Oakland, Maryland, United States
Toyota and Lexus stormed the 2014 Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards, winning a combined 18 categories including best brand and best luxury brand. This marks the third year in a row that both automakers have won the Brand and Luxury Brand resale value awards. In all, Toyota won 11 categories and Lexus won seven.
Honda made a good showing, as well, winning two segments (Accord Plug-In Hybrid and Civic Si) and putting one car on the top-10 Best Resale Value list (CR-V). Chevrolet did even better, winning two segments (with the V6 Camaro and the Corvette) and placing three cars on the top-10-overall list (again, the Camaro and Corvette, plus the Silverado 1500).
The other winners came from Jeep, Dodge, Infiniti, Subaru and Audi. To give you a clearer picture of the Toyota and Lexus domination, their 18 mentions represents more than half of the 34 awards (including the top-10-overall list).
Hidden amidst the overall very positive sales figures that Chrysler released earlier this week were a few disappointments, the biggest of which may be the Dodge Dart. While Dodge sales in general were down 11 percent from a year ago, the Dart's poor figures stood out from the rest - with 4,888 units sold, the Dart was down 37 percent in February.
It comes as little surprise, then, that the automaker has announced layoffs at its assembly plant in Belvidere, IL. According to The Daily Herald, Dodge will temporarily lay off 325 workers "to balance vehicle supply with current sales demand." Put more simply, there are more Darts than buyers at the moment...
We don't think the Dodge Dart is a bad car, but it's playing in a market that offers a few standout sellers, like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. According to AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan, as quoted by The Daily Herald, "great incentives on the Dodge Avenger" are also partly to blame for the Dart's poor showing.
If you want to go fast, there's certainly nothing wrong with the Dodge Challenger SRT8. With 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque for 2014, there's certainly not much to complain about. But what if you want something more aftermarket in flavor? There's no shortage of options, but while turning to the tuner world will make your car plenty fast, that extra power won't just shred rear tires, it'll torch your warranty, as well. That's where Dodge's Scat Pack comes in.
With three stages of mods for both the 5.7 and 6.4-liter Hemi V8s Challenger (as well as the 5.7-liter Charger and, soon, the four-pot Dart), the Scat Pack cars give drivers all the power, aggression and noise of a heavily modded aftermarket car while maintaining the piece of mind provided by the Dodge warranty.
Power gets bumped up to 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque with the 6.4-liter Scat Pack, while the 5.7-liter can provide up to 58 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque to add to the stock engine's 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. It's the latter engine that can really get some work done, with upgrades ranging from the mundane - intake and exhaust - to the racy, like the ported heads and high-flow headers.