Mopar Celebrates 80 Years With Debut of Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger

FCA_US_LLC_Mopar_17_Dodge_Challenger.jpg

The vehicle offers a pair of hand-painted, custom, show car trim options. Only 80 models will be available in Pitch Black/Contusion Blue, with another 80 in Pitch Black/Billet Silver, in a nod to 80 years of the Mopar brand.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger also includes Mopar performance parts, accessories, an exclusive owner’s kit and a serialized badge.

“Since its birth in 1937, Mopar has evolved from the name of an antifreeze product to a global customer-care brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger, our latest limited-edition vehicle, is a testament to this philosophy, showcasing how Mopar assists owners in personalizing all FCA US vehicles.”

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger joins an exclusive club as the eighth limited-edition, Mopar-modified vehicle delivered straight from the factory. In 2010, the brand produced the first of an ongoing series of limited-edition vehicles, the Mopar ’10 Challenger. Other low-run, factory-produced Mopar rides would follow: the Mopar ’11 Charger, Mopar ’12 300, Mopar ’13 Dart, Mopar ’14 Challenger, Mopar ’15 Dodge Charger R/T and Mopar ’16 Ram Rebel.

Mopar ’17: Exterior
The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger begins turning heads through its exterior and a pair of two-tone custom paint options achieved with an assist from the Mopar Custom Shop. Contusion Blue and Billet Silver hues are pulled from the Dodge brand’s color palette, with the upper portion of the Mopar ’17 hand-painted Pitch Black at the Mopar Custom Shop to achieve the striking two-tone appearance.

The Contusion Blue color conveys a tone-on-tone look, providing a subtle, hiding-in-plain-sight feel at night and a brilliant appearance in daylight. Billet Silver offers a more high-impact, high-contrast exterior color. The inherent bodylines of the Dodge Challenger are used to transition from Pitch Black to Contusion Blue or Billet Silver, providing a seamless segue point.

A special Mopar 392 logo, also hand-painted on at the Mopar Custom Shop, gives an additional custom touch.

The upper exterior is unified with Pitch Black accents. The standard satin black of the Shaker Hood package by Mopar and Shaker Hood scoop surround is painted Pitch Black. The rear decklid spoiler also receives the Pitch Black treatment, and the Mopar Design badge on the spoiler is turned black-on-black.

20 x 9-inch aluminum wheels are embellished with semi-gloss accents and center caps feature the Dodge logo. Standard chrome exhaust tips are replaced with Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat black exhaust tips.

Mopar ’17: Performance
The six-speed manual transmission Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger also makes a powerful performance statement that enhances the base Dodge Challenger R/T 392. The 6.4-liter, 392 HEMI® engine pumps out 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque and is augmented by the Shaker Hood package by Mopar, which provides performance gains with a hint of vintage styling. The scoop is embellished with Shaker badging.

A Mopar cold air intake also delivers a performance boost and is aided by an air catcher duct system via the headlamp. The upgrade, inspired by the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, feeds additional cold air into the vehicle. Mopar Shaker strut tower braces and caps are silver powder-coated and increase rigidity and handling of the Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger. Four-piston Brembo brakes provide stopping power.

Mopar ’17: Interior/Exclusive Content
Heading inside, performance seats are the star, customized with Tungsten Mopar logos embroidered on the seatbacks. Tungsten stitching matching the Mopar logo borders the seats and continues throughout the vehicle, touching the door panels and additional interior areas.

Befitting its limited-edition origins, the Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger is delivered with exclusive content that highlights the vehicle’s prestige and collectability. A special serialized Mopar ’17 80th Anniversary badge is included under the hood, announcing 1-80 of the Contusion Blue version and 1-80 of the Billet Silver option.

Each customer will receive a special Mopar ’17 Owner’s Kit, packaged in a custom Mopar box that includes:

  • Mopar welcome letter
  • “Birth certificate” with vehicle specifications, date of manufacture and proprietary vehicle number
  • Hand-signed Mopar ’17 rendering from the FCA US LLC Product Design Office
  • Special Mopar ’17 booklet
  • Customized acrylic memorabilia showpiece
  • Mopar valve stem caps
  • Mopar-branded items, including a Mopar ’17 keychain and a Mopar 80th anniversary badge

The limited-edition vehicle will be available in both the U.S. and Canada, with a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $55,790, excluding taxes and destination fees. The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger will begin arriving in select dealerships in early second quarter of 2017.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger will be displayed at the Chicago Auto Show. For more information, visit http://blog.mopar.com/.

About Dodge and SRT Brands
The Dodge brand is America’s mainstream performance brand. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is focusing on its performance roots with every single model it offers. The Dodge and SRT brands offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out within their own segments. Dodge is the mainstream performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

From muscle cars to minivans, crossovers and full-size SUVs, the Dodge brand’s full lineup of 2017 models deliver best-in-class horsepower, class-exclusive technology, unmatched capability and a slew of cool features, such as LED headlamps, Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, active exhaust, cold-air induction, 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment centers and 7-inch customizable gauge clusters, to name a few. For the 2017 model year, the Dodge brand lineup features the 25th anniversary Viper, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the new Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A, as well as the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat, the most powerful and fastest muscle car ever and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

Mopar-First Features
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format

80 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was born on August 1, 1937, as the name of a line of antifreeze products. Mopar has since evolved over 80 years to serve as the total service, parts and customer-care brand of all FCA vehicles around the globe.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

For 80 years, Mopar has been the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

SOURCE FCA US LLC

CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mopar-celebrates-80-years-with-debut-of-mopar-17-dodge-challenger-300405358.html

Minivan Review: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Overview

By Graeme Fletcher

A luxurious take on the ultimate people mover

Pros Flexibility, comfort, fuel economy

Cons Backward switch logic, no Stow ‘n Go middle-row for the Hybrid, cost

Value for money Fair

What would I change? Rethink the switch logic and add a more affordable base model to the line-up

Since the introduction of the original Dodge Caravan in 1984, Chrysler has ruled the minivan roost. The latest expression of the company’s take on the ultimate people mover is the new Pacifica. It started with a clean computer screen, so just about every facet is new or has been reworked for the better. The one thing that does not change, however, is the utility and flexibility engineered into the cabin.

Up front, the Pacifica features top-shelf materials and supportive Nappa leather-wrapped seats — a 1,000-kilometre trip did not produce the dreaded numb-bum. Then there’s the attention to detail, found in the likes of the French stitching on the instrument panel and, of all things, the mat that finishes the lower storage area; it has four generations of minivan neatly embossed into the liner. This Easter egg thing is rapidly becoming a Chrysler trait; look at the base of the Renegade’s windshield and there sits a pictogram of the original Jeep.

The Limited tester arrived as loaded as loaded gets, with everything from heated/cooled front seats and an oversized panoramic moonroof to all of the latest gizmos including Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system and its 8.4-inch touchscreen. This system remains the easiest of its ilk to use; for example, pairing a phone was so simple my 11-year-old daughter accomplished the feat in seconds and without having to refer to the owner’s manual.

So far it’s all eminently logical. That is, until you get to the buttons for the park assist, lane departure warning and stability control systems. When the light in the switch is illuminated, the system is turned off. That’s backwards — the A/C button illuminates when the system is keeping an oppressive summer day at bay, which is as it should be!

Move rearward and things are just as swanky. There’s seating for up to eight passengers, no fewer than 243 seating configurations (or so says Chrysler!) and a ton of space. With all the seats in place, there’s 915 litres behind the third row – enough for five golfers and their clubs with room to spare. Power the third row down and the capacity jumps to 2,478 litres; drop the middle Stow ’n Go row seats and there’s a cavernous 3,979 litres. The plus is the seats are always ready to go when needed. In many cases, one or more of a typical minivan’s seats is gathering dust in the garage and not available for use after schlepping half a house’s worth of stuff to university. This is the one area where Chrysler’s minivans have no peer.

One of the cool features proved to be the middle-row entertainment system with touch-sensitive screens. The system not only plays movies, it includes some built-in games and the “Are We There Yet?” app; when the driver punches a destination into the navigation system, the app shows the distance to go and estimated time of arrival, which dispenses with that age-old question.

The Pacifica arrives with Chrysler’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, putting out 287 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, which delivers sprightly performance — it canters to 100 km/h in eight seconds and can tow 1,633 kilograms when properly equipped. The power is fed through the front wheels via a nine-speed automatic that shifts smoothly and, unlike some, manages to find the right gear at the right time. The unspoken plus proved to be fuel economy. Over that 1,000-km test, the Pacifica returned an average of 10.8 L/100 km, which given the size and capability came as a complete and very pleasant surprise.

Now if you are really into fuel economy, the Hybrid model uses the same engine, an electric motor and a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery to improve that number even more — it offers up to 48 km of electric-only driving.

Equally impressive was the manner in which the Pacifica balanced the need for comfort with the desire for handling. No, it is not a sports car by any means, but the suspension is quick to take a set in a corner and the steering delivers better-than-average feel and feedback. Likewise, understeer is moot for the most part thanks to the optional P245/50R20 tires; they deliver a ton of grip, although the perky nature of the engine does see them chirp on a fast take-off. Hit the highway, and the kilometres waft away in a very comfortable fashion. It’s a nicely balanced set-up given the fact it has to deal with just the driver much of the time, but with the capacity to transport a van-load of sumo wrestlers.

The new Chrysler Pacifica is well conceived and equally well executed, with a ton of flexibility, even more amenities, as well as plenty of power and surprising fuel efficiency. The hitch is found in the pricing. It starts at $43,995, but the Pacifica we tested had a sticker of $60,545. That’s a heck of a lot more than the buyers of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country are used to paying

First Drive: 2017 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

Ram2500-13

First Drive: 2017 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

A full-size truck with muscle in all the right places, without sacrificing comfort

By 2 days ago

If you want big, the 2017 Ram 2500 HD Mega Cab is without peer — it has the largest cab in all of truckdom! It is also one seriously capable rig, and this holds true regardless of whether it is towing, hauling or out for a night at the opera.

What’s new for 2017 is the addition of the 4×4 Off-road package on all 2500 derivatives. It includes Bilstein mono tube shocks, hill descent control, skid plates, tow hooks, a limited-slip rear differential and LT275/70R18 off-road tires. This brings much better off-road performance without detracting from the 2500’s workhorse thrust.

The 2500 tested featured a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 with Ram’s Fuel Saver Technology. It deactivates four of the eight cylinders at idle and when engine loads are light, which cuts fuel consumption. The Hemi also produces a ton of power — 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque. This lot was fired to the road through a six-speed automatic transmission and all four wheels. The part-time electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case gives the driver access to 2WD, 4WD High and 4WD Low.

This combination gave the Ram two very different personalities. During an off-road trek, the brawn and 4-Low gearing gave the Ram the wherewithal to haul through some seriously gnarly trails and a water hole without breaking a sweat. Conversely, on the on-road loop it provided rapid acceleration — the Hemi propelled the 2500 Mega Cab to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds, which is pretty darned quick for a full-size truck! It also has HD credentials with a payload of 1,320 kilograms and a maximum towing capability of 6,913 kg with the 4.10 rear axle in place.

Where the 2500 Mega Cab truly impressed was the ride quality. In spite of its heavy-duty focus, the ride proved to be remarkably civilized — it is difficult to build comfort into a truck designed to carry large loads. Where the Ram differs from most is the five-link suspension and rear coil springs. This and the mono tube shocks kept things flat and unflustered. Even mid-corner, on a rippled section of road, the back end resisted the urge to washboard (skip) out. This certainly inspired driver confidence. Off-road it improved axle articulation, which kept the wheels in the dirt and the Mega Cab plodding through the mire. There is an optional load-leveling rear air spring option. It takes things to the next level and should be seriously considered.

The lone nitpick was the turning circle — at 14.3 metres, it takes a lot of space to wheel the Ram around.

The Ram’s cabin is rich beyond expectation when properly equipped. The highlights are the optional reconfigurable dash and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. The former gives the driver fast access to a ton of data including fuel economy, trip info, trailer braking and vehicle status. The latter is an all-encompassing infotainment system that controls the climate, audio, phone and navigation functions, among other things. The large, logically placed icons and quick response times set it apart from most — it’s child’s play to use, which makes pairing a phone so simple it puts the competition to shame! It should be considered a mandatory purchase. The 5-inch Uconnect screen in the tester functioned well, but paled when compared to the larger unit in the full-zoot model.

On a brighter note, the comfortable armchair-like front seating delivered surprising support during the off-road excursion and there was a much-needed rearview camera. It’s needed because there’s a lot of real estate between the driver and the tailgate — the Mega Cab’s wheelbase stretches 4,064 millimetres!

The utility and flexibility is there for all to enjoy. There’s a large central storage box along with tons of cubbies, pockets and twin gloveboxes. Then there’s the rear seat; the Mega Cab is 280 millimetres longer than the Crew Cab, which makes the rear environment limo-like.

Ram2500-6With 1,099 mm of rear leg space, I could barely touch the front seats with my feet even with the driver’s seat set all the way back. There’s also some additional storage behind the rear seats, and when folded down there’s a large flat storage area that is easily accessed through the large doors.

Behind that lot the Mega Cab arrives with a 6-foot-4 box and RamBox cargo boxes. These two storage areas, which lock through the remote fob (thank you!), occupy the space above the rear wheels. As well as holding work tools, tow straps and so on, it allows 10 cases of one’s favourite beverage — drain holes look after the melting ice. Thankfully, the design leaves enough space between the wheel well intrusions to carry a standard 4×8 sheet of plywood. It all combines to make the Mega Cab a hoarder’s dream — there’s a place for everything and then some!

The 2017 Ram 2500 HD not only delivers serious towing and hauling capabilities, it proved to remarkably refined in everyday driving – so much so, it rides and drives with more civility that the 1500.

Pricing for the 2017 2500 HD models has yet to be announced.

Ram2500-4

A first look at the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan

THINKING INSIDE THE BOX: Chrysler’s Pacifica is another step forward in the evolution of the minivan.

Chrysler created the minivan segment, but the automotive industry is a “What have you done for me lately?” business.

In Chrysler’s case—actually FCA nowadays—they’ve redesigned the minivan from the ground up and revived the Pacifica name for a brand-new 2017 minivan.

Somewhere along the line, the terms “soccer mom” and “minivan”—two positives—got turned into a single negative.

The truth is that minivans are unmatched for versatility, seating comfort, and being a “family room” on wheels for trips.

If I had a young family, there’s no question that a minivan would be my vehicle of choice.

FCA North America Eastern PR guru Lisa Barrow, Pacifica PR manager Angela Bianchi, and Pacifica marketing head Matt McAlear visited the New England Motor Press Assn. on June 14 with a mini-fleet of the new minivans.

NEMPA members had the opportunity to crawl through the vehicles, drive them on local roads and interstates, and hear a presentation from McAlear.

Why the Pacifica name?

“We wanted a fresh start,” says McAlear. “Our research showed the Pacifica name had positive recognition. Reviving that was a lot less expensive than starting out fresh and establishing a new brand name.”

Still, Chrysler has expended some marketing energy, creating a series of ads with comedian Jim Gaffigan as a “dufus” dad demonstrating the Pacifica’s features via inane antics. Another ad features Brooklyn Decker being taught the Pacifica’s ropes by equally irritating know-it-all kids.

It was about the time that McAlear was demonstrating the fold-flat, Stow ‘n Go second- and third-row seats that Jamie Paige Deaton, Auto Editor at US News, pulled out her own child seat to test the second row.

MARKETING MINIVANS: Chrysler’s Matt McAlear sees the minivan segment as continuing to be attractive and profitable.
MARKETING MINIVANS: Chrysler’s Matt McAlear sees the minivan segment as continuing to be attractive and profitable.

Bill Griffith

FCA says a second-row seat can tilt forward, even with a child’s seat attached, to allow easy access to the third row.

There is a “don’t try this with a child strapped into the seat” caveat involved.

Deaton demonstrated that the system works.

Fortunately for demonstration purposes, said car seat was filled with crumbs and some candy smudges that were transferred to the Pacifica’s second-row leather seat.

That was an opportunity to test the onboard vacuum with its 12-foot stretch hose (and additional 12-foot attachment in case you want to clean another of the family vehicles in the process) to suck up the detritus.

McAlear had noted that all Pacifica trim levels have the same power train—an upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that produces best-in-class horsepower (287) and torque (262 lb.-ft.), 28 mpg highway fuel economy, and is mated to a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission.

That means you pay for added features, with base models starting in the mid-20’s and top ones going into the low $40s. Top safety systems like autonomous braking and forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and rear park assist (with bump prevention) are available.

We liked the triple panoramic sunroof on the high-end version. But the Stow ‘n Go seating that allows both second- and third-row seats to fold flat is handy, too.

“You can carry 64 sheets of 4×8 plywood (1/4 inch) or 32 sheets of ½ inch,” says McAlear. “and unlike in a pickup truck, you can keep the wood dry on a rainy day.”

Driving a Pacifica for several additional days, we achieved the 28 mph highway claim—at least the onboard computer credited us with 28.4 mpg.

As for the notion that the minivan segment is fading away, McAlear thinks otherwise.

“Ten years ago, 17 models were selling about 1 million minivans a year,” he says. “Today a half-dozen of us are selling 500,000. That’s still a very viable market.”

The Pacifica’s infotainment screen arguably is the most user-friendly on the market.

And the available second-row DVR screens offer young ‘uns a variety of apps (games) and viewing options.

My grandson discovered one the next morning: The “Are we there yet?” feature.

We were driving from Connecticut to Newburyport, MA, and plugged the route into the Nav system.

From the rear seat, he could monitor our progress.

“Awesome,” he said.

That seems to be the early verdict on the Pacifica, too.

It’s Show Time

There are shows all over the area today. Here are some of the bigger ones:

Amesbury. This downtown show (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) also displays cars in the Millyard restoration area. Proceeds go to the coming Carriagetown Museum celebrating Amesbury’s history in carriage building and early automaking.

Elm Bank. The show outgrew its Wellesley estate site and is moving to a larger venue at 45 Hospital Road in Medfield. This 14th annual show will be judged in more than 30 classes and annually draws 800 vehicles.

Cape Cod. The Falmouth Classic Car Club has the first of its three annual events today (10-2) at Marine Park on Scranton Avenue.

Brookline. It’s British Car Day from 10-2 at Larz Anderson Auto Museum.

Epping, N.H. The Orientals Hot Rod Club (est. 1957) is having the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame event and show today at New England Dragway.

Next week: Thursday, the Heritage Museums and Gardens and Museums in Sandwich goes “Under the Hood” from 6-7:30 p.m. with collector Jack Rosen talking about the collecting lifestyle and building his 2002 Can-Am race car. Contact Julie Raynor at 508-888-3300 x175.

Finally, next weekend (July 2-4) is the traditional Cars of Summer show at Green Hill Park in Worcester. Details at carsofsummer.com.

A first look at the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan

Chrysler’s Pacifica is a game-changer for families on the go

, Detroit Free Press Auto Critic 11:36 p.m. EDT June 22, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica wins with interior fun and features

Early talk about the ★★★★ 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan focused on risk. Chrysler gambled when it revived the Pacifica name and dropped Town & Country. It rolled the dice by breaking from the looks of previous minivans and announcing it will eventually discontinue the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Valid concerns, but they ignore the one sure thing in the minivan business: Chrysler knows its customers like parents know their kids’ names.

A minivan succeeds or fails based on safety, interior comfort, convenience and features. That makes the new Pacifica king of the road.

• 360-degree video:A look at the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

So admire the Pacifica’s exterior while you can. Compliment its tidy dimensions and clean lines. Admire the rakish profile and character lines running stem to stern. Give the LED and taillights an appreciative glance. Because once you open Chrysler’s latest present to traveling families, you’ll forget about the gift wrapping and fixate on what’s inside the package.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2017 Pacifica uses a brand-new architecture Fiat Chrysler developed to underpin it — and probably one or more big crossovers that will debut later. A 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission are standard. All Pacificas have front-wheel drive. The new van is 0.8 inch longer and 0.9 inch wider than the 2016 Town & Country it replaced.

Prices start at $28,595. I tested a well-equipped Pacifica L Plus. Features included automatic parallel and perpendicular parking, adaptive cruise control, dual second-row video and touch screens with kid-friendly games, Stow ‘n Go seats that fold flat into the floor, seating for eight, under-floor storage bins in the second row, power tailgate, DVR and USB compatibility, voice recognition, dual power sliding doors, navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio compatibility and more.

It stickered at $41,975. All prices exclude destination charges.

 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica competes with minivans like the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna. Secondary competitors are family-oriented SUVs like the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Highlander.

The vehicles exist primarily to carry six to eight passengers and their gear. Other than styling, the biggest differences between minivans and family-carrying SUVs are sliding side doors and seating that allows parents and kids to move from one row to another. Those features make minivans outstanding for families with young kids.

• Related:Parents will love Chrysler Pacifica’s kid-friendly apps

The Pacifica’s interior is spacious, roomy and comfortable. The materials look and feel good, including simple dials and buttons for audio and climate, excellent voice recognition and an easy-to-use touch screen.

My test van had bench seats in the second and third rows, and a big console between the front seats. That layout maximizes people-carrying capacity and provides loads of storage, but eliminates the center aisle many minivans offer for easy access to all seats. The middle seats flip up easily for access to the rear. Folding both rows of seats into the floor for max cargo capacity is also easy.

Twin screens mounted in the back of the front seats can be used to play video — with wireless headphones — or to play travel games on long trips. The games include versions of Hangman, the license plate game, ticktacktoe and more. You can play against the computer running the game or versus the occupant of the other seat.

My niece, nephew and sister-in-law — who remains a kid at heart — found the games captivating. Parents are likely to find kids eager to stay in the Pacifica after they reach their destination.

The 3.6-liter V6 features fuel-saving idle stop and delivers plenty of power. The nine-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. The interior is quiet at highway speed.

The instrument cluster of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the Pacifica at 18 m.p.g. in the city, 28 on the highway and 22 combined. The key combined figure beats those of most competing minivans. The Nissan Quest achieved 23 m.p.g.

The Pacifica offers a rich range of safety features, including 360-degree parking cameras; blind-spot, cross-traffic and lane-departure alerts, and front- and rear-parking assist with automatic braking.

It’s the state of the art in family transportation.

Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731, mmphelan@freepress.com or  on Twitter @mark_phelan

Behind the Wheel

2017 Chrysler Pacifica L Plus

Front-wheel-drive, eight-passenger minivan

Price as tested: $41,975 (excluding destination charge)

Rating: ★★★★  (Out of four stars)

Reasons to buy: Passenger space, comfort and features

Shortcomings: Handling, no memory for driver settings and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto not available

Competitive EPA fuel-economy ratings

(Automatic transmission models)

Chrysler Pacifica L Plus: 18 m.p.g. city/28 highway/22 combined. Regular gasoline.

Honda Odyssey EX-L w/nav: 19/28/22. Regular.

Kia Sedona SX Limited: 17/22/19. Regular.

Nissan Quest SL: 20/27/23. Regular.

Toyota Sienna SE Premium: 18/25/21. Regular.

Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov

Comparative base prices (excluding destination charges)

(Automatic transmission models)

Chrysler Pacifica L Plus: $37,895

Honda Odyssey EX-L w/nav: $38,050

Kia Sedona SX Limited: $39,900

Nissan Quest SL: $34,110

Toyota Sienna SE Premium: $39,930

Source: Autotrader

Specifications as tested

Engine: 3.6L, 24-valve V6 engine

Power: 287 hp @ 6,400 r.p.m.; 262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 r.p.m.

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 121.6 inches

Length: 203.6 inches

Width: 79.6 inches 

Height: 69.9 inches

Curb Weight: 4,330 lbs.

Where assembled: Windsor, Ontario

Key features on vehicle tested

Standard equipment: Antilock brakes, stability control, curtain air bags, front seat knee air bags, front seat side air bags, blind-spot and cross-traffic alert, backup camera, rear parking assist with stop, push-button start, remote start and locks, hill start assist, capless fuel filler, active grille shutters, tire inflator kit, noise cancellation, second- and third-row Stow ‘n Go  seats, heated front- and middle-row seats, heated steering wheel, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone and audio compatible, seat-back video screens, wireless headphones, Blu-Ray/DVD player, USB ports, video remote control, 13 Alpine speakers, 506-watt amplifier, one-year subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, 115-volt power outlet, second- and third-row window shades, fog lights, LED taillights, power heated foldaway mirrors and memory for driver’s settings

Options: 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, front and rear park assist with stop, 360-degree surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular park assist with stop, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high beams, brake assist, navigation, HD radio and a five-year Sirius traffic and travel subscription

Dodge Charger And Challenger Go Mango At New York

Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Posted by Take a trip down memory lane with Dodge’s Go Mango Challenger and Charger models, displayed at the New York Auto Show.

If you’re aching for Mopar’s “good ol’ days”, the American car manufacturer has prepared a surprise consisting of a new paint addition to the Charger and Challenger model line-up. Initially, Dodge announced that it will only make the color available for SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat models, but in the meantime the parent company decided to offer the option on “lesser” models as well – no need to stay exclusive if the demand is pretty high, right?

We’ve seen a tremendous response from our customers after we announced the return of Go Mango at the 11th annual Spring Festival in California. In fact, nearly half of all SRT and Hellcat orders are for Go Mango,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America.

This intriguing hue was first introduced as an option, in the 1970 Dodge Challenger, and offered again (albeit in limited numbers) on some Charger R/T Daytona and Dart models in 2006 and 2016, respectively.

Dodge adds the new color to its list of revived heritage paint schemes, which includes the “Plum Crazy” purple, “B5 Blue” and “Sublime” green.

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