Henry Payne Blog

Cartoon: Trump SHole Nations

Posted by hpayne on January 12, 2018

CARtoon: Doorless Jeep

Posted by hpayne on January 11, 2018

2017 Detroit auto show Top 10: Where are they now?

Posted by hpayne on January 11, 2018

This weekend Detroit kicks off the 2018 auto show season with a bumper crop of rookie talent. We’ll be treated to new pickups, new EVs, new concepts — all vying for Detroit News Ten Best in Show.

But what of last year’s frosh wonders?

Did they live up to their promise? Did the Kia Stinger drive as good as it looked? Did the Honda Odyssey minivan dethrone King Chrysler Pacifica? Would Camry get trampled in America’s stampede to SUVs?

Herewith a look at the 2017 Ten Best in Show and how they are doing.

Kia Stinger:
Developed on the famous Nurburgring race

Kia Stinger

A performance sedan developed on the famous Nurburgring race track. From Kia. You’re kidding, right? Nope. The Korean econobox-maker hired Audi designer Peter Schreyer and BMW M-division engineer Albert Biermann to redefine the brand with an all-wheel drive, turbo V-6, Audi A7 lookalike priced like a Dodge Charger. The sleek Stinger wowed media testers last fall at its California proving grounds. Kia offered us a Porsche Panamera, Audi A7 and A5 to test it against. That’s confidence. The sportback held its own and then some. It’s one of the favorites for 2018 North American Car of the Year.

Audi Q8:
The bold Q8 SUV design concept is Q7’s doppelganger

Audi Q8

The bold Q8 SUV is expected in production form later this year, but the concept gave us plenty to digest. The Q8 is Q7’s doppelganger with a coupe-like roof (more sex appeal, less headroom) aimed at similar ute coupes from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It’s also the template for Audi’s new design direction as seen on the fresh A8 sedan at November’s LA Auto Show. Echoing the Q8, the A8 has more high-definition interior screens than a sports bar — and a continuous, LED taillight across the trunk.

Volvo V90:
</div>Americans prefer the taller, five-door V90

Volvo V90

The wagon is dead, long live the wagon. A big reason for America’s SUV preference is the security that an elevated seating position gives drivers. So Volvo markets the five-door version of its S90 sedan by jacking it up 2.3 inches and giving it a rugged ute-name: V90 Cross Country. But for those who value aesthetics, the V90 is available by dealer special order in wagon form. It sold an exclusive 176 units in 2017 (less than a tenth of the Cross Country), but with its long wheelbase, flowing lines and rich Scandinavian interior, it is a rolling sculpture.

Honda Odyssey:
</div>The best-selling Chrysler Pacifica and

Honda Odyssey

Odyssey’s quirky exterior can’t compete with the Pacifica head-turner, but young families may find the Honda more appealing. The best-selling Fiat Chrysler minivans (Pacifica and sibling Dodge Caravan) wow with removable Stow’n’Go second- and third-row seats. Odyssey makes its pitch with a “Magic Slide” middle seat that moves tantrum-prone toddlers closer to the driver for needed attention — and a third-row microphone system for better communication.

Volkswagen Tiguan:
</div>After years of alienating Yanks

Volkswagen Tiguan

After years of alienating Yanks with too-small utes and too-much Dieselgate, VW is back to win our hearts with the Americanized Tiggy. The compact SUV makes its case with a supersized interior, handsome exterior and tech galore. VW motorheads looking for a nimble SUV should look elsewhere — this V-dub puts on the pounds with a third-row seat option and storage space aplenty. That’s more utility than a comparable Audi Q5 for 15 grand less.

GMC Terrain:
</div>The upscale Terrain is loaded with innovation

GMC Terrain

GMC joins VW and Mazda with an upscale, compact ute — and accompanying $1,500 price jump. Shedding its blocky truck lines for a more stylish wardrobe, the Terrain’ssculpted grille and boomerang taillights telegraph a small SUV with big ambitions. Terrain is loaded with innovation from its electronic “trigger” shifter to its Japanese-inspired “floating roof” to a terrific, nine-speed tranny. What’s most surprising is GMC’s 350-pound diet and toned chassis make it one of the best utes to flog on a twisty road.

Ford F-150:
</div>Just two years after its aluminum-skin

Ford F-150

America’s best-seller isn’t resting on its laurels. Just two years after its aluminum-skin transformation, the high-tech F-series keeps raising the bar with a redesigned “double I-beam” grille, Wi-Fi hot-spot (up to 10 devices for your big tailgate party), 10-speed transmission, semi-autonomous trailer backup-assist, and more engine choices. Like the first-ever F-150 diesel. Nearly 900,000 F-series sold last year.

Toyota Camry:
</div>The ‘18 model is Toyota’s best-looking,

Toyota Camry

Chairman Akio Toyoda’s made good on his promise of a “really sexy” Camry. The 2018 model is Toyota’s best-looking, best-handling, most ergonomically satisfying sedan yet. Trouble is, Camry must overcome two formidable competitors — the all-new Honda Accord, which is even better; and the Toyota RAV4, which dethroned King Camry as the best-selling non-pickup in America for the first time in 15 years.

Nissan Vmotion Concept:
</div>The V-motion showed off futuristic

Nissan Vmotion Concept

The Rogue SUV flew off dealer lots in 2017 as Nissan fed our thirst for all things ute with the Rogue Sport, and … what were we talking about? Oh, yes, a sedan concept. The V-motion. Its futuristic cabinet doors and semi-autonomous features aside, Vmotion previewed the lines of camouflaged 2019 Altimas seen in spy shots.

Dodge Challenger GT:
</div>Just after the GT debuted in Detroit,

Dodge Challenger GT

The what? Just after the GT debuted in Detroit, the breathless countdown began to the New York Auto Show’s April premiere of the 840-horsepower Dodge Demon. Demon didn’t disappoint with its unmatched quarter-mile numbers and unholy, supercharged shriek. But for Dodge shoppers looking for a practical, all-season, all-wheel drive Challenger, the GT is it. Just wish it came in a V-8.

Cartoon: Oprah for Prez

Posted by hpayne on January 9, 2018

Cartoon: Global Warming and Snowless Predictions

Posted by hpayne on January 9, 2018

Cartoon: Orwell 2018 Global Warming

Posted by hpayne on January 4, 2018

Payne: Buick Regal Sportback is a utility with sex appeal

Posted by hpayne on January 4, 2018

regal_sportback-open

Regular readers of this column know that my favorite cars are affordable, compact hot hatches like VW GTIs, Ford Fiesta STs, even wild-winged Honda Civic Type Rs. Small though their sales numbers may be, they boast supersized bandwidth: low center-of-gravity and turbocharged engines for performance — and five-door, hatchback utility for carrying stuff.

Right on these hatches’ rear bumpers is a new breed of five-door beauties that have caught my wandering eye. Call them sportbacks.

Budget-friendly kin of high-end, five-door thoroughbreds like the Tesla Model S and Audi A7, the appeal of the new Buick Regal Sportback and Kia Stinger sportback should be no surprise — they mix the hot hatch’s appealing recipe, but in a bigger pan.

The Stinger was a 2017 Detroit show-stopper and is a finalist for 2018 North American Car of the Year. Its rear-wheel drive power, sleek shape and interior volume not only recast the Korean maker as a sports brand, it brings Fifth Avenue design to Main Street showroom windows.

Running in its luxurious footsteps is the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback, which transforms Buick’s vanilla, mid-size sedan into a graceful swan. And it’s even more affordable (stop the presses!) than the Kia.

Heck, if Audi had a nickel for every time someone benchmarked to its stunning A7, they would be able to pay back all of parent VW’s Dieselgate fines in a fortnight. Since its birth in 2009, the A7 has been the sedan-beauty standard (well, the Aston Martin Rapide is more stunning, but it also costs the same as your house), eclipsing even the venerable Porsche Panamera sportback.

As the SUV sales revolution has threatened to make sedans as irrelevant as snow tires in St. Croix, sedan designers have had to recast the traditional, three-box, four-door concept. Their answer was as simple as hiring cheerleaders to rev up sleepy Detroit Lions fans: sex appeal.

The mid-size, front-wheel drive Chevy Malibu and Honda Accord were given sleek, Audi-like four-door coupe designs. But the premium-segment all-wheel-drive Regal goes further.

Designed and built in Germany as a rebadged Opel Insignia, the Regal Sportback’s ski-slope roof opens with hydraulic struts like a hatchback (thus the term sportback) to mimic the A7 and Model S in beauty, cargo utility and all-wheel drive dexterity. Cost of entry? Just $32,540.

Add three inches of wheelbase and subtract 200 pounds of weight from the previous generation and you have a bigger, nimbler, 250-horse looker with a European accent that brings real personality to the mid-size dance floor.

Buick needs every bit of that charm because the $30,000 mid-size disco is ferociously competitive — and not just from Regal’s usual Acura, Lincoln and Infiniti rivals. Indeed, those competitors, which Regal handles with better looks and value, are the least of its worries.

Take the Accord stallion that’s neck-and-neck with the Stinger for Car of the Year. Like the lovely Mazda 6 — which will arrive later this year with a turbo-4 spitting a serious 310 pound-feet of torque — Honda’s a mainstream brand with premium abilities.

Loaded to $36,700 — $2,000 shy of my Regal Essence trim — and the Honda matches the Buick feature for feature: 252-horsepower turbo-4, smartphone app compatibility, seat memory, adaptive cruise-control, blind-spot assist. And then it trumps the Buick with a nicer interior (wood trim, silver-bezeled cupholders), 10-speed transmission, packed steering-wheel controls and a heads-up display. Why GM starves the Regal Sportback of the latter — which the General invented! — is a mystery.

Row the two cars through the twisties and the Honda’s turbo-4 is more responsive, its chassis tighter, its 10-speed tranny a match for the Buick’s eight-speed unit.

But the Regal brings moves of its own.

While the Accord’s huge trunk could hide an elephant, the Buick’s hatched opening is more versatile. Pop it open, flatten the rear seats, and its 60 cubic feet of space will easily swallow a bicycle and three pieces of luggage.

And then there’s that all-wheel drive thing. The Accord doesn’t offer it — though I should note, the Buick can be had with front-wheel drive like the Accord for just $25,000, as Buick tries to do some down-market poaching in Accord value territory. Slogging through Michigan this time of year, all-wheel drive is a priority in the Payne family. Mrs. Payne won’t leave home without it, which has made her a Subaru groupie.

Regal’s four paws ain’t your average zoo animal. Armed with twin-clutch packs in her rear, the all-wheel drive all-the-time Buick can send torque to any wheel it needs to, meaning you can conquer slippy, icy conditions that would bedevil a Subaru — or even on some, more expensive Audi A5s — with more traditional open differentials.

I confidently plowed through snow before Christmas in an Audi SQ5 SUV. But I feel more confident and connected to the road in a lower-center of gravity Regal. That’s just physics.

The Buick’s all-wheel drive system also helps the front-drive biased car rotate better through corners, but the Buick is not a car you’ll be tempted to flog like the eager Accord or Stinger. You’ll drive with confidence and style. With its attractive winged grille and LED-lidded lights, it’s country club-pretty compared to the ready-to-rock-the-night-club Accord.

That said, the Regal’s design could be less, well, stuffy German. Buick’s Enclave does some wonderful things with chrome across its tuckus that are absent in the Regal — and there’s that bland (if ergonomically commendable) dash.

Perhaps the Regal — on sale now — is saving some panache for its pricier brothers: the 310-horse, V-6-powered, performance GS and the stunning Tour X wagon. With these two vehicles — which I will test later this year — the Regals cover a lot of customer real estate from $25,000 all the way to the mid-$40,000s. In a smaller sedan marketplace, that’s clever.

That’s a lot of personality for a brand that once had the presence of a wallflower. And it’s well-timed in a $30,000 aisle stuffed with neat toys. Those toys include entry-level Germans like the Mercedes CLA, Audi A3 and BMW 2-series. But despite their brand cachet, these cars simply can’t compete with the larger, feature-rich Buick and Honda. That’s how much the gap has shrunk between luxury and more mainstream brands.

Brand matters, but the Buick and Accord offer comparable value to sport utilities with more sex appeal. And should you have the need for speed, you can always spend a few extra coins on the Kia Stinger. It’ll stow your bike while you hunt down Panameras.

Here’s a New Year’s resolution idea: More sportbacks, please.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne. Catch “Car Radio with Henry Payne” from noon-1 p.m. Saturdays on 910 AM Superstation.

2018 Buick Regal Sportback

VEHICLE TYPE

FRONT-ENGINE, FRONT OR ALL-WHEEL DRIVE, FIVE-PASSENGER SEDAN

Powerplant

2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-4 cylinder;

Transmission

9-speed automatic (front-wheel-drive); 8-speed automatic

(AWD)

Weight

3,417 pounds (FWD base)

Price

$25,915 base FWD; $32,540 AWD

(38,715 AWD Essence trim as tested)

Power

250 horsepower, 295 pound-feet torque (AWD)

Performance

0-60 mph, 6.2 seconds (AWD, Car and Driver)

Fuel economy

EPA mpg est. 22 city/32 hwy/26 mpg combined(FWD);

EPA mpg est. 21 city/29 hwy/24 mpg combined(AWD)

Report card

HIGHS

SPORTBACK STYLE, HATCHBACK UTILITY; GET THE ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

TRIM

Lows

Interior lacks character; is it a better value than the

upscale Accord?

Overall:★★★

Cartoon: Trump Iran Fans

Posted by hpayne on January 4, 2018

Cartoon: Nuke Buttons

Posted by hpayne on January 3, 2018

Cartoon: Nissan and Star Wars

Posted by hpayne on January 2, 2018

Cartoon: Churchill Movie

Posted by hpayne on January 2, 2018

Top 10 auto innovations of 2017

Posted by hpayne on January 2, 2018

top10_autodoor

Americans love their automobiles. We eat in them, vacation in them, compete in them. Part tool, part personal avatar, autos are on the cutting edge of everything from engineering to fashion.

This year the electronic revolution continued to transform the automotive industry with e-gadgets that aid autonomous driving, in-car entertainment and muscle.

Herewith, and in no particular order, are the Top 10 automotive innovations of 2017 …

A lock on the past: Carmakers have largely moved away from those old-fashioned door-lock posts on window sills — you remember, the pegs you pulled straight up on to unlock car doors? Electronic rocker switches on door panels — or a double-pump of the door handle — do the work now. But new General Motors models like the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain defy the trend on their rear doors. Why the rears, you ask? Because focus-group parents wanted to look back and have visual confirmation that their rugrats’ doors were locked. And if the kiddies went to sleep with their arm on the door? No problem — they’d just push down the post.

Open Sesame: For years, auto suppliers have teased doors that automatically open to passengers. Tesla, as it has in many new technologies, decided to give it a try on its Model X SUV. With the X already offering falcon-wing rear doors, Tesla CEO Elon Musk thought the fronts needed pizazz, too. Walk past the door with the key in your pocket and the door swings open. Touch the brake upon entry and it shuts behind you.

Kick-open sliding doors: Before Tesla’s automatic driver door, there was Ford’s kick-open rear hatch — a feature copied by other automakers to help drivers with arms full of groceries. Chrysler offers the feature on both sliding doors (and hatch, natch) on its Pacifica minivan. Wave your foot under the door — and voila! A great feature for parents with arms full of child seats.

Super Cruise: Self-driving is the industry buzz, but so-called Level-4 fully autonomous cars are years away. Cadillac has made a practical Level-2 system for its CT6 sedan— one that requires driver attention, but allows for less-stressful driving over long distances. Restricted to limited-access divided highways, Cadillac’s GPS/laser-mapped system allows for miles of relaxed, hands-free driving (just like you’re sitting at home) with steering wheel-mounted alerts for when the CT6 needs you to take over.

Magic Slide: Chrysler may have invented Stow ’N Go second-row seating in the minivan segment, but Honda is no slouch in the interior innovation department, either. Listening to customers, they determined that Odyssey minivan drivers wanted better access to their child seat-bound, second-row rugrats. The result? A middle seat that moves on rails to get closer to the driver. The feature also allows better entry for third-row passengers.

Fastback hatches: Premium customers love their Audi A7, Porsche Panamera and Tesla Model S five-door coupes with sporty “fastback” hatchbacks. Now, thanks to the $40,000 Kia Stinger and $32,000 Buick Regal, more folks can enjoy the benefits of gorgeous design and hatchback utility. In the age of the all-wheel drive SUV, these all-wheel drive fastbacks may help sedans stay relevant.

Digital displays: Configurable digital displays help put more information in front of the driver, making for safer driving, especially when they’re heads-up displays. They can be found in everything from the $70,000 Audi Q7 to a $35,000 Honda Accord. An innovator in digital displays, Tesla has taken a chance by foregoing the instrument cluster altogether in its new Model 3 (all info is in the console tablet). Um, maybe they’ll at least consider a heads-up display?

48 volts: All those new auto electronics require more juice. Say hello to the versatile 48-volt battery. Volvos and Bentleys get them, so do Jeep Wranglers. While the 12-volt battery handles the basic ignition and lighting functions, 48-volt lithium-ion packs handle the electronic systems — e-steering, e-brakes, e-safety assist. Easily stored (the Wrangler’s battery is under the rear seat), the 48 also provides fuel-efficiency and power-assistance. With mpg requirements rising, the new battery can bring a 20 percent increase in gas savings.

Twin-clutch packs: As demand for all-wheel drive systems grows with the sport-utility revolution and performance cars, high-tech hardware is going mainstream. Rear twin-clutch packs were once exclusive to track rats like the all-wheel drive Ford Focus RS that needed better rotation through corners. But now Buick is offering the technology in its Enclave and Envision SUVs, and its Lacrosse and Regal sedans — the better to apportion torque for grip on slippery Michigan winter roads.

The pull blind: Another thoughtful interior solution from the folks who brought you Magic Slide seats, Honda Civic hatchbacks (Sport and snarling Type-R) come with a cargo cover that pulls from side-to-side across the cargo area — negating the need to remove a bulky front-to-rear cover as in other hatchbacks. The roll-away side-to-side blind means no more awkward, storage of the blind when the back seats are folded flat — or leaving it at home where it’s useless when you suddenly need to hide those Christmas gifts.

Cartoon: Armageddon Tax

Posted by hpayne on December 28, 2017

Cartoon: Warming Record Cold

Posted by hpayne on December 28, 2017

Jeep Wrangler: Detroit News Vehicle of the Year

Posted by hpayne on December 28, 2017

yr_wrangler_rubicon-fr3-4

This year was dominated by headlines about the driverless future. Chevy rolled out its autonomous Bolt fleet in San Francisco, I drove a Caddy hands-free across Texas, then hailed a headless Uber in downtown Pittsburgh.

Yet, the number of driver-focused cars multiplied like rabbits. Make that jackrabbits.

Looking over the 40-plus entries for 2017 Detroit News Vehicle of the Year, there wasn’t a dog in the lot. Even five-door, family-friendly SUVs often advertised their athleticism first, utility second. Credit in part the same electronics that are pushing autonomy with making cars more engaging to drive.

Vehicles today are routinely equipped with electronic-controlled steering, shocks, all-wheel drive and transmissions that can be altered for performance on-road or off with the push of a button. Quick-shifting 10-speed Honda Accords, twin electric-motor torque-vectoring Acura MDX hybrids and spool-valve damped Chevy Colorado pickupsfeature hi-tech goodies you’d expect to find on supercars.

SUVs continued their march to world domination with everything from the quick Alfa Stelvio to quirkbox Kia Soul turbo to rolling condo Lincoln Navigator. But the endangered sedan species isn’t going quietly. Kia debuted a saucy Stinger sedan hatchback that conjures Audi A7 performance numbers for half the price. Another $10,000 below the Stinger is another, all-wheel drive five-door stunner — the Buick Regal Sportback.

From the get-go this year the headliners were performance models. Self-drive? No, no — let me drive. Dodge’s Demon eclipsed “Hamilton” as the most talked-about show in New York City when it bowed in the Big Apple with a mike-dropping, 9.65-second quarter mile run. There was the Lexus LC 500 and Porsche 911 GTS and Ford Mustang GT and Tesla Model S P100D. Pardon me while I pick my jaw off the ground.

Our three finalists were old nameplates with new twists. The envelope, please …

First runner-up: Ford GT

No, you can’t have one. Priced north of $450,000 with all 750 copies spoken for, the GT is a rare beast. But it is a street-legal manifestation of the industry’s state of the art.

It is the most beautiful car made today. From its heritage GT40 beak to its scissor doors to its inspired twin-flying buttresses, it is Ford’s Mona Lisa. Lap any auto show floor in the world and it will be the image that is burned into your brain.

yr_gt_silver-doors

Its performance is even more breathtaking. Flogging its 647 horses around Salt Lake City’s Utah Motorsports race track just three inches off the ground, I was at one with a piece of automotive history. The GT’s carbon-fiber chassis was purpose-built to do one thing: win LeMans again 50 years after its grandfather GT40 drubbed rival Ferrari.

The keel-wing design is right out of modern racing, with its long, stiff spine optimized to force air through huge channels under the skin and suck the car to the ground. The twin-turbo V-6 behind your ear lacks the raw ferocity of the GT40’s V-8 but eclipses its power and fuel efficiency. Sitting in the sparse interior, everything I needed was on the Formula One-style steering wheel, even the windshield-wiper widget. This is a sci-fi Jedi machine from the future — a future where driving is still prized.

Runner-up: Honda Civics

I was sure Honda’s finalist would be the 2018 Accord. The brand’s pole-star mid-size sedan is an astonishing vehicle for a mainstream sedan. With its sweeping design cues, 10-speed transmission, Audi-like interior and laundry list of features, it’s a premium machine hiding behind a Honda mask.

But I’m smitten with the Civic triplets.

This entertaining bag of bobcats is proof you don’t have to have a bag of loot to have fun in a car. Base on Civic’s new-generation, low, stiff chassis, the hatch Sport gets you in the performance door at just $22,175. With a manual transmission, revvy turbo-4 and hatchback utility, it beats any computer game — and you get to play outside.

Step up to the Si coupe or sedan (what, no hatch?) for just another couple grand and you get 25 more ponies, limited-slip differential and a lime-green paint option that will burn your eyeballs. It’s the first Si I’ve coveted since the free-revving 2006 Si that still sits in my garage.

yr_si_fr3-4-river

But the icing on the triple-layer cake is the 306-horsepower, $34,000 Type-R which came to our shores for the first time thanks to Honda’s globally-produced platform. Built in England (its siblings are birthed in Indiana), sprayed white with black mascara, and festooned with wings, it looks like Daryl Hannah’s replicant somersaulting towards you in “Blade Runner.” Stunning and lethal.

These bargain toys aren’t for everyone with their polarizing wardrobes. But with stick shifts available, they are some of the most affordable fun on four wheels.

Winner: Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler perfectly encapsulates 2017 in one vehicle.

Once the rough, Army-brat descendent of the World War II Willys workhorse, the Wrangler has matured into the icon of the hottest SUV brand on the planet. When Marchionne & Co. took over Chrysler in 2009 they saw the world coming to Jeep’s doorstep. With the Wrangler as its beacon, the off-road niche brand has exploded into a global juggernaut with more than 1.5 million in annual sales.

As Jeep extends its reach for every ute need, Wrangler has expanded its bandwidth, too, while not forgetting its rugged roots. A Swiss Army knife in the Outback, I used its multiple tools — detachable sway bars, locking differentials, four-wheel drive, 33-inch tires — to scale ridiculous terrain in Arizona.

But for 2018, the Wrangler also takes advantage of modern electronics and engine design to become a tool for all roads. It features the latest smartphone connectivity apps, a smooth eight-speed automatic tranny and even a cutting-edge, 48-volt battery usually found in luxemobiles to extend fuel economy.

West Coast car buyers have long turned their backs on American-made cars in favor of their Japanese competitors. Not anymore. I’m struck in my visits these days how many Jeeps — Wranglers, Renegades, Grand Cherokees, Cherokees, Compasses — cram the coastal states.

From truck-platform Jeeps to carbon-fiber Ford GTs. From Silicon Valley-crafted Teslas to Indiana-built Civics. The American automotive landscape has never been richer. And in a Wrangler, you can reach just about every inch of it.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne. Catch “Car Radio with Henry Payne” from noon-1 p.m. Saturdays on 910 AM Superstation.

2018 Jeep Wrangler

VEHICLE TYPE

FRONT-ENGINE, ALL-WHEEL DRIVE,

FIVE-PASSENGER SUV

Powerplant

3.6-liter V-6; 2.0-liter

turbocharged, inline-4 cylinder

with battery assist

Transmission

6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic

Weight

4,175 pounds/4,485 pounds (Rubicon

2-door/4-door V-6s as tested)

Price

$28,190 base ($38,190 2-door/$38,540

4-door Rubicons as tested)

Power

285 horsepower, 260 pound-feet

torque (V-6); 270 horsepower,

295 pound-feet torque (turbo-4)

Performance

0-60 mph (NA); 3,500-pound towing

capacity (4-door)

Fuel economy

EPA mpg est. 18 city/23 hwy/20 mpg

combined(V-6 automatic); turbo-4 TBD

Report card

HIGHS

ICON OF INTERNATIONAL JEEP BRAND; CAN CLIMB EVEREST

Lows

Reliability concerns; can get pricey

Overall:★★★★

Cartoon: Trump Tweets Motto

Posted by hpayne on December 28, 2017

Cartoon: New Year 2018

Posted by hpayne on December 28, 2017

Cartoon: Robin Hood Cuts

Posted by hpayne on December 22, 2017

Cartoon: Santa SUV

Posted by hpayne on December 21, 2017

Cartoon: NFL Catch

Posted by hpayne on December 21, 2017