        500
      1,218
      981
      24%
      1,218
      981
      24%
        500L
      106
      357
      -70%
      106
      357
      -70%
        500X
      600
      1,041
      -42%
      600
      1,041
      -42%
        Spider
      240
      0
      New
      240
      0
      New
        FIAT BRAND
      2,164
      2,379
      -9%
      2,164
      2,379
      -9%
        TOTAL FCA US LLC
      152,218
      171,352
      -11%
      152,218
      171,352
      -11%
            Total Car & MPV
      37,815
      53,893
      -30%
      37,815
      53,893
      -30%
            Total UV's
      76,358
      81,395
      -6%
      76,358
      81,395
      -6%
            Total Truck & LCV
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
      38,045
      36,064
      5%
                        MASERATI BRAND
      889
      525
      69%
      889
      525
      69%
                      [1] The Maserati Brand is distributed in the United States by Maserati North America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. All other brands listed in this release are distributed by FCA US LLC.
    • By William Maley
      There is one vehicle that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has to get right the first time - the minivan. The company is credited for creating this vehicle segment back in the eighties with the introduction of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. Each subsequent version brought forth some new improvement or feature that put it ahead of the pack. But due to the bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent merger with Fiat, plans for the next-generation Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan were pushed back. This left the old model struggling against some fresh competition in the form of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. 
      But last year, Chrysler surprised everyone with a new minivan. Wearing the Pacifica nameplate, the van was unlike anything that had come before. It featured a sleek design, handsome interior, and the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The bigger surprise was that Chrysler would be the only brand getting the new van. The Dodge Caravan would continue in its current incarnation for a few years to provide a low-cost option for those shoppers. Has Chrysler pulled a rabbit out its hat or has the unthinkable happened and the Pacifica trails the competition?
      The first thing to take in about the new Pacifica is how good-looking it is. The design comes courtesy of the 700C that debuted quietly a few years back at the Detroit Auto Show. The rounded front end is reminiscent of the recently departed 200 with a narrow grille and headlights, chrome trim along the edges of the grilles, and a sculpted hood. The side profile shows off two character lines; one running from the front fender to the chrome trim for the windows and another running through the door handles and curving into the rear fender. We would only make one slight change to the Pacifica. Our Touring L tester featured 17-inch wheels that looked a bit small for a vehicle this size. We would go for the larger 18-inch wheels that fill in the wheel wells much better.
      Anyone who has been in the last-generation Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Caravan knows the interior was well past its sell-by date. When pitted against competitors, the two vans came up very short in terms of design, materials, space for cargo and passengers; and infotainment. Step inside the Pacifica and it is clear that Chrysler has done its homework. The design is much more modern with flowing lines and contrasting colors. It also feels more spacious than the outgoing vans thanks to some smart decisions such as the removal of the center console to allow for an open floor between driver and passenger, and the use of a knob for the transmission. Material quality has also seen a noticeable improvement with many surfaces now boasting soft-touch plastics. It wouldn’t be crazy to say the Chrysler Pacifica is ahead of everyone when it comes to the interior.
      Depending on the trim, you can order the Pacifica with seating for seven or eight people. Our Touring L featured the eight-seat layout with a removable middle seat for the third row. It will take you a few moments to figure out how to remove the seat, but once you do, it is quite easy to remove and install the seat. The rest of the seats feature Chrysler’s Stow ’n Go folding system where the seats can fold into compartments in the floor to provide a flat load area. Cargo area is in line with the current crop of minivans with 32.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 87.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 140.5 cubic feet with both rows folded. As for passengers, both rows of rear seats provide an excellent amount of head and legroom. Getting into the third row is much easier thanks to second-row seats offering a tilt function.
      FCA has equipped the Pacifica with the newest version of their UConnect system. The interface may look similar to the older UConnect system, but there are a number of changes that help catapult this new version towards the top of the infotainment system list. First, the new system is much sharper thanks to the new fonts and an updated screen that provides improved brightness levels. FCA has also improved the overall performance of the system, meaning no slow downs when going between various functions. One item we cannot comment on is navigation as our test Pacifica didn’t come with it.
      Power for the Pacifica comes from the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that routes power to the front-wheels only. It might not be the fastest van on the road (that honor falls to the Toyota Sienna), but Pacifica comes very close. Power comes on a smooth and steady rate. You’ll find yourself not wanting more power when merging onto a freeway or trying to make a pass. FCA has seemed to get its act together with the nine-speed automatic transmission. Issues with clunky shifts and gear hunting have been mostly ironed out. The transmission now features smooth and quick upshifts. The only item we would want FCA to work on is the transmission’s hesitation to downshift in certain situations such as making a pass.
      EPA fuel economy for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is rated at 18 City/28 Highway/22 Combined. Our week mostly spent in the city returned 23.2 mpg.
      The primary concern when it comes to a van’s ride and handling characteristics is providing maximum comfort and the Pacifica delivers. The suspension delivers a smooth ride even on some of the rough roads on offer from Metro Detroit area. An added bonus is how well the Pacifica isolates road and wind noise from coming inside. At highway speeds, only a whisper of wind noise makes it inside. But the Pacifica becomes a bit of a surprise when it comes to handling. Despite its large size, FCA’s engineers made the Pacifica feel quite nimble. The steering might not give that impression as it feels somewhat light when turning. But go around a corner and the van feels more like a midsize sedan than a van. 
      It has been a long time coming for a new minivan from FCA and the good news is that they haven’t dropped the ball. The Pacifica may not have ripped up the rulebook when it comes to minivans, but it sure has expanded or rewritten bits of it. From a surprising balance of ride and handling characteristics to the best interior in the class, it is clear that FCA wants to reclaim the crown of the best minivan. But there one thing that we need to address and that is FCA’s poor reliability history. No matter which survey or study look at, more often than not, FCA’s core brands are towards the bottom. What does this mean for the Pacifica? We can’t say for right now, but this could be the one thing that makes or breaks Chrysler’s new van.
      For right now, the Pacifica is at the top of the class.
      Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chrysler
      Model: Pacifica
      Trim: Touring L
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 287 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/28/22
      Curb Weight: 4,330 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,495
      As Tested Price: $36,880 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio Group - $895.00
      8 Passenger Seating - $495.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      There is one vehicle that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has to get right the first time - the minivan. The company is credited for creating this vehicle segment back in the eighties with the introduction of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. Each subsequent version brought forth some new improvement or feature that put it ahead of the pack. But due to the bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent merger with Fiat, plans for the next-generation Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan were pushed back. This left the old model struggling against some fresh competition in the form of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. 
      But last year, Chrysler surprised everyone with a new minivan. Wearing the Pacifica nameplate, the van was unlike anything that had come before. It featured a sleek design, handsome interior, and the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The bigger surprise was that Chrysler would be the only brand getting the new van. The Dodge Caravan would continue in its current incarnation for a few years to provide a low-cost option for those shoppers. Has Chrysler pulled a rabbit out its hat or has the unthinkable happened and the Pacifica trails the competition?
      The first thing to take in about the new Pacifica is how good-looking it is. The design comes courtesy of the 700C that debuted quietly a few years back at the Detroit Auto Show. The rounded front end is reminiscent of the recently departed 200 with a narrow grille and headlights, chrome trim along the edges of the grilles, and a sculpted hood. The side profile shows off two character lines; one running from the front fender to the chrome trim for the windows and another running through the door handles and curving into the rear fender. We would only make one slight change to the Pacifica. Our Touring L tester featured 17-inch wheels that looked a bit small for a vehicle this size. We would go for the larger 18-inch wheels that fill in the wheel wells much better.
      Anyone who has been in the last-generation Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Caravan knows the interior was well past its sell-by date. When pitted against competitors, the two vans came up very short in terms of design, materials, space for cargo and passengers; and infotainment. Step inside the Pacifica and it is clear that Chrysler has done its homework. The design is much more modern with flowing lines and contrasting colors. It also feels more spacious than the outgoing vans thanks to some smart decisions such as the removal of the center console to allow for an open floor between driver and passenger, and the use of a knob for the transmission. Material quality has also seen a noticeable improvement with many surfaces now boasting soft-touch plastics. It wouldn’t be crazy to say the Chrysler Pacifica is ahead of everyone when it comes to the interior.
      Depending on the trim, you can order the Pacifica with seating for seven or eight people. Our Touring L featured the eight-seat layout with a removable middle seat for the third row. It will take you a few moments to figure out how to remove the seat, but once you do, it is quite easy to remove and install the seat. The rest of the seats feature Chrysler’s Stow ’n Go folding system where the seats can fold into compartments in the floor to provide a flat load area. Cargo area is in line with the current crop of minivans with 32.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 87.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 140.5 cubic feet with both rows folded. As for passengers, both rows of rear seats provide an excellent amount of head and legroom. Getting into the third row is much easier thanks to second-row seats offering a tilt function.
      FCA has equipped the Pacifica with the newest version of their UConnect system. The interface may look similar to the older UConnect system, but there are a number of changes that help catapult this new version towards the top of the infotainment system list. First, the new system is much sharper thanks to the new fonts and an updated screen that provides improved brightness levels. FCA has also improved the overall performance of the system, meaning no slow downs when going between various functions. One item we cannot comment on is navigation as our test Pacifica didn’t come with it.
      Power for the Pacifica comes from the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that routes power to the front-wheels only. It might not be the fastest van on the road (that honor falls to the Toyota Sienna), but Pacifica comes very close. Power comes on a smooth and steady rate. You’ll find yourself not wanting more power when merging onto a freeway or trying to make a pass. FCA has seemed to get its act together with the nine-speed automatic transmission. Issues with clunky shifts and gear hunting have been mostly ironed out. The transmission now features smooth and quick upshifts. The only item we would want FCA to work on is the transmission’s hesitation to downshift in certain situations such as making a pass.
      EPA fuel economy for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is rated at 18 City/28 Highway/22 Combined. Our week mostly spent in the city returned 23.2 mpg.
      The primary concern when it comes to a van’s ride and handling characteristics is providing maximum comfort and the Pacifica delivers. The suspension delivers a smooth ride even on some of the rough roads on offer from Metro Detroit area. An added bonus is how well the Pacifica isolates road and wind noise from coming inside. At highway speeds, only a whisper of wind noise makes it inside. But the Pacifica becomes a bit of a surprise when it comes to handling. Despite its large size, FCA’s engineers made the Pacifica feel quite nimble. The steering might not give that impression as it feels somewhat light when turning. But go around a corner and the van feels more like a midsize sedan than a van. 
      It has been a long time coming for a new minivan from FCA and the good news is that they haven’t dropped the ball. The Pacifica may not have ripped up the rulebook when it comes to minivans, but it sure has expanded or rewritten bits of it. From a surprising balance of ride and handling characteristics to the best interior in the class, it is clear that FCA wants to reclaim the crown of the best minivan. But there one thing that we need to address and that is FCA’s poor reliability history. No matter which survey or study look at, more often than not, FCA’s core brands are towards the bottom. What does this mean for the Pacifica? We can’t say for right now, but this could be the one thing that makes or breaks Chrysler’s new van.
      For right now, the Pacifica is at the top of the class.
      Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chrysler
      Model: Pacifica
      Trim: Touring L
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 287 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/28/22
      Curb Weight: 4,330 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,495
      As Tested Price: $36,880 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio Group - $895.00
      8 Passenger Seating - $495.00
    • By William Maley
      It may not be the electric Pacifica we were hearing about last month, but Chrysler does have an electric minivan concept that will be debuting later today at the Consumer Electronics Show. Meet the Portal concept which Chrysler describes as "created by millennials for millennials."
      The Portal does look like something from the set of Blade Runner with an interesting front end, massive wheels, and a set of huge double-sliding doors. The Portal rides on a 118.2 wheelbase, making it slightly smaller than the Pacifica. Inside, the seats are mounted on rails that allow them to move fore and aft, fold flat, or be removed completely. There is also a prominent LCD screen that runs the length of the dashboard, along with a touchscreen mounted in the center. Finally, there are 10 docking stations for various smartphones and tablets.
      A single electric motor provides the motivation for the front wheels. Under the floor lies a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can provide an overall range of more than 250 miles. When plugged into a 350-kW fast charger, the Portal's battery pack can be recharged to have a 150 mile range within 20 minutes. 
      Like most concepts being shown now, the Portal boasts autonomous driving technologies; in this case, Level 3 tech. This means a driver can let the vehicle drive on its own under certain conditions on the highway. Chrysler says the technologies in the Portal can be upgraded to feature such things as facial recognition and voice biometric technologies.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 
      Press Release is on Page 2
      The Chrysler Portal concept is designed to keep the driver and passengers connected – to each other, to the vehicle and to the surrounding world.
      Starting with today’s widespread use of the Internet and social media for communication and information, the FCA User Experience (UX) team, and an internal UX Tiger team from the Panasonic Automotive Advanced Engineering function, jointly picked a blend of emerging and future technologies to engage the next generation of vehicle users.
      “When our teams began imagining the user experiences inside the Chrysler Portal, we set out to identify a long-time supplier partner who could help push the limits of customization and personalization,” said Scott Thiele, Chief Purchasing Officer for FCA NV and Head of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for FCA – North America. “Working with Panasonic Automotive on this concept vehicle is just one example of how FCA is engaging strategic suppliers early in the development phase to bring to life innovations that can become industry benchmarks.”
      Tapping the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment (PCI) platform as the foundation of the UX feature set, the Chrysler User Experience team matched future consumer needs (life, finances and new technology) to those new technology solutions now exhibited in the Portal concept.
      “Working together, FCA and Panasonic Automotive are showing a more cognitively enhanced set of technologies that can give drivers and passengers a superior, more accurate, just-in-time in-vehicle experience,” said Tom Gebhardt, President, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.
      “In fact, we are so delighted by the partnership, Panasonic has created a complimentary technology exhibition to further showcase our joint interests in UX, software, hardware, and cloud services specifically featuring a unique e-commerce retail use case.”
      The battery-powered Chrysler Portal concept electric vehicle was unveiled today at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
      Facial recognition, voice biometrics provide a seamless, personalized experience
      For members of the millennial generation, the target audience for the Chrysler Portal concept, technology is more than a tool – it’s an integral part of their lives.
      The hub of this technology is the mobile phone. The Chrysler Portal concept is engineered to seamlessly detect and connect with passengers’ mobile devices, expanding the social canvas.
      Recognition and user authentication is the next level of personalization and a primary driving factor for the user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometric technologies work together to provide a seamless personalization experience. As a result, all passengers can set up individual and group settings for an enjoyable, customized experience. For example, facial recognition tells the Chrysler Portal who is in the vehicle and how to automatically configure preferred settings, such as music, lighting, vehicle temperature, heated or cooled seats, etc. Internet cloud-based technologies, combined with facial and voice recognition, keep those preferred settings in sync should a passenger move to another seat.
      Accessing technology inside the vehicle is naturally intuitive using a blend of voice controls with familiar touch controls. With an array of microphones inside the Portal concept, voice control is available to all occupants. Advanced speech software can identify who is speaking to accurately determine an action, such as which display screen to access. Embedded interior and connected portable device cameras also facilitate conversations and interactions.
      Want to play music tailored for an individual, such as a child? Simply say, “Play Johnny’s ‘Naptime Favorites’ playlist.” Personalized audio zones enable each passenger to listen to their own content isolated to their seat without the need for headphones. 
      Facial recognition enables the Chrysler Portal concept to track the driver’s directional gaze, as a result, the intensity of the high-mount display screen can automatically dim or increase to help reduce eye strain. If the driver is looking at a specific location on the display and a critical notification occurs, such as an oncoming emergency vehicle, a message pop-up in the area where the driver is looking helps reduce reaction time.
      Turn road trips into social memories
      Social media plays a large role in the lives of many Millennials. In the Chrysler Portal concept, sharing content between passengers is as easy as a swipe to the right. A personal tablet or mobile device becomes a community display screen via a docking station in the Chrysler Portal’s headliner, making it easily viewable by second- and third-row passengers. Media such as music, images and videos from personal devices can be shared with a simple upward swipe to the display screen. The community display is ideal for road trips with family and friends. At a glance, infographics show the progress of the vehicle to the trip destination. 
      The Chrysler Portal concept also takes into consideration each passenger’s media preferences and enables them to contribute to the road trip experience. Using predictive intelligence, passenger preferences can be merged to create an overall community setting that can help the group find destinations and plan the best route, select a restaurant, and play music and videos everyone can enjoy. 
      Once a route is set, it can be added to the community display so all passengers can monitor the trip’s progress. At the lunch break, passengers can use the technology in the Chrysler Portal concept to order from a quick service restaurant via voice or touchscreen without rolling down the window or leaving the vehicle, a real convenience in inclement weather. If someone is not sure what to order, the system’s intelligence can offer suggestions based on the passenger’s personal settings. With ecommerce, there is no need for cash or a credit card as the payment can be securely transacted from the vehicle while in transit.
      Once at the destination, interior and exterior cameras can capture the moment with a selfie, which is then automatically downloaded to everyone’s personal device and can be shared via social media.
      Affordable, upgradeable technology designed to be added as needed
      Keeping the user experience affordable, the Chrysler Portal concept’s in-vehicle technology is designed to be adaptable and upgradeable. Cost-conscious consumers are able to decide what technology they want to add and when they want to integrate it into their vehicle, such as adding technologies to meet the ongoing needs of a new family.  For example, the vehicle’s short-range wireless network enables parents to connect a baby monitor camera to a seat, with the image appearing on the high-mount display.
      Another way consumers could integrate their personal devices is by using the Chrysler Portal Concept Companion App. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the companion app has the ability to customize vehicle lighting, control vehicle and home settings, lock/unlock doors and operate other functions from any location. 
      Advanced driving assistance
      A key element of the Chrysler Portal concept’s user experience is the graphic-rich, high-quality information available to the driver.
      The hub of this information is the high-mount display, located above where a traditional instrument panel would be placed. Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) technology in the display makes the screen brighter and sharper. The technology embedded in the Chrysler Portal collects a wide spectrum of visual, sensor-based and infrastructure data; organizes and configures the information for display; and tailors the presentation to keep the driver’s attention on the highest priority functions.
      The display, which spans nearly the entire length of the instrument panel, is positioned higher intentionally for greater visibility and to aid the driver keeping his/her eyes on the road. Maintaining visibility with the horizon helps reduce the possibility of motion sickness while interacting with the 3-D graphics, especially if Level 3 autonomous driving mode is engaged.
      The length of the screen enables three zones of information. The first section of the screen, located in front of the driver, offers traditional vehicle information, such as speed. The middle section displays a 360-degree situational awareness view, such as surrounding vehicles, GPS information and points of interest, and can be viewed by other vehicle occupants. The third section can be used for media sharing, status updates of passengers, such as their seat temperature, music or videos being played and a view of them.
      During Level 3 autonomous driving, the display communicates the status of the vehicle and the surrounding environment. Should the vehicle come to a stop or perform a quick maneuver, the viewable display makes it clear to all occupants the status of the vehicle.
      The Chrysler Portal concept is constantly using Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication that enables the vehicle to “talk” with the public infrastructure, Internet, and other vehicles via an array of sensors. For example, if an approaching ambulance is out of sight, V2X systems will notify the vehicle that the ambulance is approaching. Graphics on the high-mount display will communicate the oncoming ambulance by simulating its approach and direction, and the audio system will provide cues that the vehicle is approaching.

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)