Saturday, April 18, 2015

Comparison: Greenlight Dodge Chrysler Jeep 5-pack Dealership

Greenlight's latest fame to the Motor World series is the 5-pack of cars, each one in a specific theme.  While most have been the boorish VW sets, a few provided some interesting dealership setups.  First was the Ford 5-pack set with a mixture of new cars and one old '56 Ford truck, and you can find aplenty anywhere from hobby retailers to stores like Toys-R-Us.

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This year's dealership is the Dodge Chrysler Jeep setup where all of the vehicles are 2014 models that you can find currently at your local DCJ dealership, and it's limited to only the Dodge's Shop website.  I picked up the set mostly for the black Ram 1500 Sport.  The Jeep Wrangler comes in the Rubicon trim without the X's red hooks and vented hood (though the hooks remain).  The new Chrysler 200 is adorned in the blue that looks amazing on the real car, and for the first time has chrome wheels (not to mention it is also shares the same deco with the first Motor World single release).  The larger Chrysler 300 comes in a nice silver tone also with chrome wheels (and yet again shares the deco with the latest Motor World release), and finally the Dodge Dart GT is the least impressive version of the bunch sharing the same Header Orange as the Country Roads release last year, but with a plastic base instead.  With all five out of the package, tested, and reinserted back to their places (and what a chore that was!), it's also time to see which one is the best of the bunch.

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These are some extremely nicely done castings in a rainbow of colors that don't shout "boring."  The Ram 1500 looks sharp in black with chrome 5-spoke wheels and even the exhaust tips have black accents as well.  The grille has the silver fins and Dodge logo's with logo's on the sides and tailgate.  It is the biggest and heaviest casting of the bunch as one of the two with metal bases in this group.  The other one is the Jeep Wrangler that looks cleaner without the Rubicon X's scoops and red hooks, though the large hooks in the rear still remain.  The details are still incredible for this small Jeep, as are the large 5-spoke black wheels and soft top; my tester did have a slight flaw on the front grille area.  The Chrysler 200 looks good in blue with chrome wheels, and all of the details are nice, but the ride height sits too tall (I think the twist ties that secure the car to the box might be the cause) and the front headlights still have a bit of plastic flash on them making them slightly crooked.  The Chrysler 300 looks good in silver and with the chrome wheels, but most of the chrome body trim hides with the silver color and combine that with the lack of foglights at the front make the 300 look more like a rental car.  The Dart is the least impressive with the carry-over orange paint and the look of the car doesn't scream "sporty" or GT like the name suggests, but still has some impressive details.

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All five have interiors that are decent for a change.  The Ram is the most spacious with seating for five and an dashboard with lots of modern amenities.  The Chrysler 300 is roomy as well, but only seats four thanks to the armrest covering the middle seat.  The dashboard is very nice, but the jagged console and tall shifter look out-of-place.  The Chrysler 200 is very comfy and luxurious with one of the best looking dashboards in the group:  The touch screen separated from the controls, the sweep of the dashboard across to the door panels, the supportive seats.  Downside is that the sloping rear roofline impacts rear seat headroom in a segment that offers more room in the rear than the 200.  The Jeep Wrangler is more utilitarian and cramped, but offers a better dashboard setup than what was offered three years ago.  The Dart GT has a modern, sporty look with average interior space, but the dashboard is too large and slightly-off with a central touch screen hump way to large than it should be.

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Both the 300 and Ram have the 5.7L HEMI V8 producing 375 hp. to the rear wheels, but with a 5-speed automatic on the 300 and an 8-speed automatic on the Ram with part-time or full-time 4WD.  The Jeep and 200 use the new Pentastar V6 motors, a 3.5L DOHC that produces 295 hp. through a 5-speed automatic in the Jeep at the rear wheels or part-time 4WD, or a 9-speed automatic to the front wheels on the 200.  The Dart uses the Tigershark 2.4L DOHC I-4 producing 184 hp. through the front wheels by a 6-speed manual.

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Acceleration and Braking

The 300 was fast on the line with lots of power and smooth delivery, while the Ram was pretty quick despite the heavy weight.  The Dart and 200 was fast on their own account, if a bit coarse.  The Jeep was surprisingly the slowest of the bunch.  When it comes to braking the Dart and 200 are both winners with the shortest stopping distance.  The 300 was in the middle with the heavier and larger Ram and Jeep taking the longest to stop.

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The two trucks were not the best on the track: The Ram was big and heavy as it manders its way though the slalom and brief track course, though it is a smooth one on the road with coil springs on all four corners with available air springs.  The Jeep, despite being the shortest vehicle in the group, struggled with larger tires and high ground clearance as it showed more body roll in the corners.  It was also rather rough-riding on the highway.  The Dart was fast, but was crude as well with some tire rubbing in the process.  The two Chrysler's fared the best with the 200 being fast and swift around turns, while the 300 being more docile and brisk in the same process.

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The Ram is winner here: Good looks, Hemi power, roomy cabin, able to go anywhere and tow or haul anything.  The Jeep is next with the rugged good looks and being versatile as the only capable off-roader in the group.  The Chrysler 200 comes next with the smooth styling and high-end interior that joins a sporty appetite with the look of a premium car.  The 300, on the other hand, has lots of nice details and power for a car that looks more like a typical car in silver.  The Dart has the sporty name and looks, but looks too generic and less sporty on this application.

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If there's one thing the Dart's good at, it's the lowest price in the group, followed by the Jeep Wrangler, Chrysler 200, and to the upper-end with the Chrysler 300 and the Ram, the latter being offered with more packages at even more ludacrous prices.

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Fifth Place surprisingly goes to the Jeep Wrangler:  It's a nicely-done version of the modern Wrangler with lots of details and versatile off-road, but is crude on the road with a cramped interior and last-place performance results.  Forth place goes to the Dodge Dart GT:  It's a good idea on paper, but the execution of this Greenlight casting is subpar for the GT name, and why can't we see this car in a color not done before already?   Third place goes to the Chrysler 300C: A nice, fast, and smooth luxury car that really doesn't have all of the luxury and space, not to mention a deco that looks more rental car than high-end luxury.  Second place goes to the Ram 1500 Sport:  The most good-looking, versatile vehicle of the group that only lost because it's a big truck to handle and it's no sports car.  The First place winner goes to the Chrysler 200S:  Looking good in blue, the 200 offers the smooth style, premium interior, and sporty handling characteristics that made the 200 a winner against the Ford Fusion in a previous comparo.  Not even the slight flaws of this casting can take away the win from one of the most improved vehicles to date from the Chrysler division, but lets be honest this whole set is not a bad group by all means and looks good against the dealership background in the box!

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