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6 Years ago
News

jeep
jeep grand cherokee
porsche
bmw
porsche cayenne
First Test: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
The traditional performance plan for Jeeps was to unbolt, unzip, unsnap, and otherwise dismount every component that wasn't necessary, then mount the biggest knobby tires possible and head for the hills. The SRT guys have gone the opposite direction by throwing technology and fat, sticky Italian tires at a Jeep to create a whole different monster. While the Grand Cherokee SRT8 may not have the precision of its Hemi-fied siblings, it might be even more fun. Throwing this 5200-pound SUV around corners gives you the same guilty pleasure as finishing a meal that earns you a T-shirt.

 The big Jeep likes to be manhandled and tossed around. It will respond to smooth inputs, but it will return equal...

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6 Years ago
News

volkswagen
chrysler
dodge
dodge grand caravan
honda
Verdict: 2010 Volkswagen Routan SEL
The Volkswagen Routan isn't like every other minivan on the market today -- it's like two other minivans. With the structure of the Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country beneath its shiny new skin, the Routan is a mixture of Teutonic ingenuity and Canadian build quality. The result is a baffling vehicle with both eye-popping improvements over the Chrysler duo and forehead-slapping oversights.

Whether or not you agree with VW's decision to restyle its competitor's minivan for the U.S. market rather than build its own from scratch, the German brand did manage to get at least one thing right about the Routan: This people-mover is better-looking than either Chrysler product. Staffers praised...

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6 Years ago
News

jeep
chrysler
dodge
dodge challenger
Long Term Update 2: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
One of the elements of the Grand Cherokee that has puzzled me (and some other staffers) is the navigation system - specifically, the fact that Chrysler offers two different systems depending on trim level. The range-topping Overland, for instance, gets a slightly-updated version of the system we've seen previously in a number of Mopar-built long-termers, including the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Challenger, and Ram 2500 HD. Our Limited, however, despite using the same hardware, comes with a nav sourced from Garmin.

Don't get me wrong, the Garmin system isn't bad by any means. In fact, it has several advantages over the Chrysler unit, including better scales and a higher resolution display....

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6 Years ago
News

chrysler
dodge
dodge charger
First Drive: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 & Dodge Charger SRT8
A 4300-pound sedan should not look appropriate on a racetrack. Yet here we are, at the fittingly named Big track at Willow Springs, with the new SRT8 versions of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. These gloriously wide, big, bold, and heavy mechanical twins drip with unabashed swagger. If there's one truth, it's that they'll never be mistaken for anything plebeian.

Another truth we must discuss: These two still rely on the same five-speed automatic as their predecessors, and with this transmission come the complaints we've repeated in this space -- delayed response and disappointing shift quality. In its defense, the inexpensive transmission is a proven, hardworking unit, handling heavy power...

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6 Years ago
News

jeep
chrysler
ford
alfa romeo
dodge
Long Term Update 1: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4
Months in Service: 3Miles: 5728Average Fuel Economy: 17.7 mpg

The last time a Jeep showed up in our-long term fleet (a 2007 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon), most people had never heard the names Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers, the war in Iraq was in full swing, Ford looked like the most likely candidate for bankruptcy after Alan Mulally mortgaged everything to take out a $23.6 billion loan, Daimler was just beginning the process of off-loading Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management, its products were infamous for sub-par interiors, and Alfa Romeo was just a couple of years away from coming back to the U.S. market.

Almost four years later, we've got another Jeep in the long-term garage (a 2011...

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6 Years ago
News

volkswagen
chrysler
dodge
Long Term Update 6: 2010 Volkswagen Routan
There have been ups and downs with our Routan. (We've mentioned the brakes.) But there's more to this Volkswagen. As this is a close relative of the much-lauded Chrysler Town and Country minivan, comparisons are inevitable.

Associate editor Scott Evans notes, "Volkswagen's crew deserves a medal for the styling improvements they've made inside and out. It's considerably better-looking than its Dodge and Chrysler twins with a touch of elegance throughout, which is pretty good for a minivan.

"They're also to be commended for the work done on the 'German-Tuned Suspension,' as it strikes a very nice balance between a soft, luxury-car-like ride and reasonably responsive handling, especially considering...

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7 Years ago
News

dodge
First Look: 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T
Given its muddied history, we'll forgive you for brushing off Dodge's latest batch of R/T models. Although the R/T badge once signified a vehicle designed to tease, excite, and appease the enthusiast, in recent years, the nameplate was haphazardly applied to almost every Dodge, many of which drove no better than their conventional cousins.

The R/T range has been renewed and expanded for 2011, but its original purpose is on the way to being restored. Dodge brand CEO Ralph Gilles has promised all future R/T models will offer a "higher level of dynamic capability" -- and that appears to hold true for the 2012 Avenger R/T, which debuts this week at the 2011 New York auto show.

 As is the case...

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7 Years ago
News

chevrolet
dodge
dodge ram
First Drive: Geiger Cars Chevrolet Camaro SS
A lime green Camaro SS with a supercharged whine, aggressive bodykit, writing on the windshield, and the number 13 on its side would draw stares even in downtown Detroit. We're not in Detroit, though, or even the United States. This is downtown Munich, Germany, BMW's backyard, and half of the people staring at the Geiger Cars Camaro SS think we're the coolest guys on Earth, while the other half think we're epic tools.

Europe is used to laughing at American cars. But the groundbreaking performance of the Corvette made a whole continent look again, and now the Mustang and Camaro SS have won a healthy following on the other side of the pond. Karl Geiger's outfit used to make most of its money...

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7 Years ago
News

volkswagen
chrysler
dodge
Long Term Update 4: 2010 Volkswagen Routan
The staff has been impressed with the styling of the Volkswagen version of the Town & Country, agreeing that the Routan has a better-looking exterior than its Dodge or Chrysler siblings and also a more elegant-looking interior. Everyone was just as happy with the interior's versatility and amount of storage space. However, editors are torn over how different the suspension is (VW touts it as having European tuning).

Most comments about this minivan, though, surround two issues: first, why Volkswagen, a company that has generated a cult following for its unique, cool vans over the last 40 years, would settle for a badge-engineered van; and second, what is up with those brakes?

 The first subject...

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7 Years ago
News

dodge
Verdict: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T
Reading through the notes on "Big Blue," our 2009 Challenger, you almost begin to wonder how many people actually drove the car. Every entry is almost formulaic, hitting the same highs and lows and reaching the same conclusion:

"I loved the look of the car and the big V-8 engine. The pistol-grip shifter is awesome and the soft springs make it a great cruiser. On the other hand, the car's too big, it gets lousy fuel economy, and the nav/stereo system is awful. But despite its flaws, I just love this car."

 Whether it was the brilliant blue paint; the shiny, throwback five-spokes; the perfectly formed pistol-grip shifter; the retro styling; or the all-American attitude, everyone found something...

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Avenger12

Caliber14CARAVAN27CHALLENGER2CHARGER5

DAKOTA15DAYTONA10DURANGO12

INTREPID6

Journey7

MAGNUM6MONACO1

NEON9Nitro8

RAM27

SHADOW3SPIRIT3STEALTH3STRATUS11

VIPER9
 
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