Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chrysler cars: What's new for 2009

Today's word is: Refinement

By Aaron Gold,

300: The optional 5.7 liter V8 has been revised to produce more power. All-wheel-drive 300s get a new center differential that can completely disconnect the front axle, increasing fuel economy. Limited and 300C models have been retuned for a softer ride, and all versions get more standard equipment.

ASPEN: Chrysler's big SUV is now available with a two-mode hybrid system that improves EPA city-cycle fuel economy estimates by 40%. SIRIUS Backseat TV is now optional.

CROSSFIRE: Discontinued.

PACIFICA: Discontinued.

PT CRUISER: The convertible has been discontinued; the hardtop PT is unchanged.

SEBRING SEDAN: Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are now standard on all Sebrings, as are floor mats, a cabin air filtration system, and an "acoustic package" designed to reduce road noise. Touring models get standard electronic stability control, power driver's seat, aimable LED cabin lighting, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter and steering wheel audio controls; Limited models get all of the above plus remote starting, Bluetooth phone connectivity, heated front seats, and heated/cooled cupholders.

SEBRING CONVERTIBLE: Like the Sebring Sedan, the drop-top Sebring has been reworked for less cabin noise. Floor mats and a cabin air filtration system are now standard, as is a much-needed trunk-closing assist handle. LX models get a key fob that will start the engine and lower the top remotely. Touring models get standard electronic stability control, and Limited models get Bluetooth phone connectivity, heated front seats, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, and heated/cooled cupholders.

TOWN AND COUNTRY: Entry-level LX models get a host of new standard equipment including upgraded exterior and interior trim, rear air conditioning, Stow 'n Go seats, trip computer, and power second-row windows. New options include "SmartBeam" headlights (which automatically dim for oncoming traffic), rain-sensing wipers, a blind spot monitoring system, and the Rear Cross Path system, which warns of oncoming traffic when the van is in reverse. The braking system has been modified for improved performance with less noise, and the optional 4-liter V6 gets better fuel economy.

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