Beginning in 2009, the Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, and Dodge Caliber will no longer be offered with all-wheel-drive.
Though all three models were offered with either front- or all-wheel-drive from their inception, the option never resonated with consumers. Jiyan Cadiz, a spokesman for Chrysler LLC, told Wards Auto that only 1.5 percent of all 2008 Avengers were sold with AWD. The Sebring fared even worse, with 0.7 percent of 2008 models equipped with the system.
While Chrysler feels the system’s added cost and reduced fuel economy don’t play well in the current climate, folks at Borg Warner, supplier of Chrysler’s AWD technology, feel the decision is an easy way out. Chris Cook, a product director at Borg Warner, told Wards that they’re seeing global growth in small vehicles with all-wheel-drive, and that Chrysler “is not indicative” of the global market forecast.
Interestingly, crossover utilities built from the three vehicles mentioned have found success with all-wheel-drive variants. Nearly 20 percent of all Dodge Journeys – crossovers built from the Sebring/Avenger architecture – are sold with all-wheel-drive.
Source: Wards Auto