Tag Archives: Off Roaders

Jalopnik Finds Out If The Jeep Renegade Can “Jeep” Properly

Jalopnik takes the Jeep Renegade Trail Hawk off-road to see how it stacks up as a real Jeep.

Keep in mind, the Renegade can also see about 30 MPG when cruising on smooth roads. Not a bad mix at all if you ask me.

-Nick

2016 Volvo XC90 Review: Tell The World You’ve Made Babies In Style!

Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription 1

Why does one need a seven passenger vehicle?

Well, maybe you’re popular and have a lot of friends. Or, perhaps more likely, you haven’t been using condoms, but still won’t pull out before the job is done, because that would be disgracefully un-Patriotic. You wouldn’t want to disappoint Uncle Sam now, would you? Of course not.

But now you find yourself surrounded by screaming little bastards of various sizes, and you need a vehicle that can fit everyone, together, all at once… what joy! The car had better be extra comfortable too, because, with all that screaming in the back, it certainly won’t be easy to relax while you drive.

You could buy a minivan, but that’s just demeaning to your character. I mean you’re clearly an attractive person because you’ve been able to make lots of babies. So why buy a car that will turn you into a shmuck now?

You don’t want to sell out, and the best news is you don’t have to. There are plenty of nice and stylish SUVs out there that you will be delighted to drive the family around in. And Volvo has just brought a formidable new player to the game…

Meet the all-new 2016 Volvo XC90, which is a completely new flavor from the previous XC90. Where the old XC90 was too soccer-mom-ish, maybe a small step up from a minivan, the new XC90 is a suave and luxurious SUV. Eager to compete at the top, it’s new sense of style on the surface also comes with many clever improvements underneath. What we have here might be the most interesting 7 seater on the market.

Driving Impressions

I took a camera along for the ride, so you can see my realtime reactions to the car for yourself.

Continue reading 2016 Volvo XC90 Review: Tell The World You’ve Made Babies In Style!

Edmunds Tests The Durability Of Ford’s Aluminum F-150

I’ll admit to being one of the skeptics of the new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150. I could just see them getting banged up real easily on worksites, and being extremely expensive to fix. This video shows some surprising resilience in the F-150’s aluminum body panels, even after being pounded with a sledgehammer. No word on the repair bill as of yet, so we’ll have to wait and see. But thus far, I’m definitely impressed.

UPDATE: They got the bill!

So the aluminum body panels are sturdier than many had thought, but you won’t want to have to fix them. They are quite expensive, more than double the cost of repairing steel body work. Aluminum costs substantially more to work on than steel, and it takes more hours to do the work.

In a nutshell, it’s a good thing that the F-150’s aluminum body panels are pretty robust because many customers may find it a better idea to just live with a few dings and dents than spend the big money on repairs.

-Nick

Mercedes’ New Bro-Chariot Has Arrived, And It’s Called The GLE

2016 Mercedes GLE 450 AMG

Let’s begin with a story…

A few years ago, BMW created an all-new segment. They looked at the idea behind Mercedes’ beautiful CLS 4-door coupe, and then BMW thought… “what if we did that with an SUV?”, And the BMW X6 was born!

Now, unlike the Mercedes CLS, which is essentially just a sleeker, more beautiful Mercedes E-Class with no tangible drawbacks, the X6 didn’t turn out so well. The tapered roofline that makes a car look sleek wound up looking really awkward on the X6’s larger SUV proportions. It also compromised the size of the trunk. So a sleeker, more beautiful BMW X5 the X6 was not, not by a long shot. In fact, it really only served to remove the “utility” from “Sport Utility Vehicle.”

So why, then, would you buy a BMW X6? If you wanted an SUV for all of the reasons anyone wants an SUV, then you’d buy the X5. If you wanted a stylish coupe for all of the reasons people generally want a stylish coupe, then you’d buy a 6 Series. Where is the market for something that looks like a sad humpback whale on wheels?

Well, Mercedes-Benz has clearly been watching closely, and whatever the market may be, they want a peice of it! So, with that, they decided to take their M-Class SUV, break its back like Bane did Batman, and boom!… the Mercedes GLE is here.

Continue reading Mercedes’ New Bro-Chariot Has Arrived, And It’s Called The GLE

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review, Al’s Take (Grade: B)

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Out at Amelia Island, ride and drives last year were few and far between.  Luckily for me, SRT was there and proudly offering a few cars to test.  The Chrysler 300 SRT was available, but as most of our readers know, I tested that last summer and found it underwhelming.  On Nick’s persistent recommendation, I took the the other option they had, this Billet Silver Metallic Grand Cherokee and asked myself this question: What makes this better than the Chrysler, and what elements does this vehicle have that I want to see in others?  The surprisingly substantial drive I took allowed me to answer more than just those questions.
Continue reading 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review, Al’s Take (Grade: B)

Test Driven: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (9.5/10)

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT at Amelia Island

When most people think of Jeep, they think of Wranglers plowing through mud and climbing over rocks. They don’t, however, think of a 470hp V8, 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, and surely not of a $65,000 price tag. Meet the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT, a different sort of Jeep.

It caters more toward the realistic type of SUV buyer here in America, one who will probably never forge a stream in their life, but still wants a big car to go to the mall in. Understanding this sort of buyer will help you understand why the Cherokee SRT exists. The fact is, most buyers use SUVs in the exact same way they would use a car, and they wind up wanting the same things offered in cars. Just look at the BMW X6. It is both an SUV, as well as one of those coupe-sedan thingys, like the Mercedes CLS. Personally, I think the people who buy a vehicle like an X6 exude an especially repulsive level of vanity, but somehow BMW manages to sell enough X6s to make it worthwhile.

This sort of clientele purchasing SUVs has inevitably taken the emphasis off of off road ability, and put it on more traditional, car like, aspects. The result has been new SUVs that are basically just big cars, and it was only so long before someone said “Hey, can I have a fast one?”

Continue reading Test Driven: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (9.5/10)

Test Driven: 6.0 swapped 2000 Chevrolet Silverado (9/10)

Silverado
The Silverado (by Dan V)

I have been around cars for a long time now, and it has gotten to the point where I generally know what to expect when I get behind the wheel of something new. Many cars have some surprising features, but usually these surprises are more of a nice touch, a cherry on top of the ice cream sundae; if you will. Every so often though, I find something that completely throws my expectations out the window. The Chevy Siverado you see above belongs to my photographer friend, Dan Valanzola, who has spent countless hours turning it into something entirely unexpected.   Continue reading Test Driven: 6.0 swapped 2000 Chevrolet Silverado (9/10)

Secondhand Saint: Jeep Wrangler TJ

Jeep can be considered the inventor of the SUV in America.  The Wrangler, still in production today, is a reminder of where the original SUV came from.  The TJ model, produced from 1997-2006, is, in my opinion, the best interpretation and the best mix of modern technology and old-style design, with time-tested engines, classic styling, and unlimited ability to go anywhere. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Jeep Wrangler TJ