Test Drive Notes Library
- Very nice interior. Roomy, quiet, airy, with nicely designed storage and controls. While our test car was a loaded $32,000 model, the interior gives this car a real premium feel.
- One particularly nice touch is the slanted console on which the round transmission selector is placed. It’s neither on a flat center console, where you have to look and reach down for it, nor is it on the dashboard, where you have to reach out for it. Instead, it’s on a slanted portion of the center console that splits the difference and works well. Other controls on that slanted space (radio volume, tuning, heating and ventilation controls, parking brake), are wonderfully easy to reach and see. It’s a simple ergonomic change, but a great one. This is Chrysler channeling its inner Honda.
- Using the round transmission selector also saves space, allowing for all those other controls at your fingertips, and leaving room for even more storage underneath the console.
- Speaking of Honda, Chrysler also has another small, but very thoughtful feature. A lot of carmakers put their USB ports (for iPods and phones) inside the lidded center console (which when closed, serves as an arm rest). They’re often hard to see in there, and difficult to plug into. Well, Chrysler solves that problem by lighting up the ports themselves with small, LED lights. As a result, you can instantly see where to plug in your phone, and how to orient the plug. Genius.
- Nice exterior styling. They were obviously “inspired by” the Audi A7. And while the Chrysler will not be mistaken for an Audi A7, we have no objection to them cribbing a great “fastback” shape that makes this a nice looking car.
- About the size of a Honda Accord. Not a really big car, but it has plenty of interior room, and a spacious back seat with a lot of leg room for a car this size.
- Corners well. Stays flat in turns.
- Plenty of power from the 2.4-liter engine.
- Lots of available modern safety features — Automatic emergency braking (something everyone should have), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning.
Test Drive Notes Library
- The deal breaker for us could be the transmission. Chrysler uses a 9-speed automatic to improve mileage. But it’s jerky, at a time when virtually every other manufacturer is using very smooth, seamless automatics. It’s probably a software programming issue, but we can’t say for sure. But it’s fine about half of the time, if you’re accelerating, for instance. But when you have to take your foot on and off the gas, in city driving, there’s often a delay, or a jerky shift you can really feel. The transmission or the transmission programming needs to be improved before this car becomes a credible alternative to an Accord or Camry.
- Ride is very comfortable, but the suspension has a tendency to bottom out at times. Like when you go over a bump on a highway, the car will them bounce several times before regaining its composure. We noticed this on speed bumps, too, where, unless you’re at crawl speed, the car will come down so far after the bump that the front, plastic stone guard would scrape pavement.
- Steering has a little too much pull to center, like some GM models of yesteryear. Makes cornering a little less smooth than it should be.
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