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The Entire Dodge Car Lineup Is Old As Hell

Illustration for article titled The Entire Dodge Car Lineup Is Old As Hell
Photo: Dodge

As Fiat Chrysler rolls out a new Ram pickup and a host of new Jeeps, it is worth looking at the lineup of Dodge cars, a lineup that is older than you think it is. No. It’s even older than that.

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This figure came to us from a Jalopnik reader by the name of Tom, which I appreciate, as I hadn’t really thought about the lineup of Dodge cars myself for quite a while. I think the last time that I thought about a Dodge car was when my coworker Mike Ballaban pointed out that literally tens of thousands of Americans bought a Dodge Journey last year. Why remains a mystery. Anyway, here’s Tom’s very good email to Jalopnik:

Hey guys:

I don’t if it has escaped your attention, but while we’ve been nice pricing and crack piping, the Dodge lineup of vehicles has slowly aging into what has to be the oldest lineup of vehicles of any full line maker in modern times. Every vehicle in their lineup is at least seven years old, with some starting their second decade.

Challenger – 2008

Grand Caravan - 2008

Journey – 2009

Charger – 2011 (or 2006, if you don’t consider the 2011 update to be all new, which many people don’t)

Durango – 2011

This is an average age of 8.6 years (and that is using the more generous 2011 date for the Charger).

Get this: The no longer available Dart (introduced in 2013) was actually the newest vehicle in the Dodge lineup!

As near as I can tell, there FCA has no plans to update any of these vehicles any time soon, and the sole reason Dodge continues to exist appears to be for subprime buyers.

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To try to put that in some context, I checked how it compared to its competitors. Toyota has a bunch of old vehicles, for instance. (If you’re curious, the Sequoia and the 4Runner are both from 2008 and the lovely 86 is from 2012, as examples.) But even Toyota only has an average age of 5 years across its linup of cars, SUVs and crossovers.

Naturally, I reached out to Dodge on behalf of Jalopnik, which told me that it has “three new vehicles” in “this year alone,” but then mentioned the Challenger Demon, the Challenger Hellcat Widebody and the Durang. But none of those are truly new—just new, upgraded editions of existing vehicles. I asked if there’s anything really, actually new in the pipeline, but just got a standard “we don’t discuss future product plans.” Damn.

Okay, I know what you’re going to say. I know Mopar Stans are gonna get into these comments, and be all like “why you hating on Dodge?” And to that I say, I’m not hating. We’re just saying, “Hey. Dodge. What’s up?”

Is the answer really “nm u?”

Maybe car buyers really want cars that have been vetted by years and years of being on the market already. Maybe I’m nuts. Maybe this isn’t a bad thing. If you’re selling something that puts out roughly a gazillion horsepower and makes loud V8 noises, how new of a car do you really need, anyway?

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

smalleyxb122
smalleyxb122

While this is accurate information, it is just another in a long list of completely worthless metrics in the automotive industry.

I can’t explain the Journey, but for the rest of the Dodge lineup, “old” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Challenger, even when new, catered to a demographic that wants an old car. If it could be literally a new ‘71 Challenger we would be applauding the age of the platform. The Durango really only completes with itself (as the Grand Cherokee) as a holdout in the “not-quite-truck-based, but definitely-not-a-crossover SUV segment. The Charger is the last RWD full-size American sedan. The Grand Caravan only continues to exist for buyers who don’t want a fresh minivan. FCA has the RU platform Pacifica for the people that want a fresh minivan.

The issue isn’t the age of the platforms. The issue is that you don’t want their cars. You probably wouldn’t want their replacements either.

When it’s not Dodge, we applaud long-running platforms and lament their demise. We herald the longevity of platforms that we find interesting and desirable. We metaphorically poured one out for the last Mexican-built VW Type 1.