EDIT (September 4, 2018): Corrected entry for 2019 Fiat 500X – further information to come later this year.
Although most vehicles don’t go through massive changes each year, automakers typically tweak their features or add new items to freshen them up when the calendar switches over. FCA has announced what it’ll be doing for 2019, and here are some of the changes – some minor, some major – that you can expect to see.
A new “Black Noise” wheel finish is available on certain trim levels.
Chrysler Pacifica & Pacifica Hybrid
A new appearance package, including “Black Noise” wheels and gloss black accents is available on the Pacifica Hybrid. Other changes to Pacifica models include new available 17-inch polished-and-grey wheels, a heated steering wheel and auto-dimming rear-view mirror added to more trim levels, and new Luxury White and Maximum Steel exterior paint colours.
The big news is the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, with a 6.2L Hemi V8 with 14.5 psi supercharger that pushes 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. Unlike the limited-production Challenger Demon (which makes 840 horsepower), the Hellcat Redeye will be a regular production model, with Dodge presumably cranking out as many as it can sell.
The regular Challenger SRT Hellcat is upgraded to 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque (up from 707/650) and gets a standard Power Chiller and After-Run Chiller, which uses refrigerated air, an electric fan, and a low-temperature coolant pump to cool the air going into the supercharger, including after the engine has been shut down after hard use.
All Hellcat models get a new dual-snorkel functional hood. The Hellcat’s previous power-bulge hood with heat extractors now becomes standard equipment on the Challenger Scat Pack models. The new Scat Pack 392 Widebody includes fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, adding 8.8 centimetres to its width, along with 20-inch forged rims and six-piston Brembo front brakes.
Other changes include standard line lock and Launch Assist on all SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack models, along with improved launch control that increases hold time from five to 10 seconds; new 20-inch Brass Monkey forged wheel design; SRT Drive Modes and Performance Pages are standard on the R/T Scat Pack; and Challenger R/T adds performance suspension, enhanced steering, 20-inch Granite Crystal paint wheels, and on cars with an automatic transmission, wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Challenger R/T models offer a new Performance Plus Package with 20-inch forged wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires, limited-slip differential, and enhanced handling balance. R/T and R/T Scat Pack offer a Rear Seat Delete Group that replaces the back seat with a rear cargo net.
The Charger R/T Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat get a new performance grille with dual air inlets, and add Launch Assist, which cuts engine torque if it detects wheel hop at launch to improve grip; and Line Lock, which holds the front brakes for burnouts.
The Charger SRT Hellcat gets new instrument panel badging, along with Torque Reserve that “pre-fills” the supercharger and manages the engine for a blast of torque when accelerating from a standing stop, and an After-Run Chiller that cools the supercharger’s air exchanger once the engine is shut off. New available options include a satin black hood, 20-inch Brass Monkey forged wheels, and Alcantara seats and steering wheel.
New options available for the Charger R/T Scat Pack include three-mode Bilstein adaptive damping suspension, satin black hood, dual carbon stripes, and stitched dash and door uppers with the leather interior.
The Charger lineup now includes a new Charger SXT with all-wheel drive; and a new Charger GT V6 in rear-wheel drive. Previously, the SXT only came in rear-wheel, while the GT was all-wheel only.
The Durango GT receives a performance front fascia with available functional SRT hood, and it can be ordered with cloth seats.
When ordered with an available trailer tow package, the Durango offers an integrated trailer brake. Other new additions are an available 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system; high-performance, two-piece Brembo brakes available on the Durango SRT; standard second-row captain’s chairs on the Durango Citadel; new wheel designs; and new exterior paint colours.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Along with the newer Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge continues to offer the carried-over Dodge Grand Caravan for 2019 as a lower-priced option in the minivan segment.
The Journey gets a simpler trim lineup, and depending on the model, can include three-zone temperature control, performance fascia, Blacktop Appearance Package, and fold-away mirrors. Destroyer Grey exterior paint is added to the colour choices.
Fiat 124 Spider
A rear-view camera and FIAT Connect with seven-inch touchscreen display are now standard equipment. Abarth models add a Veleno Appearance Group with red exterior accents, bright dead pedal, and Abarth-branded floor mats and badges. A new exterior colour, Ceramic Grey, is added to the choices.
The Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth are basically unchanged for 2019, except for a new Sting Grey exterior paint colour.
A universal garage door opener is standard on some trim levels, along with new Bronzo Metallizato (bronze metallic) and Rosso (red) exterior paint colours.
Information on the 2019 Fiat 500X for North America will be announced later this year.
The Cherokee gets an all-new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, making 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. A new front-end design gives it a more conventional Jeep appearance, with new hood, lights, and aluminum hood, while the rear adds a lightweight composite liftgate with hands-free operation.
The interior features available high-gloss black accents, the rear cargo space increases by 113 litres, and the Uconnect infotainment system is improved. Ride comfort is improved with retuned suspension packages. The Jeep Active Drive I all-wheel system has a new design that reduces its weight and improves fuel efficiency.
Adaptive cruise control is added to the Advanced Safety Group Package, and there is a new Sting Grey exterior paint colour.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
All models now have blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic detection as standard equipment. The Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system has bonded glass for higher resolution and pinch-and-zoom capability, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Slate Blue, Green Metallic, and Sting Grey are added to the exterior colour choices.
There’s something new with Jeep’s little Renegade, but it’s under wraps until October – stay tuned!
All-new for 2018, the Wrangler carries over with few changes for 2019, except for adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning added to the Advanced Safety Group Package, and a new “Bikini” exterior paint colour.
Ram’s half-ton is new for 2019, riding on a new chassis and with an eTorque mild hybrid system standard on the 3.6L V6 engine and optional on the 5.7L V8. Features include an available 12-inch reconfigurable Uconnect touchscreen, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control with slow-speed stop-and-go, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring with automatic trailer coverage, electric parking brake, and 14.9-inch brakes. A Canada-specific Ram Sport trim package is also available.
Ram 1500 Classic
The 2018 Ram 1500 stays in production as the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, with 3.6L V6 or 5.7L V8 but without eTorque, and in a limited number of trim levels.
Ram ProMaster City
Ram’s small commercial van gains a new grille with Ram badging, and includes fleet telematics for usage tracking, driver behaviour, vehicle diagnostics, and performance data.
The full-size ProMaster commercial van adds three new cargo models: 2500 136-inch wheelbase with low roof; 3500 136-inch wheelbase with low roof; and 3500 136-inch wheelbase with high roof. An increase in towing capacity brings the maximum to 6,800 lb. The grey bumpers and side panels are now black; high-roof models offer polycarbonate side rear windows; low-roof models have an available side rear window with steel grates; fleet telematics is available; and a new available LED lighting system includes motion sensors.