2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT review notes
Bold exterior and luxurious features09/28/2015
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 review notes
Taking brand-building to 1107/20/2015
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.
2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk winter drive review03/02/2015
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.
2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys Wheeler review notes09/30/2014
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.