By on August 9, 2019

Greg writes:

Good day Sajeev,

I recently signed a three-year lease on a Grand Cherokee Upland. The Upland is an appearance group that includes tow hooks, blacked-out trim and great big (20”) wheels wrapped in some fairly aggressive all-terrain tires (Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Adventure). Boy, does FCA love “appearance groups.”

I live in the great white snow belt of Western New York where we get around 100 inches of snow per year. On my last two vehicles (Ram 1500 and Toyota 4Runner), I used winter tires for about 4 months of the year and was very happy with them.

I have the opportunity to purchase winter tires on steel wheels for this Jeep at a steep discount from a coworker. My question is, do I need them or should I rely on the A/T’s that are on the Jeep already? The stock tires are well-reviewed for winter use but I’ve heard horror story about low profile tires and big rims in the snow.

What’s your take? (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2019

Image: FCA

Wrangling between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the city of Detroit, and a prolific landowner reached an end on Friday, with all three parties signing deals designed to bring more Jeeps to the city.

As part of a $4.5 plant investment strategy announced in February, FCA wants to convert its Mack Avenue Engine Complex into an automobile assembly plant, earmarked for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and a second, larger model. The adjacent Jefferson North plant, which currently builds Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos, won’t see its product roster change, though it will see cash for expansion and interior upgrades.

Once unionized FCA workers get first crack at the 4,950 jobs, remaining positions will go to Detroit residents. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2019

In its big February plant and product announcement, Fiat Chrysler said its Mack Avenue engine facility will give way to SUV production, describing the first vehicle to emerge from the repurposed plant as a “three-row, full-size Jeep SUV.” Given that the next-generation Grand Cherokee will also call the plant home, and that the two models will almost certainly share underpinnings, one would assume the three-row Jeep would carry a modified GC nameplate. Think Hyundai Santa Fe XL.

That’s been the assumption, anyway. However, the automaker’s CEO suggests a wholly new nameplate is in the works. (Read More…)

By on February 26, 2019

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock_1

Fiat Chrysler’s Tuesday announcement will surely make it the darling among domestic automakers, especially in the eye of a certain American president.

To fund the creation of new and next-generation models, most of them Jeeps, FCA is committing $4.6 billion to numerous Michigan plants, $1.6 billion of which will flow to Detroit’s Mack Avenue Engine Complex (soon to become a vehicle assembly plant). Among the vehicles funded with this promise are the long-awaited Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Oh, and there’s another new Jeep on the way.

Another tidbit: FCA really likes the extra cash brought in by the old-generation Ram 1500 Classic. The model, seen above in Warlock trim, will soldier on. (Read More…)

By on December 1, 2018

When Jeep finally rolls out the Grand Wagoneer early next decade, there’s a chance buyers might fork over upwards of $100,000 for the hulking luxo-ute, depending on trim. Two years before ascending to the CEO’s office, then-Jeep head Mike Manley speculated that, if the vehicle was right, people might spend up to $140,000 on a Jeep-badged SUV.

Well, British buyers will be able to do that next year. (Read More…)

By on October 12, 2018

2019 Ford Edge ST, Image: Ford

Reading Matt Posky’s review of the new Edge ST got me thinking about CUVs of the expensive variety. Though Ford argues that the Edge ST is in a “white space” of its own because of the serious performance it achieves, I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure that outright performance makes that much of a difference in this segment.

Let’s put it to the people and find out if I’m wrong.

(Read More…)

By on September 4, 2018

Jeep updated several of its models for 2019, but appears to be downplaying some of the new features. Case in point is the new Grand Cherokee, which comes with new standard safety equipment, a handful of changes, and a “Limited X” variant offering some unique visuals. But the brand only made casual mention of it in its 2019 model fact sheet, released earlier this month.

The rest of the Grand Cherokee fleet marches onward with the same general appearance and specs as the 2018 model year. However, they will receive blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection as standard kit, as well as some infotainment upgrades. Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee Limited X boasts a more aggressive front and rear fascia, performance hood, “Granite Crystal” (see: shiny, super-dark gray) exterior accents and new 20-inch Low Gloss Granite Crystal wheels. (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2018

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?

(Read More…)

By on June 12, 2018

Image: IIHS/YouTube

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety never rests, always thinking up new ways to expose flaws in contemporary passenger vehicles. Lately, the IIHS has begun applying the dreaded small overlap front crash test to the passenger side of new models. There’s a seat on that side for a reason, and it’s not inconceivable that a roadside utility pole or obstruction could take out that corner of the vehicle.

The latest IIHS test put popular midsize crossovers through their paces, exposing serious safety concerns in two models. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2018

Image: 1993 Jeep Grand WagoneerBack in December, Matthew Guy penned an interesting QOTD post soliciting your picks for the most outrageous new car introduction. In the case of the new-for-1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Bob Lutz drove Chrysler’s new (and important) SUV up a set of stairs at Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window. History revealed the hype to be justified: the Grand Cherokee became an instant success, finding its way into suburban middle-class driveways across America.

Sometimes, though, the new product doesn’t live up to the manufacturer’s hype before introduction. Let’s talk disappointment.

(Read More…)

By on December 8, 2017

Sajeev writes:

That’s right people: I need more user-submitted queries to keep this series alive!

The same rules apply, just about anything besides the “Help Me with my First World Problem Car Purchasing Dilemma” is on the table. If you’ve seen it on an automotive message board, let’s tackle the issue here. I need your content!

[email protected]com

No more begging, let’s get back to Craig the Audiophile looking to cancel his noise-cancelling Grand Cherokee: (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2017

2014-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-03

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says it is recalling nearly 710,000 sport utility vehicles to check on shields protecting the brake boosters. The shields were a new addition to a bundle of SUVs involved in a 2014 recall and FCA is worried they may have been installed improperly.

The company discovered that units exposed to water were subject to excessive corrosion, resulting in unacceptable brake pedal firmness. Affected vehicles also run the risk of degraded braking performance. FCA says it is aware of at least one accident associated with the problem but noted there were no injuries.

(Read More…)

By on July 24, 2017

All-new 2017 Jeep® Compass - Image: JeepIf the rate of growth FCA’s Jeep brand experienced in the United States in 2016 could be carried forward into 2017, Jeep would sell 1,000,000 SUVs/crossovers this year.

Count the zeros. 1 million.

For a company that sold fewer than 300,000 vehicles per year coming out of the recession, that’s an absurd figure.

Jeep earned 5.4 percent of the overall auto market in the first half of 2016, yet through the first half of 2017, Jeep’s market share has taken a dive to 4.8 percent. In a market gone mad for utility vehicles — where sales of SUVs/crossovers are up 6 percent, year-over-year, despite the market’s downturn — no-car Jeep is losing sales faster than every auto brand aside from Chrysler and Smart.

Worrying? According to Jeep boss Mike Manley, Jeep is, “exactly where I thought we would be in the U.S.” (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2017

Jeep ZJ Concept

For over half a century, Jeep has held an annual safari in Moab, Utah, where 4×4 enthusiasts come to tackle the rough terrain in all manner of off-road vehicles. It’s also become an opportunity for Jeep to showcase its modern concept vehicles.

While Jeep has in past years leveraged nostalgia as a theme for its based-on-current-model concepts, the crème de la crème from this year wasn’t even from the current millennium and comes to us — via Craigslist — in the form of a 1993 ZJ Jeep Grand Cherokee.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2016

2017 Jeep® Cherokee Trailhawk

After ending a 35-month streak of improved U.S. sales with a 3-percent year-over-year decline in September, Jeep volume slid 7 percent in October 2016, the second consecutive month of decline for the previously white-hot SUV brand.

Jeep’s best-selling Cherokee recorded the most significant plunge in October 2016, falling 23 percent from year-ago levels to rank third in Jeep sales. Only the Grand Cherokee, quickly becoming Jeep’s top seller, and the departing Patriot posted October improvements.

Jeep, so often the engine behind FCA’s growth when Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat have struggled, was instead partly to blame for FCA’s 10-percent October decline.  (Read More…)

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