• The ’14 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 lineup will start at $24,995. However, if you want the upper-end Trailhawk 4x4, pricing begins at $29,495.
• NHTSA wanted to recall ’93-’04 Grand Cherokees and ’02-’07 Libertys. Chrysler took offense. The two have now reached an agreement: a voluntary look-see of the Jeeps in question and if necessary, an upgrade to the rear structure “to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts,” according to a statement from Chrysler. It continued: “Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles.”
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“We want to be politcally correct, and we don’t want to offend anybody. We just haven’t gotten any feedback that was disparaging.”
—Jim Morrison, director of Jeep marketing, in a New York Times piece about sensitivity over vehicles having ethnic identities, like the resurrected nameplate Cherokee
• At the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, a few names SCOREd. King Shocks, which happened to be the official shock of SCORE International, was on vehicles that saw nine class wins. Toyo Tires also saw noteworthy 1st and 2nd overall wins, including with Robby Gordon winning the actual race. And Baja Designs saw 19 podium finishes in 16 classes. It was extra awesome for the company because they had their new OnX LED lightbar, with technology aimed for high-speed night driving with only LEDs.
• Among those making the short list for ’13 Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees is Bob Chandler, of Bigfoot monster trucks fame, and who is also the guy who pretty much invented the business of monster trucks.
• Mickey Thompson has received the Shav Glick award, for his contributions to the industry within California.
• Ford gave Warn a shoutout by naming it a Gold winner of its World Excellence Awards, which crowns the top-performing global suppliers. Only 14 companies worldwide have received it, and this was the second time for Warn; it previously scooped up a Silver.
• ”The latest and greatest update? Adding a slew of new applications to our California-legal 50 State GT Gas!” Those are the excited words of Bully Dog regarding its GT lineup of tuners. The company explained the excitement was due to the fact that California customers are always wondering if its products are legal in that state. And now, the list of vehicles supported by the 50 State GT is Jeep, Dodge, Ford, Chevy, and others.
• ’14 Ram HD: It has the all-new 6.4L Hemi worth 410hp, an available 6.7L Cummins for 385hp, and a standard 5.7L Hemi for 383hp. Towing and payload numbers are sick—towing is up to 30,000 pounds with the 3500, for example. And there are new offerings, which include wheel packages, a new alternator system, a new gooseneck/fifth wheel capability for the 2500, and a special air suspension for both 2500 and 3500 models.
• ’14 Ram 1500: The half-ton Ram will now sport a diesel option—the 3.0L EcoDiesel worth 240 horses and 420 lb-ft of torque—mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed auto trans. The new Ram starts at $24,200; the diesel upgrade is another $2,850.
• Ford has unwrapped a new F-150 called Tremor. It’s mostly exterior styling changes. The Blue Oval is also billing the Tremor as a V-6–powered sport truck (it features the EcoBoost engine).
• Butter: All Moto Flavored is a feature film starring top riders from the ATV and dirt bike industries.
• If you’ve got diesel power, you might be saving up to $6,000 in ownership costs during a 3-5 year period compared to gas engines. That news comes from the University of Michigan, who did a study for Robert Bosch LLC called Total Cost of Ownership: A Gas Versus Diesel Comparison. The study included this info: “The estimates of savings for 3 and 5 years of ownership vary from a low of $67 in 3 years to a high of $15,619 in 5 years, but most of the savings are in the $2,000 to $6,000 range, which also include the extra cost that is usually added to the diesel version of a vehicle.”
• Carinsurance.com put together a list of best vehicles for teens based on cost, mpg, and repair visits, and for being an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. All that buildup to tell you that no Jeeps made the cut.
• The Petersen Automotive Museum has a cool new exhibit on its hands called Pickups: The Art of Utility. On display will be 19 vehicles covering about a decade, including a ’58 Jeep. The exhibit can be seen through April 6, 2014. More info is at petersen.org.
• Aria Group and XPLORE Great Outdoors created the XPLORE Adventure Series Cadillac Escalade, a built-to-order off-road vehicle. It’ll be available with custom suspension options, a Warn winch, BFG rubber, various interior and exterior outdoor-friendly enhancements and accessories, and “ownership experience packages,” like the annual pass to national parks and monuments.
American-Made Vehicle Rankings
Cars.com has released its ’13 American-Made Index, which as you’ll guess is all about foreign-made vehicles. Oh, we kid. It’s about rating vehicles built and bought in the U.S., with factors such as whether it’s also assembled in the U.S. and sales. Ranked No. 1 was the Ford F-150. In 2012, Jeep made the top 10 list, with the Liberty at No. 8. This year, Jeep had nothing on the list. USA! USA!
Top 10 Cities That Wheel
BFGoodrich did a survey that we kinda dug—an Adrenaline Index, focusing on which cities have the most adrenaline. As in have the most adventurous activities. After polling 3,500 Americans, it was revealed that Chicago topped the list, followed by New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Orlando. When asked about vehicular adrenaline rushes, 19 percent said they prefer car clubs, while 18 percent wanted racing, and 17 percent four-wheeled.
Reader Quote Without Story*
*As seen on Jp’s Facebook page
Jp Staff Gets Naked
Want to learn more about the people who put together your favorite Jeep magazine? Agreed, you don’t. But some of you have been asking questions, so in each issue, we’ll answer those, no matter how weird they—and you—are. Send your question to email@example.com with the subject line, “I Need to Know.” We were going to make that subject line “Get Naked,” but we have enough of those already in our spam folder.