2015 Chrysler Town & Country S review notes
Tried and true09/22/2015
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: If I’m remembering right, I haven’t driven a Town & Country since our long termer, the white one, six years ago. Six years! That car wore a $32,700 sticker. We put almost 33K on the beloved “Norge,” so called because of its gleaming white paint, boxy shape and practicality. To us, it was a refrigerator on wheels. The Norge went all 365 days in Autoweek fleet service without ANY repairs needed beyond scheduled maintenance. It spent zero days out of the office.
The 4.0-liter V6 pulled strongly enough to squeal front rubber at launch from the first day to the last. Oh sure, the Norge loosened up some over the year, but not to the point of creating noticeable squeaks, vibrations or rattles.
We came to love the Norge for its unparalleled functionality. The good news is everything on this new one is familiar -- Chrysler hasn’t changed a thing. At least nothing I can tell.
2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum review notes
The most American?07/06/2015
DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Do you like "American" cars?
Why the quotes? Because the 300C is built in Canada by an Italian conglomerate based in Belgium. Its Hemi V8 is assembled in Mexico.
But from behind the wheel, the 300C Platinum is one of the most American cars I've driven in a long time. It's a big, beefy RWD sedan with a proper V8 engine and a smooth automatic transmission. It's got the power to effortlessly eat up interstate miles, a trunk that'll hold some focus-group-determined number of golf bags and a driveshaft tunnel that your kids' friends will always get stuck straddling on long drives.
I love it, and that surprised me a bit.
Despite reassurances from Chrysler PR folks, I assumed that the 300, through all its facelifts and redesigns, was fundamentally the same car it's been for a decade now. To the extent there's still an LX platform under the skin, that's true, but the style, NVH and road manners have been massaged to the point where the 300C is a thoroughly contemporary machine. All the requisite driver aids, electronic nannies and infotainment options are present. Heated, cooled seats (and cupholders), along with a heated steering wheel and remote start make for comfortable touring regardless of the weather. And the interior trim is, in a word, gorgeous, with matte wood, supple leather and hints of brushed metal throughout.
Miles ahead? Long-term 2015 Chrysler 200S intro05/05/2015
Chrysler introduced its new and much-needed 2015 200 at the 2014 Detroit auto show (“Performance and Style,” Feb. 3, 2014), trumpeting that to cut new-car development costs, the model has more than its fair share of Fiat/Alfa bits. The Alfa Giulietta, Fiat Viaggio and Dodge Dart share platform pieces under what Chrysler calls its Compact U.S. Wide architecture. You won’t see or touch most of the shared stuff—we’re talking suspension pieces, brakes and the like.
To see how much the new 200 improved (or didn’t improve) over the old model, we added one to our long-term fleet.
How would the new car fare? Would it really be a fresh start, burying Sebring memories? Would it hold up over a year under our heavy right feet?