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2019 GMC Model Year Changes
  
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Parallax1

Acadia

2019 GMC Acadia Black Edition

A new Black Edition available on SLT includes 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with black accents, black grille insert and black surround, black headlamp and taillamp details, and black mirror caps, roof rails and additional exterior accents.

Canyon

2019 GMC Canyon

The 6-speed manual transmission has been axed. Previously only available with the 4-cylinder and 2-wheel drive, the stick is off of the order sheets. Must have been a last minute change since it is still reported on the EPA web site.

Updated Infotainment systems are easier to use and can be updated over the air. SLE, All Terrain, SLT and Denali models get a second microphone to help improve voice recognition. NSA reports, "much easier to hear perp's confessions."

Rear Park Assist sonar is now offered on all Canyons except SL. Its standard on SLT and Denali. The Canyon SLE, All Terrain, SLT and Denali now have a high-definition back-up camera. Canyon and Canyon SL still have the standard-definition camera, standard.

SLE, All Terrain, SLT and Denali get a new 6-way power driver's seat to replace the still standard 4-way.

Heated steering wheel is now optional on All Terrain and SLE, standard on SLT. It is still standard on Denali.

Savana

2019 GMC Savana

Optional Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning are new. To prevent accidentally shutting off the engine, the ignition key must be pressed in first. A new theft alarm is optional.

Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab AT4

A full redesign and re-engineering leaves the Sierra 1500 with new sheet metal, a longer wheelbase, more rear legroom in Crew Cab models, a stronger frame and sophisticated fuel-saving measures.

A first: a turbocharged 2.7-liter 4-cylinder is optional. With 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque, its more powerful than the standard 4.3 V6. Curiously fuel mileage with the new engine peaks at only 20 city and 23 highway.

All of the engines have the ability to shut of cylinders to save fuel, while the 5.3 and 6.2 V8s can run on as few as two cylinders. SLE and higher trims have automatic start/stop to save fuel at traffic lights.

A 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline 6-cylinder will also be offered, with the potential to claim the fuel mileage crown and offer high towing weights.

The diesel engine and the 6.2 V8 both come with a ten-speed automatic transmission. The 2.7-liter 4-cylinder turbo and the 5.3 V8 offer 8-speed automatics. The 5.3 V8 comes standard with a 6-speed and it is the only transmission offered on the base 4.3 V6.

Maximum towing will be as high as 12,200 pounds.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali multipro tailgate

The story within the story is the new MultiPro tailgate. Standard on SLT, Denali and the new AT4, it has a unique center section that folds independently and then has a third folding section that acts as a step. Shown here with an upcoming tailgate stereo accessory, it can act as a desk, a cutout to make reaching into the bed easier, a cargo stop and more.

Other available new features: heads-up display puts speed, navigation directions and other information on the windshield in full color; carbon-fiber composite cargo box brags of higher strength than steel and lighter weight than aluminum; Lane Change Alert; and Surround Vision in High Definition.

Sierra HD

2019 GMC Sierra HD

The heavy duty version of the GMC pickup line is not redesigned...yet. Their redesign will come next model year: 2020. For 2019 a Regular Cab is not offered. The Serra 3500 only comes in a Crew Cab; no Double Cab.

In the meantime, power windows are now standard on all models.

Sierra Limited

The previous generation Sierra, first released as a 2014 model isn't that old, especially when compared to the traditional pickup life-cycle. As a brand new GMC Sierra is being built for the 2019 model year, the previous Sierra will continue in a Limited form. The Sierra Limited will be available with one engine, the 355-horsepower 5.3 V8; one transmission, the 6-speed automatic; and one body style, a Double Cab.

Available in two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, the Sierra Limited will be offered as a base work truck or the SLE. SLT and Denali trims are gone, transferred to the new truck.

The EZ-Lift and Lower Tailgate is now standard.

Terrain

2019 GMC Terrain Black Edition

New Black Edition. Offered on SLE and SLT trims, includes 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, darkened grille insert and black surround, black mirror caps, roof rails and additional exterior accents, and black exterior model and trim badging.

New Chrome Package. Available on SLT, it includes: 19-inch machined aluminum wheels with gray-painted accents, unique chrome grille with chrome surround, chrome mirror caps, body-color door handles with chrome surround and bright side rails. 19-inch wheels were previously only available on Denali.

A high-definition backup camera is now offered. Denali's optional surround view camera is now high-definition. Standard-def backup camera remains standard.

Adaptive Cruise Control is now offered, part of the Driver Confidence Package II on Denali and SLT. Front Pedestrian Detection has also been added to this package, enhancing the Low Speed Automatic Braking function.

Yukon

2019 GMC Yukon XL

The heads-up display is now offered on SLT; still standard on Denali. A new trim: "SLT Standard Edition" splits the difference between SLE and SLT, using mostly equipment of the SLE and appearance of the SLT.

A new Graphite Performance Edition gets a lot of the previously exclusive Denali equipment: 6.2 V8, 420 horsepower, heads-up display.

New color: satin steel metallic.

 
 
 
 

2019 Dodge Model Year Changes
  
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Parallax1

Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger Redeye Widebody

All Hellcat models get a new dual snorkel hood reminisant of the 1970's Dodge hood scoops. A special widebody model offered on Hellcat is now also available on the Scat Pack.

Rear seat delete is now offered on R/T and R/T Scat Pack.

Demon

(Sent to hell.)

To get the most traction from performance special editions the key is limited supply. In the case of the drag-ready Challenger Demon, that window has closed. The Demon was a one model year wonder. It passes some of its genes onto two new special models.

Redeye

2019 Dodge Challenger Redeye

Now don't worry if you wanted a crazier version of the Hellcat, the new Hellcat Redeye utilizes the larger supercharger and most of the other special Demon parts in a more standard Challenger. The Hellcat Redeye has 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque from its 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8. Running on 91 octane premium instead of the 100 octane race fuel of the Demon, the Redeye gets most of the features of the Demon powertrain. Do you think someone could do a full Demon conversion of a Redeye? Does the Pope poop on a bear?

R/T Scat Pack 1320

The other half of the Demon equation is a race-ready quarter mile car. That part is preserved as well, though somewhat defanged in the Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. 1320 is, of course, the number of feet in a quarter mile. It utilizes the same 392 cubic inch 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with 485 horsepower as the R/T Scat Pack. It comes standard with the 8-speed automatic for consistent performance. It also comes with a Transmission Lock, a special piece of drag-racing tech borrowed from the defunct Demon, the TransLock can lock the output shaft of the trasnmission, allowing the torque to build up before it's released suddenly upon launch down the dragstrip. Line Lock is also standard, allowing the driver to lock the front brakes in order to facilitate burnouts for warming the rear tires before a run. Launch Assist and Launch Control use electronic sensors to control wheel-hop and limit wheel spin to allow consistent, fast launches. FInally, the 1320 has the SRT Adaptive Suspension to control squat on launch, electronically adjusting all four shocks on the fly.

Charger

2019 Dodge Charger

The Charger is refreshed for 2019. New grilles, fascias, hoods and spoilers improve the appearance, cooling and air induction on all models.

Models are juggled: the GT is no longer the all-wheel-drive variant, but all-wheel-drive is offered on SXT. The SRT name has been dropped from all but the Hellcat.

The Hellcat gets a new hood and borrows some features from the defunct Demon: Launch Assist helps control wheel-hop electronically; Line Lock engages the front brakes in order to allow burnouts to heat and clean the rear tires; an After Run Chiller cools the intercooler and supercharger after the engine is shut down; and Torque Reserve, which closes a valve in the supercharger allowing it to hold pressure, similar to a turbocharger's blow-off, makes acceleration more instantaneous whe the throttle is opened. 

Durango

Dodge Durango

The Durango GT now has the same hood, grille and fascia as the R/T. Forward Collision Warning with automatic braking and Adaptive Cruise Control are now optional on the GT. Durango Citadel has standard second row bucket seats.

The towing package now includes an integrated trailer brake.

Grand Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravan

Grand Caravan GT is discontinued, leaving SE, SE Plus and SXT. An inside automatic dimming rearview mirror is now standard.

Journey

2019 Dodge Journey

The Journey SXT is gone, leaving only the SE, Crossroad and GT models.

Rear backup camera, rear air conditioning, automatic dimming rearview mirror and fog lights are now standard. The SE also now offers the V6 and Blacktop Appearance Package options.

 
 
 
 

2019 Mercedes-Benz Model Year Changes
  
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Parallax1

A-Class

2019 Mercedes A 220

America gets another shot at a tiny, front-wheel drive Merc. The B-Class wasn't really a true test, being electric and a hatch. The A-Class is gasoline powered and has a separate trunk. It boasts a lot more passenger space than the up-level CLA with which it shares a chassis; the A-Class has a 1.1-inch longer wheelbase. Its engine is a 2.0-liter turbo 4, but with fewer ponies (188) than the CLA it gets a lesser nomenclature: A 220.

A surprisingly large (93 cubic feet) passenger cabin doesn't scrimp on material luxury or features. Dual-zone automatic air conditioning with rear seat vents, power windows, door locks, rain-sensitive wipers, remote start via smartphone, electronic parking brake, dual power front seats with memory for both and manual tilt and telescoping steering wheel are all standard.

On the safety front, driver's, front passenger, front seat side impact, rear seat side impact, head curtain and front knee airbags are all standard. So are electronic stability control (ESP), drift steering compensation, rear backup camera, Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call telematics, frontal collision warning and Active Brake Assist (autonomous braking). Blind Spot Warning, Adaptive Headlights, automatic high beams, front and rear Parktronic (parking distance warning), Active Parking Assist and a Surround View System are optional.

Although the cabin is a good size, if you have much cargo, you'll need to put it on the back seat; the A-Class' trunk is a paltry 8.6 cubic feet.

AMG C 63

2019 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe

Sedan

A nine-speed automatic replaces the seven-speed. Fuel mileage increases to 18 city and 27 highway, an improvement of 3 MPG on the highway. Rear cross-traffic alert has been added as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.

Coupe

A nine-speed automatic replaces the seven-speed. Fuel mileage increases to 17 city and 26 highway, an improvement of 3 MPG on the highway. Rear cross-traffic alert has been added as standard equipment. A power trunk lid and power-folding mirrors are now standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.

Cabriolet

A nine-speed automatic replaces the seven-speed. Rear cross-traffic alert has been added as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.

AMG CLA 45

Blind Spot Assist, an electronic compass, Homelink programmable remote, auto-dimming rearview and driver's side mirrors, Keyless-Go (a full hands-free keyless system), Hands-free trunk (kick under the bumper randomly and the trunk may pop open) and heated front seats are now standard. The AMG CLA 45 now has 19" wheels as standard with 235/34R19 tires, upgraded from last year's 18". 

AMG GLA 45

2018 Mercedes GLA45

20-inch wheels with 235/40R20 tires are now standard.

AMG GT

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4-door

Keyless-Go is no longer standard; opening the trunk and doors with your keys in your pocket will cost you $900 extra.

A new AMG GT 4-Door comes with an inline 6-cylinder hybrid (AMG GT 53) model later. For now the 4-Door comes as 63 (577 horsepower) and 63 S (630 horsepower) models with V8s from the coupe and cabriolet GT lineup, though the S model is more powerful than any in the 2-door models. 

C-Class

2019 Mercedes C-Class Coupe at NY Auto Show

The C-Class lineup gets a modest refresh with 14 more horsepower for the C 300 and 23 more horsepower for the AMG C 43 AMG. Bumpers, wheels, headlights and taillights are redesigned. Exterior LED lighting is now standard. Inside, a new multifunction wheel has touch-sensitive buttons, a gee-whiz feature that may not be conducive to safe driving. The optional navigation system includes a 10-1/4 inch display; the larger display is standard on the coupe and cabriolet.

A slew of advanced safety technology is transferred from the E-Class, among them optional "Active Emergency Stop Assist." If a driver removes their hands from the steering wheel and does not react to warnings to resume control, this system will gradually reduce speed until stopping the vehicle. The hazard lights are activated and emergency services are contacted through Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call.

Smart phone integration is now standard. The cruise control moves off of the hidden, unlit stalk and onto the face of the steering wheel. Yay.

CLA

2019 Mercedes CLA

No changes.

CLS

2019 Mercedes CLS LA Auto Show

The original "four-door coupe" (not to be confused with "four-door sports car") is redesigned for 2019 and powered entirely by mild hybrid inline 6-cylinder engines with 48-volt electrical systems. The standard CLS 450 utilizes a 369-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder, while the higher-level AMG CLS 53 uses a more powerful version of the new corporate inline six cylinder, also turbocharged and sporting 429 horsepower.

Five seats are now provided, with a standard 3-person bench in the rear with a folding armrest. When not in use it folds in three sections, dropped from in the trunk to secure cargo.

On the outside, Mercedes is simplifying its designs. Only a single rising character line near the bottom keeps the sides from being featureless. The hood is a long, swept-back single piece with three minimal longitudinal lines; no bulges or vents to be found. LEDs are standard in the headlamps and taillamps.

Among the latest gimmicks in Mercs is Energizing Comfort. An option in the CLS, it utilizes fragrances, climate control settings, seat heaters, massage and ventilation, steering wheel heat and ambient interior lighting to evoke different moods at the selection of the driver; Refreshment, Warmth, Joy, Comfort or Training (involving muscle relaxation, balance with included exercises).

The usual slew of MB safety features is present or available; Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Surround View Camera, Active Parking Assist, Parktronic and Rear Cross Path Warning.

E-Class

2019 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet LA Auto Show

New engines and nomenclatures: E 400 becomes E 450 and gains 33 horsepower: 362 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 369 pound-feet of torque. AMG E 43 becomes AMG E 53, switches to an inline 6-cylinder turbo with 429 horsepower, 384 pound-feet and a 48-volt electrical system with a mild hybrid "EQ Boost" electric motor with another 21 horsepower. This is MB's first straight six in the U.S. since the 1980's.

New steering wheels replace the old hidden, dark cruise control on a little stalk with modern buttons on the face of the steering wheel and dual touch buttons.

The optional Driver Assistance Package now includes Route-Based Speed Adaption: the navigation system works together with the adaptive cruise control and lowers the cars speed when corners, intersections or round-abouts are being approached.

G-Class

2019 Mercedes G 550

If you're looking for the killer pimp Mercedes-AMG G65 with its 6.0-liter twin turbocharged V12, just pause. Place a hand over your gold chains, bow your head and say goodbye. The all-new G-Class (you don't get to say that every decade) includes two downsized, 4.0-liter twin turbo V8's. They make the same or more power as the older model's comparable engines, even though the G 63 loses 1.5-liters of displacement (equivalent to the engine in the MINI Cooper). But the silky smooth, three-valve-per-cylinder V12 is being escorted off the stage. Seven-speed automatics are replaced by nine-speeds, also. The V8 engines can both shut off half of their cylinders and also feature automatic start/stop. These changes increase highway mileage, but not much: 13 city/17 highway (G 550) and 13 city/15 highway (AMG G 63). Range goes up more with a one-gallon larger fuel tank: 26.4 gallons.

The exterior predictably stays about the same. You don't change an icon. The wheelbase is a little longer (113.8 vs. 112.2 inches). The overall length grows about an inch. Track width is up considerably (64.5 inches vs. 59.6), which is bound to increase the handing and stability. (Motor Trend pulls .61 G's on their skidpad with the new model versus .56 with the old.) Heigh increases slightly less than half-an-inch, and ground clearance is up slightly.

2019 Mercedes G-Class interior by MBUSA media

On the inside the new G-Class is much more worked-over. Radially finned circular air vents look like jewelry and mixed in with the chrome buttons, leather and wood trim create an overall picture of splendorous excess. Rear passengers can now independently control their cabin temperature. Distronic is still standard and now includes Active Lane Keeping to further reduce driver stress. The cruise control moves off the unlit hidden stalk and onto the face of the steering wheel. The ancient lever-activated parking brake is replaced with an electronic unit with automatic features.

Active Parking Assist is a new feature for the G-Class and it's standard. Lane Departure Warning with automatic correction is now standard and so is rear cross-path warning. Front collision warning and Active Brake Assist are now offered: standard.

GLA

2019 Mercedes GLA

A 14-way power passenger seat with memory is now standard.

GLC

2019 Mercedes GLC

Heated front seats and a 120-volt household outlet are now standard. An independent rear temperature control is now optional.

GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE Coupe

For 2019 the GLE 350 models are replaced by the GLE 400 with its mild 329-horsepower turbocharged 3.0 V6. Two-wheel drive is off the table; all variants of the GLE will have 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The 7-speed automatic is replaced by the newer Mercedes 9-speed. The GLE 550e plug-in hybrid is no longer offered.

2019 isn't the big model year for the GLE, 2020 is. The GLE 350 returns after a one-year hiatus, its V6 replaced with a turbocharged 4-cylinder with 255 horsepower and the GLE 450 replacing the one-year GLE 400 with a mild hybrid turbocharged inline 6-cylinder with 362 horsepower and a 21 horsepower electric motor (no combined powertrain horsepower supplied by Mercedes-Benz). This is a variant of this year's engine in the AMG E 53 and it introduces a 48-volt electrical system to the GLE.

GLS

2019 Mercedes GLS

A special Grand Edition offered on 450 and 550 models will include exclusive interior finishes, materials and colors. On the outside 20 or 21-inch wheels, upgraded lighting and "Grand Edition" badges.

Metris

2019 Mercedes Metris Cargo

Mercedes Van's mid-sized commercial cargo van now comes in long-wheelbase, with nine inches more cargo length and 16 cubic feet more cargo volume.

Rearview camera is now standard.

S-Class

2019 Mercedes-AMG S 65 final edition via MBMediaUSA

The V12 is gone in the SL and G-Class and it's on its way out in the S-Class. The Mercedes V12's swan song is the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Final Edition. With only 130 made, scarcity is ensured. Exterior is black, only with 20-inch forged wheels with copper trim. It gets an AMG crest behind the rear windows and exclusive black and copper Nappa leather upholstery. A numbered badge rests on the center console.

All S-Classes will have the grille that was previously exclusive to the V12 models and a new front bumper with aggressive air intakes.

The S 560 sedan is now available with rear-wheel drive in addition to 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

The S 550e plug-in hybrid will be replaced by the S 560e, arriving in mid-2019.

S-Class coupe and cabriolet will offer an "Exclusive Edition." The LED headlights will have embedded crystals and "Exclusive Edition" will be engraved into the cup holder cover. Exclusive paints, top fabrics and interior trim will also be included.

S 560 coupe is about $8000 lower in price: $126945.

Sprinter

2019 Mercedes Sprinter Passenger Van

These vans are significantly refreshed with new headlights that are more horizontal, new grille, new bumpers and the MB emblem moves from the back windows to the doors. LED headlights are now offered.

Underneath, a new 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder engine is offered, the first gas engine on a Sprinter. The 4-cylinder diesel is gone, leaving the 3.0-liter diesel V6. The diesel's 5-speed automatic has been upgraded to a 7-speed. The new gas engine gets a 9-speed automatic.

Inside, passenger models now offer 15-passenger seating, giving them equity with the locals from Ford, GMC and Chevrolet. Nissan only offers 12 and Ram doesn't offer a full-size passenger van like its old Dodge Ram Wagon 15-Passenger Church Bus.

The new Sprinter will be assembled in South Carolina.

SL

2019 Mercedes SL

The V12 is gone, leaving only SL 450, SL 550 and AMG SL 63 models.

SLC

2019 Mercedes SLC

The AMG SLC 43 gets a power boost of 23 horsepower to 385 and gains standard dual zone automatic climate control, active LED headlights and High Beam Assist.

 
 
 
 

2019 Ram Model Year Changes
  
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Parallax1

1500

2019 Ram 1500 Debut

The Ram 1500 is all new for the 2019 model year. Of three engines, two are hybrid. The standard 3.6 V6 and the 5.7 Hemi® V8. There is also a non-hybrid 5.7 V8. All engines are backed with an eight-speed automatic. The3.0-liter diesel will be making its reappearance later this year. Fuel mileage on the new hybrids goes up in the city: 

    Ram 1500 Classic new Ram 1500  
4x2 3.6 V6 17 city/25 hwy 20 city/25 hwy 3.6 V6 eTorque Hybrid
  5.7 V8 15 city/22 hwy 17 city/23 hwy 5.7 V8 eTorque Hybrid
4x4 3.6 V6 16 city/23 hwy 19 city/24 hwy 3.6 V6 eTorque Hybrid
  5.7 V8 15 city/21 hwy 17 city/22 hwy 5.7 V8 eTorque Hybrid

The old bulls-eye grill is replaced by a trio of new grilles, each for a different grade. All of them have "RAM" in the center, so anyone's dreams of seeing a Dodge pickup are dashed. The new look abandons the tractor-trailer look with a sleek grille with tapered lamp openings and flat, smooth sides. Any perceived loss of toughness in the front is remedied by the tall, detailed hood with no less than three horizontal levels to project power. The first rise in the hood is utilized as a platform for the model and weight-class name. MOPAR hoods include aggressive venting louvers on the second and third levels.

This new Ram gets a new frame made of more high-strength steel and weight reduction of up to 225 pounds. Strategies included a new, aluminum tailgate. Furthering efficiency, the body was restyled with efficiency in mind: the coefficient of drag is .357. Strategies here include a grille opening that can open and close to regulate air-flow, the front air-dam can move and the optional air suspension lowers the truck at highway speeds. FCA engineers even eliminated the antenna mast, moving it to the shark fin on the roof; this eliminates a source of wind-noise.

Safety has been more closely attended, starting with the new frame which is designed to protect driver and passengers even in a small overlap offset front collision. (It worked, IIHS granted a "Good" rating to the Ram in all crash tests. It only misses a "Top Pick" due to the Institute's "Marginal" rating of the Ram's headlights.) New available technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Hold features; Adaptive headlights, daytime running lights, Forward Collision Warning and Advanced Brake Assist (autonomous emergency braking); Blind Spot Monitoring, including trailer coverage; Rear Cross Path Warning; ParkSense Park Assist (automated parking with the driver controlling the brake and gas); Surround View Camera; and Tire Fill Alert, a system that assist in inflating the tires to the correct pressure without a gauge.

The interior of the previous (now sold as "Classic") Ram pickup was among the best. The new interior is better than some premium or luxury cars. In Limited models there is more wood, leather and chrome than in a Silverado High Country and an F-150 Limited combined. Details like rear seat storage pockets designed as messenger bags make this a very special truck. New convenience features also include a standard telescoping steering wheel and an electronic parking brake.

Can't make a new pickup without pushing the capabilities higher. The Ram 1500 Quad Cab can now tow up to 12,750 pounds. Maximum payloads are higher, too: 2320 pounds. Pickup beds are larger with 7% more volume. A regular cab is not presently offered.

Even a new tailgate is being offered: the Ram Multifunction Tailgate that can open traditionally or sideways 60-40 swing-out to make it easier to enter the bed or load large cargo. 

1500 Classic

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock Crew Cab

This continuance of the old Ram 1500 will be available as a Tradesman, Express, Lone Star, Lone Star Silver and a new Warlock model, with a 1-inch raised height, Warlock decals and an optional sport hood. Otherwise, features on the Classic line will be curtailed, with the diesel engine, ventilated front seats, memory seats and mirrors, heated rear seats, power adjustable pedals, rain-sensitive wipers and automatic high-beams all reserved for the new model. Air springs have also been dropped from the Classic, though the smooth four-wheel coils are still standard.

HD Pickup

2020 Ram HD 3500 Limited

Usually (cough, GM) a model year passes between the complete redesign of the light-duty pickup and the HD models. Not with the Ram. After a few months delay, the all-new redesigned Ram HD is out as a 2019 model. With all of the safety and luxury features available as in the new Ram 1500, the Ram HD adds more capability. The Cummins turbo-diesel becomes the first pickup to break 1000 pound-feet of torque. Optional on the Ram 3500, it offers up to 35,100 pounds of towing. Best-in-class for now.

Ram Chassis Cab

2019 Ram Chassis Cabs

Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show weeks after the new Ram HD pickups, the new chassis cabs are the true workhorses. A surprise: the Limited trim level will be available for those who want capability and luxury. Aimed at those people pulling show horses, race-cars or ultra-luxury campers, the Ram Chassis Cab Limited offers all the amenities: ventilated seats, 12-inch touchscreen multi-media center, leather and real wood trim. These trucks will also be offered with Adaptive Cruise Control, 360-degree cameras and more. 35,220 pounds of towing will be offered and payloads, including bodies, of up to 12,510 pounds. Models include 3500, 4500 and 5500.

A 5.4-liter Hemi V8 with cylinder deactivation is standard. A 6.7-liter Cummins inline 6-cylinder will be offered with 800 pound-feet of torque.

ProMaster

2019 Ram ProMaster 3500

The front-wheel drive, unibody van gains additional versions: 2500 136-inch WB Low Roof, 3500 136-inch WB Low Roof and 3500 135-inch WB High Roof.

In addition, a redesign includes a new grille with "RAM" spelled out in large letters.

New telematics, provided by Verizon, give fleet operators more options to manage and track their vehicles.

Capabilities have been increased, with payloads of 4000, 4230, or 4680 pounds available in 1500, 2500 and 3500 models, respectively. Towing, usually not a high priority in cargo vans, has increased from 5100 to a maximum of 6800 pounds.

The 3.0-liter diesel option is no longer offered.

ProMaster City

2019 Ram ProMaster City

The ProMaster City gets a new front grille with "R A M" letters in the middle, matching the Ram 1500 Rebel's look and the redesigned ProMaster, its big brother.

 
 
 
 

Parts for Sale: NO Free Shipping
  
Comments

Parallax1

Article Title: “NO Free Shipping”

Feature: Suzuki Cultus Crescent / Geo Metro / Chevy Esteem

 

      Right before Christmas, I drove my truck into my suburban, Midwest backyard and put it on blocks.  Happy holidays, neighbors!  This wasn’t by choice, of course.  I hadn’t had the truck that long, and it was shaking violently when stopping.  The safety inspection had checked out, but I figured, “better safe than sorry.”  I took of the front, passenger wheel.  The pads and rotors looked fine.  I put the wheel back on and pulled off the rear, only to find that the caliper guide pins had seized. 

Sheared Rotor in Zambia AngledThe rotor was sheared in half.Sheared Rotor in Zambia, Flat

  

      Mystery solved, new pads and rotors were definitely in my future.  Thankfully, I had thought ahead and already ordered the major pieces online; but, I hadn’t thought to order new guide pins or caliper brackets.  With Christmas morning approaching and the entire tri-state area using UPS and FEDex to send gifts, the likelihood of getting parts quickly was impossible.  Even the local stores were on backlogged due to shipping.  So, I had to wait… FOUR days, and my truck was on blocks for Christmas. 

 

         In the big scheme, four days is nothing.  It’s easy to take for granted how great American logistics are.  “First World Problems” is a term that gets thrown around about these kinds of delays and difficulties that really aren’t as bad as we sometimes feel.  But I recently worked on a similar problem in the developing world that did became insurmountable because African logistics were unable to get me car parts.  

 

      Car Chat is proud to support Living Hope International (LHI), a charity that works to educate and help orphans around the world.  I had the honor of working with some of the LHI crew in Livingstone, Zambia in Africa, where they are working to build a school for a village just outside the city.  To get around, the LHI staff had been driving a 1997 Suzuki Cultus Crescent Wagon. This great little four cylinder, all-wheel drive car, that had been converted from automatic to a manual and was patched together with all kinds of “fabrication.”  Most recently, the vehicle needed shocks and CV boots.  The problem is that this vehicle came straight from Japan through an outsourcing program and parts are not available.  In fact, after a recent search, the staff could only find one other comparable Suzuki in the whole city.  There isn’t exactly an AutoZone on the corner in Livingstone. 

Living Hope International Logo

Zambia just doesn’t have the logistics.

 

Adding to the problem, roads are not great.  During the rainy season, deep ruts and heavy runoff make trucking very difficult.  

      AutoZone actually has stores in South Africa, but the closest location is about 11.5 hour drive from Livingstone.  And, with gas prices about 4.4 times the US rate, driving is not cost effective.  Online shopping to buy a part is possible in Africa, but the infrastructure challenges to shipping are only part of the problem.  There are no receiving stores that a company like AutoZone can send parts – no “ship to store option.”  That means that often heavy parts have to find their way to an actual residence or business through an unreliable postal service.  Not only do packages take months to arrive, if at all, but they are often pilfered or are delivered broken.  

Livingstone to Auto Zone

      Public transportation has become a pseudo-shipping solution used by locals.  Making calls to friends or local fabricators, custom ordered parts are often loaded on passenger busses and sent to the destination nearest the customer’s location. Obvious problems to this system are theft and mishaps that leave people stranded, waiting at bus stops for parts that never arrive.  Because of these challenges, LHI’s Suzuki, in service since the early 2000’s, has been sitting idle for almost five years!  

 

       I decided to do something about it.  In fact, I knew that another US based LHI worker was scheduled to travel to Livingstone in the next few months after my departure, so I did some quick research so he could purchase and bring over the shocks the car needed.

Suzuki Cultus Crescent Wagon 

        If you’ve never heard of the Suzuki Cultus, you’re not alone. It turns out though that the Cultus has an American cousin thanks to a joint venture between General Motors (GM) and the Japanese based Suzuki.  GM borrowed Suzuki’s design and marketed the popular M platform, which was branded in the US as the Chevy Esteem and Geo Metro, along with some other variants.  Around the world, Suzuki successfully marketed the vehicle as the Cultus, Esteem, and Sprinter, which was popular in developing nations for its reliability and fuel economy.  Suzuki sold well until 2007, especially in India and with broad sales in Europe and Asia where all the models were basically the same with minor modifications for the region in which they were sold.  This was true everywhere except for Japan.  The Japanese Suzuki’s were just a bit different from the shared GM platform, which made finding parts especially difficult since LHI’s vehicle was Japanese. 

 

      In the end, I found an Asian company called KYB that distributes shocks as replacements for all these models.  I tracked down this part’s model number and made a wager on the closest Geo Metro part I could find, since these are so plentiful and economical in the States. We bought our best guess and the next LHI worker forewent his personal gear to haul the parts in his luggage during the 18 hour flight to Africa.  As you can guess, he got stopped at every airport security screening.  But, he finally arrived in Livingstone and delivered the parts to the team.  

 Suzuki Strut for sale screenshot

They didn’t fit.

The answer was what our Zambian friends have figured out by necessity.  When the “direct fit” part just doesn’t fit, you have to fabricate a new one or modify what you have.  So, the team set out to make their own parts with the shocks we provided them. Finally, they were successful and got the Suzuki back on the road, only to have the CV joints fail almost immediately. 

 Men repairing Suzuki in Zambia.

         In the past month or so, the team found a new distributor opening up near Livingstone that deals exclusively with Japanese vehicles.  After searching and negotiation, they finally got real, OEM CV joints for the vehicle and are now finally back on the road.  The process took so long and has been so frustrating though, that the charity has put the vehicle up for sale and decided to invest in Toyota vehicles because replacement parts are much easier to find. 

      The next time you have to wait a few extra days for your Prime Shipping or are debating if you can save a few bucks with the “ship to store” option, remember our friends in Zambia and be thankful to live in such a logistical paradise as our USA.  Oh, and if you know anybody looking for a great Suzuki, good on gas, lots of “new” parts in Livingstone, have them give us a call. You'll have to come get it: we don't deliver.

 Suzuki Cultus Wagon for Sale No Delivery

If you want to help us support LHI, consider a donation because they are making a difference, one community at a time.  Find them on the web at www.LHIhelps.org

 

                        Not taking it for granted,

- Ben Auto

 
 
 
 

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