Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page

75th Anniversary Jeep Models Suit Up in Green and Bronze

While a 75th anniversary is generally called a diamond anniversary, things are a little different for Jeep, which reaches that milestone this year. A diamond-encrusted Jeep would just be silly, though, so the company instead is decking out its 75th Anniversary models in special green paint (although other colors can be specified) and lots of bronze accents. Wearing the green and bronze are 75th Anniversary editions of the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Compass, Patriot, and Renegade.

Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary edition

Available in Sarge Green as well as Black, Bright White, Mojave Sand, Rhino (gray), Granite Crystal (also gray), and Billet Silver, the 75th Anniversary Wrangler comes with low-gloss bronze 17-inch wheels, as well as bronze steel bumpers, tow hooks, Jeep badging, grille inserts, and headlight rings. The interior features leather seats with mesh inserts, seat heaters, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen audio system with Uconnect and SiriusXM satellite radio. Other equipment includes special rock rails, a power-dome hood, Command-Trac four-wheel drive with a 2.72:1 transfer case, a 3.21:1 rear axle ratio, a Dana 30 front axle, a Dana 44 rear axle, and Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires. Pricing starts at $35,570 for the two-door Wrangler and $39,370 for the four-door Unlimited.

Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition

Offered in Recon Green as well as Brilliant Black, Rhino, Bright White, Billet Silver, and Granite Crystal, the Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition gets a specific grille, front fascia, and headlamps, plus black body accents. It also adds the following: unique 18-inch (or 20-inch) wheels in low-gloss bronze; the same bronze finish for the grille rings, fog-lamp bezels, tow hooks, roof rails, lower fascia trim, and badges; heated seats in leather or Gode-Tex (not Gore-Tex) cloth, with Tangerine contrast stitching and 75th Anniversary logos; an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen; blind-spot monitoring; and a power sunroof. Pricing for the Laredo starts at $35,770, while the Limited is $41,870 (add $2000 for four-wheel drive).

Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition

The Cherokee is based on the Latitude model, and the color choices mirror those of the Grand Cherokee. The Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition’s bronze exterior elements include special 18-inch wheels, trim, and badging. Inside, the seats have Gode-Tex cloth inserts and Tangerine contrast stitching. An 8.4-inch touchscreen audio system and a dual-pane sunroof are also included. Pricing starts at $28,870 ($30,870 for four-wheel drive).

Compass 75th Anniversary edition

Available in Recon Green as well as Black, Bright White, Billet Silver, and Granite Crystal, the Compass 75th Anniversary edition is based on the Sport model. Its bronze bits include: roof rails, front fascia trim, rear step pad, tow hooks, badges, and 18-inch wheels. Also included are a power sunroof, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the 2.4-liter engine and six-speed automatic. Pricing starts at $23,470 ($25,470 with four-wheel drive).

Patriot 75th Anniversary edition

Based on the Patriot Sport model, the 75th Anniversary edition is offered in the same colors as the Compass. It also comes with the same special equipment, although its bronze wheels are 17 inchers rather than 18s. Pricing starts at $21,470 ($23,470 with four-wheel drive).

Renegade 75th Anniversary edition

The newest member of the Jeep family also gets to participate in the 75th anniversary. Its special edition comes in Jungle Green, as well as Alpine White, Black, Omaha Orange, Mojave Sand, Glacier Metallic (silvery blue), Granite Crystal (gray), and Anvil (another gray). Bronze elements include the grille surrounds, fog-lamp bezels, roof rack, taillamp and rear-fascia trim, badges, and 18-inch wheels. Based on the Latitude model, the Renegade 75th Anniversary edition also adds a Beats audio system and MySky sunroof. Pricing starts at $24,370 ($26,370 with four-wheel drive).

The 75th Anniversary Jeeps arrive at dealerships in the first quarter.

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Who knew adventure could be this refined? For those who are as passionate about driving as they are about arriving, the new 2016 Jeep® Cherokee Overland® is a mid-size SUV built to perform and designed to stand apart with luxurious details and sophisticated styling.

The Overland nameplate carries a rich heritage known for blending legendary capability like world-renowned available Jeep brand four-wheel drive with the very latest technologies, including an Alpine® Premium Audio System, Blind Spot Monitoring, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist, Uconnect® 8.4 with Navigation and Rear Cross-Path Detection.

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland is appointed with inviting details and alluring design, inside and out. The exterior features new body-color fascias with a bright front chin extension, body-color door cladding and wheel flares, new 18-inch fully polished aluminum wheels, standard HID bi-xenon headlamps and an “Overland” badge on the liftgate.

Inside, the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland’s unmatched interior features a host of standard and available premium enhancements, including a leather-wrapped instrument panel and steering wheel with Brown Zebrano high-gloss wood trim; heated and ventilated power-adjustable Nappa leather-trimmed driver and front-passenger seats with four-way power lumbar; Berber carpeted floor mats; silver anodized interior finishes; and a CommandView® Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof (available).

With the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland, every mile you travel will be extraordinary. And as an added bonus, Cherokee Overland drivers will be enrolled in the exclusive Jeep Wave program and enjoy a range of great benefits, including no-charge maintenance for two years.

The new 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland will be available spring 2016.
Visit to learn more about the Jeep Wave program, and head to for to check out the full 2016 Jeep vehicle lineup.

Facebook No Longer Just Has A ‘Like’ Button, Thanks To Global Launch Of Emoji ‘Reactions’

After more than a year of working to build alternatives to its trademark ”like” button, Facebook’s has globally launched emoji “Reactions.”

Users can still respond to a post or comment with the traditional “like” button. But starting Wednesday, holding down the “like” button on mobile or hovering over the icon on desktop, gives users an expanded menu allowing them to choose from six different animated emoji “Reactions”: Like, Love, Haha, Wow Sad or Angry. “Reactions” are designed to be an extension of the “like” button as opposed to a full-on replacement. Users will be notified when their posts receive ”Reactions” in the same way they’re notified about “likes.”

Facebook said it wanted to give users more authentic ways to quickly and easily respond to posts, whether they are sad, serious, funny or happy. Before emoji “Reactions,” users were often put in the awkward position of resorting to “liking” a post about a death or one that expressed frustration or disappointment, without distinction from how one would “like” an engagement photo. “Reactions” should solve this problem.

“We heard from people that they wanted more ways to express themselves on Facebook,” said Facebook product manager Sammi Krug. “When people come to Facebook, they share all kinds of different things, things that make them sad, things that make them happy, thought-provoking, angry. We kept hearing from people that they didn’t have a way to express empathy.”

“Reactions” should also help Facebook FB boost clicks. Krug said the team was initially concerned that housing “Reactions” behind the “like” button could make the feature difficult for users to find, but that hasn’t been the case. Users who have ”Reactions” have already been responding more frequently to posts than users without them. A bump in Facebook’s already strong engagement would be well received by investors, as well as by advertisers, who can learn more about users through data on their emotional response to content.


The Jeep brand celebrated 75 years of unparalleled history and 4×4 leadership with the introduction of a full lineup of special-edition models at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). In honor of the Jeep brand tradition of off-road capability and world-class craftsmanship, the new 75th Anniversary models feature unique available Jeep Green exteriors, Satin Bronze wheels, Bronze and Orange exterior accents, unique interiors, and 75th Anniversary badging.

In addition to the introduction of the new #Jeep75 models, the Jeep Grand Cherokee received a 2016 Most Popular on Award as the most researched vehicle in the Midsize Traditional SUV segment. Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Product Marketing, was presented the award from at NAIAS. The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition includes an all-new, unique front fascia, grille and headlamps, and cloth seats with leather-trimmed heated seats with embossed 75th Anniversary logo and Tangerine accent stitching.

The flagship of open-air freedom, the 2016 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary edition models feature 17-inch wheels, front and rear tow hooks, Jeep badge and unique front and rear steel bumpers, all in Low Gloss Bronze, as well as a 75th Anniversary grab handle and unique off-road rock rails.

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition, 2016 Jeep Renegade 75th Anniversary edition, 2016 Jeep Compass 75th Anniversary edition and 2016 Jeep Patriot 75th Anniversary edition models all come equipped with distinctive accents and 75th anniversary badging to mark this milestone diamond anniversary.

Learn more about the Jeep brand history and 75th Anniversary special-edition models at and

2016 Dodge Journey

Two words best sum up the 2016 Dodge Journey’s success: “versatility and value.” With a price starting just under $22,000, the Journey undercuts more expensive rivals like the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot. Granted, two of the three come standard with a V6 engine, and the 4-cylinder Journey has neither the power nor the features (Bluetooth isn’t even standard) to compete with the above-mentioned group. However, the Journey’s higher trim levels do come well appointed and can be equipped with one of the most powerful V6 engines in this class. Though aging, the 2016 Dodge Journey still has some surprises in store, such as clever in-floor storage and one of the best infotainment systems money can buy.

You’ll Like This Car If…

Those who need 7-passenger accommodations and are on a limited budget will appreciate the 4-cylinder engine offered on four of the five available Journey trims. The family-friendly Journey is extremely versatile with lots of places to hide cargo and precious items.

You May Not Like This Car If…

If you need a large 3rd-row seat, a Chevy Traverse or Honda Pilot makes a better choice. The Journey’s 4-cylinder engine and outdated 4-speed automatic are not the best choice for a 7-passenger SUV. Look to the Kia Sorento for a better 4-cylinder entry model, as well as a better warranty.

2016 sees the entry-level AVP trim dropped and the model lineup reduced to just five trim levels. SE, SXT and Crossroad trims have lower base prices than last year, while a new Crossroad Plus trim builds on the success of the Crossroad by offering standard leather seating and the Uconnect 8.4-inch display.

Driving the Journey

Driving Impressions Those accustomed to older, truck-based SUVs will be quite pleased with the way Dodge’s Journey crossover SUV for 2016 rides and drives. A unit body and advanced suspension setup help the Journey return car-like driving characteristics similar to a tall-riding station wagon, which is essentially what the Journey is. Confident on highway runs and surprisingly agile over narrow, twisting roads, the Journey is devoid of the bobbing and weaving one might experience in a truck-based SUV. Although we found the 173-horsepower 4-cylinder engine adequate with two people aboard, any additional bodies or cargo demands the Pentastar V6, which delivers an additional 100 horsepower and nearly the same fuel economy. We like the Journey’s upright seating position and found the front seats to be remarkably supportive and comfortable, even after driving long distances.

Favorite Features


Dodge’s Journey SUV for 2016 has numerous clever storage ideas. Not only does the rear seat fold flush, there are additional storage bins beneath the 2nd-row floor and front-passenger seat cushion. The same seat can fold flat to better accommodate long items such as a surfboard and skis.


Dodge’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine is not only smooth and powerful, it also returns impressive fuel economy on par with the Journey’s smaller 4-cylinder engine.

The 2016 Dodge Journey’s cabin is available in a 2-row, 5-passenger layout or as a 3-row, 7-passenger configuration. Passenger space for adults is commendable up front and good in the second row, but legroom is very tight in the third row, which is best left for kids or occasional use. One of the best features of the Journey is its available Uconnect infotainment system. In addition to a large and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touch screen centered in the dash, there are supplementary buttons for climate and audio that are simple to see and use.


Is it a sport-utility vehicle or the reincarnation of a station wagon? With the 2016 Journey from Dodge, its 192.4-inch length exceeds much of the competition, but Dodge’s designers have given it exterior treatments such as the chrome-trimmed cross-hair grille and eye-catching aluminum-alloy wheel choices that keep it from being merely bland. If a more stylish look is important, opt for the R/T version, with its 19-inch wheels, monochromatic treatment and distinctive R/T labels. For a tougher-looking version, there’s the Dodge Journey Crossroad, which features a faux skidplate, standard roof rails and blacked-out wheels.

Notable Equipment

Standard Equipment

The 2016 Dodge Journey 7-passenger crossover SUV is available in a five trims, from the base SE to the top-line R/T. At its most basic, the 2016 Journey includes dual-zone climate control, 4.3-inch touch-screen media center, keyless entry and push-button start, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and power windows and door locks. Entertainment is provided by a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with auxiliary and USB inputs, but no Bluetooth streaming as standard. Safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all rows.

Optional Equipment

Plenty of options can be had on the 2016 Journey. Among the more popular are 3-row seating (Flexible Seating Group), traction-enhancing all-wheel drive in lieu of the standard front-drive setup, an 8.4-inch touch-screen Uconnect infotainment system and navigation. Amenities that bring an upscale feel include leather seating, Infinity speakers, rear-seat video entertainment system with 9-inch screen and two wireless headphones, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and heated front seats and heated steering wheel. A Driver Convenience Group adds a rearview camera and distance-alert function when in reverse, but more advanced safety functions like blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking are not available.

Under the Hood

Two engines are available for Dodge’s 2016 Journey crossover SUV. Standard on lower trims is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes an only-adequate 173 horsepower. The engine we recommend is the 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that is optional on all but base Dodge Journeys and standard in higher trims. The V6 is also your only choice if you require all-wheel drive (AWD) instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) to deal with inclement weather and slippery roads. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline. All Dodge Journeys use automatic transmissions, with the 4-cylinder stuck with an older-style 4-speed and the 6-cylinder using a newer 6-speed. The Journey’s towing capacity is on the light end, limited to 1,000 pounds with the 4-cylinder and 2,500 with the V6.

2.4-liter inline-4 (SE, SXT, Crossroad)

173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg

3.6-liter V6 (SE, SXT, Crossroad, R/T)

283 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm

260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (FWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD)

Pricing Notes

The 2016 Dodge Journey has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $22,000, including destination charge. Better-equipped mid-level versions of the Journey such as the SXT and Crossroad are in the mid-$20,000 range, while a top-line R/T version with AWD reaches the mid-$30,000 level. At its base price, the Dodge Journey SE remains the lowest-priced midsize SUV, and even after climbing trims is a good value among midsize SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9 and Kia Sorento. The Mitsubishi Outlander with seating for seven is also a value leader among 3-row SUVs, but is smaller than the Journey. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Journey SUV. In the years ahead, the Journey’s residual value is expected to be average, still lagging the Toyota Highlander.

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Easy Steps to Better Gas Mileage

With the average price of gas dipping below two dollars per gallon for the first time since 2009, many motorists have been seeing a real savings at the pump. Putting some of that savings toward basic auto care can lead to more miles per gallon and, in turn, more savings, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform these five simple steps to improve fuel economy and save money.

– Check Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.

– Use the Right Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.

– Replace Clogged Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.

– Check Engine Performance: Keep your engine running efficiently and improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.

– Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to

Save Gas Beyond the Pump“Proactive vehicle maintenance is a motorist’s best money saving tip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Routine auto care not only helps save on fuel costs, but it helps identify small issues so they can be serviced before they become bigger and more costly to repair.”

To help motorists increase fuel economy and take better care of their vehicles, the Car Care Council offers valuable tools on its website, including a free personalized schedule and email reminder service.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit

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Victory Octane coming February 19, 2016…

Victory Motorcycles has shown several teasers for their upcoming all-new machine, the Octane. This time, Victory has Swiss drag racer and bike builder Urs Erbacher and racing engineer Alex Opperman talking about the Octane. Short as these teasers may be, they are still exciting and raise the anticipation thrill.

Alex Opperman describes the engine of the Octane as being an intimidating presence, and this only brings back to memory Zach Ness’ words. The American builder described the sound of the engine as being the closest thing to the rumble of a supercar.

The two custom bikes that anticipate the Octane, Ness’ Combustion and Erbacher’s Ignition, come with very aggressive exhaust pipes that enhance the grunt of the new Victory engine, but the production version will be a little better-behaved.

Still, we can expect the Victory Octane to be a machine that only makes a few compromises.

If anything, it’s obvious that Victory is looking forward to making a change in the American cruiser segment. Right from the start, the company was bent on offering an alternative to the classic, conservative Harley-Davidson machines, so the Octane is just another step in that direction.

How much the new platform will be able to make a significant change remains to be seen.

We still a couple more days until Victory will pull the wraps off the Octane. However, one thing is certain, and that is the fact that the Octane might represent a turning point in Victory’s evolution.

Two of the videos after the jump show a 4-valve cylinder head for the Octane, but reveal nothing more on how the bike may be, nor do they hint to the power of the mill. The only thing we can speculate on is that the final version of the bike will not be radically different from Ness’ and Erbacher’s machines. Cometh Feburary 19!

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Grizzly to Start World Record Attempt from Daytona Bike Week

Grizzly (real name Urs Pedraita) plans to roll out of Daytona’s packed and bustling main street at 1pm on Friday 11th of March 2016.


True to his name, Grizzly has been bear-like in his preparations to ride a Victory Cross Country around the world through all six continents in under 100 days (the record currently stands at 120 days). His aim is to ride with a continuous speed with as few stops as possible and he even plans to put the wheels on the ground in Antarctica.

Over the past year Grizzly has put himself through challenging acclimatization rides in sub-zero temperatures and he says he is now ready to flex some ‘Modern American Muscle’ on board his Victory Cross Country. While this powerful bagger might be more used to cruising on paved highways, Grizzly shows that this kind of bike can be ridden everywhere – even on ice, snow, sand, mud and gravel.

Additional items on his Victory Cross Country include navigation systems, a 33-liter fuel tank, a customized seat with back support and two LED headlights added on the front for better visibility during his long night rides.

This won’t be Grizzly’s first big ride on a Victory Cross Country – in 2013, he completed a 9,000 mile trip in just 37 days – during the winter.

After leaving Daytona in March, Grizzly’s route can be seen in the attached imagery to this release.

Fans can follow his progress using the ‘Grizzly Tracker app’ which shows where Grizzly is at any time during the attempt. The web page for this is at

The 100-day mark puts the date as Friday 20th May 2016 and he’ll need to finish by then to achieve his goal.

With his boundless energy, ability to survive on very little sleep and the ultra-reliable Victory Cross Country, we can count on Grizzly to add this attempt to his growing list of world distance riding records.

Owners of Victory Motorcycles are invited to join Grizzly for one lap of the Daytona 200 road course prior to the start of Grizzly’s record breaking attempt on Friday 11th March 2016.

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How different is the Power Wagon?

When the 2017 Ram Power Wagon appeared, there was some chatter on public forums about how it was a “sticker package.” This idea may come from the lack of clear, substantial changes from 2016 in official communications.

Still, the Power Wagon is — and has been — quite different from the Ram 2500 4×4 under the skin, where it matters. It goes far beyond tacking on a skid plate and a winch — the latter ruling out the huge Cummins diesel engine, for space reasons. (The original Power Wagon had a flat-head six which was powerful when launched, but could not be called a class leader twenty years later, much less today — 70 years from its birth. That truck never did get a slant six, much less a V8 or a diesel.)

The best “low point to ground” clearance of a Ram 2500 4×4 with the Off-Road Package comes, oddly, with the Mega Cab, with 7.7 inches of clearance. The Power Wagon clears the ground, at its lowest point, by 8.3 inches.

The Power Wagon has a full 26 inches of suspension travel, even with the sway bar engaged, according to Ram reps. This is far greater than ordinary Rams, and may have been the reason why there were rumors of a Wrangler with an independent front suspension.

The approach, breakover, and departure angles are all far better than the rest of the Rams, by a minimum of 3°.

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Updated 2017 Ram Power Wagon

The popular sentiment in the truck market is that if you really, really want off-road performance, you turn to the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. But Ram would like to remind everyone that it’s no stranger to the hardcore, off-road pickup game, and that the 2500-based Power Wagon is here to stand up (and dwarf) the half-ton-based Raptor.

The 2016 Power Wagon was heavy on the chrome, had an pretty ridiculous optional graphics package, and featured questionable red grille inserts (unless you got the work-truck-like Power Wagon Tradesman). To be frank, it was hard to take the truck seriously alongside something as purposeful looking as the Ford Raptor. Ram has addressed this for 2017 by replacing all the chrome with menacing black trim. The billet-silver Ram badge in the nose is the only piece of bright work, and goodness, it all works.

exterior power wagon photo courtsey of

Look at the two side-by-side: murdering out the new Rebel-inspired grille, rear bumper, mirror caps, wheel arches, 324-point-font tailgate badge, headlights, and wheels finally gives the Power Wagon the menacing, purposeful, and imposing appearance that it needs. But really, what we like best is that this Ram is all just two-tone now, instead of a handful of different shades. By offering decals in just black or silver, depending on which of the six body colors you choose, the 2017 Power Wagon is a less distracting and simply more cohesive design (or just skip the graphics pack all together – we would).

Changes elsewhere are much more modest. You can black out the cabin headliner, and the dull fabric seats have been spiced up with inserts that ape the tread pattern of the standard Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. It’s a small touch, but it breaks up the otherwise depressing sea of black plastic. And as far as more luxurious options, there’s no mention of a range-topping Power Wagon Laramie, although buyers on a budget will still be able to snag the entry level Power Wagon Tradesman.

interior power wagon photo courtsey of

Perhaps most importantly, the bits that make the Power Wagon a Power Wagon are more or less unchanged. The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 still produces 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque and is still matched with a 66RFE six-speed automatic and a manually-shifted transfer case. It’ll still tow 10,030 pounds, ford up to 30 inches of water, and has a standard 12,000-pound Warn winch at the front. In short, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon is still a monster, just a more fashionable monster.

Read more and the full Press Release at: