By on August 19, 2019

Our last couple of Buy/Drive/Burn posts covered two different flavors of compact Japanese SUVs from the 1990s. Today we branch out and review larger, luxury-oriented SUVs hailing from places other than Japan.

Twelve miles per gallon? That’s plenty.

(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 July 17, 2018

The shadowy future Jeep model that probably should have been in production by now continues to entice fans of the original Grand Wagoneer. It’s expected that the largest of all Jeeps will arrive not too imminently, using the 2019 Ram 1500’s frame as a backbone.

There’ll be size and luxury in spades (the thing might top out above $100k), but until now we hadn’t heard anything about power. It’s now possible that we’ll see a Trackhawk variant that uses the upgraded 6.2-liter supercharged V8 found in Dodge’s refreshed 2019 Challenger Hellcat. Possible, but perhaps not probable. (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2018

Fiat Chrysler has some of the best three-row vehicles on the domestic market right now but, if you’re not a fan of minivans, you probably couldn’t care less about them. Dodge’s Grand Caravan remains a darling for budget-conscious families and fleet managers, despite being stuck in its fifth generation for over a decade. Meanwhile, the Chrysler Pacifica takes the Caravan concept and adds modern refinement at a higher price point.

The problem is that neither are SUVs. Even though Dodge does have the Durango on offer already, FCA chief Sergio Marchionne has been begging engineers to come up with a three-row SUV that would surpass the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Suburban since at least 2013. The theory was to produce a hulking and rugged luxury vehicle that could compete with Land Rover and swipe some business from the domestic luxury rivals. He was heralding the return of Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

However, the vehicle’s development has been plighted with delays and the initial vision has become muddied. While it’s still coming, dealers are beginning to wonder if the model has missed its opportunity as gas prices climb, sales stagnate, and material costs rise.  (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 May 27, 2017

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t talking about future products, so all we’re left with is some drawings from a design patent and an undecided jury. Still, the images are intriguing, as they show a seven-seat utility vehicle a vaguely familiar face.

Jeep’s mystery vehicle could be one of two planned models, one of which could make FCA big bucks in the United States. At least, once it figures out how to build the thing. (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2017

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-009

After claiming that the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs would use a variant of the next-generation Grand Cherokee’s unibody platform, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has changed its mind.

Speaking at the North American International Auto Show, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the top-end SUVs will instead adopt body-on frame architecture. The change tosses the vehicles’ lofty predicted price ceiling — $140,000, according to Jeep boss Mike Manley — in the trash heap. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2017

2017 Jeep Wrangler boasts LED headlamps.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced funding for the last piece of the Jeep production puzzle.

The automaker will spend $1 billion to retool its Toledo and Warren assembly plants in anticipation of three new models, capping off a spending spree that made this round of production plant musical chairs possible. (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2016

1978-jeep-wagoneer

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has high hopes for the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer and its ability to challenge Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz for premium SUV buyers. The proposed model’s $140,000 price ceiling keeps FCA execs up at night in giddy anticipation.

However, there’s a problem: Before FCA hoists that sparkling and lucrative cherry atop its Jeep sundae, it first needs to build the damn thing, and that’s easier said than done.

Which is why the Grand Wagoneer — the three-row ultra-lux SUV that Lee Iacocca could only dream of — is on hold. (Read More…)

By on November 17, 2016

2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

We’ve seen some early images, and we know that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles feels the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer could warrant a price tag of up to $140,000.

What the folks at Jeep aren’t exactly sure of is how diverse they want the brand’s flagship SUV to be when it rolls out, likely as a 2019 model. One this is for sure — a model that exclusive likely needs some electrification, and Jeep brand chief Mike Manley knows it. (Read More…)

By on October 18, 2016

2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The story goes that someone at a recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealer meeting acted quickly when the automaker flashed images of future Jeep models across the screen.

While FCA hasn’t given the public so much as a hint of what the upcoming, range-topping Jeep looks like, we now have a better idea, all thanks to that person’s quick-draw camera. Oh, and there’s plenty of 2018 Wrangler details to gleam, too. (Read More…)

By on October 6, 2016

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-009

The Jeep brand can seemingly do no wrong, at least on its balance sheet, but are consumers ready to shell out six figures for a top-flight SUV with a seven-slot grille?

That’s the price range Jeep plans to probe with its upcoming Grand Wagoneer, the uppermost of two luxury vehicles designed to slot above the Grand Cherokee, Auto Express reports. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-015

Jeep’s upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs promise to make the high-flying brand plenty of moolah, but where exactly the top-shelf models will be built remains hazy.

Automotive News reports that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne might backtrack on a tentative plan to build the models at the Warren Truck plant — a move that could impact the production of other models. (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2016

1978-jeep-wagoneer

Language is everything. Comments by Jeep brand chief Mike Manley published earlier this week implied that the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would be upscale versions of the Grand Cherokee, but that’s no longer the case.

The two models will share the same architecture as the next-generation Grand Cherokee, which bows in late 2018 or 2019, but it’s now confirmed that they’ll be standalone models — not upscale trim levels. (Read More…)

By on July 5, 2016

no_grand_wagoneer

If you were expecting Jeep’s upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer to be range-topping standalone models, think again.

According to Automotive News, the new additions to the lineup will simply be upscale versions of the next-generation Grand Cherokee. Consider your retro-tinged dreams squashed. (Read More…)

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