We go for a spin in the much-anticipated 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4X4; one of the big 4-door’s best trims in our opinion! Check it out!
Wear headphones! The audio in this video was recorded with in-ear binaural microphones. With headphones or earbuds on, you’ll feel like you’re actually sitting in the driver’s seat.
This week we’re behind the wheel of what will likely be the tow vehicle of choice for many racers in the coming years – the all-new 2015 Ford F-150. Based on the Atlas Concept that Ford showed off at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, perhaps the biggest news about the new truck is the incredible diet it has gone on – one which has allowed the F-150 to shed 700 pounds of weight in the process (in certain configurations).
Jeep has gotten a number of things right with this new Compass. For a start, a Grand Cherokee-inspired front fascia has replaced the cutesy, on-road-only looks of the last-generation model. We heard more than one passerby mention just how handsome the new front end looks on this small Jeep. From the profile, the Compass benefits from an extra inch of ride height, making it look like it’s actually capable of crossing something tougher than the street. The slightly awkward looking rear end is still there, but the addition of LED taillights improves the overall look, especially at night.
If there is one vehicle that is key to Chrysler’s survival, there is a good chance that it is the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee has always been a popular choice, especially in the Snow Belt, due to its off-road ability, large but easy-to-handle size, and general coolness. For 2011, the resilient GC gets some new sheet metal, and importantly, an all-new 3.6-liter V-6 motor. Jeep offered us a week behind the wheel, and during that time, we pushed it to the max both on- and off-road.
Coming right on the heels of our drive of the Legacy GT, we found it fascinating to experience the transformation of the Legacy’s driving dynamics through seemingly modest changes. In short, by raising the car about 3.5 inches, retuning the suspension and switching from a manual/turbo four to an automatic/normally aspirated six, this feels like a completely different car. Those of you with a penchant for saying “because car X uses the same platform as car Y, we know Z” should drive these cars back to back. If you were honest, you’d drop the platform bigotry in a flash.
In the world of mid-size trucks, competition is interesting, at least if your reference is the full-size truck market. Ford, really, is a non-player and Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge come to market with obviously aging designs. That leaves Toyota among the major players to fight with Nissan and Honda (of all people) for the bulk of the mid-size market. My time in the Nissan Frontier made me wonder why Nissan isn’t among the majors, the same way I did when I drove the Titan last year. That’s because, to a car guy, the Nissans have a lot of appeal due to their superior driving dynamics.
True to its image within the sedan/coupe world, it seems that Dodge is hoping to build a reputation for building the most muscle car-like trucks around. The Ram 1500, with its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, absolutely backs this up. Lots of full size pickup trucks have shared V-8 motors with sports cars of the same brand, but Dodge has seemingly kept more of the sports car flavor in its new Ram trucks than most are willing to. The exhaust note is loud and meaty, transmission seems to be tuned for more acceleration than most big pickups, and, of course, the multi-link coil rear suspension offers ride and handling traits that feel a lot more car-like. This Ram is a real sports truck.
Pickup trucks are a lot different than they were ten years ago. Vehicles that used to be used exclusively on construction sites and for towing have now morphed into a strange fusion of work truck and luxury car. Our Tundra Limited was a prime example of this. Navigation, heated leather seats, a JBL stereo, satellite radio, an iPod/USB hookup, and a floor-mounted shifter were all standard.
The 4Runner SR5 did a decent job in winning me over, over the course of the weekend that it was in my charge. The first night I took the SUV home, I was distinctly put-off by rubbery on-road dynamics, as well as by the very chunky exterior styling. Hard acceleration or braking in the Toyota always results in some pretty hardcore “squat and dive” behavior, meaning aggressive driving was always rewarded by a high level of drama—in a bad way.