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2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT review notes

Bold exterior and luxurious features

09/28/2015

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: So the way I see it, you've got a couple different ways you can spend $70K on a 15-mpg SUV. You want HUGE and luxurious? Go for something like a Yukon XL Denali or a loaded Suburban, and you'll have a big, cushy hauler for your entire family and the boat. Chances are you'll use all that capability about 15 percent of the time.

But what if your family ain't that big, and your boat is a jet ski? You can get yourself a Grand Cherokee SRT for about the same money (and with the same fuel economy) and get a midsized, high-performance SUV with a ton of luxury features and nearly 500 hp to play with when the right road is available. Chances are you'll use all that capability also about 15 percent of the time.

Examined through such a lens, the question of which vehicle is more practical or makes more sense suddenly comes down to whether you're a truck person or a performance enthusiast -- do you want your purchase and fuel dollar to buy you more girth and towing ability or more speed and handling? If it's the latter, you want the Grand Cherokee SRT.

2015 Jeep Renegade road test and review

2015 Jeep Renegade review notes

Taking brand-building to 11

07/20/2015

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I’ve been wanting to drive the new Renegade for a looonnnngggg time. I gotta say, I liked this better than I thought I would by quite a bit. It’s fun to bomb around town in.

I like this platform -- Fiat-Chrysler calls it the Small-Wide 4x4 platform. It’s also under the Fiat 500X. Solid and stiff, it makes the Renegade drive more like a hot hatch than a Jeep. Not kidding. Yeah there’s some body roll, but the structure is strong and the thing actually feels quite balanced. Plus the steering is damned good. I’m surprised the car weighs 3,348 pounds. Feels a lot lighter than that. FCA calls this engine the Tiger Shark and it provides plenty of power and the 9-speed is smooth. It’s easy and fun to fling around -- very forgiving. I bet it’s a hoot in the snow!

There’s plenty of interior space -- at least in front, considering the Renegade’s compact size -- and like other FCA cars, Jeep has loaded the interior with a lot of cues paying homage to Jeeps over the decades, such as a tiny Willys crawling up the windshield and a Moab trail map in a storage bin. I think they’re cool. There are quite few on the exterior too, and no, I didn’t stand in the rain and count them.

The Jeep Renegade goes on sale this month, with 1.4-liter and 2.4-liter engines on offer.

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk winter drive review

03/02/2015

What is it?

The Renegade is Jeep's new baby SUV, set to go on sale this month with a variety of trim levels and a choice of powertrains. Designed to attract new buyers to the Jeep brand, the Renegade is also attempting to appeal to the core Jeep audience with its mix of off-road skills and everyday commuting comfort. (Just don't expect it to be a rock-crawler ready to take on Moab's most brutal, boulder-strewn trails.)

The Renegade is also Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' first new vehicle to make use of the new Small-Wide 4x4 architecture, which will be shared with the Fiat 500X once that mini-ute arrives in stores. Offered in 4x2 and 4x4 forms, the Renegade is designed to offer off-road versatility with the range-topping Trailhawk version. Base trim levels are meant to provide a mix of fun on-road performance and greater versatility when the terrain or weather calls for it.

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys Wheeler made a great driver during the 2014 Woodward Dream Cruise.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys Wheeler review notes

09/30/2014

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: The 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys Wheeler was my Woodward Dream Cruise daily driver for this year (as opposed to the handful of classics I drove the course of the weekend), and it was a flat-out blast. The first order of business was yanking the doors off and dropping the soft top, a process that took about 30 minutes total; with practice an owner could easily get it down to half that, and if you just want to lower the folding soft top it can be done in about five. There's a lot of versatility in the standard package, and if you don't deal with too much inclement weather, the soft top is all you need. For those of us in winter climates, the Freedom Top hardtop would be better, or the rather expensive Dual Top group that gives you both.

Since the Dream Cruise mostly involves sitting in traffic, the optional five-speed automatic transmission was also selected for our Wrangler. No, it wouldn’t be my choice for my own personal Jeep, but it’s really well calibrated for the Wrangler and gives relatively snappy performance; if you think you need a slushbox, at least Jeep offers a good one with minimal compromises.

Enter the dragon.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Dragon Edition review notes

06/18/2014 WEST COAST EDITOR MARK VAUGHN: The Chinese market is the future for everything from cigarettes to cars, and every company that makes anything is gearing up to sell stuff there. For sedan makers, that means cars with big rear seats for powerful executives to be chauffeured around in. The new Mercedes-Benz S-class and Hyundai Equus are two sedans made specifically with China in mind. From Jeep, the Chinese market gets this, the Wrangler Unlimited Dragon Edition.Jeep sells almost half a million vehicles in the U.S compared to 10 percent of that figure in China. But the number sold in China doubled in the last two years for which statistics are available, 2011-'12. Jeep hopes to open a Cherokee factory in Hunan, China, this year to avoid all those nasty import tariff
Jeep's Grand Cherokee diesel is old school.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel review notes

05/15/2014 EDITOR WES RAYNAL: This EcoDiesel is the Grand Cherokee I've wanted to drive since Jeep revamped the Grand Cherokee a while ago. The latest Grand Cherokee has been one of my favorite SUVs, but I hadn't tried the diesel until now. So here it is: all 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of it, and I finally get to try it. The diesel costs around $5,000 more than a standard Summit. The Summit is the top trim level, and the EPA says I should get 21 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. Range is around 730 miles, which is more than enough.My initial impression is rather mixed. It's not as smooth or quiet as other modern diesels (think our long-term Mercedes-Benz GL350). The Jeep's diesel-ness is most noticeable when cold at idle and part throttle away from stops. Once warmed up it's quieter, but again, not as quiet or smooth as the Benz. There's plenty of power and of course torque (VM Motori
The four-pot has more than enough power to get the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk moving.

2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk review notes

03/05/2014 EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I like this 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Yeah, I know some people think the exterior doesn't look too good, but I'm mixed on it. Covered with road grime as a proper Jeep should be, it looks fine to me. The interior is good looking with very comfy seats and there are tons of storage nooks and crannies. I'm sure I didn't find them all. This 2.4-liter four-cylinder is peppy with good handling, too. The chassis is dialed-in with a well-damped body, little or no roll in corners, and excellent brakes. The structure feels solid with no creaks or groans even over Detroit potholes. In this weather, that's huge. It's wieldy around town, the steering is accurate and though I haven't driven one on twisty roads, I'm guessing it will handle itself surprisingly well. It drives smaller than it is, which is always good. I know the nine-speed transmission had some early software tuning issues, but in t
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited review is just another model moving into a legendary lineup.

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited review notes

12/23/2013 ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: After a quick one-night stint with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, I've decided that the only bad angles are the front and front three-quarters. I don't mind the back end as much anymore. But that crimped grille and pointy nose are just weird.The seats and interior treatment are much better than any of the other small SUVs from Jeep, barring the Grand Cherokee, though I did detect a little noisy vibration from the dash. The center stack sticks with Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep's new look. I thought the steering wheel felt good in the hand, and all of the buttons are easy to read and use.I know this V6 engine is good. But it's not very good in this car. I'm not sure if it's the nine-speed transmission or just the general overall tuning, but it feels sluggish. There isn't a ton of room in back -- nowhere near the amount in the old Cherokee. I had to fold the seats down to fit
We adore the 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude.

2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude review notes

11/20/2013 ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: I think we've all said plenty of mean things about the Jeep Patriot over the past few years. As a vehicle that shares a platform with the un-mourned Dodge Caliber (and other winners like the Dodge Avenger) yet can be ordered in “Trail Rated” spec, the beatdowns the Patriot, and its cousin the Compass, received aren't completely undeserved. The harsh reality here -- one that Jeep bros and broettes probably don't want to hear -- is that the Patriot is (but for the mediocre fuel economy) ideally suited to the lifestyle that the average Jeep buyer lives. Which is to say a lifestyle lived exclusively on-road. Maybe some of the anti-Patriot vitriol comes from an unwillingness to face this truth. That aside, there's not a lot to hate here besides the sub-par drivetrain. T
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland is definitely a strong update to the Jeep family.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland review notes

09/24/2013 ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: With the exception of a sprint in a Grand Cherokee SRT8, this is the first time I've spent more than a few miles on the road in this latest take on the Jeep classic. It's … well, I can't believe Jeep made room in its lineup for both this and the Patriot/Compass. This is a vehicle that's stylish inside and out, seems very well put-together and (based on words of other editors, who have driven similar vehicles over a variety of terrains) might even be capable. I didn't miss the V8, finding the V6 to be more than adequate. But then, I wasn't towing anything. I could leave the shifter setup. It's better than the often chintzy-feeling gear Chrysler has been putting in vehicles, but the lack of real feedback -- you have to pay attention to indicator lights in the instrument cluster or on the top of the shift knob to see what gear you're in -- is kind of a downer. Seems like a Mercedes solution which, you know, it probably is. You can tell someone put a lot of thought into the details. As with the Wrangler

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The image the company sent to future owners who have made deposits is a lightly photoshopped sketch that Britain's Autocar magazine published in March of this year.

TVR makes progress on new Cosworth V8, teases owners with Autocar's sketch

12/29/2015

TVR, the boutique British automaker run aground in 2006 after purchase by a Russian oligarch, is back with plenty of deposits on an undisclosed coupe and a teaser image photoshopped from an Autocar magazine sketch. The fledgeling car company is at work on a new coupe powered by a Cosworth V8 with an expected output of 450 to 500 hp, though it won't be until 2018 that customers will be able to take delivery of the cars. The factory has to be built first, even though the first year's allocation is already sold out.

TVR Chairman Les Edgar gave the future owners of the new coupe a progress report, stating that the company is running at least one engineering mule that has been operating on roads, and that they've recently fired up one of the Cosworth V8s.

Watch F1 cars rip up a mountain in Japan

12/29/2015

Two ex-Formula One cars plus one mountain road equals an epic video shot in Japan by Motor Head Magazine.

It's not too often you see open-wheel cars on public roads -- the Stallone vehicle "Driven" notwithstanding -- but something about it makes the cars look even better than when they're on the racetrack. After the F1 cars have a go, they're followed by some drifters who are nearly as impressive.

The camerawork is also great, so check out more of Motor Head's stuff here.

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