Top 10 Features for Showoffs

Show-Offs

Prefacing any great show-off moment is the phrase, "Hey, watch this." That's what Cars.com editors imagined when picking the greatest show-off features in new cars. What's surprising is the sheer number of over-the-top features surely wild enough to impress even the most non-interested parties. Want to set off car alarms in a parking garage or attract the attention of everyone who sets eyes on your car up to a mile away? This list has what it takes to be the center of attention.

By Joe Bruzek | October 13, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Jeep Wrangler Video

The Jeep Wrangler returns for 2014 in all of its rugged glory, retaining its status as the brand's No. 2 seller and an unlikely American automotive legend. But as it likely will make it a full decade between redesigns, Cars.com reviewer and Wrangler fan Joe Wiesenfelder suggests some improvements to help keep that legend alive. Watch the video.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | October 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Toyota RAV4

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Toyota RAV4

We threw Cars.com's long-term Jeep Cherokee test car in the ring with a segment heavyweight for the latest installment of "Cherokee Versus." The Toyota RAV4 is an originator of car-based SUVs and one of the top-selling vehicles of any kind month after month. The Cherokee returned to the Jeep lineup for 2014 as a front-wheel-drive-based crossover SUV after a 13-year hiatus, while the RAV4 was redesigned for 2013.

Related: We Bought a 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Unlike our multicar Challenges, these head-to-head comparisons take our long-term car and pit it against a competitor from a rotating fleet of test cars supplied by various manufacturers. The RAV4 in question is an XLE four-cylinder with all-wheel drive ($28,772 as tested, with destination) that we're comparing to our Cherokee Limited four-cylinder with all-wheel drive ($33,378).

By Joe Bruzek | October 9, 2014 | Comments (6)

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Car Seat Check

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With its rear doors and an additional 1.6 inches of rear legroom, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited seems like it's the family-friendly version of the smaller Jeep Wrangler. However, the Wrangler Unlimited's looks are deceiving. The Unlimited's bottom backseat cushion was nearly too short to properly fit our rear-facing infant seat's base; at least 80 percent of any car-seat base should be on the seat cushion.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three car seats nearly fit.

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | October 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Cherokee Ownership Costs: First Six Months

Jeep_cherokee_ownership

The only out-of-pocket ownership costs for Cars.com's long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee test car after six months and 11,413 miles have been fuel and the first scheduled oil change and tire rotation. The oil life indicator currently sits at 48 percent life left after 3,637 miles since the previous oil change, so we've still got a fair amount of time until the next scheduled maintenance.

Related: Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's Wonky Transmission Gets Updated

Cost free doesn't mean trouble free, however. We're still battling erratic transmission behavior after the most recent transmission software update. Quality representatives from Jeep's parent company Chrysler read our latest transmission woes and put us in touch with a regional service advisor for a more in-depth diagnosis. We'll have more updates on the Cherokee's transmission after that appointment.

By Joe Bruzek | October 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

NHTSA: 5 Million Chrysler Vehicles Under Scrutiny for Stalling Problem

ChryslerLogo

Earlier this month, Cars.com reported that Chrysler was recalling nearly 190,000 model-year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs due to a problem with the Totally Integrated Power Module that could cause the vehicles to stall suddenly. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it will formally review millions more Chrysler SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans starting with the 2007 model year due to complaints of problems associated with the same module. An Aug. 21 letter from advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety initiated the review, informing NHTSA of 63 complaints pertaining to problems allegedly caused by the module.

Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

"The CAS alleges that TIPM failures have resulted in incidents of engine stall; airbag non-deployment; random horn, headlight, taillight, door lock, instrument panel and windshield wiper activity; failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration; and fires," NHTSA said in a statement, also noting that the CAS petition also references a class-action lawsuit that has been filed regarding the alleged module failure.

By Matt Schmitz | September 29, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 290,000 Chrysler Sedans, Wagons, SUVs

2008DodgeChargerRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 290,000 model-year 2008 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Magnum station wagons, and Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee SUVs, all manufactured before May 12, 2008

The Problem: Ignition keys may not fully return to the On position after rotation to the Start position during engine startup, instead remaining between the Start and On positions. If this happens, windshield defroster and wiper function may be lost, though not airbag function. Also possible, though less probable according to Chrysler, the ignition key could move through the On position to the Accessory or Off positions, causing reduced braking power and a loss of engine power, power steering and safety features such as front airbags. The automaker, which announced the voluntary recall today, said it is unaware of any injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Chrysler said it will notify owners of when they can schedule service, which will be done for free. In the interim, the automaker advises drivers to confirm that their ignition keys are set in the On, or 1 o'clock, position after starting the vehicle to ensure engine power and functionality of all systems, including front airbags. Also, Chrysler says to separate ignition keys from key rings or other keys.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | September 25, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 190,000 model-year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 5, 2010, and July 20, 2011, and equipped with either a 3.6-liter or 5.7-liter engine

The Problem: The fuel pump relay inside the Totally Integrated Power Module may fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners Oct. 24, and dealers will replace the fuel pump with one external to the module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | September 22, 2014 | Comments (3)

Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee's Wonky Transmission Gets Updated

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"Any transmission updates available?" is one of the first questions I ask when taking Cars.com's 2014 Jeep Cherokee long-term test car into the dealership for service. The nine-speed automatic transmission's operation has been an annoyance in an otherwise easygoing 12,000 miles. From the start, harsh upshifts have rocked the car from 2nd to 3rd gear, and the transmission sometimes struggles to find the right passing gear in our four-cylinder Cherokee with all-wheel drive.

Related: More on Cars.com's Long-Term Fleet

Last month, we had Jeep technicians plug in the latest transmission control module update, "68241129AB," while we were at the dealership having a second-row power outlet replaced. It had been inadvertently yanked out of place somehow. Chrysler spokeswoman Wendy Orthman said in an email about the transmission update, "It is to enhance throttle responsiveness and shifting smoothness across all nine gears. Some customers may notice the improvements, to others it may be seamless."

Our staff piloted the Cherokee for three weeks with the latest transmission programming. Did it do the trick? Read our staff's impressions below.

By Joe Bruzek | September 12, 2014 | Comments (8)

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What's Changed

2015JeepGrandCherokeeSRT

Most significant changes: New appearance packages, noise cancellation for upper-crust trims, slightly more power for SRT
Price change: TBD
On sale: September/October
Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? Vast majority of trims unchanged, so 2014

Jeep's popular Grand Cherokee has sprouted as many special editions as ... uh, most other cars from Fiat Chrysler Automobile. This time, the top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee Summit gets a California Edition appearance package, which adds body-colored — rather than chrome — door handles and mirrors, plus body-colored lower body panels instead of darker trim. The grille, fog-light bezels and a few other areas get unique "platinum chrome" accents, too. Inside, tan leather with black stitching joins the color palette.

Related: Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Cosmetic updates aside, all Summit models add active noise cancellation and more noise abatement to the windshield and second-row windows.

There's also a tad bit more power for the Grand Cherokee SRT (above), whose 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 now makes 475 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque — up 5 hp and 5 pounds-feet from the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. The SRT also adds active noise cancellation, and a new Red Vapor edition, which comes in red, white or black. The Red Vapor's other additions (all cosmetic) include unique 20-inch wheels, glossy black exterior trim and red cabin accents with an illuminated SRT steering-wheel logo.

By Kelsey Mays | September 1, 2014 | Comments (11)

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