2015 Model-Year Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Cars, Trucks, and Minivans
As of April 20, 2014; this page covers 2015 model-year cars with some that may come as 2016s. Some may arrive in calendar year 2014.
Large cars: Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, etc
With thanks to Mopar392. The “Lx cars” all get the digital dashboard insert first seen on Dart and Ram 1500, with new steering wheel buttons to help configure it; UConnect 2; eight-speed automatics for all engines; and new headlights with “smooth look” (no individual bulbs visible) LED running lights.
A standard eight-speed automatic will increase gas mileage and acceleration, with all engines — including the supercharged 6.2 “Hellcat” SRT8 engines expected to generate anywhere from 600 to 670 hp.
Dodge Challenger moved to its new LA platform, allowing the eight-speed to become the only automatic. The SRT 392 will be differentiated from the 6.2 by wheels, badges, and the hood, along with 100-150 hp. Introduction was April 2014, with production starting around July-August 2014; dealerships usually get cars two or three months later. A new 6.4 liter “Scat Pack” model was given to Dodge along with SRT’s Performance Pages. Two Dodge Challenger SRTs remain, one with the same 6.4, the other with the supercharged 6.2. See our 2015 Challenger page for details.
2015 Dodge Charger got the same changes as the other cars. The wheel shown on Charger Juiced might be launched on HellCat equipped cars, and a heat extracting hood might be used with HellCat. Base models were given higher trim and feature levels, and more gadgets and safety features were added. Top Chargers got Performance Pages, once an SRT-only feature, showing performance statistics and allowing some tuning changes.
Chrysler 300 and Lancia Thema upgrades include improved Launch Control on 300C SRT8, UConnect 2 with Via Mobile, seven-inch TFT customizable displays, the new steering wheels, and more comfortable seats. SRT8 will maintain the “sleeper look;” don’t expect to see the supercharged 6.2. Exterior styling is likely to stay about the same.
It looks quite a bit like the current model, but that makes sense, since sources say no sheet metal was changed. JackRatchett altered the grille and various details in front and in rear, to retune the flagship Chrysler to match hints and rumors. (Lancia Thema may simply disappear with no large Chrysler cars for Europe, other than the loosely-based-on-Chryslers Maserati series.)
JackRatchett wrote, “The rear fascia is losing the indent at the back, and now has 200C like exhaust with reflector/ lights above it.”
The 300 has been selling fairly well in a flagging U.S. market for full-sized sedans; while sales are somewhat lower, that is likely due to the elimination of the lower trim level, which has boosted resale value, making leases more profitable.
Years ago, we predicted, “The Alfa Romeo 169, based on the 300C or Charger, will appear around 2015.” This was confirmed in 2013 by Auto Zeitung magazine, as quoted by the English-language AutoEdizione. The new car is to have several variants, including a “sport wagon,” and will use the same engines as Maserati Ghibli; the suspension and transmission will be altered, to an unknown degree (we expect a moderate retuning), but we suspect they will end up closer to Ghibli than 300C.
Mopar392 said that the Charger and 300 would become a modified Maserati Ghibli, with parts swapped as needed to reduce the cost; he described the Ghibli as being an LX with modifications, particularly to the front suspension, for a Maserati feel. The main differences between the cars are engines, styling, and the design of the front suspension. We believe the two sets of cars will merge in their next generation, but that the changes will be lighter for the 2015s.
UF: Chrysler 200 - Sebring / Lancia Flavia (and Dodge Avenger)
The 2015 Chrysler 200 is based on the Dodge Dart dimensions (lengthened) and architecture, with more rear-seat and trunk space, a more “midsize” feel to the interior, a higher roof, more upscale trimmings, and a version of the Cherokee powertrain.
The 200 is has a base four-cylinder 2.4 liter engine, along with the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, both hooked up to a nine-speed ZF automatic. A hatchback, possibly arriving one year later, was planned for the Lancia Flavia, but there have been rumors that there will be no Flavia version at all; the Alfa Giulia will have to do for Europeans. All wheel drive is available on 200C and 200S with a mandatory V6; the LX and Limited are four-cylinder and front-drive only. Production has started.
Dodge Avenger ended production, but will likely be back in 2016 when a rear wheel drive version is created (née Dodge Barracuda).
Minivans and Crossovers
Chrysler Voyager (not Grand Voyager!)
This new crossover, which might or might not replace the Dodge Journey, is based on the Jeep Cherokee / Dodge Dart’s basic platform, but with 7-passenger seating — a must-have in Europe, where compact and mid-size 7-passenger MPVs are now de rigeur. This vehicle shows how flexible the D-USW/C-EVO platform is — a grownup MPV for former Lancia Musa customers who want more room and flexibility, but aren't yet ready for the gargantuan Grand Voyager. Targeted mainly for Europe, it was on the 2009 plan and appears unchanged in the 2013 update. Does this overlap too much with the Journey/Fiat Freemont, which has been more successful since Fiat took over?
Like the 200, it will boast new, brand-unified styling.
Initially, production appears to have been scheduled for midyear 2014, but the factory shutdown has been pushed back to November/December 2014.
2016 Chrysler Town & Country / Grand Voyager
Chrysler's large minivan continues for one final year before changing completely for model-year 2016; the new nine-speed automatic revs up acceleration and gas mileage, while Ralph Gilles has promised completely different styling (is the Chrysler 700C concept a clue?)
This E-EVO van is new in every way. The 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 and nine-speed automatic are the sole powertrain, while buyers will have a choice of front or all wheel drive. Export versions have a standard diesel, possibly the 3-liter VM.
Dodge’s minivan has unique styling to make it more palatable to minivan-haters, and is officially called a crossover; Chrysler is now the official home of the minivan. Or the other way around. Both have been announced. At this point we expect Chrysler to keep the minivan and Dodge to get the crossover.
Production appears to have been scheduled for February 2015.
Dodge’s large minivan changes completely for model-year 2015, becoming a crossover á la Pacifica but hopefully more popular. This is likely to be an E-EVO platform minivan, with a new architecture, and a 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 as the sole powerplant and nine-speed as the sole automatic. We might have the two vans reversed — Caravan might be retained and Town & Country turned into a crossover.
A new Ram was planned for 2016. It could be based on the minivan platform as rumored two years ago— a light vehicle that could be sold as a standard pickup in Europe, and as a “lifestyle vehicle” in the United States — which would explain tales of “new product” coming to Windsor (the “new product” could also be the Caravan replacement.) We no longer expect this vehicle.
Other Dodge cars, crossovers, and such
- Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont are to be replaced with versions based on the 200 and Cherokee or the new minivans.
Viper gets re-engineered again during calendar year 2015. While a supercharged V10 has been all but ruled out, we do expect a power boost, more work on weight reduction, and... well, we have no idea what else is in store for Viper.
2015 Jeep lineup
The Jeep Renegade launched in calendar-year 2014 (code BU) and imported to the US from Italy continues, along with Wrangler (mainly unchanged, and due for big changes in 2016) and Grand Cherokee.
Jeep Compass / Patriot (“Compatriot”)
The 2015 Compass expands on the mini-Grand Cherokee look and feel, with even more higher end appointments. Essentially a smaller version of 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but with no V6 option; for US sale, we expect a single engine option, the 2.4, possibly with a Fiat diesel in the future (and certainly for European and Indian sale). The low-range Jeep may have the nine-speed ZF automatic, possibly with an entry-level six speed at the low end. It is expected to have a similar Alfa Romeo model to replace the Fiat Sedici (Suzuki SX4).
Jeep Cherokee (KL)
Jeep Wagoneer (WS)
Wagoneer (maybe Grand Wagoneer) debuts at long last, a lengthened, restyled Grand Cherokee. Speculation is that they will start above the Durango in price, with a higher equipment specification — above Grand Cherokee Summit.
The big question around Wagoneer is whether Dodge Durango will be dropped. Durango does fit the Dodge muscle image, with its optional V8 and huge towing capacity; but there will be a big CUV, probably nearly the same size, based on the next-generation minivan platform, coming out in early 2015. The new “Caravan replacement” could be called Caravan, but it might be renamed Durango, with the existing Durango dropped. Or both could try to co-exist.
Ram shows a refresh for 2015, which is puzzling. The Ram 1500 was re-engineered for 2013 and again for 2014; the heavy duty lines for 2014. So what is left but ProMaster City (Doblo), launched in 2014, and Cargo Van? Is yet another refresh of the Ram 1500 really planned for calendar-year 2015, to match Ford’s new F-150? Are we really going to see three in a row?
Ram trucks: Fiat Strada pickup
The Brazilian-built Fiat Strada pickup with a diesel engine gets 44 miles per gallon, hits a top speed of just over 100, does 0-62 in 13.5 seconds. With the standard cab, it has a payload capacity of 1,550 pounds, including the driver, and a five-foot, six-inch long bed. The extended cab has a 1,500-pound payload and a four foot, six-inch bed. Towing capacity is said to be 2,000 pounds. A little Ram version may be arriving in 2016.