William Maley

May 2016: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC

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William Maley    393

FCA US LLC Reports May 2016 U.S. Sales Increased 1 Percent; Best May Sales Since 2005

  • Jeep® brand sales up 14 percent; best monthly sales ever
  • Jeep Renegade and Jeep Patriot each posts their best monthly sales ever
  • Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City vans record their best May sales ever

June 1, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 204,452 units, a 1 percent increase compared with sales in May 2015 (202,227 units), and the group’s best May sales in 11 years.

 

The Jeep® and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 14 percent increase was the brand’s best monthly sales ever.

 

“Notwithstanding a challenging calendar, we managed to muscle our way to our strongest May sales in over 10 years,” said Reid Bigland, Senior Vice President - Sales, FCA - North America. “Initial sales of our all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan are brisk and we expect further sales growth from this vehicle over the next few months as dealer inventory continues to build.”

 

Five FCA US vehicles set records in the month of May. The Jeep Renegade and Jeep Patriot each recorded their best monthly sales ever, while the Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City vans posted their best May sales ever. In addition, the Jeep Compass turned in its best May sales ever. On the brand side, the Jeep brand continues to set records with its best monthly sales ever.

 

Jeep® Brand

Jeep brand sales were up 14 percent in May for its best monthly sales ever and its 32nd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep brand has set a sales record in every month dating back to November 2013. Both the Jeep Renegade – the newest entry to the Jeep product lineup – and the Jeep Patriot turned in their best monthly sales ever. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 4 percent for its best May sales since the year 2000. The Renegade last month made Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000.

 

Ram Truck Brand

Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City, were up slightly in May for its best May sales since 2005. Both the Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City vans each recorded their best May sales ever. The 2016 Ram 1500 took home the “Best Family Pickup Truck” award last month from the Family Car Challenge hosted by the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA).

 

Dodge Brand

Dodge Grand Caravan sales were up 76 percent last month for its best May sales since 2014, while Dodge Durango sales increased 2 percent for its best May sales performance since 2005. In addition, Dodge Charger sales were up 5 percent for its best May in two years. Dodge brand sales were down 5 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Dodge brand earned three major awards last month during the Texas Auto Roundup hosted by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA). Dodge collected the Full-size Sedan of Texas (2016 Charger R/T Scat Pack), Performance Sedan of Texas (2016 Charger SRT Hellcat) and Super Car of Texas (2016 Viper GTC) during the annual competition.

 

Chrysler Brand

In its second month on sale, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan posted sales of 2,495 units, up significantly from the 487 units sold in its initial month on sale in April. The Pacifica last month was honored as the Family Car of Texas at TAWA’s Texas Auto Roundup. But the accolades didn’t stop there. The Pacifica also took home TAWA awards for Minivan of Texas, Best New Interior, and Best New Feature for its Uconnect Theater. Greater volumes of the new minivan will continue to arrive at dealerships just in time for the busy summer-selling season. Sales of the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan were up 38 percent for its best May sales since 2012. In addition, Chrysler Town & Country sales were up 49 percent for its best May in two years. Chrysler brand sales were down 19 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago.

 

FIAT Brand

FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500, Fiat 500L and 500X, were down 19 percent in May, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the 500X were up in May compared with the same month a year ago, in its first month of year-over-year comparisons. The 500 last month made Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000. Deliveries of the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider are expected to begin arriving in FIAT studios this month. The 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation of vehicles and buyers. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design. 

 

 

FCA US LLC Sales Summary May 2016

               
   

Month Sales

Vol %

CYTD Sales

Vol %

 

Model

Curr Yr

Pr Yr

Change

Curr Yr

Pr Yr

Change

 

Compass

9,198

4,252

116%

39,193

22,782

72%

 

Patriot

12,864

10,782

19%

52,067

49,944

4%

 

Wrangler

19,551

22,324

-12%

80,295

83,291

-4%

 

Cherokee

19,208

19,669

-2%

86,409

86,954

-1%

 

Grand Cherokee

18,856

18,209

4%

83,927

77,616

8%

 

Renegade

10,868

4,416

146%

42,549

9,573

344%

 

JEEP BRAND

90,545

79,652

14%

384,440

330,160

16%

 

200

7,600

20,007

-62%

33,164

88,009

-62%

 

300

5,598

4,042

38%

27,085

20,750

31%

 

Town & Country

8,583

5,753

49%

49,394

30,680

61%

 

Pacifica

2,495

0

New

2,982

0

New

 

CHRYSLER BRAND

24,276

29,802

-19%

112,625

139,439

-19%

 

Dart

4,514

8,667

-48%

25,774

42,353

-39%

 

Avenger

0

111

-100%

0

898

-100%

 

Charger

8,142

7,777

5%

44,101

43,058

2%

 

Challenger

6,677

7,438

-10%

29,128

30,166

-3%

 

Viper

47

58

-19%

241

289

-17%

 

Journey

6,137

8,813

-30%

37,423

41,456

-10%

 

Caravan

11,135

6,320

76%

58,050

29,364

98%

 

Durango

6,185

6,084

2%

32,204

26,101

23%

 

DODGE  BRAND

42,837

45,268

-5%

226,921

213,685

6%

 

Ram P/U

38,833

39,952

-3%

193,279

179,384

8%

 

Cargo Van

1

191

-99%

1

2,996

-100%

 

ProMaster Van

2,946

2,541

16%

14,175

9,854

44%

 

ProMaster City

1,833

914

101%

8,264

2,634

214%

 

RAM BRAND

43,613

43,598

0%

215,736

194,868

11%

 

Alfa 4C 

44

40

10%

273

295

-7%

 

ALFA BRAND

44

40

10%

273

295

-7%

 

500

1,553

2,614

-41%

6,819

13,107

-48%

 

500L

334

1,245

-73%

2,064

5,546

-63%

 

500X

1,250

8

15525%

6,308

8

78750%

 

FIAT BRAND

3,137

3,867

-19%

15,191

18,661

-19%

               
 

TOTAL FCA US LLC

204,452

202,227

1%

955,186

897,108

6%

               
 

    Total Car & MPV

56,722

64,072

-11%

279,075

304,515

-8%

 

    Total UV's

104,117

94,557

10%

460,375

397,725

16%

 

    Total Truck & LCV

43,613

43,598

0%

215,736

194,868

11%

               

 

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dfelt    1,776

So everything is down double digits except RAM being neutral and JEEP is keeping them afloat. 

 

This is Sergio's legacy. Crappy management of product lines. Just kill off Fiat and stop wasting money on Alfa.

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surreal1272    677

How in the world do 92,000 people have a Patriot or a Compass? Are there BOGO deals going on that I don't know about?

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ccap41    1,162

How in the world do 92,000 people have a Patriot or a Compass? Are there BOGO deals going on that I don't know about?

Dude, I can't agree more! 

 

There are soooooooo many better vehicles out there than those 15 year old little SUVs. 

 

If there is a BOGO I'll go havzies(halvsies/halfzies) with you on a pair of them so we'll each get one for 50% off.  :thumbsup:

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surreal1272    677

How in the world do 92,000 people have a Patriot or a Compass? Are there BOGO deals going on that I don't know about?

Dude, I can't agree more! 

 

There are soooooooo many better vehicles out there than those 15 year old little SUVs. 

 

If there is a BOGO I'll go havzies(halvsies/halfzies) with you on a pair of them so we'll each get one for 50% off.  :thumbsup:

Sure thing. I'll just turn around and sell mine anyway. Neither are worth half of they are asking for IMO.

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dfelt    1,776

Interesting that you can get a pretty loaded patriot or compass for $180 a month on a 36 month lease.

 

Course depending on model they are selling here in the greater seattle area from $10K to $16K new out the door. So I guess lots will get sold as long as they are cheap to buy.

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ocnblu    733

Check out the solid sales performance of the Jeep ® Renegade!  It enjoyed the second-best sales increase of any FCA product!  GO RENY GO!!

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regfootball    234

How in the world do 92,000 people have a Patriot or a Compass? Are there BOGO deals going on that I don't know about?

they (compass and Patrirot) are the worst products available on the modern market and yet look at how Sergio sells the sht out of them.  And all the rest of FCA's ancient products.  It's stunning how old all the products are and look at the sales!

 

Look at that drop in Chrysler 200 sales....and Chrysler in general is teetering on being a niche brand itself.

 

It's all mind boggling, but hey i vowed never to drive a Chrysler and there's one in my garage.  Somehow Chrysler had made a living off of repackaging the aging bones.  The bill is coming due soon though.  Can they survive aside from pickups and Jeeps.

Edited by regfootball

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Stew    341

As someone who owned a trouble-free 07 Patriot bought new for 126k miles and 5 years they are actually decent vehicles, especially for the price.  Mine was a basic Sport with AWD/2.4/manual.  it was actually adequately fun to run around with the stick.  I averaged 26-30 MPG and got as high as mid 30s on a highway run.  They are far roomier than their size suggests and the folding rear and passenger seats made for very good cargo carrying capacity.  ven in 07 the had standard stability control, traction control, and brake force distribution.  Mine tracked well and performed excellent offroad even though it didn't have a low range.  It also had neat features such as a 2 prong outlet, rechargable flashlight, which seems silly until ou have it but comes in hand pretty often, a loackable 4wd system that actually allowed you to lock the awd system 50/50 when needed.  It also had the rear axle disconnect connect long before the Cherokee and Renegade and you could leave the AWD in auto.  Yes, 07-08 interior left a bit to be desired, but the 09+ interior, which has received upgrades basically every year, is very nice.  It is far and away the best vehicle in snow I have EVER owned.  The price is thousands less than anything else their size comparably equipped too.  And no, he rebates are nowhere near what you would think they are. 

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ccap41    1,162

 

 

How in the world do 92,000 people have a Patriot or a Compass? Are there BOGO deals going on that I don't know about?

Dude, I can't agree more! 

 

There are soooooooo many better vehicles out there than those 15 year old little SUVs. 

 

If there is a BOGO I'll go havzies(halvsies/halfzies) with you on a pair of them so we'll each get one for 50% off.  :thumbsup:

Sure thing. I'll just turn around and sell mine anyway. Neither are worth half of they are asking for IMO.

 

That's about all I'd do as well but if we could get them for half off.. there's gotta be some left for us to profit on!

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surreal1272    677

As someone who owned a trouble-free 07 Patriot bought new for 126k miles and 5 years they are actually decent vehicles, especially for the price. Mine was a basic Sport with AWD/2.4/manual. it was actually adequately fun to run around with the stick. I averaged 26-30 MPG and got as high as mid 30s on a highway run. They are far roomier than their size suggests and the folding rear and passenger seats made for very good cargo carrying capacity. ven in 07 the had standard stability control, traction control, and brake force distribution. Mine tracked well and performed excellent offroad even though it didn't have a low range. It also had neat features such as a 2 prong outlet, rechargable flashlight, which seems silly until ou have it but comes in hand pretty often, a loackable 4wd system that actually allowed you to lock the awd system 50/50 when needed. It also had the rear axle disconnect connect long before the Cherokee and Renegade and you could leave the AWD in auto. Yes, 07-08 interior left a bit to be desired, but the 09+ interior, which has received upgrades basically every year, is very nice. It is far and away the best vehicle in snow I have EVER owned. The price is thousands less than anything else their size comparably equipped too. And no, he rebates are nowhere near what you would think they are.

It may be a "decent" car for you but overall, it is so far behind the competition in every way, I just can't see a compelling reason to shell out five figures for one. Edited by surreal1272
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Stew    341

 

As someone who owned a trouble-free 07 Patriot bought new for 126k miles and 5 years they are actually decent vehicles, especially for the price. Mine was a basic Sport with AWD/2.4/manual. it was actually adequately fun to run around with the stick. I averaged 26-30 MPG and got as high as mid 30s on a highway run. They are far roomier than their size suggests and the folding rear and passenger seats made for very good cargo carrying capacity. ven in 07 the had standard stability control, traction control, and brake force distribution. Mine tracked well and performed excellent offroad even though it didn't have a low range. It also had neat features such as a 2 prong outlet, rechargable flashlight, which seems silly until ou have it but comes in hand pretty often, a loackable 4wd system that actually allowed you to lock the awd system 50/50 when needed. It also had the rear axle disconnect connect long before the Cherokee and Renegade and you could leave the AWD in auto. Yes, 07-08 interior left a bit to be desired, but the 09+ interior, which has received upgrades basically every year, is very nice. It is far and away the best vehicle in snow I have EVER owned. The price is thousands less than anything else their size comparably equipped too. And no, he rebates are nowhere near what you would think they are.

It may be a "decent" car for you but overall, it is so far behind the competition in every way, I just can't see a compelling reason to shell out five figures for one.

 

Considering the price of other SUV's in the segment you get a lot for your money. yes, it is certainly time for a replacement and it is coming soon, but they still offer a lot for the money ou pay, yes 5 digits, but low 5 digits.   Honestly what was really holding them back was the CVT.  You'll notice that once the 6 speed auto became available in 14, that is when sales starting climbing at a fast clip.

Edited by Stew
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ccap41    1,162

They just sell because they're dirt cheap because they don't do any one thing better than any of their competitors. Maybe something like ground clearance.. 

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regfootball    234

i didn't drive the manual, but a rental in a compass was dreadful.  terrible cvt, terrible ride, overall couldn't wait to get out of it.  A patriot test drive with cvt once was the same deal.

 

It's possible the manual changes the entire perception of the vehicle.

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Stew    341

They just sell because they're dirt cheap because they don't do any one thing better than any of their competitors. Maybe something like ground clearance.. 

 

Ground clearance, approach and departure angles.  The room is great and the nifty features i mentioned.  The ability to lock the AWD system 50/50 which most don't offer, The FE, at least for the manual I had was better than I am sure I could get from the others.  Talking taks where I averaged over 30 in mixed and got mid 30s on the highway.  It has the tightest turning radius of any vehicle I think i have ever driven too so maneuverability is a big point.  And how many have reclining rear seats and a 120 volt outlet?  It really is a good runabout.  It offers touch screen with nav and everything and a rear backup camera now.  The only thing i could think of that it is really missing is backup sensors and crosspatch detection. 

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Stew    341

i didn't drive the manual, but a rental in a compass was dreadful.  terrible cvt, terrible ride, overall couldn't wait to get out of it.  A patriot test drive with cvt once was the same deal.

 

It's possible the manual changes the entire perception of the vehicle.

 

The CVT is utterly dreadful barnone.    I went with the manual simply because i hated the CVT so much.  The manual is actually a good one.  Smooth, easy to use.  it is what I learned to drive a manual on actually.  it helps too that the shifter is mounted with a short stick like a car.  it also makes it much quicker.  The manual runs mid 8s to 60 which is pretty average for the class, but the CVT is mid 9s to 10.  No one has ever tested the 6 speed auto though.  The 5 speed also destroys the CVT in FE, my lowest tank was 26 and plenty of times I would average in the 30s for a tank.  the CVT seems lucky to match my lowest tank.  I you ever have a chance take an AWD/manual for a drive you might be pleasantly surprised.

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ccap41    1,162

Aaaaaaaaaand 0.1% of people take these CUVs off road so all that increased ride height and departure angles get you is worse mileage and worse driving characteristics..what people use that drive these.

 

Maneuverability is completely your opinion unless you've driven all of the little CUVs to actually say it is better or worse. 

 

My Escape has reclining rear seats and a 12v outlet. I would assume with the Escape being one of the older CUVs the others have them as well as they're newer.  

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ocnblu    733

The two things I did not care for in my Patriot were the CVT and the tiny fuel tank.  Other than that, I enjoyed it.

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smk4565    322

How in the world do 92,000 people have a Patriot or a Compass? Are there BOGO deals going on that I don't know about?

I bet they are 90% fleet sales.

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smk4565    322

FCA proving they don't need 3 mainstream car brands.  Their car sales are all in the tank, and they don't even have any replacements lined up for most of their products they have on sale now.

 

I do like the Jeep Renegade, Jeep is all this company has, the rest is bankruptcy in waiting if gas prices spike or the economy tanks.

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ocnblu    733

This little terrier makes me happy... tiny fuel tank and all.

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Stew    341

Aaaaaaaaaand 0.1% of people take these CUVs off road so all that increased ride height and departure angles get you is worse mileage and worse driving characteristics..what people use that drive these.

 

Maneuverability is completely your opinion unless you've driven all of the little CUVs to actually say it is better or worse. 

 

My Escape has reclining rear seats and a 12v outlet. I would assume with the Escape being one of the older CUVs the others have them as well as they're newer.  

More than you think do.  I did mine and always surprised at how capable it was even sans he off-road package. Maneuverability is more than an opinion.  A Patriot is actually smaller and shorter than basically everything else in the class.  it slots right between the Renegade and Cherokee in size.  it also has a VERY tight turning circle.  I am not even saying anything bad about any other CUV's, just stating that the Patriot does have it's perks.  Oh, and the locking 4x4 system makes the thing basically unstoppable in the snow. 

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Stew    341

This little terrier makes me happy... tiny fuel tank and all.

 

The Renegade Trailhawk is such a little terrier.My big hope is that it gets a version of the new turbo 4.  I also wish it would get the Cherokees locking rear differential and of course a Comanche variant.  It shouldn't be too long before we see the Compass/Patriot replacement.  It should be nice, everything points to mini Grand Cherokee and can't wait to see it's Trailhawk version.

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surreal1272    677

Aaaaaaaaaand 0.1% of people take these CUVs off road so all that increased ride height and departure angles get you is worse mileage and worse driving characteristics..what people use that drive these.

 

Maneuverability is completely your opinion unless you've driven all of the little CUVs to actually say it is better or worse. 

 

My Escape has reclining rear seats and a 12v outlet. I would assume with the Escape being one of the older CUVs the others have them as well as they're newer.  

More than you think do.  I did mine and always surprised at how capable it was even sans he off-road package. Maneuverability is more than an opinion.  A Patriot is actually smaller and shorter than basically everything else in the class.  it slots right between the Renegade and Cherokee in size.  it also has a VERY tight turning circle.  I am not even saying anything bad about any other CUV's, just stating that the Patriot does have it's perks.  Oh, and the locking 4x4 system makes the thing basically unstoppable in the snow.

I think you are overestimating the number of people who actually take those two CUVs off-road. I live in the desert and yet to see any of those off road ever. Hell, people barely take their Wranglers off road anymore.

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      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295

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    • By William Maley
      Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.
      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295
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