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Archive for October, 2014

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2015 is going to be the last year that the Grand Caravan will be featured in the Dodge lineup, which is a shame since it’s been a staple of the minivan class almost since its invention. It still is one of the best values in minivans as far as space and features go, and is one of the more affordable minivans out there. If you want to find a good deal on a Grand Caravan, head to Las Vegas Dodge.

Changes to the 2015 Grand Caravan are not significant from the previous year’s model, with the exception of the Super Stow ‘N Go Seating and Storage System, which allows the second- and third-row seats to fold completely flat in a matter of seconds.  Another cool seating feature is Tailgate Seating. When parked, the third-row 60/40 split bench seat can flip completely backward, allowing the seats to face outward. The 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan is a great van for anyone looking to transport their family.

The first benefit of the Grand Caravan is that it is one of the best minivans as far as utility goes. It can carry more cargo and people than any other van in its class, with up to eight passengers and quite a bit of stuff. The storage system under the seats is made possible by making the seats thinner, which has had little, if any, impact on seat comfort. And if the inside of this stalwart people-hauler is filled, the Stow N’ Place Roof Rack System can carry up to 150 pounds of luggage.

Another nice element of the Grand Caravan is the single drivetrain configuration as well as the 3.6 liter, V-6 engine that provides plenty of horsepower in order to move around quite a bit of weight. In fact, 283 horsepower and a 6 speed automatic transmission makes this particular vehicle capable of handling a number of different situations while still being loaded down. The All-Speed Traction Control monitors wheel spin to give maximum traction, while the Electronic Stability Control monitors steering input and vehicle motion. Both provide a standard of safety and control regardless of road conditions.

Dodge plans to go out with the traditional boxy design that has always marked the Grand Caravan from its competitors that switched to smoother, more aerodynamic-looking frames. This design provides extra room and a much more open feel than many of its more rounded competitors. Dodge has always prided itself on value and more hauling and towing capability for the money, and the Grand Caravan provides it in spades.

The 2015 Grand Caravan also does an excellent job of continuing to produce infotainment and electronic feature packages. They have stuffed this van to the gills with electronics that make it easier to drive, safer, and more entertaining for passengers. Many of these are available on the base model which has gone down in price this year in order to make room for a higher feature package at the top of the line, letting more people take advantage of these well designed configurations.

It’ll be sad to see the Grand Caravan go, especially since 2015 looks like the best one so far. It’s still one of the top minivans available and will continue to be for several years after it’s gone.

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Dodge hasn’t really dipped its toe into the compact car market since it stopped producing the Neon many years ago. In its day, the Neon was a nice little car, sporty but functional with a little kick to it that made it slightly better than its competition at the height of its popularity. They seem to be taking those lessons seriously with the Dart and running with them. If you want to get your hands on one, head to Chapman Dodge Las Vegas.

There aren’t a whole lot of changes between the 2014 and 2015 Dart, but 2014 introduced an expanded range of running gear and improved many of the early problems the model had with drivability, so it’s good to see those changes carrying over. The Dart seems to be part of a larger trend by Dodge to not mess with what works this year, something I can’t imagine many people complaining about. Since the 2015 Dodge Dart is so reliable, you should consider this entry-level bargain.

There are a number of engine configurations to choose from in the Dart, including a 160 horsepower, 2.0 liter, four cylinder option and a 184 horsepower 2 liter that is easily the most powerful of the bunch. The best all around engine choice is probably the 1.4 liter, turbocharged 160 horsepower engine. This one will give you all of the torque, acceleration, and response that you’ll need. It is sporty and closely matches the sleek interior design and the low stance of the front end. A 6-speed C635 manual transmission comes standard on all models with the exception of the Limited trim line: That model includes a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The interior is also something special. Much of what you find inside is really not what one comes to expect from a compact car, such as the 8.4 inch touchscreen for navigation and a rear camera. It also has a smaller screen sitting among the instruments in order to give the driver even easier access to abridged information. The seats are comfortable and well placed, with enough room in the back for most adults to be able to sit without feeling claustrophobic.

The materials used are soft as well, which is a nice touch to this model. The dash and steering wheel have great hand feels to them and add to the sportiness and luxury of the whole experience. It’s nice to be able to drive while in pleasant surroundings and the 2015 Dart certainly provides that.

Safety is another place where the Dart absolutely excels. It received top five-star ratings overall from the federal government and Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), having scored almost perfectly in all safety rating tests. The Honda Civic is the only car rated higher in safety than the Dart this year. Part of that is that it comes with 10 air bags, blind spot alert, cross-traffic detection, and a whole suite of electronic safety measures. The Dart is the first to introduce these items to the compact class.

The 2015 Dodge Dart is safe, elegant, and reliable. Dodge will probably roll out some major changes in the next couple of years, but for now this is plenty of car for even the most dedicated driver.

 

Trailhawk Renegade

Renegade Latitude

Jeep has come out ready to rumble with the new 2015 Renegade. This SUV/crossover is a fresh take that is a superior choice when looking for a rugged yet comfortable vehicle. To check out the innovative design and features of the 2015 Renegade, stop by Chapman Dodge.

The Renegade comes in two models. The Latitude is equipped with 16-inch aluminum wheels, front fog lamps, deep tint sunscreen glass, ParkView Rear Back Up Camera and the Uconnect system. The Trailhawk edition has a class-exclusive, Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 with a 20:1 crawl ratio, 17-inch off-road aluminum wheels with aggressive tires and a 0.8-inch lift with off-road suspension and hill descent control. And then there’s the Selec-Terrain system that will be available on all models. This is designed specifically to handle almost any terrain that is thrown at this vehicle, including snow, sand, and mud. In the Trailhawk version of the Renegade, it can also handle rock climbing with ease.

In fact, the Trailhawk edition is perfectly suited to some serious off-roading. For one thing, the taller ride and clearance makes it much easier to traverse difficult trails without worrying about the undercarriage. The 17 inch wheels also do a good job of making off-road duty safer for your vehicle. Hill descent control is incredibly helpful, and four wheel drive is available on all of the models this year, though the base models also come in front wheel if that’s more what you’re looking for.

The Jeep Renegade will have a choice of two different engines: a turbocharged 1.4 liter with 160 horsepower that comes only with the six speed manual transmission, and a larger, 2.4 liter, 184 horsepower non-turbo one that comes with everything else. Moreover, the nine speed automatic transmission is a nice touch that works well for fuel efficiency on a crossover.If you are looking to get your hands on a 2015 Jeep Renegade, you should head to your local showroom and take one out for a spin.

Another benefit toward fuel efficiency is a rear axle that disconnects when traction isn’t needed, something that is quite brilliant in a vehicle of this type.

The Jeep Renegade is unquestionably the smallest model in the Jeep lineup, sitting at about 16 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower than the Cherokee, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t loaded up with many of the features that have made Jeeps so popular lately, including smartphone-integrated infotainment with 5 and 6.5 inch touchscreen displays available, as well a 7-inch configurable gauge display. The rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning are also nice touches that make this a much safer ride than many of its contemporaries in a pretty crowded class.

Plus there are a number of nods to comfort, including remarkably cushy seats for a Jeep and dual sunroofs with individual controls, something noted on the Wrangler as well.

The fact of the matter is that the Jeep Renegade is only a smaller version of the same types of Jeep that we’ve all come to expect. While only the Trailhawk is really suited for off-roading, it does so with flair and style. The design is less boxy, making it much more attractive to a wider audience, but underneath that smoothness it’s still a Jeep. And that’s a good thing.