Chrysler's latest survival scheme? Fancy toys in budget models. It used to be, that if you wanted heated seats and other fancy interior amenities in your Chrysler Sebring or Dodge Avenger, you had to plop down more cash for the 3.5-liter V6-equipped models. Now, as the company struggles to stay afloat amid high gas prices and a weak economy, it's rethinking that approach and now looking to offer high-spec in its four cylinder models and dropping the highest trim level as part of a plan they're calling "Fight Back." At what? Hit the jump for the answer.
Auto Analyst Mike Wall explained the decision to the Detroit News:
"Given where fuel prices are at, I'm not sure that people are following the old progression that the higher the trim-level, the bigger the engine...(Chrysler) needs to hit what the customer wants, and that may be a 4-cylinder engine with leather seats and a navigation system."
This is actually the most sensible thing we've seen Chrysler do, offering customers cars that look and feel nice, but that also get good economy. Unfortunately, rivals like Honda have been doing this for years and doing so with cars that drive much better, have interiors that feel softer and in which "four-cylinder" isn't a dirty word. Here's hoping Chrysler continues this run of common sense by making cars that consumers may actually want to buy. [via Detroit News]