William Maley

Chevrolet News:2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV To Start At $37,495

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William Maley    392

When Chevrolet announced the 2017 Bolt's range last week, they hinted that the model would have a price tag of under $37,500 and would qualify for the maximum $7,500 tax credit. Today, Chevrolet announced the starting price for the Bolt will be $37,495 when it arrives at dealers later this year. The company is quick to point out that the price drops to $29,995 once you add in the $7,500 federal tax credit. But we need to stress that this tax credit cannot be used during the purchase of the Bolt, so you're still paying the $37,495.

The base Bolt LT will come equipped with a regen-on-demand steering wheel paddle, 10.2-inch touchscreen, backup camera, and more. Premier models feature leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, surround view camera, and the rear camera mirror. Chevrolet hasn't announced pricing for Premier at this time.

Source: Chevrolet
Press Release is on Page 2


DETROIT – The Chevrolet Bolt EV set the range benchmark for an affordable EV capable of going the distance by offering an EPA-rated 238 miles on a full charge. Now, Chevrolet is keeping its promise to offer the Bolt EV at an affordable price by confirming a base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $37,495 including destination charge. Depending on individual tax situations, customers may receive an available federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for a net value of $29,995.

“Value is a hallmark for Chevrolet and the pricing of the Bolt EV proves we’re serious about delivering the first affordable EV with plenty of range for our customers,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and leader of Global Chevrolet. “We have kept our promise yet again, first on range and now on price.”

Bolt EV buyers will find range, cargo space, technology and safety features standard in a great vehicle with crossover proportions. The thrill of driving an EV, along with the sales and service support of a nationwide network of Bolt EV certified Chevrolet dealers, makes the Bolt EV a smart buy for any customer.

The well-equipped LT trim starts at $37,495 and comes with standard features that include, among others, Regen on Demand™ steering wheel paddle, rear vision camera, 10.2-inch diagonal color touch screen and MICHELIN™ Self-sealing tires (in certain circumstances). The top trim Premier includes all LT equipment plus additional standard features such as leather-appointed seats, front and rear heated seats, surround camera and rear camera mirror. Pricing includes destination and freight charges and excludes tax, title, license and dealer fees. The Bolt EV will be available at select dealerships in late 2016.


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dfelt    1,771

Based on other packages on other Chevy auto's, makes one think that this will end up at about $3,000 more for the next level up.

So were looking at about $40,495, unless Chevy wants to make sure to be able to advertise a fully loaded BOLT at under $40K, then I would say $39,995 makes sense for a fully loaded BOLT.

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Biggest hurdle GM needs to overcome is not pricing but its backwards dealer network if it wants to sell these. Went into the local Chevy dealer to look at a new Volt, bought a truck there awhile back, good people.  Salesman said they "didn't bother to learn anything about it because people who wanted them had already done their own research."  He then suggested I would be happier with a Cruze or a Malibu.

Friend of mine was dead set on buying a Volt, Chevrolet dealership was so backwards in selling the car he went out and bought a Prius instead.

I love GM's new direction, but it needs to do some work with its dealers IMHO.

That being said, the Bolt drive train in a small sedan would be a no brainier for me if they got the details right.  I am very excited about this new development from GM.

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dfelt    1,771
13 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Base is an LT?  That means they really aren't selling "base" models of the Bolt yet, if ever.  Other Chevy cars come in L and LS trims below LT. 

As I posted in the Mileage thread, they have the LT and Premier packages, so would this Premier package not be equal to the LTZ packages of other similar sized auto's?

That is my thinking on why I figure the cost would be about $3K more or so. Bolt LT & Premier packaged auto's would be equal to similar equipped LT & LTZ auto's.

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Drew Dowdell    4,988

As models get refreshed, LTZ goes away and is replaced by Premier.   So for example, the 2016 Sonic has an LTZ trim, but the refreshed 2017 does not and has Premier instead. 

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
4 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

This will be a sales flop.

 A base $29k LEAF with a smaller battery and no quick charge only has a range of 84 miles. The Bolt can travel 2.8 times further on a single charge.

The LEAF with the larger battery and quick charge (which still isn't Level 3 charging like the Bolt) is $35k. The Bolt can travel 2.2 times further on a single charge.

For an EV buyer, spending an extra $2,500 to get more than double the range and the ability to have level three charging (plus all of the extras the Bolt gets you like CarPlay and AndroidAuto) is a no-brainer. 

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Frisky Dingo    611
6 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

 A base $29k LEAF with a smaller battery and no quick charge only has a range of 84 miles. The Bolt can travel 2.8 times further on a single charge.

The LEAF with the larger battery and quick charge (which still isn't Level 3 charging like the Bolt) is $35k. The Bolt can travel 2.2 times further on a single charge.

For an EV buyer, spending an extra $2,500 to get more than double the range and the ability to have level three charging (plus all of the extras the Bolt gets you like CarPlay and AndroidAuto) is a no-brainer. 

Nissan also doesn't have a Volt for their Leaf has to contend with. Also, a large portion of Leaf buyers lease. I don't foresee GM having a 13K incentive on Bolt. In reality, the Leaf will be much, much cheaper to buy. I don't think many people are going to see enough merit in the extended range to buy a car that is so at odds with the packaging and look most consumers at large are attracted to. Nothing against the car, just what I anticipate.

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Drew Dowdell    4,988

EV buyers and hybrid buyers, for the moment, are a different breed of car buyer.   To you and I, the Bolt may not look very attractive (though I think it's probably the best looking of models that aren't Tesla)..  But when you look at cars like the Pruis, which not only looks terrible, but also has a terrible quality interior, and drives like utter crap.... EV and Hybrid buyers obviously don't care about these traits. They care about not using gasoline.  

GM is the first to offer an EV that truly can be a family's primary car if needed, and at a relatively affordable price.  That's a pretty big deal. 

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Wings4Life(BANNED)    1,000,000

 

Tesla getting over 400K reservations in such a short period of time has gotten everyone’s attention.  But what pushed that number more, the brand label or the range?  Obviously a little of both, but I think label has more to do with it.  People don’t care if an Apple product is the fastest or has the best battery.  They simply want the label and they don’t want to read research all the particulars.  They can also brag to all their friends after making the purchase.  Same with Tesla.  Go count how many Tesla S owners currently also drive large gas sucking vehicles, or jet set around the world.  The Tesla allows them to cast an image, however false it is.  And while the Bolt appears to be an excellent product, it is lacking the brand label.  But maybe people do cling to the range number and will use that as justification for their purchase.  These are much different times, and who knows which direction the consumer will go.  In fact, not knowing is what Ford bases their electrification strategy on….letting the customer decide for them.  Their strategy is to offer gas or EV or PHEV or Hybrid, all in the same vehicle.  The business case they make is obviously lower costs. They are also dead serious about it, investing $4.5B and introducing 13 additional electrification vehicles to market by 2020. Ford also stated that they would match any range of vehicle sold, which is little more than battery sizing.  And it’s not that they could not have made a battery fit their Focus EV to raise it from 117 mile range, but it is at the end of it’s life cycle.  And there is a compelling option to undercut the Bolt price significantly, perhaps under $30K.  And while that might not be enough to steal a lot of market share, it is cheap to do with great ROI.

 

There is no doubt we are living in a bold new automotive world.

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dfelt    1,771

Watching to see how many BOLTS sell in the first 30-90 days and how it affects the Leaf, Focus EV, etc. will tend to tell how the market accepts these auto's. 

I wonder how the Ioniq will do as their battery pack is half of the bolt. I just do not see anyone wanting to spend 30K on a 100 mile EV when you can get 238 miles in a 30K CUV.

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
1 minute ago, Wings4Life said:

 

 

Tesla getting over 400K reservations in such a short period of time has gotten everyone’s attention.  But what pushed that number more, the brand label or the range?  Obviously a little of both, but I think label has more to do with it.  People don’t care if an Apple product is the fastest or has the best battery.  They simply want the label and they don’t want to read research all the particulars.  They can also brag to all their friends after making the purchase.  Same with Tesla.  Go count how many Tesla S owners currently also drive large gas sucking vehicles, or jet set around the world.  The Tesla allows them to cast an image, however false it is.  And while the Bolt appears to be an excellent product, it is lacking the brand label.  But maybe people do cling to the range number and will use that as justification for their purchase.  These are much different times, and who knows which direction the consumer will go.  In fact, not knowing is what Ford bases their electrification strategy on….letting the customer decide for them.  Their strategy is to offer gas or EV or PHEV or Hybrid, all in the same vehicle.  The business case they make is obviously lower costs. They are also dead serious about it, investing $4.5B and introducing 13 additional electrification vehicles to market by 2020. Ford also stated that they would match any range of vehicle sold, which is little more than battery sizing.  And it’s not that they could not have made a battery fit their Focus EV to raise it from 117 mile range, but it is at the end of it’s life cycle.  And there is a compelling option to undercut the Bolt price significantly, perhaps under $30K.  And while that might not be enough to steal a lot of market share, it is cheap to do with great ROI.

 

 

 

There is no doubt we are living in a bold new automotive world.

 

One of the things I keep reading is that it is easier and cheaper to engineer a car to be an EV from the start rather than try to convert an existing gas-powered platform to EV.  I don't know how true it is, but it seems to make sense.  In the Bolt and the Teslas, the battery helps to provide torsional rigidity.  On a Focus EV or Spark EV, the battery doesn't really contribute to the rigidity, thus the overall weight of the car is higher than it could be.  Also on the Bolt and Telsa, the wheels can moved forward... on an EV built off a gasoline based platform, engineers have to make things fit hardpoints that aren't as ideal for an EV.   Even the Nissan LEAF is an extremely modified variant of the older Versa platform and as such has all the baggage related to that.  A more recent example of this limitation is the Hyundai Ioniq, which was purpose built to be both a hybrid and EV.... in EV form, it too only has 110 miles of range like the Focus EV. 

So, while yes companies can convert a gas-powered platform to EV, a purpose built EV will nearly always be better.  

2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Watching to see how many BOLTS sell in the first 30-90 days and how it affects the Leaf, Focus EV, etc. will tend to tell how the market accepts these auto's. 

I wonder how the Ioniq will do as their battery pack is half of the bolt. I just do not see anyone wanting to spend 30K on a 100 mile EV when you can get 238 miles in a 30K CUV.

I won't be looking at initial sales volumes as GM has already said they will be doing a slow roll-out of the car.  What I'm interested in is how long those cars sit on the lots or if they are sold before the truck even brings them in. 

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4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

EV buyers and hybrid buyers, for the moment, are a different breed of car buyer.   To you and I, the Bolt may not look very attractive (though I think it's probably the best looking of models that aren't Tesla)..  But when you look at cars like the Pruis, which not only looks terrible, but also has a terrible quality interior, and drives like utter crap.... EV and Hybrid buyers obviously don't care about these traits. They care about not using gasoline.  

GM is the first to offer an EV that truly can be a family's primary car if needed, and at a relatively affordable price.  That's a pretty big deal. 

Although the current Generation Prius is a gigantic leap forward in the styling and interior department.  Also, drives much better than previous generations.  Still...GM needs to work harder to market the Volt and the Bolt, methinks.

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Although the current Generation Prius is a gigantic leap forward in the styling and interior department.  Also, drives much better than previous generations.  Still...GM needs to work harder to market the Volt and the Bolt, methinks.

Different strokes... I think the newest Prius is the ugliest in a long line of ugly. 

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7 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Watching to see how many BOLTS sell in the first 30-90 days and how it affects the Leaf, Focus EV, etc. will tend to tell how the market accepts these auto's. 

I wonder how the Ioniq will do as their battery pack is half of the bolt. I just do not see anyone wanting to spend 30K on a 100 mile EV when you can get 238 miles in a 30K CUV.

Pretty much this....the Bolt is an order of magnitude better than the Leaf, which has horrible crash test ratings, a short range, battery issues, and looks like a vacuum cleaner on wheels.

 

Domestics are very good at taking an idea put forth by imports and taking it forward for the win.  Remember the Genesis 4 cyl Turbo coupe and how it was going to be the car of the century according to all of the automotive writers? In the mean time, Mustang has the ecoboost and Camaro has a Turbo 4.  Meanwhile, the Genesis coupe is DOA.

1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Different strokes... I think the newest Prius is the ugliest in a long line of ugly. 

I actually kind of like it.  as one of my friends put it....something like a bunch of 1960's Citroen designers woudl do given LSD and a room full of Pokemon....in a good sort of way.

9 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

One of the things I keep reading is that it is easier and cheaper to engineer a car to be an EV from the start rather than try to convert an existing gas-powered platform to EV.  I don't know how true it is, but it seems to make sense.  In the Bolt and the Teslas, the battery helps to provide torsional rigidity.  On a Focus EV or Spark EV, the battery doesn't really contribute to the rigidity, thus the overall weight of the car is higher than it could be.  Also on the Bolt and Telsa, the wheels can moved forward... on an EV built off a gasoline based platform, engineers have to make things fit hardpoints that aren't as ideal for an EV.   Even the Nissan LEAF is an extremely modified variant of the older Versa platform and as such has all the baggage related to that.  A more recent example of this limitation is the Hyundai Ioniq, which was purpose built to be both a hybrid and EV.... in EV form, it too only has 110 miles of range like the Focus EV. 

So, while yes companies can convert a gas-powered platform to EV, a purpose built EV will nearly always be better.  

I won't be looking at initial sales volumes as GM has already said they will be doing a slow roll-out of the car.  What I'm interested in is how long those cars sit on the lots or if they are sold before the truck even brings them in. 

One can hope they sell.  I think given proper marketing, that can happen.  I also think being two or three years old with few issues will help their cause.  The VW scandal has left a lot of "green car" buyers high and dry, this car is coming out at a good time....

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
20 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

I actually kind of like it.  as one of my friends put it....something like a bunch of 1960's Citroen designers woudl do given LSD and a room full of Pokemon....in a good sort of way.

That is at once the most accurate and horrifying description of the car I have heard to date. I may be stealing it if/when I review one.

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Wings4Life(BANNED)    1,000,000

 

Drew,

If one were to just compare engineering and manufacturing costs for a Focus BEV to a Bolt, there would surely be a minor cost delta.  Focus platform costs however are spread out huge, where GM would have to carry and engineer and build an exclusive small car to fill the gas customer. So it’s the total costs that have to be tallied, obviously.

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Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

That is at once the accurate and horrifying description of the car I have heard to date. I may be stealing it if/when I review one.

You are more than welcome to do so. I did get 76 MPG tooling around Columbus for an evening in said friends Prius. Fuelly has them at about a 55 MPG average, vs about 44-48 for the previous car.

Still I am thinking of something performance oriented when I turn in the Jetta TDI. BRZ/FRS or the like.

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dfelt    1,771

@A Horse With No Name

QUOTE of the DAY!

"Prius - Something a bunch of 1960's Citroen designers would do given LSD and a room full of Pokemon....In a good sort of way!"

:roflmao: 

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surreal1272    670

I think there are a lot assumptions about buyers of both the Bolt and Tesla. That is the biggest hinderance as to understanding why or why not said car succeeds. If someone owns an expensive CUV/SUV and a Tesla, that doesn't mean anything other than the fact that one is for highway traveling while the other is perfectly suited to city and short range highway drives. Unless someone here has actually talked to these particular Tesla owners, it's pretty silly to assume anything else than what it's intended purpose is. 

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Drew Dowdell    4,988
13 minutes ago, Wings4Life said:

 

 

Drew,

 

If one were to just compare engineering and manufacturing costs for a Focus BEV to a Bolt, there would surely be a minor cost delta.  Focus platform costs however are spread out huge, where GM would have to carry and engineer and build an exclusive small car to fill the gas customer. So it’s the total costs that have to be tallied, obviously.

 

Oh, I'm sure that the Focus EV cost less to develop than the Bolt... and its costs are spread over a broader sales base as well.

However, I don't think Ford would have been able to produce a car with the room and range the Bolt has by using a gasoline powered platform. One only has to look at where the battery is mounted in the Focus EV for that.  It partially is in the trunk area and adds nothing to the platform strength, so that adds weight.   Because the battery can't be mounted under the Focus, in order to get a 238 mile range, Ford would have needed to stuff the doors and seats with batteries.... and then it becomes a race with weight... trying to get enough batteries in there to increase range while fighting against weight creep due to the increased number of batteries. 

The Bolt is a lot more spacious inside than other cars with that exterior size.

 

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4 minutes ago, Wings4Life said:

 

 

Drew,

 

If one were to just compare engineering and manufacturing costs for a Focus BEV to a Bolt, there would surely be a minor cost delta.  Focus platform costs however are spread out huge, where GM would have to carry and engineer and build an exclusive small car to fill the gas customer. So it’s the total costs that have to be tallied, obviously.

 

The value is in having an established EV market and proven technology as a move to alternate proportion systems foes forward. Even though PC type computers are easy to use, something Apple established when they first came out....Apple still has a huge fanatical following.  IF GM plays this right....IF....they will have a huge loyal following for electrics.

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Wings4Life(BANNED)    1,000,000
53 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Oh, I'm sure that the Focus EV cost less to develop than the Bolt... and its costs are spread over a broader sales base as well.

However, I don't think Ford would have been able to produce a car with the room and range the Bolt has by using a gasoline powered platform. One only has to look at where the battery is mounted in the Focus EV for that.  It partially is in the trunk area and adds nothing to the platform strength, so that adds weight.   Because the battery can't be mounted under the Focus, in order to get a 238 mile range, Ford would have needed to stuff the doors and seats with batteries.... and then it becomes a race with weight... trying to get enough batteries in there to increase range while fighting against weight creep due to the increased number of batteries. 

The Bolt is a lot more spacious inside than other cars with that exterior size.

 

Space and packaging is an entirely different subject, and yes, it certainly favors the Bolt.

55 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

The value is in having an established EV market and proven technology as a move to alternate proportion systems foes forward. Even though PC type computers are easy to use, something Apple established when they first came out....Apple still has a huge fanatical following.  IF GM plays this right....IF....they will have a huge loyal following for electrics.

It's a bigger risk for GM for sure, but Ford must feel that at this time, the added reward is not worth the risk.  It's not like they have not done pretty well with electrification to this point, for years being second to only Toyota.

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      “The Colorado ZR2 is one of the most capable production platforms we’ve used as a foundation for our racing program,” said Chad Hall. “The base Colorado is strong and robust with the expected advantages of a midsize package. ZR2 adds great technology, like the Multimatic DSSVTM dampers and the front and rear locking differentials that are vital to stock class desert racing.”
      The 2018 Colorado ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a midsize pickup with a host of new off-road features and the most off-road technology of any vehicle in its segment.
      Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features front and rear tracks that have been widened by 3.5 inches and a suspension lifted by two inches. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.
      Class-exclusive features include standard front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology.
      As with all Chevrolet trucks, the Colorado ZR2 is built with durability in mind, including a fully boxed frame, roll-formed high-strength steel bed and Duralife brake rotors.
    • By William Maley
      Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.
      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.
      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295
    • By William Maley
      Chevrolet will be introducing a new base model of the 2018 Tahoe called the Custom. The Custom sets itself apart from other Tahoes as it will not have a third-row seat, increasing cargo space to 54 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi, backup camera, and remote start.
      Like most Tahoes, the Custom features the 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower. Out of the box, the Tahoe Custom can tow up to 6,600 pounds. An optional max trailering package boosts that to 8,600 pounds.
      “The Tahoe Custom is a response to strong customer demand for Tahoe, as well as the full-size SUV segment moving upmarket. In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display. This created an unmet need in the marketplace for customers who want the cargo and towing capability of a full-size SUV to go camping, boating or off-roading but don’t necessarily want all of the option content offered on a Tahoe Premier,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director in a statement.
      The 2018 Tahoe Custom arrives at dealers next month with a base price of $44,995.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CHEVROLET INTRODUCES THE TAHOE CUSTOM
      New model offers Tahoe’s legendary capability starting at $44,995 DETROIT — Today Chevrolet announced the new Tahoe Custom special edition for the 2018 model year. Like other Custom models, the Tahoe Custom is intended for buyers who want the uncompromised capability of Chevrolet trucks and SUVs in a great looking package at an outstanding value.
      “The Tahoe Custom is a response to strong customer demand for Tahoe, as well as the full-size SUV segment moving upmarket,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director. “In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display. This created an unmet need in the marketplace for customers who want the cargo and towing capability of a full-size SUV to go camping, boating or off-roading but don’t necessarily want all of the option content offered on a Tahoe Premier.”
      For $44,995, the 2018 Tahoe Custom comes standard with 6,600 pounds of towing capacity (up to 8,600 pounds of towing with max trailering package), a maximum of 112 cubic feet of cargo space and a 355-hp, 5.3L V-8 engine that delivers an expected segment-leading 23 mpg highway based on EPA estimates.
      The Tahoe Custom is based on the LS trim and adds 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, all-season tires and a chrome-accented grille. Plus, Tahoe Custom features a third-row seat that has been removed, increasing cargo space behind the second row to a substantial 54 cubic feet for added utility.
      Tahoe Custom also features a suite of connectivity technologies including:
      Apple CarPlay & Android Auto compatibility 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot (includes three-month/3G data trial) 8-inch color touchscreen radio Standard rear-vision camera Standard remote start Standard teen driver mode Available Enhanced Driver Alert Package that features Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Driver Seat, IntelliBeam headlamps with automatic high-beam control, Lane Keep Assist and Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking Up to five USB ports and five power outlets — including a 110-volt three-prong outlet —  to support electronic devices of all kinds (up to 11 charging locations) Tahoe Custom will be available at Chevy dealers in September 2017.

      View full article
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