2012 Jeep Patriot

December 20, 2012 at 5:58 am

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Left In The Weeds, But Okay With That

2012 Jeep Patriot

Seventy years ago, the Jeep Patriot would have been amazing. In 1941, the year the original Jeep was drawn up, the power windows, air conditioning and automatic transmission in this Patriot Latitude were features only available in cars like Packards.

The Patriot has features and dynamic capabilities unheard of back when the Jeep was an idea, not a brand. Seventy years of progress, perspective and turmoil has a way of turning the formerly amazing into the mundane. Since its introduction, along with its Compass close relation, this Illinois-built crossover has been viewed as the Fauxlex of Jeeps. It’s based on the defunct Dodge Caliber, which itself shares the Mitsubishi GS platform, ensuring a complete lack of underlying Jeep DNA. The only link back to Karl Probst and his seminal design is some squared-off styling and the impression that the Patriot was also designed over a marathon weekend, just like that first Bantam proposal.

There have been a couple rounds of updates to the Patriot to address previous foibles including its former horror chamber-like interior, along with moves to banish the traces of econobox from its styling. We wanted to sample these changes and see just how far the Patriot can go on its reserve of charm.

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2012 Jeep Patriot originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The List #0004: Conquer the Rubicon Trail

December 12, 2012 at 5:05 am

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Jessi and Patrick of The List drive the Rubicon Trail

Throughout the course of the year, we’ve had Jessi and Patrick check off some big items on our list of 1,001 Car Things To Do Before You Die – things like lap the N

eBay Find of the Day: Andre Agassi’s Hemi-powered Jeep Wrangler

December 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

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Andre Agassi's Hemi-powered Jeep Wrangler

Before retiring in 2006, tennis legend Andre Agassi played big on the court, and, apparently, played really big off road. His heavily customized 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited has been served up on eBay Motors and, you might expect, it’s as bold as Agassi himself.

The Wrangler began with a humble 3.8-liter V6, rated at just 202 horsepower. Obviously that’s not enough oomph for a celebrity sports star, because Agassi had Burnsville Offroad replace the anemic plant with a more appropriate 6.1-liter Hemi V8. To handle the 420 horses, Burnsville added a 545 RFE automatic transmission, Rancho 9000 shocks, tubular doors and LNG suspension system that presumably gave the Vegas-native all the offroad capabilities he needed to navigate the Nevada countryside. Or the Strip.

Seller Classic & Collectible Cars of Las Vegas says almost $80,000 was spent on the 4×4 at The Custom Shop, also in Nevada. That’s on top of the cost of the original vehicle. For that kind of money, you might think they would have thrown in some custom interior pieces, too, but at least the auction winner will have a custom sound system to enjoy.

As of this writing, the auction bidding is at $33,100 after 18 bids, a fraction of that claimed customizing bill. Reserve hasn’t been met, but a listing on C&C’s website shows a $48,995 asking price.

eBay Find of the Day: Andre Agassi’s Hemi-powered Jeep Wrangler originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee headed for Detroit reveal on diesel power

December 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm

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Jeep Grand Cherokee spy shots

Time to quit your bellyaching and pony up your pennies, Jeep fans. Chrysler has announced the Jeep Grand Cherokee will bow with a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine in the first quarter of next year. The engine yields 237 horsepower and an impressive 406 pound-feet of torque, and all that twist shows up from 1,800 rpm on. If you’re counting, that’s 16 lb-ft more than the 5.7-liter V8. Expect to see it bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission. As you may recall, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this news.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley let the news slip while speaking with Ward’s Auto at the LA Auto Show, and said if buyer feedback is any indication, the new model should see healthy sales. Manley also pointed to the now deceased Liberty diesel, which the executive said that enjoyed a faithful, if small following. Odds are we’ll hear more about pricing and fuel economy when the diesel Grand Cherokee gets an official unveil at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

Jeep Grand Cherokee headed for Detroit reveal on diesel power originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards

November 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

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Kelley Blue Book announced its annual Best Resale Value Award winners, and we weren’t too surprised to see the list dominated by Japanese automakers – mainly Toyota and Honda. KBB hands out the awards based on the projected residual value of mostly all 2013 model year vehicles, and Toyota skated home with a number of awards including 10 of the 22 overall categories and having five of its products in the top 10 for models with best resale value. KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards were announced in the same week as the ALG Residual Value Awards, and there were many similarities between both lists, especially when it came to Toyota.

To come up with its winners, KBB measures depreciation over the first five years of ownership, and looks for the cars it expects to hold its value the best after this time; on average, the report says the 2013 model year vehicles will lose 61.8 percent of its value in five years. Of the 22 categories, 15 slots were filled by Toyota, Honda and Nissan products, while the Camaro and Porsche (Cayenne and Panamera) each took home a pair of awards. If Toyota has anything to be upset about in this list of cars, it’s that categories for Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car and Electric Vehicle went to the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Volt, respectively.

The overall top 10 models for the best resale value in 2013 are, in alphabetical order:

Scroll down to see KBB’s press release that includes a breakdown of all individual category winners.

Continue reading Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards

Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is a trail-eating off-road beast

November 29, 2012 at 5:15 am

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2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition

Difficult as it may be, the reality of the matter is that there are a lot of vehicles in the United States that can make it through the daunting stretch of dirt, rocks and elevation changes that is the Rubicon Trail. That said, there isn’t a single production vehicle available today that can navigate the off-road playground with as much aplomb as the Jeep Wrangler.

And no Jeep Wrangler rolling off the factory production line has ever been as off-road-ready as the 2013 Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition.

What makes this rugged machine so capable? It all starts with the steel front bumper that is ready to accept a winch and features removable end caps that allow the massive BF Goodrich 265/70R17 tires unimpeded access to the ground below and in front. In other words, this Wrangler can climb like a mountain goat.

Also included is a half-inch ride-height increase for additional clearance, electronic-locking front and rear Dana 44 axles with 4.10 ratios and locking differentials. Rounding out the package are a dual-intake Power Dome hood, red tow hooks, Mopar rock rails and the buyer’s choice of Billet Silver, White or 10th Anniversary Edition-exclusive Anvil paint and red leather inside.

Check out our live images above, and feel free to peruse the press release below.

Continue reading 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is a trail-eating off-road beast

2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is a trail-eating off-road beast originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition gets full frontal exposure

November 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm

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Being one of the more difficult off-road trails in the US and a test bed for Jeep products, the Rubicon Trail’s name was first used on the Jeep Wrangler starting in 2003. Ten years later Jeep is celebrating the Wrangler Rubicon with a special package that makes it, “The most off-road capable Wrangler in history.”

That’s a pretty bold statement, but it definitely seems feasible after looking at some of the added equipment on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition, such as a new winch-capable steel front bumper with removable end caps that allows full frontal exposure of the meatier BF Goodrich tires for better rock-crawling abilities. This new bumper alone allows the Wrangler to take on obstacles such as rocks or ruts practically head on, but the package also gives the Rubicon an extra half-inch lift and taller 265/70R17 tires.

Aside from its improved off-road prowess, the new model also has enough of a styling change to easily distinguish it from the standard Rubicon. For starters, the new front and rear bumpers and black-accented wheels give the Rubicon a beefed-up look, and a vented hood looks like it was sculpted by the same team responsible for the hood on the SRT Viper. The Anniversary Edition also gets plenty of plenty of color with red accents added to the front and rear tow hooks, shocks and a full red leather interior. The exterior will only be offered in three colors including an package-exclusive new blue-ish hue called Anvil, which is shown above. Mopar even gets in on the celebrations with finishing touches like black rocker panel rails, taillight guards and fuel door all coming standard.

The Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is available on both the two-door Wrangler and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, and while pricing has yet to be determined, the commemorative model goes on sale in the spring of 2013. Scroll down for the full press release.

Continue reading 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition gets full frontal exposure

2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition gets full frontal exposure originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee caught with new headlights, grille exposed

November 27, 2012 at 6:41 am

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A few updates are in store for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and while we’ve told you about them before, we’re now getting our first glimpse at the refreshed SUV without all the heavy camouflage.

Up front, new headlights with LED running lamps flow into a new front fascia design with a smaller seven-slat grille and some curvy bodywork that flows up underneath the headlamp clusters. (With the black tape still covering part of the fascia, can anyone else see a bit of Chrysler 300 in those headlights?) Revisions have been made to the Jeep’s lower front end, as well; and all in, it’s not as aggressive (or handsome) as the current model. Also, we’re not sure how we feel about the flat gray panel that surrounds the grille on the Laredo model, though it’s unclear whether that’s actually a production piece. We’ll hold off making up our minds about the new styling, for certain, until we see the fully baked SUV.

At the back, subtle tweaks have been made to the taillamps (LEDs have been added – surprise, surprise), and the tailgate has been ever-so-slightly redesigned.

The big changes for 2014 lie under the Grand Cherokee’s hood – most notably, the addition of a 3.0-liter diesel V6 for the US market. As we reported earlier, this will be a massaged version of the oil-burning six sold in Europe, and should be good for about 237 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque. The Grand Cherokee will also get a new ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

Look for the 2014 Grand Cherokee to officially bow at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Production is estimated to start in the spring of 2013.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee caught with new headlights, grille exposed originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Nov 2012 10:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler to accelerate production of 2013 Ram and V6 engines

November 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

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Chrysler is adding a third shift at its Warren Truck plant to meet demand for the new 2013 Ram pickup. And with tight supplies of its Pentastar V6, the company is also boosting output at its Mack Engine plant.

The expansions will add 1,250 jobs and are part of a $238 million investment by Chrysler in the Detroit area. Warren’s third shift will begin work sometime in the spring, a Chrysler rep told Automotive News. Mack’s increased Pentastar production a could include both 3.6 and 3.2-liter engines.

The company says it also plans to invest $40 million in its Trenton Engine plant to allow for production of a 3.2-liter V6 as well as the Tigershark inline-four for the upcoming Jeep Liberty replacement.

Chrysler to accelerate production of 2013 Ram and V6 engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Four Wheeler crowns Ultimate Factory 4×4… who wins?

November 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

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Ultimate Factory 4x4

Nearly every automaker doing business in the SUV or pickup truck segments offers a package designed to improve the off-road capabilities of its wares. But, of course, not all such factory kits are created equal. How, then, to separate the wheat from the chaff? Gather each of them up and put them through their paces, naturally.

The folks from Four Wheeler and PickupTrucks.com joined forces to run just such a comparison test, with the winner named the Ultimate Factory 4×4. A total of seven vehicles showed up to the fight: the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, 2012 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X and Xterra PRO-4X, 2012 Ram Power Wagon, and 2012 Toyota 4Runner Trail and Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series.

With the contestants in place, the whole crew put each vehicle through a battery of tests that included skidpad and acceleration measurements, a hillclimb, a rocky stairstep course and a rock garden. Considering the nature of the beasts, on-road ride and comfort were not part of the routine.

So, which four-wheeler ended up on top? Click here to read the results, and don’t act like you’re surprised by the victor.

Four Wheeler crowns Ultimate Factory 4×4… who wins? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 15 Nov 2012 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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