2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon MOPAR - Driven
Few vehicles on the market today roll off the production line ready to handle the open road and the rockiest of paths, but the Wrangler is probably the most prominent of the few. There have always been a few caveats, though. It’s great for on- and off-road use, but you don’t exactly get the quietest cabin in the world. The on-road ride has also, traditionally, been a little rougher than other models in this segment. Or, at least that’s what we thought until we actually had a chance to take the new Wrangler JL for a test drive. After spending a week with the JL Wrangler we’ve come to realize that the Wrangler actually sits in a segment all its own. Despite our efforts, we can’t find another model this size, with a full-frame, that comes off the showroom floor ready to handle the business.
The real question is, however, whether or not the new JL Wrangler can still handle those off-road thrills but provide a more modern feel inside and more comfortable on-road ride. That’s a tall order for something designed for off-roading first, but the natural evolution of the Wrangler has put it in a unique position on the market. It honestly has no direct competitors in a true sense, and its go-anywhere mentality has been improved with fresh on-road manors. Is it enough to widen the Wrangler’s appeal and make it interesting to those that have traditionally searched for softer crossovers? Does the full-frame, solid-axle arrangement still stand on its own in this ever-evolving market where unibody construction and independent suspension is the norm? Is the JL Wrangler still a jack of all trades that’s good for a weekend of fun and carrying a small family during the week?
These are questions that we now have answers to, thanks to a week spent with the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. We didn’t just have any run-of-the-mill Rubicon, though. The Wrangler that showed up at TopSpeed HQ also included a ferocious amount of MOPAR parts that makes it more off-road ready than ever. So, that raises one more question that we have to answer – at what point does molesting the MOPAR catalog move the Wrangler from a modest daily driver to something that’s more suited for weekend thrills? This is our full, hands-on review of the 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL (with tons of Mopar parts) and our story of a week’s worth of fun, honest acclimation into a world that we seldom get to experience.
We’re not sure what it is, but there’s just something about guys that own big diesel trucks. Whether it’s the “better-than-you” attitude or the “I can conquer all” mindset, they are almost always driving like a douche or getting into something they probably shouldn’t be during. There’s a lot of that in this video. Guys failing at off-roading, playing tug of war, or having their trucks ripped apart as they are pulled out of mudholes that should have never been ventured into in the first place. If you are one of these guys, don’t worry, we don’t hate you. We just like to make fun of you – just like the guys in supercars and mustangs. Go ahead and click play and enjoy the video.
2019 Infinity QX80 - Driven
The Infiniti QX80 isn’t exactly a spring chicken. If you count the three years that it was on the market as the “QX56,” this full-size SUV has been on the market for nearly a decade. This is a rather long lifestyle for an SUV in today’s automotive climate, but the QX80 is a very niche vehicle; not in size and purpose but in terms of sales for the brand. When you look at overall sales of the XC80, the figures don’t look that great. In 2016, Chevy sold more than 103,000 Tahoes, and even Cadillac sold some 23,000 examples of the Escalade. The QX80, though? Infiniti moved just 14,085 over all of 2016, and that was an 8.3-percent increase over 2015. With that in mind, the company can’t exactly give it a short lifespan like other automakers can their full-sized, wide-selling SUVs.
That doesn’t mean the QX80 has been ignored, however. On the contrary, it was actually refreshed when Infiniti swapped its name over from QX56, and it was refreshed again in 2017. The overall appearance of the QC80 isn’t displeasing to look at, and when we were offered the chance to spend a few days and give it a good thorough test drive, we couldn’t turn down the offer. Immediately we started asking ourselves questions: Can it still hold its own in a market with much newer, more advanced vehicles? Does it’s aged chassis still deliver driving dynamics and comfortability that’s on par with other full-sized, luxury SUVs on the market today? Should someone really pay anywhere between $65,000 and upward of $90,000 for a vehicle that’s due for retirement? Well, we’ve set out to figure out just how well the QX80 has aged over the years – you just might be surprised.
2019 Land Rover Range Rover SV Autobiography by SVO - Driven
When you put words like luxury, performance, and SUV in the same sentence, the first names that probably come to mind are BMW, Audi, Bentley, or maybe even Lamborghini. But, what about Land Rover? It seems to be a brand that resides in the shadowy depths of our brains instead of up front where it really belongs. This never became more evident until we managed to get our hands on a Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography. From the second we came into contact with the SVA, the exterior design started tickling our interest, and we only became more fascinated with it once we sat down inside. In short, we couldn’t wait to drive it and experience the whole package. How does it handle? Is it comfortable for longer drives? Is that 557-horsepower V-8 too much for a vehicle like this or not enough, and how does its performance stack up against the competition? We decided to find out for ourselves, and this is our experience with the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography.
2020 Kia Telluride - Driven
As I photographed the 2020 Kia Telluride in a Maryland park, a fellow visitor peeled off from his family to ask about the car. It made sense. Full-size crossovers like the Telluride are the chariot of choice for many families today, thanks to their three rows of seats and long lists of amenities. And the all-new Telluride had just hit the market. But as it turned out, the man wasn’t eyeing the Telluride for himself. It was his teenage daughter who’d sent him across the parking lot to check out this newly released SUV. It looked cool, she told him, kind of like a Range Rover. And she wanted one.
2020 Hennessey Maximus Jeep Gladiator Truck
Remember when Maximus, played by Russel Crowe, was advised by the older gladiator that to win his freedom, he must first win the crowd? Well, we do, and so does Hennessey Performance, because the rad yet very-limited-edition 2020 Jeep Gladiator Maximus has stemmed from that exact movie quote. And yes, it packs a Hellcat V-8. So, you can consider this crowd pretty much won at this point.
Ram had to keep up with Ford and Chevy, so the time came to give the Ram 1500 a very serious update. And, a serious update is exactly what it got. And, when we say full update, we mean it is all-new with a new frame, new grille, and a completely revised interior, among other things. The fifth-gen model brings together every major selling point the truck has ever had in the best way yet it’s lighter than ever. Even the EcoDiesel V-6 got an update to deliver more power and torque while the truck can even be had with a deployable front air dam and a mild-hybrid drive system. We could talk about the new Ram 1500 all day long, but that’s not why we’re here (you can read our full review for that.) instead, we’re here because we love the look of the new 1500 and decided to make it our wallpaper of the day. Check out our hand-picked favorite or choose from a full gallery of awesome shots.
2019 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn
Even though Ram is the newest member in the truck segment (if you don’t count the years "Ram" was a model under the Dodge umbrella), it cannot be taken for granted. Given the kind of products it has in its portfolio, you will be surprised to know that the company is just nine years old. Ram is essentially a by-product of Dodge and is a fully-owned subsidiary of the FCA. Don’t mistake it to be a rookie or a newb by any means. The name might be new, but the company has been building trucks since the 1970s under the name ’Fargo trucks’ which was sold outside the United States. The 2019 Ram model sees a few changes. These trucks became an overnight sensation when Ram announced a 1,000 pound-foot of torque figure for the 3500 series. The Ram 2500 doesn’t boast that, but it still has a lot going in its favor to be deemed as a potent threat to the Blue Oval and the Bowtie.
Exclusive: Did a TopSpeed Reader Just Spot the Mythical Ramcharger?
Remember way back when in the 1970s when Dodge released a two-door SUV based on the Ram 1500 Pickup? Back then, that beast competed directly with the full-size Chevy Blazer and Ford Bronco, it came with fairly powerful V-8, four-wheel drive, and it even copied its competitors with a removable roof in the rear. Believe it or not, the Ramcharger stayed in production from 1974 to 2001, seeing two generational shifts in the process. The third generation, you’ve probably never seen, however, as it was only produced from 1999 to 2001 and was quickly killed off because, well, back then compact, fuel-efficient cars were all the craze. That model was also more modernized and lacked the tall, rugged body style of the models that preceded it.
Since then, consumers – or at least SUV fans – have begged Dodge (now Ram) to build a new three-row crossover based on the newest generation of RAM trucks. With Ford reintroducing the Bronco and Chevy the Blazer (the latter of which just doesn’t compare to the originals), it’s only appropriate that Ram finally gives in and builds a new three-row SUV that we believe will carry the iconic Ramcharger name. Up to this point, we have yet to see any prototype, let alone receive a confirmation. We took it upon ourselves a few years ago to commission a rendering and write a speculative review for a 2020 Ramcharger,->art179677] but the trail has been cold ever since. Well, until now, that is.
Tesla’s Refresh for the Tesla Model S and Model X Will Infuse Model 3 DNA at their Core
Tesla is known for breaking from tradition, and that includes the way in which it updates its various model lines. Rather than creating an entirely new “generation” every five years like the rest of the industry, the California-based brand prefers a steady stream of incremental updates to keep things fresh. However, that could change with the forthcoming Model S and Model X, as rumor has it Tesla has a substantial powertrain update in the works, with tech bits pulled from the Model 3 compact sedan.
The 2018 Vision Maybach Ultimate Luxury Concept Could Lend DNA to One of Mercedes’ Latest SUVs
Arguably, the most crucial launch event at the 2019 New York Auto Show was that of the third-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS. The flagship luxury SUV from Mercedes will take on the BMW X7 soon, but Mercedes could actually be cooking up a version that would aim straight at the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Insane? Not for those who saw the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Concept up close and personal.
After three years since the GLS name was introduced as part of Mercedes’ refreshment of its model nameplates, a new generation was introduced. Given the American consumer’s propensity for buying oversized SUVs, the 2020 GLS was introduced at the New York Auto Show, and the first news that came from the unveiling got us thinking. For starters, there won’t be any electric version due to the limited demand for an SUV of this size featuring an electric drivetrain and, on the other hand, for those craving for power, there will be an AMG version or maybe a few.
But, maybe the most significant thing we heard, via Dr. Andreas Zygan, Mercedes’ Head of SUV Development, was that the S Class of SUVs might get the Maybach treatment just like the S Class of the sedans did. This sort of comes as a confirmation for the rumors we’ve seen lingering in the air for a few years. We went as far as writing a speculative review for it but only now can we say we’re getting closer and closer to a Maybach SUV actually happening. Mercedes previewed this possibility with the latest of the Maybach Vision concept that was presented in 2018.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Revealed with Tons of Go-Faster Tech
A Nürburgring lap time under the 8-minute mark is an impressive accomplishment, but posting that time in a top-heavy SUV is simply insane. However, that’s exactly what Mercedes-AMG just did with the 2020 GLC 63, claiming the title of fastest SUV in the world at The Green Hell.
Making it possible is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, which is tuned to produce 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in the top-trim GLC 63 S. Sixty mph arrives in an astonishing 3.6 seconds, just a few ticks off the 800-horsepower Hellcat Redeye. Top speed is rated at 174 mph.
Go for the base GLC 63, and you’ll get 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which translates into a 3.8-second run to 60 mph and a top speed of 155 mph.
Managing the heft is an AMG Ride Control+ air suspension system with adaptive dampers, while AMG’s Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system makes it grip. Output is routed through an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic transmission.
Outside, the GLC 63 twins get new styling with revised taillight and headlight housings, both of which come with LEDs, while a pair of trapezoidal tailpipes are found out back. Wheel sizing ranges up to 21 inches in diameter.
The cabin is covered in Nappa leather with yellow contrast stitching, and the infotainment system comes with the latest MBUX features, including the optional MBUX Interior Assistant.
Look for the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 at the 2019 New York International Auto Show this week, and in dealers later this year.