SUV, Pickup Truck And Luxury Car All Snag Trophies
The three big winners at the Washington Auto Show were the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel (2015 Green SUV of the Year), the BMW i8 (2015 Luxury Green Car of the Year) and the Ford F-150 (2015 Green Car Technology Award).
Jeep is still working to install trailer hitches on recalled 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty to make them safer in rear collisions. The company says it is working to notify owners in new ways to get them to bring their vehicles in, but fix rates are reportedly low and deaths are still being reported in unrepaired recalled vehicles.
This last-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 does things that SUVs just shouldn't be able to do, like win drag races against tuned Nissan GT-R and BMW M3 coupes. Granted, the owner isn't coming into this fight with a stock Jeep – far from it. In addition to twin turbos whistling away, he says the engine is a 449-cubic-inch V8, which is nearly 7.4 liters of displacement.
Following the significant outcry surrounding the General Motors and Takata airbag safety crises this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seems to be taking a much more aggressive role in pushing owners to repair their recalled vehicles. In the agency's latest move, it's urging Jeep drivers to get their models fixed. Acting NHTSA administrator David Friedman even sent a letter to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne pressing him to get more of the SUVs fixed.
Offering a diesel engine in an American pickup is anything but new – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler all offer excellent and almost impossibly powerful oil-burning engines in their various fullsize trucks. What is new and novel about the 3.0L EcoDiesel, though, is its size, and the variety of vehicles that use it. It's the smallest engine, as far as displacement is concerned, currently offered in a large truck in the US, and, for 2014 and 2015, it is available in the Ram 1500 and the Jee
Between GM's ignition switches and Takata's airbags, it's been a big year for recalls, but they keep rolling in. The latest comes from Chrysler, which has announced a pair of recalls for certain heavy-duty pickups and SUVs.
The Ford Motor Company has a lot of reasons to celebrate after winning eight categories in this year's Texas Auto Writers Association's annual Truck Rodeo. Most important among them, the Blue Oval's latest 2015 Ford F-150 earned the prestigious Truck of Texas award, ending the Ram 1500's two-year winning streak. The 2015 Lincoln MKC also grabbed the honor as the CUV of Texas, and Ford was named Truck Line of Texas.
There may not be many ways to forecast what an automaker is planning for the future, but there are some. Trademark applications are one of them, and Chrysler has just applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect the name "Trackhawk." The question is, what's it planning on using it for? We don't know for sure, but we can put together an educated guess or two. And one guess is that Jeep will use the name to replace the letters SRT on the performance version of the Grand Cherokee.
Chrysler has announced a recall covering 349,442 vehicles due to ignition switches that can either become stuck or move without warning. All of the affected vehicles are from the 2008 model year, and were built before May 12, 2008.
As a brand within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, SRT may have an uncertain future, but it's pumping out some seriously mean machines anyway. The supercharged Hellcat V8 may be gobbling up most of the headlines with its 707 horsepower, but even the Grand Cherokee SRT is getting some small updates for the 2015 model year.
If you want to build a cheap truck that can still do dirty deeds off the beaten path, it's best to start with solid axles and a solid V8 engine. That sums up the lessons learned after watching the 2014 Cheap Truck Challenge from the Dirt Every Day video crew, who took to the deserts and surrounding areas near Reno, NV, in an attempt to find the best 4x4 for under $4,000. Fortunately for us, the whole sordid journey was captured on video.
Chrysler owners are hopping mad after experiencing a series of electrical gremlins in some of the company's vehicles. Issues range from mere annoyances – windows rolling down and radios turning off of their own accord – to serious safety issues, with headlights that randomly shut off at night and cars that stall and refuse to start.
Dodge and Jeep are announcing recalls of a total of 895,000 Durango and Grand Cherokee models worldwide from the 2011 through 2014 model years. There's a possibility that the wiring in the sun visor can short circuit and cause a fire. It specifically affects vehicles built between January 5, 2010, and December 11, 2013, and there are approximately 651,000 of them in the US, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside of North America.