Car and Driver magazine has released their annual Editors’ Choice honors list. With more than 400 new cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans to choose from in 2021, 7 vehicles from the Stellantis North America portfolio made the cut. The Editors’ Choice list covers 96 vehicles over 32 market segments. Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Ram, and Jeep® brands all had vehicles represented in the list (sorry, Dodge and FIAT fans). So which vehicles made the cut from the Stellantis brands? Let’s take a look…
2021 Ram 1500 TRX:
No surprise here, the new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX made the cut in its first year under the “full-size pickup truck” segment. Designed bolt by bolt to significantly outperform every other truck straight from the factory, the Ram 1500 TRX has been tested to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme durability. Its supercharged 702 horsepower 6.2-liter HEMI® V8 engine delivers a new level of performance for a pickup truck. The TRX is currently the quickest, fastest, and most powerful mass-produced half-ton pickup truck in the world.
How did Car and Driver rank the Ram 1500 TRX?
- HIGHS – Unbelievably quick for a pickup, unbelievably well-mannered for what it is, upscale interior inherited from the regular Ram 1500.
- LOWS – Absolutely massive proportions, absolutely terrible fuel economy, a rear-drive-only mode is absent.
- VERDICT – The 702-hp, Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX goes big and never makes you want to go home.
2021 Ram 1500:
The TRX wasn’t the only Ram half-ton pickup on the list, the 2021 Ram 1500 also made the cut in the “full-size pickup truck” segment. As the no-compromise benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency, performance, and convenience in the pickup segment, Ram 1500 features up to 12,750 lbs. of towing capability and 2,300 lbs. of payload. The eTorque mild-hybrid system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V6 (standard) and V8 configurations. The Ram 1500 is America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup with 480 lb.-ft. of torque and is rated at an unsurpassed 33 MPG highway and delivers up to 1,000 miles of range on a single tank of fuel.
This is what Car and Driver had to say about the 2021 Ram 1500…
- HIGHS – Rides smoother than rivals, boasts a nicer interior than rivals, more innovative features than rivals.
- LOWS – Largest touchscreen can be unresponsive, styling isn’t as bold as other half-tons, priced above its competitors.
- VERDICT – The Ram 1500 delivers unrivaled levels of innovation, luxuriousness, and refinement in a workhorse that does a good imitation of a luxury car.
2021 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty:
That’s right, Ram’s half-ton offerings weren’t the only thing to make the list. The 2021 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models dominated the “Heavy Duty Pickup Truck” segment. The 2021 Ram Heavy Duty lineup offers a towing capacity of 37,100 lbs. and a payload capacity of 7,680 lbs. Ram Heavy Duty also sets benchmarks in comfort, luxury materials, innovation, and technology extending well past any competitive offerings. Class-leading ride and handling are accomplished via a class-exclusive link-coil rear (2500) suspension system with optional rear air suspension (2500 and 3500) and are unmatched in the segment.
Here is what Car and Driver had to say…
- HIGHS – Semi-truck-like towing capability, [the] cabin can be dressed to the nines, best ride in the Heavy-Duty class.
- LOWS – Diesel rivals have more modern transmissions, Power Wagon not available with the diesel, largest models are cumbersome in traffic.
- VERDICT – The heavy-duty Ram offers tremendous capabilities as well as unparalleled levels of luxury.
2021 Jeep Gladiator:
Ram wasn’t the only Stellantis brand to get a mention with a pickup offering. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator was mentioned in the “Mid-size Pickup Truck” segment alongside the Honda Ridgeline. The Gladiator which was engineered to be the most off-road capable Jeep truck ever builds on a rich heritage of tough, dependable trucks with an unmatched combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep design, open-air freedom, clever functionality, and versatility. Powertrain options include a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with engine stop-start (ESS) and, new for 2021, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with ESS. Equipped with a versatile box, a body-on-frame design, front and rear five-link suspension system, solid axles, and electronic lockers. Gladiator is also one of the few mid-size pickups to still offer a manual transmission as standard equipment.
Car and Driver had this to say about the 2021 Jeep Gladiator…
- HIGHS – Always off-road-ready, doorless, and roofless configurability, can haul and tow more than a Wrangler.
- LOWS – Busy behavior on the highway, unimpressive fuel economy, not as nimble on the trails as a Wrangler.
- VERDICT – The Gladiator gives Jeep fans and off-roaders a more versatile tool that’s still really cool.
2021 Chrysler Pacifica:
As the Chrysler Pacifica first-ever minivan to offer both gas and hybrid powertrains, it should tell you that it isn’t a surprise that it made the cut for the minivan segment, alongside the Honda Odyssey. Chrysler is elevating its minivan game to new levels for 2021, creating a new top-of-the-line Pinnacle model in the segment, offering all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability paired with Pacifica’s class-exclusive Stow ‘n Go seating, more standard safety features than any vehicle in the industry, new FamCAM interior camera, wireless charging, next-generation Uconnect 5 connectivity, an athletic new look, and loads more creature comforts and interior storage for the 2021 model year.
Here are Car and Driver’s findings…
- HIGHS – Trick Stow ‘n Go rear seats, available plug-in hybrid option, more USB ports, and storage cubbies than expected.
- LOWS – Some cheap plastic interior bits, acceleration could be sprightlier, SUV-focused consumers continue to ignore.
- VERDICT – Style, grace, comfort, and space—the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has it all, and more.
2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio:
As the “halo” model in Alfa Romeo’s sedan lineup, the Giulia Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s exclusive motorsports expertise with a best-in-class, 505-horsepower, 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, delivering an unsurpassed 3.8-second 0-60 mph time, as well as a Nürburgring lap time of 7:32, the fastest ever by a five-passenger production sedan. It made the list alongside the Mercedes AMG C43 & C63 offerings in the “Sports Sedan” segment.
Car and Driver had this to say about the Italian performance sedan…
- HIGHS – Looks good, sounds good, drives great.
- LOWS – Questionable reliability, we’d love a stick shift, uneven power delivery.
- VERDICT – The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s desirability and pulse-pounding performance are tainted by its fallibility.
2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio:
The Giulia Quadrifoglio wasn’t the only Alfa to make this list. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio made the list in the “Compact Luxury SUV” segment alongside the BMW X3, Mercedes-AMG GLC, and Porsche Macan. The 505-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio sets the benchmark for performance SUVs with a 0-60 mph time of only 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 176 mph. Updates for 2021 include available 21-inch wheels and vibrant new colors, including Rosso GTA (red) and Verde Montreal (green).
Here is what Car and Driver said about the Stelvio Quadrifoglio…
- HIGHS – Shapely and sporty styling, melodic and quick twin-turbo V6, aggressive driving is encouraged.
- LOWS – Ride doesn’t hide road imperfections, small back seat, and cargo area, Alfa’s infamous reliability raises questions.
- VERDICT – The stunning Stelvio Quadrifoglio, with 505 singing horses and surprising agility, transcends the typical luxury crossover experience.
To read a more in-depth review of the seven models, you can visit the Car and Driver’s 2021 Editor’s Choice page.
What do you think of their choices? Let us know in the comments below.