2015 Model-Year Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Cars, Trucks, and Minivans
Large cars: Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, etc
With thanks to Mopar392. The “Lx cars” got a seven-inch color trip computer, new steering wheel buttons to help configure it, UConnect 2, eight-speed automatics on all engines (except Charger Pursuit), and new headlights. The eight-speed increases gas mileage and acceleration, with all engines — including the supercharged 6.2 “Hellcat” Hemi pushing out 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Challenger also uses Viper’s manual six-speed.
Dodge Challenger moved to its new LA platform, with a new 6.4 liter Dodge “Scat Pack.” 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 Challenger, gaining a 6.4 Scat Pack as well as a 6.4 and 6.2 SRT. Top Chargers got Performance Pages, once an SRT-only feature, showing performance statistics and allowing some tuning changes.
Chrysler 300 has similar changes with more moderate alterations to the exterior. A Chrysler 300 SRT8 is expected soon, with the 392 / 6.4 V8.
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 2018-2020 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.
There have also been rumors of a front wheel drive large car, which would be handy for China and northern buyers who would like additional snow traction without the cost of all wheel drive. Rumor has front wheel drive Chargers being tested, but it seems more in character for the future Chrysler.
Chrysler 200 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. There is no Lancia version, this time. All wheel drive is available on 200C and 200S with a mandatory V6; the LX and Limited are four-cylinder and front-drive only. The cars have self-parking. See our review.
Dodge Avenger and Dart
Dodge Avenger ended production, but will likely be back in 2016 when a rear wheel drive version is created (née Dodge Barracuda). There’s a possibility that the Dart will end up being sold as the Chrysler 100 and the “Avenger” will appear as a rear-drive Dart.
The Dodge Dart is getting some minor upgrades for 2015. An SE package (air conditioning and power equipment) will run $775. The SXT will get a new 16 inch aluminum wheel at the same price. Late in the run, buyers can get a black with red cloth interior on Blacktops; and there will be three new colors, “Laser Blue,” “Vitamin C,” and “Passion Red.” The latter may also come late.
For 2015, Dart SE starts at $17,490; the top end Limited runs $23,990. The high-mileage Aero runs $20,990 and the higher-performance GT runs $21,990.
Minivans and Crossovers
Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont are to be replaced in mid-2016.
2017 Chrysler Town & Country / Grand Voyager
Chrysler's large minivan continues before changing completely for model-year 2017. See info and renderings: 2017 Chrysler minvans.
Dodge Viper (née SRT Viper)
Viper gained five horsepower. A supercharged V10 seems unlikely. Instead, look forward to aero packages to improve downforce and perhaps slightly more power. A Viper ACR, with adjustable shocks, is likely to replace the TA. The Chrysler Firepower (Hellcat powered) is unlikely; the supercharged V8 will not fit.
2015 Jeep lineup
The Jeep Renegade is imported to the US from Italy and is also made in Brazil for Latin America; a Chinese version is to be produced as well, for local markets.
Jeep Wrangler is due for big changes in 2016-17. All Wranglers have a 4x4 setup, and mail carriers can opt for a right-hand-drive Sport Unlimited at $36,190. That's around $5,000 more than the usual Sport Unlimited.
Wrangler buyers get a standard eight-speaker audio system with a new sound bar, and an optional Premium Alpine Audio Package that includes nine Alpine speakers, a new subwoofer (now under the cargo floor), and a 552-watt amplifier. A standard tool kit includes T-30, T-35, T-40 and T-50 torx heads, a ratchet, and a storage pouch, to help buyers take off the doors, roof, and front bumper end caps (on Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock Edition). Sports gets an optional black steel and 31-inch Dueler tire package, supplementing the standard Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo2 245/75/R16 tires and black painted 16-inch steel wheels.
- The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock is the 2014 Rubicon X with the new Alpine Premium Audio and a new low-gloss black grille with high-gloss black inserts.
- The Willys Wheeler and Freedom Edition return; Jeep donates $250 for each Wrangler Freedom Edition to the United Service Organization (USO).
- New paints are Baja Yellow, Copper Brown, Firecracker Red, Sunset Orange and Tank. Anvil, Billet Silver, Black, Bright White and Hydro Blue continue.
The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will get a minor power boost to match the Challenger and Charger — going up to 475 hp. So far, there is no Hellcat, despite trademarking of the “Trackhawk” name; there are conflicting reports on whether the 707 horsepower beast will make it into the luxoJeep. A new Red Vapor Special will be available to Grand Cherokee SRT buyers, and Active Noise Cancelling will be optional. The “Trailhawk” name might replace SRT for the 2016 model year, or might go along with the supercharged Hemi we find unlikely but possible.
Grand Cherokee Summit buyers will also find “enhancements” to the top of the line model, which will start at $49,590 without all wheel drive. (The base Laredo runs $30,590, in rear wheel drive form. The SRT makes even Summit look inexpensive, with a price tag of $65,390.) There is also a new Summit California package, with 20-inch wheels, mirror caps and door handles, and chrome grille accents, lower fascias, side sills, fog lamp bezels, and rear step pad. Finally, Summit has an optional Argentina Tan leather interior, which should be kept separate from the old Falklands Sheepskin interior.
Jeep Compass / Patriot (“Compatriot”)
The Jeep Compass Altitude Package and Jeep Patriot Compass Package is now available on FWD and AWD models; it has a “blacked out” theme. A new “High Altitude” package is available for AWD automatics (not Trail Rated), and includes leather seating, power sunroof, power six-way driver seat, and 17-inch bright aluminum painted wheels. Navigation is now an option on the Latitude, Eco Green Clear Coat replaces Rugged Brown, and a dome light replaces the removable flashlight.
The little Jeeps, made in the same plant as the Dodge Dart, start at $17,490 for the Patriot Sport FWD and end at $28,990 for the Compass Limited AWD. Generally, AWD adds $2,000 to the price, and Patriot is $1,500 to $2,300 cheaper than equivalent-level Compass, though it has more space and looks “more like a Jeep.”
The Patriot will likely be slowed down and phased out when Renegade shows up in force, and the new Compass will appear for model year 2016 or so.
Jeep Cherokee (KL)
The Jeep Cherokee continues with fuel economy improvements. New for 2015 Cherokees with the V6 is the engine stop-start system (ESS), which shuts off the engine, while leaving climate control and other key systems on at a stop; as we predicted, the engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake. (See our test of a similarly equipped BMW.) A hefty 700-amp AGM battery is included.
The 2.4 liter engine is now certified as a Partial Zero Emission Engine (PZEV) in the 14 states that have adopted California clean air rules; to achieve this, engineers revised the fuel tank, fuel filler neck, air cleaner, engine downpipe, vapor purge canister, and fuel cap. A backup camera and automatic headlamps are now standard on Latitude and Trailhawk. Other new 2015 Jeep Cherokee features are:
- Low-speed crash mitigation added to the forward collision warning
- SafetyTec Group is now optional on Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk models; it includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, rear park assist, and signal mirrors.
- A Ventilated/Memory Seat Group package is optional on Trailhawk (with the Leather Interior Group).
- Nepal, a Black / Light Frost interior color, replaces Black/Iceland Gray (“Iceland”) on cloth interiors for Sport and Latitude and on leather interior for the Limited
- New cloth insert fabric on Latitude seats
- Tonneau Cover is a standalone option for all models
Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups gain 15 lb-ft with the Cummins engine thanks to greater fuel flow and turbo calibrations, with one Hemi increasing its payload by 100 lb based on new SAE-standard testing.
Ram 1500 changes include a new welcome screen for SLT (with Luxury Group) and Laramie, and a new paint, Black Forest Green.
United States Sales
|Town & Country||138,040||122,288||12.9%|
|Total Chrysler Brands||2,044,427||1,757,132||16.4%|
|Alfa Romeo 4C||91||0||New|
|TOTAL US SALES||2,090,639||1,800,368||16.1%|
Also see Canadian sales.