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  #25  
Old 05-14-2014, 04:00 PM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by DerekH View Post
... I still don't know why people buy the lambda triplets (mini vans without the sliding doors).
That's exactly why people buy the lambdas...they are the closest things you can get to minivan utility...without actually being a minivan.

The lambdas were on my short-list for a while for this very reason. However, lack of modern / advanced features and a dated drivetrain steered me away, and ultimately landed me on the Durango.

I am wondering what actually prompted FCA to drop the Dodge Caravan...is it that they did not want to have competition between Chrysler and Dodge in this segment, or is it just that having a minivan in a "Performance" brand simply doesn't make sense.

Given the current roadmaps, Chrysler and Dodge (and also Jeep to an extent) will have competing large 3 row vehicles by 2018. You have to wonder what will separate the dodge from the Chrysler offerings beyond styling.
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  #26  
Old 05-14-2014, 04:28 PM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

After thinking about it a bit, here's my guess on how this will all pan out.

1) Both the Town and Country and Chrysler 3 row Crossover will be built on the same platform. (A new platform to replace the current RT platform for Caravan / Town & Country). It will primarily be a front-wheel drive / plug-in hybrid platform, but in cross-over form it will also offer AWD (with FWD bias, like all other mass-market crossovers today). Built specifically for road-worthiness, comfort, and space.

2) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer will be built on a new platform. (Update to the current WK2 / WD). This is a different platform than the T&C / Chrysler 3 row. Built specifically for off-road worthiness, more powerful drivetrain options, sacrificing interior space and a bit of comfort.

3) IF Dodge continues to offer the Durango after the current WD / WK2 platform runs its course, it will migrate to the same RWD / AWD platform as the next-gen Grand Cherokee / Grand Wagoneer. That's the only way I can see Dodge claim that their 3 row crossover is "performance" oriented.
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  #27  
Old 05-14-2014, 05:44 PM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by JoeyD View Post
After thinking about it a bit, here's my guess on how this will all pan out.

1) Both the Town and Country and Chrysler 3 row Crossover will be built on the same platform. (A new platform to replace the current RT platform for Caravan / Town & Country). It will primarily be a front-wheel drive / plug-in hybrid platform, but in cross-over form it will also offer AWD (with FWD bias, like all other mass-market crossovers today). Built specifically for road-worthiness, comfort, and space.

2) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer will be built on a new platform. (Update to the current WK2 / WD). This is a different platform than the T&C / Chrysler 3 row. Built specifically for off-road worthiness, more powerful drivetrain options, sacrificing interior space and a bit of comfort.

3) IF Dodge continues to offer the Durango after the current WD / WK2 platform runs its course, it will migrate to the same RWD / AWD platform as the next-gen Grand Cherokee / Grand Wagoneer. That's the only way I can see Dodge claim that their 3 row crossover is "performance" oriented.
I think the Grand Wagoneer will have a slightly bigger chassis like the recent GL revision. If they keep the Durango, it could be on the same chassis.

Do they still plan to build the next Journey on the Dart/Cherokee chassis?

If so, I think those 2 SUV's would make sense in the Dodge 'Performance' lineup. The Cherokee is fwd-biased, but it's much more solid than the old Journey.

I don't like the idea of making the Durango a FWD-biased CUV... but the Pathfinder and Explorer have already met that fate (as did the GM mid-size long ago).

It's not a huge market, but I think FCA could really use an SUV that'll tow more than 5000#. Not everyone wants a pickup, and some people wouldn't want the shorter wheelbase JGC or a high-priced Wagoneer. Those people will just go buy a Tahoe (or perhaps an Excursion).
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  #28  
Old 05-14-2014, 08:01 PM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by DerekH View Post
I think the Grand Wagoneer will have a slightly bigger chassis like the recent GL revision. If they keep the Durango, it could be on the same chassis.
Agreed...I think the future Durango will share the same platform as the future Grand Wagoneer. The Wagoneer should be built more or less to directly compete with the Range Rover and Mercedes GL.

Quote:
Do they still plan to build the next Journey on the Dart/Cherokee chassis?
That makes sense to me...the Dodge D-CUV platform should be the fiat "compact-wide" platform that the Dart and Cherokee is built on. Based on Dodge's roadmap, the "standard" Journey replacement would be FWD, while the "SRT" variant would be AWD.

Quote:
I don't like the idea of making the Durango a FWD-biased CUV...
Me either. Doesn't fit the "performance" image of Dodge. However, a FWD E-CUV makes perfect sense for Chrysler ("Mass market").

This is why I see two different platforms being used for the Wagoneer / Durango vs. Chrysler's 3 row. I see "CUV" (transverse engine) platform for Chrysler, and "SUV" (longitudinal engine) platform for Wagoneer / Durango.

Quote:
but the Pathfinder and Explorer have already met that fate (as did the GM mid-size long ago).
As did Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot....

Quote:
It's not a huge market, but I think FCA could really use an SUV that'll tow more than 5000#. Not everyone wants a pickup, and some people wouldn't want the shorter wheelbase JGC or a high-priced Wagoneer. Those people will just go buy a Tahoe (or perhaps an Excursion).
In short, Durango's market should be similar to what it is today: those wanting 3 rows, bold / aggressive style, peroformance powertrain options...without luxury level pricing. It likely won't have quite the "people moving" and interior space utility of the Chrysler 3 row CUV, but the consumer will have the choice of 3 row vehicles:

1) Jeep Grand Wagoneer (Off-Road capable and / or Luxury market)
2) Chrysler: direct competitor to the Highlander, Pathfinder, Pilot, and GM Lambdas
3) Dodge Durango: More performance oriented (but somewhat less "practical") than Chrysler E-CUV and its direct competitors.
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  #29  
Old 05-15-2014, 08:27 AM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

Well reasoned thinking, gentlemen. I think you're on the right track logically as fans of the brand(s), and what we as enthusiasts would love to see.

My wife, of her Durango yesterday, was saying how it has just the right level of "bells and whistles." It's a lux leaning SUV, but still tough enough looking for me and will handle our future towing needs all while looking good on the road.

She's really happy with it as am I, and grateful we did not by the Lambda triplet she initially favored.

Now we just need pollen season to end so I can get it detailed.
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  #30  
Old 05-15-2014, 11:08 AM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by mrmitsou View Post
It still doesn't make any sense why Dodge would announce a Jan. 2017 "mid-cycle refresh" of the Durango, roll out the Wagoneer in 3Q 2018, and then axe the Durango just like that. Previous rumors were that 2015 would be the Durango's last year; yet it now lives on . . . for what purpose & for how long?

Why would Fiat-Chrysler eliminate a Dodge SUV that has a large appeal among the younger crowd and has some middle class affordability, to substitute a high end SUV that looks like it'll be starting at 45-50K, and will be competing against other high end SUVs that have monthly sales numbers mostly less or no higher than what the Durango's currently monthly sales are. And while the Jeep brand sells a lot more Jeeps than the Durango, it doesn't break out the sales numbers for the Overland and Summit models, which would be the comparable price points for a Wagoneer. Once you hit that level, the mkt shrinks significantly.

Last month in this forum, in an April 10th post, Milous quoted a recent March 2014 Motor Trend article that was paraphrasing a discussion with Jeep Chief Mike Manley & which stated in part that "'The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is expected to share its stretched chassis with the Dodge Durango . . . .'"

Also, a May 1st article by Kelly Blue Book discusses a recent interview with Mike Manley about the new Wagoneer in which it's stated: "The [Jeep] division is looking to expand production capacity and it's been reported that the FCA is looking at expanding the Sterling Heights, Michigan, which produces the Chrysler 200, to add a line for Jeep and Dodge Durango."

Fiat Chrysler also recently stated, in announcing its five year plan, that several models would die, including the Grand Caravan minivan, with the arrival of the Chrysler Town and Country in 2016, and the Avenger in 2014. There was no dying announcement for the Durango.

I "Trust in Milous," but given the facts, my uneducated guess is that while Fiat-Chrysler may intend (or may have intended) to axe the Durango, it first wants to see sales numbers for the Wagoneer.
Very good sources and quotes thanks.

I disagree with your last sentence though - I've seen it printed several times that the Grand Wagoneer is supposed to compete with the large luxury SUVs - Land Rover, Escalade etc. Totally different market than the Durango. If they axe the Durango they're left with no 3-row SUV. Except the forthcoming large Chrysler CUV.
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  #31  
Old 05-15-2014, 10:10 PM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by Crew Member View Post
I disagree with your last sentence though - I've seen it printed several times that the Grand Wagoneer is supposed to compete with the large luxury SUVs - Land Rover, Escalade etc. Totally different market than the Durango. If they axe the Durango they're left with no 3-row SUV. Except the forthcoming large Chrysler CUV.
I think you meant "If they axe the Durango they're left with no [mainstream] 3-row SUV [with some middle class affordability]."

I wasn't suggesting that the Durango is supposed to directly compete against the Wagoneer (although at the RT/Citadel levels it might to a degree); I was just guessing, in light of the Jan. 2017 refresh & no indication in their 5 year plan of dumping it, that before they axe the Durango (as Milous said they are intending), they were aiming to make sure that the Wagoneer's selling at a decent number to justify eliminating the Durango from JNAP.

The sales numbers for the Wagoneer's high end competition are mostly all under 5,000 per month (some well under that), and below what the Durango currently sells at. If the Wagoneer comes out and looks like it'll be selling at similarly low numbers, my guess would be they'd be concerned about axing the Durango in order to make space at JNAP for the Wagoneer (unless, of course, the extra capacity at JNAP would lead to a lot more sales of the other Jeep models).

I hope that recent media report about the Sterling Heights plant being considered by FCA for lines for Jeep and Durango is an indicator that they will keep the Durango going well past 2017 and have it share same chassis---and not an indicator it'll morph into a CUV.
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  #32  
Old 05-16-2014, 03:06 AM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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...I've seen it printed several times that the Grand Wagoneer is supposed to compete with the large luxury SUVs - Land Rover, Escalade etc. Totally different market than the Durango. If they axe the Durango they're left with no 3-row SUV. Except the forthcoming large Chrysler CUV.
5 years is too far ahead to currently set anything in stone. The "Plan" can (and probably will) see some changes along the way, dictated by factors such as the economy, market conditions, competing products, and vehicle sales numbers. Depending how everything aligns, the Durango could be around for a very long time, there is no locked-in "end" date.

Land Rovers start at $37k (LR2) and jump to a starting price of $84k (RR). IF Chrysler wanted to, they could certainly bring out a Wagoneer lineup with a similar price spread. Such as a base "Wagoneer" in the upper $30's, a "Sport" model in the 40's, "Overland" model in the 50's, a performance model [cough, cough] in the 60's, and a "Grand Wagoneer" in the $70's or $80's.
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  #33  
Old 05-17-2014, 03:43 AM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by JoeyD View Post
Agreed...I think the future Durango will share the same platform as the future Grand Wagoneer. The Wagoneer should be built more or less to directly compete with the Range Rover and Mercedes GL.
Or put them to absolute shame.
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  #34  
Old 05-17-2014, 09:56 AM
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Re: Durango Lives On (Refresh Coming for '17)

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Originally Posted by Milous View Post

"Overland" model in the 50's, a performance model [cough, cough] in the 60's, and a "Grand Wagoneer" in the $70's or $80's.
I know somebody that would drive a 3rd row equipped "Powered by SRT" model.... cough cough.

Who says you can't run track times with 3 car seats in the back.... I can see the commercials now, they could be better than the UPS commercials

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