Which Mopars are cheapest to own, overall?

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February 10, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

The Dodge Caravan and Jeep Wrangler are the cheapest vehicles to own  in their classes, according to the editors of the Kelley Blue Book, who announced their fifth annual Five Year Cost to Own Awards this morning. Kelly Blue Book editors based their awards on purchase prices,  estimated depreciation, fuel costs, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and other expenses over five years. The Dodge Grand Caravan came in second place last year, after the slow-selling Mazda5. With […]


Canadians Get Ram 1500 Spring Special,

February 10, 2016 - by David Zatz

Canadian buyers now have a Spring Special to push V6-powered trucks. Many buyers have bypassed these fuel-efficient options, whose 305 horsepower engines put the old 4.7 V8 (230 horsepower, later boosted to 290) to shame. Ram pairs the V6 with the eight-speed only, which puts its cost well over that of the Hemi V8-six-speed combination. The Spring Special is the Ram 1500 Crew Cab Outdoorsman Special, with the V6, 10-way power driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding […]


Shifters under scrutiny

February 9, 2016 - by David Zatz

The US’ Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened Preliminary Evaluation PE15-030 around six months ago to dig deeper into complaints of rollaway after intended shifts to Park. The issue is ZF’s “Monostable” electronic gearshift, which, rather than operating like every other console-mounted shifter, springs back to a centered position after it’s moved. The same setup was used on Audis and some other cars before Chrysler started to use it. Safety provisions include requiring a side button to be pressed for […]



Jeep scores #1 with AdWeek

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February 8, 2016 - by David Zatz

Jeep scored the top spot for AdWeek’s best ads of the Super Bowl. The only other automaker in the list was Audi, coming in at #3, taking off from David Bowie’s “Starman” shortly after the musician’s death. The advertising industry trade magazine wrote that “going quieter” amidst “the noise of the Super Bowl” paid off in telling FCA’s view of the Jeep’s story. The magazine concluded, “Giving viewers something thoughtful, and beautiful—with inspiring craft—can make a lasting impression […]


1925 Chrysler, 1984 minivan to be at Canadian show

February 8, 2016 - by David Zatz

Icons of Chrysler Canada will be visiting the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS).  A made-in-Canada 1984 minivan, with Dodge badging, will be on display alongside a 1925 Chrysler B70 sedan. Chrysler was first brought out in 1924 by Maxwell Motors, which was purchased by the Chrysler “shell company”  in 1925. The 1925 Chrysler will be part in the annual Art and the Automobile exhibit in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), to celebrate, one year late, the […]


Jeep scores with two spots in Super Bowl 50

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February 8, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

As has been the custom since Super Bowl XLV, FCA advertised in Super Bowl 50. In a break with previous years, however, both ads were for Jeep, and both were “just” 60 seconds long; and both were made by creative agencies new to FCA. Like many of previous spots, beginning with Eminem and “Imported from Detroit,” the first ad, “Portraits,” is an image film rather than a standard commercial. Produced by Iris New York, it combined archival […]


From Mopar to Marathon: A.J. is back

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February 7, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

Allen Johnson, whose 20-year deal with Mopar ended last year, will be in the field as the 2016 Mello Yello NHRA drag racing season opens next weekend. But instead of the familiar blue-and-yellow graphics, Johnson’s Dodge Dart will be wearing the red, white and blue of Marathon Oil. Late last month, J&J Racing and the big oil company announced a sponsorship deal that will run through the 2016 season. Thanks to the deal, Johnson will be […]


Dealer-enthusiast Lloyd Ver Hage

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February 6, 2016 - by David Zatz

Lloyd A. Ver Hage, a long-time Chrysler dealer and enthusiast who set up a private museum, died unexpectedly at the age of 82. He had run Ver Hage Motors in Holland, Michigan, for 53 years before retiring to Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Ver Hage, an avid car collector, shared his collection with tour groups and car clubs. He served in Korea, had a business degree from the University of Michigan, was active in the Pillar Church for over 50 years, and was on the […]


No Chrysler 300 recall; Charger chocks only

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February 5, 2016 - by Patrick Rall

Shortly after we wrote that the 2011-2016 Dodge Charger was being recalled to hand out wheel chocks, several Chrysler 300 owners contacted us and asked if their cars were included as well. The Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger share a many features, including the chassis and undercarriage layout. They should have a similar pinch-weld design holding the unibody together and the same emergency scissor jack, with similar weight distribution, so all of the factors which […]


300S, 200S Alloy Editions: with photos

2016 Chrysler 200C Alloy
February 5, 2016 - by David Zatz

Chrysler has released photos of the new Alloy Editions of the 2016 Chrysler 200S and 300S. They use dark bronze and titanium finishes in select places. (The words “bronze” and “titanium” refer to the finish; to our knowledge, they are not using actual bronze or titanium. Bronze is an alloy, while titanium is an element.) The new cars will debut at the Chicago Auto Show next week, explaining the Chrysler presentation. The cars will list for $27,680 and […]




How are Mopar vans and minivans selling?

February 4, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

For January, Ram jumped up to become the third largest seller of commercial vans in the United States, beating Nissan and Mercedes. Indeed, the ProMaster, on its own, out-sold all Mercedes vans combined, the GMC Savanna, Nissan NV and NV200, and Chevrolet City Express. The ProMaster City outsold its class-mate, the Chevrolet City Express. Ford continues to dominate commercial van sales, in both large and small classes, by huge margins, partly because the company never left the market and […]


FCA #1 in CUV/SUV sales

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February 4, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

Thanks to high sales of stalwarts such as the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, along with outstanding growth from the Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey, FCA was once again the top US crossover/SUV source in January. Dodge  and Jeep sold 74,585 utilities and wagons last month, slipping by General Motors to take the lead with 1,608 more sales. Ford was third. Jeep kicked off 2016 just like it finished 2015: the top brand in the hottest market. US UTILITIES/CROSSOVERS Company Jan […]


Chrysler Alloy Editions

February 4, 2016 - by David Zatz

The “sport” versions of the 2016 Chrysler cars, the 200S and 300S, have a new option: Alloy Editions, using dark bronze and titanium (describing the finishes; the parts do not use bronze or titanium). Photos have not been released. The new cars will debut at the Chicago Auto Show next week, explaining the Chrysler presentation. The cars will list for $27,680 and $36,960 including destination. The new finishes contrast with the S models’ generally blacked-out appearance. The 200S uses a dark […]


Continental recall affects Mopars

February 4, 2016 - by David Zatz

German supplier Continental’s occupant restraint controllers, which  affect airbags and other systems, are being recalled on various brands, including Dodge and Chrysler.  Over 100,000 2009 Dodge Journeys and 2008-2009 minivans are affected. Two incidents have been investigated, revealing that moisture can get into the system and cause the airbags to deploy or the warning lights to go on (the latter is most likely).  There have been seven possibly-related minor injuries and no accidents, so far.  Recall notices will […]


Hitting the minor notes: Charger chock recall

February 4, 2016 - by David Zatz

Half a million 2011-16 Dodge Chargers are in the wild, and there have been three cases where customers changing a tire failed to follow the instructions, which tell them to chock the opposite-side tire. As Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette pointed out, in a sharply worded story, Dodge responded by recalling the car to give all  customers free wheel chocks. These are simple wedges which can, as Mr. Vellequette wrote, be replaced by bricks, hunks of wood, rocks, or other properly […]






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