StaffAllpar HomeMore NewsCarsTrucksUpcomingRepairsTest drives

Time is running out on the four-speeds

by David Zatz on

The old four-speed won’t make it past the end of the year, according to a reliable Allpar source.  The six-speed, which is made on a different line and with some different casting machines, will live on, reportedly making it past the end of the year at least.

Four-speed automatics are getting quite rare, and the Journey already has a six-speed option. The Journey has long been living on borrowed time; replacements have been rumored to be close for years. While not a bad vehicle, the Journey sells largely on price, with a design largely unchanged since around 2011 and an obsolete four-cylinder engine (or a good but not completely current V6). Sales were 74,686 for 2019, down from 94,096 in 2018, and, like the Caravan, it’s the only FCA vehicle left on its platform.

Keeping the four-speed line going and maintaining parts inventories for the entry-level version of a single, incentive-supported, aged crossover doesn’t make much business sense, and nobody should really expect that to continue.

The six-speed is still competitive, but doesn’t deliver the efficiency FCA really needs now to avoid paying tens of millions each year to Tesla for fuel-economy credits. It is used by the Journey, Grand Caravan, and Ram ProMaster; the first two in that list are not expected to be produced in 2021. As for the ProMaster, it is based on the Fiat Ducato (with major changes to the body, powertrain, and suspension), which has a nine-speed automatic. Whether the Ram version changes in the near future is an open question.

There is room for a sad farewell, even to a generally unloved transmission: the four-speed was extremely advanced when it first appeared as the “Ultradrive,” even if it took three years after launch to work out most of the bugs. It was the last completely new transmission to be developed entirely by Chrysler Corporation (though, in fairness, the six-speed is closely based on the four-speed, and can be counted as being “part of the family”).


2018 Dodge Demons are readily available for purchase

Chrysler employees’ car show rescheduled

Speedkore Carbon Fiber Edition Demon up for sale

More Mopar Car
and Truck News

Some popular Allpar pages





Dodge Demon

2018 Wrangler JL



Staff details/contactsTerms of ServiceInformation is presented to the best of our knowledge. Plans change and sometimes mistakes are made. Decisions or purchases made based on this site's verbiage or images are done at the reader's own risk. Also see the Allpar News archives, 1997-2008 • Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved. • Mopar, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, HEMI, and certain other names are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.