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Chrysler dropping AWD on Avenger, Sebring and Caliber

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Chrysler dropping AWD on Avenger, Sebring and Caliber

Posted Oct 20th 2008 9:27AM

Link to AutoBlog

If you didn't know all-wheel drive was an available option for the Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Caliber, you're not alone. Only 1.5% of Avenger buyers checked the AWD option box, and the Sebring take rate was an abysmal .7%. The Caliber fared only slightly better at 4.4% for the 2008 model, but that's not nearly enough to keep Chrysler from canceling the option for the 2009 model year. AWD was fast becoming a mainstream option when those models were being developed, but the ability to move all four wheels at once drives down fuel economy. The MSRP goes up, too, and Chrysler and Dodge dealers are having enough trouble selling less expensive base models, much less a $35,000 Sebring with AWD.

While Chrysler may be struggling to sell AWD as an option on its cars, Ford is reporting take rates of up to 20% for the option on the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. The Blue Oval says AWD is popular in northern climes, and it probably helps that the automaker actually advertises its midsize offerings' AWD capability. Chrysler is quick to point out that its Borg Warner-sourced AWD system isn't the problem, though, as it's also available on the Dodge Journey, which has a 20% take rate for AWD.

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I was aware of AWD as an option but since the cars are not particularly desirable overall, I am not surprised that it wasn't a popular option on a decidedly un-popular car (Sebring/Avenger in particular).

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Caliber was pushed at first as a 'crossover', then when gas went up, they suddenly called it a 'small car'.

I only see new Mo-dogs at rental fleets at O'Hare airport, and white Avengers/Seb's with 'US govt" plates.

The canary in the coal mine is on its 9th life and in a coma.

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Rental fleets don't care about AWD anyway...

You wouldn't think so, which is why I was so surprised when my mom got an AWD Vibe as a loaner while her Enclave was being serviced. And, it's not like the car came from a "bad weather" state... it had CA plates!

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It's rather telling that I'm a domestic car nut and I didn't even know the Sebring/Avenger even had AWD as an option.


Well I like new Mopars. I didn't know they were available AWD either!

Though I wouldn't have cared. LOL

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