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 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat review notes
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: The lame part of me is not quite sure why Dodge keeps sending us Hellcats -- what more can we possibly say about these visceral-but-tractable monsters? Are they just daring us to find something wrong with them? Do they want us to get in trouble with the law?
The non-lame part of me quickly tells the other part to shut up, and soon enough I’m enjoying one of the most improbably well-executed marketing gimmicks in Detroit’s history.
I’ve been exceptionally lucky when it comes to lining up Hellcats for special occasions, too. Last year, I snagged a supercharged Challenger just in time to sit in the gridlock that is the Woodward Dream Cruise. This year, I celebrated the Fourth of July behind the wheel of the most ’Merican vehicle to ever come out of Brampton, Ontario. Then I went and shot off some Chinese fireworks. It was a star-spangled weekend.
2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat review notes
Monster in the garage06/10/2015
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: It’s been a few months since I’ve been in a Hellcat. Yep, it’s still fast. Not much of a surprise there. What is frankly kind of a miracle is that, after a couple of turns behind the wheels of these supercharged Challengers and Chargers, I’m still alive and with no points on my driver’s license.
Part of that is my somewhat spotty ability to resist the urge to put pedal to floor and do something really, really stupid, but a bigger part is that Dodge has managed to make 707 stated hp (apparently, it’s a bit higher) feel downright tractable.
Oh, it’s never boring. From the delightful supercharger whine to the feeling of thrust when you get even a little bit into the throttle, Hellcat driving is a thrilling multisensory experience. Sometimes you forget to take your foot off the brake pedal before you step on the gas and the tires turn into smoke! It’s all very exciting.
2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat first drive10/29/2014
If Dodge had its way, there’d be a 2015 Charger in every garage. The fresh-out-of-college kid commuting to his first big job would drive the 31-mpg, $28,990 Charger SE. His 38-year-old brother, with a little more cash in his bank account, also a fan of American sedans, would drive the $48,375, 485-hp SRT 392. And the crazy uncle, who owned a ‘72 Charger R/T would be behind the wheel of the $64,985 Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest, most powerful sedan the world has ever seen.
The number of different grille options alone is enough to put this car in the something-for-everyone category. We discovered as much when we entered a hangar at Reagan National Airport in Virginia and saw about 30 examples of the redesigned 2015 model before Dodge execs gave us the details on the new car. Four, by the way -- there are four different grille choices on the new Charger.
At the SE trim level, Dodge offers what it calls its best-equipped entry-level Charger ever. It comes with a 292-hp, 260-lb-ft 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and a now-standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The SE also comes with a 5-inch UConnect touchscreen and a new 7-inch driver information display behind the steering wheel. LED “racetrack” taillights and bi-xenon headlights are also included, as are two USB outlets, steering wheel controls and electric power steering with comfort, normal and sport modes. The SXT model gets the same engine and adds UConnect Access with WiFi and personal apps, 18-inch wheels and LED fog lights, as well as a few other features. All-wheel drive is optional on the V6s, not available on the V8s.
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat review notes09/17/2014
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I see the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has two key fobs. The red one opens the gates of, um, hell; the black one kills the horsepower, while Valet mode locks out first gear, cuts more horsepower, disables the paddle shifters, etc.
I wouldn’t know. I never bothered with the black key or the Valet mode.
No, I went with red all the way, man, releasing the full mind-bending 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Good lord, it’s a rocket.
I just love the deep exhaust and slight supercharger whine. I could listen to it all day, no matter the rpm. The car isn’t nearly as scary to drive as I thought it might be, though of course there’s no way I could take any kind of advantage of the power on city streets. Still, I got into it enough to feel that the power comes on smoothly, no spikes or other weirdness. Sixty mph comes up almost literally in the blink of an eye, but use the throttle judicially, and the car is a pleasant around-town cruiser, thanks in large part to the big comfy interior. It would take a few hours at least to get into all the drive mode menus for adjusting power, traction, suspension and the like, but that just means I need more time in it.
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat first drive07/21/2014
It was comical, really. A bunch of journalists, lined up on the drag strip at Portland International Raceway, waiting to take their turn in the 707-hp 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, one after the other, producing almost no forward momentum, just rubber and smoke.
“You have to roll on, roll on the power,” said one of the instructors, as another journalist spun the tires through third gear. The most powerful mass-produced American car ever is predictably stingy with the traction.
Chrysler’s new/old sporty brand, Dodge, now builds a car more powerful than the vaunted Dodge Viper, more powerful than the Mustang GT500 and even more powerful than the upcoming Corvette Z06. On the list of the highest-horsepower cars available in the U.S., the Hellcat sneaks in just below the Lamborghini Aventador and above the Z06.