Eleven models of Chrysler Group LLC were added to the 2012 list of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks. The models include the Chrysler Town & Country, 300 and 200; Dodge Grand Caravan, Durango, Charger, Journey and Avenger; Jeep Grand Cherokee and Patriot and the Fiat 500.
The list includes vehicles that were given “good” test ratings in four crash protection categories – front, side, rollover and rear. The Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger reprised their inclusion in the list, receiving “good” ratings in all categories. Other returnees include Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Chrysler 200. The Dodge Avenger and Journey have been in the list for the past four years.
The 2012 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, meanwhile, offer more than 40 standard/ available safety features. The Town & Country and Grand Caravan were also given strength-to-weight ratio ratings of 4.51, among the highest of the minivans tested.The Fiat 500, on the other hand, has a wide range of safety features, which include seven air bags.
All 11 models carry the SafetyTec system, which includes ParkSense rear park assist, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection.
“This underscores our commitment to engineering safety and security across all vehicle segments,” said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President – Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC.
The arrival of the new Dodge Grand Caravan marks the brand’s latest product offensive. According to Ralph Gilles, president and chief executive of the Dodge Brand at Chrysler Group LLC, a Dodge minivan should be very versatile but not boring.
Thus, Dodge’s engineers redesigned and retuned almost every element of the Grand Caravan's suspension and brought a new V-6 engine that provides best-in-class power output. This endowed the Dodge Grand Caravan with the driving dynamics of a performance sedan – an experience that other minivans in the segment can’t provide.
Gilles noted that once drivers get behind the wheel of the new Dodge Grand Caravan, they would enjoy a driving experience that was never before thought possible in such a functional vehicle. The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan could be availed in four configurations: Express, Mainstreet, Crew, and R/T. Serving as the core of the Dodge Grand Caravan is the new powerful yet fuel efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine paired to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission – replacing the 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 powerplants.
The all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is a high-performance and highly responsive engine that could provide more output and torque than its predecessor. In fact, compared to the 3.8-liter V-6 engine, the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 provides 86 hp more output (197 hp vs. 283 hp) and 30 lb.-ft. more torque (230 lb.-ft. vs. 260 lb.-ft.), without having to compromise fuel economy.