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DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP

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I went to a factory sponsored Ride and Drive Event today for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep. It was like 2 miles from my house, so I'm like, 'sure'.

Since I was able to check out a lot of the Chrysler Corp models and sit in them and drive them (albeit in very short low speed courses), it sure shaped some of my opinions on their products.

It would be hard to satisfy the forum gods and get it all in one post so I will try to keep my initial posts to this one and two more and then if anyone has comments.

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Here's what I drove and my comments.

Dodge Nitro- Steaming pile. This vehicle has an interior on par with a 1982 Celebrity and it rides and drives like a heavy truck (yes, I know its a truck). The Liberty on which it is based must be a horrible drive. The exterior style is nice but the interior is dismal and ruins it. Why folks bitch about the H3 interior or Chevy Blazer and Trailblazer interiors is beyond me when you look at this in comparison. An Equinox interior is almost Audilike in comparison. An original S10 Blazer looks like gold in comparison to this thing. Lumpy seats. Seat levers and controls felt junky. Leather, plastic, cloth, its all cheap. In dark gray and black its horrible. No real seating or cargo advantages. D+, the decent looks keep it from an F.

An explorer will seem like a Mercedes compared to this thing. No need to go on.

There were no Calibers to drive, but I drove the Compass. Steaming pile number 2. Coarse engine and powertrain. CHEAP interior. Rear cargo area is small and is very high up. I wouldn't sign a one year loan on this thing. I've driven the Vibe (which I am lukewarm on) and the HHR and can say get either of those before a Compass. Even the PT Cruiser is a much better ride than the Compass.

F.

Chrysler 300 SRT-8. There was no opportunity to really drive this thing. The top speed I was able to get in the size of track was maybe 45-50. But let me say this. The steering was great, the Hemi sound was great, The handling and feel were very good. I like the cabin (even with the cheap dismal plastic) because the seats were comfortable yet supportive enough. The size of the car was good and even though it felt heavy, it was not unbearable. I don't care for all the high cowls we have nowadays but other than that it felt good to view out of. I like the center stack. Needless to say, it would be a great car to own if you can live with the cheap plastics and porky weight. Great car. B+

Grand Cherokee SRT-8. Same Hemi burst and decent handling but not the same cabin sophistication or overall refinement as the 300. Looks cool outside. Interior is cheap (its a Chrylser after all). No wonder the Trailblazer SS gets rated higher. C

Chrysler Aspen- I was impressed. The interior was good, the best of the Chryslers. Not stellar, just good. What I really liked was the handling. This thing had good steering and good power and turned and handled well. I like the light steering feel, it wasn't mush, just easy with good feel and such. It was very easy to drive and the turning radius seemed smaller than you would expect. It was quiet inside. It looks nice also. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone who wants a larger midsize SUV. B

2007 Pacifica. I've always liked the Pacifica from an interior plastics quality standpoint. Its been one of the best Chryslers in that regard. And the door mounted power seats and dual source dvd is way cool. What surprised me was how mcuh GRUNT the new 4.0L/6 speed powertrain has. WOW. It takes off from a dead stop! Aside from being impressed with that...I was NOT impressed with the flimsy steering, limp seats and some other sloppy trim. IMHO, the trunk is not big enough in this vehicle compared to others (Freestyle), especially with the 3rd row down. If you can live with slightly sloppy and flimsy steering and some tactile cheapness in the controls, there is a good way to justify the purchase of a 2007....the extra grunt for this size of vehicle and the nice interior plastics still make it a very good choice. C+

2007 Jeep Wrangler 4 door- there is something appealing about this thing. Yes, its crude, but its a true Jeep meant for off roading. The power was probably best described as adequate, it wasn't terribly coarse compared to past Jeeps. My major reservation about this thing was that even though I liked the dash layout and I felt the plastics were appropriate for this vehicle.....the ergonomic relationships all seemed very messed up to me. The shifter, steering wheel, dahs and pedal relationships seemed very hosed up. If this vehicle fits you, you like its concept, and you don't need 300hp, I would recommend this. And I am not usually a Jeep or off road SUV fan. That said, I would make sure to drive an Xterra, H3, and FJ cruiser first to see if you'd prefer something more refined and carlike. If you are a Jeep fan, this is a watermark vehicle. I thought it had good seating room in back, BTW. It looks SHARP. B-

2007 Chrysler Sebring. When I first saw it intially, I was actually quite impressed. This is one of those cars that looks worse in pictures than in person.

That said, its not stunning, just pleasant.

I think the styling will please many. I am not crazy about the ribbed hood. But otherwise it looked nice. The interior design I have liked but wanted to see the execution. It comes off pretty good, but again we are dealing with a LOT of cheap plastic here. The trick that minimizes the effect of the hard, cheap plastic on the lower dash and doors is the sweeping design and nice soft dash top and dash upper face. Those two elements are squishy and nicely patterned and textured. Also, the faux metal on the dash and radio itself looks nice. They have done well making gaps VERY small. Assembly quality is top notch, except for the flimsiness of the cheap climate controls. The seat cloth is good knit but feels a bit cheap, it must be that coating on it that makes it feel scratchy.

I'd say its a hare less roomy than an Accord and maybe in front about the size of an Aura but has less leg room than the Aura in back. It sits a bit higher than the Aura...but the roof is low here and the cowl is high again so it feels constricted. The armrest is small and cheap. The door panels are nice with the accents even if the bulk of the doors has hard cheap plastic.

The trunk is tiny. Inexcusable really.

It drove ok. Nothing awesome, almost competent, but rental echoes continue. The epsilons drive better.

C+

well that's about it. I am left with the impression of how HORRIBLY cheap chryslers interiors are overall and wonder why they get such a pass from the press when GM gets crucified for it and GM's interiors are way better.

And overall, I'm not impressed, but its not all junk. Chrysler has work to do but has a few nice things. The SRT-8 300 is pretty cool.

Any questions, let me know.

Edited by regfootball

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Thanks for posting.

Did you hear any comments from other people? For instance, did you hear lots of people saying "that looks terrible" or "that looks great" about the Sebring/Nitro/Compass?

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Guest YellowJacket894

Thanks for posting.

:withstupid::D

I got to see a Nitro at a local dealer a few days ago -- you summed up that truck perfectly. The exterior was decent, but I haven't seen interior materials so cheap since the S-10 Blazer and Bronco II. The plastic was hard and brittle, the leather felt like vinyl, the switchgear felt like the stuff used in my S-10 and like it may break around or before the 75,000 mark, and the seating postition behind the driver's seat was actually somewhat uncomfortable for me. The Nitro's guts reeked of cheap, second-rate, and underdone.

I also got to see the new Wrangler Unlimited. It's a very cool truck -- looks very rugged and is also very practical, especially with a hardtop. I'd like to own one if I had the chance.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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Thanks for posting.

Did you hear any comments from other people? For instance, did you hear lots of people saying "that looks terrible" or "that looks great" about the Sebring/Nitro/Compass?

202488[/snapback]

not enough people milling around. one hot milf was eyeballing a sebring though.

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Thanks for posting.

:withstupid::D

I got to see a Nitro at a local dealer a few days ago -- you summed up that truck perfectly. The exterior was decent, but I haven't seen interior materials so cheap since the S-10 Blazer and Bronco II. The plastic was hard and brittle, the leather felt like vinyl, the switchgear felt like the stuff used in my S-10 and like it may break around or before the 75,000 mark, and the seating postition behind the driver's seat was actually somewhat uncomfortable for me. The Nitro's guts reeked of cheap, second-rate, and underdone.

I also got to see the new Wrangler Unlimited. It's a very cool truck -- looks very rugged and is also very practical, especially with a hardtop. I'd like to own one if I had the chance.

202492[/snapback]

I pretty much agree with you on all counts. The Nitro's front seat was like a ten dollar side chair at the chinese buffet. well, it had more padding, but it felt cheap in a similar way. I could not get comfortable in the seat and i tried to adjust it but the adjusters were crap.

And I even drove the Nitro. Its a bucket of bolts. Its like a complete regression to early 80's quality standards in the interior.

It kind of reminds me of this sort of thing

Posted Image

Edited by regfootball

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Guest YellowJacket894

Hey, at least you'd want to be caught at least half-dead in the Cutlass Supreme.

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So was there any sofft materials in the Nitro? Did the Sebrings have soft armrests?

202824[/snapback]

i can't specifically recall any soft stuff in the nitro.

i think the sebrings armrests were ok

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i can't specifically recall any soft stuff in the nitro.

i think the sebrings armrests were ok

202827[/snapback]

Nothing? Damn that is cheap...how about the Compass? Anything soft? The Sebring sounds ok...I don't mind the lower dash being hard plastic.

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Nothing? Damn that is cheap...how about the Compass? Anything soft? The Sebring sounds ok...I don't mind the lower dash being hard plastic.

202830[/snapback]

the sebrings hard plastic is patterned nicely, kind of like the mazda 3 dash top.

maybe the nitro in a tan interior would be an improvement. the gray and black with horrible leather did not come off good.

i found the sebring's interior to be just fine. the fusion's may be a bit nicer. I think the Aura might be a tish better than either of them. the sebriing's interior is distinctive. Where i think the Sebring fails is on trunk space and it's v6 is down in power. And the Sebring needs a roomier cabin, especially in back.

Edited by regfootball

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the sebrings hard plastic is patterned nicely, kind of like the mazda 3 dash top.

maybe the nitro in a tan interior would be an improvement.  the gray and black with horrible leather did not come off good.

202886[/snapback]

I wonder if they'll offer tan...

So is the COmpass all hard plastic or is anything soft?

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I wonder if they'll offer tan...

So is the COmpass all hard plastic or is anything soft?

202887[/snapback]

its pretty much all heard cheap pebble grained plastic. i saw new ones in the showroom that seem to look ok before but these lightly used ones really looked worn out and cheap. It gave me a new appreciation for my 500's interior.

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its pretty much all heard cheap pebble grained plastic.  i saw new ones in the showroom that seem to look ok before but these lightly used ones really looked worn out and cheap.  It gave me a new appreciation for my 500's interior.

202888[/snapback]

I see. So what sort of materials cover the 300 SRT-8's dash and door panels?

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I see. So what sort of materials cover the 300 SRT-8's dash and door panels?

202891[/snapback]

i wasn't in it for long, i just recall thinking it did not come off bad. i wonder if the srt's door panels and dash are nicer...the stock 300's i ve been in have cheap plastic.

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where was the event held? how did you get invited? was the event worthwhile?

thanks

I went to a factory sponsored Ride and Drive Event today for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep.  It was like 2 miles from my house, so I'm like, 'sure'.

Since I was able to check out a lot of the Chrysler Corp models and sit in them and drive them (albeit in very short low speed courses), it sure shaped some of my opinions on their products.

It would be hard to satisfy the forum gods and get it all in one post so I will try to keep my initial posts to this one and two more and then if anyone has comments.

202455[/snapback]

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Nothing? Damn that is cheap...how about the Compass? Anything soft? The Sebring sounds ok...I don't mind the lower dash being hard plastic.

202830[/snapback]

Why does everything have to be soft and fuzzy, i for one appreciate an interior that is durable and still offers enough comfort to take a decent drive, but these things are not luxury vehicles we cant expect every car to have these leathery luxurious interiors and also IMO all this fancy luxury crap doesnt belong in a truck in the first place.

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Why does everything have to be soft and fuzzy, i for one appreciate an interior that is durable and still offers enough comfort to take a decent drive, but these things are not luxury vehicles we cant expect every car to have these leathery luxurious interiors and also IMO all this fancy luxury crap doesnt belong in a truck in the first place.

203015[/snapback]

You know what? I want my arms resting on something soft not brittle and hard. My cheap-ass Shadow has the armrests soft and even the dash (which matters less but it's the principle).

All vehicles should at the very least have soft material on the arm rests on the doors and the center.

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You know what? I want my arms resting on something soft not brittle and hard. My cheap-ass Shadow has the armrests soft and even the dash (which matters less but it's the principle).

All vehicles should at the very least have soft material on the arm rests on the doors and the center.

203018[/snapback]

ok i can agree with that.the arm rest on the door and center console/arm rest deal.

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where was the event held? how did you get invited? was the event worthwhile?

thanks

203004[/snapback]

there was a flyer in the paper. I will try to find the link for the website to register again.

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Why does everything have to be soft and fuzzy, i for one appreciate an interior that is durable and still offers enough comfort to take a decent drive, but these things are not luxury vehicles we cant expect every car to have these leathery luxurious interiors and also IMO all this fancy luxury crap doesnt belong in a truck in the first place.

203015[/snapback]

agree, but this stuff is beyond cheap.

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I happen to be in Las Vegas right now and I have a Magnum R/T AWD with the HEMI.

I really like the vehicle. It has a great big, solid feel to it but I'm surprised how nimble it feels relative to how nice the ride quality is.

The HEMI of course is great and the five-speed auto shifts responsibly. The only thing I didn't like as much is the steering feel at moderate road speeds. It doesn't feel like it firms up enough.

The interior was two-tone charcoal and grey.....and as usual, contrary to most people on here, I have no problem with the interior materials and/or fit-and-finish inside this LX car.

Overall, I can understand why these cars do so well.

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