Jump to content
Create New...

Here's a hunch: Bet on Chrysler


Recommended Posts

Here's a hunch: Bet on Chrysler

By DENISE MCCLUGGAGE on 12/30/2010

For a start, the Dodge Journey is a trip, the Dodge Charger charges, the Chrysler 200 is unexpected competition for a barrel of monkeys, and the Chrysler Town & Country in its new lowered silhouette has somehow acquired less bulk and more presence. Proportion is beguiling to an avid eye.

Someone more than conversant with the design-school shibboleths (harmony, balance, proportion) has been busy outside and inside the new models. The interiors are unstrained and smart with usefulness and pleasing touches. There are tucking places for things and sliding covers to keep those things corralled. This and the general feel of the space are connections to an evident thoughtfulness. The interiors (I could guess any sketchers-on-napkins here have spent some attentive time in Audis) are universally pleasing to look at, to touch and to use. Softer, rounder controls and surfaces work as well as anything else and are more agreeable to hand and eye. I dig agreeable. And these interiors have a new hushed quietude about them that whispers of luxury.

Over the next few months, a total of 16 new vehicles will be served on the company table; all I've seen indicate that there are chefs rather than mere cooks in the Chrysler kitchen these days.

And that's roughly what I tell people when they pose the question "Is Chrysler going to make it?”

Not so long ago, when the guard dogs of hell were in charge of Walter P.'s heritage, I had a simple answer: No. But now that actual car folk seem to be back in charge, I have Windexed my crystal ball and am peering again into its swimming depths. If intelligent design, good engineering, hard work and an infectious, upbeat attitude have any influence, then why the hell not?

The recovering car market has welcomed the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a brass band. November sales were up from those of November 2009 by 256 percent. How cool is that? Ram, formerly Dodge trucks, turned upward toward the sun by 67 percent. This while Toyota was dropping 4.3 percent.

But numbers schmumbers. What impressed me in a couple of days with a handful of the new Chryslers and Dodges were appearances, performances and prices. I liked the way the planes of the vehicles' surfaces offered a quiet playground for shadow and light. Too subtle to be edgy but nonetheless adding significant dimension. And calmly somehow.

The new engines, stronger but not any more demanding of fuel, felt good and, when appropriate, sounded good. Particularly satisfying were the new six-speed gearboxes, shifting in the split of a thought.

The Town & Country made me smile. It is so coolly elegant without being cold. It somehow accepts that word "minivan" and elevates it, like diamonds on denim. I enjoyed playing with the power buttons that make the rearmost seats disappear into the basement and reappear again. Ah, will it bring up a body this time?

The Chrysler 200 was a surprise. A quirk of mine is distaste for sedans. (I loved the Dodge Magnum, and it went away.) So maybe if the 200 were a sport wagon or a Volkswagen Golf-ish hatch, I would have expected its glee in playing on a road as undulant and twisting as a buckling suspension bridge (California's Route 1 from Stimson Beach to 101). Golly, did we grab up our skirts and dance. Happiness.

Of course, the answer to the "make it” question rests on whether the Chrysler vehicles can put their reputation for troubles and woe to rest. It seems to me they're worth betting on.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20101230/FREE/101239998#ixzz19cWrSDdV

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 71 Guests (See full list)

  • Chevy Estimated Range for Silverado EV Work Truck Raised to 450 miles

    When Chevrolet initially took the wraps off the Silverado EV last year, GM had estimated up to a 400 mile range based on its own calculations.  As the Silverado EV has made its way through development, it went for EPA certification and came back with 50 miles more than GM's estimate.  With this new EPA certification, the Silverado EV has an over 100-mile advantage over its only on-sale competitor the F-150 Lightning Extended Range (320 miles). The Silverado EV will launch first in WT trim with t


    All New 2024 Toyota Tacoma Yearns For Adventure

    The Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling mid-size pickup in the U.S. for nearly 20 years. Holding such an important place in the lineup, Toyota has been very conservative with updates in the past.  The outgoing generation ran for a full 7 years, but even that was based on a platform that dates all the way back to 2004.  For 2024, the Tacoma sheds the old platform entirely and joins the Tundra and Sequoia on Toyota's new TNGA-F global truck platform.  The 2024 Tacoma is the latest (and final)


    The Ford Ranger Raptor Finally Comes to the US

    After years of being forbidden fruit offered only in overseas markets, Ford has finally deemed the Ranger Raptor worthy enough to bring to the U.S. The biggest reason for the U.S. not getting the prior version was its standard diesel power and the inability of the platform to take a sizable V6 engine. When Ford redesigned the 2024 Ranger (read more about the 2024 Ford Ranger here), they made sure to alter the engine bay and chassis to accommodate a V6. Powering the Ranger Raptor is a 3.0-li


  • Create New...

Hey there, we notice you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.


Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search