Dodge – 2010 and beyond

We like to try and give you a snapshot of what is new and changing within the Dodge model line up. This is what has been confirmed for 2010:

AVENGER: No changes.

CALIBER: Dodge’s compact hatch gets an updated interior with a new instrument panel, door panels with softer armrests, and a center console that provides more storage space. The 1.8 liter engine has been dropped, leaving just the 2.0 and the 2.4; the 2.0 is now available with a 5-speed manual transmission. All models get active front head restraints, and the SXT model now offers a Sport Appearance Package with 18″ wheels and performance-tuned suspension and steering.

CALIBER SRT4: Discontinued.

CHALLENGER: SE models now come with electronic stability control as standard, while R/Ts get automatic headlights, LED-lit cupholders, and door handle lights, as well as an optional Super Track Pack (20″ wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Car tires, self-leveling shocks, larger rear anti-sway bar, 3.06 rear axle ratio, and a sport program for the electronic stability control system). The UConnect system now includes steering-wheel mounted controls. The Challenger SRT8 is available in a limited-edition Plum Crazy model, named for a purple paint color offered on Chrysler muscle cars of the early 70s. Along with purple paint, the Plum Crazy Challenger gets a purple seat-insert stripe and a serialized dash plaque.

CHARGER: Side curtain airbags are now standard. All Chargers get a body-color sill plate, and SEs models get a chrome grille with black inserts.

DAKOTA: The Dakota gets Arin springs and Tokico shock absorbers to improve ride and handling, as well as a few new paint colors.

GRAND CARAVAN: Dodge’s venerable minivan gains a new optional Blind Spot Monitoring System, which sounds a chime and lights up an icon in the side mirror if the driver tries to change lanes when there’s a car in the blind spot. Related is the Rear Cross Path system, similar to Ford’s Cross Traffic Alert, which warns of approaching cars when the driver is backing out of a parking space. Other changes include active front head restraints for all models; standard three-zone climate control for the SE; and a slightly higher final-drive ratio for the 4.0 liter engine.

JOURNEY: All models get active front head restraints, improved antilock brakes, an “ECO” light on the dash which indicates fuel-efficient driving, and an available “dark slate” monochrome interior. SE models now include remote keyless entry, the screen for the optional DVD player is larger, and the optional 3.5 liter V6’s EPA highway mileage is up by 1 MPG.

NITRO: The SLT model is replaced by the SXT. Entry-level (SE) models now include active head restraints, an “ECO” dash light to indicate efficient driving, six speakers, a standard air filtration system, heated mirrors, and stain-repellent seat fabric. The SXT adds body-color exterior trim, an auto-up passenger window, and an alarm; leather is optional. Other changes include new interior colors and a new paint color, Sandstone Metallic, which replaces metallic gray.

RAM 1500: Although the RAM 1500 was all-new for 2009, it sees several changes for the 2010 model year. The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR – maximum permissible weight of the truck, fuel, occupants, cargo and trailer) for long-wheelbase 5.7 liter models is up 3/4ths of a ton to 15,500 lbs. V6 models get a fuel-saver “ECO” light, while a deceleration fuel shut-off system is said to improve real-world fuel economy (EPA estimates are unchanged). New features include an iPod connector, active head restraints, and an improved tire pressure monitoring system; options include a trailer brake controller, 22″ wheels on R/T models, and auto-dimming mirrors.

RAM 2500/3500: The heavy-duty RAM gets a thorough going-over, including the addition — finally! — of a proper crew cab. The styling has been updated in the vein of the RAM 1500, but with a bigger, beefier look, while the interior gets better materials and more amenities. A re-tuned suspension provides a more comfortable ride. Engines are carryovers: The 5.7 liter HEMI V8 (all new last year) and the 6.7 liter Cummins turbodiesel. Fleet customers will be able to purchase a biodiesel-capable version of the Cummins engine that runs on B20 (20% bio diesel/80% petroleum diesel). Maximum GCWR is up to 25,400 lbs while maximum towing capacity is 18,500 lbs.

RAM 3500/4500/5500 CHASSIS CAB: No changes for 2010, but an extensive update is planned for 2011; see BEYOND 2010 section below.

SPRINTER: No changes. Mercedes-Benz, which designed and builds the Sprinter, reportedly plans to end its contract with Dodge and sell the van exclusively through Mercedes-Benz dealerships, with Mercedes rather than Dodge badging.

VIPER: Aside from four new paint colors, the Viper is unchanged. 2010 will be the last year for the Viper.

Want to see what is expected in 2011? Click here

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