Chrysler's Crossover Will Share Minivan Architecture

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

What’s obvious to us isn’t always clear to the rest of the automotive world. To anyone who frequents TTAC, the upcoming Chrysler three-row CUV was destined to be built off of the minivan platform, but some other corners of the auto world didn’t seem to get the memo. Chrysler brand boss Al Gardner took the time to clear that up.

Speaking to Motor Trend, Gardner all-but confirmed that the front-drive crossover will share the next-gen front-drive architecture that will be utilized by the next-generation vans. A close reading of FCA’s 5-year plan, as well as Chrysler’s overall product portfolio suggests that the three-row crossover is a great way to help lower their CAFE rating, especially with a plug-in hybrid variant – which the new minvan will have from the get-go. You can bet that the CUV will get this technology as well.

According to MT, the Dodge Durango was ruled out because “simply isn’t large enough for many customers in the segment and is too aggressive”. I can’t say I agree with the former, but even so, it’s a moot point. Leveraging the front-drive architecture, with its superior fuel economy, regulatory and packaging characteristics is a no-brainer for a company that badly needs to put a dent in its CAFE ratings.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Kyree Kyree on Jul 24, 2014

    It wouldn't be the first time. Most manufacturers' mid/large crossovers (Kia, Honda, Nissan, Toyota), are related to their minivans, which are themselves related to their mid-sized sedans. In GM's case, the Lambda crossovers basically *are* minivans with conventional hinged doors, and which have their roots in the mid-sized Epsilon II platform. Really, Chrysler is the odd-man out for having a dedicated minivan platform in the first place.

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    • Joe McKinney Joe McKinney on Jul 25, 2014

      The Pacifica was based on Chrysler's 4th generation minivan platform.

  • Burnbomber Burnbomber on Jul 24, 2014

    Don't forget the Dodge Ram ProMaster vans, really Fiat commercial vans. That will take over the full size (large) van market. Ford's pushing their Transit van and I'm seeing Nissan NV200s too. I'd say they're getting a good market mix together--the small van/crossover, the large euro-van/commercial, traditional trucks and a 4wd/rwd Jeep derivative. Too bad they can't nail the small mix. I'd love to see a Panda sized AWD hatchback.

  • Otaku Otaku on Jul 24, 2014

    C'mon who are we kidding? EVERY damn so-called crossover vehicle on the market is nothing but a glorified minivan.

  • Mcarr Mcarr on Jul 25, 2014

    I for one pray that Chrysler will never fall into the CUV trap that GM and Ford did, and will continue to make a dedicated minivan. Right now, my 2013 T&C is traveling 1,000 miles across the country carrying 3 adults and 4 kids and all their luggage, comfortably, and getting about 29 mpg doing it. There's no CUV on the market that can do that.