Chrysler and Dodge no longer offer the broad product portfolios that they boasted in the past, but they do offer compelling products in a few key market segments. With a range of rear-wheel drive muscle cars and SUVs, and a highly competitive minivan, the brands’ parent company has identified the brands’ core competencies and refined their respective lineups down to the bare essentials. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the standouts from both brands to help you decide whether either one should make your list as you search for a new car.
Just over a decade ago, Dodge re-introduced the Challenger. True to the form of the original Challenger sold in the ’60s and ’70s, the new Challenger boasted two doors, a variety of V8 powertrains and RWD. The Challenger debuted in 2008 with its sights set directly on the Ford Mustang and the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro, and the vehicle’s competitive set remains the same today. What also remains is the vehicle’s basic formula and architecture, despite the fact that its competitors from Ford and Chevrolet have both received full redesigns in the past few years. In order to remain competitive, Dodge has resorted to offering high-power versions of the challenger like the 707 horsepower Hellcat and 808 hp Demon. These Challenger variants have proven successful, generating significant hype for the brand, but as a whole the Challenger product line could use a redesign, as at the lower end of the market, less powerful variants of the Camaro and the Mustang easily outperform comparable variants of the old and heavy Challenger. Still, if you love the looks of the Challenger, we won’t try to talk you out of buying one. Just know that the better variants sit at the top of the model range. Find a Dodge Challenger for sale
The Chrysler 300 has been out in its current form for a while now, having last been fully redesigned for the 2011 model year. The 300 shares its platform with the Dodge Charger and Challenger, and has managed to survive thanks to its status as one of the last old school, RWD, semi-luxury cars left on the market. An all-wheel drive variant is offered, as are two different engine options. Most examples come fitted with the Fiat-Chysler group’s venerable 3.6-liter V6, which puts out between 292 and 300 hp. Buyers wanting more power can look to the available 5.7-liter HEMI V8, which is optional on the 300S and standard on the 300C. The V8 makes 363 hp and propels the 300C from 0-to-60 mph in 5.3 seconds.
If you love the aesthetic of the 300 and enjoy the idea of owning a mild muscle car, then the 300 is likely worth consideration in your search for a new vehicle. But if your priority is to simply to find a safe, reliable family sedan, then you’re probably better off looking elsewhere, as most of the competition has surpassed the 300 in terms of safety, technology and efficiency since the vehicle’s last major redesign. Find a Chrysler 300 for sale
The Charger is built on the same platform as the Challenger and the 300 and is essentially a 4-door Challenger with a slightly less-retro design. Just about all of the trim levels and powertrains available on the Challenger are also available on the Charger, including the insane 707 hp Hellcat model. The main difference between the two is that the Charger offers four doors, while the Challenger offers only two. Additionally, visibility is said to be pretty poor in the Challenger, which is an issue that the Charger rectifies with its taller greenhouse and larger windows. In comparison with the 300, the Charger forgoes some of the Chrysler’s luxury in favor of a muscle car aesthetic. Overall, the Charger is a good middle ground between the 300 and Challenger, and will appeal to anyone wanting a muscle car but needing the practicality of four doors. Find Dodge Charger for sale
When Chrysler redesigned its minivan for the 2017 model year, it did away with the previous “Town and Country” moniker and instead gave it the Pacifica name, which had previously been used on a midsize SUV. If you’re looking for safe and practical family transportation, the Pacifica is a great option. Two powertrains are offered: a traditional 3.6-liter gas V6 putting out 287 hp and a plug-in hybrid, which combines a more efficient version of that 3.6-liter V6 with an electric propulsion system.
The Pacifica gets a few updates for 2021. Specifically, The previously optional advanced safety features (such as forward collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control) are now standard. Styling tweaks at both ends have resulted in an overall smoother look, plus LED exterior lighting for the whole range. A FamCam interior monitor becomes available in the top three trims. The Pacifica is the first Chrysler vehicle to get the new, updated infotainment system, Uconnect 5. It brings a 10.1-inch touchscreen as standard but a 12.3-inch screen is available. There’s also Amazon Alexa compatibility, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM 360L, navigation by TomTom, and the option of USB-C ports. The 2021 Pacifica range is also topped by a new Pinnacle trim level.
On gas-powered Pacifica models, there’s a unique “Stow ‘n Go” second-row seats that can be folded into the vehicle’s floor to make room for large items. Power sliding doors, rear-seat entertainment and a built-in vacuum cleaner round out Pacifica’s list of compelling features. The Pacifica also performs well in crash testing, and offers a comprehensive array of driver assistance safety features, although most are optional extras.
The Pacifica Hybrid is particularly compelling, as the vehicle can achieve the equivalent of 82 miles per gallon. This is a plug-in hybrid. That means you can drive about 40 miles on just electricity, then the gasoline engine kicks in for longer distances. At the time of this writing, buyers of the Pacifica Hybrid are still eligible for a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government. Factor that in, and the Pacifica Hybrid starts to look like an excellent overall value. Find a Chrysler Pacifica for sale
Autotrader Says …
Overall, Chrysler and Dodge make some compelling products, but they compete in small segments within the market. While parent company Fiat Chrysler Automotive offers a range of appealing SUVs through its Jeep brand, and competitive pickups through the Ram brand, Chrysler and Dodge are limited primarily to RWD muscle cars, a few older SUVs and a minivan. Some might even argue that Dodge and Chrysler’s parent company is preparing to drop the brands from their lineup altogether, although this isn’t to say that their current product offerings are bad, but rather that they’re just a bit long in the tooth (except the Pacifica). Still, if any of these vehicles interest you, you’re likely to find one at a good value given dealer incentives. Find a Chrysler for sale or Find a Dodge for sale