Once a mainstay on American highways, Chrysler is now driving toward an uncertain future. Its partnership with Daimler-Benz has been replaced by one with Fiat, and while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has kept its head above water (thanks to America’s obsession with pickup trucks and the unyielding power of Jeep brand loyalty), the rest of the business raises more than a few questions. What is Fiat’s true future in the U.S. market? Will Alfa Romeo and its Giulia succeed today after a reputation for unreliability sunk them in 1995? And with only a midsize sedan with a questionable future, a full-size stalwart in a shrinking segment, and the 2017 Pacifica in a crossover-crazy era, can Chrysler stay afloat?
This weekend will cap the 2015 NFL football season with one of television’s most watched events: the Super Bowl. The 50th edition of this great American sporting event pits Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Manning’s a veteran, having won and taken the MVP title for Super Bowl XLI as well as five Associated Press NFL MVP titles since entering the league in 1998. Cam Newton’s younger, having entered the league in 2011, but he’s got some impressive stats, too, and he’s our bet to win the MVP award this year. Fittingly, each quarterback was the first pick in the NFL draft the year they entered the league.
Because we’re huge fans of cars in addition to football, we’ve decided to turn this year’s Super Bowl into a car contest in addition to a football game. We’ve selected five critical players from each team and picked a car to represent each of those players. We’d be happy to see what you think of our picks as well as which one of each pair of cars you would select – please let us know in a comment. We hope you’ve already voted in our poll on the game itself, of course, and seen the best and worst car ads that will be shown during this year’s game. Since our local Patriots didn’t make it to the big game this year, we’ll likely be much quieter while watching it than we were last year, but we’ll certainly have a good time, and we hope you will, too.
The next time you find yourself leafing through your copy of Wikipedia, take a close look at some of the antique car pages. The early days of the automobile were undoubtedly exciting, but change was actually very slow for individual makes and models. The car synonymous with brass era automobiles, the Ford Model T, ran its course for 19 years with hardly any cosmetic changes. Beyond some tweaks to the hood, cowl, and fenders, a ‘27 Model T can be easily confused with a model 10 years older. Think of it as the Porsche 911 design philosophy.
So, you want to make the impression that you’re very successful, but don’t have the funds to prove it. Don’t you worry! We have the perfect list of used cars that can help you can feign success. Whether it’s to look successful at a school reunion, make a good impression on a date, or just to make your neighbors jealous of your upscale lifestyle, these cars will do more talking than your wallet ever could. And they all fall under the $10,000 price point.
John “Bugsy” Lawlor and the New England Motor Press Association gave one of New England’s worst winters ever an emphatic boot this past weekend. Having assembled an impressive fleet of new cars and trucks, not to mention a mouth-watering buffet, Lawlor and his Automotion crew hosted a large and varied group of auto journalists for NEMPA’s 2015 Winter Vehicle Awards testing.
Roads were relatively clear but very wet, and withering grey remnants of this year’s record-setting snowfall lingered just beyond the pavement. But having the opportunity to put a large and varied assortment of cars through its paces refreshed everyone’s perspective and attitude. We all learned a ton and had a blast, and we now eagerly look forward to ditching snow tires, opening car windows and roofs wide, and hitting the back roads in something speedy and nimble.
The list of cars available for testing included everything from hot compact all-wheel-drive hatches to full-size trucks, with a number of muscle and sports cars tossed in for good measure. My co-workers and I did our best to sample as wide a range as possible, though we’ll confess that some of our choices were driven by parking-lot logistics. NEMPA’s Winter Vehicle Awards winners won’t get announced until springtime, but here are some thoughts on the cars we drove.
The words of House Stark will tell you that preparing for winter is imperative. And assuming you’ve seen a few winters in your time, you’ll know that one of the biggest adjustments you’ll need to make is winter driving. You’ll need to add some time to your commute allowance, check your antifreeze, grab some flares and road salt, and throw on some snow tires. But if you’re looking for a new vehicle to bring to battle with winter, we have some suggestions. Cars for skiing are great, but these vehicles will do you good in the everyday winter struggle.
Some things are inherently American.
Think of things like Mt. Rushmore, Kentucky and the Heart Attack Grill. These are representations of Americana that showcase our country as it exists today. We love our history, our freedom and our food. And, of course, we love our cars.
There’s a new list of the most “American” cars of 2014 that includes Hondas, Toyotas and Chryslers among the Fords and Chevys of the world. I find it interesting when foreign-owned brands get named on lists like this, as it blurs the line between the domestics and the imports.
I’ve been a card-carrying member of the diesel fan club for many years. The benefits of longevity and fuel economy speak for themselves, but the advancement of gasoline engines has significantly narrowed the gap in recent years.
The average cost of diesel fuel remains well above that of regular unleaded, and diesel cars typically cost much more than the same model powered by a gasoline engine. So have oil burners lost their edge? Chrysler doesn’t think so, as its turbodiesel V6 could start showing up in more models.
Check the CarGurus used car listings for a 2005 Chrysler 300, and you will find plenty of examples priced somewhere around $11,000-$14,000. Do some negotiating and you can probably score one even cheaper.
So what would make a bone-stock 300 worth a million bucks? Nothing. Not even if said car transported Tom Brady to the Super Bowl while spewing magical golden fairy dust from the exhaust.
2005 Chryslers just don’t sell for a million dollars, regardless of who drove them. So it’s with surprise that I show you this ad:
The “What constitutes American made?” question has made its rounds on these pages before. Remember our discussion on whether Chevrolet or Mazda made the more “American” pickup? Or if Ford is a foreign car company?
With the globalization of the car industry, manufacturers are building cars wherever it makes the most economical sense to do so. Japan continues to move production Stateside, and domestic brands like using factories in Mexico, Canada and soon, China.
The issue isn’t really where the vehicle is made anymore; the issue is how a car company handles its marketing.
The Made in the USA Foundation, which I have never heard of until just now, has taken issue with Ford and Chrysler marketing recently, accusing both of deceiving consumers by promoting “American-made” cars that are anything but.