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What’s new for 2018? (w/video)

by David Zatz on

Today marks the official release of oodles of information on the 2018 FCA US lineup — much of it already “out there,” as many 2018 cars are already on dealer lots.

Meeting Federal rules, all 2018 model-year cars and light trucks would have backup cameras. FCA also launched UConnect 4, with CarPlay and Android support, better hardware, and other features.

The big news at Ram is the standard eight speed automatic, on every Ram 1500 — except for fleet buyers and Canadians. The Rebel has optional leather.  Cummins diesels are now at 930 pound-feet, beating Ford; and, while press kits don’t show the Aisin six-speed automatic option, it does continue for the Ram 2500 and 3500 (along with manual transmissions).

Ram gave its pickup owners UConnect 4 and Sirius Guardian on all 8.4-screen trucks, a switch in the trunk bed to turn the LED bed lights on (when so equipped), and, for fleet buyers, an optional telematics module for tracking.

The second biggest news may be at Chrysler, where the 300C is back to being V8 only and the base 300 has cloth seats; all have 8.4 inch stereo screens, but a new Deep Mocha leather will be optional on Limited and 300C. The Pacifica has a new entry-level model to start tapping the Caravan’s domain, and hybrid models were re-aligned to match the gasoline-powered minivans. There were some cosmetic changes and option-and-feature changes, including making Advanced SafetyTec optional across the board.

Hellcat Chargers get mainly cosmetic changes and a Demonic Red Laguna leather option, along with UConnect 4. The Charger and Challenger 392 have a lighter-weight wheel option (16 pounds/car). Buyers of the Charger GT V6 get a 300 horsepower engine, up from 292. Police cars get a standard seven-inch display with the ability to use the backup camera from other gears.

Challenger buyers get similar changes, with Hellcat owners getting lighted Air-Catcher headlamps; Super Track Pak buyers can get Nappa/Alcantara seats. Both Charger and Challenger buyers can choose F8 Green and IndiGo Blue, but lose GreenGo and Contusion Blue. B5 and Plum Crazy will return.

Durangos all get a seven inch screen, and some options are now standard on various levels. The Citadel and SRT have an optional suede headliner and A-pillar cover. All Durangos will get improved shifters and paddle shifters, along with UConnect 4; SRT and R/T buyers can choose B5 Blue paint, and In Violet paint joins the options.

Dodge Journey buyers will get three rows of seats whether they want to or not, and a price drop; Blacktop is optional on SE, SXT, and GT.

Over at Jeep, the Renegade has been refreshed to improve storage capacity; it has a new Selec-Terrain dial, two new front row storage areas, new colors and such, optional 8.4 screens, and seven-inch Uconnect 4 standard (except on the base model).

The Grand Cherokee telematics screen is now seven inches, with 8.4 optional; a new Sterling Edition lays on luxury and safety features, with a unique color; higher models get “real metal accents;” and the Alpine audio system has active noise cancellation.

The Cherokee now includes HID headlamps and other key features, even on the base model. Trailhawk and Limited added blind spot monitoring, cross path detection, and backup alerts, along with other features.

The Wrangler has a JK decal to set it apart from the JL, and three new editions (Freedom, Golden Eagle, and Altitude), which we will cover separately.

Fiat’s main change is a 500L redesign.

We have full details and more photos at our permanent “Real and Official 2018 Model-Year Updates” page — or, if you prefer videos, you can get fewer details with this quick summary.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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