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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 28 2011, 11:30 AM

If you’ve got a full house, it means that you have a full car. And it probably means that you’ve spent a lot of frustrating time trying to fit three child-safety seats in the back seat of your car. It’s much easier with a minivan, but when you’ve got a car, it can drive you to distraction.

If you’re dead-set against getting a minivan, there are some cars out there that fit three child-safety seats in the back. In order to safely fit three of these seats in the backseat, there must be enough room between the booster seat and safety seat for a child’s hand to reach the seat belt buckle.

Here is a check list of cars that aren’t minivans that can fit three child seats in the back, following the safety specifications listed above:

2012 Honda Pilot
2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2011 Chrysler 300 and 300C
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2011 Land Rover LR4
2011 Nissan Murano

[Source: Kicking Tires]

 |  Dec 01 2010, 1:20 PM

Jeep may bill its all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee as an off-roader, but the SUV has just been named the ‘Urban Truck of the Year’ by Decisive Media, which publishes, among other things, a magazine named Decisive Auto.

Lyndon Bell, Editor-in-chief of Decisive Auto, declared that “the Jeep’s over-the-road dynamics easily rival that of its competitors’ less capable crossover vehicles. Meanwhile, the Jeep is also perfectly proficient at traversing any terrain. Luxurious interior appointments – along with the fact that drivers aren’t penalized into accepting a lower trim level if they opt for the more fuel-efficient engine – speaks volumes to the way Jeep’s engineers and product planners incorporated 21st century realities into America’s most iconic SUV.” He summed up by saying the [new] Grand Cherokee is “new and improved in every way, while faithfully capturing the spirit of its predecessor.”

Judging of the ‘Urban Car of the Year’ award, was undertaken by Decisive Auto’s on-staff Editors as well as a panel of 15 independent automotive journalists. The award  will be officially presented at the 15th Annual Urban Wheels Awards on January 9th 2011, during the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit.

Mike Manley, President of Chrysler’s Jeep division in response to the announcement, went on record, stating Jeep is pleased that this panel of influential journalists has recognized that the new Grand Cherokee delivers the perfect blend of on-road refinement, superb craftsmanship, world-class design, improved fuel economy, innovative features, and legendary real-world capability.” Score one for the proper off-roaders!

In the car category, the new Chevy Cruze was given the 2011 Urban Car of the Year Award.

Read AutoGuide’s review of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee by Clicking Here

 |  Nov 30 2010, 3:46 PM

Although the U.S. economy is slowly spluttering back to life, some industries seem to be doing better than others. In the auto sector, sales are up, particularly for Domestic manufacturers and on the truck side too.

For the month of November, Bloomberg predicts overall car and light truck sales for the year at approximately 12.2 million units, nearly rivaling August 2009 when the U.S. Government’s controversial ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ program helped push sales to almost record levels.

Out of the November totals, both Ford and Chrysler have increased their overall sales percentage by around 20 percent, while General Motors has seen an approximately 13 percent increase. And a lot of that has to do with light truck demand. According to Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmumds.com; truck sales rise “as it gets colder, plus we’ve seen higher demand as gas prices have been stable for some time.”

And among the overall increase in truck demand, individual vehicles have scored particularly significant gains. Sales of Ford’s F-Series pickups have climbed by 30 percent through October, while sales of Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV (recently revamped for 2011) rose by 41 percent in the same period. GM’s Chevy Equinox has also seen robust demand for some time.

The increase demand also corresponds with what seems to be a more optimistic outlook from the automakers. For example, Jesse Toprak V-P of industry trends at TrueCar.com, says GM’s increases are likely in part a result of the company’s historic IPO. “If you see the company performing, the stock price holding up, and perhaps GM posting another profit in the fourth quarter, that adds to brownie points with consumers,” Toprak said.

Chrysler, despite delivering a third quarter operating loss this year ($84 million), has raised it’s full-year operating profit forecast to about $700 million. “The mood of customers is exceptional. I have a very positive attitude toward our products. It’s a strong month for November,” said David Kelleher, a Chrysler dealer in Glen Mills, PA.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 |  Oct 26 2010, 7:36 AM

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Each year the Texas Auto Writers Association holds its annual Texas Truck Rodeo, where journalists test the latest offerings from the automakers and decide what vehicles, in a list of classes, get top honors. And the results are in.

For 2011, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee has been announced as the SUV of Texas. The first all-new vehicle from the new Chrysler, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a bold step forward for the struggling American automaker with an impressive new look and much-improved interior quality. It retains all its off-road credentials and makes big strides in fuel economy with a base V6 that even gets a bump in horsepower.

In the truck category, the 2011 ‘Truck of Texas’ title was awarded to the Ram Laramie Longhorn, while Ford took away top honors as the Truck Line of Texas.

Hit the jump for a breakdown of the rest of the winners, and read our review of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee by hitting the link below:

Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review by Clicking Here

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 08 2010, 9:52 AM

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It’s a sad day for diesel truck lovers. Jeep has confirmed that it will not offer a diesel engine in the new 2011 Grand Cherokee.

Utility vehicles and small compact cars are about the only places in the U.S. market where diesel vehicles have had any success and yet Jeep has cut the Mercedes-sourced 3.0-liter V6 that it offered on the previous-gen Grand Cherokee. “The business case has to make sense,” said Grand Cherokee chief engineer Phil Jansen at a recent press event, commenting that the urea aftertreatment system required to make the engine pass emissions must comply with emissions standards in all 50 states. More difficult than making the system meet emission standards, however, is getting customers to pay for it, with the cost of such an aftertreatment system certain to drive diesel Grand Cherokee pricing to a point where it would no longer be considered by buyers.

Buyers for the diesel option were already scarce, making up just 8 percent of all Grand Cherokee models last year.

As to whether Jeep would consider bringing the diesel back, Jansen said it would be something they would look at once diesel luxury SUV sales made up 15 to 20 percent of the market. In other words… not any time soon.

[Source: Automotive News via 4WheelsNews]

Read our 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review by clicking here

 |  Jun 08 2010, 1:33 PM

Sometimes, okay just doesn’t cut it. Like when it comes to how well the roof of your midsize SUV holds up in a rollover. New results from the first roof strength tests on midsize SUVs conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that automakers still need to make improvements to these types of vehicles.

Out of 12 midsize SUVs tested, six earned the top rating of good for rollover protection, one came in at acceptable, and the last five earned the second lowest rating of marginal. Making the good grade are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox (twin GMC Terrain) built after March 2010, Jeep Liberty (twin Dodge Nitro), Toyota Highlander and Venza, as well as the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Sorento. Coming in at an acceptable rating was the 2010 Ford Edge. The midsized SUVs that didn’t fair so well by earning marginal ratings were the Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano, all 2010 models.

“Midsize SUVs are a big group so we’re testing them in stages,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “First results show that automakers are making progress in rollover protection, but it’s disappointing that a new design like the Crosstour didn’t perform better.”

Institute research shows occupants in vehicles that roll benefit from stronger roofs, and the IIHS has, in turn, based their rollover rating system on this information. In order for a vehicle to be rated as good, their roof must be more than twice as strong as the minimum required under the current federal safety standard. A rollover is one of the most serious crashes to be involved in, and this test is designed to help drivers pick a vehicle that will best protect them.

Stats show that nearly 10,000 people a year are killed in rollover crashes. These types of crashes are so deadly because as vehicles roll, their roofs hit the ground, deform, and crush. Since stronger roofs crush less, they minimize injury risk from contact with the roof itself.

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]

 |  Jun 06 2010, 7:34 AM

The results are in and a host of new SUVs have made the cut. Joining the list for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Award recipients are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2011 Kia Sorento, and the 2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza.

It takes a sturdy vehicle to become an IIHS Top Safety Pick. To drive off with one, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in front- and side-impact tests, as well as head restraint design for rear crash protection, and roof strength. As well, it has to come standard with electronic stability control. Vehicles are rated on a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor.

Roof-strength is the most difficult test to pass, and the SUVs tested at this time demonstrated a roof strength-to-weight ratio of 4-to-1 or greater (meaning roofs held up under more than four times the vehicle’s weight before the top is compressed five inches). Some examples of outcomes for this test: the Toyota Highlander roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight, while the Toyota Venza’s roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.

Some SUVs that didn’t make the cut were the Ford Edge, Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano. The Edge earned an Acceptable roof-strength rating, while rest were rated Marginal.

The IIHS is an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

 |  May 20 2010, 9:53 AM

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The 2011 Grand Cherokee is the first new model Chrysler has introduced since emerging from bankruptcy protection and there’s a lot riding on it. As the flagship Jeep, it’s received a lot of attention from Chrysler’s engineers and the folks in the marketing department was to make sure it also receives a lot of attention from you. So they’ve gone out and done a whole series of photoshoots of the new SUV driving through rivers and up mountains. (What did you expect?)

When it does arrive in just a few months time the Grand Cherokee will come standard with Chrysler’s new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine with 280-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque, as well as a fuel economy improvement of roughly 25 percent over last year’s model. That will give a highway mileage number of 23 mpg. Plus, the new Grand Cherokee will have a standard 7,200 lb tow rating.

Check out the mega-gallery below for more Grand Cherokee than you can handle.

GALLERY: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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 |  Feb 01 2010, 11:36 AM

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It appears as though the full list of 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee options and pricing has leaked onto the net via the folks at Jeep Garage. Unveiled at last year’s New York Auto Show, the truck is expected to be in dealerships later this year, with orders as early as June.

Pricing will start at $31,480 for a 4×2 Lardeo, while a top-level Overland 4×4 will run a more significant $45,770.

The base engine for the new Grand Cherokee will be Chrysler’s all-new Pentastar V6, making 280-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque, 90 percent of which is available from 1800 rpm. In the Grand Cherokee, this amounts to an increase of 33 percent more power and 11 percent more torque than the outgoing V6 model.

Some standard and optional highlights include push-button ignition, bi-Xenon headlights, LED lights, power tilt and telescopic steering, Adaptive Speed Control and two different transfer cases.

Notably absent from the list is any mention of an SRT model.

Follow the link or see after the jump for all the detailed standard features, options and pricing.

[Source: Jeep Garage]

Full specifications after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 07 2009, 9:12 AM

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Chrysler only has one product set to launch in all of 2010 and now one of its 2011 vehicles is in jeopardy. The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee may be delayed due to a parts dispute with the company’s former owners at Daimler.

Daimler was supposed to supply axles for the new Jeep SUV, but is withholding the parts due to another financial dispute. In that case, Daimler is claiming $80 million in compensation after a Chrysler agreement to purchase diesel engines from Daimler did not go as planned. Chrysler, however, is claiming that all old contracts are now irrelevant as the company’s previous financial matters were settled through bankruptcy court.

In a sign of hope that the Grand Cherokee may  make it to market without much delay, both parties have agreed to see if they can settle the dispute outside of court. Still, the timing is tight as the parts are reported to be needed before the end of the month in order to build prototype vehicles that need at least 6 months of testing.

The axles aren’t the only item in question either, as court documents revealed that Daimler is also scheduled to supply transmissions and steering columns for several future Chrysler vehicles, including the next Dodge Durango, as well as the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Apr 08 2009, 2:19 PM

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Jeep chose the New York Auto Show to unveil the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee, the latest version of the what Jeep calls, “the original premium SUV.”

With a pleasant and masculine exterior, the real big difference is inside where the cabin gets a significant update. In fact, the leather on the model shown at the New York Auto Show looked so good it had people asking if the vehicle was a concept. As well as leather seats, the interior of the Grand Cherokee will get leather door inserts and a leather on the dash as well as well as genuine wood accents.

Other interior amenities includes heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, power lumbar, a back-up camera and a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel with a memory function.

The cabin is also more spacious with 4 more inches of rear-seat leg room. Surprisingly, cargo room is also up with 36.3 cubic feet.

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In terms of performance, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will come with a choice of two engines. The first is a 3.6-liter V6 with 280hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque. This engine makes 33 percent more hp than the old V6 and 11 percent more torque, while at the same time averaging 11 percent better fuel economy.

Of course, a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is also offered with 360hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque and a maximum towing capability of 7,400 lbs.

Several different drivetrain options are available with a Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with a limited slip differential offered. The latter two layouts come with Jeep’s Select-Terrain system with five different terrain settings for ideal control. The settings are: Auto, Sand/Mud, Sport, Snow and Rock.

One of the most exciting innovations on this new model is the Quadra Lift air suspension, which can lift the vehicle by 4.5-inches to acheive a maximum off-road clearance of 11.1-inches.

GALLERY: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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