The Houston Auto Show – Chrysler/Fiat
by John Miller
Member of the Texas Auto Writers Association
Owner operator of Freedom Automotive Service’s
Lynn Beckwith (That Car Lady) and I started at the Chrysler exhibit where we were introduced to the redesigned Chrysler 300M. This full size sedan has been a mainstay of Chrysler for more than 60 years and now offers all of the latest technology as well as 31 miles per gallon fuel economy.
Like many of the new offerings this car features a bolder front grille giving it a much more aggressive stance and appearance. It is offered in several trim levels including the Chrysler 300 Limited, the S, the C and the C Platinum edition. Starting in the low 30’s and going into the low 40’s Chrysler offers a lot of value for the buyer. Features such as U-Connect, built in Wi-Fi and text to talk make it competitive with the best toys on the market The U-Connect access option allows the driver to remotely start the car and control many features such as the air conditioning and heater to pre-condition the car for driving.
The next stop was the Fiat presentation. Fiat is introducing the new 500X in 2015. While not on the market yet it will be released this spring and may be worth waiting for. Fiat is filling the small SUV/CUV slot with this 4 door hatchback offering. Available in two distinctive styles the 500x is offered as a Pop, Easy or Lounge edition with traditional Italian design and appeal, while the 500x Trekking edition offers a more adventurous styling and aggressive look. They are available with a 1.4 liter 4 cylinder with a manual transmission or a 2.4 liter Multiair engine with a 9 speed automatic transmission.
Fiat also returns with the popular Abarth but now offers the 9 speed auto shift in it for those of us who want the sporty performance without all the work of shifting.
The traction plus system adapts for road conditions helping the driver maintain control on snow and ice, wet blacktop or clean clear concrete. Fiat also adds all of the amenities that are a must on most new cars today, navigation, forward collision warning with active braking, cross path monitoring, lane departure warning, blind spot monitors and rear view camera.
Fiat takes a fun car and makes it fit the lifestyle of the Millennials.