Auto News and Information

At The Road Best Traveled, we navigate your way to the most interesting and relevant auto news and information.

Jeep® Wrangler and Ram 1500 are among Most Awarded and Best-Selling Cars, according to Kelley Blue Book

Awards never get old. It’s been an eventful 2018 thus far for both Jeep® and Ram brand vehicles. Earlier in the year, Jeep brand joined the likes of Gatorade, PlayStation, and Beats by Dre in being recognized as a “Cult Brand” honoree at The Gathering (Society of Cult Brands), the first time ever for an automotive brand. The spring and summer got even more adventurous as they went on surfing tours with the World Surf League, and teamed up with OneRepublic for their Summer of Jeep campaign. Ram shared in its notable achievement as well. The Ram 1500 earned spots on two Best Interior lists from Autotrader and Wards. Additionally, this summer the heavy duty truck was awarded Overall Best Family Car by the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association. They even added a lap around Churchill Downs®to boot. Both brands experienced remarkable success so far in 2018, and it’s only continued with the latest accolades from Kelley Blue Book (KBB). On the site’s family of Top 10 lists, the Jeep Wrangler and Ram Pickup earned top-three finishes on the Most Awarded Cars and Best-Selling Cars list, respectively. To seal its place on the Most Awarded list, the Jeep Wrangler earned honors on KBB’s Most Fun SUVs list, Best Resale Value, and Five-Year Cost to Own awards. “Its soft top and … Read More

How the Dodge Charger is revamping its performance lineup for 2019

Staying ahead of the game. Despite being the sales leader in its segment for five years running, Dodge will make a change to its Charger lineup. New for 2019, Dodge is repositioning the Charger lineup into six distinct, attitude-infused models: SRT® Hellcat R/T R/T Scat Pack SXT SXT All-Wheel Drive (AWD) GT The new lineup offers a full range of performance and powertrain options for every modern muscle-car customer. “Despite a shift toward utility vehicles in the United States over the past decade, the Dodge Charger and Challenger continue to buck the trend,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “Charger and Challenger retail sales have increased 70 percent since 2008, and since the launch of Scat Pack in August 2014, high-performance model sales increased from 4 percent to more than 25 percent.” The 2019 Charger SRT® Hellcat adds four race-inspired technologies to go along with its race-like performance from its HEMI® V-8 engine. Launch Assist uses wheel speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and modifies the engine torque to regain full grip, all within mere milliseconds. Line Lock engages the front brakes to hold the Charger SRT Hellcat stationary, but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires. … Read More

J.D. Power study shows how FCA US LLC has built on its quality improvement

Always improving. When it comes to auto purchases, every brand needs feedback to see what features of their vehicles are working and what needs improvement. No one ever wants to make a new purchase and see that familiar issues still have not been fixed. Quality improvement is a major area of focus for FCA US LLC and that dedication was put on display in J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). FCA US LLC improved on its initial quality at a faster rate than the industry average for the third consecutive year, with Jeep® brand leading the way with more than a 10 percent growth from its IQS score last year. “We are pleased to see that the company’s initial quality improvement has outpaced the industry average for three straight years,” said Scott Garberding, Head of Quality, FCA US LLC. “We have continued to improve and we have more work to do. We are highly focused on satisfying our customers by continuing to bring new technologies and products to market, with improved quality and reliability.” J.D. Power goes through an extensive and intricate process to determine its scores and rankings. The IQS produces its results from more than 75,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. Users included in the study complete … Read More

The 2018 Dodge Durango is joining the police force

What do you see when you imagine a police car? I’m guessing it’s somewhere along the lines of the classic Crown Victoria lingering in your rearview mirror. Then, the dread of those blue and red lights flashing to pull you over to give you a ticket. Well, now getting a ticket never looked so good… … Okay, that may not be true, but the boys in blue are adding some style to their fleet. Dodge will now expand its police vehicle lineup with the addition of the Durango Pursuit. “Unofficial testing results at the Michigan State Police 2018 model-year vehicle evaluation event created such a stir among law enforcement agencies that we simply had to find a way to build this vehicle,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “The Dodge Durango is already known as the Charger of SUVs, so it is only natural that the new Durango Pursuit complements the Charger Pursuit in police fleets across the country.” The Dodge Durango Pursuit will indeed follow suit of its police compatriot, the Charger Pursuit, with the same powertrain combination of a full-time, active all-wheel drive (AWD) system and powered by a 5.7L HEMI® V-8. The Dodge Charger Pursuit is the top-selling police sedan in the U.S. market. Of course, all … Read More

Does your vehicle need a recall? NADA and the National Safety Council want to help you find out

If something was wrong with your vehicle, you would want to know, right? More so, you would want to know if your vehicle had an open recall and needed to be brought in to an authorized dealership. Well, thanks to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the National Safety Council, dealerships will try to make it easier for customers to find out if their vehicle may need a recall. At the NADA conference and convention in Las Vegas, NADA chairman and FCA US LLC dealer Wes Lutz announced the association will join with the National Safety Council in support of its Check To Protect campaign. Check To Protect is designed to educate the public about the importance of addressing open vehicle recalls. According to Check To Protect, 53 million vehicles on the road currently have an open recall in the U.S. Letting a recall issue go unaddressed presents dangerous safety hazards both for you and other drivers, increasing the risk of a severe crash. Lutz, owner of Extreme Dodge Chrysler Jeep® Ram dealership located in Jackson, Michigan, also announced he will promote the recall site on his dealership website and make it a part of his interactions with customers. “NADA wholeheartedly supports the National Safety Council’s Check To Protect initiative, and is proud to be a partner in its efforts to … Read More

FIAT® Brand Introduces new 2018 500 Urbana Edition at New York Auto Show

Is there any grander stage to make an entrance than the Big Apple? For over 100 years, the New York International Auto Show has been the first and largest-attended auto show in North America. So on the grandest stage of all the automotive industry, the FIAT® brand introduced the new 2018 FIAT 500 Urbana Edition. The reveal comes on the heels of the FIAT brand announcing an all-turbo 500 lineup, and is the latest entrant to the Urbana model editions. “With an all-turbo FIAT 500 lineup in 2018, our Italian-designed, fun-to-drive icon now comes standard with more horsepower than any of its competitors,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge, SRT®, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “With the addition of our new FIAT 500 Urbana Edition, we’re creating a new custom, personalized option for our customers.” Personalization is one of the key aspects of the new FIAT vehicle, offering a number of ways for customers to display their personality and stand out from the crowd. The Urbana Edition highlights unique features such as black-trimmed exterior lights and 16-inch hyper-black aluminum wheels, and black Sport Cloth front bucket seats with silver accent stitching. This model will be available in five different exterior paint colors: Pompei Silver, Bianco White Ice, Perla White Tri-coat, Granito Gray and Metallo Gray. … Read More

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vying for World Green Car of the Year award

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a star no matter what happens at the New York Motor Show later this month. But the highly regarded minivan from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) now is in the running for recognition as the 2018 World Green Car of the Year. Which might be expected for a vehicle U.S. News and World Report called “a great minivan.” The Pacifica Hybrid is competing against the Nissan LEAF and BMW 530e iPerformance in the World Car of the Year (WCOTY) Green Car category, based on evaluations and a secret ballot by a panel of 82 jurors from 24 countries who tested vehicles over six months starting last September. Two other vehicles, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel and Hyundai FE also were considered. Other WCOTY awards categories in which finalists were named at the Geneva International Motor Show are Car of the Year, Urban Car, Luxury Car, Performance Car, and Design of the Year. “The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a one-of-a-kind vehicle: the sole seven-seat minivan with a plug-in hybrid powertrain sold in the U.S. this year,” reported The Car Connection, where an expert review also touted the vehicle’s comfortable interior, infotainment system and family friendliness. Car and Driver’s verdict: “Forget the SUV; long live the minivan – especially this one.” The Pacifica Hybrid, which was introduced for … Read More

Trail leads to Geneva auto show, European debuts for three ‘rugged, sophisticated’ Jeep® SUVs

The Jeep® brand put its stamp on the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show this month with three major premieres and a flurry of other product presentations. The new Wrangler and Cherokee models took the spotlight with their regional debuts – comprising Europe, The Middle East and Africa – while the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, “the most powerful Jeep SUV ever,” appeared for the first time at a motor show in Europe. Other highlights included the new Compass Night Eagle special-edition and new Grand Cherokee S. But the Wrangler was the star of the brand’s Geneva presentation and display, introduced as “the vehicle that started it all,” by Mike Manley, global head of Jeep Brand. “There are only a few vehicles instantly recognizable around the world, vehicles that can be called true icons – and this is one of them.” In this case, the Wrangler was a gleaming, Steel Blue-Metallic Sahara model, which made its way to the stage via a short sky bridge and ramp, and heroic background music and applause. (A pair of Rubicon models followed a little later – one of them via the sky bridge and ramp.) The all-new Wrangler is a fourth-generation vehicle that remains true to the original – which was launched as a civilian vehicle in 1945 and since has sold more than five million … Read More

Autotrader names 2018 Ram 1500 to Best Interior List

I love my Ram truck. I’ve said it a million times. I love how it looks. I love how it sounds. I love the four-wheel-drive and the fact that I can help when someone needs help getting pulled out of a tough spot. And I particularly love how comfortable it is, even on long drives halfway across the country. It turns out, the editors at Autotrader concur, as they recently named the 2018 Ram 1500 to their Best Interior List. “What’s on the inside of a car is arguably as important as what is on the outside, since drivers and passengers spend all their travel time here,” said Tara Trompeter, managing editor for Autotrader. “Although there’s an all-new, fully redesigned 2019 Ram set to debut soon, we’re still smitten with the interior in the outgoing 2018 model. As you escalate through the Ram’s trim levels, the interior improves, with some top-end models offering luxury car levels of comfort and sophistication.” But there’s more to this story. On a list of what would primarily be considered luxury or sport vehicle brands, the 2018 Ram 1500 is the only truck. You may wonder, in a sea of sophistication, how does a self-proclaimed workhorse earn a spot on the “best dressed” list? Careful consideration to every inch, that’s how. The Ram truck design team … Read More

Kathryn Hahn turns up the volume in the Chrysler Pacifica S

As teenagers, we were all embarrassed by our parents a time or two. Now, as a parent myself, I feel like I’ve earned the right, on occasion, to be THAT parent and carry on the tradition. Evidently, the same holds true for actress Kathryn Hahn. In her latest role, starring in a series of commercials for the Chrysler Pacifica S, Hahn is the go-anywhere, do-everything mom in her blacked-out Pacifica S. From soccer practice to the school pickup line to a night out on the town with the girls.   Watch the five-part series of Chrysler Pacifica S ads, starring Kathryn Hahn on the Chrysler YouTube channel.