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Posts Tagged ‘jeep reviews’

First Drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel

Diesel power to the people.

by on Feb.25, 2013

Jeep makes some unexpectedly significant updatest to the Grand Cherokee for 2014.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee landed among the three finalists for North American Truck of the Year. And though the SUV didn’t win the coveted trophy it clearly clicked with potential buyers, helping drive a dramatic increase in sales

So, as the 2014 model-year approaches, it might seem like there’d be little reason to pay much attention when Jeep announced it is updating the Grand Cherokee once again. Three years in, that’s normally the time manufacturers come up with minimal cosmetic and technical changes that the average buyers would barely even notice.

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Not in this case.  While true, Jeep hasn’t gone back to square one, there are some surprisingly significant changes – from the basic electric architecture to the powertrain options, as well as exterior design details — coming for the 2014 model-year that justify a closer look by reviewers and a serious re-think by potential buyers.


Jeep Has Attitude – Make that “Altitude”

Name chosen from 100,000 entries.

by on Mar.27, 2012

The Jeep Compass Altitude, one of three new models to wear the new "Altitude" badge.

Jeep is adding a new array of blacked-out, limited-edition models to its line-up, dubbing them the “Altitude” edition, a name chosen from 100,000 entries in its “Name My Ride” contest.

There will be three models bearing the new altitude badge, versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Patriot and Compass SUVs.  The public got a first look at the “production intent concepts” – and an invitation to come up with a name – at the Houston Auto Show, last January.

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“The fact that well over 100,000 consumers entered our ‘Name My Ride’ contest reinforces the passion behind the Jeep brand, and its position as one of the most recognizable and popular brands in the world,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “These new Jeep Altitude editions will clearly have a broad appeal among consumers, especially those looking for something distinctive, edgy, and just plain cool.”


First Drive: 2012 Jeep Wrangler

Power to the people.

by on Aug.22, 2011

The big changes for the 2012 Jeep Wrangler are found under the hood.

Nobody doubts the iconic status of the Jeep Wrangler. It is, after all an “All-American” classic, with a distinctive bloodline that reaches back 70 years to the  legendary Jeeps of World War II.

For 2012, however, the Wrangler gets better, much better, as it is equipped up with an all-new and more powerful 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with five-speed automatic transmission that enhances the Wrangler’s on-road performance without compromising any of its legendary off-road capabilities.

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The 2012 Jeep Wrangler’s ride on ordinary pavement, which was traditionally rather rough, is instead quieter, smoother and less harsh with better fuel-economy as well as more power and torque.

Despite the on-road improvements, a first drive of the 2012 Wrangler revealed an SUV that is just as capable as ever of traversing unimproved forest trails and charging up hills through the most rugged terrain.

Wrangler gets an all-new Pentastar V-6 for 2012.


First Drive: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Trading the trails for the track.

by on Aug.08, 2011

Jeep trades the trail rating for a serious performance machine with the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Jeeps have always traded on their rugged capability. But for once the brand guys at Chrysler have decided to forego tradition and build a Jeep for speed.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee becomes the fourth new 2012 offering from Chrysler to wear the SRT badge, along with the likes of the new Dodge Charger and Challenger models, as well as the 300C SRT8, but while Jeep’s entry into the muscle car segment  is clearly designed with an emphasis on performance it does not abandon entirely its off-road capabilities.


You’ll notice something different the moment you spot the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.  To start with, ground clearance has been reduced, which must pass for something like heresy in Jeep’s engineering shop, and the skid plate was removed.  Instead of that traditional off-road cue you’ll quickly spot a functional rear spoiler added to improve aerodynamics on a vehicle that normally boasts the dimensions of a brick.


First Look: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

by on Apr.21, 2011

Jeep adds more muscle to the Grand Cherokee line.

A sure sign of the automotive industry’s recovery is the return of the pointless car.

The pointless car—or SUV—is a vehicle that is built to excess, just because the automaker can. Generally high on fun and low on practicality, the pointless car/truck/SUV exists so that high-dollar customers can have something fun to drive on the weekend.

Really, no one needs a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. But that won’t stop Jeep from building one.

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When the Grand Cherokee was redesigned last year as a 2011 model, it was almost a foregone conclusion that a new SRT8 model would eventually hit the market. And so it is that Jeep officially took the wraps off of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York International Auto Show.

Powered by a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that makes 465 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, the SRT8 is expected to reach 60 miles per hour from a stop in a time of 4.8 seconds, according to Jeep. Jeep also projects a mid-13 second quarter-mile time, a 0-100-0 time of around 16 seconds, a 116-foot stopping distance from 60 miles per hour, and an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. Handling hasn’t been forgotten: Jeep is claiming a skidpad number of .90G.


Jeep May Launch U.S. Diesel

Maker also unveils six customized models.

by on Apr.08, 2011

The Jeep Wrangler Pork Chop: a conventional Wrangler on a diet.

The steady rise in oil prices has apparently led Chrysler’s Jeep division to rethink the opportunities for fuel-stingy diesel engines.  A senior executive says the brand could have a new diesel in its line-up within the next few years.

Jeep has experimented with diesels, in recent years, both with the Liberty and larger Grand Cherokee models.  But with fuel prices soaring nationwide, many analysts – and apparently some key Chrysler executives – are convinced demand for “oil burners” could soar.  More importantly, they might deliver enough of a mileage boost to keep demand for SUVs from collapsing, as briefly happened when gas prices surged past $4 a gallon in mid-2008.

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The possibility of a diesel came up during a meeting at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI where Jeep pulled the wraps off four custom kits for its various sport-ute models that will be participating in the annual Easter Jeep Safari, in Moab, Utah, later this month.

“Diesel in some of our models makes absolute sense,” Jeep Brand CEO Michael Manley said. “But I still have to make sure there is a sufficient marketplace here to make it make sense from a business perspective.”


First Look: 2011 Jeep Compass

A Baby Grand Cherokee?

by on Dec.13, 2010

A Baby Grand Cherokee? The 2011 Jeep Compass.

It’s become conventional wisdom that Chrysler is sitting out the 2011 model-year, waiting until it can line up an assortment of new models with its Italian partner, Fiat.

While it’s true that some of the most significant launches, including all-new midsize and full-size sedans – many based on Fiat platforms – won’t debut until 2012 or ’13, it turns out the coming months will see a significant number of important updates from the various Chrysler brands.  That includes a revised Dodge Durango and the new Chrysler 200 (Click Here for a review.)

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Now add the redesigned 2011 Jeep Compass which, as they pictures illustrate, comes across as a Baby Grand Cherokee – the Jeep flagship which also went through a complete redesign for 2011.

While Jeep may be the benchmark for off-roadability it hasn’t done a great job of taking advantage of recent trends in the overlapping SUV and CUV markets.  Compass, in particular, failed to live up to initial expectations, whether due to the prior generation’s stodgy styling or less than exemplary manners, on and off-road.


Chrysler Readying 7-Passenger Dodge SUV

Dodge ute will share platform with 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

by on May.21, 2010

A 7-passenger Dodge will share the '11 Grand Cherokee's platform -- but with a unique body.

Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne confirmed the automaker plans to build a 7-seat Dodge sport utility vehicle off the same platform developed for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

In a conversation after the official launch of the Grand Cherokee at Chrysler’s Jefferson Assembly Plant in Detroit, on Friday, Marchionne said the Jefferson plant would be ready to start building the Dodge SUV by the end of the year.  The CEO, who also runs Chrysler’s Italian partner, Fiat, specified that the Dodge vehicle will have a very different body than the 2011 Grand Cherokee now rolling off the assembly line.

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“Grand Cherokee is a signature vehicle for Chrysler,” stressed Marchionne, who also announced that Chrysler will be adding a second shift at the Jefferson assembly plant in mid-July. It will hire 1,100 workers to man that additional shift.

(Click Here for more on the $700 million remake of Jefferson North.)


First Look: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Automaker releases first official images of all-new SUV.

by on May.19, 2010

A month ahead of its official debut, Jeep releases the first official shots of the 2011 Grand Cherokee.

Long-troubled Chrysler is offering us the first official look at the most important new product to be coming down its pipeline this year, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

One of only a handful of all-new or significantly-updated products planned for the coming year, the ’11 Jeep will have to convince the legions of skeptics and naysayers that there really was a good reason to bail out the automaker last year.

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While it will likely take several years to prove out that argument, one way or the other, the new look for the 2011 Grand Cherokee is winning early fans.  The updated Jeep shows that Jeep – and the rest of the Chrysler brands – will be moving rapidly away from the awkwardly boxy look of models like the old Grand Cherokee, as well as the current-generation Chrysler minivans.