Tag Archives: Fiat-Chrysler

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. 4×4

Jeep’s Grand Cherokee touts power, toughness and luxury …2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

What could be more patriotic than a Jeep? And the brand, now part of Fiat-Chrysler, is celebrating 75 years of Jeepdom, although the test model wasn’t specially adorned.

This was a dark metallic gray Grand Cherokee Limited with 4-wheel-drive, starting at a relatively sane $39,895 and ending up at a luxurious $47,930 after adding one hefty $4,200 option package and three others that were more fiscally conservative.

Jeep lovers love the fact that many models can be taken for serious off-roading. While Wranglers are the primary off-roaders, Jeep is happy to tell you that Grand Cherokees can be too.

The Limited could as it came with a 4-wheel-drive system with five traction settings, sand, snow, mud, rocks and automatic. Guess which one gets used the most?2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

This is all handled by a neat dial on the console so it’s easy to dial up the traction your Jeep currently needs. In automatic it was fine on damp Wisconsin roads.

There’s plenty of power too. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing and a healthy 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The Grand Cherokee will move and a Sport button will amp up the power by holding lower gears longer while also firming the steering effort considerably. Entering a highway the Sport setting is the way to go.

As with many cars now, the Jeep has an automatic stop/start feature that turns the engine off at stoplights and other times where it otherwise might idle. This saves a bit of gas, but this one is particularly rough. However, you can turn the feature off for smoother operation. Speaking of which, the 8-speed automatic tranny standard on the Grand Cherokee is exactly that, smooth. Continue reading 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. 4×4

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Dodge to return to NASCAR

It’s about time they did!

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The Dodge Charger Hellcat is one of the fastest cars on the planet so it only makes sense that they hop back in. Dodge’s roots go back to the early NASCAR days and their drivers, Lee and Richard Petty, Buddy Baker, and Bobby Allison played an important part in forming what NASCAR is today. Dodge was last in the NASCAR Premier Series season in 2012 when Brad Keselowski drove the iconic “Blue Deuce”
to his first championship and the first in the series for car owner Roger Penske. Continue reading Dodge to return to NASCAR

Die-cast: Autoart’s Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C an Italian beauty …Autoart Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo has come and gone and come again to the U.S. market, but it has held a special place in the hearts of performance-oriented drivers in Europe consistently for 100+ years.

Now Alfa is back at it with the 4C in the United States, sold through its Fiat dealerships. Finally, Alfa has a sexy sports coupe to rekindle some of the excitement the brand carried here in the 1950s and ’60s.

Lucky us, since we can’t afford a motorized Alfa, Autoart has created a spiffy 1/18 scale version using its new composite material that looks as good, or better, than its die-cast models of the past.Autoart Alfa Romeo 4C

The History

Alfa has a long history with about as many twists and turns as an Italian Alpine mountain road has switchbacks. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Alfa Romeo 4C

Die-cast: Autoart’s Alfa Romeo 4C

Modern Alfa Romeo 4C gorgeously finished …alfa2

Alfa Romeo has come and gone and come again to the U.S. market, but it has held a special place in the hearts of performance-oriented drivers in Europe consistently for 100+ years.

Now Alfa is back at it with the 4C in the United States, sold through its Fiat dealerships. Finally, Alfa has a sexy sports coupe to rekindle some of the excitement the brand carried here in the 1950s and ’60s.

Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Alfa Romeo 4C

2015 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye

Dodge Dart SXT sharp looker, affordabledart1

I’ve always liked the lightly regarded Dodge Dart because it’s a sporty looking entry-level car with a low price tag. It’s affordable and doesn’t look like a cheap econobox.

I gave it my Zoomie Car of the Year award in 2013.

So I was a bit surprised I wasn’t as impressed with the tested SXT Rallye as I’d anticipated. But the Dart is on it fourth model year and while still a high-value car and a sharp looker, much of the competition has caught up and I’m afraid that has raised my expectations.

I have to give the Fiat-Chrysler folks credit because the Dart still offers you more choices than most entry-level sedans. There are five trim levels and three engine choices. With engines it’s usually one and done at this price point.

dart2But Dodge offers a 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 in the Aero high gas mileage model. That engine generates 160 horsepower and 184 ft.-lbs. of torque to make it fun and frugal, as it’s rated 28 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. The tested SXT model features the 2.4-liter MultiAir I4 that creates 184 horses and a 174 torque rating. The base SE model features a 2.0-liter I4 that still manages 160 horses, but just 148 ft.-lbs. of torque. Continue reading 2015 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye