I love football season. I also love tailgating. But unless you’re somewhat of a professional tailgater, it can be a lot of work. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather get out there and have some fun than be cooking and/or running after things. So, after a few learning experiences of my own, here are a few key items that I’ve learned can really add to the success of a tailgate. Preparation Nothing will spoil tailgating fun faster than the dreaded phrase, “We need to run to the store.” Um, no. A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to tailgating. Make a list of everything you will need and pack everything up the night before. You may even want to consider loading anything unperishable into your vehicle. That way, you’re only grabbing the fresh items as you’re running out the door. Food and drinks There is no tailgating rule that says you have to suddenly turn into a gourmet grill chef to impress everyone you have invited to your tailgating party. It’s a tailgate, which by definition means burgers, hot dogs, chips and beer. If you feel the need to splurge, buy all-beef hot dogs, fancy chips and craft beer. The grill Unless you’re eating cold, raw burgers and hot dogs, the grill is pretty important. … Read More
Nearly a year ago I bought my Ram 1500 Sport and I love it. It’s roomy. It’s comfortable. It has Uconnect, which I love. I could go on and on about why I love my Ram truck. But there is something missing. Why? Because while I love my truck, we live on some fun, windy roads that beg for a small, sporty, fun-to-drive car that weaves through the twists and turns with ease. Particularly now that autumn is here and the leaves are changing – the sun-filled, warm afternoons are begging for a top-down, Sunday afternoon drive through the mountains. And that’s exactly why I think our next vehicle should be a FIAT® 124 Spider. I happen to have a friend who owns a FIAT 124 Spider and he loves it. He’s one to jump in his car and drive two or three hours to the coast for lunch, only to turn back around and head back home. So, while it’s not altogether necessary, having something that gets decent gas mileage is good. Being able to put the top down and enjoy the fresh air is a bonus as well. Not long ago, I happened to be following him as we were maneuvering up a particularly windy road – him in his FIAT and me in my truck. Most of … Read More
Recently the Chrysler brand announced it has become a national sponsor of the National PTA. “Across the country, PTAs work hard to support their school communities and increase family engagement in education, which has been proven to improve student and community outcomes,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “National PTA is pleased to team up with the Chrysler brand to help PTAs support their schools and get more families involved in their child’s education.” For those of you currently or previously involved with your local PTA, you know that fundraising is a big part of the association’s activities each year. To help, the Chrysler brand created a “Cars 4 Classrooms” fundraising program. Through Cars 4 Classrooms, PTAs and schools can set up test drive fundraising events, featuring the Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. Each participant who takes a test drive can earn the school $10, up to $2,000, donated by Chrysler. Local, participating Chrysler dealerships will provide the vehicles for the events. “The Chrysler brand and its dealer network have worked with families and educators on test drive fundraisers in communities across America for more than 25 years,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT®, Chrysler and FIAT®, FCA – North America. “Through our partnership with National PTA, the goal is to give every … Read More
There are so many things today that, while prevalent during my formative years, don’t exist anymore – floppy disks, cassette tapes and coin-operated payphones, to name a few. These are all items that, when mentioned at the dinner table, cause a look of confusion on our 11-year-old daughter’s face. Let’s take a moment, now, to remember the car phone. Ah, the car phone. Do you recall when it was actually a phone in your car? You couldn’t remove it. Best case scenario, you could stand next to your car and talk on it with the cord strung through an open window. While there is some debate over who created the first car phone, the first service was developed by the Bell System and used in St. Louis in 1946. The phone that connected to it weighed in at a whopping 80 pounds. (Of course back then the cars were just as overweight, so what’s another 80 pounds?) Initially, only three channels were available, so if three people were talking you had to wait your turn to make a call. Imagine the frustration people would have today if their smartphone told them they were fourth in line to make a call! Slowly the car phone developed into a more useful device. By its 1954 appearance in the movie “Sabrina,” when … Read More
These days there is much more to owning a vehicle than just driving and maintaining it. Test driving a vehicle includes also testing all the “extras” that go along with the vehicle. From how difficult it is to program the navigation system to pairing your smartphone, technology and easy-to-use features are becoming ever more important to today’s driver. So, Wards created a Top 10 User Experience (UX) list. Now, in its second year, the Wards 10 Best UX list was recently released. “The focus of the Wards 10 Best UX competition, which is a microcosm of Wards 10 Best Interiors,” wrote WardsAuto Senior Editor Tom Murphy, “is to identify driver interfaces that are user-friendly, navigation systems that are easy to program, collision-avoidance technologies that are dependable and smartphone integration that is simple, allowing drivers safe access to text messages, emails and phone contacts while on the road.” Enter the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT®. Am I mistaken, or did I just hear a collective, “Huh?” I know. When I think SRT, the first thoughts that come to my mind are not collision avoidance and smartphone paring, but rather speed, muscle and a beautiful, throaty exhaust. But the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has all of that and so much more. Equipped with the easy-to-use Uconnect system, now in its fourth generation, … Read More
I used to drive a lot. A few years ago, it was nothing for me to jump in the car and drive three or four hours to spend the day with some friends before heading back home that evening. These days, though, I’m good with my spot in the passenger seat. Even when we take my truck, I’m good with sitting back and letting my husband drive. It isn’t a gender thing or a married thing. It’s just a me thing. I enjoy simply riding for a change. I get things done. Shopping lists, internet inquiries, blog posts … it can all be accomplished from the very comfy passenger side of a 2016 Ram 1500 Sport. I get to see a great deal more of the countryside than I used to see. And, for the most part, I have grown comfortable with my husband’s driving style. (No, this was not always the case, but as with anything, you get used to it in time.) The funny thing is, my comfort in the passenger seat is nearly equal to my husband’s discomfort. He is NOT a good passenger. This translates into him also being a terrible backseat driver. You’re probably thinking that I am actually the one who is the backseat driver, but I promise you, I rarely comment when my … Read More
If a throaty exhaust gets your motor running, but cargo space and seating for the family are necessities, you may already know that two powerhouse SUVs are making their debut for model year 2018. Check out our awesome infographic, making a side-by-side comparison.
A long time ago, I was in a pretty bad accident. It was, basically, a head-on collision. The damage to my car was extensive. If you had seen me that day, you would have assumed the damage to me was worse. Most who did see me just after the accident weren’t sure I would make it. I was flown by Life Flight to a nearby trauma center and was then admitted to the hospital where I spent the next few weeks recovering. Obviously, I survived. With the exception of a few scars, you’d never even know I was involved in an accident. These days, advancements in technology are preventing accidents like mine from happening. Lane departure warning and blind spot detection, two safety options available on many vehicles today, are preventing accidents, therefore also thwarting injuries and saving lives. Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), is conducting a series of studies in which she reviews data from police reports. She then analyzes the data to evaluate crashes that technologies are designed to address. Results of her most recent study indicate that, when looking at single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes, lane departure warnings reduce the number of injury-related crashes by 21 percent. To put this into perspective, during 2015 alone, if all vehicles … Read More
Think about your own vehicle. Whether you love it or are just waiting to trade up, there is probably something you would add, update or otherwise change about it, right? You are not alone. But if you are the owner of either a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica or a 2017 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, it’s likely those wanted changes are minor. “Even the most satisfied owner would change something about their vehicle if given the opportunity,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVAs) identify vehicles whose owners want the least amount of change – those that are truly hitting the mark with owners.” Rolling over the competition in the IVA Mid-Size SUV segment for the seventh consecutive year, the ever-popular Jeep® Grand Cherokee continues to set the standard for off-road capability combined with on-road refinement. “The Grand Cherokee is a perennial best-in-class winner in AutoPacific’s IVAs,” said Peterson. “Its excellent design, capability and breadth of the product offering contribute to the Grand Cherokee’s award-winning ways.” Sharing the limelight and taking the top spot in the Minivan segment, Chrysler Pacifica continues to impress as it treks through its inaugural year. “Chrysler’s new Pacifica minivan checks all the boxes a minivan owner desires. Pacifica is the minivan that most closely meets the expectations of its buyers,” said Peterson. “As the … Read More
I am so lucky. I actually have a job that PAYS me to watch YouTube. How cool is that? If you are not so lucky, but do spend some time watching videos online, checking out the Ram Trucks YouTube channel is definitely worth your time. While it does have helpful information for anyone in the market for a Ram truck, it also has stories from real-life Ram owners, like Kim and David who have put 1.4 million miles on their 2007 Ram 3500. And Ram owners who have banded together to make a difference. There are hard-working Ram owners who understand that even the toughest jobs can be fun. (Part of Ram’s salute to everyday workers from the 2016 American Music Awards.) If you need something to make you smile, catch The Winch It! Brothers. One (more more!) of their Power Wagon posts is sure to cause a chuckle or two. And, of course, there are the classics. The ones that inspire. The ones that tug at heart strings. The ones we’ll never forget.