First Drive 2011 Chrysler Dodge Lineup
Thu, 09/15/2011 - 17:58
Last decade has not been too kind to the Chrysler Corporation. After getting beaten by an amusing “merger” with Daimler, it was forced into the bankruptcy by an ill-timed and abrupt takeover by the Cerberus Capital. It could secure the Federal bailout only due to an eleventh hour lifeline offered by the Fiat from Italy. Just recently Chrysler called up the automotive journalists to San Francisco Bay Area at the launch of its eight totally reengineered car models. Some products are real winners. Quite surprisingly the reworked charger, aggressively redesigned Grand Caravan and bold look Durango hold promise and will carry forward the name of dodge and Chrysler. Then there is challenger which is packed with the more power and is already loved as a pure muscle car. The rest of the models are pretty good and will replace all the bad products (Avenger, Sebring and Journey). Read on and see. 2011 DODGE CHARGER If Dodge gives a proper transmission to the new Charger, it can be successful in getting same loft platitudes as BMW E39. The 2011 Charger just needs a ability to smoothly shift gears. Dodge has however, not replaced its slow five speed slush box from its last model which is its biggest drawback. Everything about dodge has changed expect its transmission! Its look is an improvement on the earlier Charger, with few bits from the Dodge’s past included in. Most controversial of these elements in my opinion are those door scallops which were inspired by the 1968-1979 Charger. They appear too forced on it. The top line of each of the scallop resolves itself well all along the rear finder, more so on the driver’s side where it directly bisects the fuel door. Charger is also the first car in the recent memory which looks great with a wing. It is as if the complex taillights easily overwhelm the much simpler rear areas without any hat. About the front side of the new Charger, Dodge brought in what was good about its last care and successfully made it much more aggressive. The twin scallops on its hook appear great, as does all new crossfire grille. I’d probably give its exteriors a B, and interiors a solid A. If you’d experienced the last charger, you would know that this statement is true. The hard, cheap and greasy plastic which filled the cabin of old Charger has now been replaced with a soft touch material. The metal which surrounds the navigation screen and vents is total aluminium. The leather is fine and gauges look great. Even the steering wheel has vastly improved. Only the shift level is a standout carryover, but we’ve already discussed transmission. There is of course, a Garman based 8.4 inch navigation screen, which is a real improvement on that rough old unit with an odd colour scheme (gray atop blue) and a too slow operation. Though Dodge could have gone with the Google based navigation mechanism, but Garmin mechanism is great surprise for present Charger owners that it will not matter much! The steering is most accurate and much quicker. The front side suspension cradle is totally new and so are all the four monotube shocks which have been tuned differently as per the car, with their rates of rebound and compression becoming more aggressive as you go from SE to R/T and onto Super Track Pak. All those who prefer spirited driving will love the Super Track Pak. The STP Charger has a stiff steering rack and superior performance brake lines, stiffer rear and front sway bars and a ability to turn ESC all the way off. The model starts at $25,995 (includes destination) for SE model, this Charger model gives great value for your money. This time this vehicle is totally free of any compromises. If you choose a R/T model, more so with a Super Track Pak, you get a excellent machine in your hands.