By on July 22, 2010

More to the point, is it better to acknowledge that regrets might be common among Chrysler buyers and address the problem with an ad like this one… or does this campaign feed the perception that it’s trying to address?

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55 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Can You Buy A Chrysler With Zero Regrets?...”


  • avatar

    Last year I bought a Honda Odyssey instead of a Dodge Caravan and I have not had any regrets.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      My parents bought a used Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2003 and a new Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel) in 2006 and they have no regrets.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Since my former 05 Odyssey was a lemon from Day 1 (with 26 miles on the odometer), I would have gladly made use of a “zero regrets” offer from Honda.

      Instead, I spent 20 months hating that car, until I traded it for a 98 Caravan with 99k miles on it, one week after winning a small settlement in lemon law court.

      Lots of people love their Odysseys; for me it was a curse, and a lot more trouble than any Chrysler ever gave me.

    • 0 avatar

      @Sam – My parents are currently on their fourth Grand Caravan and Dad also has an 1989 Ram pickup. They have been buying Chryslers since 1979. Over the past 30 years they have owned a Plymouth Horizon and a Volare, two Dodge Aries K-Cars, the four Grand Caravans and the Ram.

      I have never heard my parents express any regrets about any of these vehicles. In fact, last year when Chrysler almost went under my Dad was very concerned. He wondered where he would buy his next car if Chrysler went out of business and they stopped making Caravans.

      Dad is loyal Chrysler customer. There are not many like him left, but there are a few out there. He isn’t stupid (as a later poster on this thread suggests) and he is aware of his other options. Dad is loyal to Chrysler because they have always served him well and he likes to stick with what he knows and trusts.

      I have never shared Dad’s enthusiasm for modern Chryslers and I have never been 100% commited to a single brand. When I have driven my parents Chryslers I have never been able to get past the cheap plastic interiors and the coarse engines. I prefer something a bit nicer and more refined and I don’t mind paying a little more for it. I am happy that Mom and Dad like their Grand Caravans, but for myself and my family I am much much happier with an Odyssey.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I suppose it would depend on the car and the circumstances. In my experience customers who buy on price alone tend to regret the purchase much more often than those who spend a little more and get what they really want. Someone buying a Sebring because of price might regret it, but I doubt someone buying a Challenger R/T or SRT-8 would second-guess their decision much.

    • 0 avatar

      I drove a Chrysler product for 8 years and 178k miles and yes, I did have a regret: I regret that I let the staff of Autowest in Fremont, CA to take advantage of me on the sale price. I was a new immigrant and knew nothing about things like that. But it was my fault, not Chrysler’s.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Pete –

      I was thinking more along the lines of spending the bit extra for that option package, upgraded engine, or more upscale model you really want. I wouldn’t expect anyone to feel more fulfilled for paying more for the same exact car than they had to (unless it was a conscious choice to reward excellent service you received at a particular dealership that you felt warranted rewarding them with the sale).

      I’ve had customers who buy the most stripped down version of a model, and then come in the next week trying to find out how much it would be to add some of the features that particular version didn’t have through aftermarket accessories. It’s always cheaper in the long run to buy the stuff you want from the factory (well, most of the time). So, if you want those air conditioned seats, that dual zone climate control, or that V6 insted of the I4, but it that way. In the long run an extra few hundred or few thousand isn’t that much for a car you are going to keep for years and spend an hour or more inside every day.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually I did not mean to have my comment linked to yours as a reply, and as you are a sales professional, it is doubly unfortunate. But it’s funny you mentioned this buying the stripper practice, because the unit I mentioned did not have AC. But I did not mind, I was younger then. It was not a regret in the sense this article asked about.

      P.S. I just remembered how right you were: after a while I figured I wanted a tachometer. Chrysler asked $300 for the alternative cluster, local junkyards were no use (model was new). Rumor on the Net was clusters went for about $75. I went to Pep Boys and bought an aftermarket tach for $28. It worked like a charm. Still, no regrets.

  • avatar
    thalter

    I can’t answer, as I have no intention of purchasing a Chrysler. I can say that the converse is true: I don’t regret not buying a Chrysler.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    I had a 1989 Dodge Ramcharger that was crude, but I loved it. I kept it for 13 years and 116,000 miles with very few problems. If I bought a Chrysler now I would regret it as long as I owned it. Everything they make that I have looked at is junk. They have had some innovative ideas, but the beancounters decimated the engineers vision. Walter Chrysler must be rolling over in his grave.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Yes…

    This is only because the average IQ of a Chrysler owner is 55.

    Nooo… I am kidding…

    Their average is 60…

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      So it would be beneath the intellectualy elite to even consider a Chrysler product? So pray tell, Ryan, what vehicles do your fellow mensa members purchase?

      Go down a few comments to” NoChryslers” comment……..Now thats profound, a comment as deep as that is beyond my limited intellect.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryan

      Tongue firmly planted in cheek here little Mikey…

      If you would like a serious answer to your question…

      My money is with any company not artificially propped up by wasteful government spending…

      Call me old fashioned…

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Last I heard Fiat was the official sponsor of Mensa.

      But seriously, aside from the Wrangler, the new Cherokee, and maybe the 300 or Charger just cause they look nice, what Chrysler product would you say a person should buy for any reason besides pure cheapness? I can’t think of one.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Seems to me that the only way to be sure to get your taxpayer dollars back is to ensure the viability of GM and Chrysler by buying their products, no?

  • avatar
    Brian E

    This is supposed to encourage me to go to a Chrysler dealer? Really? I don’t think so. They could replace this with a video of the same guy saying “Chrysler” over and over for 30 seconds and get the same effect.

  • avatar
    OhMyGoat

    Isn’t regret now standard equipment on most Chrysler products?

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    I bought a Hemi equipped Grand Cherokee about 2 months ago now.

    No regrets so far… I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised. Dealer was pretty good and the Jeep continues to impress me. No, its not as “refined” as a 4Runner or a Pilot, but it seems to have a lot more soul (or is that the 357hp HEMI?).

  • avatar
    caljn

    I read a good deal of Sebring hate in many car discussion publications and blogs…usually from readership rarely from editors.
    Beside the awful indented lines on the hood there is little specifics about what exactly is the problem.
    I would guess whatever objections there are with the Sebring exist with other Chrysler products as well. Why the focus on the Sebring?

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      The Sebring I drove was a rental with 17k on it.

      The car shook so much my gps unit would bob up and down an inch or two just driving down the highway. When I hit the brakes, the steering wheel would shake, and I wasn’t hitting it hard. It would make weird noises when I turned the wheel too far at low speeds. The plastic on the center console would cut into my leg, making it incredibly uncomfortable to drive. It’s the only car I’ve been in were I felt unsafe just in normal driving. It was easily the worst car I’ve ever been in. It felt like it was falling apart at 17000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      A lot of editors and reviewers probably gloss over ever doing an in depth review of the Sebring for the same reason that the New York Times food critics wouldn’t bother to review a McDonalds.

      The craptacular interior quality that has been a hallmark of all recent Chrysler vehicles, save perhaps the brand new JGC and certain upmarket LX platform vehicles, abounds in the Sebring/Avenger in spades, and the Sebring doesn’t have any redeeming qualities to help you forget it.

      Up until recently the Sebring/Avenger used rear drum brakes, which while fine for a compact, don’t quite cut it in a midsize. Suspension tuning has absolutely no sporting capability whatsoever, and isn’t particularly plush to make up for it. The Engines are coarse, underpowered, and don’t get great fuel economy. The automatic is a 4 speed where practically everyone else is using a 6 speed or at least a 5. Reliability is mediocre at best, but more often trending towards poor. Rental fleet sales make up a huge portion of sales and the resale value makes Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi look good.

      In short, there are tons of reasons not to buy the Sebring/Avenger, but very few reasons that someone would want to buy one. About the only reason I can think of to get a Sebring is that you want a convertible for cheap that can hold people comfortably in the back seat. Beside that small niche, the ultra-competitive midsize segment has tons of vehicles that are better buys.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I would argue the ’09+ Ram 1500 and the corresponding 2010 Ram 2500/3500 have fairly nice interiors, especially considering it is a truck and some folks still use them for their intended purpose. The F-series may have a visually appealing interior from initial glance, but most of the surfaces are hard plastic just like everyone else. Granted, it’s nicely grained and finished hard plastic, but hard plastic nonetheless.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I forgot about the Ram, yes, those are pretty nice too.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I had a similar experience in a rental Sebring (though to Chrysler’s credit, it had 37k miles on it). The cruise control didn’t work (I was 80 miles into a 550 mile trip when I found out), so I had to drive most of the distance with my right leg rubbing against that Playschool center console.
      Fortunately though, the trip in the car was cut short when I limped into an Enterprise car rental location – a ball joint had developed “arthritis” on the trip – the car was weaving back and forth @ 50mph.

      They gave mt a PT Cruiser to finish the trip. Ironically, the cruise control didn’t work in that one, either.

      During that out of town work trip, my co-worker and I referred to it as the “PT Non-cruiser”.

    • 0 avatar
      lawmonkey

      I think the best anti-Sebring rhetoric came from Chrysler themselves. They acknowledged that they had underestimated where their competition would be when the Sebring was released. They were aiming to be competitive with much less competitive cars. Chrysler at least one owner ago launched a program to swiftly bring about improvements – I think it was called something like Project D?

      Personally, it’s a car that passes all required safety regulations, so I wouldn’t be afraid. But I love getting one as a rental and asking any passengers how much they think the car is worth, and answers for these have been on par with Cobalts and way below the Mazda 3. (Surprisingly, the HHR got raves from my family…who knew?)

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I had a PT Cruiser as a rental a couple of years ago. I regret that.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Of course a Chrysler can be bought with zero regrets!

    As long as the price is *really, really, really* low.

    It’s the economist’s answer; but it is also revealing of how hard it will be for Chrysler to start making any money.

  • avatar
    NoChryslers

    Oh HELL NO!!!
    HELL to the NO!!
    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIL NAWWWWWWWWWWW!!!
    Don’t buy one!!

  • avatar
    Stingray

    If it’s a Challenger R/T or STR8, a Grand Cherokee or a Charger/300 why regret?

  • avatar
    newfdawg

    The only way I’ll buy another Chrysler is it the vehicle comes with a total unlimited warranty covering the entire vehicle. And a free loaner vehicle.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    No. I wouldn’t drive a Government Motors/UAW product even if they gave it to me free.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      The bailout happened. However disgusting, it cannot be changed.

      If you can profit from it personally by buying a bailout product at a good price, do so. Use the money that you save to support politicians who will make sure it never happens again.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    I’ll buy a used product of any make if it fits my driving task.

    But as I’ve said before, I don’t trust the product warranty of OEMs with suspect balance sheets. Yes, that includes GM & Chrysler – and maybe Ford, Mazda and Mitsubishi.
    Now if they prove themselves healthy for a couple years, I’ll give ‘em a chance. Although I’d opt for a Silverado over a Ram.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Way to bait the domestic bashers! And like Pavlovian dogs, they respond.

    I’d buy a Mopar in a heartbeat. Charger, Challenger, Journey, even the Sebring hardtop convertible appeals to me. But I really don’t care what people think of what I drive, it only has to please me.

    I’d like to see Dodge bring back the Avenger R/T AWD, but this time using the turbo 4 banger from the SRT-4 Caliber instead of the 3.5L V6. I had a Turbo Lancer ES back in the day, and it was the favorite of all my cars, so far. I’d like to see a contemporary version today, but with Sergio and co., at the helm, not likely to happen.

    But, I am highly interested in the Fiat 500 and hoping that I could try one out sometime.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    I would buy one as soon as the UAW Parasites and their Obamaggot die off…But i can’t get one here anyway.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I’ve owned an 85 Lebaron GTS (216k miles), 96 Grand Voyager (120k miles), 95 Stratus (70k miles), and 98 Grand Caravan (145k miles).

    I only regret the Stratus.

    In any case, this ad is dumb. I don’t need to be shouted at by a faux preacher, and besides, everyone know very few cars will actually be returned.

  • avatar

    That’s a great ad.

    But I think most Chryslers would be high risk for regrets, judging from Consumer Reports. I did have a lot of affection for my late mother’s ’97 Dodge Caravan, though, a very peppy, and otherwise pleasant car to drive, although you didn’t want to change direction too abruptly.

    But the thing died probably when it was less than ten years old (after my mother died my father sold it to a cousin in another state, which is why I’m a bit vague on the lifespan. But I was surprised and a bit chagrined when I found it was no longer around; for sentimental reasons I would have liked to have seen it again.

  • avatar

    Pres O liked his 300C. But not enough to keep it during the campaign after the press outed him for it, after he criticized the D-3 for building the “bigger, faster cars”
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-candidates-choice/

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I actually find the Grand Caravan to be a compelling vehicle. I like it’s look, size, and the interior doesn’t put me off. But I like it in a buy-one-that’s-1-year-old kind of way, not a buy-a-new-one kind of way.

    There’s noooooooo way I’d absorb the depreciation of a new Chrysler. I tire of my vehicles too easily.

    Now, if I could buy one and end up liking it enough to “keep it forever,” therein I believe would lie the regret. My past Chrysler products, while posessing a certain “love-ability” without exception, rusted out from under me. And that was a shame. The drivetrains were, for the most part, fine. But the body would deteriorate before my eyes. I’m possess the sort of vehicular vanity that prevents me from driving a rusted out hooptie. So even if I want to keep it forever, Chrysler’s (in my experience) shameful use of the cheapest steal money can buy, prevents long term ownership.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Terrible ad. Chrysler should go abck to the ad agency who did the new Jeep GC ad and give them all their business.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I like every ChryslerCo product as long as it is wearing a “Trail Rated”, “Stow N Go”, or “HEMI” badge.

    The Avenger R/T does give one a V6/6A combo on the cheap, and I like the look, but it still doesn’t really match the competition.

  • avatar
    DangerousDave

    Is this like the GM scam, where if you opted out of the Regret Program you get a $500 rebate?

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    I bought a Charger RT in 2007, absolutely no regrets. I see people driving around all the time in V6 Chargers though, I’ll bet they have regrets. Chrysler’s old 3.5l sucks, as does the transmission its paired with. It offers the fuel economy of a V8 combined with power and refinement of a 4-cylinder. Point being there are some really good Chrysler products out there, but they usually aren’t the base models stacked up on the lots. You have to be choosy.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I think you nailed it. Chrysler’s “mark” for years has been its inconsistency. The build good, solid cars as well as some really lousy ones; you have to be careful.

      It seems that a lot of umbrage leveled at Chrysler is by people who have never owned one, but they’ve heard………..

      I have had two over the last 20 years and they have both been fine, nothing stellar, but they never purported to be. They’ve done what they were intended to do and that’s about it. No regrets.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    I rented a loaded 2010 Ram recently and was very impressed. Much nicer than I had been expecting with decent power, relatively good ergonomics (needs a running board as standard) and great build quality. Surprised the hell out of me considering all the doom and gloom I keep hearing from the Great Unwashed.

    Would I buy one instead of a F150? It’d be close. Depends on the deal, I’m sure.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    Absolutely I could buy a new Chrysler with no regrets!

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Because “No Regrets” is for a limited time only, what they’re doing is creating another regret – for people who buy their Chrysler after “No Regrets” is over. Not to mention, they are pissing off religious folks with the stereotyped preacher and objectifying women. It’s a trifecta, really. (On the other hand, the commercial is mildly amusing.)

    A comment on joeveto3′s post that a Chrysler minivan is a better deal as a 1-year-old car: I’m not sure that’s true if you look at actual sales prices versus list prices. By the time you factor rebates incentives and discounts, the depreciation for the first couple years is mostly a function of mileage. If you factor in the higher loan interest rate charged for used cars you might not be able to save enough buying used to make up for the reduced warranty and reduced configuration choice in a used car.

    I bought my Chrysler minivan in 2006. I can’t say I have regrets. It’s been comfortable, functional and reliable, and it was by far the best-equipped 3 row vehicle for the price paid in 2006. I bought it off lease early this year because I didn’t see any used vehicle that was better for less than or equal to my residual value price.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It depends. The regret would happen if the vehicle broke in such a way as to cost me serious money, but if it was reasonably reliable and I didn’t get gutted on the sale, then I’d likely be pretty content.

    Cases in point:
    * I could seriously see myself buying a Sebring convertible. Yes, I know it’s not a great car, but if you want a new, relaxed-fit drop-top there’s really no other option that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s a good enough vehicle to just blow through the miles in on a sunny day.
    * Ditto the Caravan. If you have children, it’s a really easy vehicle to own and there’s a lot of nice touches that make life as a parent so much easier. Someone with kids really sweated the details; details that the Sienna or Oddy would do well to imitate.
    * I personally would have no issues whatsoever with a blown PT Cruiser. None.

    Again, the regret is in the gamble against reliability. Any car, if it fits your needs and if you’re not cheated on the sale, can be regret-free.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    I would regret having gotten drunk enough to buy a Chrysler.

  • avatar

    I’m not going to buy any car that I expect to regret. Even if I slightly suspect I’ll regret the purchase, I’ll stop. Cars cost too much money to go in expecting to be disappointed.

    That said, the problem Chrysler is facing right now is that people feel that they might come to regret the purchase later. I don’t think 60 days is long enough to really decide that, and I’m sure the fine print on the deal will make for more regret than the vehicles themselves. If you want me to feel like I’m not going to regret buying a Chrysler, how about giving me the feeling that the car will outlast the payment?

    A Hyundai-style 10/100k warranty is an excellent place to start. I’m not looking for gimmicks, I’m looking for some assurance that you think the cars you’re building are of high quality and that you’re willing to back that up with a really good warranty. Chryslers don’t have the best reputation for quality and durability, and until that changes, people are going to hedge against possible regret and go with a brand that doesn’t have that baggage.

    They’re making some pretty attractive cars, like the Ram trucks, the Challenger, and the new GC. I’d be tempted to buy one if I knew I wasn’t going to have to buy a new transmission in 3 years or have to deal with substandard build quality.

  • avatar
    NoChryslers

    I wish I could change my screen name to “NoMOREChryslers”. At one time, they made excellent cars. Something happened circa the 70s…and they have not been able to right themselves. How many of those K-car based models are still out on the road now?


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