Month: May 2016

Chrysler Pacifica rated Best Family Car in Atlanta

The Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) recently held its 2016 Family Car Challenge and two of FCA’s own dashed away with top honors. “It was our most competitive Family Car Challenge yet and our journalists took almost 200 rides in the cars and trucks in order to truly get a feel for the vehicle, its value, energy efficiency, its technology and comfort,” says GAAMA President Christopher Lawrence, CEO of AutoAcademics. “In the front of our minds was always the family factor and whether this would be a vehicle that would be as family-friendly doing school drop-offs as well as taking the family road trip.” Rolling over the competition with a win in two categories, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was a favorite of the more than 40 journalists that attended the event. “GAAMA works hard at this event to evaluate a variety of vehicles for family friendliness and functionality,” said Lawrence. “Our members were thoroughly impressed by the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. It’s a home run for today’s busy families, offering versatility, functionality, technology and an attractive design all in one vehicle.” Not to be left in the dust, the 2016 Ram 1500 also won Best Family Pickup Truck, a new category this year. “For many, a pickup truck represents the smartest choice for a do-it-all family vehicle,” said Lawrence. “The … Read More

Firefighter’s new Dodge Challenger is blazin’ hot

Anytime I shrug off getting a lottery ticket, I am later reminded that it only takes one chance to win. Yes. And I once heard my chances of getting struck by lightening are better. No, thanks. Luckily, Tristate Fire Protection District Firefighter Kevin Arias, from Oswego, Illinois, doesn’t share my skepticism. On a whim, he completed an entry form to win $45,000 toward the purchase of a new FCA brand vehicle. That was over a year ago, while attending the 2015 SHOT Show® in Las Vegas. (The SHOT Show is the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show™ held each year in Las Vegas.) He visited the Ram Truck display and took what resulted in a 1 in 1,265,218 chance of winning. Today he’s the winner of the 2015 FCA National Giveaway and proud owner of a brand new 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack. So, what happens when you get that call? Whether on purpose or by chance, Arias let it go to voice mail. Then, when he checked his voice mail, he thought it was just another one of those scams that you hear about on television. Until the caller mentioned the Vegas SHOT Show and Arias remembered entering to win the $45,000 voucher. “Ironically, a few months ago I told my wife, ‘I don’t think I’ll ever get … Read More

Just add bacon …

Do you have big plans this weekend? Or perhaps you’re waiting for Memorial Day weekend? In either case, if your plans include packing up the family and heading to the lake, the beach or somewhere equally fun, try these quick, easy, make-ahead recipes that just may get the kids (and your spouse) to eat their vegetables. Easy, pea-sy summertime salad 2 cups steamed peas (or two cans of low-salt, canned peas, drained) 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2-3 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 1/2 cup light sandwich dressing (such as Kraft Miracle Whip Light) 1 tablespoon sugar Combine all ingredients except the dressing and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, mix the dressing and sugar together until creamy. Pour over vegetable mix and gently fold together until well coated. Refrigerate in an airtight container until you’re ready to hit the road.   Irresistible broccoli salad 4 cups broccoli florets 2-3 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/3 cup raisins or cranberries 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 2/3 cup light sandwich dressing (such as Kraft Miracle Whip Light) 1 tablespoon white vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar Combine all ingredients except the dressing, vinegar and … Read More

A road rage breakdown – social media style

According to The Phrase Finder, the term “road rage” was coined in the United States sometime during the 1980s. It didn’t take long before it caught on worldwide. Today, both the action and the phrase have become commonplace, almost to the point of not being able to drive in a moderately sized city without witnessing at least one episode of road rage. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the number of fatal accidents caused by road rage is nearly 10 times that of what it was just 12 years ago, in 2004. Whether you witness a road rage incident or the actions of another driver cause you to get a bit hot under the collar, avoiding such scenes can be easier said than done. So, what can you do? Utilizing social media to vent road rage frustrations has given some the outlet they needed to get back to their “happy place.” It also gave the Auto Insurance Center a viable method to track road rage incidents. By analyzing over 65,500 Instagram posts including #RoadRage, they discerned where and when episodes of road rage are most likely to occur. Breaking the year down by month, which of the 12 would you suspect had the most? My guess was December. As people feel the stress of the holidays … Read More

The ultimate gift for your graduate

Graduation season has rolled around again this year and whether you’re a proud parent or an accomplished graduate, a great way to celebrate is with a new car. The FCA lineup is a perfect place to shop for your recent graduate. Just check out some of these excellent choices, all starting at less than $25,000 MSRP. Chrysler 200 – starting at just $21,995 and achieving up to 36-highway mpg, the Chrysler 200 is not only stylish, but affordable too. The 2.4L I4 MultiAir® Engine combined with the nine-speed transmission makes it fun to drive and there are plenty of standard and available features from which to choose so your graduate can get exactly what he or she wants. Dodge Dart – fun and affordable all wrapped up in one great package for the class of 2016. Starting at just $16,995, the Dodge Dart has five models from which to choose, plus three engine choices, five package choices and multiple interior and exterior color options. Dial it up and get just the right amount of flair and attitude to fit your driving style. FIAT® 500X – if you need (or just want) a little more room but you’re not the SUV type, the FIAT 500X may be just the vehicle for you. Unique and fun, it provides the space you need … Read More

A self-driving minivan – it may be here sooner than you thought

Imagine picking up clients or co-workers at the airport and being able to conduct a full-fledged business meeting while your vehicle safely delivers all of you to your destination. Or run new plays with your team while on your way to the big game. Or make a shopping list, schedule dentist appointments for the whole family and find a babysitter for next weekend all while your vehicle deals with the hassle of navigating rush hour traffic. For the first time since it began seven years ago, the Google Self-Driving Car Project is partnering with an automaker and expanding their test program. That automaker is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The vehicle? The all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. “FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology,” said Chief Executive Officer, Google Self-Driving Car Project John Krafcik. “The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.” Starting with approximately 100 Pacificas built specifically for Google’s self-driving technology, the partnership will nearly double the current fleet of Google test vehicles. A private test track in California is the first stop, once the Google technology is fully integrated … Read More

Are we there yet?

There are two kinds of road trips. The first kind is the leisurely, fun, touristy kind where you visit the kinds of places you’ve always wanted to see. It’s relaxing, sometimes educational and generally leaves you with the sense of wanting to return to one or more of the places you’ve visited along the way. Then there’s the kind of road trip where your leisurely travel turns into just wanting to GET THERE. Recently, we relocated from the Dallas area to New Hampshire. Normal people would probably choose to fly when such a distance is involved, but when you’re family includes a cat, a dog and a new Weimaraner puppy, flying just isn’t in the cards. So, we packed up our four-legged family and hit the road. Originally, our plan was to make it a relaxing trip. Why not take our time and enjoy some of the scenery along the way? Yeah, that was the plan… Out-of-the-way, hometown restaurants that we just love were replaced with pet-friendly, multi-service centers where fuel, food, exercise breaks and other “necessities” could be addressed in one, 30-minute stop. First priority – find the pet area. Second – fill the tank with gas. Third – a quick round of rock-paper-scissors to determine who took the initial leash duty while the other got to go inside. … Read More

FCA US LLC reports best April sales in 11 years

FCA US LLC reported April 2016 sales figures of 199,631 this week. Compared to 189,027 during the same month last year, this represents a 6 percent increase and the best April on record since 2005. “Consumer preference for SUVs and pickup trucks continued unabated in April and helped to propel us to our strongest April sales in 11 years,” said Reid Bigland, Senior Vice President – Sales, FCA – North America. “Both our Jeep® and Ram Truck brands recorded strong year-over-year sales gains last month.” The always-popular Jeep brand recorded its 31st consecutive month of sales increases with a 17 percent gain. While the Renegade and Compass can both boast their best sales month ever, the Wrangler and Patriot each recorded their best April sales. Ram is, of course, most well known for great trucks, but their lineup of commercial vehicles is equally hard working. The Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City both recorded their best April sales, helping drive the brand to an overall 12 percent increase for the month. But it wasn’t just a great month in sales for Ram Trucks and the Jeep brand. They also rolled over some tough competition to take top honors at Mudfest 2016. (Check out It’s a muddy job, but someone’s gotta do it for more details.) As the all-new (and award-winning) Chrysler … Read More

Bring on summer, bring on the spider! The FIAT® Spider, that is …

Summer is right around the corner. Can you feel it? The wind in your hair, the sun on your face … No? Maybe that’s because you haven’t cut loose and bought yourself that convertible you’ve always been dreaming of getting. There is no better time than summer 2016 as, nearly 50 years after its first introduction to the world, the FIAT® 124 Spider makes its return to the U.S. market. As they continue to expand their brand on American roadways, FIAT has produced a modern spark to the iconic Spider. The turbocharged MultiAir 1.4L engine provides 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque for a spirited ride. Combine it with double-wishbone front suspension, rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bars and a 54/46-weight distribution for enhanced handling and you’ve got an afternoon of fun that just can’t be beat. Perhaps the best part it, having some fun in the sun won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) in the United States will start at just $24,995, making the FIAT 124 Spider the most affordable turbocharged convertible in America. And to top it off, so to speak, it even earns up to 36-highway mpg, so you won’t go broke at the pump. “Our mission at FIAT is to deliver Italian design and heritage in vehicles that … Read More