You’ve come a long way, Chrysler. At least that’s what Consumer Reports has told the Pentastar after evaluating eight of its new Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles. But, as the publication points out, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Recently, Consumer Reports tested the redesigned 2011 Dodge Charger Rallye fullsize sedan and V-6 and V-8 2011 Dodge Durango fullsize SUVs. Both the Charger and Durango received “Very Good” ratings, ranking the two all-new vehicles near — but not at — the top of their respective classes. The magazine said that each vehicle was too new to be recommended. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan also received a “Very Good” rating.
Much of Chrysler’s lineup has been hastily revamped since Italian automaker Fiat assumed control of the automaker in 2009, but the test crew at Consumer Reports was not as satisfied with the significantly revised Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Compass and Patriot, and Dodge Journey.
“Despite some improvements, they’re still mediocre vehicles overall, scoring at or near the bottom of their respective categories,” a statement from Consumer Reports said.
Chrysler, which lauded its 200 sedan as a comeback car during its “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl ad in January, made dozens of changes to sedan and convertible, which supplanted the unloved Sebring in Chrysler’s lineup. Such changes included new sheetmetal and replacing two optional V-6 engines with the new corporate Pentastar V-6 that produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque in the 200 and Avenger sedans. But the name change and other updates apparently weren’t enough to impress the folks at Consumer Reports.
Still, David Champion, director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center summed it all up well in a statement, saying “We see major improvements for models that have had a significant redesign. When Chrysler invests the time and money in a true redesign, the result has been a much more competitive model.”
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)