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Introducing the 2018 Jeep Compass

2018 Cars are starting to get attention as the time draws nearer for these new models to start hitting dealerships. One car you will soon be able to find at your Vaughan Chrysler dealership is the new 2018 Jeep Compass. This new model comes in three different types of trim: the sport 4-door front-wheel drive, the sport 4-door 4X4 and the Latitude 4-door front-wheel drive. These cars are supposed to be designed similarly to the old Jeep Grand Cherokees, and it shows.

This new Jeep features a lot of different safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. In addition to anti-lock brakes, stability control and various airbags for all kinds of impacts, there are also anti-whiplash head restraints to cradle the head in case of a collision. The Jeep Compass also features security systems to reduce the likelihood of car theft.

 

These Jeeps also feature all-wheel drive and off-road capability. Jeep Active Drive, the all-wheel drive system, is optional on most models. The response to the terrain is automatic and there is programming for off-road, low-traction and fast-turn driving, keeping you in control no matter the road conditions.

 

As with many of the newer cars, the Compass will have a UConnect touch screen stereo option, which will include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touch screen has a customizable menu bar, navigation and the ability to connect to your phone so you can send destinations from your phone to your car. There is also an SOS button and an Assist button in the event that you need to call for help, such as running out of gas.

 

There are a lot of cool new features coming out in newer cars today. If you are in need of a new car, be sure to visit your Vaughan Chrysler dealership to look into the new 2018 Jeep Compass.

Purchasing a Car and Why the 2016 Chrysler 200 is A Great Option

The 2016 Chrysler 200 has outstanding gas mileage and can get up to 36 mph on the highway. It is also a safe option making it perfect for your family or to drive other loved ones. This mid-size car also has a variety of configurations to choose form including the LX, Limited, S. Depending on your needs and desires, you can choose the right configuration for you.

 

Some of the Benefits of the 2016 Chrysler

 

When it comes to safety and ratings, it is hard to top the 2016 Chrysler 200. In addition, it is the ideal vehicle for your entire family thanks to the spacious interior and ample trunk space. The features are also easy to use and value safety. If these features sound appealing and important to you, it may be worthwhile to make your way to Vaughan Chrysler and check it out for yourself.

 

How To Choose The Right Car For You

 

Prior to deciding on a certain car, it is important to consider what your top priorities are. Some things to contemplate include how much space you need, how many people you drive at a time, how important feel and comfort is, you optimal gas mileage, how old you want your car to be, the type of terrain you typically drive on and how important power is to you. Chryslers are known for having comfortable and stylish interiors to make your driving experience luxurious and enjoyable. Additionally, they have good accelerations, fuel economy and handling. Depending on your desires and needs, it may be advantageous to look into the 2016 Chrysler.

 

Once you decide exactly what you are seeking in a car and establish your top priorities, you can start to narrow down your search. The 2016 Chrysler 200 may be the right car for you and fulfill the needs of you and your loved ones.

2018 Fiat 500L Hatchback Receives Facelift, and Consumers Are Loving it

Cute and compact, the Fiat has always been a classic car enjoyed by minimalists everywhere. However, for some, it has lacked a certain something. Well, the 2018 Fiat 500L Hatchback makes up for that something with its newest facelift. Fiat got creative with its newest design, and completed its 500L edition with a bounty of choice for potential customers in regards to color, trim and powertrain. Additionally, the 40 percent of the new model is made up of entirely new components, a huge step for the European manufacturer.

 

 

Trim Choices Galore

 

While the old version of Fiat was undoubtedly favored by many, the manufacturer wised up and now gives potential customers the choice between three different trim levels: Wagon, Cross and Urban. The Cross trim is for those who seek adventure, and is replete with off-road capabilities, nearly an inch of heightened ground clearance, a new bumper design and front and rear skid plates. The Urban is ideal for city driving, while the Wagon comes complete with seven seats, ideal for families with small children.

 

Power Options

 

In addition to choosing which trim they want, potential owners have the option of buying a vehicle with a 1.4 liter inline turbocharged four-cylinder, five or six speed manuals and LPG, diesel and methane. For the extra adventurous spirit, Fiat offers Dualogic robotic automatic transmission in the 2018 Fiat 500L Hatchback.

 

Superior Interior Options

 

Finally, the new Fiat comes with touchscreen controls, Uconnect HD Live an infotainment system that is compatible with most smart devices. Connect your iPhone and enjoy your downloaded music, or use Android Auto listen to one of your many playlists. The comfort options are endless in this newest model, so if you don’t like what you see, change it to something you do like.

 

If you love small and compact vehicles, don’t discount all that the Fiat has to offer. Head on over to Vaughan Chrysler to see what they have in store for you.

Why Mess With a Classic? The 2017 Dodge Journey

The 2017 Dodge Journey offers comfort at a reasonable price for anyone looking with a large family or a lot of friends along for the ride. Lovers of the automaker will love the classic styling and be satisfied with the overall quality of the vehicle.

 

 

The Dodge Journey made its debut in 2009 and unlike many other vehicles, it hasn’t undergone a whole lot of design changes through its different model years. That’s because the Dodge model of this particular vehicle was carefully thought out, so why alter something that was already great to begin with?

 

Some of the features that make the Journey and its predecessors great are the room and the capacity. The 2017 Dodge Journey is meant for long trips with lots of people. As a crossover model, it offers three rows of seating with lots of leg room for passengers. It also offers a smooth ride. In addition, there is a lot storage, not just with traditional cargo hold in the back, but also with underseat options. This makes it a great place to conceal electronic devices and cords, which is not only convenient, but a natural theft deterrent.

 

The 2017 model still sports a classic V6 engine, which gives it a range of 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds. The Dodge is also a go-to vehicle in terms of safety. This crossover comes standard in all models with standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front, side and side curtain airbags, and also with a driver knee airbag. With a large 23 centimeter screen, rearview camera and rear parking sensors are also available for safety technology. Other interior features of the vehicle include a USB port, auxiliary jacks and Bluetooth capability.

 

Whether it’s short jaunt or a long road trip, the vehicle is great for your journey. To see the 2017 Dodge Journey for yourself, come on over here to Vaughan Chrysler.

The 2016 Dodge Durango

The 2016 Dodge Durango isn’t a carlike crossover, and it isn’t an off-road-focused SUV. Instead it’s somewhere in between—a longer, three-row vehicle closely related to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and built from the architecture that brought us the Mercedes GL-Class and M-Class

The Durango, to distill it down to the essence, is a utility vehicle with considerable rugged capabilities and exceptionally nice road manners. With handsome, sauve styling, a refined cabin feel, and superb performance, it’s one of the best ways to go if you have a growing family…and a boat to tow on the weekends.

Whether your idea of what a utility vehicle should be is soft and organic, or whether you’re a fan of boxy SUVs with brush guards and roof carriers, you’ll probably come to an agreement that the Durango is one of the better-looking three-row SUVs on the market. It combines some of the traditional, with a good dose of contemporary sculpting. The classic SUV stance is set up by the big crosshair grill, as well as a silhouette that doesn’t arch too much in any way—or taper. It’s just boxy enough without looking slab-sized. LED racetrack lighting, one of the latest Dodge family traits, forms a ribbon of light across the tail.

Inside, almost none of the truck-like heritage has been carried over. The soft, flowing dash has thin metallic rings framing the major controls and a large touchscreen to rule the infotainment world. With leather upholstery, woven red inserts and red stitching, and white trim rings on the dials, the Durango feels less like an on-a-budget utility vehicle and more like a luxury SUV, done right.

Last year marked the debut of a red Nappa leather interior for the R/T model; this year all models get new wheel finishes, four new exterior colors, and a few new appearance packages thecombine gloss black and body-color details—aesthetically building a bit more on the Mopar motorsports and muscle-car cues elsewhere in the Dodge lineup.

Dodge Durango performance

The Durango includes the same, excellent new eight-speed automatic transmission that’s used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and other Chrysler products. It’s controlled via a stylish rotary shifter like the one used in the Ram 1500 and Chrysler 200, as well as paddle-shifters for all models. A pair of strong engines is available: the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 making 290 horsepower (or 295 hp) and 260 pound-feet, and a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 making 360 hp and 390 lb-ft. Both are helped by the eight-speed auto to achieve acceptable fuel-economy numbers. HEMI feature so-called Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation), while V-6 models now include engine stop-start technology (ESS), and all models have a selectable Eco Mode that changes throttle sensitivity and transmission shift points to maximize fuel savings.

All that said, the Durango is still especially thirsty in V-8 guise. Ratings slide to 14/23 mpg, or 17 mpg combined. And with all-wheel drive, it’s pegged at 14/22 mpg or 16 mpg combined.

It may be worth it if you tow or need just an added amount of ruggedness, though. The Durango also offers a choice between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, depending on the model. Two different AWD systems are used; V-8 models get a low-range transfer case, while V-6 models use a simpler a single-speed unit. Towing capability tops out at 7,400 pounds with the V-8.

Seating for up to seven (or optional seating for six, with available second-row dual captain’s chairs) is one of the Durango’s top selling points. Its third-row seat is quite usable compared to other models this size, and it’s split 50/50, able to be folded flat into the floor. The standard second-row layout folds forward, too, to greatly expand cargo space. Dodge says there’s room for a six-foot couch and a coffee table, or to carry 10-foot 2x4s.

Dodge Durango safety and features

The Durango scores well in crash tests and comes with a very impressive set of safety features, including seven standard airbags, full-length three-row side-curtain bags, and active front headrests. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection are available, as are adaptive cruise control with stop, and Uconnect Access, which includes some emergency and roadside-assistance services.

The smooth instrument panel resembles the one in Dodge’s Charger sedan, and can house either a five-inch or 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen in the center stack. As in other Dodges, the gauges are made up of a seven-inch reconfigurable TFT screen.

The Durango is offered in SXT, Rallye, Limited, R/T, and Citadel models, with all but the SXT and Rallye getting the 8.4-inch Uconnect system that wraps together audio, climate controls, calling functions, and in some cases navigation. Turn instructions, audio info, or trip info can be displayed on the gauge cluster as well.

In recent years, Dodge has been pushing the Durango up the luxury ladder, first with a Limited model—leather upholstery, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and the 8.4-inch Uconnect system—and now with a Citadel model that piles on even more like the Beats by Dr. Dre audio system (10 speakers and a subwoofer). There’s an available HDMI and Blu-ray rear entertainment system, with screens integrated in the back of front headrests and a remote. And Uconnect Access Via Mobile also has voice-command capability (including to read text messages) and enables media apps for streaming audio like Pandora or Slacker.

2015 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Quad Cab 4X4 EcoDiesel

The 2015 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Quad Cab 4X4 EcoDiesel. (FCA)

The 2015 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Quad Cab 4X4 EcoDiesel. (FCA)

The Canadian new-vehicle market is expected to hit a new record when the numbers for 2015 are tallied.

Minivans and cars are falling from favour, replaced by SUVs and CUVs. But one thing remains constant — Canadians love pickup trucks.

During the past year I have tested seven pickups: Canyon, Colorado, F150, Ram, Sierra, Silverado and Tundra. They were powered by four-, six- or eight-cylinder engines and prices ranged from $30,000 to more than $70,000.

One stood out. The Ram EcoDiesel.

Like many Canadians, I understand and appreciate pickups. I own one (not a Ram). They have tremendous versatility, are able to carry or tow big and heavy items while providing spacious accommodation for five full-sized adults.

The trend is toward more attention forward of the cargo box, with comfort, convenience and features that rival luxury cars — combined with more people space than any car.

One thing pickups cannot provide is decent fuel economy. Until now. The average fuel consumption of those seven pickups tested last year was in the mid to low teens, (11.7-17.2 litres/100 km) on a combination of city and highway driving.

I am talking real-world numbers, not those generated in a laboratory or on long level stretches of road with a steady throttle opening. Here in the Maritimes we see very little of that type of road as ours are more likely to have hills and curves — conditions that require constant throttle adjustment.

Combine that with a heavy right foot and my numbers are always going to be well below that claimed by the manufacturers and proud owners who are always quick to remind me that they have done far better.

But my boat was rocked this year by the Ram EcoDiesel. Over my usual 350-km test route, it used slightly more than half as much fuel as the others.

During a subsequent four-province journey of more than 2,500 km, the big (5,700 lb) Ram EcoDiesel returned a stunning average of 9.6 litres/100 km at an average speed of 93 km/h.

That number may not impress if you have no experience with pickups. As indicated above, under similar conditions, the competition ranged from 11.7 to 17.2 litres/100 km.

The EcoDiesel numbers are even more impressive given that the vast majority of those miles were at 110 km/hr. At 100 km/h, the mileage was in the 8s!

This from a loaded ($54,000), luxurious, big four-door pickup that tipped the scales at almost three tons on the road.

2015 Ram EcoDieselI won’t go into the usual description of the amenities, comfort, etc., of a pickup at this price point. Suffice it to say the big rig was a wonderful companion during those 27 hours on the road.

The lofty perch proved an excellent platform and provided great visibility whether in the freezing rain and light snow of an early morning in northern Quebec or driving rain in PEI that same evening.

The excellent ride, comfy seats, excellent climate control system, easily deciphered infotainment system and relatively quiet cabin helped pass the time.

Those same features are readily available in other pickups.

The full-sized ones all offer diesel engines — but these big and extremely powerful units are workhorses, designed to allow the truck to carry or tow massive amounts.

The EcoDiesel is what I would call a light-duty diesel, a 3.0-litre V6 from VM Motori, an Italian company with a relationship to Chrysler, sorry FCA, dating back to 1992. Fiat bought the company in 2013.

The EcoDiesel offers more torque than the vaunted Hemi V8 and paired with the ZF eight-speed automatic, better fuel economy. Much better.

BUT — and here is the flip side of the coin — the EcoDiesel is expensive and you have to rely on high mileage and reasonable diesel fuel prices to recoup that extra cost. Driven with even a slightly lighter right foot, the Ram EcoDiesel will easily match the Natural Resources Canada rating of 8.8 litres/100 km.

No other full-size pickup can even approach that number. This engine, paired with the mandatory eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, adds $5,700 to the cost of the Ram truck.

That would buy an awful lot of gasoline.

If you plan on keeping the truck for years and/or accumulating high mileage, the EcoDiesel will make up that difference — while providing effortless real-world power and the ability to go more than 900 km on a tank of fuel.

More than most bladders!

The specs

2015 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Quad Cab 4X4

  • Price: $43,195 base; $57,615 as tested, including freight
  • Engine: turbocharged, 3.0-litre DOHC V6 diesel, 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive with two-speed transfer case
  • NRCan rating (litres/100 km city/highway): 12.1 / 8.8; observed 9.6 overall
  • Tow rating: 4,713 kg (9,200 lb)
  • Length: 5,817 mm
  • Width: 2,017 mm
  • Wheelbase: 3,556 mm
  • Weight: 2,457 kg
  • Competition: Ford F-150 Diesel
  • Options on test vehicle: Premium seat package ($1,000): 10-way power driver’s seat, 60/40 split/folding rear seat, 115-volt power outlet, fold-flat load floor with storage; Customer Preferred package 28T ($1,000): 265/70/17 on/off-road tires, tow hooks, class IV hitch, anti-spin differential, auxiliary rubber floor mats, transfer case skid plate, front suspension skid plate, two-tone paint, HD rear shock absorbers; Luxury Group ($725): electroluminescent instrument panel, auto-dimming rear view mirror, power folding heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, universal garage door opener, leather-wrapped steering wheel, overhead console; Comfort Group ($700): heated front seats and steering wheel, dual zone automatic climate control with humidity sensor; Rear Camera & Park Assist Group ($875): Parkview rear camera, front and rear park sensors; Soft tri-fold tonneau cover, $450; eight-speed automatic transmission, $1,000; 3.0-litre EcoDiesel engine, $4,700; rear window defroster, $225; UConnect infotainment system with 21-cm touch screen and media hub, $800; 20-inch semi-glass black aluminum wheels with 275/60R20 all-season tires, locking lug nuts, $600; spray-on bedliner, $550

Canadian Chrysler dealers eagerly await redesigned minivans

Source: Globe and Mail

Sales of minivans are dwindling in North America, but they’re still a big deal at Pothier Motors Ltd. – and an even bigger deal at the auto maker that supplies the Falmouth, N.S., dealership.

Minivans are a key franchise for FCA Canada Inc. (Chrysler), which ships Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country models from its Windsor, Ont., assembly plant to Pothier. So dealership president John Pothier understands the importance of the $2-billion (U.S.) investment FCA Canada’s parent company is making to redesign the people haulers.

The redesigned model will be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 11.

“It’s going to be huge for them,” said Mr. Pothier, who is president of the Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership. His store sells about 100 to 125 new Dodge Grand Caravans and Chrysler Town & Country models annually, representing about 20 per cent of Pothier’s annual new vehicle sales.

That’s the same share of new vehicle sales the minivans represent for FCA Canada. The Town & Country and Grand Caravan outsell the entire lineup of Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat passenger cars by almost two to one.

The Grand Caravan on its own is the second-best-selling vehicle in the auto maker’s lineup after the Ram pickup, even though the company’s minivan sales have fallen 10 per cent this year.

Spending $2-billion to upgrade a vehicle whose sales have fallen in a segment that has also slumped might normally be considered folly, but minivans have been one of the flagship vehicles for Chrysler since Lee Iacocca, the legendary chief executive officer of Chrysler Corp. at the time, drove the first one off the line of the Windsor Assembly Plant in 1984.

A decade later, the auto maker added a third shift to the Windsor plant and the factory has been rolling at full tilt since then – with the exception of a temporary shutdown when Chrysler LLC was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009.

Chrysler has held the lead in the segment by continually offering features that kept it ahead of the competition, notably the first driver’s side sliding door on a minivan in 1996.

Industry sources said one of the innovations on the 2017 model will be foot-activated sliding doors and rear liftgate.

The auto maker has said there will also be a hybrid version of the vehicle.

The Chrysler twins combined lead the minivan segment in both the U.S. and Canadian markets, but the numbers are working against them. Minivans grabbed 7.4 per cent of the U.S. market in 2000 and nearly double that at 14.5 per cent in Canada, where the vehicles have always been more popular.

In 2015, minivan market share slumped to 2.8 per cent in the United States and 4.5 per cent in Canada amid soaring sales of crossovers, which have some of the utility of minivans, but none of the stigma.

That steady decline from 2000, when auto makers sold more than 1.5 million minivans, led several companies to abandon the market, including Chrysler’s Detroit-based rivals Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. and South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co., whose Entourage model was discontinued after just four years in the market.

Nonetheless, industry analyst Joe Phillippi, who heads AutoTrends Consulting Inc., said he believes the segment has stabilized and should grow modestly as more millennials start having children.

“There’s a demographic cohort that really do view minivans as a great value, as a people mover for the family,” Mr. Phillippi said.

He points to his own daughter, a mother of three children, whose family owns a Honda Odyssey minivan and a Ford Explorer crossover.

“There’s a soccer game or tournament for each kid virtually every weekend fall and spring,” he said. “Being able to haul all their stuff, coolers, it’s a lot easier in the Odyssey than in the very trendy-looking Ford Explorer.”

The original plan for the redesign of the Chrysler minivans was to replace both of them with a single model, the Town & Country. But the Canadian and U.S. markets differ.

Sales of the models are about even in the U.S. market, but Canadians bought 46,927 Grand Caravans last year, compared with 9,001 Town & Country models.

Mr. Pothier said he keeps just one or two Town & Country minivans in stock in Falmouth, compared with about 30 Grand Caravans.

So Canadian dealers have urged the auto maker to retain the Dodge Caravan name and the less expensive version of the vehicle in Canada.

“I do not sell a lot of Town & Country [models],” said one Chrysler dealer in Western Canada. “The customer profile we sell Caravans to are not going from the yacht club to the private golf club.

Two New Special-edition Jeep Models are Coming Soon!

Source: Autogo.ca

It seems as though FCA can’t get enough of creating different versions of the iconic SUV. After unveiling the Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Concept at the SEMA show, the brand will be presenting the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.

But that’s not all. The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night will also make its appearance. The new edition of the hot-rod SUV features a glossy black finish of the roof, the rear spoiler, the front grille as well as the B and C pillars. It also gets satin black front trim piece, badging and split five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the SRT Night also offers Black Laguna leather upholstery with silver contrast stitching and black chrome instrument bezels. Three paint colours are available, including Velvet Red, Billet Silver and Granite Crystal.

As for the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry, it’s based on the Sahara version, but boasts a winter theme with powder-coated bumpers, black 17-inch Rubicon alloy wheels and a black fuel filler door. It also comes with a black hardtop, while a body-colour hardtop is optional. The Backcountry’s cabin includes piano black vent rings, door handles and grab handles. The console lid and door panels also get vinyl wrappings with gray stitching, black leather and mesh-trimmed seats, a nine-speaker Alpine stereo and slush mats. Five paint colours are available, including the exclusive Xtreme Purple in addition to Hydro Blue, Bright White, Granite Crystal and Black.

Both these special-edition models will be on sale in Canada. The Wrangler Backcountry will arrive at the end of November, while the Grand Cherokee SRT Night will hit showroom floors in the beginning of 2016.

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3.0 V6 4X4 Quad Cab

 

The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3.0 V6 4X4 Quad Cab. (TODD GILLIS PHOTOS)

The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3.0 V6 4X4 Quad Cab. (TODD GILLIS PHOTOS)

With our friends in the U.S. getting set to celebrate their Thanksgiving in a few weeks, today’s tester was something I was thankful for through our Canadian turkey long weekend.

Thankful because it was a pickup truck, so fitting all our stuff on the covered cargo bed for a wet and windy family road trip to Cape Breton was not an issue.

But I was more pleased because it averaged 8.2 litres/100 km from Dartmouth to Inverness and back.

That result bettered its EnerGuide 8.8L/100km highway fuel economy rating!

The Warren-Michigan-built 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, in Quad Cab 4X4 trim, was indeed a fuel miser for a pickup fully capable of hauling five humans, towing 9,200 pounds and carrying a payload of up to 1,400 pounds.

All of that haul-tow ability came courtesy of its torquey 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 engine which was partnered to its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.

Together, the powertrain system provided an outstanding combination of fuel efficiency and an impressive 420 lb-ft of torque, which resulted in explosive acceleration from a standing start.

That’s actually more torque than the 5.7-litre Hemi-endowed Ram!

Driving in and around the city was an effortless task, while parking and backing up into and out of tight spots was aided by, err, my careful driving and its available ParkView rear back-up camera and its Park-Sense front and rear park assist system (options for $875).

Front and rear heavy-duty shock absorbers (extra heavy on the rear) noticeably softened up the rougher portions of one dirt road we visited.

At highway cruising speeds, the 3.0 diesel churned along smooth and quiet at just barely 2,000 rpm. Power was more than at the ready when called upon for a quick pass manoeuvre while quick lane changes were done with car-like agility.

My tester sat atop P275/60R20 BSW all-season tires on 20×8-inch semi-gloss black aluminum wheels ($600) which looked great with its Blue Streak Pearl paint.

Braking down from speed was exceptional.

Aiding in the Ram’s excellent highway, city and rougher dirt-road drive characteristics was a cabin that provided great comfort for front-seat passengers aboard its premium cloth bucket seats.

My 10-way powered driver’s seat included two-way lumbar support, which made for a content lower back on our long-distance drive.

My test week was on the chilly side where we experienced our first few frosty mornings, so I appreciated the heatable seat.

I also liked that my Ram asked me, on its touch screen, upon cold-morning startups if I wanted the various heat settings that it so kindly chose for me.

Its HVAC system worked to perfection quickly clearing the frost-bitten windows and warming up the cabin to toasty faster than it took my toaster to pop the kids’ Pop Tarts.

As all that was going on, the steering wheel was heating up, too; and not just at the three and nine positions either as the heat spread the entire circumference of the leather-wrapped wheel.

Rear-seat passengers also had the option to warm their bottoms. All that heat was part of the comfort group ($700).

Highlighting the Ram’s centre-stack area was its swag Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen which was simple to use and navigate when it came to selecting stations on FM or satellite radio, getting music from my iPhone, or managing the various vehicle settings. It’s easily one of my favourite infotainment setups.

Its media hub also included an SD card slot along with USB and auxilliary input jacks; the convenient 115-volt power outlet powered my son’s laptop on the C.B. drive.

There were plenty of cubbies and drink holders throughout, while the deep armrest bin could hide said laptop.

I only had a couple of complaints about my tester — there were no running boards to make entry easier and the rear seat cushions were a tad on the hard side.

I did like that the 60/40s folded up flat, exposing a wide, spacious cargo space for a lot of stuff (think tool boxes and whatever else contruction-type folks haul to and from the job site).

On the whole, the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman EcoDiesel, with its 4X4 capability, is an excellent all-road, all-weather driver that offers good cargo-haul and towing capability.

I felt comfortable behind the wheel in all drive situations and appreciated my commanding view of the road.

The interior on my tester’s trim level was fantastic and its Uconnect is one of the best infotainment systems in the industry.

Yes, I was thankful for my week with the Ram 1500, but like my mother’s delicious Thanksgiving turkey stuffed with my father’s awesome dressing, it had me longing for more.

 

The specs

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Outsdoorsman Quad Cab 4X4

  • Engine: 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6
  • Transmission: eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic
  • Horsepower: 240 hp
  • Torque: 420 lb-ft
  • EnerGuide fuel economy ratings (litres/100km): 12.1 city, 8.8 highway (realized 12.2 city, 8.2 highway)
  • Fuel tank: 98 litres
  • Towing: 9,200 pounds; includes tow hooks, Class IV receiver hitch
  • Other features included: electronic shift-on-the-fly part-time transfer case; four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes; tire pressure monitoring system; remote keyless entry; engine block heater; air conditioning; cruise control; fog lamps; anti-spin differential rear axle; front and rear rubber floor mats; transfer case skid plate shield; front suspension skid plate; steering-wheel-mounted audio controls; auto-dimming rear-view mirror; dual-zone climate control; power folding exterior mirrors, soft tri-fold tonneau cover, navigation ready
  • Base price: $43,195

Price as tested: $57,615

The Economic 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

HALIFAX, N.S. — One would think it would be an oxymoron to use the words “economical” and “pickup truck” in the same sentence.

But don’t tell the folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), who are touting their Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as the antithesis of the traditional gas-guzzling pickup.

To demonstrate this fact, FCA Canada took us down to the Maritimes to drive a sampling of 2015 Ram EcoDiesel models and discover just how fuel-efficient they can be.

After all, Natural Resources Canada fuel consumption ratings are one thing and real-world driving is another.

The exercise was for four teams of two drivers to spend a half-day each in one of four Ram EcoDiesel vehicles, all with different trim levels. At the end of the two days the fuel economy numbers for all the vehicles would be tabulated to see how we fared.

The drive route started in Fredericton, N.B. early on a Wednesday morning, eventually heading to the picturesque Bay of Fundy area and then to the Confederation Bridge, which links New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.

After an evening in Charlottetown, PEI, we headed to the Wood Islands ferry that would take us to Nova Scotia with our end point being the beautiful city of Halifax.

It was a wonderful drive with awesome scenery, wonderful vistas, friendly locals and some challenging roads.

There was quite a mixture of driving routes, but as much as possible we hugged the coastline to see the breathtaking scenery.

It was a nice test that demonstrates you don’t have to have a sedan, SUV or sports car to enjoy a driving holiday in this great country of ours. A fuel-efficient pickup like the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will do quite nicely, thank you.

At the end of the day, the numbers tell the story. We visited three provinces, drove between 747.5 to 839.9 kilometres on a single tank of fuel and the fuel consumption numbers ranged from 8.6L/100 km to 9.3L/100 km, averaging 8.85.

That’s almost dead on the 8.8L/100 km EnerGuide highway number from the Government of Canada and our driving was a combination of both highway and city driving.

Pretty impressive numbers when you consider the size and the weight of these pickups that have a lot to offer the consumer who needs a truck for hauling or towing. And even if it’s just occasionally that you really need the utility of a pickup, with this EcoDiesel you’re not being penalized in the pocketbook.

Even after two days of driving through three provinces, we still had plenty of fuel left in the tanks, enough at least for another half day on the road and more than 1,200 kilometres in total on a tank of diesel fuel.

And for those unfamiliar with new breed of diesel, these aren’t the smoke belching, clattering engines of old. They are clean, quiet and smoke free.

The Ram 1500 is the only full-size, light-duty pickup on the market to offer a diesel powertrain. And it has been a popular option with customers as about one in four Ram 1500s sold in Canada this year is an EcoDiesel. As you move up the trim line, as many as 50 per cent of the high-end Laramie, Longhorn and Limited models have been diesel.

One wonders why other manufacturers haven’t gone this route, but FCA executives will be happy to have this market all to themselves. It has made Ram the second best-selling vehicle in the country and FCA’s top-selling model. At the end of August, Ram sales numbers sit at 62,487, a jump of seven per cent over 2014.

While you save at the fuel pumps, the Ram EcoDiesel is not inexpensive. Prices start at $39,295 (the EcoDiesel engine itself has an MSRP of $4,700) and the engine is available on all regular, quad or crew cabs.

The 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 EcoDiesel is paired with an eight-speed transmission and makes 240 hp and a class-leading 420 lb/ft of low-end torque. If you have to haul a boat or trailer, it has an impressive tow rating of 4,713 kg (9,200 lb).

The engine itself is built by VM Motori, an Italian manufacturer that has been a Chrysler supplier since 1992. The company was purchased outright by Fiat in 2013.

One model we tested is the high-end Laramie Limited in 4×4 Crew Cab format. It’s pricey, $71,760 as tested, but comes with all the bells and whistles like leather upholstery, dual zone climate control, chrome bumpers, heated first and second-row seats and ventilated front row seats. Four-wheel-drive is available on all trim levels and one feature that many buyers might find desirable is the optional four-corner air suspension ($1,695). With this system, the truck can be raised if you need more clearance and lowered for ease of entry and exit. At speed, the truck is automatically lowered for better aerodynamics and load leveling is also automatic.

Other models we tested included the, Big Horn 4×4 Crew Cab, Outdoorsman Quad Cab 4×4 and a Ram 1500 SLT Crew Cab 4×4. There are a multitude of variations, so visit our inventory for all the details.

The Ram 1500 is a popular choice among pickup buyers with any powertrain, but if fuel economy is your prime consideration then the 1500 EcoDiesel is the vehicle for you.

RAM 1500 ECODIESEL 2015 AT A GLANCE

BODY STYLE: Full-size, half-ton light-duty pickup truck

DRIVE METHOD: Four-wheel-drive; eight-speed automatic transmission

ENGINE: Turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 EcoDiesel (240 hp, 420 lb/ft of torque at 2,000 rpm)

TOW RATING: 4,713 kg (9,200 lb)

FUEL ECONOMY: 12.1L/100 km city, 8.8L/100 km hwy.

PRICE: $39,295 to $56,135

WHAT’S BEST: The fuel economy of the EcoDiesel of course.

WHAT’S WORST: There’s a $4,700 premium for the diesel engine and $1,000 for the eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission on certain models.

WHAT’S INTERESTING: Ram 1500 is the only full-size light duty pickup to offer a diesel powertrain.

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