Chrysler Launches "Innovation Barrage"
Thus far, the New Chrysler's (domestic) turnaround strategy has been very emo: lots of cutting and complaining, and not much else. A press release indicates they hope to turn that image around. Trumpeting a "barrage" of technologies and innovations, they purport to offer customers improved fuel economy, performance, flexibility and convenience. Increased internet connectivity is promised on "future model-year vehicles" via combined WiFi and 4G technologies which will "transform the vehicle into a 'hot spot' to deliver Internet and e-mail access, and movie and music download capability." Rear-cross and blind-spot monitoring systems will be offered on the company's minivans, an "in-class" exclusive says the release, piggy-backing on last weeks Ford announcement. Chrysler continues its game of catch up with Ford by offering improved voice-activated systems ala SYNC, throwing in iPod integration and a swivel-screen for the backseat in minivans. The only major bone tossed to enthusiasts is a new active transfer case for 2009 AWD 300 and Charger models. The new transfer case improves traction and fuel economy, while also allowing front-axle shutoff, creating a seamless transition between RWD and AWD modes. Hey, something is better than nothing.
Once again the TTAC clones attack even in this rare case of a Detroit automaker doing something RIGHT. C'mon people, this is to be encouraged, not hooted at. In some ways Chrysler is actually doing something mildly revolutionary and changing cars for the better. I noticed at the NY auto show that, unless my eyes deceived me, Chrysler appears to have lowered the add-on price of the hard disk drive-based MyGIG nav-radio to about $900. As opposed to, like $2,000. That is revolutionary. I was quite shocked to see they apparently are now offering a hard drive-based media player (sans navigation) for like $400. To my knowledge that is the very first OE in-dash hard drive-based A/V unit without navigation ever offered ... anywhere, by any car maker, in the world. (If that mouthful doesn't impress you, you do not understand this part of the business.) Give em some props.
Sorry, Chrysler believers, but I'll get some technology that's wrapped inside something that won't fall to pieces around it. I suppose some folks can get lucky, but the ones I know who've had Chrysler products have been stranded out of town, have had to replace engines and transmissions, have had paint fall right off their vehicles, have driven around town spewing clouds of blue smoke, with their (minivan) engines making more noise than a couple of those diesel dual-wheel pickups, combined. And on and on an on. Gosh, you'd have to be blind not to see these things utterly decomposing as they rattle around town. "Yep, I want one of them cool Calibers, with those heated cupholders!" NOT.
thoots, thanks for your unobjective and uninformed opinion. Those Chryslers you see spewing blue smoke are the ones using Japanese-sourced engines from Mitsubishi....and that was from two decades ago. Amazing that they're still on the road when most of the competition has gone to the crusher. How often do you see a 20 or 30 year old Japanese car on the road? Almost never. Yet there is a HUGE aftermarket for accessories and upgrades for all of those American vehicles, including Chrysler products, from the '60s, '70s, adn '80s because there are so many of them STILL on the road. If you want to go back that far we can talk about those Hondas and Toyotas that blew head gaskets faster than they needed oil changes....assuming their bodies didn't rust away first. More recently Honda/Acura has been plagued by catastrophic transmission failures forcing them to quietly extend their power train warranty on some models. Then there's the more recently achieved record over at Toyota: largest number of safety recalls in a single year. I'd take a Chrysler any day over those turds.
I get a big kick out of the people that read consumer reports. They are normally people that can't even change their own oil. And the funny thing is that the people at consumer reports don't know much more about a car than the bozos that read their magazines. Some of them probably don't even own a car and take the bus to work. I happen to live in the rust belt, and one thing I can say is that I've never had the frame rust out on any of my dodge trucks. I've also never had a tailgate collapse under the weight of a riding lawn mower. And I've never had a throttle stick on me, either. Seems funny that consumer reports doesn't mention all of the problems that have cropped up on toyota trucks over the past few years in their reviews of them. You can bet your @$$ that if one of the big 3 made a truck with a rotting frame, or some of the other problems with toyota trucks, like the collapsing driver's seats and tailgates on the tundra consumer reports would be all over it in their ratings of the trucks.