Dodge Grand Caravan production to end in May 2020 making way to the Chrysler Voyager

Autonews.com

Production of the Dodge Grand Caravan will end in May as Fiat Chrysler steers minivan buyers into its new, entry-level Chrysler Voyager, according to a forecasting company.

AutoForecast Solutions LLC, in its weekly report, said Grand Caravan production at FCA’s Windsor, Ont., assembly plant is expected to end on May 22. Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, said FCA moved up the end of production to May from December, as it aims to transition Caravan buyers over to the Voyager.

“For the 2020 model year, they’ll likely run to fleet and then get the consumers to buy the new Voyager,” Fiorani said.

When asked if the automaker could confirm the forecasted end of production, FCA Canada spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin wrote in an email that the company has “not announced  timing.”

FCA is resurrecting the Voyager nameplate for the 2020 model year. Production of the Voyager is expected to begin in August in Windsor alongside the higher-end Pacifica minivan and the Grand Caravan. Fiat Chrysler said in June that the Voyager would be marketed toward budget-conscious families and fleet customers, much in the same way the Grand Caravan is. 

Whether the automaker can capture Grand Caravan buyers with the Voyager will be a critical question for FCA Canada as it sticks with its two-minivan strategy amid declining minivan sales. The Grand Caravan, despite not having a major redesign since 2008, still accounts for a bulk of FCA Canada’s minivan sales. According to the Automotive News Data Center, FCA Canada sold 15,943 Grand Caravans in the first half of 2019, compared with just 2,216 Pacifica minivans.

It is not known when the Voyager will be available for purchase in Canada. Gosselin told Automotive News Canada in June that the minivan would “eventually be available” and that the Grand Caravan would remain available for purchase in 2020.

Pushing the Limits: Dodge//SRT Literally Expands High-performance 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat and Scat Pack With New Widebody

  • Powered by the proven supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine with its best-in-class 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, and mated to the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, the new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody delivers a top speed of 196 miles per hour (mph), continuing its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world
  • New aggressive and modern Widebody exterior, standard on Charger SRT Hellcat and available on Charger Scat Pack, features new front and rear fascias with integrated fender flares, adding 3.5 inches of width over the wider wheels and tires
  • Widebody Package adds 20-inch by 11-inch wheels, wider Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires, Brembo six-piston front calipers with two-piece front brake rotors, and unique suspension tuning with Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping, all combining to deliver improved performance on the street, strip and road course
  • Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody runs 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a quarter-mile elapsed time (ET) in 10.96 seconds, pulling .96 g on the skidpad and making this the quickest and best-handling production Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat ever
  • Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody runs 2.1 seconds faster than the vehicle it replaces on a 2.1-mile road course, equal to 13 car lengths after one lap
  • Charger Scat Pack models deliver the most muscle for the dollar with the 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine’s best-in-class naturally aspirated 485 horsepower mated to TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Charger Scat Pack Widebody runs 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and a quarter-mile ET in 12.4 seconds, pulling .98 g on the skidpad and making it the quickest and best-handling production Charger Scat Pack ever offered
  • New Charger Scat Pack Widebody runs 1.3 seconds faster than standard Charger Scat Pack on a 2.1-mile road course, equal to eight car lengths after one lap
  • Dealer orders open in fall 2019 and vehicles will start arriving in Dodge//SRT dealerships in early 2020
  • Dodge Charger has dominated the U.S. full-size car segment in total vehicles sales for five straight years (2014-2018)

Dodge is literally expanding its high-performance Charger models for 2020, adding a Widebody Package to America’s only four-door muscle car.

Powered by the proven supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody boasts a best-in-class 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque and delivers a top speed of 196 miles per hour (mph), maintaining its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The Widebody Package, standard on Charger SRT Hellcat and available on Charger Scat Pack, includes new integrated fender flares that add 3.5 inches of body width, creating an even more aggressive, planted stance. The flares make room for the wider 20-inch by 11-inch wheels and Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires, Brembo six-piston front calipers with two-piece front brake rotors and unique suspension tuning with Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping, all combining to deliver improved performance on the street, strip and road course.

“People say, ‘no one wants cars anymore.’ I would tell you that the 40,000 people who bought a Dodge Charger so far this year would probably agree, because to them, the Charger isn’t just a car. The Charger’s reach extends beyond body-style practicalities and it can’t be defined by average industry shifts,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “Can you buy a vehicle that is dollar for dollar more practical than a Charger Widebody? Absolutely, but there are also more than 1,000 flavors of ice cream and vanilla is only one of them. If the ‘average’ person will own six cars in their lifetime, our cars need to connect so strongly that people can’t help, but turn around and take a second look before walking away.”

Dealers will be able to order 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody and Scat Pack Widebody models this fall. The new Charger Widebody models will start arriving in Dodge//SRT dealerships in early 2020.

Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Continues Reign as Most Powerful and Fastest Mass-produced Sedan in the World
Designed and engineered to push the boundaries of what a four-door family sedan can be, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is powered by the proven supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine, which delivers a best-in-class 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a standard TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. With a top speed of 196 miles per hour (mph), the Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its claim as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The performance improvements start with a 3.5-inch wider body, which makes room for new 20-inch by 11-inch Carbon Black forged wheels riding on wider, stickier Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. The Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody also features an SRT-tuned Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping competition suspension, new electric power steering (EPS), stiffer springs, larger sway bars, retuned shocks, several race-inspired technologies and Brembo brakes, all designed to deliver performance numbers never before seen on a Charger.

For the first time ever, Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody now features standard EPS with selectable steering tuning to better manage increased grip, both improving handling performance and delivering better steering feel and ease of turning efforts at parking lot speeds.

  • With EPS and standard SRT Drive Modes accessed via the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, drivers can tailor their experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering, paddle shifters, traction and suspension settings
  • SRT Drive Modes offer selectable settings for Street (Auto), Sport and Track, while the Custom setting allows the driver to select individual preferences

Additional upgrades designed to improve handling include: 

  • Increased front spring rates – 32 percent stiffer than previous model
  • Larger sway bars – expanding from 32 mm to 34 mm in front and from 19 mm to 22 mm in the rear
  • Retuned shocks with revised valving to complement stiffer springs 

Four race-inspired technologies that come standard for 2020 also bolster performance:

  • Race Cooldown keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off by running the intercooler pump and radiator fan
  • Line Lock engages the front brakes to hold the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody stationary, but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires
  • Launch Control, easily accessed from a switch on the dashboard, manages tire slip while launching the vehicle to allow the driver to achieve consistent straight-line acceleration
  • Launch Assist uses wheel speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, modifies the engine torque to regain full grip

Not only does Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody go fast, it also stops shorter than the vehicle it replaces. For outstanding heat management and longevity, the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody features standard 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece front brake rotors with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers. Stopping distance is four feet shorter (107 feet) from 60-0 mph.

SRT engineers took this wider, stickier beast to the track to see what it can do. The result: improved performance on the street, strip and road course and the quickest and best-handling production Charger SRT Hellcat ever. The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody runs 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, has a quarter-mile elapsed time (ET) in 10.96 seconds and pulls .96 g on the skidpad. It also delivers a road course lap time 2.1 seconds faster than the vehicle it replaces after one lap of a 2.1-mile track. That is equal to 13 car lengths per lap.

Form Follows Function
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody’s added 3.5 inches of width paired with its wider wheels and tires are unmistakably Dodge//SRT, creating an aggressive, planted stance unlike any of the other vanilla four-door sedans on the market.

New, wider wheels on Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody include:

  • Standard 20-inch by 11-inch forged split-five spoke with standard Low-gloss Carbon Black finish
  • Optional 20-inch by 11-inch “Warp Speed” deep dish, with Low-gloss Granite finish
  • Optional 20-inch by 11-inch Brass Monkey

Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard; three-season tires are available.

Beyond its menacing stance, the newly designed front fascia on the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody includes a new mail-slot grille, providing the most direct route for cool air to travel into the radiator, to maintain ideal operating temperature even in the hottest conditions. New side sills connect the front and rear fascias to help amplify the integrated design. A new rear spoiler, unique to the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, is designed to create aero balance with the new front-end design. New this year are two-piece Satin Chrome SRT Hellcat fender badges.  

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Receives High-performance Interior Updates
The race-inspired interior of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody features standard French live-stitch accents throughout the instrument panel and doors. Additional unique interior elements and soft-touch finishes refine the high-performance cabin, including: 

  • Available new Carbon & Suede Package adds real carbon fiber accents to the instrument panel and console bezels and Dynamica suede headliner, sun visors and A-pillars
  • New SRT Hellcat instrument panel badge is unique for the 2020 model year with a black and red finish
  • From the driver’s seat:
    • Standard heated and ventilated Laguna leather front seats feature embossed Hellcat logo – available interior color combinations include Black, Black/Sepia or Black/Demonic Red
    • Heated, leather-wrapped SRT flat-bottom steering wheel with mounted controls and paddle shifters is standard or available in wrapped Alcantara
    • Fully electronic, performance-inspired shifter controls the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and gives the driver the look and feel of a traditional linkage shifter
    • Roomy center console storage compartment is designed to keep an abundance of personal items handy and within easy reach 

2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Reaches Best Ever Levels of Performance  
Following on the success of offering the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody for the 2019 model year, Dodge is also making the Widebody Package available on the Charger Scat Pack for 2020.

“Since we first launched Scat Pack in 2014, the sales mix of our high-performance models has increased from four percent to more than 25 percent,” Kuniskis added. “Charger Scat Pack models deliver more muscle for the dollar than any car out there. Offering a Widebody Package on Charger Scat Pack gives us the opportunity to build on that momentum.”

This wider Scat Pack is powered by the 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with the best-in-class naturally aspirated 485 horsepower mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed transmission. It features its own upgraded specially tuned suspension with Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping, standard EPS with selectable steering tuning, and wider wheels and tires to reach unprecedented levels of lateral grip, acceleration and braking, delivering its best on-road and on-track performance levels ever.

Standard wheels on the Charger Scat Pack Widebody are 20-inch by 11-inch “Devil’s Rim” split-five spoke with Low-gloss Granite finish. Optional wheels are 20-inch by 11-inch finished in Carbon Black.

Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard; three-season tires are available.  

The superb stopping power of the Charger Scat Pack Widebody comes from the standard SRT-engineered Brembo braking system with two-piece 15.4-inch front brake rotors with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers. Stopping distance is 107 feet, three feet shorter than the non-Widebody Scat Pack from 60-0 mph.

Suspension upgrades for the 2020 Charger Scat Pack Widebody include:

  • Modified springs, sway bars and shocks
  • Increased front spring rates are 27 percent stiffer
  • Larger rear sway bar, expanding from 19 mm to 22 mm
  • Revised damper calibration to match suspension tuning revisions 

Launch Control, Launch Assist and Line Lock features come standard on all Scat Pack models.

The 2020 Charger Scat Pack Widebody builds on the stellar attributes of the Scat Pack, improving street, strip and road course performance compared with the non-Widebody Charger Scat Pack. It delivers 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, a quarter-mile ET in 12.4 seconds @ 111 mph, pulls .98 g lateral grip on the skidpad, brakes 60-0 in 107 feet and finishes 1.3 seconds faster on a 2.1-mile road course, which is equal to eight car lengths per lap.

Uconnect Technology Brings SRT Performance Pages, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to Charger
As America’s only four-door muscle car, the 2020 Dodge Charger is spacious with plenty of room for a family of five and loaded with high-tech features that are easily accessible through the available class-exclusive Uconnect 4C system.

SRT Performance Pages bring critical vehicle performance data to the driver’s fingertips, including real-time engine data, such as horsepower, torque, oil pressure and dyno graph; various vehicle dynamics measurements, including a g-force heat map, a wide variety of vehicle gauges and performance driving timers.

The Uconnect 4C system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody and all Scat Pack models, and includes an 8.4-inch touchscreen display that offers multi-touch gestures, vivid imagery, sharp graphics and support for smartphone integrations and features SRT Performance Pages.  A 7-inch driver information digital cluster display gives instant information on performance, available navigation and plenty of vehicle stats, and is easily customizable with the steering wheel-mounted controls.

Dodge Charger’s Successful Formula Is Its Many Personalities
From optimized V-6 highway fuel economy to class-exclusive all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability, Dodge Charger is a performance sedan, a family sedan with attitude, a favorite amongst law enforcement and the only four-door muscle car available. In addition to the SRT Hellcat and Scat Pack models, Charger also offers:

  • Award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with up to 300 horsepower and up to 264 lb.-ft. of torque in Charger SXT, Charger SXT AWD and Charger GT models
  • Intelligent AWD on the Charger SXT AWD, which features a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system to improve real-world fuel economy. No other major automotive manufacturer offers the combination of these two independent technologies. When AWD is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling inherent in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicles
  • Legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with 370 horsepower and 395 lb.-ft. of torque in Charger R/T

A wide variety of newly designed wheels, interior options and equipment packages give Charger customers even more factory-custom options, including:

  • New standard 19-inch by 7.5-inch Satin Carbon and optional Black Noise wheels for Charger SXT AWD
  • New standard 20-inch by 8-inch Satin Carbon wheels on Charger GT and Charger R/T
  • Available new Carbon & Suede Package that adds real carbon fiber accents to the instrument panel and console bezels and Dynamica suede headliner, sun visors and A-pillars (also available on Charger R/T and Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody models)
  • Available new Caramel interior color (available with Plus Group)
  • New Scat Pack instrument panel badge with “392” and multicolor Scat Pack Bee
  • Updated Plus Packages:
    • Available on Charger SXT AWD and Charger SXT, adds new 20-inch by 8-inch Satin Carbon wheels to the existing package content, including leather sport seat, rear body-color spoiler, six premium Alpine speakers, 276-watt amp, Uconnect 4C, sport suspension and compact spare tire
    • Available on Charger GT, adds new 20-inch by 8-inch Satin Carbon wheels to the Nappa/Alcantara perforated seating from the existing package  
    • Available on Charger R/T, adds new 20-inch by 8-inch Machined Granite wheels to the Nappa/Alcantara perforated seating from the existing package  
  • Updated Blacktop Package, available on Charger SXT AWD, Charger GT and Charger R/T, features new 19-inch Black Noise wheels on SXT AWD
  • Updated Performance Handling Group, available on Charger GT and Charger R/T, adds new leather flat-bottom steering wheel and 20-inch by 9-inch forged Black Noise wheels to the existing package content, including Black Brembo fixed caliper four-piston brakes, high-performance suspension and 245/45ZR20 AS performance tires
  • Daytona Edition updates, available on Charger R/T and Charger Scat Pack, include 20-inch by 9-inch wheels with new Lights-Out finish (R/T only) and instrument panel badge. The Daytona Edition includes many more unique features on both models, such as the Mopar cold-air intake under the hood, Daytona logo leather/Alcantara seats, premium floor mats, unique wheels, Daytona instrument panel badge and front grille badges
  • Updated Dynamics Package, available on Charger Scat Pack (non-Widebody only), adds a new leather flat-bottom steering wheel to existing package content, including Black Brembo six-piston front brakes and 20-inch by 9.5-inch Low-gloss Black wheels with 275/40ZR20 all-season tires

12 Different and Distinct Colors Available Across the Charger Lineup
Dodge Charger customers have a wide array of exterior colors from which they can choose. Twelve different exterior colors and a wide variety of interior trim selections include:

  • F8 Green
  • Frostbite (NEW – late availability)
  • Go Mango
  • Granite Crystal
  • Hellraisin (NEW – late availability)
  • IndiGo Blue
  • Octane Red
  • Pitch Black
  • Sinamon Stick (NEW – late availability)
  • TorRed 
  • Triple Nickel
  • White Knuckle

Available Interior Colors: 

  • Black
  • Black/Caramel
  • Black/Demonic Red
  • Black/Houndstooth
  • Black/Ruby Red
  • Black/Sepia

America’s Only Four-door Muscle Car Dominates U.S. Full-size Car Segment Sales   
The Dodge Charger continues to dominate the U.S full-size car segment as the reigning sales leader for five straight years (2014-2018). 

From the fastest and most powerful mass-produced sedan in the world to V-6 efficiency and AWD capability, a large part of the Dodge Charger’s successful formula has been its many personalities. It’s a four-door muscle car, a performance sedan, a family capable sedan; its success is that it can be any or all of those things, depending on how the customer chooses to equip their car.

Dodge Charger’s standard RWD architecture enables a model lineup powered by extensive performance-driven powertrains with the latest technology under the hood and behind the wheel – further building on the Dodge brand’s promise to deliver American performance machines with world-class power, efficiency, technology, authentic materials and standout styling.

About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2019, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car, reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds, and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph.

Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, featuring fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches of width to the 485-horsepower Scat Pack’s standard body. Also new for 2019 is the Challenger R/T Scat Pak 1320 with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer. The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs., completes the brand’s performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator

It’s been 28 years since Jeep has made a pickup truck, something that the brand did regularly from 1947 to 1992, but the Wrangler-based Gladiator has finally arrived. Jeep tossed us the keys in Sacramento, California, and from there we drove it over 800 miles through the Nevada desert to Moab, Utah, to see how this truck handles in the 4×4 Mecca of North America.

This new ‘Multifunction’ split tailgate will debut on the 2019 Ram 1500

The 60/40-split swing-out tailgate reportedly aids in loading and cleaning

by ALEX REID  | FEBRUARY 6, 2019

Ram has upgraded the tailgate on its 2019 1500 pickup truck with its latest and greatest idea: the Multifunction Tailgate.

The Multifunction Tailgate features a 60/40 split and can be opened swing-away barn-door-style, making it easier to load and unload the bed, or to step up into it.

Forklift loading is now an option, too, and this should make it easier to wash the bed.

The tailgate is fully dampened, and can also drop down like a regular tailgate.

The doors can be opened independently of each other, which is helpful when a trailer is attached, because it doesn’t require it to be unhooked. Each door can swing up to 88 degrees and retains its 907-kg load rating.

“The Ram Multifunction Tailgate is intuitive to operate, and owners will find it immediately useful,” says Reid Bigland, head of Ram brand. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.”

On top of the versatile bed, the Ram 1500 can be optioned with RamBox cargo management, which includes lockable storage in the bed rails with a 115-volt400-watt outlet.

The Multifunction Tailgate will be available in the second quarter of 2019 and can be added to any of the seven Ram 1500 trim levels.

2019 Ram 1500 to start at $42,095 — but there’s a catch

Canada-only Ram Sport to start at $52,595 when new truck range goes on sale this spring

The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 will start at $42,095 in Quad Cab trim when it goes on sale in Canada this spring, FCA Canada announced March 8.

Production of Regular Cab will not begin until later in the year, and the pricing for those models will be announced closer to their on-sale date.

For now, $42,095 will get you the base model Tradesman Quad Cab 4×2, though the range will top out with Limited Crew Cab 4×4 V-8, available at $74,195 in Canada (all prices listed are before a $1,895 destination fee).

Turning the 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 mild hybrid in the Tradesman and Big Horn models into a 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 with eight-speed automatic will tack on an additional $1,900 to that price. The eTorque mild hybrid system will similarly cost a $500 premium on the other trims standard with the HEMI.

The Canada-exclusive Ram Sport also got a sticker figure today: $52,595 for a Quad Cab 4×2, or a premium of about $10,000 versus any similar configuration Tradesman model. The Sport, unveiled at last month’s Toronto auto show, gets a monochromatic exterior with special badging and unique hood and appearance pieces.

2019 JEEP WRANGLER MODEL OVERVIEW

NEW FOR 2019

Completely redesigned for 2018, the 2019 Wrangler (JL) will add a diesel-engine option and may also receive a new special-edition model. A Wrangler pickup will probably join the lineup in the next couple years.

TRIM LEVELS

The Wrangler is a purpose-built, off-road body-on-frame SUV available in two- and four-door body styles. Price wise, the Wrangler slots above the Renegade, Compass, and Cherokee and below the Grand Cherokee.

The four trim levels for the 2018 Wrangler (Sport, Sport S, Rubicon, and Sahara) will likely carry over and could be joined by new trims and special-edition models.

The Sport model should continue as the base model and for 2018 comes standard with 17-inch black steel wheels, a Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case, a 5.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Bluetooth, a zipperless Sunrider soft top, a rearview camera, tow hooks, and skid plates. The more luxurious Sahara model will keep its 18-inch wheels, side steps, a 7.0-inch infotainment system touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster display, and dual-zone climate control. The rugged Rubicon will continue with large off-road tires, front and rear locking Dana 44 axles, the Rock-Trac four-wheel drive system, an electronic disconnecting front sway bar, and off-road rock rails.

PERFORMANCE AND FUEL ECONOMY

Expect to see the 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 and 270-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four return in 2019, in addition to the six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions. A new turbodiesel V-6 will join the lineup, making around 440 lb-ft of torque. For 2018 models, EPA-rated fuel economy ratings for the 3.6-liter V-6 ranged between 17/25 mpg city/highway and 17/23 mpg. Jeep may add a plug-in hybrid powertrain option by 2020.

SAFETY

Driver assist safety features are located in the Active Safety group on the 2018 model, and include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and LED taillights. A rearview camera is standard.

UTILITY (CARGO SPACE AND INTERIOR ROOM)

The 2018 Wrangler offers 31.7 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats and 72.4 with the rear seats folded down.

TECHNOLOGY

The Wrangler will still likely offer a 5.0-, 7.0-, and 8.4-inch multimedia touchscreens and optional SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a navigation system. The standard eight-speaker audio system and the optional nine-speaker Alpine system should carry over.

WHAT WE THINK

We concluded our First Drive review of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler by saying, “If you went to an automaker today and asked them to build a two-door body-on-frame trucklet with a convertible roof and almost no cargo space—riding on live axles (and oh yeah, the windshield needs to fold down and you should be able to take the doors off and hose out the waterproof interior)—you’d be laughed out of the room.”

“This Wrangler, this iconic Jeep, exists because it’s always existed, and this new one is the best one yet,” we said. “No, Jeep faithful, they didn’t ruin it. They didn’t even make it just as good as the old one. They made it better in every way.”

In a First Test review, we concluded by saying: “Just about the only place the new 2018 Wrangler can’t match the old is in price. With JK Wranglers already flying off the lots, Jeep upped prices across the board on its new JL Wrangler … but given how much nicer the new Wrangler drives and the newfound interior quality, it’s worth the premium.”

KEY COMPETITORS:

Read more reviews and articles about this vehicle

2019 Ram 1500 is Motortrend Truck of the Year

Source: MotorTrend

Americans ask more of our trucks than we do of any other vehicle. In any given week, the average half-ton pickup might find itself commuting like a sedan, hauling a bed full of bricks and sand, towing some Jet Skis, navigating muddy ranchland, or exploring off-road trails. It’s no wonder that we bought 2.8 million of the things last year.

The best-selling pickup in the United States last year—and indeed in every year for the past four decades—has been the Ford F-Series. But our 2019 Truck of the Year should give pause to prospective Blue Oval loyalists (or buyers of any truck, for that matter) because there isn’t a truck out there that so precisely hits the diverse needs of the segment better than the 2019 Ram 1500.

The fifth-generation Ram 1500 is the latest in a long line of evolutionary leaps for Fiat ChryslerAutomobiles’ bread-and-butter truck. The newest version, more than any other, seems poised to meet the needs of the 21st century truck buyer, with more variety, capability, comfort, convenience, and value than ever before.

ADVANCEMENT IN DESIGN

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no arguing that Ram retains its reputation for stylish functionality. “Best-in-class: sophisticated without going over the top,” editor-in-chief Ed Loh said.

The 2019 Ram 1500’s clean-sheet redesign throws out many of the design cues we’ve come to expect from a Ram pickup—while still being unmistakably Ram. Gone are the crosshair grilles, mini-Mack fenders, and even the traditional Ram badge in most places. Instead, the 1500 provides buyers a choice of seven grilles and three head- and taillamp designs. Its 15 wheel designs feature stronger six-bolt hubs, ranging from an off-road-friendly 18 inches to an urban cowboy 22-inch style. And that’s on top of your typical pickup choices of extended or crew cab and bed sizes of either 5-foot-7 or 6-foot-4. A regular cab and 8-foot bed are expected next year.

“I love the styling,” road test editor Chris Walton said, eyeing the Ram 1500 Rebel. “It’s like the Viper of Rams.”

The interior updates, from the volume-grade Big Horn all the way up to the luxurious Limited, are even more impressive. Every Ram cabin has the tools needed for both work and play. The Ram’s configurable center console turns the space into an office, with room inside to swallow a bag and laptop, space for your phone and drinks, and a center console lid that can function as a desk.

When it comes to technology, Ram provides three versions of its Uconnect infotainment system, including a choice of an 8.4-inch or Tesla-like 12.0-inch touchscreen. “The center stack layout is a combination of Volvo (screen), Audi (switches), and Jaguar (rotary shifter),” Walton said. “The clever center console (phone charger/pocket, sliding bins, and side pockets) is something Honda would do. Ram has done its homework on picking the benchmarks for both design and packaging.”

Although a Silicon Valley-aping infotainment suite will certainly draw eyeballs in showrooms, the cabin’s functionality and furnishings are even more impressive.

Crew cab versions feature a flat floor in back and seats that flip up, allowing you to store valuables in the safety of the cabin. RamBins, hidden underneath the rear floormats, have grown in size to better accommodate hitch receivers or ratchet straps. In a first for pickups, the new Ram 1500’s higher trim levels have a rear bench seat that reclines up to 8 degrees and is heated and cooled, as well. Ever been chauffeured in a truck before? Now you can be.

We were particularly impressed by the level of fit and finish. Every trim, from the base Tradesman up to the Limited, furnishes at least one two-tone cabin treatment, injecting a bit of personality and style into the cabin at any price point. Unlike some of its competitors, Ram took the profitable luxury market seriously by offering two flavors of luxury trucks—the saddlebag-equipped (seriously) Laramie Longhorn and the thoroughly modern Limited.

“GM has to be kidding, going up against this with the High Country and Denali,” features editor Scott Evans said. “This is a luxury interior. Look at this wood! This leather! The metal, stitching, design, attention to detail! The leather on the grab handles! Cadillac could learn a thing or two by spending an afternoon in this cabin.”

Hyperbole aside, he’s right. The Ram’s cabin ain’t just good for a truck. It’s good, period.

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE

Looks can be deceiving, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the 2019 Ram is a bit old school in its approach. Freed from the obligation (and expense) of chasing maximum payload and towing capacities with all-aluminum construction, the Ram team instead invested in a shotgun approach to improve capability, efficiency, and performance. Underpinning it all is a new high-strength steel platform, 4.0 inches longer and about 17 percent lighter than the old chassis. The aerodynamic sheetmetal is largely built from steel but with the strategic use of lighter metals for a total weight decrease of about 200 pounds.

Like the previous version of the Ram 1500, our 2019 Truck of the Year continues to come standard with a coil-spring rear suspension (now with frequency dampers), which slightly sacrifices towing and payload capacity in favor of a better ride when compared to leaf-sprung competitors. A four-corner air suspension with five ride heights and load leveling is available, giving the best of both worlds when it comes to ride and performance.

“It’s really a surprise on the road,” testing director Kim Reynolds said after a stint in an air suspension-equipped 1500. “It’s way more refined and sophisticated than the GMs. Steering is fluid and quality-feeling.” The standard suspension won praise at the expense of its competitive set, too. “The coil-spring suspension is better in the Ram than the ride in any of the GM trucks,” MotorTrend en Espanol managing editor Miguel Cortina said.

Despite the minor diet, maximum payload is up to 2,320 pounds, and max towing capacity rises to 12,750 pounds, besting Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, and Toyota’s half-ton offerings (though shy of Big Daddy Ford’s max towing by 450 el-bees).

Things get even more impressive under the hood. Embracing global realities, two of the three available Ram 1500 engines come with supplemental electric motors to improve fuel economy and performance. These mild-hybrid powerplants, dubbed eTorque, use small starter-generators and a tiny 0.43-kW-hr battery stashed in the rear wall of the cab to aid the stop/start system and provide torque assist to allow the engines to lug around at cruising speed in four-cylinder mode longer and without having to downshift.

The eTorque system is standard on the base 3.6-liter V-6, which makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, and is also available for a small premium on the top-level 5.7-liter V-8, which turns out 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. A non-eTorque 5.7-liter V-8 generating the same output as the eTorque version slots between the two electrified mills. (Because these motors aren’t assisting when the engines’ are generating peak power and torque, they don’t affect those figures.) An eight-speed automatic is standard across the line, as is rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive, limited-slip or locking rear axles, and three final drive ratios are also available.

The base eTorque V-6 is a lot of engine for the money. It makes its torque higher in its rev band, but it makes good use of the power it has. “It feels powerful even though it’s a V-6,” associate online editor Kelly Pleskot said. Evans agreed, adding that it “doesn’t have the torque of the V-8s, but it has plenty of power; the deficit only manifests itself when passing on Arizona’s 75-mph freeways.”

In back-to-back driving of our otherwise identically equipped V-8 Ram 1500 Longhorn and Limited models, Evans was one of the few judges who could feel the Limited’s eTorque assist at work. “I find the eTorque drivetrain a bit smoother through the revs and shifts and when accelerating up steep grades,” he said.

The fuel economy benefits of the eTorque V-8s show up in our data, but towing performance is a bit of a wash; all of the Ram V-8s, eTorque or not, performed nearly identically in both instrumented tow tests (where the Rams towed between 6,600 pounds and 11,400 pounds) and in our Davis Dam frustration test, which saw our V-6 Ram tester tow 4,020 pounds and the V-8s tow 7,780 pounds.

PERFORMANCE OF INTENDED FUNCTION

Despite the many hats we expect our trucks to wear, at their heart, they are beasts of burden. To that end, the 2019 Ram 1500 excels.

The most important part of any pickup is its bed, and Ram continues to deliver. The bed rails have been raised 1.5 inches to increase cargo volume, and the optional RamBoxes grow in size with minimal impact on bed space.

Some previous Ram innovations carry over, including the segment’s best combo bed extender and cargo divider, which stashes against the cab when not in use, and a CHMSL-mounted camera that looks down into the bed so you can triple-check your tie-down work while on the move.

The ability to access the bed is arguably as important as its construction. Missing GM’s standard bumper steps, Ram makes up for it with its option sheet. One of the air suspension’s many benefits is its access height mode, which lowers the bed’s step-up height to match that of the bumper step. For those who skip the air suspension, Ram also offers a kick-down rear step that stashes up and away behind the rear bumper.

Ram made towing improvements, too. For those who simply want to hitch up and go, Ram makes life easy. The rearview cameras have high resolution, making it easy to hitch up without a spotter. Trucks equipped with blind-spot sensors have an extra party piece, too; after you hitch up and make a couple of turns, the blind-spot sensors will determine the length of your trailer and increase the size of the alert zone to include the trailer length.

As for straight-up towing, the Ram 1500 is rock-solid, especially when equipped with the air suspension. Towing the exact same 8,300-pound trailer as the GMC Sierras and Chevrolet Silverados, the Rams feel so much more confident and just plain happy while at work.

EFFICIENCY

Pickups aren’t traditionally known for fuel efficiency, but that didn’t stop Ram from easing the pain at the pump. Lots of credit goes to the lineup of eTorque engines, but Ram also worked hard at ensuring the new 1500 is as aerodynamic as possible without sacrificing the utility of its pickup body. Its segment-best 0.357 Cd is achieved using grille shutters and spoilers integrated into the trailing edges of the roof and tailgate. On trucks without air suspension, an air dam deploys automatically at 35 mph; those with air suspension get an aero-mode ride height.

The result is that Ram has the most efficient V-8 in its class; the V-8 eTorque is EPA-rated at 17/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined with rear drive or 17/22/19 with four-wheel drive. Non-eTorque Ram V-8s net 15/22/17 (rear drive) or 15/21/17 (four-wheel drive) mpg. Our Real MPG testing of the V-8 models generally falls in line with the EPA’s results, but our eTorque V-8-powered 1500 Limited 4×4 beat the feds’ numbers with an 18.7/22.6/20.3 score.

The one weak point would be the hard-working V-6 eTorque powerplant. EPA-rated at 20/25/22 mpg with rear drive and 19/24/21 mpg with four-wheel drive, our Big Horn 4×4 model achieved an unimpressive 15.4/19.7/17.1 Real MPG score.

VALUE

With pickup trucks, value is ultimately relative over a life of hard knocks and long miles. But we were impressed by the breadth of the Ram lineup. The base Tradesman model starts at $33,390 and should need little more than a spray-in bedliner and tow hitch to be ready for work. The volume Big Horn model is even more impressive. One step up from the Tradesman and starting at $40,090, the Big Horn models offer two-tone interiors, a smartphone-friendly 8.0-inch touchscreen, and more. Editors lauded our two Big Horn testers for their premium-feeling materials and high amount of content for the dollar.

Where Ram makes the biggest value argument is surprisingly in its two most expensive trims: the $52,685 1500 Laramie Longhorn and $55,285 Limited. These two luxe trucks simply blow the competition out of the water. They offer the tech that contractors and civilians alike require and expect, and quite a few luxury automakers could learn a thing from the way Ram matches colors, textures, and materials in these cabins. And it’s a bargain, considering our loaded Ram Limited tester stickered for $68,340, about the price of a comparable GMC Sierra Denali and less than an equivalent F-150 Limited.

BRINGING HOME THE GOLD

No segment is more competitive or more important to Detroit’s automakers and blue-collar American workers than half-ton pickups. These trucks are the face of their brands—purchased, driven, and loved by millions. They’re dependable commuters, tools, and toys that form the backbones of our families. With such a diverse skill set needed, it’s easy to just miss the target. But the Ram 1500 hits the bull’s-eye. No pickup in the segment better balances capability, efficiency, value, and quality. The Ram 1500 retains its old-school appeal while being refreshingly modern in style and substance. It’s refined and sophisticated without surrendering its dirty-fingernails roots. For that, the Ram is our 2019 Truck of the Year.

Do I need winter tires?

Tires at Bustard Chrysler Listowel

Whether or not we want to admit it, it’s that time of year again! Winter is just around the corner. The Service department here at Bustard Chrysler Listowel is busy preparing for the impending tire rush that comes with the colder temperatures, so be sure to book your tire changeover appointment as soon as possible!

We get a lot of questions about whether or not to purchase winter tires or use all-season tires year round. The answer is simple. Winter tires are vital in Canada’s cold, harsh climate if you want to stay safe on the roads!

Don’t get us wrong, all-season tires are great – for about three seasons (if we had it our way, we’d call them three-season tires!). Save for some performance vehicles, most vehicles are fitted with all-season tires before they leave the factory. They offer versatile performance, and are designed to perform in a wide variety of conditions, including wet roads and light winter driving. However, we all know that there is no such thing as light winter driving in Canada, particularly here in Listowel! In order to perform in so many varying conditions, all-season tires offer a compromise between some summer and winter performance capabilities. They won’t provide the same grip and sharp handling of a summer tire, nor will they handle the extreme weather conditions winter tires are built for. All-season tires are a great option for those who live in moderate climates that do not encounter much extreme cold, ice, and snow, but they will not perform well on thick snow and ice.

Winter Tires at Bustard Chrysler Listowel
Get ready for winter with a new set of winter tires from Bustard Chrysler in Listowel!

Having the right tire is vital to ensuring your safety on the roads during the winter months. Winter roads, particularly in the Listowel area, are unpredictable. Winter tires provide additional traction so you can maintain control in snowy and icy conditions, and keep you and your passengers safe!

Bustard Chrysler Listowel sells tires for all makes and models. Check out our handy online tire store to price out your new winter tires. If you buy three tires, we’ll even give you the fourth FREE! Whether you are looking to have your winter tires mounted on your summer rims, or changover your tires altogether, Bustard Chrysler Listowel is here to help. You can book an appointment online, or call us at (519) 291-1900!

How do Active Grille Shutters work on the 2019 Ram?

Front end shot of All-New 2019 Ram 1500

The new RAM 1500 is impressing across the board. With new features, plus redesigns of the features you have come to know and love, RAM has really done it this time!

Did you know that RAM re-tooled the Active Grille Shutters for the all-new 2019 edition?

Active Grille Shutters have been taken to a new level in the 2019 model. They help streamline air flow around the truck at higher speeds, while also ensuring the engine gets the air it needs to offer premium performance. Active Grille Shutters on the 2019 RAM will open and close depending on factors like vehicle speed, engine coolant temperature, and AC requirements. When you’re cruising down the highway, the shutters may close to minimize turbulence in the engine area. This allows air to flow smoothly around the 2019 RAM 1500. Alternatively, when towing in the heat or travelling uphill, the shutters can open to allow more air to reach the engine, allowing the truck to maintain power!

 

Active Grille Shutters on All-New 2019 Ram 1500. See us at Bustard Chrysler Listowel today!
Active Grille Shutters on All-New 2019 RAM 1500.

 

In addition to reducing air resistance and improving overall aerodynamics, Active Grille Shutters can increase efficiencies during warm-up and defrost time by providing the engine with the correct amount of cool or warm air!

Active Grille Shutters are just one part of the incredible all-new 2019 RAM 1500 package. This truck delivers great value, and Bustard Chrysler Listowel is proud to be Listowel’s RAM dealer! Whether you’re looking for a New RAM or a Used RAM in Listowel and the surrounding areas, Bustard Chrysler Listowel has got you covered! To learn more about Active Grille Shutters, or any of the all-new 2019 RAM’s great features, don’t hesitate to email or call Bustard Chrysler Listowel today!

Welcome to the New World of Ram

If you think you know everything about the powerful Ram truck, think again. The strength of Ram hasn’t diminished throughout the years. It still has a large towing capacity and great fuel economy. Now the new 2018 Ram 1500 is not only a bastion of strength, but also comes with a plethora of safety and technology features that make it dependable and enjoyable.

What You Knew

 

The Ram has always been best in class in its performance. With four-wheel disc antilock brakes and high strength steel frame, it has always been the top choice for safety. The towing capacity is enormous, with models that can carry over 10,000 pounds. Though a large capacity pickup truck, it performs well on gas mileage, whether its standard gasoline or diesel fuel.

 

What’s New

 

The 2018 Ram 1500 has an interior that is referred to as a command center. Stepping into the cab of one of these powerful hubs will place you at the helm in your very own captain’s cockpit. Once the door closes, the cab is whisper quiet, muting all the sounds from the outside and from the engine. In addition, the interior seating is comfortable for both driver and passengers.

 

The center console features an 8.4 inch touchscreen from which most interior controls can be managed. These controls include Apple Play, Android Auto, and HD radio. A USB port and a six-speaker audio system come standard in all models. Other options include dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Alpine audio system, and satellite radio.

 

The 2018 Ram 1500 is an excellent example of a vehicle that excels in every category in its class. For those who love the freedom that a powerful truck can bring, along with the luxury cab with state of the art features, then this tuck is for you. Visit Bustard Chrysler Listowel and test drive one for yourself.