TDR Members - the folks at Chrysler are good at sending us updates about the Ram truck. Often, the Ram story is mixed with other interesting news, and that is the case with their latest press release. The Jeep brand is also doing very well. So in a world of news that is often not-so-uplifting, here is a positive story from a test with the Texas Auto Writers' Association. Enjoy!
Chrysler Group LLC Scoops Up Nine Awards at 24th Annual Texas Truck Rodeo
- Jeep® Grand Cherokee wins "SUV of Texas" for the fifth consecutive year
- Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee take consecutive year over year titles — Jeep Brand SUVs victorious in every category entered
- Ram wins Heavy Duty Truck of Texas for the second consecutive year
- Ram Power Wagon scores Off-road Truck of Texas award
- Chrysler Group’s 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine and Uconnect system score top honors
October 13, 2014, San Antonio, Texas - Jeep® and Ram Truck brands took top awards at the 2014 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo. More than 60 TAWA members cast their votes after a two-day competition involving on- and off-road vehicle evaluations. While capability is an important element considered by TAWA jurors, the organization also studies design, utility, value and technology with detailed scoring in each category.
"Once again the Chrysler Group brought an extraordinary product lineup to the Texas Truck Rodeo," said Michael Marrs, TAWA president. "The performance and quality of the Jeep and Ram products at the Rodeo were impressive with powertrain and technology innovations that are tough to beat. The Jeep Grand Cherokee especially continues to outshine the competition by once again winning the SUV of Texas title."
The Jeep brand won all five categories entered, including the coveted “SUV of Texas”.
"We are extremely delighted and proud that for the fifth consecutive year, the respected and influential Texas auto writers have named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the SUV of Texas," said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Even more impressive is the fact that Jeep vehicles won every single category in which they were entered, and were recognized for their unmatched 4x4 capability, fuel economy, luxury and overall performance.
"With Jeep sales up 45 percent so far this year, Texas remains a tremendously important SUV market," Manley added. "Over the past five years, we've proven that winning these TAWA awards increases Jeep showroom traffic and sales."
A total of 75 pickups, SUVs and crossover vehicles were entered in this year's rodeo. Ram Truck earned a repeating title as the Heavy Duty Truck of Texas.
“Exactly five years ago Ram Truck became its own brand and we set out to design and engineer the best trucks you can buy with fuel economy and capability top of mind,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Winning back-to-back awards from the Texas Auto Writers Association affirms our direction in the truck market.”
Chrysler Group vehicles receiving awards at the 24th annual TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo were:
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- SUV of Texas: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Compact SUV of Texas: 2015 Jeep Cherokee
- Mid-size SUV of Texas: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Luxury Mid-size SUV of Texas: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
- Off-road Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2015 Jeep Wrangler
- Heavy Duty Truck of Texas: 2015 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty
- Off-road Truck of Texas: 2015 Ram Power Wagon
- Best Powertrain: 3.0-liter EcoDiesel (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500)
- Best Connectivity: Chrysler Group UConnect (Jeep, Ram, Dodge)
Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever and the vehicle that has long defined what a premium SUV should be – receives even more content for the 2015 model year. The Grand Cherokee Summit models receive added features as well as a new Summit California Edition appearance package that further enhances Summit’s premium exterior aesthetics. Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers best-in-class 30 miles per gallon (mpg) highway courtesy of an available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and standard eight-speed transmission. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 boasts an unmatched driving range of more than 730 miles.
Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of three available 4x4 systems, Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension system and class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. Grand Cherokee boasts best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds, and a crawl ratio of 44.1:1. A refined exterior design – complete with available bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL) – provides a premium appearance. Interior luxury is achieved with premium amenities, including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and unique color offerings. The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in five trim levels: Laredo, Laredo E, Limited, Overland and Summit.
2015 Jeep Cherokee
There is a new king of the hill in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment: the 2015 Jeep Cherokee. The 2015 Jeep Cherokee delivers legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, premium on-road manners and superior ride and handling, a segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy ratings of up to 31 miles per gallon (mpg) highway, world-class craftsmanship, leading-edge technology, more than 70 advanced safety and security features and best-in-class V-6 towing capability of 4,500 pounds. Powered by a choice of two engines, three innovative 4x4 systems that feature the first use of a fully-automated disconnecting rear axle and Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology that is standard on V-6-powered Cherokee models, the Jeep Cherokee revolutionizes the mid-size SUV segment. The Cherokee delivers leading-edge technology customers will value, world-class craftsmanship and clever features like the available 8.4-inch touch screen media center, the seven-inch full-color instrument cluster display, inventive storage solutions and cargo flexibility not found elsewhere in the segment with the Jeep Cargo Management system. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is available in four different models in the United States: Cherokee Sport, Cherokee Latitude, Cherokee Limited and Cherokee Trailhawk, and has a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $22,995 (excluding $995 destination).
2015 Jeep Wrangler
The iconic Jeep Wrangler – the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world – moves into 2015 with updates designed to further enhance the Wrangler ownership experience, including a standard eight-speaker audio system and an improved sound bar, and an optional Premium Alpine Audio Package that includes nine Alpine speakers, a new subwoofer and a 552-watt amplifier. The new subwoofer has been relocated under the cargo floor for added cargo capacity. A new standard Torx Tool Kit comes with T-30, T-35, T-40 and T-50 torx heads, a ratchet and a storage pouch, making removing the doors, roof and front bumper end caps easier for owners. The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock edition carries forward the capability enhancing features of the 2014 Rubicon X package, and adds the nine-speaker Premium Alpine audio system and a new Low Gloss Black grille with High Gloss Black inserts. Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler, the widely popular model that salutes the earliest civilian Jeep vehicles with additional off-road hardware for increased capability, also returns for 2015. The 2015 Jeep Wrangler delivers unmatched off-road capability with legendary four-wheel drive and is produced with more than seven decades of 4x4 engineering experience. Wrangler continues to offer a body-on-frame design, front and rear five-link suspension system, live axles, electronic lockers, and is one of the few mid-size SUVs that offers a six-speed manual transmission – in addition to its five-speed automatic transmission. Jeep Wrangler has always had a unique variety of colors to choose from, and 2015 is no different. New exterior colors include: Baja Yellow, Copper Brown, Firecracker Red, Sunset Orange and Tank. Anvil, Billet Silver, Black, Bright White and Hydro Blue continue for 2015.
2015 Ram 1500
Fuel economy is the No. 1 purchase reason in the half-ton segment. The 2015 Ram 1500 holds the top two spots in fuel economy with winning powertrains: exclusive 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel features 28 miles per gallon (mpg) with 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 9,200 pounds of towing capability. The Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower owns best-in-class gasoline fuel economy of 25 mpg. Ram 1500 leads innovation with first-in-segment technologies: TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension. Additionally, the Ram 1500 features best-in-class aerodynamics of .360 Cd.
2014 Ram 2500, 3500 Heavy Duty and Ram Power Wagon
Ram Truck brand offers the most capable heavy-duty pickups in the segment - the 2015 Ram Heavy Duty line features a list of best-in-class titles in the segments number one purchase reason, capability:
- Towing - 30,000 pounds with Ram 3500
- Towing - 17,970 pounds with Ram 2500
- Payload - 7,390 pounds with Ram 3500
- Power - 865 lb.-ft. of torque with 6.7-liter Cummins
- Power - 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque with all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8
- Capacity - Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 37,600 pounds with Ram 3500
- Most off-road capable pickup – Ram Power Wagon
Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks also add new innovation, including a 5-link coil suspension with optional air suspension on Ram 2500 and a supplemental air bag suspension option on Ram 3500. Additionally, Ram is the only truck manufacturer to feature SAE J2807 compliance across light-duty and heavy duty truck segments.
3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel
Available in the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2015 Ram 1500, the EcoDiesel is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. The abundant torque is an enabler for impressive towing capacity while delivering best-in-class fuel economy in both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. Like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engines, the EcoDiesel V-6 is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The EcoDiesel – developed and manufactured by VM Motori (a Chrysler supplier since 1992) – is one of the most advanced diesel engines in the marketplace. Equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction, it is emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
Chrysler Group’s Uconnect systems include a range of hands-free communication, entertainment and navigation features. The systems are designed to keep consumers connected, entertained and most importantly – focused on the road. Uconnect’s intuitive user interface is deemed one of the easiest-to-use in the automotive industry.
Chrysler Group has integrated consumer electronics technologies and features into the dashboard in a familiar manner to help ensure that critical information is shared between the Uconnect systems, the instrument cluster and vehicle audio system– so it is presented to the driver in the moment that they need it. Simplified steering wheel controls, hands-free voice commands and traditional knobs and buttons help drivers manage a range of entertainment, navigation, communication feature and connected services.