Piston Slap: Sanjeev Gets a Grip on Snow Tires?

Sanjeev writes:

Hello Sajeev, I am Sanjeev.

I moved to Michigan last year and have been driving a used 2006 Corolla. I can definitely afford a better car, but this one is serving me good. Agreed that it doesn’t have all the needed electronics and sex appeal; I am not swayed by that. The recent snow (about six inches) in Detroit area made me think of buying a car with needed ESC, ABS for better handling and driving. I have heard, read a lot about FWD and AWD cars and their handling on snowy roads but haven’t fully comprehended RWD cars on a snowy road.

Many online articles generally suggest that RWD is a bad idea during winter. Still, I see many of many colleagues driving RWD 300s, Durangos, and CTSes. Is RWD better or not on snowy roads?

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Jeep Grand Commander: Sorry, This Three-Row Jeep Is Only for China

Despite being one of the first brands that springs to most consumers’ minds when “SUV” is mentioned, Jeep doesn’t currently have an entry in the popular three-row segment. The slapdash Commander occupied that space in the late Aughts and the company is making noises about a potential Grand Wagoneer but those plans, for now, remain hazy.

A three-row Jeep has finally appeared. It’s called the Grand Commander and is slated to appear at this year’s auto show in Beijing as a model exclusive to China.

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2019 Ram 1500: All the Details You're Dying For

This year at the North American International Auto will surely be known as the “Year of the Pickup,” with Ford introducing it PowerStroke F-150, Chevy hauling the wraps off a new Silverado, and Ram rolling out a new truck for the first time since 2009.

After months of speculation and hundreds of spy photos, the 2019 Ram 1500 has finally arrived. Here’s what you need to know before the jump: weight is down 225 pounds, the ram’s head logo is back, and both V6 and V8 Rams will be available as a mild hybrid. Wait, what?

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Ace of Base: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sport

In what was possibly the industry’s worst-kept secret since the interminable striptease that was the Dodge Demon, Jeep finally introduced the new Wrangler at the end of this year. Future missives about the Jeepiest of Jeeps will need to be crystal clear, because there are, in fact, two 2018 Wranglers available at one’s local FCA showroom – the new one (JL) and the old one (JK).

Readers can be assured, then, of hearing hyper-caffeinated sales staff blaring in radio ads about ZOMG GREAT DEALZ ON 2018 WRANGLERS – only for frustrated shoppers to discover they are actually talking about the lame-duck Jeep and not the shiny new off-roader.

Nefarious dealer bait-and-switch tactics aside, what does the new Wrangler pack into its base trim?

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2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST First Drive - Power Comes at a Price

As the beyond dominant sales kings of the large SUV segment, the body-on-frame General Motors brutes can afford to mix things up a little and take a chance on something new. Like a sports team whose winning streak assures them a spot in the playoffs, trying a new play no longer carries with it the same amount of risk. After all, its failure is not exactly going to scupper the season.

Chevrolet heeds this advice for 2018, electing to plug a new player into its lineup by stuffing the mighty 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 in its Tahoe, creating the Tahoe RST.

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2019 Jeep Cherokee - First Look at a New Face

Hot on the heels of a vehicle reveal most of us thought would occur in Detroit next month, another hot seller has officially broken cover before the January show.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has given the Jeep Cherokee a snazzy new set of duds just in time for the new year. Previously styled with an alarming mix of narrowed lights and Hannibal Lecter grille, the restyled 2019 Cherokee adopts the corporate look that first appeared on the Grandest of Cherokees before migrating to the Compass last year.

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Texas Surprise: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss

Chevy threw itself a birthday party today at the Texas Motor Speedway, celebrating 100 years of making trucks. It had a surprise gift for the audience in the form of the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado … delivered by way of Sikorsky helicopter, naturally.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler JL: Official Specs and Details [UPDATED]

Finally, after what seemed at times like the world’s longest striptease, the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL officially debuts today at the L.A. Auto Show. Our intrepid Managing Ed is live on the show floor to bring you all the details.

Until then, here’s all the official down-n-dirty, nitty-gritty details about Jeep’s new Wrangler.

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Color Your World: 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

Alert readers will recall your humble author’s fleet currently includes a bright red, eight-year-old Ram 1500 Sport 4×4. There is nothing wrong with this truck. It has an acceptable level of technology, hauls our 8,600lb RV trailer without complaint, has never once left me stranded, and is mechanically similar to a new Ram 1500. Plus, despite such luxuries as heated and ventilated leather seats, it is agricultural enough to be fixed with a hammer.

So why does the never-ending parade of Ram special editions make me want to head to my local dealer and investigate financing options? Because FCA knows their customers, that’s why — and with this Hydro Blue Sport, it proves they know them well.

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Ace of Beast: 2018 Rezvani Tank

Yes, clearly this is a ridiculous flight of fancy. However, like a lot of things in life – such as the Dodge Charger Hellcat and hamburgers with grilled cheese sandwiches as buns – the good stuff often is.

Rezvani is based out of Orange County in California, making a brace of sports cars and the roided-up Jeep Wrangler/FJ Cruiser amalgam shown here. Let’s see what a no-option Tank brings to the table. At $178,000, this will surely be the most expensive Ace of Base… in the world.

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Rare Rides: The 1977 AMC AM Van - a Concept That Never Was

Early this year, the Rare Rides series began with this Ghia concept from 1979. A lovely red coupe, it was based on humble Mustang underpinnings. Today we return to the concept car bin with this AMC. Much like the Ghia, AMC’s AM Van is a very 1970s concept based on an existing car platform that never moved past the concept stage.

Let’s check out this pearlescent red box.

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Rare Rides: A UAZ From 1991 Brings the Iron Curtain to the Midwest

Earlier this week, we brought you a Rare Ride straight from the Eastern Block. The Skoda 120 was Czechoslovakia’s answer to the middle-market family sedan. Today we keep it Communist and look at Russia’s answer to the decadent and capitalistic Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender, the UAZ-469.

This four-by-four can really do some work.

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Ford Puts Its Limited Trim on Duty - Super Duty, That Is

For years, Ford has wisely been pushing their trucks into the upper stratosphere of both price and luxurious content. Features once reserved for the finest Lincoln flagships now pop up in pickups with alarming regularity.

Hard working, heavy duty customers naturally want a piece of the action, too. That’s why Ford is applying the Limited trim to their Super Duty fleet for 2018.

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GMC Knows to Leave Well Enough Alone, Has No Plan to Fight Jeep Wrangler With a Dedicated Off-Roader

News that suggests General Motors no-car GMC division is closing in on the launch of its own subcompact crossover to accompany the compact GMC Terrain coincided with revelations from GMC’s division manager regarding the future of a Jeep Wrangler rival from GMC.

There won’t be a Jeep Wrangler rival from GMC.

Ford’s Bronco is yet two years away, and the extent to which the next Bronco will directly challenge the #iconic Jeep Wrangler remains a complete unknown. Rumors differ.

But according to the global head of Buick and GMC Duncan Aldred, GMC has no intention of tangling with the Wrangler in the convertible, off-road, body-on-frame sector over which the Wrangler exerts total control.

“I don’t think it’s worth trying to take on Wrangler,” GMC’s Aldred tells Automotive News.

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Piston Slap: Spare Me Your AWD Drama

TTAC Reader DeSoto writes:

Greetings, Sajeev — longtime reader, first time writer, and I enjoy the content your column adds to TTAC! (Woot! — SM)

I recently acquired an all-wheel drive 2014 Cadillac CTS with about 15,000 miles on its factory 255/35 R19 Pirelli P7 run-flat tires. Looking ahead to an upcoming 3,500 mile driving trip, I have concern for the durability/drivability of the run-flats. The CTS is not equipped with any wheel-changing tools (jack, wrench, spare tire/wheel). A spare tire assembly (for the CT6) is available online, but I believe the standard compact spare is too small in diameter to be compatible with the 19-inch wheels on the AWD drivetrain. I prefer the freedom of having the option of changing a tire myself and continuing on my way, rather than waiting hours for assistance. I am thus considering, in order of my current preference:

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  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂