Month: September 2016

Food, fun and Fletcher’s – it must be time for the fair

Ah, fall. That wonderful time of year when the temperatures cool, days start to get shorter and Fletcher’s Corny Dogs make their annual appearance at the State Fair of Texas. If you’ve never been to the State Fair of Texas, I urge you to, at some point in your life, make the effort to visit at least once. Where else can you take a selfie with a 55-foot cowboy, taste-test foods that “normal” people would never dream of deep frying and view an entire, life-sized display carved out of butter all in the same venue? And then there’s the auto show. The largest auto show in the Southwest, the State Fair of Texas Auto Show boasts displays from almost every major manufacturer. There is also the Classic Corral for everyone who appreciates a blast from the past. This year’s featured vehicles include the newly-crowned Texas Auto Writers Media Association (TAWA) “Family Car of Texas,” the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle, stopping to take a look at the all-new Chrysler Pacifica won’t be a waste of time. Over 100 safety and security features combined with easy-to-operate technology makes the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica the one to see. Also making its appearance at the show will be the all-new 2017 FIAT® 124 Spider. The warm … Read More

Don’t skip the test drive!

Buying things online these days is as American as baseball, Jeep® Wranglers and apple pie. In fact, most people I know do the majority of their shopping online, simply to escape “mall madness.” The same is becoming true of car shopping. While I agree with (and encourage) online research when in the market for a vehicle, estimates suggest that nearly 20 percent of car buyers do so without ever taking a test drive. WHAT? Test driving a vehicle is an important step that should not be skipped. This is your chance for a first-hand assessment that cannot be completed by reading online about how the vehicle handled when someone else was driving it. No two cars or two drivers are exactly the same, so it’s not likely you will share the same opinions as the “expert” who was completing a test drive for the purpose of writing an article. Some things you want to discover on your own is how the vehicle responds to your driving style. Simulating how you drive on a daily basis will give you a good idea if, for example, the vehicle accelerates to your liking. And drive it on the same or similar roads you will be driving on if you decide to buy. This may require an extended test drive, so don’t be afraid … Read More

Go out on a limb – spend a day apple picking

Fall means a lot of things. Cooler temperatures. Changing leaves. Football. And apples. Or any other of the numerous fruits and vegetables that are in-season and available at Pick Your Own (PYO) farms across the country. I’ve always wanted to go to an apple orchard and recently had the chance to do so. I must say, it was beautiful. And delicious! Before heading out for the day, I scoured the orchard’s website. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the place prior to getting there so we could make the most of our time. Sure, the main idea of going to an apple orchard is to pick apples, but most have so much more in store once you arrive and I didn’t want to miss a thing. The particular orchard we decided on has hayrides, a petting zoo, a playground and bounce house, a shop loaded with fun gifts and tasty treats and, of course, lots and lots of apples. It made for a fun day of exploring and some very full tummies. When you pick up apples at the store and throw (or gently place) them in your grocery cart, do you tend to stick with what you know, always choosing the same kind of apple? I do. So something I was excited about was taste-testing … Read More

SuperVan cinches Top Safety Pick+ rating

“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” It’s SuperVan! Okay, so maybe the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica can’t leap tall buildings. You probably should not try to see if it’s faster than a speeding bullet. And at 287 horsepower delivering 262 lb-ft of torque, it has plenty of get-up-n-go, but not quite the power of a locomotive. It IS, however, a Van of Steel. Comprised of 72 percent high-strength steel, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is stronger, and lighter, than ever and just earned a 2016 Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To earn a Top Safety Pick, the Pacifica achieved the highest possible score in five simulations: Side impact with a large SUV or pickup truck Moderate-offset frontal impact Small-offset frontal impact Roof-deformation consistent with a rollover Rear collision capable of inducing whiplash. Earning the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ status, however, is subject to the availability of an Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system. AEB is, of course, available on the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and earned a superior rating from the IIHS. Once earmarked for luxury vehicles, AEB is the “technology of choice at FCA US,” according to Mike Dahl, Head of Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance. “We are committed to using … Read More

‘Tis the season to keep an eye out for Rudolph – Dasher, Donner and Blitzen too

Four words that can completely devastate your day – I hit a deer. Did you know drivers are twice as likely to hit a large animal (deer, elk and moose) during the last three months of the year? For those living in the city, this may seem unlikely, almost an impossibility. But consider the fact that some of the most traveled holidays occur during the same months and suddenly it may not seem so implausible. Beginning in the fall and continuing through early winter is rutting (mating) season for deer, causing them to be more active, and in some instances, more aggressive than during other parts of the year. They are more likely to cross roads as they search (or escape, as the case may be) a potential mate. So, what do you do when you’re driving down the road and suddenly find yourself face-to-face with a majestic animal? Can a collision be avoided? There are some things you can do to avoid hitting a large animal: Slow down. Especially on turns where you can’t see what’s around the corner. Recognize deer tend to be more active at dawn and dusk. Avoid driving during these times, if possible. Pay attention to “Deer Crossing” signs. They’re there for a reason. Understand that, if you see one, there are likely more deer … Read More

Autumn is rolling out a colorful carpet for you to see

Fall is in the air. Crisp morning temperatures paired with bright, sunny afternoons can only mean one thing – changing leaves. I’ve been fortunate to witness some of the most remarkable fall colors in many areas of the country. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Rockies to the magnificent waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest, autumn sets the United States ablaze with panoramic views of spectacularly vivid color. If you’re thinking about spending some time enjoying the beautiful colors of autumn, consider one (or more!) of these destinations: Estes Park, Colorado Without a doubt, Estes Park is one of Colorado’s quaintest towns. Considered “base camp” for the Rocky Mountain National Park, it is more than 7,500 feet above sea level and boasts some of the most spectacular sites, especially at the peak of autumn. After a day of leaf peeping, wander into town but be careful of the elk that will inevitably be hanging out around town as well. The Great River Road, Iowa and Minnesota Undoubtedly, there are many miles of The Great River Road that are adorned with fall glory every year, but none as beautifully delicious as those in northeastern Iowa and southern Minnesota. From the sleepy Iowa river towns like McGregor and Lansing to roadside apple stands in southeast Minnesota, traveling The Great River Road in … Read More

Feel like royalty in an all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

A few days ago, I saw my first 2017 Chrysler Pacifica on the road. While admiring the bright white, Limited Edition, I found myself wondering what they liked best about their new minivan. Was it the remote start that pairs so well with the three-zone climate control, ensuring passengers’ comfort upon entry? Or maybe it was the 8.4-inch touchscreen display? Or, my personal favorite, the Stow ‘n Vac integrated vacuum? I could keep guessing, but the answer seems obvious – all of the above! The editors of WardsAuto seem to agree, naming the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica to the inaugural Wards 10 Best User Experience List. “The Pacifica treats occupants of all ages, especially the young, like royalty,” said Tom Murphy, Senior Editor of WardsAuto. “This vehicle has six USB ports, it understands and correctly processes simple voice commands and it can park itself, both parallel and perpendicular. Phone pairing is near instantaneous, dials are big and some controls are redundant. In the second row, climate controls are easily in reach and the two huge display screens are loaded with enough games, media and information to keep a bored child from ever asking once again, ‘Are we there yet?,’ no matter how long the road trip. It’s a family-friendly rolling entertainment center.” The only minivan to make the exclusive list, the Pacifica … Read More

What’s in a name?

National Name your Car Day is less than a month away. Yes, there’s a day for that. AND there’s an app for that. Well, okay, there’s not so much an app as there are several websites to help you choose just the right name for your favorite (or not-so-favorite) four-wheeled friend. If you drive a Rebel, Renegade or Hellcat, you’re one of the lucky few whose manufacturer-provided vehicle name may be an ideal fit. But if you purchased the Mysterious Utility Wizard (yes, it’s a real name – I’ll leave it up to you and Google to identify the manufacturer), personalizing your vehicle with a shorter, more suitable name may be in the cards. But how do you determine the perfect name for your vehicle? Sometimes you just know. There’s something about her that just says, “Sally” or “Big Green” to you and it’s a done deal. Other times, a name is earned. Old Faithful, Stella or Carzilla are prime examples of how some relationships develop over time. Movies are a great muse for finding the perfect name. For example the Toretto, Joe Dirt or even Mrs. Doubtfire could describe your vehicle in a nutshell. Hey, if the name fits … Nostalgia can play a large role in influencing the name of your vehicle. Herbie or the General Lee could … Read More

Spotlight on a commitment to customer service

Recently, I had an opportunity to review feedback from Chrysler Capital customers. As you can guess, most provided advice regarding areas of opportunity in which we can improve, which is great. Without constructive feedback, we would not have the direction necessary to continue striving to be a best-in-class auto finance provider. Among the reviews were also entries from those who were anxious to let us know about positive experiences they have had as a Chrysler Capital customer. Some not only took the time to complete the review, but also to call out the exemplary service provided by a specific associate, Laura Thornton. Congratulations, Laura, on your commitment to outstanding customer service. As a six-year veteran of the company, Laura is currently a Lease Coordinator II on the Chrysler Capital Allegiance Team. Her team is the first point of contact for any and all lease-end questions. She works with both customers and dealers, so understanding the ins and outs of leasing and all of the lease-end options is paramount to Laura’s success. It’s also something she doesn’t take lightly. When asked about her work philosophy, Laura kept it simple. “Do everything you do with pride and a good attitude and work will no longer feel like work. Life will be more enjoyable.” Team manager Jorge Gonzalez appreciates Laura’s outlook and speaks … Read More