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Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jeep are Now Skipping the Paris Auto Show Too

Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jeep are Now Skipping the Paris Auto Show Too

FCA’s biggest brands won’t be eating baguettes in the City of Light

The auto show exodus isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Now, three of FCA’s biggest brands have announced their intentions of skipping the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Fiat, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo won’t be in attendance in Paris this coming September, joining a long list of companies that include Lamborghini, BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz that won’t be around when the Paris Motor Show opens its doors.

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2018 Jeep Grand Commander

2018 Jeep Grand Commander

Jeep’s largest SUV yet is a China-only model

Discontinued in 2010 after only five years on the market, Jeep’s seven-seat SUV, the Commander, makes a comeback in 2018. But unlike its predecessor, which was a global model, the new SUV is only available in China. Production also shifted to the Asian country, while the nameplate was updated to the Grand Commander. The midsize hauler was unveiled at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show.

The new SUV is heavily based on the Grand Cherokee design-wise, and it appears to be focused more on hauling people rather than off-roading. While the Grand Commander won’t make it to the United States, a three-row SUV will be offered here, but under the Wagoneer name. Jeep plans to build both Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models, which will be based on the body-on-frame platform of the latest Ram 1500 truck.

Does the Grand Commander provide hints as to what we will get from the Wagoneer? It’s difficult to say given that the latter is still a couple of years away, but let’s take a closer look at the China-spec SUV for now.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

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Jeep Grand Commander Debuts in China with Its Muscles Flexed

Jeep Grand Commander Debuts in China with Its Muscles Flexed

Seven-seater SUV expects to be a competitor in the full-sized luxury SUV market

Jeep’s commitment to the Chinese market is now on display at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show. Taking up a lot of space is the Jeep Grand Commander, a massive three-row, seven-seater, full-sized SUV that’s itching to take a bite out of the luxury SUV pie in the world’s biggest auto market. The Grand Commander is the latest in a long line of Jeep models that are available in China, including the Compass, Renegade, and the iconic Cherokee.

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Our First Full Look at the China-Bound Jeep Grand Commander: Video

Our First Full Look at the China-Bound Jeep Grand Commander: Video

You’d rather have the upcoming Grand Wagoneer, anyway

Jeep might be as American as apple pie and baseball, but its newest model is headed right for China. It’s called the Grand Commander, and it won’t be found outside China’s borders. Based on a lengthened version of Fiat Chrysler’s CUSW platform that also underpins the Jeep Cherokee, the new Grand Commander will accommodate seven people over three rows.

Jeep is already taking orders for the new SUV despite it not being officially debuted. That is expected to happen at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show in April before it arrives in showrooms shortly after.

Continue reading for more information.

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FCA Has no Plans of Parting Ways With Jeep

FCA Has no Plans of Parting Ways With Jeep

It would be silly if the company sold Jeep

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has shot down rumors that it’s planning to sell Jeep to its Chinese partner, GAC. No less than FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne broke the news at the Detroit Auto Show, telling Autocar that FCA isn’t going to sell off its most popular brand. "We have no intention of breaking up the company or giving it to the Chinese," he said. "We have a very good partner in GAC. They have global ambitions, they want to come to the US and we’re talking to them about if and how they can accomplish that. None of that is designed to impact on the independence of FCA."

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A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee's 4WD Systems

A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee’s 4WD Systems

Revised Active Drive I system loses weight, adds efficiency

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee includes some admirable updates. The front has been redesigned to not be so ugly, new LED headlights should perform better, a new lightweight tailgate gets hands-free opening, five new wheel designs change up the appearance, a dual-pane sunroof is available, and the new 2.0-liter turbo-four borrowed from the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is under the reshaped aluminum hood. But Jeep didn’t stop its drivetrain updates with the new engine. The Cherokee’s base 4WD system has been updated with less internal friction and a reduction of 17 pounds.

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Updated Jeep Cherokee Gets 2.0-liter Turbo from the Wrangler

Updated Jeep Cherokee Gets 2.0-liter Turbo from the Wrangler

Expect better fuel economy figures

The facelifted Jeep Chekoree made its public debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with a brand-new front fascia that no longer looks like it’s sucking lemons. The best Jeep-related news in a year, because let’s face it, the pre-facelift Cherooke’s design sucked really bad. The rear end was also heavily revised to the point where it no longer looks like a Fiat. Interior updates are small, but it does feature a new center console and new tech. But by far the biggest change lies under the hood, where the Tigershark and Pentastar engines were joined by a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

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Updated Jeep Cherokee Goes Softer In The Styling Department

Updated Jeep Cherokee Goes Softer In The Styling Department

It looks better than the outgoing model

The Jeep Cherokee is living proof that even the most iconic of SUVs aren’t immune to criticism when there’s reason to criticize. The current-generation Cherokee found that out first-hand when its debut in 2013 was greeted by an avalanche of criticism from an indignant public that couldn’t believe that Jeep became a little too playful with the model’s looks. That was five years ago. This year, Jeep is flipping the script on the facelifted 2019 Cherokee. Not only does it have three different engines to choose from, it also arrived at the Detroit Auto Show with a more refined look that, quite frankly, is much better than the model it’s replacing.

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2019 Jeep Cherokee

2019 Jeep Cherokee

A prettier face and new powertrain options

Jeep has brought a mild facelift and some powertrain improvements to the Cherokee for 2019. Jeep divulged all the details at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit alongside Fiat Chrysler’s other big reveal, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500.

This marks the first change to the current Cherokee since its introduction in 2014. Despite strong sales averaging around 200,000 per year in the U.S. alone, many complained about the Cherokee’s ugly mug. Jeep obviously listened as the front and rear mark the only external changes, along with five new wheel options. The interior also sees minor changes with Satin Chrome and Piano Black accents, a slightly larger cargo area, and the new fourth-generation Uconnect software that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on both the 7.0- and 8.4-inch touchscreens.

Jeep didn’t forget about the powertrain, either. An all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is available, while an updated nine-speed automatic transmission is said to have better refinement thanks to new software. The 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 and 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 return.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.

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Hurray, the Jeep Cherokee No Longer Looks Like It's Sucking Lemons!

Hurray, the Jeep Cherokee No Longer Looks Like It’s Sucking Lemons!

Jeep finally came to its senses!

When it replaced the Liberty in 2013, Jeep decided to bring back the Cherokee name, which it had discontinued in 2001 in the U.S. The first Jeep to ride on the FCA Compact Wide platform, the KL-generation Cherokee shared underpinnings with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. But similarities with European cars didn’t stop here. Unlike its predecessors, the Cherokee dropped the traditional boxy design in favor of a more streamlined look. Some approved Jeep’s decision to step out of the box and offer a bolder design, but FCA also received a lot of heat for the scrunched up headlamps, the narrow grille, and the somewhat generic rear end. I’m not a big fan of it either, and I think it looks like it’s sucking on lemons. Well, Jeep just unveiled the mid-cycle facelift and I’m happy to see that the Cherokee’s face is no longer sour.

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2019 Jeep Cherokee Coming to Detroit

2019 Jeep Cherokee Coming to Detroit

A mild facelift and updated powertrains bring a premium flare

Jeep will be introducing its updated 2019 Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show come January 16, 2018. The mid-size crossover receives a mild facelift with updated designs front and rear, along with more fuel-efficient powertrain options. Jeep didn’t go into detail about the powertrain changes or any other information, saying that news will become available when the 2019 Cherokee makes its appearance at the Detroit Auto Show.

Aesthetically, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee looks far more palatable, losing that ugly front end and odd headlight arrangement. The new front uses new one-piece headlights with the turn signals and daytime running lights integrated into the same housing. The fog lights now have a slightly larger scallop. The lower grille is now more streamlined. Despite the more handsome look, the hood and upper grille appear unchanged. It seems the Cherokee’s ugliness was all contained in those headlights.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Cherokee.

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The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Spied with $45,000 Base Price!

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Spied with $45,000 Base Price!

Ouch! That’s $10,755 MORE than the outgoing Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

Everyone knew the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL would be more expensive than the outgoing, decade-old Wrangler JK. A $1,000 to $2,000 increase in price sounded reasonable for all the improvements made. Well, it seems FCA figures it can charge exorbitantly more for the new Wrangler - $10,000 more on the luxury-minded Sahara trim, to be exact.

The news comes from none other than JLWranglerforums.com, the seemingly official leaker of all things JL over the least two years. A user posted a spied Monroney window sticker showing a base price of $45,000 for an Unlimited Sahara equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and manual transmission.

Now, there are a few caveats to this information. The pricing might not be completely finalized, so there’s a chance the price is inaccurate. Also, the options list only shows Jeeps RPO codes with no breakdown in pricing for each item. There’s a chance the options’ pricing is somehow including in the “base price” of $45,000. If so, that would make the true, pre-options base price far less. Jeep is apparently keeping its $1,095 destination charge from before.

Of course, the base Sport trim will be significantly less expensive than the leather-lined Sahara, especially in two-door form, so modest Jeepers should still be able to find a good deal. The Rubicon, however, will be more expensive than the Sahara thanks to its extra off-road hardware. This tiered system has been around for a while, so that’s old news. What is news is Jeep’s potential of pricing itself out of the active lifestyle, off-roading, and consumer base that made the Wrangler JK so popular.

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The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show

Jeep investing big time into the aftermarket parts segment

Everyone knows Jeep Wranglers are extremely customizable and a vast majority of Jeep owners have done at least one upgrade or added some type of aftermarket part to their Wrangler. Jeep knows this and has really ramped up its offerings for the all-new 2018 model. The parts are hosted under the relatively new Jeep Performance Parts and the iconic Mopar brands. They will be available directly through local Jeep dealerships once the 2018 Wrangler reaches showrooms.

In an effort to demonstrate the vastness of Mopar and JPP’s parts lineup, Jeep brought two highly customized 2018 Wranglers to the L.A. Auto Show, debuting along size the production Wrangler. The four-door model is an all-out off-roader based on the Rubicon, while the two-door is a bit milder and based on the Sport. Both show the range of possibilities owners will have.

Continue reading for a detailed look at both Mopar-modified Wranglers.

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The Jeep Wrangler JL to go Hybrid in 2020

The Jeep Wrangler JL to go Hybrid in 2020

Could Jeep borrow tech from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid?

Amid the excitement at Jeep’s debut of its all-new 2018 Wrangler, Jeep boss Mike Manley announced the SUV will come with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in 2020. That’s huge news for the Wrangler – both because of the departure from rugged simplicity and the expected fuel economy improvements possible with PHEV powertrains. This could make the Wrangler actually economical to drive.

Manley and the Jeep team have been tight-lipped about details, so there’s no official estimated fuel economy numbers, price, or even what engine the hybrid components would be paired with. However, one possibility is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and plug-in equipment used in the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Considering how FCA loves sharing components across its brands, this is a legitimate rumor. The Pacifica Hybrid boasts an impressive 84 MPGe combined fuel economy despite its 4,900-pound curb weight. The 2018 Wrangler could see even higher MPGe figures since it weighs several hundred pounds less. Jeep will likely work hard to eliminate parasitic losses in the 4WD drivetrain, as well.

Packaging of the hybrid battery pack will be the biggest challenge though. The Wrangler has very little extra space, so a smaller battery might be necessary. Jeep might have to constrict the PHEV model to the four-door Unlimited for this reason. Hopefully not, since a PHEV two-door Wrangler could achieve even better efficiency.

For those not wanting a plug-in hybrid Wrangler but like the idea of good fuel economy, Jeep will be launching the 2019 Wrangler Unlimited with the long-awaited 3.0-liter, EcoDiesel V-6. The revised engine now boasts 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque and is expected to get 30 mpg highway.

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