Month: November 2016

Wrap up your shopping now with these great gift ideas

It’s that time of year again. You know, that time when you are racking your brain for a unique gift idea to wrap up for the motor head in your life. And for all the car enthusiasts out there who don’t like to shop, even if it’s online, the winter holidays can be a bit overwhelming. Lucky for all of us, FCA US has you in mind when it comes to holiday shopping. Whether it’s a new hat, a warm fleece to ward off the cold temperatures or skinz and covers for your gadgets, the Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® and Ram merchandise sites have you covered. If you have hunters on your gift list, you can’t go wrong with the Ram Mossy Oak® cooler bag or a Ram Mossy Oak infinity hat. For the texter in your life (we all have one), give the gift of warmth with the Ram touchscreen gloves. Or choose my personal favorite and keep everyone warm when they gather around the Ram fire pit. Dodge always has a lot of great items for everyone and this year is no exception. The Dodge vintage cooler is a perfect fit for tailgating, car shows or just a fun road trip. And the fitness fanatics on your list will appreciate you looking out for them when you give … Read More

Explore, relax, rejuvenate – experience two-lane highways

City life is great. When you live in one of the many large urban areas of the United States, you get concert and sporting events, delicious restaurants for every palate and price range, a significant selection of goods and services (many available 24 hours a day) and more, all at your fingertips. Many cities, seemingly, never sleep. So, whether you’re a night owl or an early-riser, there is almost always something to do and/or see. But what about those times when you want to slow down a bit. Maybe you have a vacation or long weekend on the horizon. Or maybe you just have time for one beautiful, relaxing day. What do you do? Consider this – a tour of two-lane roads. Why? Because two-lane roads, by definition, are slower. (No zipping past the guy in the slow lane. No bypassing all the “slow spots in the road” on life’s superhighway.) And if you let them, they can lead you to areas of the country that can be fun, relaxing, even rejuvenating. Take, for instance, a trip beginning in or around Port Arthur, Texas, northward through the midsection of the country, and ending somewhere near Albert Lee, Minnesota. If you chose the interstate highway system, you would likely jump on 10 West over to Houston, where you’d pick up 45 … Read More

I love a parade

Every year I have great expectations for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. And every year I am in awe of the amazing performances, colorful floats and giant balloons. Yes, I’m a kid at heart. This year, as I researched the role of Ram trucks in the parade, I learned more about the parade than I imagined possible. For instance, did you know: This is the 90th anniversary of the parade. At 90 years old, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is tied for the second oldest Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s tied with Detroit while Philadelphia gets the nod for the oldest. The one and only Betty White co-hosted the parade, with Lorne Greene (Bonanza), from 1962 through 1971. All floats, balloons, costumes, etc. are designed and created at the Macy’s Parade Studio, in Moonachie, New Jersey. You can’t purchase a copy of the broadcast as no reproductions are made. (If you can’t watch and/or if you know someone marching in the parade, you may want to set your DVR.) Only one balloon in the history of the parade has been designed to resemble a real person. The larger-than-life (literally) Eddie Cantor balloon debuted in 1940. Three versions of the Superman balloon have flown in the parade over the years. Macy’s is the second largest consumer of helium in the United States. … Read More

No school? No worries.

That time of year, when the kids are out of school for almost anything, has rolled around again. Whether it’s a day off to recover from a seasonal illness, a school-planned break or a snow day, you find yourself faced with the same dilemma. What do you DO? When declarations of “I’m bored” start to surface and you’ve said your final, “Read a book,” it may be time to find more creative alternatives. If you’re anything like me, though, you are ill-prepared for such moments. Last week, when our daughter was out of school, she helped me come up with a things-to-do list. Here were some of her suggestions, each with a bit of commentary from me. Read a book. (We already covered this one. It only works for so long before it’s time to accept defeat and move on to something else.) Bake. A cake. Cookies. Whatever. Do it from scratch – you know, with real flour and sugar and stuff. (A word to the wise, if you’re looking for something to take up some time, cookies take the longest.) Play a card or board game. Dig out the Uno deck. Dust off Clue or Monopoly or Life. Check under the couch cushions for the missing Jenga pieces. Then, let the battle(s) begin! Coloring (arts and crafts). It’s not … Read More

Yes, you can do one-stop auto shopping

Are you a comparison shopper? Who isn’t these days, right? But comparison shopping can take a lot of time. Especially, if you are looking for a new car. If only there was a single place where you could go and look at every single vehicle that you’re considering. If only … Oh wait! It sounds like an auto show might be exactly what you need. Where else can you view makes and models from nearly every major manufacturer, including, in most cases, performing test drives as well. Auto shows, these days, are the meaning of auto shopping made easy. But if you’ve never been to one before, it can be a bit overwhelming. Expecting to get a hands-on experience with every sedan at the show is a bit of a lofty expectation. Narrowing your options and planning ahead, however, will make for a successful trip. If you’ve been in the market for a new vehicle, it’s likely you’ve already narrowed your choices simply by completing online research. If you have three or four that are vying for that empty spot in your garage, take your list with you to the show and be prepared to learn about features and available options for each. Once you get to the show, jump right in! Locate each of the vehicles on your short … Read More

FCA US vehicles named Consumers Digest Best Buys defines value as: The amount of money that something is worth; the price or cost of something Something that can be bought for a low or fair price Usefulness or importance Taking into consideration each of these three factors, Consumers Digest selects the vehicles it names to its “Best Buys” list each year by evaluating: Purchase price Cost of ownership Comfort, performance and utility To properly evaluate each vehicle, the automotive editors at Consumers Digest get behind the wheel and drive each one. The driving conditions and circumstances are designed to drive the vehicles “in the manner for which they are built,” so they vary greatly. After all, a sports car is not likely to be driven the same was as a pickup, minivan or SUV.   Beyond the test drive, many variables such as estimated repair and maintenance costs, insurance-industry ratings and estimated resale values are considered. Third-party findings, like those issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, weigh in on the final decision. When all is said and done, it is not necessarily the least expensive or the highest performing vehicles that drive away with the title of Consumers Digest Automotive Best Buy. Instead, it is the vehicles with the overall highest ranking who are bestowed this honor. Taking five titles, FCA US raked in more … Read More

2017 Jeep® Renegade available trim lines increase by two

J.D. Power five fast facts about the 2016 Jeep® Renegade include: Choose from two engines for up to 30-highway mpg Technology features include available Uconnect access, up to 70 available safety and security features and an available BeatsAudio premium audio system Buyers choose from four trim lines and 10 exterior colors Four-wheel drive models feature Active Drive and Active Drive Low for enhanced performance Jeep Renegade Trailhawk includes 8.7-inch ground clearance, skid plates, tow hooks and more For the 2017 model year, two additional trim lines, the Deserthawk and Altitude, will join the Jeep Renegade family. “These two new Jeep Renegade models help to extend our popular small SUV’s continued global success since its launch last year, and to provide customers with the choice of two distinctive and unique special editions,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. If you live love off-road adventures, the Deserthawk is the ride for you. With everything you love about the Trailhawk, plus black leather seats, all-weather floor mats, a ParkView rear backup camera and more, the Deserthawk is a fun way to live life off-course. As with the other Altitude models in the Jeep brand lineup, the Renegade Altitude boasts a more aggressive look with blacked out wheels, black accents and black interior. The Altitude will have two engine/transmission combinations … Read More

This seat’s for you

Recently, while listening to a favorite morning show, the cast’s seemingly random discussions touched on a variety of topics. That is until they landed on the subject of automobile seating arrangements. Who would have thought that such a mundane topic would spark so many opinions? I mean, the proper seating arrangement is parents in front, kids in back right? As it turns out, it’s not quite that simple. Social and business aspects of “who sits where” may dictate more than you know. For example, there are those who believe a couple should always sit together. Likewise, there are others who believe there are situations when a couple should NOT sit together. For example, where there are two couples driving together in a social setting – some may choose seating arrangements that seat couples together. However, in many instances, the men sit together in the front seats while the women occupy the back seats. Many justifications support seating by gender. For example, men are generally taller and the leg room in the front is typically greater. Also, from a social aspect, the gentlemen may share things in common about which they converse in the front seat while the ladies do the same in the back seat. Finally, there are those couples who, while always together, are better off apart – maybe … Read More

You don’t have to be a hooligan to appreciate the Rebel

I was (and still am) fascinated with the Ram Rebel. While it isn’t what ended up in my driveway, it was definitely on the short list (one of the final two, actually) during our recent truck-buying experience. Why? I like the look of it. Beyond that, it’s a tough truck that rides well and has all the comfort and style offered by the Ram brand. As it turns out, I am far from the only one to be enamored by the new truck. For the second year in a row, the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) has shown their love and voted the Rebel “Best Off-Road Vehicle.” This year, 40 vehicles were among the contenders. The RMAP Rebel entry, a Mopar ’16 Ram Rebel, is a limited-edition. Only 500 will be sold. “For the second consecutive year, RMAP journalists have selected the Ram Rebel because of its combination of off-road capability, power and comfort,” said David Muramoto, RMAP President. “That’s what made it a winner.” Calling the Mopar ’16 Ram Rebel “moderately defiant … in an era of increasingly civilized trucks,” Tony Swan from concluded that the truck gives a distinctive first impression. He referred to the exhaust note as “subdued enough to be legal but an unmistakable reminder that yes, this thing has a Hemi.” Others also appreciate … Read More