Consumer Reports Pwns Chrysler Gas Promotion

consumer reports pwns chrysler gas promotion

Much digital ink has been spilled over Chrysler's "refuel America" promotion. The deal locks fuel prices at $2.99 per gallon for the first 12k miles for each of three years (subject to acres of fine print). Consumer Reports took a closer look. Over the first three years of ownership, the cheap gas gives Chrysler a competitive cost of ownership. After five years, your Chrysler will have cost you between $1k and $8k more than its competitors. That's driving 12k miles annually, based on CR's "real world" mileage ratings and total ownership cost analysis. It gets worse. The cost of owning a gas-carded Chrysler is higher than buying the same vehicle with the optional zero percent interest rate. The Hemi-equipped gas hogs, for example, cost over $6k more with the gas card during five years of ownership. Little wonder then, that under ten percent of Chrysler buyers are choosing the gas card. The upshot? CR suggests that if you must buy from the Pentastar, take the low interest rate. "However," they say, "we would recommend you consider all vehicles in the segments, as there simply are better choices available based on our testing and analysis." Ya think?

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  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jun 22, 2008
    "However," they say, "we would recommend you consider all vehicles in the segments, as there simply are better choices available based on our testing and analysis." Ya think?... That is true for the entire line of bread and butter products (the forte of the peanut butter testers at CR), but how about the Jeep (Wranglers) and the Challenger? You know, the products bought by people who don't treat car purchases like buying a Maytag? These two hit their target pretty accurately, even if they are hobbled a bit by the Playskool interior plastics and in the case of the Challenger, poor timing. And by the way, there is plenty of respect for the HEMI in the marketplace. Chrysler owes no one a scrap of apology for that one. Too bad it doesn't have much in the way of vehicles to be installed in. But hey, the yards in the future will be full once again with great engines for project cars, at least for those with mechanical aptitude that can be translated into hardware, not just on paper. Depreciation, the killer of all things Chrysler, will not touch the Challenger, at least not in the long term. Any 2008 Challenger kept in good condition could find its way to Barrett-Jackson in thirty years and return many times its purchase price. And the highest prices will be paid for those cars with the HEMI, which of course would be all 2008's. Just for fun I went to see how much a Challenger would set me back. Not interested in actual purchase (I don't do automatics in my fun-only car purchases) but was curious what the scum of the earth dealer network would do. First I went on line to see if I could get a quote. 24 hours later and no response from the Chrysler sanctioned web site. So I tried again with my wife's email address. Same dealer, only this time I indicated I wanted a Ram pickup. They responded to that one in 20 minutes. Next I went to the dealership and was told that test drives were not available without pre-approval from the sales manager. This included coughing up private info, no doubt to check on credit scores. Two cars were for sale, with a notice on the window indicating that an "ADM" was in effect. To find out how much, they require you to meet with the sales chap in a back room, you know the one they put you in to push rustproofing and all that crap. At that point I left knowing that in two years the dealership building will be for sale no matter how badly the early adopters will be hosed...

  • John Horner John Horner on Jun 22, 2008

    "Any 2008 Challenger kept in good condition could find its way to Barrett-Jackson in thirty years and return many times its purchase price." I doubt it. The current high prices for 60s muscle cars reflects a lot of guys trying to buy their youth back at the auction. Unfortunately while cars can be restored to better-than-new condition, the human body is pretty much on a one way downhill road from age 18 onward. Very few of today's teenagers are going to be longing for the good old days of a 2008 Challenger in the decades ahead. Today's muscle car bidders will be, to put it nicely, mostly out of the market 20 years from now. Someday it will probably be highly modified Honda Civics and full-tilt Subaru WRXs which bring crazy high prices at the vintage car auctions. You have to have wanted one as a teenager in order to pay big bucks for it when you are in your 50s.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Jun 22, 2008

    John Horner- yep, the EVO and STI are the Chevelle SS and Hemi Cuda of today.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Jun 22, 2008

    The Wrangler isn't included in the 2.99 gas program

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