Chrysler Launches An Even Snazzier 300
Given the strong reviews it has received, it wouldn’t seem all that easy for Chrysler to make its current 300 more deluxe.
Reviewers from my colleague James Healey’s Test Drive to Consumer Reports have noted what an improvement the 300 became last year over its previous version, and part of the reason was the use of premium materials in the cabin.
Now comes an even fancier version, the 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series. Chrysler says it “combines ultra-premium leather — once limited to some of the most exotic Italian luxury cars — with world-class refinement and handling, state-of-the-art safety and connectivity features and eight-speed automatic transmission with a Pentastar V6 engine.”
The 2012 Chrysler 300 and 2012 Chrysler 300C Luxury Series sedans come with a Foligno leather-wrapped instrument panel and premium Nappa leather covers the door armrest, bolster and center console armrest.
The Nappa leather seats have a 12-way power driver and front-passenger adjustment. There’s also real wood trim in the cabin.
“The new 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Edition is more than just our flagship car. It’s the trophy for the tireless majority, an automobile designed and built to meet the most discerning of expectations,” said Saad Chehab, president and CEO of the Chrysler brand. “It’s fitted with a paddle shifting eight-speed transmission found only on cars twice its price, dressed with the highest grade Italian Poltrona Frau leather and finished with hand-sanded real wood found only in exotic cars.”
All that, Chrysler likes to say, and 31 m.p.g. on the highway.
The rear-wheel drive 300 Luxury Series starts at $40,145, the all-wheel drive at $42,495. The rear-wheel 300C Luxury Series starts at $42,895, the all-wheel at $45,245.
Source: [Detroit Free Press]
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2012 Dodge Journey: Car Seat Check
The 2012 Dodge Journey could be an ideal minivan alternative. This crossover comes with up to three rows of seats and the storage solutions and family-hauling abilities of the stereotypical mom-mobile. For our Car Seat Check, we tested the three-row Journey that seats seven and had available integrated booster seats. A two-row version is standard.
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.
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Here’s how the 2012 Dodge Journey did in Cars.com’s Car Seat Check:
Latch system: The 2012 Dodge Journey has five Latch anchors in the second row. There are two sets of anchors in the outboard seats and an additional anchor in the middle seat’s position. This setup allows parents to use Latch anchors to install a child-safety seat in the middle position. However, don’t use more than one Latch connector with each Latch anchor; no doubling up on Latch anchors when installing car seats. There are no Latch anchors in the Journey’s third row.
The 2012 Dodge Journey has three exposed tether anchors at the bottom of the second row’s seatbacks. There are no tether anchors in the third row.
Booster seat: In the second row, our high-back booster seat fit well, and the seat belt buckles have stable bases, making them easy for children to use independently.
Our test car also had two integrated booster seats, which pop up from the bottom seat cushion with a tug of a strap. My older son, age 9, really liked the booster because it was inconspicuous, which is important for him as some of his friends have graduated out of their boosters (he’ll be done with boosters as soon as he’s 4 feet 9 inches tall).
Convertible seat: Both the forward- and rear-facing convertibles fit well in the second row. The sliding second-row seats ensured that there was plenty of room for these seats. The second row’s seatbacks also recline. We didn’t install the forward-facing convertible in the third row because there isn’t a tether anchor for the car seat.
Infant-safety seat: The rear-facing infant seat just fit in the second row without moving the front passenger seat forward.
Third-row access: With the flip of a lever, a portion of the 60/40-split second row folds and slides forward. It takes minimal effort when a car seat isn’t installed there. When there’s a car seat in the second row, it’s difficult to get to the third row. The larger portion of the 60/40-split second row isn’t wide enough to hold two of our car seats. This foiled our attempt to create third-row access by putting the two car seats on one side and folding the smaller part of the second row to create third-row access.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in third row? Two
Editor’s note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.
Source: [Chicago Tribune]
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AMP to bring Jeep Grand Cherokee EV
An all-electric Jeep Grand Cherokee will be shown, and available for a test drive, at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, thanks to AMP Electric Vehicles.
Based in Loveland, Ohio, AMP specializes in the conversion of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) vehicles to electric power. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee EV joins AMP’s Mercedes M-Class EV, which has a range of about 100 miles on a single charge.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee EV is powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery with a capacity of 37.6 kWh. The Jeep runs on two rear-mounted Remy AC motors and will have a range of 80 to 100 miles on a single charge.
According to AMP, there is no change to passenger room or cargo room, compared to the factory gas-run model. Plus, all of the original factory accessories will remain.
“Beginning with a world class vehicle, and adding AMP’s electrification results in an EV that offers everything SUV customers expect: smooth powerful performance, zero emissions and up to a 100-mile range,” AMP Chief Executive Jim Taylor said in a press release.
Come in to your local Chicago Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership to test drive one today.
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Ram Truck Brand Named Official Truck of 2012 SHOT Show
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Ram Truck Brand announced today an agreement that makes Ram the official truck of the 2012 SHOT Show.
“NSSF is thrilled to see the Ram Truck Brand become the official truck of the 2012 SHOT Show,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
“The quality and ruggedness of Ram trucks prove that firearms-industry companies aren’t the only ones working hard to provide hunters and shooters with first-rate products to help in their pursuits afield.”
At the 2012 SHOT Show, the new Ram Outdoorsman will be on display in the Sands Expo lobby. The Ram Outdoorsman takes all of the features most useful to hunters, fishermen, campers and boaters and packages them into one model. It combines convenience, off-road capability and trailer-towing hardware in one package with a name that resonates among its intended users.
The Ram Truck Brand booth, located on Level 1 of the convention center, will also showcase a custom Ram truck.
With its sponsorship, the Ram Truck Brand joins Outdoor Channel (a Pinnacle-level sponsor), GunBroker.com, Budweiser and NBC Sports as major supporters of the SHOT Show.
The SHOT Show is owned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, and is produced and managed by Reed Exhibitions. The show is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting nearly 60,000 attendees and more than 1,600 companies exhibiting firearms, ammunition, outdoor apparel, law enforcement, optics, cutlery and related products and services.
The SHOT Show will run January 17-20 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. Learn more about the show at www.shotshow.org.
About Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer. As a stand-alone brand, Ram Truck is focused on truck customers — how they use their trucks and what features they’d like to see. Ram Truck has emerged as a full-size truck leader by investing substantially in new products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and features that further enhance their capabilities.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,800 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
Come in to your local Chicago Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership to test drive a Ram 1500 today.
Source: [Ammo Land]
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Keep Your Car Running in Top-Notch Condition
We’ve compiled our best expert advice, surprising tricks, and car care tips to prolong the life of your automobile!
1. Be patient during the break-in period
You’ve bought your dream car and now you want to make it last at long as possible in top condition. Here are some things to remember as you pull it out of the dealer’s lot:
- During the break-in period, typically the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km), keep your speed under 55 mph (88 kpm) or to the speed recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
- Avoid heavy loads on the drive train, such as towing trailers, and loading the roof rack or trunk with heavy construction materials.
- Do not allow your new car to idle for long periods — this is good advice for the life of your car, but especially during break in. The oil pressure generated by doing so may not be sending oil to every part of your engine.
- Use only light to medium acceleration, keeping the engine rpms below 3,000 for the first few hours of driving.
2. Drive with care everyday
Being car considerate shouldn’t stop after the break-in. Drive with care every day and your car will reward you with longer intervals without repair.
- Do not race your car’s engine during start-up.This is a quick way to add years of wear to your engine, especially if it’s cold outside.
- Accelerate slowly when you begin your drive.The most wear to the engine and drive train occurs in the first ten to twenty minutes of operation.
- Warming the engine by letting it idle in the driveway is not a smart idea.The engine doesn’t operate at its peak temperature, resulting in incomplete fuel combustion, soot deposits on cylinder walls, oil contamination, and ultimately damaged components.
- Put less strain on your engine and automatic transmission by shifting to neutral at red lights. Otherwise, the engine is still working to push the car even while it’s stopped.
- Avoid driving at high speeds and accelerating quickly, especially when it’s very hot or very cold outside. Such driving behavior will result in more frequent repairs.
- Extend the life of your tires with careful driving. Observe posted speed limits. Avoid fast starts, stops, and turns. Avoid potholes and objects on the road. Don’t run over curbs or hit the tire against the curb when parking. And, of course, don’t burn rubber.
- When turning your steering wheel, don’t hold it in an extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds. Doing so can damage the power-steering pump.
- Consolidate your short driving trips. Most of the wear and tear — as well as the pollution your car generates — takes place in the first few minutes of driving. Doing several errands at once, during low traffic hours if possible, will keep your engine happier longer.
3. Buy gas at reputable service stations
Ask whether the gas you buy is filtered at the pump and if the station has a policy about changing the pump filters regularly. If you get a song and dance, find another gas station. Some stations don’t have pump filters, making you more vulnerable to dirty gasoline. Other stations may not mix alcohol and fuel properly — or worse, water down their product. Find a station you trust and stick to it.
4. Don’t fill up if you see the tanker
If you happen to see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks at your local gas station, come back another day or go to a different station. As the station’s underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediment. Sediment in your gas can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors, causing poor performance and possibly necessitating repairs.
5. Go easy when you’re stuck
When stuck in mud or snow, don’t make the problem worse by damaging an expensive component. Gently rocking in an attempt to free the car is fine. But if it looks as though you’re really stuck, don’t keep at it. Throwing your car from forward to reverse repeatedly, as well as spinning tires at high speeds, can generate lots of heat and spell trouble for transmissions, clutches, and differentials. It may be cheaper in the long run to call the tow truck rather than risk big repair bills down the road. It’s a good idea to carry a traction aid in the trunk, such as sand, gravel, or cat litter.
6. Lighten up your key chain
Does your car key share a chain with a dozen or more other keys? That’s a pretty heavy load hanging off the car key when it’s in the ignition. The weight, combined with bouncing while you drive, can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and eventually lead to ignition switch failure. To add years of service to your ignition switch, purchase a lightweight key chain that allows you to separate your ignition key from the others. Drive with only the ignition key in your ignition. If your ignition key “sticks” when you try to turn on the car, it’s a warning that your ignition switch is about to fail. Replace it before you get stranded.
7. Choose a good car insurer
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, disaster inevitably strikes — typically in the form of an accident. Make sure that your car will be repaired to the best possible standard by finding an insurer that will pay for parts from the original manufacturer and guarantee the repairs it authorizes.
8. Keep an auto log
Keep a pad and pencil in the glove compartment and use them to record your gas fill-ups and mileage. If you notice that your gas mileage worsens, mention it to your service man. It may be an early warning sign that something is wrong with your car.
9. Preserve your car during long-term storage
- If you are not going to use your car for more than a month, store it properly to prevent unnecessary damage and repairs upon your return.
- Fill the gas tank to help prevent condensation from accumulating in the gas tank. Add a fuel stabilizer and drive the car around a bit to distribute the additive to engine parts.
- Wash and wax the car thoroughly to protect the finish.
- Place a vapor barrier on your garage floor. A 4-mil polyethylene drop cloth will do.
- Disengage the parking brake to help avoid brake corrosion.
- Put the car on jack stands to take the weight of the vehicle off the wheels and tires.
- Disconnect and remove the battery to keep it from draining. Place the battery on a trickletype charger. Or periodically drain the battery, using a small light bulb, and then recharge it with a low-volt charger.
- Plug the tailpipe with a rag to prevent moist air from infiltrating into it.
Source: [Reader’s Digest]
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