The New Grand Cherokee
It's your fault! Not something I want to tell you, but I feel compelled to after reading your First Drive of the '11 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Oct. '10). You guys and your so-called 4x4 of the Year test have led the manufacturers to believe that they can gussy up some soccer-mom-mobile, slap an outrageous price tag on it, and go play in some dirt and call it a 4x4. It used to be Jeep would take these things out on the Rubicon and show you what they are made of. Now they take you on some slickrock trails and it's Trail Rated? What the hey?
I am sorry but I have been reading this publication for a long time, and I feel as the magazine industry takes a hit, you guys are selling out-just push some magazines out the door. It's sad, and I know it's not really all your fault for that. Just the part about Jeep making a glorified minivan that they says is trail worthy. If vehicles like the Lexus RX-whatever had not won your Soccer Mom Mobile of the Year award, then Jeep would not have gone down this overly paved road. So there I blame you. And no, I won't be renewing. I will start my own digital magazine and cover topics and vehicles that true enthusiasts want to read about. Way to sell out to the corporate machine. You guys really let me down.
Ryan P. Vaughn
Thanks for the input, Ryan. According to you, this means that we here at 4WOR have full control over what the manufacturers make. Logically thinking then, if we say a '47 CJ2-A is the best vehicle ever, Jeep would build it! I wish. At least can we take credit for making the manufacturers aware that real 4x4s need solid axles, lockers, a winch, 33s or better, and a low-range transfer case?
There are far more ins and outs in the automotive world than you must be aware of. One of those is that we pick the "best" for our 4x4 of the Year test relative to the vehicles tested. In that respect a vehicle has to do everything well, not suck at some things.
As for the Grand Cherokee, it is by far the least-capable rockcrawling Grand ever produced. There. Happy? However, it does many other things exceedingly well. Jeep did take it over the Rubicon before the media were allowed to drive it in Moab on slickrock. It made the trail and was dented. Duh. Longer, lower, fatter, wider is not what we preach to the OEMs as vehicle virtues, but it is what they continue to develop because leagues of focus groups ask if you want three cupholders or two, not mentioning the fact that three Big Gulp holders will eliminate a locking diff switch location; therefore nobody needs a locking diff. Don't blame us for everything!
I just wanted to let you guys know I look forward to every issue. You've got a great mag. I reread them every chance I get. I am currently restoring a '74 Ford F-350 shortbed four-door. I get a lot of ideas from your articles and the Readers' Rides.
One last thing: In the October issue's In Box, Fred Schafer drove Bigfoot, not Barefoot! Can't believe that one got by. Thanks again for a great mag!
Yeah, we were thinking foot this, foot that, and now Bigfoot is a Chevy so...now what do you do? Confusing!