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What’s new for ’21? The big list of changes

by David Zatz on

FCA has been releasing some of its bigger updates as separate stories, but now that we have the full list of what’s changed, maybe it’s time to look at everything at once.

Jeep

Our biggest story is really Jeep, since every continuing model seems to be getting upgraded, in some cases quite seriously. FCA has been trying to move Jeep a bit upmarket for a while, despite the Renegade, and it seems that the Wagoneer release was the trigger for a lot more. Every Jeep, by the way, has an 80th anniversary edition, but some of these are a bit lackluster (other than the Berber floor mats).

Jeep Gladiator: diesels and full-time four wheel drive are available (as separate options) for all trims.  The new Willys gets a limited slip differential, rock rails, and 32-inch mud/terrain tires. The Overland has a new (and very welcome) “TrailCam” forward-facing camera for off-road use; the Sport can now be ordered with LED headlights.

Wrangler: Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon buyers can choose any powertrain. The TrailCam is available on Wrangler, too. Rubicon’s new Off-Road Plus option adjusts throttle, shift points, and traction control for off-roading. A new Islander adds beach-themed content,  side steps, and 32-inch tires, with an optional white hard top.

Grand Cherokee: Entering what may be its last year on this body, there are few changes. The Laredo X adds some neat features and a new Limited package upgrades the audio and adds a dual-pane sunroof; the Limited X has gloss black exterior trim.

Cherokee:  Rev-matching was added to all powertrains to smooth out the powertrain and maybe make it last longer. Upscaling continues with standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection, full-speed forward collision warning with braking, lane departure assistance, and rain-sensing wipers. Take that, Compass!

The Latitude now comes with express power front windows and heated mirrors including turn signals and puddle lamps; a Plus package adds heated front seats and steering wheel, remote start, and wiper deicer. Trailhawk buyers get all this as well; Limited adds the dual-pane panoramic sunroof, auto high beams, adaptive cruise, robotic parking, and front/rear park assistance. There is also a new Latitude Lux model, oddly enough, which adds heated Nappa leather seats and a power lumbar adjuster. The 80th anniversary edition is based on this package, taking things rather higher with an impressive list of standard features. This is the 80th Anniversary package to really consider.

Compass:  The base model doesn’t get anything new, but the Trailhawk and Limited add adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path, collision warning and braking, rear park assist, lane keeping, auto high beams, and rain-sensing wipers.

Renegade:  The cheapest, least popular Jeep got some serious upgrades, including standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection, forward collision warning with braking (except on Trailhawk), and lane keeping.

Every model now comes with UConnect 4; a 7-inch screen is standard, but some models come with 8.4 inch screens. The Latitude and up have a 7-inch digital gauge setup. The Sport-based Jeepster is new, with a dual-pane sunroof, hood decal, embroidered seatbacks, and “Tiki Bob” seat tags.

Ram

The Ram 1500 “DT” is getting a hefty number of new changes, including, at long last, a head-up display in full color; it can show up to five pieces of data at once, and is set up via the center screen (which ranges from 8.4 to 12 inches).

2021 Ram 1500 Rebel navigation screen

Safety gear includes a digital rear-view mirror; trailer reverse steering control, which has the camera track the trailer position and can also help steer; off-road pages in the 4×4 Off-Road Group including ride height, transfer case, pitch and roll, and more gauges; and pedestrian detection in the Advanced Safety Group along with robotic parking, 360° camera, adaptive cruise, and such.

Those who tow can get the trailer mirrors as a standalone; the trailer package adds light-checking and tire pressure monitoring. Wired trailer camera prep kits are optional on all models. Collision warning with braking is standard on Laramie, Rebel, Longhorn, and Limited, optional on other models.

There is also a ten-year anniversary setup for Limited Longhorn with unique trim; a snow plow prep option; and 14% more torque and 8% more horsepower on the diesel.

Ram 2500 only has a new Limited Night Edition option pack.

ProMaster gets standard Crosswind Assist. New options include blind-spot monitors, rear cross path detection, forward collision warning/braking, ambient lights, an a digital rearview mirror which can be switched to an ordinary reflection mode. The rearview mirror is a big deal in a vehicle that often has solid rear doors or a solid barrier between driver and rear windows.

Dodge

The Grand Caravan has left the United States, though Canadians can still buy a Chrysler Pacifica with Grand Caravan badging.

The Charger Hellcat was boosted from 707 to 717 horsepower to match the Challenger; a Redeye boasts 797 horsepower; and 392 buyers can now opt for the “widebody” treatment to get more traction. Both Hellcats have a new functional performance hood.

The Durango line includes a one-year-only Durango SRT Hellcat with 710 hp and 645 lb-ft, giving a 0-60 of 3.5 seconds and quarter-mile of 11.5 seconds. All Durangos will get styling updates, LED headlights, and a new dash with a new instrument panel. They also get UConnect 5, which is much faster than its predecessor, and touch-screens of 8.4 or 10.1 inches. The towing package was revised. New Durangos will start showing up in 2021.

Chrysler

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica all wheel drive setup was replaced with a new one, which affected just about every part of the system right down to the brakes and steering knuckles. With the Voyager/Caravan now attracting low-end buyers, Pacifica can have standard pedestrian protection with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise with stop-and-go, lane  keeping, rain-sensing wipers, and run-flat tires. The Safety Sphere package includes a 360° camera, robotic parking, and front parking sensors. The front-facing safety system was updated to a new generation.

The Pacifica has a mild facelift to differentiate itself from the Voyager/Caravan, getting a revised front fascia and grille, with new LED fog lamps and LED tail-lamps.

The Voyager/Grand Caravan has a new black lower grille. The optional SafetyTec group brings it up to some of the Pacifica’s standard equipment.

New minivan colors are Fathom Blue (Pacifica) and Ocean Blue Metallic (Voyager).

Possibly now in its last year, the 2021 Chrysler 300 is no longer available in 300C form, though the 300C is really still there as the 300 Touring L (without a Hemi, but the 300C had a base V6 in 2013). Buyers can get the 300 as Touring or Touring L, with a 292 hp V6, or as a 300S with a 300 hp V6 or Hemi V8. Both Touring L and S can get front and rear park assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross path detection.

The 300S includes the 2020 Red S Appearance Package. There are new option packages for the Touring models, which can bring it up to full (except V8) 300C equipment.

What we don’t know

FCA has yet to release updates for its police cars, the Ram 1500 Classic, Alfa Romeo, and such.


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