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Steinbach dealer introduces new Dodge Dart

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Steinbach Dodge Chrysler Fiat hosted a reception at the dealership on Oct. 18 to formally introduce the new Dodge Dart to Steinbach and the surrounding area. The daylong event featured food and refreshments, guitarist Luke Thiessen and Elvis impersonator Corny Rempel -- and, of course, opportunity for the more than 300 guests to test drive the new Dart.

"We received our first Darts in mid-September and we are already sold out of the automatic models," says Steinbach Dodge president Paul Neustaedter. (There are more on the way.) "We had people coming in who had never been in our showroom before."

The new Dart is Chysler's first compact sedan since the manufacturer shut down production of its Neon seven years ago. The new model, Neustaedter points out, combines Fiat technology and Chrysler design. It is being built on Fiat's Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform.

"It's a great combination," Neustaedter says.

The new Dart has three engine options -- a16-valve 2-litre engine, a 16-valve 2.4-litre MultiAir 2 four-cylinder engine, and a 16-valve 1.4-litre MultiAir Intercooled turbo engine used also in Alfa Romeo Giulietta. A 6-speed manual transmission is available with all engine options while a six-speed automatic is optional on the 2.0 L and 2.4 L engines and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission is available on the 1.4 L turbo unit.

Neustaedter reports that the new model gets 59 miles per gallon on the highway and has 10 air bags as compared to the industry standard of seven. Uniquely in its class, the Dodge Dart also has Chrysler's rear cross path detection system and blind spot monitoring.

The base price for the new model, Neustaedter says, is $15,995 (plus freight and PDI).

Also new in Winnipeg and Manitoba showrooms is the Cadillac ATS, which arrived here two weeks ago (Oct. 11 was the formal launch date).

"The ATS is an all-new model designed to compete with the BMW 3-Series and the Audi A4," says Everett Einarson, McNaught Buick Cadillac's sales manager. "I have driven performance cars in the past and the ATS is the most comfortable model I have ever driven."

He notes that the sport sedan is available in three engine choices -- the entry level 2.5L Ecotec 4-cylinder model with 200hp, 6-speed automatic transmission and RWD; the 2L Ecotec turbo 4-cylinder (270hp) with a choice of automatic or 6-speed manual transmission; or the 3.6L V-6 (318hp) available in either RWE or AWD.

"We are very excited about the new Cadillac CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system," Einarson says. "It's similar to an iPad. Your stereo, heating, air conditioning, navigation, handless telephone and music are all available on a touch screen. The system also responds to voice commands."

Einarson also reports that General Motors is extending its warranty on the ATs and all new GM models to six years (from Five) on the power train as well as on Cadillac Roadside Assistance and courtesy transportation.

The price for the ATS ranges from $37,800 to $62,000 (including freight and pdi).

"We also have low lease rates on the ATS," Einarson says.

He adds that McNaught currently has a promotion on. Anyone who comes into the dealership can put their name in to enter a draw for two European vacations. No purchase is required.

The 2013 Venza arrived in Toyota dealers' showrooms in early September. The 2013 model is much the same as last year, notes Woodhaven Toyota sales rep Tony Pedreira.

"There have been a couple of minor changes," he points out. "The front grille is more pronounced and a black interior is a new option. A number of customers were asking for black."

He notes that the side mirror is now attached to the body of the car a la Lexus models and there is a new LED lighting system.

The 2013 Venza is available with either a 4-cylinder or V6 engine. The latter is available with FWD or AWD.

The base price for the model is $31,000 (plus freight and pdi).

"The Venza is such a good seller that Toyota is not about to make many changes," Pedreira says.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 26, 2012 E4

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