We shocked both fans and detractors this year by unveiling a total of six new or significantly revised models in rapid-fire. While the public went absolutely wild for vehicles like the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango and 2011 Charger, we poured no less of ourselves into the heavily altered offerings like the 2011 Journey and Grand Caravan along with our fun to drive Avenger. Whereas most manufacturers are content to slap a new front fascia on a vehicle for their annual updates, we went whole hog, leaving no stone unturned. Drivetrain, suspension, interior and exterior alterations were all part of the recipe, and we spent plenty of hard-working hours to make sure everything turned out just right. When all of the knots were tied, we took a deep breath and handed our new fleet over to the ever-skeptical eyes of the automotive press to find out exactly what’d they make of our efforts. Here is just a sprinkling of the great reviews we’ve received.
What’d they find? When it came to the 2011 Avenger, reviewers praised both the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 under the hood as well as our handsome new interior. The crew at TheCarConnection.com even went so far as to say that “the new dash looks great, with convincing quantum leaps in style and materials.” We’re glad you noticed.
Some of the biggest news to roll out of our offices comes courtesy of the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. This icon of drag racers and street cruisers now has more muscle and less fat with its new 470 horsepower 392 HEMI® that’ll even go further on a tank of gas than last year’s model courtesy of our ultra trick fuel savings technology. All the intelligent brawn won over the crowd at Car and Driver. After spilling a little ink on just how much fun it is to fling this big boy around a race track, they said, “Whether or not the displacement of the rejuvenated engine is a coincidence, the improvements to it and the car it powers were not only intentional, but very effective.”
Speaking of muscle, the 2011 Charger found favor with more than a few writers. Autoblog.com praised our meaty sedan for its slightly retro design cues borrowed from the hallowed halls of the late 1960s “Coke Bottle” design, and Road & Track gushed a bit about the sharp new interior inside the car. “Gone is that flat plastic, boring dash and center console. In its place: an all-new design that doesn’t skimp on softness or style.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
The 2011 Durango received no less love from the crew that knows cars and trucks best. Motor Trend said that “despite being larger, heavier and offering the same V-8 engine with a modest power increase, the new Durango hits 60 mph 0.7 seconds faster than the old model, pulls an additional .08 g on the skidpad and gets slightly better fuel economy all the while.” Even The Truth About Cars shared a little love for the attention to detail that we worked into the vehicle’s interior.
Now what about the 2011 Grand Caravan? We know that minivan buyers spend more time in their vehicle than just about anyone else, so we packed our family cruiser with as much usability as possible. TheCarConnection.com said that “elsewhere inside, the Grand Caravan sticks with the most functionally fleshed-out minivan on the market.” With our stow-and-go seating, spots for seven occupants total and a load of clever storage bins, the Grand Caravan is built for tackling family commutes with one hand tied behind its back.
While there were plenty of models that garnered great reviews from our media introduction, few found the kind of favor that the 2011 Journey enjoyed. Autoblog.com gushed on the new leather seating and dash design, saying “The combined effect is one very clean, very well put-together dash – a colossal improvement on what was one of the most haphazard and discount instrument panels in the industry.” We don’t know whether to blush or cry on that one, but we’ll take our compliments where we can get them.
We could go on and on about the numerous reviews and the positive responses from our friends in the media. However, our work is never done and there’s always room for improvement in any new car. We’re awfully proud of the work we’ve done with our new models. We poured nearly everything we have had into these vehicles, and reading the positive comments on our handiwork, we can’t help but feel that Dodge is moving toward a future that can’t be beat. Check out the full reviews of the Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey to get the complete story, or head over to your local dealer and take one for a drive and make up your own mind.
Article Courtesy of RedLetterDodge