Chrysler 200 is only American car with top safety rating

Safest cars for 2015: Asian, European brands win top spots

Safest cars for 2015

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review: A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

By Staff Reporter | December 19, 2014

The 470bhp 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is leading the way in the do-everything SUV sector along with still being able to tear things up on the track.

This is thanks to Jeep having given in to pressure to make a performance orientated Cherokee that is able to go up against entries that are coming from Japan along with Germany. The Cherokee of old was more than a handful when on the road and for off the road it was too low, however it more than made up for it with the acceleration, which was something else.

Jeep then had a second try and this was an improved model that offered superb acceleration along with driving dynamics that anyone would be happy with in a sports car, yet it was still packed with the luxuries and amenities.

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT has styling that is just right as it isn’t too flashy but it stands out on the street when parked among other cars. Everything has been lowered on the car and the V8 470hp can actually be a little overwhelming at first. You only have to press lightly on the throttle and it blasts away and the 8 speed automatic works perfectly with it.

There is no body roll and it takes bends superbly without squealing around corners and has grip that is superb. The suspension can be adjusted and if you have it around normal or one click towards sporty it is perfect. Almost all elements of the car shout out luxury and you are going to be impressed.

One thing with the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT that does let it down is the uConnect infotainment system and this went blank or froze on occasion. Other than this the car offers a cabin packed with luxury and the car offer performance that is blistering.

Review: Dodge Charger still going strong with 8th generation

By Arv Voss, Auto Impressions 12/18/14

Washington D.C. >> The four-door 2015 Dodge Charger continues the evolutionary path from its muscle-car roots, classic design and historic racing heritage to today’s stellar high performance, featuring state-of-the-art engineering and technology.

The first Dodge Charger appeared in 1964 as a concept vehicle based on a two-door Dodge Polara, but as a one-off, open air roadster. It was conceived and built to help introduce the company’s new hemispherical head performance 426 HEMI engine. The following year, the 1965 Dodge Charger Concept vehicle made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show, illustrating the advanced design direction of the brand. The first generation production Charger appeared from 1966 to 1967. Generation Two ran from 1968 to 1970 followed by Gen III — 1971 to 1974. The fourth generation ran from 1975 to 1978. Generation V didn’t appear until 1981 and ran for 6 years, but as a front-wheel drive 2+2 hatchback, designed by Chrysler Corporation’s European design and engineering team. The hatchback design was dropped in 1987. Following a 12-year hiatus, homage was paid to the performance Dodge Chargers of the earlier muscle-car era with the debut of the 1999 Dodge Charger R/T Concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It appeared as a fastback four-door performance coupe. Generation VI represented the years from 2006 to 2010. The Seventh Gen Charger ran from 2011 to 2014, with the 2014 Dodge Charger 100th Anniversary Edition celebrating Dodge’s Centennial year, which brings us to the eighth generation of Chargers — clearly the best yet.

This latest iteration Charger is the only four-door muscle-car in production, and it is the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world. The new Charger is not, by the way, simply a Dodge Challenger with two extra doors. There are six distinct trim levels of the new Charger: SE, SE AWD, SXT, SXT AWD, R/T, R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat. All Chargers are rear wheel Drive with the exception of the V-6 SE and SXT models, which are optionally available with AWD, and all also come with zinc steering wheel mounted paddle shifters except the SE Trim.

Four engines are on hand to energize the various individual model Chargers: a 3.6-liter PentaStar V-6 with up to 300 horsepower and 264 foot-pounds of torque when equipped with the Rallye Group; a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with four-cylinder mode fuel cylinder technology — it delivers 370 horses and 395 foot-pounds of torque; an SRT 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 is next with 485 horsepower and 475 foot-pounds of torque; a 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat Supercharged V-8 is the cream of the crop cranking out an incredible 707 horsepower along with a whopping 650 foot-pounds of torque.

There are three transmissions gearing energy to either the rear, or all four wheels: an 845RE Torqueflite 8-speed automatic with Auto Stick featuring Adaptive electronic control, optional Sport mode or paddle-shifted driver interactive manual control, a five clutch-pack design with only two open clutches in any gear, an off-center line pump with low-viscosity oil for reduced spin loss and a Torque converter lock with turbine torsional damper for low lock-up speeds in 1st through 8th gear; an 8HP70 Torqueflite 8-speed automatic also with Auto Stick, and featuring Adaptive electronic control, with optional Sport mode or paddle-shifted driver interactive manual control with Eco mode; and finally, an 8HP90 Torqueflite automatic 8-speed with Adaptive electronic control featuring full manual control via the gear selector or paddle shifters, with three SRT-unique selectable modes: Street, Sport and Track (with performance shifting and gear holding features).

In terms of its exterior styling, the new family muscle-car Charger displays a familiar and easily recognizable Coke-bottle form with scalloped body sides, menacing front crosshairs, a bold athletic stance, signature LED “racetrack” tail lamps that have all received a major redesign. The overall look of the Charger presents cleaner lines that create a sleek, chiseled and lighter appearing mass. The hood, fenders, front and rear fascias, headlamps, tail lamps, front doors and rear spoiler have all been resculpted, creating a more seamless look with improved aerodynamics — only the rear doors and the roof are unchanged. The rear makeover starts at the C-pillar’s touchdown point, which is moved rearward, creating a more exaggerated fastback appearance, combined with a shorter rear overhang. A new three-piece spoiler is more integrated into the deck lid, while the signature racetrack LED tail lamp showcases the same continuous glowing ribbon of light that debuted on the new 2014 Durango. The center high-mounted stop lamp is relocated from the top of the deck lid to the roofline inside the back glass, allowing the Charger’s backup camera to be centered.

Inside, the new Charger exhibits a restyled and driver-focused interior featuring new premium, soft-touch materials, a new customizable 7-inch full-color, driver information display instrument cluster and a new instrument panel center stack with next-generation Uconnect Access touchscreen and available HD audio system. The interior is instantly brought to life by its unique premium aluminum-lithograph driver bezel, which enables a seamless, billeted and highly detailed appearance, that carries through the instrument cluster and center console. The instrument cluster also received a high-tech treatment and now includes a full-color 7-inch DID, similar to the one found in the 2014 Dodge Durango and Dodge Dart. Standard on all models, this full color high-definition screen allows drivers to customize how information is presented in more than 100 ways.

A redesigned thick rim, three-spoke steering wheel with available rev-matching paddle shifters frames the Charger’s new instrument cluster. Buttons controlling driver information functions are now larger and illuminated for easier operation. Charger’s audio controls are still found on the back of the upper steering wheel spokes.

Looking to the center stack, the 2015 Charger features the latest Uconnect Access suite of technologies. A performance-inspired all-new leather-wrapped electronic gearshift lever is standard on both V-6 and V-8 models. The fully electronic shifter mimics a linkage shifter, providing tactile and visual cues for gear location. Performance-contoured seats provide optimum support and comfort with dual-density foam, spring suspension and top layers of light-density foam sewn into the covers.

The amount of storage space is designed for optimal use, and the wrapped center armrest opens for easy access to Charger’s USB port, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, SD card slot or 12-volt auxiliary power outlet.

Oversized door pockets feature grained surfacing on all four doors and integrate bottle holders. Abundant ambient LED lighting with a white glow is located in foot wells, door-pull cups, overhead console (to light the center console below), door map pockets and cubby bin.

Pricing for the 2015 Dodge Charger will range from $27,995 for an SE V-6 RWD to $63,995 for the SRT Hellcat.

During the national press preview and launch of the new Charger, my driving partner and I began our journey in a pre-production Dodge Charger SRT Supercharged Hellcat on the way to Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia for track testing in the rain. Our Charger Hellcat test car wore an exterior sprayed pitch black with a black and sepia toned interior. The base price was set at $62,295 while options including: the Laguna Leather Group, Harman Kardon® Audio Group, power sunroof, Uconnect 8.4 Touchscreen with AM/FM/SXM/BT and NAV GPS Navigation 20-inch tires and destination charge elevated to final sticker amount to $69,165. We were also able to test lesser models, both on road and on the challenging two-mile track with 10 turns. There was even a specially equipped Police Pursuit Dodge Charger available for testing on the track, complete with operational lights and siren.

SUMMARY: The 2015 Dodge Charger unquestionably lives up to its billing. It is truly the quickest, fastest and most powerful four-door sedan in the world, and with six different trim levels one should be able to find one to suit both their budget and performance requirements. There’s literally a Charger for everyone and all of the V-8 models certainly deliver an exhilarating time behind the wheel in the wet or on dry pavement. The Hellcat is definitely the most potent, and it serves up sports car performance with family sedan practicality and versatility. Aside from the Hellcat’s incredible acceleration, the exhaust note is nearly orgasmic. Put the pedal to the metal, and relish in the exotic V-8 note.

Certainly not a nod to frugality, but the new Charger is a hoot when nailing the throttle off the line (using the launch control or not) and lighting up the tires — smoke ’em if you got ’em. No water necessary for slipping and sliding. The opportunity to enjoy the prowess of the new Charger on twisting roads and in freeway driving was most enjoyable but the track exercises offered the opportunity to indulge in excess without the risk of receiving a present from John Law for excessive speed or reckless driving.

The redesigned cabin provides a warm and inviting atmosphere, along with being performance oriented and driver focused, and the materials, fit and finish are certainly a cut above the levels offered by many competitors. Don’t be surprised if there is a flooding of used Vipers on the market soon, as the Charger is not only more comfortable than a Viper, and more practical, seating up to five, and in the case of the SRT Hellcat, the performance is superior to that of the Viper as well.

Handling characteristics are stellar and the ride quality is comfortably compliant, while also delivering exceptional stability. Whether on-road or on-track, Charger SRT owners may personalize their drive experience via an all-new Drive Modes feature. Drive Modes tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering (Charger SRT only), paddle shifters, traction and suspension. Drive Modes are pre-configured for Sport, Track and default settings, while the custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings. Custom — Allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance. Sport — Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Default Mode. Track — Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces, and Default — Activates automatically when starting the vehicle. The Drive Mode feature is controlled through the Uconnect system and may be accessed by Pushing the SRT button on the instrument panel switch bank; Selecting “Drive Modes” from the “SRT & Apps” menu; or by Selecting “Drive Modes” from within the Performance Pages menu.

The Dodge Charger SRT with a Hellcat engine comes standard with two key fobs — red and black. The red key fob is the only key that can unlock the full horsepower and torque potential of the Charger SRT Hellcat engine; while the black key fob limits the driver to a reduced engine output.

Valet Mode is provided on both Charger SRT and Charger SRT with a Hellcat engine. With the Valet Mode activated, the following vehicle configurations are enabled: Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position. Traction, steering and suspension are set to their “Street” settings; steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled; Drive Mode functions are disabled; Electronic Stability Control is enabled to full-on; and Launch Control is disabled. The driver can activate and deactivate Valet Mode with a personal four-digit PIN code they create. This should also work well on teen-aged drivers.

In the final analysis, the 2015 Dodge Charger is a far cry from its predecessors and should please nearly all individuals from mild to wild. My personal favorite is of course the SRT Hellcat Supercharged, but the other versions aren’t chopped liver either. There’s no “Dodging” the fact that this latest iteration Charger sets the high performance bar considerably higher than ever before.

First Drive: 2015 Chrysler 300

The March of Progress

By Scott Evans | December 21, 2014

Progress is inevitable. Sometimes it happens quickly, but often it’s a slow march. Enough small steps forward, though, can add up to a bigger total leap. Such is the story of the 2015 Chrysler 300. It’s composed of myriad small improvements that when taken together turn a good car into a genuinely better car.

The biggest of the small changes to the updated 300 rings in at 33 percent, and it’s the increased size of the grille. Chrysler admits the previous model, while a much better overall car than its predecessor, didn’t have the presence and attitude of the 2005 car we all love. This car, the Chrysler people say, is inspired by the 2005 car, though I see more Jaguar XJ in it. Making the nose taller and reducing the slope of the hood would help, but that would no doubt run afoul of pedestrian impact regulations. Elsewhere, new taillights, wheels, and exhaust tips differentiate the new car from the old, though perhaps not to the casual observer.

The next largest small change stares you in the face. The new instrument cluster shows clear influence from the all-new Chrysler 200 and adds a great deal of functionality. The dials remain watch-like in appearance, but they’re now split by a 7.0-inch customizable display that provides the driver with far more information that’s much clearer and easier to read. Just in front the cluster is another small but noticeable change: the steering wheel. Lifted from the 200, it’s a stylish piece that’s comfortable to hold with intuitively laid-out controls. It’s connected to a new, fully electric power steering system that few owners will notice as being different. Steering response is linear and appropriately quick for a large, semi-luxury sedan. The weighting increases naturally as you turn the wheel, and if you dig deep enough in the center touchscreen’s menus, you can change the overall weight. There’s no road feel in the wheel, but the old car didn’t really have any, either, and it isn’t sorely missed in a big cruiser like this.

The steering wheel isn’t the only new round thing in the interior. There’s also Chrysler’s rotary shifter, plopped unceremoniously on the center console. Functionally, it’s worlds better than the old electric rocker it replaces, but an opportunity was missed to actually integrate it into the interior design or take advantage of its compact size to free up some needed storage space on the console. Instead, it’s been shoehorned into the hole where the old shifter sat, and that’s that.

The good news is it’s still attached to Chrysler’s eight-speed automatic transmission, and it’s got an improved Sport mode. Select S, and the throttle tightens up, the downshifts get more aggressive, gears are held longer, and the transmission will hang out in lower gears than normal to keep the engine in the meat of the powerband. Should you choose to use the paddle shifters while in S, the transmission will go full manual and won’t revert back to auto. Press the separate Sport button on the dash to tighten up the steering, as well. Press that button without selecting S on the transmission, and it’ll also sharpen up the throttle response and enable the paddle shifters, though the transmission will revert to auto if you don’t touch them for a while. All the above transmission talk applies to both V-6 and V-8 models. The ancient five-speed auto that held back V-8 300s for so long is finally gone, replaced with the quicker- and smoother-shifting eight-speed. Better ratios and programming fully exploit the V-8’s power and willingness to rev in ways the five-speed never could, and it buys you an extra city and combined MPG, as well. For the 15 percent of 300 buyers who opt for the V-8, it’s a godsend. Finally, the V-8 car drives as well as the V-6 car, but with more power and more rumble. Although we mourn the loss of the under-appreciated (to the tune of less than 1 percent of all 300 sales) 300 SRT, the 5.7-liter Hemi is plenty quick in its own right and feels faster now that the transmission can keep up. The unloved V-8 AWD model is likewise departed. The standard 3.6-liter V-6 also is perfectly quick. With up to 300 hp in S models, the V-6 is tuned to provide plenty of low-end torque, and for most people, it’ll feel nearly as spritely around town as the V-8. It doesn’t have the raw power to compete on the dragstrip, but it’s plenty strong enough to satisfy the average driver from light to light. It even makes a pleasant growl in the process.

If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed about the 300, it’s how the car drives. It still feels like a big, imposing car. The big, long dashboard rolling out ahead of you into the long, wide hood gives a sense of length to the car, and the wide, short windshield seems to stretch the car from one side of the lane to the other. From behind the wheel, it imparts a feeling of grandeur and privilege generally reserved for much more expensive cars. Despite some efforts to reduce the curb weight, the 300 still feels big and heavy when you pitch it around a corner. The seats, while quite comfortable, aren’t made for serious handling maneuvers, and though the suspension keeps the car composed at all times, it can’t mask the physics at play. The weight transfer evident while cornering discourages hardcore performance driving, but driven well within its limits, the 300 grips and handles very well and is still fun on a good road. Pushed to those limits, the car will alternatively understeer if you carry too much speed into the corner or oversteer if you’re too assertive with the throttle on the way out, though in both cases the computer is happy to intervene and keep the car pointed in the direction you originally intended. Ride quality remains as good as ever, compliant and isolating for comfortable cruising. All in all, it drives just like the last 300, and that car drove quite nicely. The computer’s services aren’t limited to overzealous driving, either. The adaptive cruise control system will now bring the car to a stop and resume moving in traffic, if the stop isn’t too long. The camera watching the road ahead will subtly warn you if you drift out of your land and gently move you back in if you don’t take action. Best of all, the point at which it issues a warning and the vigor with which it forces you back into your lane are both adjustable via the touchscreen. That same camera will also watch for stopped cars ahead and will now even brake for you if you’re really not paying attention. The 99.9 percent of the time you do your own braking, you might find the initial bite of the brake pedal a bit spongy, but you’ll get used to it, and the car will have no issue slowing or stopping. The new 300’s improvements aren’t all mechanical, either. Inside, the quality of materials has risen even further than the existing car, and the fit and finish is impeccable. The optional contrasting color schemes add a visual pop not found in the competition. Extra charge-only USB ports in the rear will be greatly appreciated in device-heavy households. The 2015 Chrysler 300 is a textbook definition of a mid-cycle refresh properly executed. A gaggle of small but significant updates altogether push the already good car further forward, creating a product with fewer weak points than ever before. Best of all, most of the little improvements are essentially gratis, as the base price remains the same as the outgoing car. Slow progress isn’t as exciting or sexy as a big makeover, but the result can be just as good.

2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Euro-Spec Review

Georg Kacher
2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Front Three Quarter In Motion 2
One could argue that the boxy new Renegade is the oddball of the Jeep family. After all, it’s built in Italy of all places, shares its DNA with the antagonistically curvy Fiat 500X, and has evidently been designed to please the Muppets rather than Indiana Jones. But if our 440-mile tour up and down the Alps of Tyrol and Salzburg is anything to go by, the public loves the latest bantam SUV. Our 2015 Jeep Renegade Limited certainly garnered plenty of smartphone attention and thumbs up.
2015 Jeep Renegade Limited And Georg Kacher

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we’ll give facts priority over feelings and start by noting the oddball packaging. The driving position is rather van-like, with the faraway base of the upright windshield creating a deep dashboard. Up front, there’s headroom galore (feel free to wear your tallest Stetson), but rear legroom is seriously compromised, and the cargo area is a scant 18.5 cubic feet. That last figure is 4.2 cubic feet shy of the Compass—but then, the Renegade is 8.5 inches shorter.

The Renegade is a proper all-terrain SUV that will safely make it to your favorite ski slope or the far end of the beach.
2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Rear Three Quarter 2

The pint-sized 2015 Jeep Renegade is critical to Fiat Chrysler’s plan to expand Jeep’s presence in Europe, so that’s where we put it to its first test: a two-day run over 12 mountain passes.

Whereas U.S. buyers choose between a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged four (160 hp, 184 lb-ft) or a 2.4-liter Tigershark fourcylinder (184 hp, 177 lb-ft), our 2015 Jeep Renegade was equipped with a 2.0-liter MultiJet turbodiesel. With 138 hp from four cylinders, the turbodiesel Renegade won’t make the podium of any serious hillclimb. But power isn’t everything. What matters more when you’re charging up a mountain pass is torque, and the Fiat engine musters a feisty 258 lb-ft at a relaxed 1,750 rpm. The relatively unrefined but perfectly punchy oil-burner helps the baby Jeep dash up hills and gradients molto presto.

2015 Jeep Renegade Limited Cockpit

The 6-mile Gaisberg, for instance, was a brief 10-minute stint, Pass Lueg was over and done with before the first photo was in the can, and Griessen Pass and the two passes that followed were conquered with flying colors in fourth gear. Next on the list was Pass Thurn, which deserves a Porsche 911 but made do with the much more humble Renegade. Giving its all, the Jeep yodeled through the ultra-fast corners with enough body roll to make our poor passenger reach repeatedly for the grab handle. Although it was shod with soft snow tires, the Renegade held the road remarkably well. Better still, it didn’t understeer excessively, didn’t suffer from fits of liftoff squirreliness, and, with stability control switched off, was actually quite tweakable via throttle, steering, and courage.

Jeep Grand Cherokee 2015 Specs & Details: SUV The Best Ever?

Posted by John Mar Lumbayan ( on Dec 16, 2014

While the choice for SUVs has never been so varied for the longest time, with Ford, Chevy and Toyota among others, releasing their best SUV models for the year, Jeep takes itself a notch higher from its fierce competitors. The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee ramps the roads with a whole new level of promise in specs and price.

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee is regarded as one of the best SUVs in the world. The award-winning SUV boasts a carved interior and can steer you to places in comfortable fashion. With 31 hwy mpg+ and more than standard, state of the art applications and devices, this SUV could very well be the best ever in the line.

The previous versions of Grand Cherokee were never short of stunning and the makers of the car continue to improve the experience with it. The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee steps away from the traditional looks and style of SUVs by combining carved and visceral exterior with luxurious and urbane interior — something that separates it from the rest of the guys.

The designers employed aerodynamics and “lowered front end, hood scoops and LED headlamp”, Master Herald reports.

The Grand Cherokee uses a V8 Hemi for its power, and the physical engine block is connected to an advanced eighth-speed automated transmission system, which allows for a faster speed without consuming too much fuel. What is even more interesting in this new model is that it complies with the PZEV or the Partial Zero Emission Vehicle standards, making it environmentally-friendly.

Jeep is trying to make the 2015 edition unmatched as the company integrates a superior electronic system. It has an automated stop-start technology for the Grand Cherokee’s 3.2 liter V-6, according to NY Daily News.

The designers also add electronic security driver aids by installing a low-speed crash mitigation technology that is part of the collision warning system. Its engine can deliver up to 271-horsepower, with a front wheel drive registering a 22 mpg in combined driving, NY Daily News reports.

The Grand Cherokee is constantly being compared to the Land Rover, which is believed to have the same specs but reviewers draw the line at the flexibility of the car — it can drive like a car and truck but excels both in paved surfaces. There is nothing like it in the world today. The Grand Cherokee shines from the rest of the mainstream and swank brands.

Do you think the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the best SUV?