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On the 31st episode of The 4×4 Podcast, we talk all about the New York International Auto Show. I have previously posted about my thoughts and feelings about the Dodge and Toyota booths, as well as the Jeep Experience. This show has more in depth discussion on those particular topics. In the show you’ll also get to hear some of the sounds from the show floor including reactions from other attendees. I also managed to catch a short interview with the author of the children’s book and builder of the Log Dog, an exquisitely built 63 Ford pickup. The new Range Rover Sport was on hand, looking very svelte in its 20 inch wheels and white leather; I wouldn’t want either on an offroad vehicle. The updated Land Rover LR4 was nearby as well which I would take offroad but I have a few issues with the mechanics of how the rear seat operation was designed.
One of the most exciting things that I saw was the new Jeep Cherokee. Now I say “exciting” but don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean I’ll be paying money for one any time soon. I mean exciting because it is such a controversial vehicle and has been very polarizing with some people stating that its the worst Jeep ever built. I agree with the fact that it does have a quite ugly face and the rear end could easily be mistaken for a misbadged Kia but there is a reason for all of this. I spent a lot of time (far more time than anyone in my family enjoyed) looking through the Cherokee and laying my hands all over it. By the way, apparently they don’t like it when you open the doors on a roped off vehicle but to them I say, “you should just lock it if you don’t want people opening things.” I talked to a lot of people to find out what their opinion on the Jeep was and it was a very mixed response. There were a few people that said that they were planning on buying one. One guy even said that he would gladly pay $35,000 for a well optioned Cherokee which had me putting on my best poker face to hide on shock. But that shows that there is an appetite for a mildly luxurious SUV/crossover that can handle bad weather and some trail duties but still fits in the Jeep family tree somewhere under the Grand Cherokee. And if you want all that but you still want to get 30ish miles per gallon, you absolutely have to make some compromises. I firmly believe that Jeep could do more with the 3.2 liter Pentastar motor to get even better power and efficiency but they intentionally left out those modifications for future revisions of the platform.
Believe it or not, there were a lot of new cars at the auto show that were never intended to be taken off road! I know its a strange thought, but there were some pretty cool looking cars such as the Chevy Z28, the new Corvette, the new SS, the Acura NSX concept, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, a concept Hyundai Genesis and much more.
Be sure to click through the whole gallery and leave a comment on the show notes to let me know what you think of the auto show.