That’s Interesting•The 2016 annual Auto Reliability Survey from Consumer Reports ranked the Jeep Cherokee as having had transmission improvements, while the Nissan Pathfinder still had issues with its CVT. GMC’s ranking also dropped.
•What’s it gonna cost you? $32,610. For what? A starter ’17 Nissan Titan S single cab 4x4. The SV is $35,490. Once you hop into the XD-and-diesel realm, the 4x4 can run $40,170 to $44,070, again, for the single cab.
•Active Lifestyle Vehicle (ALV) award—it’s a thing, apparently. Best Value Off-Road: ’16 Ram Rebel; Extreme Off-Road, ’17 Nissan Titan PRO-4X; Best Value Family, ’16 Ford Explorer; Luxury Family, ’17 Nissan Armada; and Green ALV, ’16 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.
•The SEMA Award is all about what the hottest vehicles will be for the coming year based on new aftermarket products already in the works. And so, the Hottest Truck was the Ford F-Series, while Jeep had the Hottest 4x4-SUV with the Wrangler.
•The “Best Buys” for 2017 according to Kelley Blue Book? Chevy Tahoe, Ford F-150, and Kia Sportage.
•The ’17 Ram Power Wagon will have an MSRP of $51,695.
•U.S. News and World Report named Ford the best truck brand of 2017.
•And our sister Motor Trend named the F-Series Super Duty as its Truck of the Year.
•Samsung bought Harman, which specializes in auto and connected tech.
•There’s a national speed fatality map that spotlights fatal traffic crashes from high speeds in 2010-2015, thanks to Vision Zero Network and the National Coalition for Safer Roads. Therefore, the most dangerous cities for speeding? Los Angeles ranked No. 1. Go to ncsrsafety.org/speed-map to see it all.
Is It True?•Atlas is the new SUV from VW? And will seat seven? And will have a diesel? And there’s an eight-part video series about this vehicle called Origins on YouTube?
•The current Ram light-duty will continue to be built even after the redesigned ’18 comes?
•Ford and Blackberry are going to work on autonomous vehicles together?
•And Ford might build an 8-lug truck? Notably, a light-duty 8-lug?
•The holiday in which car thieves are most busy, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, is Halloween?
Your Government at Work•Sounds like the next attempts to stop texting and distracted driving from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could be in the form of guidelines for adding a mode similar to airplane mode to possibly stop or curtail some features on the phone while driving.
•Michigan Technological University got $2.8 million from the Department of Energy in order to work up some next-gen control systems for light-duty hybrid electric vehicles. The Michigan Tech team will work with GM on this.
•This is a fun fact from the U.S. Census Bureau: The first automatic toll collection station kicked off in 1954 on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey.
What’s Happening in the Industry•BFGoodrich can now claim 40 years of competing in the SCORE Baja race, and also celebrates four decades of the Radial All-Terrain tire.
•One more BFG: It has partnered with the Jeep Jamboree as the Official Tire for 2017.
•One more Jeep Jamboree: Rancho is its Official Sponsor for 2017.
•Winner of best new off-road product at the 2016 SEMA Show? Iron Cross Automotive for its Iron Cross Step.
•Line-X has redone linex.com, now with a finder, mobile-friendliness, and Truck Gear accessories, among other refinements.
Four Wheeler AppThe Four Wheeler app—it’s beyond cool, if we may say so ourselves. Now, we completely understand the need some of you may have to hold a real magazine in your hands. But if you’re itching to hold a piece of technology in your hands, check out our app, where, just like with the magazine, you’ll also get oodles of tech, product info, trucks and more trucks, road tests, vehicle buildups, trail rides, travel, how-to’s, and way more.
Compass and RenegadeThere are new Jeeps in our midst: The ’17 Compass is all-fresh and tech distributed among the various models includes Active Drive, Active Drive Low (20:1 crawl ratio), Selec-Terrain, five engine options (depending on the market worldwide, three gas and two diesel) , including the 180hp 2.4L Tigershark (North America market), a nine-speed automatic trans, six-speed manual, and six-speed automatic (depending on whether 4x4 or 4x2) , as well as a fancier interior, and more.
There are also new Renegades: the ’17 Deserthawk and Altitude. Mostly about the looks, the Jeeps go either rugged or blacked-out. The Deserthawk is pretty much a Trailhawk with special decals, rock rails, black wheels, and a unique interior. Pricing is $28,140. The Altitude has black wheels and accents as well as a blacked-up interior. This one’s got an MSRP of $22,390.
Customer Love Index 2016Customer love is a thing—specifically, Strategic Vision’s Customer Love Index, or CLI, which measures “the amount of love owners experience with their new vehicle,” which isn’t quite as icky as it sounds. CLI’s about getting feedback on 120 aspects of vehicle ownership, from performance all the way down to taillight design. Among the winners in the truck and SUV category were the Toyota Tacoma, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan XD, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Chevy Tahoe, and Land Rover Range Rover. Porsche won Luxury Brand. And it may surprise you to learn that the full-line winner in the Corporation and Brand category was Volkswagen. The mass-market winner among millennials? Another score for the Wrangler Unlimited.
New and Returning Ram PackagesThere’s a new Ram package for the ’17 1500: Rebel Mojave Sand. It’s a color available only to the Rebel, and the first time for any Ram. It starts at $45,590, and for those bucks you get a black interior and special hood, plus that one-of-a-kind skin. And the Ignition Orange Sport is back for the 1500, with a performance hood, black badging, body-colored grille, a monochrome appearance, and an MSRP of $45,140. It’s for crew cab V-8s.
“We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger. With more, quieter hybrid and electrical cars on the road, the ability for all pedestrians to hear as well as see the cars becomes an important factor of reducing the risk of possible crashes and improving safety.”—U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about the new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s announcement that there will be a new federal safety standard: a sound requirement for all newly manufactured hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles so that pedestrians can hear them