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Archive for the ‘Jeep’ Category

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Jeep Compass Named IIHS Top Safety Pick

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given its highest rating, Top Safety Pick, to the 2017 Jeep Compass. The small Jeep scored “good” rating in each of five IIHS crashworthiness tests, meaning it is one of the safest SUVs in America right now. That’s interesting, because looking at the Compass one would not guess it particularly safe, since the thing looks like one big crumple zone that’s already been crumpled. 

But don’t let the rather aged looks of the 2017 Jeep Compass deceive you. Underneath that unappealing exterior lies a fairly modern SUV. It benefits from high-end features such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) technology and hot-stamped steel and advanced high-strength steel in its construction. No wonder then the Comapss passed tough test such as side impact with a large SUV or pickup truck, moderate-offset frontal impact, small-offset frontal impact, roof-deformation consistent with a rollover, and rear collision capable of inducing whiplash with flying colors.

2017 Jeep Compass also benefits from seven standard airbags including seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags and full-length, side-curtain air bags. That is pretty decent for a compact SUV with a starting price of $20,995. Also notable is the Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus which is one of the 70 safety and security features in this model.

“Sensor-fusion combines the attributes of radar technology and cameras, while most competitive systems use one or the other,” says Mark Chernoby, Chief Technical Compliance Officer – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “This approach affords greater precision for monitoring the road ahead.”

The post 2017 Jeep Compass Named IIHS Top Safety Pick appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Are You Ready For the 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL?

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL might not last long. In fact, the all-new Wrangler might only enjoy one month of production. But that’s not because Jeep is canning its multi-million dollar makeover of its bread-n-butter SUV, rather, Jeep will begin manufacturing 2019 model year Wranglers on January 2, 2018. Yep, only one month after the Wrangler JL arrives in showrooms; the 2018 model will make way for the upcoming model year – at least that’s according to an insider source for Allpar who is said to be reliable.

This is an unprecedented move by Jeep to begin production of the next model year so early within the calendar year. Generally, automakers wait until mid-summer to release the next model year, with the first big waves of stock hitting dealership showrooms in August and September. So why January 2? Well, January 1 is a holiday, making the 2nd the earliest legal date Jeep can build a 2019 production vehicle.

Putting the pieces from several rumors together, this could mean all 2018 Jeep Wrangler JLs will be the four-door Unlimited version. A past report suggested the two-door Wrangler wouldn’t arrive until February 2018. It also means the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler, could begin production within the same 2019 model year.

That same insider source for Allpar had also broke news the current Jeep Wrangler JK will remain in production through March 2018. It was later confirmed by Jeep that the JK would overlap production of the JL into the 2018 calendar year. That will likely give Jeep the chance to deplete its stockpile of JK parts while smoothly transitioning into JL production and supplies for dealerships across North America and around the world.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 734781

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Says “Nope” to 368-horse Wrangler JL

Just days ago a leaked document from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested the next-generation, 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL would have a 368-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The world gasped and Jeep fans melted at the thought of a Wrangler having more power than a Ford Focus RS. Sadly, it seems FCA either had a type-o or is now trying to cover up this leaked information. Those same documents regarding VIN identification have now been resubmitted with edited information. The 2.0-liter’s horsepower is now listed as “Not Rated.”

The way I see it, there are three possibilities. First, some engineer or clerical worker deep inside Chrysler’s headquarters didn’t have their morning cup of Joe and fudged the numbers. Perhaps it was an honest mistake and it was supposed to read 268 horsepower or something. That’s a likely scenario. Second, some engineer or clerical worker forgot to censor the horsepower specs for Jeep’s new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four-cylinder and is now in hot water with Sergio Marchionne and Mike Manley. Oops. Third, FCA is playing us – and hard. It’s very possible Jeep is leaving clues for us to find just like Dodge did with the SRT Demon. And if the Hurricane truly makes 368 horsepower, who could blame them? That’s a massive amount of power from such a small engine. Only the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and CLA45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four makes more horsepower (375) from the factory.

The good news is we won’t have to wait long. Jeep is scheduled to debut the new 2018 Wrangler JL at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November with vehicles arriving in dealerships in December. The initial launch will consist only of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with the classic two-door Wrangler following in February of 2018.

What scenario do you think is going on? Did someone make a type-o? Was the info accidentally leaked? Is Jeep trolling us by teasing high-horsepower specs only to redact the information? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 734781

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Will Have 368-HP Four-Cylinder!

News of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler is still trickling in, but thanks to an official document sent by Fiat Chrysler to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we now know the horsepower rating for the new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” turbocharged four-cylinder. Turns out, the Hurricane isn’t some lowly four-banger nobody will want. Actually, the engine kicks out 368 horsepower, making it one of the most potent turbo-fours on the market.

That’s right; the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will have an optional 2.0-liter turbo-four with more horsepower than a Ford Focus RS and Porsche 718 Boxster S. In fact, only the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and GLA45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four with 375 horsepower is more powerful. Unfortunately, FCA’s document didn’t divulge the Hurricane’s torque figure, but we’d bet on at least 320 pound-feet. Also unfortunate, is the rumor suggesting the Hurricane will be limited to an automatic transmission, preventing Jeep folks who row their own from having high-horsepower fun. Then again, we’ve never had a complaint with FCA’s use and programming of the ZF eight-speed automatic, so even the automatic Wrangler JL should be fun to drive.

The other bit of powertrain news is the confirmed return of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 but slotted as the base engine. The same documents show the V-6 producing the same 285 horsepower. While that’s a bit disappointing, Jeep could be saving an update for the V-6 until after the current-generation Wrangler JK ends production sometime late in 2018. Jeep will keep the JK in production, likely named the Wrangler Classic or something, in order to supplement sales of the JL. At launch, the new JL will only be available in the four-door Unlimited trim, with two-door models coming in February of 2018. Retaining the current V-6 would be more cost-effective than updating the outgoing JK to use the updated V-6. Jeep could then position an updated V-6 as a mid-cycle perk sometime towards 2020. Of course, that’s just speculation.

What do you think? Would you buy a 368-horsepower Wrangler JL? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 669920

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 734784

Check out more renderings for the upcoming Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.

PostHeaderIcon Is This The next Jeep Wrangler Two-Door?

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler is nearing its debut date and the anticipation is nearing pandemonium. But before its unveiling expected at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November, the sleuths at JLWranglerForums have rendered what they think the two-door Wrangler will look like. Codenamed JL, the 2018 Wrangler won’t be a dramatic departure from the current, 2007-2017 Wrangler JK, but rather an evolution of the iconic design that dates back to the 1941 Willys MB general purpose military vehicle. Nevertheless, the new Jeep will be brimming with updated technology, new powertrains, and tons of user-friendly features.

The Wrangler JL two-door rendering matches up quite well with the camouflaged test mules seen slogging around in different parts of the country. The short-wheelbase Jeep uses all the same design elements as its four-door brother, but with no rear doors. The two-door sill can seat five, though three across in the rear bench is a pinch and getting back there isn’t as easy without dedicated doors. But the plus side: the two-door Wrangler will be the off-roading champ of the JL lineup thanks to its shorter wheelbase (and therefore better break-over angle) and slightly lighter weight. Speaking of weight, a few of the Wrangler’s body panels are expected to be aluminum, though most of the body will be stamped from steel. And of course, the Wrangler will continue to use solid axles at each end, ride on coil springs, and have a body-on-frame construction – just as God intended.

The 2018 Wrangler JL does have a few exterior features worth mentioning. First, the front bumper has a new, more functional design. It might be limited to upper trim levels, but hopefully not. The daytime running lights and turn signals are incorporated into the front fenders. While it looks cool, the aftermarket will have to overcome this when designing stubby fenders for large-diameter tires. The engine bay vent is expected here, as well, nestled neatly behind the front fenders. A strong character line below the windows helps divide the Wrangler’s top and bottom halves. Last but not least, the rear bumper now holds the license plate – a big departure from the body-mounted plate on the CJs and Wranglers that have come before. And of course, those taillights are designed to look like Jerry Cans, a design feature Jeep first incorporated into the Renegade.

So, what do you think of this rendering of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL two-door? Will it be a big success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 669920

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the current 2017 Jeep Wrangler.


2018 Jeep Scrambler - image 672704

Read more Jeep news.

PostHeaderIcon Driver Gets Ticket For Allegedly Being 1 KMH Over The Speed Limit

I’ve seen my fair share of traffic violations over the many years of driving. Some of these violations are warranted, some are even necessary. But like everything else, there are violations that border on the ridiculous. One such incident recently occurred north of the border in Alberta, Canada.

Let’s set the scene, thanks to the story reported by CTV News in Canada. A man named Mathieu Gagne tells CTV that he made a legal pass on a slow-moving police officer north of Edmonton. The officer, apparently ticked off that he got overtaken even if the move was legal, decided to exercise his authority on the driver, citing him for going 1 kph over the posted speed limit. One kilometer per hour! Fortunately, the Gagne’s girlfriend was with him during the incident and promptly posted the ticket online where, somewhat predictably, it turned viral. You can likely guess what happened next. The Sturgeon County called Gagne a few days later to tell him that the fine rescinded, although it did say that it wasn’t because the officer was being petty, but because he listed the speed on the ticket as being radar/laser verified when in fact it wasn’t. And if the story couldn’t get any stranger, CTV also reported that the erring officer has yet to be disciplined for his actions. Seems like one of those stories where it’s unclear what kind of ending should have happened here. It’s definitely strange times we’re living in right now when Canada, home to some of the nicest people we know, has its own share of rogue police officers.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Be respectful, but also be vigilant

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase in my life. It doesn’t paint a good picture of law enforcement officials, but there is some truth and wisdom to it, too. The truth is that a majority of police officers, no matter where they are in this world, are good and decent people. They care about enforcing law and order so civilians like us can go about our lives peacefully.

“The officer decided to exercise his authority on the driver, citing him for going 1 kph over the posted speed limit.”

That said, there are also police officers who go past the line of their job descriptions, some more than others. We see it here in the U.S. and we definitely see it in other countries. When dealing with these types of officers, there’s only so much we can do to call them out on their practices without having to worry about getting the proverbial short end of the stick. The best way to go about it is to be respectful of their position as officers, but also remain vigilant on the kind of actions they exhibit when you’re dealing with them.

“Gagne was let off the hook over a violation that he didn’t commit”

There are avenues to do this without having to fear for your safety. As long as it’s done properly, the Internet is a good place to go to air your grievances, just like what Matthieu Gagne’s girlfriend did. Her post got a lot of attention and eventually, it found its way to the proper authorities who have the power to make decisions on the matter. Ultimately, Gagne was let off the hook over a violation that he didn’t commit, though it is a little concerning that the officer didn’t face any sanctions for his actions. Sure, he may have been reprimanded; the Sturgeon County didn’t just want to publicize it because of potential backlash. Who knows at this point.

The important thing to know though is how to best handle situations like this. I’m sure that a lot of us have been in this kind of predicament before. But instead of letting your emotions dictate your actions, it’s always best to keep a level head and be vigilant enough to report these incidences to the proper channels. Traffic court is the proper place to argue against a ticket, anyway.

And so ends my public service announcement.

References

Jeep Cherokee


2014 Jeep Cherokee - image 499407

Read our full review on the Jeep Cherokee.


Police Chase: Idiot Learns Running From the Cops Requires Gas - image 733273

Read more stupid news.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Scrambler

The Jeep Wrangler Pickup has been confirmed for some time now, but Jeep has been quiet on the details. Between spy shots and insider information, we know the pickup will use the upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL’s frame, front styling, cab, interior, and powertrains. The mystery still remains as to what the cargo bed looks like and the materials its constructional from. What’s more, Jeep has yet to define the exact target audience for the Wrangler pickup, otherwise known as the JT. Will it offer class-leading payload and towing or will it be more focused on off-road performance? While we can’t say for sure, we’ve got some strong indications of Jeep’s intentions with its 2019-model-year pickup.

The Wrangler Pickup will ride on a lengthened version of the Wrangler Unlimited JL’s frame to accommodate the extra length needed for the bed. This means a longer, more stable Wrangler for on-road driving and trailer towing, but a slightly less maneuverable and (dare I say) capable Wrangler for off-roading adventures. It’s the break-over angle that will suffer the most, making the Wrangler pickup more vulnerable to high centering. Still, expect the JT to come standard with 4WD and Jeep’s Trail Rated rating.

Update 08/22/2017: A report from JeepScramblerForum.com shows confirmation the Jeep Wrangler pickup will be called the Jeep Scrambler, a name already associated with Jeep pickups of the 1980s. What’s more, CAD drawings show the extended frame and upgraded Dana axles. Also confirmed is the pickup’s use of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6.

PostHeaderIcon Holy Toledo! 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Breaks Cover

Well, it’s finally happened – the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has been spotted without camouflage. The next-generation Jeep was reportedly spotted inside Jeep’s Toledo assembly plant and sent to our friends at JLWranglerForums. The grainy photo was undoubtedly not supposed to be taken, as evidenced by the limited view it affords of the new Wrangler Unlimited. Still, there are plenty of details to pour over.

First, it’s clear this is a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, otherwise known as the JLU. It’s lack of badging, knobby tires, and rock rails suggests this is a Sport model, though its hood features vents – a previous sign of an upper-class model or special edition. The windshield bump-stops on the hood have been redesigned, too. Also visible is the side vent integrated just behind the front fender. It’s smaller than anticipated, but thankfully doesn’t distract from the Wrangler’s classic lines. And speaking of lines, the cowling panel and doors have strong creases, helping break up the flat, vertical sides seen on the previous Wrangler JK. New side mirrors are present, too, with integrated turn signals. Gone are the push-button door handles, replaced with pull-style handles in black. The front fenders carry a new shape and appear molded from richer, higher-quality plastic. This particular Jeep has the soft top option, which we’re glad still exists. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show much of the interior, beyond the black seats covered in protective plastic. Of course, at this rate, we’ll have a full view of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL long before its official debut at the 2017 LA Auto Show in November.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon FCA Could Be Bought by a Chinese Automaker

Formed in 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alliance has been doing very good these past three years, which is why Sergio Marchionne is on the lookout to either sell the company or make another merger with a big brand. FCA was refused by General Motors back in 2015 and Marchionne’s attempts to find a new collaboration have been unsuccessful so far. However, it seems that FCA is actually on the brink of finding a new owner. According to new reports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received at least one offer in August from a “well-known Chinese automaker.”

That’s the word from Automotive News, which claims that the over was slightly higher than FCA’s current market value, but the Italian-American alliance rejected it for not being enough. There’s no detailed information as to what Chinese automaker made the offer, but speculation has it that FCA is negotiating with more than one company. Also, a source close to FCA said that company executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co., while different sources claim talks with Dongfeng Motor Corp., Zhejiang Geely, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The 840-horspower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon stole the show at the 2017 New York Auto Show, but the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk certainly garnered a ton of attention. The highly anticipated an long-rumored Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is everything we hoped for and more, including that 707-horspower 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8, beefed-up TorqFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and reinforced full-time 4WD system. The Jeep even gets the Demon’s Torque Reserve system, helping launch five-passenger SUV to 60 mph in an astonishing 3.5 seconds!

Yeah, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn’t the most practical vehicle debuting at New York this year, but it’s by far the most practical Hellcat ever produced. Sure, the Charger Hellcat is a usable sedan with little draw-backs, but the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk offers 68.3 cubic feet of cargo volume and a respectable 7,200 pounds of towing capacity. Not to mention, this Jeep will likely do well in wintertime conditions with a set of proper tires, especially since its drive modes include a setting for snow.

Jeep engineers didn’t just shoehorn a Hellcat V-8 under the hood of an ordinary Grand Cherokee, however. The Trackhawk is heavily modified, sharing nearly no common powertrain parts with the standard Grand Cherokees. Even the 6.4-liter V-8-powered Grand Cherokee SRT version comes with less whiz-bang engineering.

Update 08/08/2017: Jeep has announced pricing for the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It will start at $86,995, including the destination fee. Read more in the Pricing section below.

Continue reading for more in formation on the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Starts at $85,900

jeep_grand_cherokee_trackhawk_64

The Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will become available to order in a few days time and its price tag is going to disappoint many. The MSRP for the 2018 Trackhawk is $85,900, excluding $1,095 destination. And since it’s a very special, limited edition car, by the time it reaches the showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2017 you could be looking at a 100 grand car. 

That is a hefty price to pay for a Cherokee, even one with special talents like this one. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features the 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine of the Challenger Hellcat, and that makes it not just the most powerful production SUV but also the quickest. The Trackhawk sprints form 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, does the quarter mile run in 11.6 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 180 mph.

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Not that anyone buys a  Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for anything other than outright speed, but some of the other notable highlights of this SUV include Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, Selec-Track system (Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow), Brembo braking system, 7,200-pound towing capability, 20 x 10-inch Titanium-finish, soft-touch materials, unique Light Black Chrome finishes and carbon fiber spears, and a 7-inch driver information display (DID) instrument cluster, as well as Uconnect 4 system with 8.4-inch display that features Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages.

jeep_grand_cherokee_trackhawk_4

Available options include dual-pane panoramic sunroof, three-season tires, lightweight 20 x 10-inch forged aluminum Low Gloss Black wheels, fully wrapped Signature Leather Interior Package in Black or Black/Dark Ruby Red, 19-speaker Harman Kardon high-performance audio system, dual-screen rear-seat entertainment center with Blu-ray, trailer tow package and Dark Ruby Red seatbelts. Available colors include Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Diamond Black, Ivory Tri-coat, Bright White, Velvet Red, Rhino (exclusive), Redline 2 (exclusive) and True Blue.

The post 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Starts at $85,900 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Juicy Jeep Wrangler JL Details Leaked, Including Full-Time 4WD!

Fiat Chrysler can’t keep the cat in the bag with its upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. The latest leak is massive in scale, unloading details of trim packages, paint colors, and order codes, complete with all their corresponding options. The info comes straight from FCA’s online dealership ordering system via the fan forum JLWranglerForums. Image screenshots confirm the authenticity while giving an unprecedented glimpse at what Jeep’s internal operations. This leaves only the final design, engine output specs, and MSRP to speculation. But with the Wrangler’s debut scheduled for the LA Auto Show in November, there’s still plenty of time for more leaks.

Leading this batch of leaks is the addition of a power-retractable soft top, the conformation of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, the axing of the luxury-minded Sahara trim for the two-door Wrangler, and the debut of a full-time 4WD system reserved exclusively for the four-door Sahara. Jeep purists shouldn’t fret, though – the Sport and Rubicon trims return, along with an optional Heavy Duty Electrical Group (supposedly for running extra lights and a CB radio), and something called the “Trail Rail Management System.” Six tire and four wheel options are present, too, with wheels sized at 17 and 18 inches. Seven color choices will be offered, along with the return of a tan soft top. The AEK Electronic Infotainment System Group includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Alpine returns as the premium audio system.

Continue reading for a ton more information on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.

PostHeaderIcon The “Autobiography of a Jeep” Is 10 Minutes Of Glory

In light of the impending debut of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and Wrangler-based pickup truck – not to mention my recent time spent with the 2017 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – the Jeep brand has consumed much of my recent time and writings. In the course of perusing Jeep history and year-specific factoids, I ran across this lovely documentary. As the name suggests, the film is narrated in first-person, allowing the Willy MB to tell its own story.

It might be a bit cheeky by today’s standards, but the 1943 documentary details how the original Willy MB came to be. As most know, it was the outbreak of World War II that spurred the U.S. Department of War to find a suitable troop transport that could serve a variety of roles. Some roles were quite dare-devilish, too, like floating in water by being wrapped in a canvas tarp and crossing deep valleys via a wire cable. Adaptations of the MB included a more dedicated amphibious model with a boat-like hull surrounding he body. The MB began mass production only eight months after the War Department’s open request for prototypes. To keep up with production requirements, Ford joined in with its near-exact replica of the Willys MB, the Ford GPW. Combined, a new Jeep rolled off the assembly line every two minutes at the height of the war. Of course, the video has plenty more tid-bits of information and shows tons of Jeeps in action.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – Driven

Jeep is hardly the oldest automaker, but it’s arguably one of the most iconic. Its premier vehicle, the Wrangler, is slathered in blue-blooded Americana and glorified war history that transcends our continent and into every corner of the globe. Show anybody anywhere that seven-slotted grille and round headlights, and you’ll be rewarded with “Jeep!”

It’s no secret Jeep is completely revamping the Wrangler for 2018, giving it new life with more creature comforts and technology while not diluting any of its rugged off-road capabilities. But before that happens, we’re talking a close look at the current version, the Wrangler JK. It debuted in 2007 and has undergone relatively few changes. Jeep upgraded the interior in 2011 and swapped in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012 to replace the lazy 3.8-liter V-6. Beyond that, Jeep has relied on special editions to keep the Wrangler fresh. But despite the on-paper stagnation, the Wrangler has exploded in popularity. Jeep went from selling 80,000 Wrangler TJs in 2006 to 202,702 Wrangler JKs in 2015. Much of that can likely be attributed to the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door version of the two-door SUV. Families could finally justify a Wrangler for both commuting and weekend getaways. Then came the explosion in aftermarket support from companies solely devoted to selling custom parts for the Wrangler. The Jeep community grew and folks hopped on the bandwagon. And who wouldn’t? Just look at it. Read along as I attempt to objectively revaluate a vehicle I’ve been passionate about since the 4.0-liter inline-six was the engine of choice.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – Driven

Jeep is hardly the oldest automaker, but it’s arguably one of the most iconic. Its premier vehicle, the Wrangler, is slathered in blue-blooded Americana and glorified war history that transcends our continent and into every corner of the globe. Show anybody anywhere that seven-slotted grille and round headlights, and you’ll be rewarded with “Jeep!”

It’s no secret Jeep is completely revamping the Wrangler for 2018, giving it new life with more creature comforts and technology while not diluting any of its rugged off-road capabilities. But before that happens, we’re talking a close look at the current version, the Wrangler JK. It debuted in 2007 and has undergone relatively few changes. Jeep upgraded the interior in 2011 and swapped in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012 to replace the lazy 3.8-liter V-6. Beyond that, Jeep has relied on special editions to keep the Wrangler fresh. But despite the on-paper stagnation, the Wrangler has exploded in popularity. Jeep went from selling 80,000 Wrangler TJs in 2006 to 202,702 Wrangler JKs in 2015. Much of that can likely be attributed to the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door version of the two-door SUV. Families could finally justify a Wrangler for both commuting and weekend getaways. Then came the explosion in aftermarket support from companies solely devoted to selling custom parts for the Wrangler. The Jeep community grew and folks hopped on the bandwagon. And who wouldn’t? Just look at it. Read along as I attempt to objectively revaluate a vehicle I’ve been passionate about since the 4.0-liter inline-six was the engine of choice.

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PostHeaderIcon 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: Highs & Lows

If ever there were a vehicle that could be described as “ionic,” the Jeep CJ/Wrangler would be it. It’s overall shape hasn’t changed much since the U.S. entered WWII in 1941, and neither has its off-road capability. The current version, the Wrangler JK, has been around a decade now, having debuted for the 2007 model year. By now you know Jeep is readying its replacement with the 2018 Wrangler JL – an SUV rumored to be far superior to the JK in nearly every way, both in on-road comfort and off-road ability. But before the last new JK rolls off its Ohio assembly line, I spent a week living with one of the most hard-core versions: the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock.

Now, if you’ve been living under a rock and have to ask yourself what makes a Rubicon Hard Rock, take the time to read my explanation. For the rest of us, we can explore the Wrangler’s highs and low – its loveable characteristics and loathsome traits. The Jeep certainly has both, and you’d better be fully aware of each should you purchase one, much like the 191,774 customers did in the U.S. in 2016 alone. Of course, these are just my opinions, so feel free to tell me yours in the comments below.

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PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler To Debut At LA Auto Show

The upcoming and highly anticipated 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. That’s the official word from Jeep CEO Mike Manley, originating from an interview with Auto Express. What’s more, Manley confirmed the Wrangler will have a hybrid powertrain option, the details of which will be announced before the end of 2017. Thankfully, the Wrangler will still have the rugged looks and off-road capability of the current Wrangler JK we’ve come to love, but with healthy updates to both styling details and interior NVH.

“It’s definitely going to move the game along but you will absolutely know it’s a Wrangler – for sure! If we did anything that departed from the Wrangler formula I don’t think I’d be able to get out of the States,” said Manley, a native of Great Britain. It’s clear the next-generation Wrangler will have a familiar shape thanks to numerous spy shots of prototype vehicles seen scurrying around Detroit.
However, improvements to the Wrangler’s everyday livability will be a welcomed addition. “You’ll be really surprised how far we’ve been able to move things in terms of capability, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise and all of those things, said Mike Manley. “I’m very pleased with where it is.”

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PostHeaderIcon Jeep Brand Worth More Than FCA, Report Suggests

There’s no question the Jeep Brand is doing extremely well. But, according to Adam Jonas, a Wall Street analyst with Morgan Stanley, Jeep is more valuable than the rest of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Jonas conducted a sum-of-the-parts analysis that concluded Jeep’s value is 120 percent of FCA’s $23.6-billion market capitalization. That’s a huge deal for a sub-brand of a global automaker. What’s more, Jonas estimates Jeep could account for nearly half of FCA’s total vehicle sales by 2018.

Of course, Jeep’s upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL and the Wrangler Pickup likely contribute to Jonas’ optimistic estimates, but even currently, Jeep has seen tremendous growth since 2009 when Fiat took control of Chrysler. CNBC reports Jeep sold 1.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, which is four times its sales volume in 2009. New models like the Renegade and Cherokee are undoubtedly contributing thanks to the boom in popularity for the crossover segment. However, Jeep’s success could mean big bucks for FCA and its shareholders if the brand is sold or spun off. FCA has already done this with Ferrari with great success. FCA’s market cap was listed between $15 and $16 billion before the Ferrari spin-off in late 2015, according to CNBC. Since then, FCA and Ferrari now have a combined market cap over $31 billion. When Jonas asked FCA boss Sergio Marchionne if he would consider spinning of the Jeep brand, Marchionne reportedly said, “yes.” However, no plans have been made public by FCA or its executives. What does this mean for Jeep? Keep reading for more.

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PostHeaderIcon What Makes a Rubicon Hard Rock?

This week has a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock in my driveway. It’s a mouthful of a name, but its title is nothing compared to the laundry list of upgraded equipment bolted to this hard-core SUV. Things like rock rails, a heat-reduction hood, mud tires, and locking differentials just scratch the surface. As such, I wanted to take a deep dive into what constitutes a Rubicon trim – and the subsequent Hard Rock model – of the venerable Jeep Wrangler JK.

The current Jeep Wrangler, codenamed JK, has been around since 2007. The JK revolutionized the Wrangler with the addition of a four-door model called the Wrangler Unlimited. Since its introduction, the Wrangler JK has undergone minimal changes. An improved interior came for 2011 followed by the then-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012. Beyond that, only special edition models have kept the Wrangler fresh. Of course, Jeep is selling plenty of JKs, so there’s not much need to change. In fact, the Wrangler’s best year was 2015 when 202,702 Wranglers found homes in the U.S. alone. Jeep also sold 20,880 JKs in Canada that year, along with thousands more in markets around the world. But the JK’s days are numbered. Jeep is rolling out an all-new Wrangler for 2018, codenamed the JL. However, that doesn’t discount the awesomeness that is the current Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock. Keep reading to find out why.

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PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler has been an icon of American independence since 1941 when the U.S. Government commissioned a small, go-anywhere vehicle that could support troops heading into battle. It was the Willys Overland company that won the design, and with the help of the Ford Motor Company, built thousands of MB Jeeps. Fast forward to 2016 and the Jeep spirit lives on within the Wrangler. The current Wrangler, known as the JK, got its start in 2007. An interior refresh in 2012 followed by a welcomed powertrain update in 2013 has kept the JK fresh, with sales far exceeding any Jeep vehicle in the past. Much of that success is thanks to the Wrangler Unlimited – the four-door version of the SUV. With room for five, all the capability of the standard Wrangler JK, and an exploding aftermarket support system, the Wrangler took off. Jeep sold more than 202,000 Wranglers in 2015 alone – surpassing 2014’s quota by some 27,000 examples. In fact, Wrangler sales have consistently grown by roughly 20,000 units since 2011. What other vehicle can say the same?!

Nevertheless, the Wrangler JK’s run is coming to a close. Jeep’s parent company, FCA, is now burdened with the daunting task of creating a new Wrangler – something that appeals to the masses yet somehow stays true to its roots. The Jeep loyalists are a tough bunch to please, so the new generation of Wrangler has to excel at everything. It has to handle better, offer more creature comforts, and more in-dash technology, yet still be cleanable with a garden hose, inside and out. Rumors have been slowly surfacing, so we decided to piece together what we had. This original rendering is based on both hearsay and solid information from FCA brass. Take a look below for both front and rear renderings. This is our best estimate of what the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will look like.

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