2016 Model-Year Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Cars, Trucks, and Minivans
The official plans
The powertrain warranty dropped to five years, 60,000 miles on gasoline engines. Rams with diesels remain five years, 100,000 miles as in 2015.
The 2016 Ram 1500 continues to beat all comers in fuel economy, with 29 mpg highway on diesels. Safety has also been increased with new frame and body modifications to help in small front overlap crash testing (and actual crashes).
All 2016 models will inherit the new center console design introduced by Laramie Limited, though the Limited keeps its special variant of the tambour door. Bluetooth connectivity is now available on entry-level radios for handsfree driving in all Ram 1500 trucks.
A new front park-assist system, mounted in the bumper, gives audible warning of nearby objects in both heavy duty trucks and chassis cabs.
As already introduced, the 2016 Ram Laramie Limited (2500/3500) is a revision of the top of the line heavy duty pickup.
Chassis cab buyers can get a 74 gallon dual-fuel-tank option on all frame lengths, for the greatest range in its class; and front parking assistance is now available, along with rear assistnace. There are new center consoles and a lower-cost radio that still has Bluetooth connections. New colors are Red Pearl, Luxury Brown, and Pearl White.
The 2016 Ram ProMaster has some changes based on requests from customers and upfitters. Airport and hotel shuttle customers and mobility upfitters asked for a window version of the largest ProMaster, so the 159-inch, high-roof van now has a side window option. RV upfitters and executive transportation companies asked for upscale appearance, so now there is a chrome grille option. Another change is provisions for a second battery at the rear of the cab and new 20-amp auxiliary switches on the dash panel.
The Ram Rebel, announced in 2015, officially started in the 2016 model year; it has an air suspension, greater standard ride height, 33-inch tires, skid plates, and tow hooks.
Four new limited-edition buzz models based on the Ram 1500 Sport will be sold in Crew Cab 4x2 and 4x4, with a 395-horsepower Hemi V-8 engine, eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, 3.92 gear set, dual exhaust, vented sport hood and 20-inch wheels, in Ignition Orange, Torred Red, Stinger Yellow, or Ceramic Blue. Inside, there is body color accent stitching, embroidery on the seat backs, Ram heads on the headrests, and colored accent sport mesh on the seat inserts.
Cherokee Sport can now be ordered with the 3.2 V6. Rhino and Line Brownstone have been added to the colors.
Compass is now down to Sport and Latitude models, though a Sport SE package will be added to the base model, and High Altitude continues. Patriot, the “best priced SUV in America,” has added content, and a new Sport SE and High Altitude package. It costs $18,290 including destination.
Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first FCA vehicle to get the upgraded Pentastar V6, as described above; all models, though, increased their fuel-efficiency. The V6 has standard stop-start, and except for SRT, all Grand Cherokees get customizable-setting electric power steering, lower rolling resistance tires, and weight reduction thanks to aluminum suspension components (SRT has the steering and aluminum components, but not the tires). The rumored High Altitude edition has been confirmed. A new shifter is more sensible than the prior one. Ivory Tri-Coat is available on Overland, Summit, and SRT.
The SRT has a new gauge cluster with the tachometer in the middle and speedometer on the left. New drive modes let drivers customize their performance. Performance pages have been revised, and a new valet mode cuts engine power and slashes the redline to 4,000 pm; first gear is locked out, and upshifts come earlier; the manual shifting position is treated as Drive, with the paddle shifters disabled; drive mode functions are set to Street with no override; Launch Control is disabled and stability control is set to full.
V6 torque and fuel economy ratings have not yet been released; horsepower went from 290 to 295, still on regular gas. V8 fuel economy is still to be determined except for the diesel, which is 22/30 with RWD and 21/28 with AWD — an unexplained increase of 1 mpg in city traffic.
Renegade adds Beats audio, rain-sensing wipers, and new colors.
Wrangler gets a new Black Bear Edition with off-road rock rails and other additions to the Sport S; Sahara has various updates including wheels, a body-color bumper, and an Olive Green interior option; and Rubicon Hard Rock, Freedom Edition, and Willys Wheeler all return.
At an average age of 44 years old, the Dodge brand customer is now the youngest in the industry. On Dodge Challenger and Charger, the users guide is now programmed into the touchscreen system for easy reference; the UConnect and Powertrain sections only show relevant information. In both cases, content is updated “over the air.”
The 2016 Dodge Viper ACR will be the fastest Viper ever. Journey gains a new Crossroad Plus model in addition to the popular Crossroad. Charger Pursuit continues to be the only L-car with a five-speed automatic, on both V6 and V8 models.
The 2016 Dodge Challenger was given Plum Crazy Purple along with B5 Blue and TorRed. The Blacktop Appearance Group spread to SXT and R/T, with new 20-inch five-spoke Gloss Black aluminum wheels. There are now 12 wheel options. The SRT Hellcat got new 390 mm Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers.
The 2016 Dodge Charger SRT cars (both 392 and Hellcat) have standard Laguna leather interiors, large touch-screen navigation systems, HD radio, and five years of satellite Travel Link and traffic.
Plum Crazy Purple, TorRed, and B5 Blue paint are all available “for a limited time.”
A new Blacktop Appearance Group is being returned to the Charger SXT, which now has up to 300 horsepower, and the Charger R/T Hemi, with 370 horsepower. It has a gloss black grille and fascia insert, mirrors, and 20-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels; in back, the car has a satin black spoiler and badge. The interior is also darkened, with dark brushed aluminum bezels and gloss black gauge rings. There is also a new performance-contoured steering wheel.
Available for the first time on a V-6 is the Super Track Pak, with “race-bred chassis upgrades including a 0.5 inch lower suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, different tuning, a 3.07 rear axle ratio, and Dodge Performance Pages with a programmable shift light indicator, reaction time, 0-60 times, G-force indicator, and lap times in the gauge cluster.
The Dodge Dart gets a new sport-appearance hood with SXT Rallye or Blacktop and GT; the SE Rallye adds 17 inch gray alumnum wheels and a “blackened” look; the Blacktop package is now available on Dart GT, which also gets standard 18 inch black wheels and optional glossy-black ten-spoke wheels. New colors are TorRed and Go Mango. The starting price will be $17,690 including destination.
SUVs and minivans
2016 Dodge Durango gets stop-start systems on V6 models, an optional Sport mode on all models, a late-availability Brass Monkey appearance package on Limited, an enhanced Premium Group, standard monochromatic appearance for Citadel, late-availability Platinum appearance for Citadel, new standard wheels, and four paints: Red, Luxury Brown, Light Brownstone, and Ivory Tri-Coat. UConnect adds “tune start,” which starts songs from the beginning when switching between pre-set satellite channels.
Dodge Caravan adds new Plus packages for SE and SXT, and Blacktop on SE Plus and SXT, as the vans enter their penultimate year.
Dodge Journey has had the lineup cut from seven to five models, with the SE replacing the AVP (the price is $2,600 less than the 2015 SE for FWD and $1,200 less for AWD); the SXT had its price cut by $800; the new Crossroad cuts $600; and a new Crossroad Plus adds leather seats with mesh inserts, large touch screen, power drive’s seat, and “other interior features.” Journey colors now include Jazz Blue and Olive Green paint. The R/T continues.
Though the first Chrysler car was produced in the 1924 model year, by Maxwell Motors, Chrysler has chosen to celebrate its anniversary based on the creation of a shell company which was created to purchase Maxwell in 1925.
The Chrysler 200 90th Anniversary package added numerous features, including the large touch-screen stereo; the rear backup camera is now standard on Limited and S, the V6, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross path detection can be purchased on Limited, a heated steering wheel is standard on 200C, the front seat firmness has been “improved,” and new colors are black forest green, maximum steel, and redline.
The 2016 Chrysler 300 90th Anniversary Edition starts with Limited and adds Uconnect 8.4AN with navigation, Traffic and Travel Link, the dual-pane sunroof, and commemorative appointments. A new SafetyTec Plus group includes the full panoply of safety features. The touring suspension was improved on Limited. Black Forest Green is available on all but 300S. Limited gets more features.
300S gains a new performance tuned suspension with higher spring rates, revised steering and bushings, Eagle F1 three-season tires (optional), and larger sway bars (Hemi only). Shifts have been cut to 250 ms.
The 90th Anniversary Edition Town & Country includes a power sunroof, added features, and logos, and is based on the Touring-L.
The 2016 Fiat 500X is Fiat’s first all-wheel-drive model; the crossover joins the Fiat 500 Cabrio, Abarth, and Abarth Cabrio, the electric Fiat 500e, and the Fiat 500L crossover. Fiat 500, including Abarth and 500e, gets a UConnect 5 system (five inch touch screen) and Easy trim with more choices; new colors; and 1957 edition (still). 500L Urbana Trekking gets an optional red roof, and all models can get a six-speed automatic.
All engines engineered for the U.S., except the Viper V10, will be E15-compatible, to avoid problems if 15%-ethanol fuel is really sold at gas stations. The Fiat 500X will gain a rear axle disconnect system.
Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which can fully stop a car, will be added to the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango; it combines radar and camera technologies, for greater precision and fewer false alarms.
On Chrysler 200 and 300; Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango; Jeep Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee, UConnect will add a drag and drop menu bar (for moving features to or from the main bar); Siri Eyes Free for iPhone 4S and newer iPhone owners to use natural-language commands; and Do Not Disturb routes incoming texts and phone calls to voicemail (a custom response can be programmed in).
The long-rumored Pentastar upgrade has finally arrived, though only for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. We had written, “We are expecting revised heads, direct injection, and better cam phasing, possibly affecting exhaust as well as intake, or altering the valve lift.” All this came, except for direct injection.
Torque was increased by over 15% at engine speeds below 3,000 rpm for better drivability and less shifting; gas mileage increased by over 6%. On the Grand Cherokee, horsepower rose from 290 to 295. The engine also has cooled EGR, a new intake, better fuel injectors, higher compression, and lower weight despite 13 pounds of added gizmos. See the full story.
What might be coming for model-year or calendar-year 2016
Though we sometimes sound certain, this page is generally not based on official statements and in any case any future product plans are subject to change. See our 2017+ page.
The 2016 Compass (the name has not yet been officially chosen) keeps the mini-Grand Cherokee look. It will most likely be an expanded version of the Jeep Renegade and is likely to be made alongside either the Renegade (in Italy) or, more likely, in Toluca, with the Chrysler 100.
In the US, we expect to see a standard 2.4, possibly with a Fiat diesel in the future (and certainly for markets outside North America, which would probably share most of the Renegade’s engines). This low-range Jeep may have the nine-speed ZF automatic, possibly with an entry-level six speed. A Fiat equivalent, built to lower “punishment” specifications, could replace the Fiat Sedici (Suzuki SX4).
Cherokee is also due for a refresh in calendar year 2016, though what this entails remains unknown. One would expect that the all wheel drive system would be replaced with a more conventional setup, and that the tail would be refreshed.
Chrysler gets a new 2017 Town & Country sometime in calendar-year 2016, using a stretched Cherokee platform, nine-speed automatic, and the newly upgraded 3.6 engine, with a late-arrival hybrid powertrain and all wheel drive (rumor has the all wheel drive being on the hybrid only, depending on motors for the rear wheels). Dodge Caravan will continue as it is into 2017, and then... FCA is mum. All Chryslers are to get 200-based styling.
The Ram heavy duty line is due for a minor update in 2016 and a major update in 2017. For the light-duty, we believe this is the 2018 model year. We do not know when the much-rumored “PUG” Pentastar engine upgrade will appear.
Chrysler 100 and other small and midsized cars
A compact Chrysler 100 is now due in 2016, as a true compact. It will likely share the SUSW (Small US Wide) platform, an American adaptation of the old SCSS setup shared with GM, with a new line of Fiats. A Fiat concept, the Aegean, was could be fairly easily modified to have the current Chrysler 200 design cues. It is most likely that the two cars will not be sold in the same region and the Chrysler is unlikely to use the Fiat engines.
The image below is from 2013. The car above is the Fiat concept from 2015.
Chrysler 200 is set for a refresh in 2017, three years after its launch. This may include the addition of the 2.0 liter Hurricane Four.
Dodge is set for a “B-sized” (subcompact) sedan and hatchback in early 2018. Dart is set for refresh in mid-2016, as noted earlier, with an GLH version as well. The SRT appears to have been put back onto the shelf.
Journey is set for a mid-2016 refresh, with a Journey SRT in the plan but unlikely now. The true next-generation Journey might be similar to the current one, in that it might be based on the current 200 as the original was based on the Sebring/200. However, we are thinking that a FWD midsize will go to Chrysler and that the next Journey might be based on the new D-RWD setup — a rear wheel drive midsize tall wagon. Alfa Romeo is planning one, and as Sergio Marchionne said, Alfa could never be cost effective on its own; it seems to be paired with Dodge. (That would also make the SRT version easier to create.)
Ram trucks: Fiat Strada pickup
The Brazilian-built Fiat Strada pickup has a payload capacity of 1,550 pounds, 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 Ram 700 is sold in Mexico and we do not expect it to make it to the US, period.