While the biggest 2019 news from Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been covered in our First Spin of the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat Redeye — and also in the Alfa Romeo and Maserati update — here is more from the car side. And there will be even more in our upcoming truck overview, so stay tuned ….
Starting with the other Challengers, a new rear-drive GT model joins the existing AWD one, gaining standard Super Track Pak features including a performance-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels, lower front splitter and restyled hood scoops (single center one rather than two small side ones), and – with automatic transmission – paddle shifters. Rear-drive GTs can be optioned with the Performance Handling Group that includes Brembo-brand brakes and wider 20-inch wheels.
The full-size 4-door Charger gets revised front styling and trim additions that add an all-wheel-drive version to the base SXT, and a rear-drive version to the GT, which formerly came only with AWD. Meanwhile, GT and R/T models get performance chassis and appearance upgrades, the latter comprising a new air-induction hood, sculpted side sills, and a decklid spoiler. New for the R/T is a Cold Weather Package with heated front seats and steering wheel. The R/T Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat add Launch Assist, Line Lock, and dual grille air inlets, with the Hellcat also getting Torque Reserve and After-Run Chiller, both from the former – and now departed – Challenger SRT Demon. Top entry in this performance-sedan lineup remains the SRT Hellcat with a 707-horsepower supercharged Hemi V8.
New for the GT is a functional SRT hood, while both the GT and R/T are available with 20-inch wheels in Satin Carbon, Matte Vapor, or Brass Monkey finish. All Durangos now offer blind-spot alert and rear-cross-path detection as a stand-alone option. The standout model is again the SRT with its 475-horsepower 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8, which Dodge claims can accelerate it to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.
Yes, it’s still available, though it’s been overshadowed of late by the newer Chrysler Pacifica. Grand Caravan gets few changes for 2019, and is offered in three trim levels, all with a standard 3.6-liter V6.
Another “That’s still offered?” carryover is the three-row Journey midsize crossover. The lineup is trimmed to three models for 2019, with the base SE gaining standard 3-zone climate control and sportier styling features. It’s also newly available with the 3.6-liter V6 in place of the standard 2.4-liter four, along with a Blacktop Appearance Package with gloss-black 19-inch wheels.
When introduced for 2017, the Pacifica was intended to take over for the dated Dodge Grand Caravan as the corporation’s flagship minivan, and it largely has. A Hybrid model – actually a plug-in hybrid, though badging didn’t say that – came later the same year. For 2019, there’s some equipment shuffling on the various trim levels, but notably, the S Appearance Package, with its black accents and black 19-inch wheels, is newly available on the Hybrid.
Aside from standard black-finish wheels on 300S models, Chrysler’s full-size rear-drive sedan carries on with V6 or Hemi V8 power, with AWD available on V6 versions.
In accordance with new federal regulations, the 124 Spider sports car now comes standard with a rearview camera. In most other ways, it carries over with some minor feature shuffling.
Biggest news for the littlest Fiat is that the base engine is now the previously optional 135-horsepower turbocharged version of the 1.4-liter four. Other standards include a rearview camera, 16-inch aluminum wheels, performance braking and suspension systems, body-color bumpers, rear spoiler, fog lamps, and, of course, “Turbo” badging. Still available are the 500c convertible and the sportier 160-horsepower Abarth, along with the all-electric 500e with its EPA-rated 84 miles of range.
Fiat’s front-wheel-drive “tall wagon” sees only minor changes for 2019, with the addition of a universal garage-door opener on Trekking and Lounge models being the biggest.
Fiat’s subcompact crossover – available in both front- and all-wheel-drive versions – will be covered in the trucks overview coming shortly.