2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Episode 3707
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

By just about any measure, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most capable of all utilities. But there’s never been a Grand Cherokee quite like the Trackhawk. Think of it as the Challenger Hellcat’s outdoorsy uncle. You know, the one with Army Ranger skills that everyone’s a little bit afraid of. Get the picture? Well maybe this will help.  

High performance Grand Cherokees are nothing new of course, and even high performance SUVs in general are a dime a dozen these days. But there’s never been anything quite like this 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

It’s the answer to the question, “what happens when you stuff a Hellcat engine into one of the most-in-demand SUVs of all time.”

And if you don’t know what a Hellcat engine is, allow us to introduce you to 707-horsepower of HEMI awesomeness, from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that spins up 645 lb-ft. of torque. 

Yes, that’s a lot of power; and yes it does move this GC around like its 5,300-lbs are not subjected to earth’s normal laws of gravity. 

Indeed, straight-line is where it’s at for this 4X4. After dialing the launch control to 1,900 RPM; we just let the GC monitor power, as we just floored it, released the brake, and held on; hitting 60 in 3.5-seconds on our first try. 

There’s plenty of traction for making that leap, planting you firmly into the seat. And with Torque Reserve constantly feeding more and more power in; that feeling never lets up until you back off the throttle.

On the road, there’s plenty of typical Grand Cherokee comfort, but with pleasant sounds of Hellcat creeping in; though supercharger whine seems more subdued here than in the Challenger and Charger. Plus, it can trailer tow a hefty 7,200 pounds.

It’s not the softest of highway rides, as the suspension has been stiffened, and wheels are 20’s. 

Of course the transmission, an 8–speed automatic, as well as all driveline components have been beefed up to handle the middle-management stress of delivering that much power to the pavement.  

With distinctive yellow calipers, the Brembo brakes are bigger than those on Hellcat cars, and do a tremendous job of quickly stopping this beast.

All-wheel-drive management deploys power differently, whether you’re accelerating in a straight-line or towing; even defaulting to rear bias in Track mode for road course work. And yes, you can haul this thing around a race track, which we did at New Hampshire’s Club Motorsports. 

Clicking the steering wheel–mounted paddles shifters results in immediate gear changes; and all of that power from under the hood, basically negated all of this track’s elevation changes. 

It does take a while to feel truly comfortable stuffing a heavy SUV into a corner; but once you get used to it, the Trackhawk is great fun; not quite a Porsche Cayenne, as it could use more steering feel, but way more than you expect from a vehicle that in its heart wants to be off pavement more than clinging to it at high speeds. 

There’s very little roll; and while it’s fairly responsive to inputs, planning ahead and keeping those inputs smooth will give you the best results; as stability control will still cut in even in Track mode.

Updates to the front end allow more air to come in, and there’s more going out as well…

GREG CARLOSS: “There’s also a quad exhaust system out back. There’s a bit of refinement to it. It’s not as brutal and aggressive as the Charger and Challenger, but still really nice. You get a lot of sound there (engine growls). Bang the throttle (engine growls) I mean it’s everything you want maybe just a little bit more refined than those other cars”

JOHN DAVIS: Things are dressed up inside, but it’s not as if build quality has been supercharged as well. There’s a nice, thick steering wheel, and great seats.

Bearing the double burden of being an SUV and a performance machine, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are pretty dismal at 11-City, 17-Highway, and only 13-Combined. 

Still, no matter how bad-to-the bone it is, at the end of the day, it remains a Grand Cherokee, and a pricy one at that; $86,995. However, something comparable from Europe would require a 6-figure investment. 

So whether you look at the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk as a family truckster built for track days, or a performance car that you can haul with; it’s a far-out piece of performance machinery, made with a formula that Fiat-Chrysler seems to have perfected. 


  • Engine: 6.2 liter
  • Horsepower: 707
  • Torque: 645 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
  • EPA: 11 mpg city / 17 mpg highway
2023 GMC Canyon 1

2023 GMC Canyon

Canyon Goes Bigger

Episode 4303
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Most people know the GMC Canyon as the Chevrolet Colorado’s professional grade cousin. And while that sounds like just marketing speak, with an all-new design of GM’s midsize truck platform comes more genuine brand separation. So, let’s see what the third-gen GMC Canyon delivers in real time!

Small trucks are once again a big deal, and part of the reason is that they are no longer small. There’s not much about this 2023 GMC Canyon that resembles the ¼-ton Sonomas, S-10s, Rangers, and Datsun trucks that were wildly popular in the 1980s.

Of course, then, people were willing to sacrifice certain “big-truck” things for an easier to use and more economical pickup experience. Well, we don’t seem to be big on compromise for much of anything these days, and the current midsize crop of trucks deliver more than ever. So fittingly, the 2023 Canyon will be available as a Crew Cab only with a 5-foot bed. No more extended cab or long bed options. Wheelbase is about 3-inches longer than before, with the front wheels pushed more towards the front. It definitely looks tougher, and they’ve even eliminated the much-hated front air dam that protruded well below the front bumper.

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The Canyon also comes exclusively with the high-output version of GM’s 2.7-liter turbocharged I-4, with a stout 310-horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. At times it feels even more powerful than those numbers would indicate, with its diesel-like torque delivery enabling a best-in-class max tow rating of 7,700-lbs. No choice of transmission either, strictly 8-speed automatic, but you can still decide whether you want rear or 4-wheel-drive.

At minimum, ground clearance is 9.6-inches, which is more than an inch taller than last year, and almost 2-inches over Chevy’s base Colorado. And since it’s all about the off-road packages these days, our AT4 tester comes with 4-wheel drive, off-road suspension, locking rear diff, 2-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

And that’s just where things get started, as at the top of the heap, there’s a new AT4X with 10.7-inches of ground clearance, enhanced front and rear e-locking differentials, 33-inch mud terrain tires, Multimatic dampers, and an additional Baja Drive Mode. We’ll have more on the AT4X real soon.

But for all Canyons, including this AT4, GMC went tech-heavy, as all get 11-inch infotainment screens and a fully digital driver display in either 8 or 11-inches. Plus, an available head up display comes with most trims, and there are even optional underbody cameras.

Unique AT4 features include a Jet Black and Timber interior motif with stitched logos on the leather front seats. Those seats are definitely comfortable, and it feels maybe a tad roomier than before, but still well shy of the sprawling space in a full-size truck. It’s even more noticeable in the rear, though there are more practical storage options back here.

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The AT4 gets a sliding rear window, along with a tailgate storage system to complement the integrated ruler, and bed side-mounted 120-volt power outlet. The Canyon already delivered one of the best rides in the midsize class, and the taller suspension seems to only improve on that; it’s not quite crossover plush, but certainly great for a body on frame truck.

Though the higher ground clearance and off-road emphasis kept it from being a track star. Indeed, healthy amounts of understeer and body roll greeted us in our handling course. It was a little hesitant off the line in speed runs, but once rolling, power poured on steadily. 0-60 in only 7.5-seconds, and through the ¼-mile in 15.6-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the AT4 are 17-City, 21-Highway, and 19-Combined; we averaged an acceptable 18.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Pricing starts with a 2-wheel-drive Elevation at $38,395. That puts it at midlevel Chevrolet Colorado, with is consistent with the mission of the new Canyon. All other trims come with 4-wheel drive, this AT4 starting at $45,395, and the AT4X now eclipsing Denali as the highest offering at $56,995.

So, as small trucks have grown, so has the price of entry. But if that doesn’t scare you off, there is no denying the 2023 GMC Canyon is yes bigger, but also bolder and badder than before. Does that necessarily make it better? We say positively yes!


  • Engine: 2.7L Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 310
  • 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 121 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 18.2 mpg (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto
  • Torque: 430 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 91 mph
  • EPA: 17 City / 21 Highway / 19 Combined