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Auto blogThu, 27 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
Automakers the world over are striving to find ways to make their models more efficient, and Chrysler has a solution for some versions of the 2015 Chrysler 200 and 2015 Jeep Cherokee (2014 model shown). The Tigershark 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the 200 and the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 in the Cherokee are getting a slight boost later this year thanks to the addition of Chrysler's Engine Stop-Start system as standard equipment. The company predicts modest gains - a three-percent improvement in fuel economy and a three percent reduction in CO2 emissions with the new tech compared to without it. While it's not much, those who sit in traffic a lot may see a difference.
Chrysler's stop/start system uses a high-speed starter motor to restart the vehicle in a claimed a third of a second. It works by detecting when the vehicle comes to a stop and turning off the engine. A more powerful battery maintains all of the model's accessories while it sits. When the driver lets off the brake, the car starts up again to drive away. There is even a button in the cabin to turn the ESS off, if desired.
The Jeep will be the first to receive ESS in the third quarter of this year to coincide with the start of production of the 2015 model-year version. The 200 will follow in the fourth quarter as a rolling change in production.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #336 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #336
Jeep rear-mounted fuel tank controversy