2013 Detroit Auto Show: What To Expect

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As what is widely regarded as the most important U.S. auto show of the year opens next week in Detroit, an automotive icon returns to the claim the spotlight.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is poised to be the star among the more than 50 production and concept vehicles slated to debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The show runs Jan. 19-27 — with press, industry and charity preview events on Monday-Jan. 18 — at downtown Detroit's Cobo Center. Last year's NAIAS attracted nearly 771,000 people, according to organizers.

Sunday night's press debut of the seventh-generation Corvette is hotly anticipated, and for nearly the past three months Chevy has done much to fan the flames, teasing us with tidbits of information and blink-and-you-missed-it video images. The automaker has disclosed that the new 'Vette will have a new 6.2-liter V-8 engine that's good for 450 horsepower and a zero-to-60-mph time of less than four seconds — all while improving on its 2013 predecessor's 26 mpg; Chevy also has said the 2014 model's aerodynamics were designed with Corvette's years of racing in the American Le Mans Series in mind.

Check back for full coverage of the 2013 Detroit auto show. Until then, here are the vehicles we know about now:

By Matt Schmitz | January 10, 2013 | Comments (2)

Chrysler Gives Dealers Sneak Peek of 66 Future Cars

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Chrysler unveiled 66 cars in its product pipeline at a private dealer meeting Monday in Las Vegas, Reuters reports. One dealer said it "was like a lovefest" as representatives from some 2,600 global dealerships — the vast majority based in the U.S. — beheld a two-tiered stage of future products at the MGM Grand hotel.

Among the cars that dealers shared with Reuters:

  • A redesigned Chrysler 200 that departs from the current Sebring-derived 200. Dealers said it looks a lot like the 2013 Dodge Dart.
  • A subcompact Chrysler 100.
  • A subcompact Jeep crossover, plus redesigns of the Compass, Patriot and Liberty that follow styling cues of the current Grand Cherokee.
  • Two Alfa Romeo cars that Chrysler will sell in Fiat showrooms.

Chrysler officials wouldn't comment to Reuters on the story, but during the last closed-door dealer meeting about future products — in Florida in 2010 — the automaker unveiled the current 200 and Town & Country, along with the Jeep Patriot and Fiat 500. The reporting on that meeting turned out pretty accurate, so we're inclined to think these products are legit. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

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By Kelsey Mays | September 11, 2012 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 2012 Jeep Compass and Patriot

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Chrysler is recalling 1,689 model-year 2012 versions of the Jeep Compass and Patriot compact crossovers due to problems with their fuel tanks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from Dec. 17, 2011, through Jan. 2, 2012, and have a fuel tank with a faulty rollover valve. In the event of a rollover or other crash, fuel could leak, increasing the risk of a fire. You can find your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb.

Chrysler will notify owners starting in June, and dealers will replace the fuel tank free of charge. Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 9, 2012 | Comments (0)

Jeep Adds Limited-Edition 'Altitude' Models to Lineup

Jeep altitude
The blacked-out, menacing-looking Jeep Grand Cherokee that debuted at the Houston Auto Show earlier this year now has a name, as well as a few new siblings. Jeep launched the “Name My Ride” contest to christen the production-intent model and picked “Altitude” from more than 100,000 entries.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude -- with its black-gloss 20-inch aluminum wheels, platinum-chrome front-end trim and mesh grille, black headlamp bezels and black liftgate light bar -- will be joined in showrooms by Altitude versions of Jeep’s Compass and Patriot.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 27, 2012 | Comments (0)

2012 Jeep Patriot: Car Seat Check

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The rugged 2012 Jeep Patriot is a compact SUV that seats five. One of the Patriot's trims has Jeep's Trail-Rated designation in case parents want to take the road less traveled while driving the kids to baseball practice. This means it meets certain off-road standards for traction, water fording, ground clearance and more. Patriot competitors include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

By Jennifer Newman | March 27, 2012 | Comments (0)

Dodge Dart Shines Light on Future Chrysler-Fiat Vehicles

2013 Dodge Dart
The 2013 Dodge Dart is the first compact sedan from Chrysler in nearly seven years. That in itself is a milestone, but the car also looks competitive against the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze.

Chrysler's compact car plans are thanks to its new partner, Fiat. In the Dart we get the first real-world example of what to expect from upcoming replacement vehicles for the Jeep Liberty, Chrysler 200 and others in the future.

Chrysler has stated that the Dart's underpinnings are based off a new basic platform originally used to design and produce the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Europe. Chrysler says the Dart platform — called Compact U.S. Wide — will also underpin most of its upcoming midsize and large sedans, crossovers, SUVs and minivans. The exceptions are the Jeep Wrangler, which will remain body-on-frame, Ram's trucks and the 2013 SRT Viper.

By Colin Bird | January 24, 2012 | Comments (8)

Jeep Compass Proves It's What's on the Outside That Counts

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As the least Jeep-like Jeep, the entry-level Compass has never gotten much respect. When it debuted in 2007, the awkwardly styled compact SUV was overshadowed by the significantly more Jeep-like Patriot. Aside from the looks, the two were otherwise identical.
 
Much to our surprise, the game has changed with the face-lifted 2011 Compass. New interest has revved up its sales, as the 2011 is outselling the original Compass during its inaugural year. July 2011 saw the Compass’ sales grow 240 percent compared with July 2010, up from 1,302 units to 4,430. The 2011 Patriot saw a modest increase of 7 percent, but it outsold the Compass by just 168 units.
 
We unanimously deemed the 2011 Compass a Loser in our Winners and Losers list when the SUV was revealed at the 2011 Detroit auto show. So what’s going on?

By Joe Bruzek | August 12, 2011 | Comments (10)

Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan and Chevrolet Make the Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure

Chrysler Town & Country LXToyota, Chrysler, Nissan and Chevrolet have the least expensive cars, vans, SUVs and or trucks to insure in 2011, according to Insure.com, an insurance research website.

Insure.com arrived at these rankings through a commissioned study by Quadrant Information Services, which calculated premiums for a 40-year-old male driver. The rates come from a compilation of six major insurance carriers’ premiums in 10 ZIP codes in each state.

According to the study, the least expensive cars to insure are the four- and six-cylinder front-wheel-drive variants of the Toyota Highlander, at $1,154 and $1,183 per year, respectively. (We would categorize the Highlander as more of a car-based crossover/SUV, but food for thought anyways.) The Chrysler Town & Country LX is the least expensive minivan to insure at $1,092 per year and is actually the most affordably priced car to insure, period, for 2011. The Nissan Murano SL is the least expensive SUV, at $1,128 per year, and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with a V-8 and two-wheel drive is the least expensive truck to insure, at $1,174 per year.

By Colin Bird | June 23, 2011 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 11,351 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Vehicles

Chrysler 200Chrysler Group is recalling 11,351 vehicles across the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands over an incorrectly installed steering column, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Listed in the recall are 2011 models of the Chrysler 200, Chrysler 200 convertible, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. The affected vehicles were built between April 13 and May 6.

In some of the vehicles, the steering column may have been improperly installed, with either a missing or incorrectly installed steering column pivot rivet. On vehicles where the rivet is out of sorts, the steering column can cause more physical harm to passengers in the event of a frontal crash.  

Chrysler dealers will inspect the rivet and the alignment of the steering column and make repairs if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin this month. Owners can contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or NHTSA’s hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Colin Bird | June 16, 2011 | Comments (3)

Chrysler Incentives Focus on Minivans

2011 Chrysler Town & CountryChrysler has shifted around some of its incentives for the month of April, deemphasizing trucks but placing more cash on the hood of more models from Chrysler and Dodge.

Chrysler has decided to bring back its 60-day guarantee program for the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and 2011 Chrysler Town & Country for April. The “Minivan Pledge” works the same way it has in the past — you can return your van back to the automaker within 60-days, no questions asked. While the program may alleviate some buyer’s remorse — few people ended up changing their minds during past promotions — the pledge doesn’t really offer much in terms of cash back or financing incentives compared with March. 2.9% financing for 60 months is the same as last month. Last month Chrysler offered $2,000 — $4,000 in lease bonus cash on its minivan pair, which helps to reduce the capitalized cost of the lease. Those lease deals might turn out to be a better compared with current lease offerings, depending on your credit worthiness.

The new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible gets its first suit of incentives, just in time for the winter’s thaw. Chrysler is offering $1,500 cash back or $750 back and 2.9% financing for 60 months with Ally Financial on the drop top. The all-new 2011 Dodge Durango now has some retail customer cash on the hood: $1,000 on the base Express trim.

Continue reading below for all the highlighted deals available for April. Most deals expire on May 2nd.

By Colin Bird | April 8, 2011 | Comments (1)

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