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2017 Dodge Challenger GT: ‘The first American muscle coupe’

Here’s the automotive question of the day: Who wouldn’t want to slide around on snow-covered roads at about 100 mph?

Answer: Everybody.

Nonetheless, Dodge is introducing for 2017 “the first and only all-wheel drive American muscle coupe,” complete with a 30-second TV ad showing the 2017 Challenger GT happily fishtailing, sluicing and four-wheel drifting at roaringly high speeds over snow-slick roads.

The commercial’s large-print legend: “America’s only all-wheel-drive muscle coupe”; the commercial’s fine-print advisory: “Professional driver. Closed course. Do not attempt. Always drive consistent with conditions.”

More proof the old saying is true: Read the fine print.

Set to go into production in January, it’s intriguing this car, with all its bravado, is offered only with Challenger’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. Not that we’re complaining — 305 hp is plenty. But it’s somewhat surprising this guy’s muscle message cannot be coupled with Dodge’s storied 5.7-liter, 372-hp Hemi V-8.

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Source: stltoday.com

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The Car Of My Dreams Is Finally Here: The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan

Hybrid-electric cars have been around for nearly 20 years, but I’m not surprised they’re not big sellers. If you want people to buy hybrids, don’t give them itty-bitty, egg-shaped wind-up toys. Instead, create a hybrid that truly suits their lifestyle, one that gets great mileage but is also big and flexible enough to carry their kids, their pets and all their stuff.

Now, at last, that vehicle is here: the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan.

I’ve long been a fan of minivans, despite their dowdy reputation. There simply is no other vehicle that’s as comfortable and useful. When our first kid went off to college, we traded our minivan for an SUV and instantly regretted it, in a million little ways.

Chrysler knows what minivan buyers want; they’ve led the segment since introducing the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager back in 1984, and the Chrysler Town & Country six years later. The Pacifica, which went on sale last summer, is the modern-day successor to those early pioneers. It’s a superb vehicle, with a long list of innovative features, including hands-free sliding doors and liftgate, power-operated Stow-and-Go seats, and lots of active safety features like parking assist, forward collision braking, and lane-keeping assist. Thanks to a stiffer, lightweight chassis that improves handling, it’s also a dream to drive.

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Source: forbes.com

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Puddle jumper: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep division does well with its Grand Cherokee line, selling just under 200,000 of them last year in the U.S.

So it’s only logical the company would expand the line to include the Trailhawk badge, which signifies increased eagerness to hit the trail.

For 2017, Jeep has reintroduced a Grand Cherokee with that badge — and those capabilities. Falling in sequential order above the Laredo and Limited, but below the Summit, Overland and SRT models, the Trailhawk version aims to offer superior on-road comfort matched with superior off-road capability.

On road, this Grand Cherokee feels much like its non-Trailhawk sibling. It’s a quiet, calm, luxury SUV, built for comfort.

The big wide seats are ventilated and heated. (The rear seats are heated too.) The high ride, which requires a little step up for short people, creates excellent visibility. Front and rear passenger areas have massive head and leg room, and the cargo capacity is more than 60 cubic feet of space, with the rear seats folded flat.

Fiat Chrysler has done well with the ergonomics, and has made piloting the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk simple. The controls for navigation, climate control, radio, phone, and other media, as well as things such as seat temperature control, are all in a small dashboard screen above the center console.

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Source: latimes.com

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2017 Ram Laramie: Luxury truck

Ram created a the high-end Laramie Limited model designed to appeal to upscale pickup buyers. Ram has updated the 1500 series pickups with a number of special trims and features, including some new attributes for the Laramie Longhorn for 2017. We were able to drive the 2017 Ram 1500 Laramie models.

It is distinguished by an updated front grille design with prominent badging, as well as premium wood and leather materials that tailor the interior. It has also recently received a new frame and body modifications to improve its Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small front overlap test scores.

Ram’s Laramie Longhorn gets updated looks with a new southwestern-themed grille and added features for both the Longhorn and the upscale Limited models that come in 1500, 2500, and 3500 capabilities. Longhorns get new bright-chrome grille with “RAM” lettering and chrome belt moldings. Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 Longhorn models also add standard Keyless Go, SmartBeam headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.

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Source: buckscountycouriertimes.com

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