Torque of the Town: 2019 Ram Heavy Duty
Last year was a bountiful season for truck fans, with two of the Detroit Three introducing new iterations of their half-ton pickups. The twelve months ahead promise an equal amount of abundance – except this time, OEMs are doling out treats from the Heavy Duty cupboard.
Back in September, your humble author opined on this website that he would “not be surprised if Ram is the first manufacturer to crest 1,000 lb-ft of torque in a consumer truck.” Color us unsurprised, then, as the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup will indeed be available with four-figure torque.
Rare Rides: Grab a Pair of Suzuki Jimnys From 1972
The occasionally sane group of people known as Car Twitter elevated the new Suzuki Jimny to superstar status recently, as soon as it debuted in its home market of Japan. Immediately, it received the Forbidden Fruit Award, followed by the Why Can’t We Have blue ribbon. It’s not coming here, though, and that’s really all there is to it.
But don’t lose hope, because today we take a look at a couple examples of the old Suzuki Jimny — which you can buy in America right now.
2018 Chevrolet Suburban Premier RST Review - A Riff on the Familiar
In some segments, familiarity is a good thing. The General has been the beyond dominant ruler of the king-size SUV segment for ages, ever since its competitors either stopped playing in the field or opted to equip their machines with V6 engines and independent rear suspensions. Both of those features are nobly forward-thinking but have yet to be rewarded by customers who seem to favor things they already know.
Casting a large-and-in-charge shadow, the Suburban you see here is endowed with seating for eight, cargo space best measured in acres, and 22-inch wheels. What’s absent? Oh yeah, a 6.2-liter engine.
Twenty Years of Cadillac Escalade, America's Bling Thing
Where were you when you first saw an Escalade? Do you recall the lesser but identical Yukon Denali? Twenty years have elapsed since the Escalade’s introduction, and the luxury brand of wreath and crest has never looked back.
But today, we’re going to.
2019 Ram 1500 ETorque First Drive - Fresh Horses
If the pithy sub-title to this review sounds familiar, give yourself a pat on the back. Or an extra carrot during feeding time. “Fresh horses” is a term deployed to describe steeds that riders substitute in place of the exhausted horses that grew tired during a long ride.
When Ram introduced its new 1500 pickup back in April, it was clear to all that the company shovelled many cubic acres of cash into revamping its exterior, chassis components, and interior. Lighter, sleeker, and more luxurious, about the only thing missing at launch were tweaks to the venerable Hemi V8 – an apparent lack of fresh horses, right?
The company promised tweaks in the form of a forthcoming mild hybrid system appended to both the truck’s V6 and V8 engines. Now, those fresh horses are here and we had a chance to let them run.
Ace of Base: 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor
Yes, you’re right – the Raptor is as far from a base truck as The Onion is from real news. However, there’s an argument to be made that the Raptor is as much of an individual model as the Focus RS is a model separate from the workaday hatchback. That is the argument I am making here today.
Raptor pickups can quickly climb into pricing’s nosebleed section, stretching bank accounts of off-road fans and vacuuming their wallets clean. Is a no-options Raptor worth their time? Given that the majority of add-ons augment the truck’s performance not one whit, I think it is.
Ace of Base: 2018 Mahindra ROXOR Classic
The machine you see before you isn’t a Jeep CJ from the ‘70s. Nor is it a Jeep CJ from the ‘80s. Despite its familiar shape, googly round eyes, and a front bumper sticking out like a spoilt child’s bottom lip, not one cent of the cash outlaid by customer will line FCA’s coffers.
It’s the Mahindra ROXOR – an off-roader from an Indian company, built in America, the Willys way. Got that?
Buy/Drive/Burn: Midsize Luxury SUVs From the Year 2000
The year is 2000, and a whole bunch of people have just recovered from an unnecessary panic over how computers worldwide would tackle the date change from ’99 to ’00. Crisis averted, and with Nokia candy bar phone in pocket, they headed to dealerships to buy midsize luxury SUVs with their newfound Dot Com cash.
Which millennium-mobile gets the Buy?
QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VI: SUVs)
In our creatively organized Crapwagon Garage, we’ve seen varied body styles like wagons and trucks. Today we’re going to pick out some truckwagons, which you may know as SUVs.
Let’s pick out four or five four-by-fours for cheap.
Off the Beaten Path: 2019 GMC Sierra AT4
GMC has determined there’s gold in them thar trails, witnessing Ram hoovering up dollars from off-roaders and wannabe off-roaders with the Rebel variation of its 1500 pickup.
The tri-lettered half of The General’s truck duo latched onto the off-road life in the previous Sierra with a trim called All Terrain. It’s back and beefed up on the revamped 2019 model but, taking a page from the Cadillac Book of Alphanumerics, it is now called the AT4.
Here Are Your Easter Jeep Safari Concepts for 2018
Jeep and Mopar have teamed up to create another round of concept vehicles for the annual Easter Jeep Safari. Now in its 52nd year, thousands of off-road enthusiasts will once again head to Moab, Utah, for a week of technical off-roading and dirt-related camaraderie. They’ll also get to see these 4x4s in the flesh. This year’s batch was a little less showy than the previous annum, but pursuing substance over style isn’t a terrible impulse when you’re planning on slamming a vehicle into boulders all day.
“Pushing the limit is something the Jeep brand is no stranger to and these seven new, exciting and capable concept vehicles are the latest example of that,” said Jeep head Mike Manley. “Every year, we look forward to introducing new concept vehicles and ideas to our enthusiasts. The Moab Easter Jeep Safari presents a unique and perfect opportunity to collect valuable insight from our most loyal customers.”
2019 Ram 1500 First Drive - Takin' Chances
We’ve all taken a few chances in our lives. Whether it was jumping off the roof of a shed as a youngster or accepting that new job in a different town as an adult, most of us find there is very little reward without some risk.
Some 25 years ago, two brothers in our rural fishing community built a new vessel which explored the edges of legal length at the time, banking on future changes to regulations allowing them to use such a big boat in their type of fishery. The brothers, naturally, christened the boat Takin’ Chances, because if their gamble didn’t pay off, they’d be out a significant investment. Guess what? They gambled correctly and, with regulations changed in their favor, Randy and Ross went on to enjoy a great deal of success.
For 2019, Ram is also taking a few chances. With the deep-sixing of the truck’s mini-Kenworth styling and signature gunsight grille, the company has crafted a pickup that is arguably its biggest gamble since 1994.
Pricing Announced for 2019 Ram 1500, Rebates Abound for 2018 Models
Ram announced pricing today for its snazzy new 1500 pickup and, while the relentless upward march of MRSPs continues unabated, starting prices may not have risen as much as you may think.
Critically, Ram also saw fit to release the costs for upgrading to their intriguing eTorque Hemi, a power team that promises the trucker’s holy grail – extra low-end grunt for hauling and increased fuel economy on the highway.
Hewing to another law of retailing, while base prices for the 2019 model haven’t moved the needle significantly from last year’s sticker, 2018 models now enjoy large rebates in some markets.
Mahindra ROXOR: It's a Thing
What’s that? You want a Jeep but don’t care for one at its current size? Does a 62 horsepower turbo-diesel engine, four-wheel drive, and front/rear leaf suspension appeal to you? And you have just $15,499 to spend? Does Mahindra now have a deal for you.
Just keep it off-road, mmmkay?
Frame Games: Nissan Rolls Out Body-on-frame SUV
Longsufferingtime readers of this author’s natterings know my preference for all things of the body-on-frame variety. That’s why I’m going to take every opportunity I can to trumpet the kinda sorta maybe possibility that Nissan will reintroduce the Xterra.
The old Xterra only hung around for two generations, offering righteous options such as a stick-shift manual, supercharged power, and a locking rear diff. It’s the polar opposite of a Qashqai Rogue Sport. Given today’s market tastes, I totally understand why Nissan offers a phalanx of unibody crossovers – like any smart company, its giving the people what they want.
It still doesn’t stop me from pining for a small, butch SUV from Nissan, though. With an introduction yesterday in China, that future is one step closer to reality. Maybe.