100 Hot Cars

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Ford F-150 Continues To Dominate The Sales Chart But The Surprise Winner Is The Dodge Grand Caravan 29
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Chevrolet, Chevrolet Camaro, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Grand Caravan, Ford, Ford Mustang, honda, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Honda CR-V, TOYOTA, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4 on 12 29th, 2017


Mercedes is on track to become the best-selling luxury brand in the United States for the second year in a row but that’s not the only interesting sales competition as there are classic rivalries such as Camaro vs Mustang and F-150 vs Silverado.

USA Today compiled a list of the hottest segments and they found some pretty familiar winners. In the compact sedan category, the Civic is dominating the competition as Honda has sold 345,880 models through November which puts it far ahead of the second place Toyota Corolla and its 290,163 sales.

The mid-size sedan segment is the opposite as the Camry is outselling the Accord by nearly 43,000 units. Next year promises to be even more interesting as the redesigned Camry had an early head start against the all-new Accord.

The muscle car segment is always interesting and this year was surprising as Dodge Challenger sales dramatically increased thanks in part to the halo effect of the Challenger SRT Demon. This helped Dodge to move 60,029 Challengers which wasn’t far behind the 64,138 Camaros that Chevrolet was able to sell. Of course, the real winner is Ford which sold 74,152 Mustangs.

Talking about surprises, the minivan segment was won by the ancient Dodge Grand Caravan. Thanks to fleet and commercial sales, Dodge sold 118,573 Grand Caravans which put it ahead of the newer Chrysler Pacifica which came in second place with 107,130 sales through the first 11 months of the year.

The crossover segment is booming and the Toyota RAV4 was a huge hit with consumers as they bought 375,052 units so far this year. The Honda CR-V is close behind at 340,912 units but the remaining competition isn’t even close.

The mid-size pickup market has seen renewed interest thanks to entries such as the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma. However, the latter model is the winner as Toyota has sold 179,420 Tacomas so far.

Speaking of trucks, the Ford F-150 continues to dominate the competition as it’s outselling the Chevrolet Silverado by nearly 300,000 units. Even when you factor in the GMC Sierra, General Motors still trails Ford by almost 100,000 units.

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Consumer Reports Says The Mercedes GLA Is The Least Satisfying Car In America 21
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Acura, Acura ILX, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Trax, Consumer Reports, Dodge, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey, Fiat, Fiat 500, Ford, Ford Transit, Infiniti, Infiniti QX60, mercedes, nissan, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Versa on 12 21st, 2017


New vehicles are typically one of the largest purchases that consumers make so it’s important that you buy something that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen and sometimes owners spend tens of thousands of dollars on something they regret buying in the first place. Consumer Reports want to help people avoid this mistake so they’ve used data from their Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey along with their own testing and reliability ratings to come up with a list of the ten least satisfying vehicles in America.

Dodge Grand Caravan

The Dodge Grand Caravan dates back to 2008 and its $25,995 price tag simply can’t make up for its many faults. As Consumer Reports notes, the minivan has the worst fuel economy rating in its class and its second-row seats are just plain lousy.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 bills itself as fun city car but it’s simply a small, overpriced hatchback with retro styling. There are a handful of interesting variants but CR says the model suffers from a choppy ride, an awkward driving position, and a noisy interior.

Ford Transit Connect

The Ford Transit Connect was designed as a commercial vehicle and the magazine says consumers shouldn’t think about it as a minivan replacement. While it offers good handling and a decent ride, there are plenty of faults including mediocre fuel economy ratings, a cheap interior, and a lack of features.

Infiniti QX60

Luxury vehicles are supposed to be comfortable, quick, and luxurious. The QX60 ticks a few of those boxes but there’s no hiding the fact that the crossover is a Nissan Pathfinder in an extra-large suit. Despite highlighting the model’s spacious and well-appointed interior, Consumer Reports say the QX60’s fuel-economy rating is “so-so” and the driving experience is “mushy.”

Dodge Journey

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is prominently featured on this year list and that’s largely due to aging vehicles such as the Journey. While it’s relatively affordable, with pricing starting at $21,195, it suffers from worst-in-class fuel economy ratings. Consumer Reports is brutal when it comes to the Journey as the publication says “This low-rated model is a poor value anywhere — even at the airport rental lot.”

Nissan Versa Sedan

The Nissan Versa is one of the most affordable sedans in America but buyers might want to simply shop the classifieds. That bargain basement price is a result of some major tradeoffs including a cheap interior and an underpowered engine that is paired to a continuously variable transmission. The model also suffers from a stiff ride and clumsy handling.

Chevrolet Trax

The Trax recently received a facelift but Consumer Reports says one of the biggest issues is the model’s turbocharged 1.4-liter engine which isn’t powerful or fuel-efficient. The organization also notes the Trax has a cramped interior, a stiff ride, and ambitious pricing.

Acura ILX

Like the Trax, the ILX was recently updated to fix its many shortfalls but these improvements didn’t address the car’s “stiff” and “jumpy ride.” Other disappointments include incessant road noise, a bad transmission, and a confusing infotainment system.

Nissan Sentra

The Sentra has a lot going for it but even responsive handling and a spacious interior can’t make up for a stiff ride and a driving experience that is described as “ho-hum and joyless.” The base model is particularly disappointing as it is one of the slowest accelerating cars in its class.

Mercedes GLA-Class

The most disappointing vehicle might come as a surprise because it’s made by Mercedes-Benz. Despite its luxury ambitions, the GLA is a high-riding hatchback that is small, cramped, and expensive as pricing starts at $33,400. Consumer Reports say the crossover suffers from a stiff ride, a loud interior, a bad gearbox, and poor visibility – just to name a few things.



New Dodge Challenger And Charger Reportedly Coming In 2021 With Maserati Ghibli’s Platform 19
Sep
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Dodge, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey, FCA, Maserati, Maserati Ghibli, Reports on 09 19th, 2017


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is apparently committed to shifting the next generations Dodge Challenger and Charger to the same architecture underpinning the Maserati Ghibli.
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FCA’s Ontario Plant Suspends Minivan Production Due To Flooding 30
Aug
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Canada, Chrysler, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan, FCA, Reports on 08 30th, 2017


Two days of heavy rain was enough to halt production at FCA’s minivan factory in Windsor, Ontario, with the company sending around 2,000 employees home early on Tuesday.
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FCA Recalls Almost 300,000 Dodge Grand Caravans Over Airbag Defect 15
Jun
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Dodge, Dodge Grand Caravan, FCA, Recalls, Reports on 06 15th, 2017


Well, here's an airbag-related issue that has nothing to do with Takata, which must be a (small) relief for them. FCA says the safety campaign has been announced after an investigation that led to the discovery of a condition that could affect the deployment of the driver's airbag.
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Here Are 7 Cars That People Regret Buying 3
Jan
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in Acura ILX, Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep Compass, Nissan Frontier, Nissan Pathfinder, Reports, SUV, Trucks, video on 01 3rd, 2017


If you live in the US and you're currently unhappy with your ride, there's a good chance you're rolling in one of the following seven models.
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Dodge Rolls Out New Heritage-Inspired Colors For Its Range 9
Sep
Posted by Brad Anderson in Dodge, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey, Dodge Viper, Reports on 09 9th, 2016


Dodge has added a selection of new colors to its 2017 range of vehicles, with each drawing on the brand's heritage and giving customers to opportunity to make their vehicle's stand out.
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Chrysler Recalls Over 100,000 Vehicles Due To Corroded Airbag Module 9
Feb
Posted by Brad Anderson in Chrysler, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey, Recalls, Reports on 02 9th, 2016


In excess of 110,000 Chrysler minivans and crossovers are being recalled due to potentially corroded airbag control units.
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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T Review & Test Drive 24
Aug
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in Automotive, Dodge, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan R/T, featured, minivan, Test Drives on 08 24th, 2011

‘THE MAN VAN’

Dodge, the manufacturer of the first minivan back in 1984, has introduced a special version of their Grand Caravan that is more manly, trying to leave the stigma of the minivan as only a ‘soccer mom’s vehicle.  The all-new 2011 Grand Caravan R/T is certainly more macho under the sheet metal skin, inside the cabin with a more aggressive exterior design including all of the storage tricks and entertainment systems available only from Dodge.

Just because a driver needs the versatility of a minivan doesn’t mean that the experience has to be boring.  Dodge engineers redesigned and retuned virtually every system in the new Grand Caravan’s suspension.  That suspension overhaul, combined with the new V6 engine that delivers best-in-class horsepower, gives Grand Caravan drivers a dynamic driving experience that other minivans in the segment just don’t have.

R/T is where versatility meets performance and attitude.  Uniquely designed both inside and out, the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T proves a driver doesn’t have to give up a spirited driving experience or their identity when they have a family.  The 2011 throws down the gauntlet for a whole new level of cool transportation for families on the go.

Dodge has redesigned the 2011 Grand Caravan to match its new attitude about driving with a sleek and athletic look.  A new front fascia sports the new Dodge signature ‘split crosshair’ grille, a new hood and quad headlamps all combine to give the face of the new 2011 Grand Caravan a more aggressive feel.  A new, more sculpted rear fascia and liftgate, new rear ‘ring of fire’ LED taillamps, a new Dodge badge, a 12mm lower ride height, new premium 225/65R17 inch lower-rolling resistance all-season radial tires , and a new rear spoiler all contribute to the new look and it’s class-leading aerodynamics and excellent fuel economy.

Also new for 2011 is the latest innovation from the minivan leader: the Stow ‘n Place roof rack system that lets you stow the roof bows in the side rails when they are not in use, then snap them easily into place when needed. The ability to stow the roof bows when they’re not being used means less aerodynamic drag and wind buffeting and better overall efficiency.

At the heart of the all-new 2011 Grand Caravan R/T is an all-new powertrain.  The new 3.6 liter Pentastar DOHC, all-aluminum V6 engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transaxle with AutoStick that allows you to shift gears manually when the spirit of higher performance overcomes you.  This potent combination replaces all three of the previous minivan engines.  With the Pentastar engine, the new Grand Caravan delivers best-in-class horsepower, 283hp at 6,400rpm and 260lb.ft. of torque at 4,400rpm without sacrificing fuel economy of 17mpg/city and 25mpg/highway.

The 2011 Grand Caravan also features a new Eco mode which is a driver-selectable fuel economizer mode.  You can change the transaxle shift schedule with the flip of a switch to maximize your fuel economy.

The new suspension system has been re-tuned to give a smoother ride with better road holding capability.  Up front is an independent MacPherson strut setup coil over gas-charged shocks, a stabilizer and an isolated suspension cradle.  The rear setup is a twist beam axle with coil springs, a track bar, gas-charges shocks, or optional ‘self-leveling shocks’, and a stabilizer bar to keep the rear from leaning out when cornering.

The power-assisted rack & pinion steering system is weighed on the heavy side that gives you a better feel for the road, a great on-center feel and quick responses to your inputs when driving around slow city traffic or when cruising along in the mountains.

The brakes have also been re-worked and are larger-11.9 inch vented discs up front clamped with larger, aluminum seated single piston calipers and 12 inch solid discs in the rear also clamped with aluminum seated single piston calipers.  Standard ABS, ESC and all-speed Traction Control work in tandem to help you keep control of your direction during severe braking maneuvers and when you are braking on wet or slick pavement.

The R/T model that I tested rode on 17X6.5 inch cast aluminum wheels and wrapped with the aforementioned 225/65R17 inch Michelin Energy Saver all-season radial tires.

The new more powerful powertrain, re-tuned suspension gives the all-new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan a ride like no other minivan on the market.  But it is inside that really impresses.

Owners will step into an all-new world-class interior for 2011.  A modern, one-piece instrument panel uses soft materials, is more intuitive with improved ergonomics and larger redesigned gauges.  Aluminum trim is found the center stack and larger aluminum plates are fitted onto the dashboard giving the new Grand Caravan a more luxurious look.

The stick shifter is now located on the dashboard near the instrument cluster for ease of use.  An available new ‘super’ center console provides clever functionality and storage for the active commuter, as well as easy driver/passenger access with a pass-through storage space for larger items, like a purse.  Chrome trim rings in the console glow an ambient blue-green color, allowing passengers to find the items they are looking for at night.  The instrument cluster is trimmed in chrome and easy to see and understand.  All dials, switches and buttons are within easy reach for use day or night.

The new Caravan also features more comfortable, largerStow‘n Go seats with a new, easy to use one-touch fold-down function.  The two center captain’s chairs and the rear 60/40 bench seat can be configured anyway for your cargo storage needs.  The distance between the wheel-housing is 49.1 inches so you can carry plywood sheets as well as host of other cargo good easily.  The front bucket seats are new and feature premium materials and new door trim are soft to the touch.  It is all real luxury in a minivan.

A new Dodge brand steering wheel with integrated controls for audio, navigation and speed control also offers the minivan segment’s first heated steering wheel option.  The best storage in the segment rounds out the improved interior with a dual-tiered glove box, storage rails next to the front seats, and storage in all of the doors.

Safety and security features include standard front seat-mounted side airbags, a new driver-side knee blocker airbag, three-row side-curtain airbags, 3-point safety belts for all seven seats, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, tire pressure monitoring system, remote keyless entry and the LATCH system for child seats.  The optional Safety Sphere package includes ParkSense rear park assist system, ParkView rear backup camera, Blind-Spot monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection system, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic headlamps.

R/T is where versatility meets performance and attitude.  Uniquely designed both inside and outside, the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T proves a driver doesn’t have to give a spirited driving experience or their identity when they have a family.  The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T throws down the gauntlet for a whole new level of cool transportation for families on the go.

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COPYRIGHT:2011:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base R/T: $30,595.00/As-Tested $37,790.00 loaded including destination charges
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6 283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm / 260 ft-lbs. torque @ 4400 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 121.2in.
  • Total length: 202.8in.
  • Total width: 78.7in.
  • Total height: 67.9in.
  • Lift over height: 24.4in.
  • Track: f/r-65.6/64.8in.
  • Fuel tank: 20 gallons
  • Turning circle: 39.1 ft.
  • Towing with trailer tow pack: 3,600lbs.
  • Curb weight: 4,510lbs.
  • Weight distribution: f/r-56/44%
  • Headroom: f/m/r-39.8/39.337.9in.
  • Legroom: f/m/r-40.7/36.5/32.7in.
  • Cargo volume: 143.8 behind front seats/83.8 behind second row/33cu.ft. behind third row
  • 0-60mph: 8.3 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 17mpg/city, 25mpg/highway






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