Model: Grand Cherokee
Drive Type: AUTOMATIC
Trim: 4 DOOR
Long Beach, New York, United States
The cute little Jeep Renegade isn't even on sale yet, but here at SEMA, the Mopar folks are giving us a taste of what's possible for the little CUV in the big wide world of customization. Part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' massive SEMA spread, the Renegade shows up in fresh Riptide and and Frostbite guises.
First up, the Riptide arrives in Vibrance Grandeur Blue with black wheels and a big ol' Jeep Performance Parts logo on the rear pillar. There are a few black accents elsewhere on the exterior, and a surfboard carrier rides up on the roof. The blue color scheme also finds its way inside the Renegade, on the instrument cluster and side panels, with contrasting white accents.
By contrast, the Frostbite Renegade reverses the Riptide's color scheme, with white being the main paint of choice, with blue accents abound. And inside, Katzkin seats wear blue upholstery. The Frostbite is a pretty functional creation, as well, with a Mopar ski/snowboard roof rack and a Jeep Performance Parts rock rail guard.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
Most automotive purists fear change, but not without reason. Change, after all, did kill big-block V8s, along with most station wagons and manual transmissions. But change has also brought with it far more performance, safety and fuel economy - not to mention ridding the world of shag carpet interiors, bias-ply tires and those horrible motorized seatbelts of the early '90s.
By this time next year, the Chevy Corvette, Jeep Cherokee and next-generation Ford Mustang will all be on sale and will all, in some way, have angered or offended purists. To those critics, Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press is preemptively telling them to stop complaining - at least until they've all been driven. From the Corvette's square taillights and the Cherokee's radical nose to whatever pony car purists will harp on the 2015 Mustang for, Phelan's column points out the positives of automotive evolution and the negatives of staying the course for too long. That's fair enough, but do you think Phelan is on point, or all wet? Head on over to the Detroit Free Press to read his words, then have your say in Comments.