I’ve always liked the lightly regarded Dodge Dart because it’s a sporty looking entry-level car with a low price tag. It’s affordable and doesn’t look like a cheap econobox.
I gave it my Zoomie Car of the Year award in 2013.
So I was a bit surprised I wasn’t as impressed with the tested SXT Rallye as I’d anticipated. But the Dart is on it fourth model year and while still a high-value car and a sharp looker, much of the competition has caught up and I’m afraid that has raised my expectations.
I have to give the Fiat-Chrysler folks credit because the Dart still offers you more choices than most entry-level sedans. There are five trim levels and three engine choices. With engines it’s usually one and done at this price point.
But Dodge offers a 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 in the Aero high gas mileage model. That engine generates 160 horsepower and 184 ft.-lbs. of torque to make it fun and frugal, as it’s rated 28 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. The tested SXT model features the 2.4-liter MultiAir I4 that creates 184 horses and a 174 torque rating. The base SE model features a 2.0-liter I4 that still manages 160 horses, but just 148 ft.-lbs. of torque. Continue reading 2015 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye→
Town & Country S(exy?) … no, but Special for a family
Are minivans sexy? No, but they are family friendly and if you have a large family, well, sexy may be something you’re needing to put behind you.
Chrysler, via its Dodge and Plymouth brands at the time, started the minivan movement decades ago and still has the segment nailed.
My test van, a Chrysler Town & Country S, was as sexy as a van can be, which means it looked good in its monochromatic dark red paint scheme with black headlight bezels and grille, smoky black chrome wheels and chrome trim strip along each side.
At its core the T&C is strong with a powerful 283-horse 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 260 ft.-lbs. of torque. Even with kids and luggage aboard it’ll get to highway speeds with authority and provide reasonably smooth shifts via its 6-speed automatic.
Ride, due to its monster 121.2-inch wheelbase and compliant suspension is comfortable, even on rotting Midwestern roads.
But let’s be honest here, a minivan is all about what goes on inside, about comfort, safety (a 5-star rating here) and conveniences to keep junior and his or her siblings at peace while the parents shuttle them to and fro. Continue reading 2015 Chrysler Town & Country S→
Dodge’s new Hellcat is one hell of a car! With a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and will hit 60 in around 3.6 seconds. Wow that’s fast! Think how fast you could get to your bank to take a loan out to buy it. How much will you need? The most-powerful production sedan ever starts at $63,995. Car guys are all over this car. Vin #0001 Stryker Red 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat recently went for $825,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Vegas. After matching contributions from a local foundation, a total of $1.65M, more than any other charity vehicle in Barrett Jackson history, was raised. Pretty scary, right?
Be the first on your block to have one
Wellllllllll, not exactly. But you could be the first one to have a Hellcat image carved on your Halloween pumpkin. For real. The guys at WeRMopar.com did all the R and D so all you have to do is the carving. I’m all over this! Maybe I’ll add the sweet sounds of the real deal revving up its engine or maybe doing a burnout. Dodge has already created a ringtone. You in? Make sure you share your pumpkin on our Facebook page.
We like the 70 retro looks of this car. Both Mark and I remember the Shaker hoods the first time around. Dodge has done a great job of reproducing the looks. Oh, and the performance, what a hoot. Handling is super too as you’ll see when Mark and I took it for a spin at Road America. Hop in for a ride and make sure you buckle up!
You mean barn finds, right? Nope, not this time. The cars for this entry I saw at a couple of local bars. I’m not a bar fly but love to have a couple of beers. I love beer about the same as I love classic cars.
Dodge’s entry into the pony car market
Introduced in the fall of 1969 for the 1970 model year the Challenger was Dodge’s answer to the Mustang and Camaro but was tardy to the party. The Challenger was conceived in the late 1960s as Dodge’s equivalent of the Plymouth Barracuda. A bit of trivia here, the Barracuda was actually the first car in this sporty car segment by a few months ahead of the Mustang but we all know how history played out. So out with the family one night for dinner and it was actually my daughter who spotted this car first. She loves cars too. Good girl.
There are big trucks and Monster trucks, no not those with the giant wheels that crush cars in arenas around the Midwest all winter, but Really Big trucks, like the RAM heavy-duty beast I just drove.I’ve been on the commercial test truck list for Chrysler Corp. of late. So this week I ran the RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab 4X4, with the CNG option. That’s a long name for a giant truck, but the key differentiator is that it runs on both gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG).
To be honest, no one who isn’t into the construction trades or farming is likely going to even consider this monster. RAM says it only offers the truck to fleet and commercial buyers. But here’s the lowdown on it, in case you fall into one of those categories.
The RAM, formerly known as Dodge, is the normal three-quarter ton heavy-duty crew cab model with a long (8-foot) bed. It needs the long bed because it hauls along two large CNG tanks (130-liters each and equivalent to 18.2 gallons of gasoline) under a steel cover in the bed, just behind the cab. You can fill the tanks via an outlet in the normal fuel filler area, or fill its 35-gallon gas tank in the same spot. Continue reading 2013 RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab→
I love Corvettes, but everyone likes seeing something new, and different. So Hello SRT Viper! For 2013 the snake returns as the muscle atop Chrysler Corp.’s various makes and models, and none too soon.
Viper was a hot commodity for Dodge when it launched back in 1991. But as Chrysler transitioned from being owned by Mercedes-Benz to bankruptcy to Fiat ownership, the high-profile Viper was put on hiatus. Saab should be so lucky!
But Viper is back, looking like a slightly more streamlined version of its muscular self. And from a model car collector’s perspective, it’s really about the outward appearance, if you’re buying something to put on your shelf or in a case. Continue reading Die-cast: Maisto 2013 SRT Vipers→