When you’re in the market for a new vehicle, it never hurts to do a little investigative work before you actually walk onto the dealership lot. How’s the mileage? Does it handle well in the city? The country? Will it fulfill my needs as my family grows?
One publication and online resource providing many of those answers is Consumers Digest, a review periodical well known for its annual “Best Buy” automotive ratings.
Well, the “Best Buys” for the 2012 model year have just been announced, and eight Chrysler Group LLC models – including three sporting the Dodge banner – have been singled out for top honors.
- Dodge: Durango, Challenger and Grand Caravan
- Chrysler: 300, Town & Country
- Jeep®: Grand Cherokee
- Ram: 1500
- Fiat: 500
“It’s a tremendous honor to have so many vehicles named as 'Best Buys' by Consumers Digest,” said Senior VP – Quality Doug Betts. “We have gone to great lengths to enhance the craftsmanship and quality of all of our vehicles. These awards are evidence that we’re producing cars, trucks, crossovers, minivans and SUVs that customers – and critics – appreciate.”
Here’s a quick one-liner on each of the "Best Buys":
“No other SUV on the road compares with the all-new Dodge Durango’s distinctive bold Dodge design that craftily houses a spacious three-row, seven-passenger functional, flexible and premium interior, covered in soft-touch materials.”
“The 2012 Dodge Challenger delivers exactly what muscle car enthusiasts want—a powerful and efficient engine lineup, a performance suspension designed for maximum grip, and athletic head-turning styling — all executed with quality and precision.”
DODGE GRAND CARAVAN
“The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan continues to lead the segment it created … offering a new American Value Package (AVP), which makes the best-selling minivan ever (and) the most affordable minivan with a starting U.S. Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $20,995 (excluding destination).”
“Packed with a 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine including innovative Fuel Saver Technology, a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Auto Stick, performance-tuned suspension and larger performance disc brakes, the V-8 models deliver world-class power and refinement.”
CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY
“Already imbued with innovative technology, unparalleled functionality, classic design, and a long list of standard convenience and safety features, enhancements in refinement make the 2012 Town & Country a true stand-out in the minivan segment.”
JEEP® GRAND CHEROKEE
“The most capable Grand Cherokee ever with available Jeep® Selec-Terrain™ system, Quadra-Lift™ air suspension, and front and rear independent suspension also has V-6 and V-8 engine choices that offer class-leading driving range (550 miles with V-6) or class-leading towing capability (7,400 lbs. V-8).”
“The Ram 1500 offers a variety of models for customers who rely on their trucks for work and play … Regular Cab, Quad Cab® and Crew Cab models, with three box lengths: 8-foot (Regular Cab), 6-foot-4-inches (Regular Cab and Quad Cab), and 5-foot-7-inches (Ram 1500 Crew Cab).”
“The 2012 Fiat 500 caters to a new generation of Americans who want their vehicle to be as engaging, individualized, ecologically responsible and technologically savvy as they are … this modern-generation Fiat 500 offers safety, fuel economy, quality and advanced technology perfectly balanced with iconic Italian style.”
The Consumers Digest automotive “Best Buys” issue is an annual publication in which editors judge vehicles on many build quality and performance attributes, such as ergonomics, fit and finish, utility, acceleration, fuel economy and many more. They also look at cost of ownership variables such as resale value, warranty, maintenance costs and annual operating expenses. The top vehicles in 12 separate categories are then chosen as “Best Buys” by the publication.
So, before you’re out there kicking the tires and looking for a deal, do some research ahead of time. Learn from the experts in the field (like the editors at Consumes Digest) about the new models and how they might best fit your lifestyle. It could save you time (and money) in the long run.
Image: 2012 Dodge Durango Crew