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Post Tagged with: "Chrysler"

Car Buying Advice: Buy A Jeep Grand Cherokee [September 11 Edition]

It’s been 10 years to the day since American’s aura of invincibility was irreparably pierced by four hijacked airplanes. We all know where we were when it happened. It was the defining moment for a generation of youth who’d never known the horrors of a “real” war like WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. But that morning, our innocence was snapped over Osama’s knee like a twig (or was it, my dear conspiracy theorists?). Since then, the US economy – already beaten down by dot-com 1.0′s burst bubble – briefly rose like a Phoenix from the literal ashes, before economically imploding and returning once more. And so here we are, 10 years on. No wiser. Just older.

If times were uncertain then, they’re unknowably uncertain now. The intervening decade has done little to mend the scars that were torn into the world’s psyche on that cool Fall morning. After September 11, the world renewed its right to fear outsiders starting with radical Islam, followed by our greedy bankers and, ironically, the governments who were forced to save us from said bankers. Everything from airport security to the completely coincidental increase in the sale of 100mL bottles have since created a peculiar kind of conformity as citizens of the world are treated increasingly like numbered sheep for “their own protection”. In 2001 we talked about the world at 6 billion people. Today, we’re too scared to even bring up the subject, lest we offend someone.

Technological progress and the relentless drive of scientific advance make this following statement blatantly obvious, but never before has the world changed so much in so little time. Never. And, as fortune would have it, we were alive to witness it. But before you run to the car dealership, blessing your lucky stars with wallet open and ready, you deserve some car buying advice.

Let’s say that you don’t care what size of hair gel you can take on the plane, you don’t care how many people live on the planet, and you’re more scared of snow drifts than the stock market. You’re more interested in soft leathers, off-roading, and seating for five. If somehow, someway, you actually exist, we suggest that instead of going to the Mercedes dealership to look at that new (German) ML350, you pay a visit to the Chrysler dealer to check out the (mostly German) Jeep Grand Cherokee first. Wait, since when does a Jeep qualify as “German”?

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2011 Jeep Compass: Cheap Romance [Review]

by Lucas Elke

Here at, we’ve been skilled lucky enough to test drive some nippy cars and some zippy cars.  A week with a flashy new car can be compared to spending seven blissful days with a girl who is out-of-your-league sexy.  Your friends and family can’t believe it and constantly tease you about the amount of money you’re paying her to be your arm candy. You stay up late spending time with her/it, and talk about her/it at every occasion. When you wake-up, you’re excited to get back inside and take it for another spin.

Unfortunately, for almost every invigorating week we spend with a beautiful piece of engineering, there’s a boring and bland, seemingly passionless, jaunt with a less-endowed companion.  As similar as a week with a great car is to a week with a great woman, the opposite is hauntingly true for the vehicles that we “pick straws” to drive around town.  You grudgingly putz around while dreams of your last test car float out of the exhaust.  No one calls to hang out because no one wants to spend time with you and your new demo.  It’s nothing more than another notch on the ol’ test driving belt, but an important benchmarking tool nonetheless.  Alas, my week with the 2011 Jeep Compass…

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1st Official Shot: Alfa Romeo Giulietta/Milano


While word on the Milanese street is that the Milano name has been dropped, it’s not entirely clear what name will be used in its place. Giulietta? Perhaps. But you’re no more likely to guess it correctly than you are to guess when Ovechkin will be returning from his “day-to-day” knee injury. All I care about is his on-ice presence when the Capitals come to Edmonton on December 19th. I have tickets, so he’d better be there. Or I’ll start flinging my feces onto the ice. Oh, I’d do it.

Getting back to the new Alfa, this will be one of the first models that parent company Fiat brings to North America through its newly-acquired Chrysler network. From what we can tell from this first (and only) shot, the lines aren’t too bad. Maybe there’s too much current-gen Subaru Impreza in the profile, but at least the MiTo’s unlovable front end looks have been toned down into something more digestible. Petrol powerplants are expected to be range from a 120hp 1.4L to a 235hp turbo 1.7L, although it remains to be seen which models we’ll get on this side of the pond.

We’ll have more edge-of-your-seat Chrysler/Fiat/Alfa news, whenever someone else decides to leak it.


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Chrysler’s Line Up For Next Year Revealed

chrysler_fiatEver since Fiat took over Chrysler, we have been wondering which models from the terrible Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge line-up would survive. On the other hand, we have been eagerly anticipating the return of Fiat and Alfa Romeo to our continent. Who wouldn’t want to see some more Italian flair on the road? Anyway, hit the jump to find out who made the team and who gets booted by 2012.

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Alfa Romeo 169 To Be Built in Ontario, Maybe

Screen shot 2009-09-26 at 4.56Alfa Romeo hasn’t made a mid-size executive sedan in a couple years now, and now is the perfect time to resume doing so. Alfa is coming back to North America, where the executive sedan is king. While it has been confirmed that the 169 is to be built in North America, Inside Line expects the production to happen in Brampton, Ontario along side the Chinese Rolls-Royce knock-off Chrysler 300. The 169 won’t just be a pretty 169 though. Hit the jump for a summary of the rumour mill.

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Breaking: Magna Wins Opel Bidding War

opelCanadian auto parts company Magna can finally chalk up a win in its goal to own an automotive company.

Owned by Austrian-born Frank Stronach (father of  the more famous Belinda Stronach, the floor-walker in the House of Commons – now back with Magna) Magna had been in a bidding war with RHJ International.

It was originally thought that GM preferred RHJ because it feared that Magna (who has Russian stakeholders) would give Opel technology to Russian automakers.

The German government on the other hand preferred Magna because it promised to keep Opel plants in Germany.

Magna had previously tried to purchase Chrysler, and was considered the front runner, but luckily for Magna, Cerberus ended up swiping the troubled automaker.

[Globe and Mail]

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Ford Goes To The Top Of Monthly Sales In Canada


I’m apparently not the only Canuck who thinks that Ford is making the best products it ever has, and with the imminent launch of the Fiesta, Taurus (and Euro Focus?) on our shores, Ford’s future is as bright as the lime-green Fiesta that I keep seeing on TV ads. All this great product, and the minor fact that Ford is the only Detroit-based automaker to not file for bankruptcy protection down South, means that Ford is rolling the competition in monthly sales. More below.

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Remember That Time I Broke a VW Phaeton’s Transmission?

phaeton transmission

The Volkswagen Phaeton will go down in the annals of history as a pinnacle of automotive engineering, and complete foolishness. Were it not for the utter madness of Ferdinand Piech, we would have never known the abilities of VAG’s engineers and designers. If Mr. Piech’s parents had used a condom or the pill, there would be no Phaeton, nor Bugatti Veyron 16.4, for that matter. Thankfully, they didn’t so there are.

For a period, I was resolutely convinced that the Phaeton would be my next car. It was perfect! It had year-round usability, no badge-snobbery, supreme luxury appointments and accoutrements, and had depreciated faster than my 2008 stock portfolio and was therefore affordable.

So I began my search for a local-ish Phaeton that was in reasonable condition and at a competitive price. I eventually found one at a local Chrysler dealership. Probably not a great sign, but I went to check it out anyways and to get some seat-time in the people’s luxobarge.

Now let me share with you my single behind-the-wheel Phaeton experience from April 3, 2009.

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