2014 Dodge Durango Delivers Useful Rear Cargo Space

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I've been smitten with the 2014 Dodge Durango's under-floor compartment ever since I discovered that gifts for sneaky children could be hidden there, undiscovered for weeks or even months. My curious children have scoped out every possible gift-hiding space in my house, but secret car compartments are not even on their radar, thereby allowing me to maintain some surprise in their lives.

2014 Dodge Durango Review

However, hiding things is not the only reason I like this three-row crossover's under-floor compartment. It's also useful for the simple fact that it creates more cargo room where there is often a dearth of space: behind the third row. Three-row crossovers excel at hauling larger families, but often fall down when it comes to hauling all of that family's stuff.

The Durango has a 17.2-cubic-foot cargo area behind the third-row seats, and it also has the magical under-floor compartment. The compartment comes in two sizes, depending on your audio preferences, says Chrysler spokesman Patrick Hespen. With a subwoofer added to the audio system, the compartment is 2.45 cubic feet, and without the subwoofer, it's 3.8 cubic feet. Using both the under-floor storage and the rear cargo area means there's 21 cubic feet of space to stuff shopping bags or groceries. As a point of reference, consider that 3.8 cubic feet is the size of a standard washing machine that fits a king-sized comforter or two baskets of laundry. 

By Courtney Messenbaugh | February 27, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Dodge Durango Review

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It's a fool's errand to try being all things to all people, but no foolin', the 2014 Dodge Durango comes close. Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela says the SUV is as good a commuter vehicle as it is a people and cargo mover — and even brings the thrills of a muscle car if you opt for the Hemi V-8. The exterior has a toned-down masculinity, while the interior is more luxurious than its price — though second-row entertainment features may mean never hearing about your kids' day at school. Read Varela's review.

2014 Dodge Durango Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | February 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

Chrysler Extends Fuel-Tank Warranty on 2006 V-8 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Magnum

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Following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler will extend fuel-tank warranties on 153,817 V-8 cars from the 2006 model year. The extension applies 5.7- and 6.1-liter versions of the Chrysler 300 and its Dodge Charger sibling, plus the now-defunct Dodge Magnum wagon. Dodge, like Ram and Jeep, is one of Chrysler's brands. After receiving hundreds of reports that after refueling the V-8s in all three cars may stall at low speeds or when stopped, NHTSA opened the investigation. 

2013 Chrysler 300: Family Review Checklist

The agency found that when you put in higher-ethanol gas, a malfunctioning shut-off float in the cars' 19-gallon fuel tanks could swell into a stuck-open position and allow fuel to enter what's called a "purge line," NHTSA said via the Detroit News. That, in turn, could make the cars stall shortly after you refuel. You can restart the car after it stalls, and NHTSA said the problem never represented a serious safety threat. Chrysler addressed the conditions with a new fuel shut-off valve that's more resistant to changing shape, spokesman Eric Mayne told us. NHTSA deemed the solution adequate, the Detroit News said. The agency closed the investigation today, and Chrysler said it will extend fuel-tank warranties on the vehicles involved to a lifetime provision.

Our friends at the Detroit News have more; read it here.

By Kelsey Mays | February 14, 2014 | Comments (15)

2011 Models Less Reliable Than 2010 Vehicles, J.D. Power Study Finds

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Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac led J.D. Power and Associates' 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study, which tracks problems per vehicle from original owners of 3-year-old cars — in this case, 2011 models. But overall problems rose 6 percent versus last year's study of 2010 models, the first time since J.D. Power's 1998 VDS that reliability in late-model cars has declined.

Does Reliability Affect Luxury-Car Sales?

Among non-luxury brands, Honda (sixth overall), Toyota (eighth) and Subaru (12th) ranked highest in the 31-brand study. Hyundai, Jeep, Land Rover, Dodge and Mini rounded out the bottom five.

Vehicle dependability, which J.D. Power expresses in problems per 100 ("PP100") vehicles, rose to 133 PP100 in the 2014 study. A year ago, it was 126 PP100 — the lowest in the 25-year study's history. Drivetrain problems led to most of the increase, the company said, as four-cylinder engines and large diesel motors accounted for more problems than conventional five- and six-cylinder engines.

By Kelsey Mays | February 12, 2014 | Comments (6)

2014 Dodge Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300 SRT8 Satin Vapor Edition Photo Gallery (29 Photos)

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OK, so Chrysler is offering this new Satin Vapor Edition for its iconic muscle-car lineup, which takes the special stripped-down, reduced-price Core models of the cars' high-performance SRT8 variants and options them up for an increased price. (Makes perfect sense … right?) These Satin Vapor Editions include the 2014 SRT8 versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger, and Chrysler 300, all of which get 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels, satin black headlights and side mirrors, a gray 6.4-liter Hemi badge and red brake calipers. Inside they get Nappa leather seating with suede inserts.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Those are the common features of all three cars, but each package — ranging in price from $1,700 to more than $2,300 — offers its own individual content and exterior colors. You can compare and contrast all three this week during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, where the Satin Vapor Editions made their debut. Check out the photo gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | February 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad Photo Gallery (24 Photos)

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Visitors to the 2014 Chicago Auto Show who are interested in the new trim level of the 2015 Dodge Journey will find themselves at a Crossroad. The SUV's midlevel trim wears exterior additions including black chrome trim on the grille, headlights, roof rails and front bumper. That's in addition to smoked headlights and taillight lenses, dark lower sill trim and 19-inch Hyper Black dark wheels.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Standard interior features include leather seats adorned with a new pattern. The Crossroad is set to come to a dealership near you in the spring. Check out the gallery for more; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | February 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Chrysler Adds Frills to No-Frill 'Core' SRT8s

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Chrysler's SRT high-performance Core models are no-frills versions of the 470-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8 with fewer convenience options in exchange for a lower price. For 2014, Chrysler adds a new Satin Vapor Edition appearance package to up the base Core models' unassuming looks with satin black highlights.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Satin Vapor Editions sit on 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels and wear a satin black chrome finish and satin black mirrors, a gray 6.4-liter Hemi badge and red brake calipers. Inside, they feature Nappa leather seating with suede inserts. Each package has its own unique cost and slightly varying content and is tied to certain exterior colors.

By Joe Bruzek | February 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Dodge Introduces 2014 Journey Crossroad at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will show off a new trim level for the venerable Dodge Journey crossover at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The new 2014 Journey Crossroad is an appearance package that slots between the SXT and Limited trim levels in the lineup and adds some mild cosmetic changes and interior trim updates.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Outside, the Journey Crossroad gets black chrome trim on its grille, headlights, roof rails and front bumper, complementing the smoked headlights. Dark lower sill trim and smoked taillight lenses join standard 19-inch Hyper Black dark wheels.

By Aaron Bragman | February 5, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan: Car Seat Check

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Dodge's Grand Caravan treats families right with its Stow 'n Go second-row seats and a third row that flips around for picnicking or tailgating. The Grand Caravan has a standard second-row bench that seats three, but our test car had the optional Stow 'n Go captain's chairs.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

By Jennifer Newman | January 23, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 SRT Viper Stryker Green Photo Gallery (27 Photos)

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If the Wicked Witch of the West were to trade in her broom for an image-appropriate whip to tear down the yellow brick road in, it would be the 2014 SRT Viper in Stryker Green. But don't be intimidated, the Chrysler-made supercar isn't exactly known for its subtlety, so there's no reason why the average Emerald City resident can't rock this wicked Oz-tentatious paint job — if they're willing or able to afford it, that is.

More 2014 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Stryker Green is likely in line with the Red Tinted Pearl color, which costs just shy of $15,000 and is available only on the pricier Viper GTS and standard model with the GT package, which includes high-end stuff like Nappa leather seats. Check out the photo gallery below and see if this green is worth your green.

By Matt Schmitz | January 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

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