By Patrick Rall
One aspect of the 2012 model year vehicles from the Dodge
brand was that the stupid trimlines introduced for the 2011 model year were
almost completely eliminated. While the
Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger stuck to the more traditional trimlines like
SE, SXT, R/T and SRT (plus the Rallye trimline here and there), the Avenger,
Caliber, Durango, Journey and Grand Caravan went away from the familiar
trimlines to make room for “jazzy” new trimlines names.
Across the brand, 2011 brought us fresh new trimlines like
Express, Heat, Mainstreet, Uptown, Rush, Lux, Crew, CrewLux, and Citadel
although the R/T model remained for the Journey, Durango and Grand Caravan (we
cannot forget the Man Van). Those names at least sound a little more exciting name than things like SE and SXT, but the
problem was there was really no way to tell how the trimlines were
tiered. Is the Express faster than the Heat? Which is more fancy, the Lux or the Uptown? The lack of an obvious progression made it hard for the less-than-enthusiastic new car buyer to keep track of what
was what – even though sales continued to boom for the Dodge brand through the
2011 model year.
However, with the introduction of the 2012 model year
vehicles, the majority of the nameplates have gone back to the good ol’
recognizable trimlines. Of the 2011
model year trimlines, only the Crew and Citadel options remain for the Durango
while the Grand Caravan and Journey both also retain the Crew trimline for
2012. For the Avenger and Caliber, on
the other hand, buyers are back to the recognizable and distinguishable
trimlines like SE and SXT – two trimlines that also return to the larger
Durango, Grand Caravan and the Journey.
Great move, Dodge.
You have a great lineup of cars and now you’ve put back the trimlines
that consumer America can recognize.