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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon versus Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon versus Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe

Does the hybrid 4xe add any notable value over the standard Wrangler other than the electric mile range?

Jeep took the wraps off the Wrangler 4xe and it seems like an environment-friendly off-roader. Although there were some apprehensions about this new hybrid version of the off-roader, the automaker has made big claims. While the company has hyped the Wrangler 4xe in general, there was one claim that said “New Level of Benchmark Jeep Off-road Capability”. From what we knew before the launch, the 4xe was going to be a hybrid version of the standard Wrangler that would be more efficient and a little more torquey. Now that it has been unveiled, does it offer a new level of off-road capability?

Jeep has provided some information on the Wrangler 4xe’s models and specs, but there’s still a lot that’s not known. So, for the sake of comparison, we’ll be pitting the Rubicon trims of the standard Wrangler and the Wrangler 4xe, and here’s how they measure:

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2020 Ford Explorer Vs 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2020 Ford Explorer Vs 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The 2020 Ford Explorer And The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Are Two Different Philosophies With A Massive Generational Gap

As the best selling SUV in history, the Ford Explorer gained an almost religiously devoted customer base that has kept the legend of the Explorer alive for three decades. However, another SUV, not necessarily placed to fight a direct fight against the Explorer, has a following that’s almost as strong - the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As the new Ford Explorer flashed its body at the NAIAS and attracts customers with its numerous benefits compared to basically any other similar SUV in the segment, I wondered if there’s any incentive to still choose the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee over the new 2020 Ford Explorer. The current Jeep Grand Cherokee has its roots planted in the year 2011 when it came to be. Of course, eight years on the market have left some marks on its skin. It isn’t as advanced, as aerodynamic, nor as convenient as some of its competitors. Yet, despite its aged appearance, the Grand Cherokee is like a really robust SUV geared more towards off-road and toughness than it is towards family values and convenience. That is actually the main character difference between the two.

The biggest physical difference, on the other hand, is the fact that the 2020 Ford Explorer is a three row SUV. The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a two row SUV. Only the next generation of the Grand Cherokee (to be revealed in a year or two), will have two different layouts - it will be offered with two or three rows. Yet, regardless of their main differences, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2020 Ford Explorer are roughly similarly priced.

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Visual Comparison Between the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and the 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept

Visual Comparison Between the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and the 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept

Looks Eerie Similar To The Gladiator Concept 14 Year Old

With the impending introduction of the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, I just have to look back at Jeep history and actually compare it with the 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept. Normally, this would have to wait until its official debut, but thanks to leaked (and what we believe to be official) images, we can diving into comparing old and new straight away. The spiritual concept predecessor appeared in November 2004 and actually represented the then-new Wrangler JK. Of course, I am sure that by its unveiling Jeep wanted to research the market and gain potential customer feedback. Obviously, before a great return of one-ton trucks in the U.S. (like the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado, for instance) the Jeep one-ton pickup wouldn’t be a logical option. Now, it is, and before the official introduction next week, I am giving you the first chance to see just how different the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is compared with the Gladiator Concept from 2004.

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Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK

There are changes a plenty

The wait is finally over! Jeep has released photos of the next-generation Wrangler. Unfortunately, Jeep only dropped three photos with zero information, but the soft debut confirms much of the speculation, rumors, and spy shots we’ve been pouring over the last year. Yes, the 2018 Wrangler JL’s windshield folds down. Yes, the doors come off. And Yes, the top is removable. Yet beyond these carryover features that have come to define the Wrangler, this new Jeep is heavily updated in all the right ways. Check out our visual comparison below to learn all about the new Wrangler JL

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.

Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.

Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.

So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

Not much goes together quite like Texas and trucks. It’s the U.S.’ largest truck market by a long shot and it’s plain to see as you peruse any given parking lot. Texans love their trucks. That’s why the Texas Auto Writers Association crowns a Truck of Texas winner every year after an extensive evaluation process.

As a member of TAWA, I spent the better part of a week in the dusty hills outside San Antonio testing 75 contenders vying for the prized top spot. Eighteen automakers from around the world were in attendance, the majority bringing more than a handful of vehicles.

Ground zero for testing was the famed Knibbe Ranch, with hundreds of acres of sprawling across the Lonestar state. Muddy creek crossings and rocky hill climbs, combined with twisty country roads and newly paved highways provided the test beds. Those trucks, SUVs and crossovers brave enough to tackle the off-road section were subjected to rock-strewn dirt roads that punished suspension parts and underbody skidplates. More road-biased crossovers were thrown around narrow roads and up steep hills. The new pavement along the Texas highway was still covered in loose asphalt with orange caution cones proving a tempting (yet highly illegal) slalom course. Thankfully no one attempted that obstacle.

The 60 journalists judging the event had a huge decision to make. What truck, SUV or crossover would be crowned the Truck of Texas? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll announce the top winner and the winners of sub-categories on Wednesday.

Click past the jump for a full photo gallery

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Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro vs. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro vs. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

The Jeep Wrangler has long been the king of off-roading machines. It’s two solid axles, manual transfer case, gracious ground clearance and never-ending supply of aftermarket parts have made the Wrangler the stuff of legend. What’s more, its removable doors and top put passengers closer to the elements and heightens the thrill of the trail.

Of course, for all good champions, a new challenger is never far behind. Enter the 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro. This is Toyota’s latest version of its (almost unchanged) 4Runner design. Thanks to some clever engineering in the Toyota Racing Development labs, the 4Runner now enjoys a truly hard-core off-road version that usurps even the venerable Trail Edition 4Runner.

Heavy duty Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, thick coil springs with a 1.5-inch suspension lift, upgraded wheels and tires, and a tank-like front skid plate make the TRD Pro a natural in the dirt. All the same off-road tech on the Trail Edition carries over to the TRD Pro as well. This includes the electronic locking rear differential, manual transfer case, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system.

Differentiating the TRD Pro series 4Runner from the standard models is a unique front grille with TOYOTA spelled out in block letters. Appropriate TRD Pro badging follows suit, attached on the C-pillars and bespoke TRD Pro wheels. Things inside aren’t much different than other 2015 4Runners, beside a TRD gear shifter and some branded floor mats.

So how does the 4Runner stack up against the stalwart Jeep Wrangler? Head on past the jump for the full rundown and videos.

Click past the jump for the full Wrangler vs. 4Runner battle

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