A new tech barge in old SUV clothing, the Dodge Durango Hybrid features an impressive array of cabin tech and one of the most advanced power trains in a production vehicle. This truck is big, with seating for seven, plus cargo space, all riding high in classic SUV fashion. But environmentalists could learn to love it as it turns in fuel economy equivalent to a V-6 sedan. We take a close look at this behemoth, maximizing our city mileage and testing out the cabin tech.
We were recently given the opportunity to kick the tires of a wide variety of hybrid electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
There were a few clean diesels, including a CR-V with a 2.2-liter four cylinder that we should see reach production in a diesel variant of the 2010 Acura TSX. Ford brought out its hydrogen fuel cell, Focus, and a pair of hybrids, one of which was a plug-in model.
According to Ed Kjaer, a representative from Southern California Edison, plugging in electric hybrid vehicles on an overnight cycle is better for the electric grid, because it evens out … Read more
I'm a middle-aged guy, so sure, I read the CNET review of the new Dodge Challenger SRT8 just to get vicarious kicks imagining what it's like to drive a 425-horsepower muscle car. It sounds like a real thrill ride, and sure it's a serious gas guzzler: "The EPA rates the Challenger SRT8 at 14 city mpg and 22 highway mpg. However during our leadfooted testing, we only managed 13.7 mpg over a mixed city and highway cycle."
Even so, I suppose the Challenger's tested price of $43,730 will place it in the affordable range for a lot of folks, or let's be honest, guys. It's a car to get noticed in, but no one's fooling themselves into believing the SRT8 is merely reliable transportation. It's a toy, and if you can swallow the fuel bill, it's a heck of a ride.
Same can be said about high-end audio. It's not practical and it can be expensive to run, but once you get used to what it can do when it's playing your favorite tunes, a $500 HTIB won't cut it anymore. High-end audio isn't an appliance, it's supposed to get your heart pounding and blood flowing, not so different than the SRT8.
Thrill seekers lusting after a muscular audio system equivalent of the SRT8 should check out the following system.
Muscle cars are as American as apple pie, so I went for American made hi-fi where I could. I reviewed Klipsch's mighty RF-83 tower speaker ($2798/pair) for Home Theater magazine last October, but it's still a current model. With three 8-inch woofers and a 1.25-inch horn-loaded titanium diaphragm compression tweeter, the RF-83 mos' definitely will rock your world. Add the 12-inch Klipsch RT-12d subwoofer ($2,199) to ensure the deepest and tightest low bass. … Read more
Riding around in a bright red Dodge Challenger SRT8 is not the best way to go unnoticed. With its wide and low design and deep HEMI V-8 growl, all eyes were on us as we cruised the streets of San Francisco. But the kind of attention attracted in the Challenger was unlike most high-powered sports cars in which we've found ourselves behind the wheel. Everywhere we went, people--almost exclusively male--were giving us the thumbs up, approving nods, fist pumps, and, on one occasion, a full-on round of applause. Yeah, that last one surprised even us.
The attention didn't … Read more
When we first laid eyes on the Dodge Ram, a few words came to mind: gargantuan, behemoth, colossal. The words that didn't immediately come to mind when the big ol' truck rolled into the CNET garage were "high" or "tech." However, after--literally--climbing into the Ram's cab and spending some time behind the wheel, we found a surprising amount of drive-train tech and, more surprisingly, some very sophisticated cabin tech.
Satellite TV, a hard drive-based audio system, and in-vehicle Wi-Fi are just some of the ambitious, if unrefined, tricks the Dodge Ram has up its … Read more
Since yesterday's unveiling of Chrysler's electric vehicle concepts, there have been many parallels drawn between the little electric hot-rod Dodge EV and the electric car that changed our perception of green, the Tesla Roadster. As it turns out, these cars may have more in common than you think.… Read more
Chrysler surprised everyone with the announcement of three electric vehicle concepts. The company showed working versions of the all-electric Dodge EV sports car, plus a range-extended Chrysler minivan and Jeep Wrangler. The two range-extended models use powertrains similar to that found in the Chevy Volt, an electric motor and batteries to run the car, and an onboard gas engine generating electricity to extend the range.
This week brings us a brand-new Mega Man game sticking true to its 8-bit roots and a classic Dodge Ball game from the NES era.WiiWare Mega Man 9 (Capcom, 1,000 Wii points): Mega Man 9 is truly an homage to the original classic 8-bit series. Even though the game is brand new with unique stages and bosses, the game has the traditional graphics and gameplay from that of the NES classic franchise. PL?TTCHEN twist 'n' paint (Bplus, 1,000 Wii points): PL?TTCHEN twist 'n' paint is a self-described puzzle-shooter that requires you to paint certain tiles … Read more
Dodge brought by a selection of its newest vehicles at a recent media event. We had the chance to photograph and test drive the next generation of Dodge vehicles, including the 2009 Challenger (SRT-8 and R/T versions), the new 2009 Ram pickup truck, and the Durango Hemi Hybrid SUV. Also on hand was the 2009 Dodge Journey, which we've already reviewed.
At the Western Automotive Journalists' dinner this week, Jim Press, President of Chrysler, told me exactly what I wanted to hear. When I asked how he plans on differentiating the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands, he put it this way: Jeep will remain an iconic off-roader, with no soft-roaders spoiling the brand; Dodge will be the performance brand, but will also be a volume play; and Chrysler focuses on luxury, competing with brands like Acura. Maybe this type of brand differentiation just fits conventional wisdom, but it seems like a smart plan to me. Yet, in speaking more generally about … Read more