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2023 VW Golf R Review

R is for speed in the 2023 VW Golf R five-door hatchback

An exterior side view of a Lapiz Blue Golf R

: The Golf R is an altogether different breed of Golf, Volkswagen says. The current Golf R is the most powerful production Golf ever. (Photos courtesy of Volkswagen)

Table of Contents

Pricing
2023 20th Anniversary Limited Edition
Golf R Performance Hardware
Powertrain
Ride and Handling
Interior Function
Back Seats and Cargo
Why Buy the VW Golf R?
Specifications

BY MARK MAYNARD

The VW Golf R is a standard bearer in the hot-hatch segment for its peak horsepower, all-wheel drive, and as a conservator for the three-pedal society.

Volkswagen decided to stop U.S. production last year of its mainstream Golf models, but it has kept the sporty versions of GTI and Golf R, today’s tester. This segment’s fun-driving cars include the Honda Civic Si and Type R, the three-door Hyundai Veloster N, Mazda3, and the Subaru WRX and WRX STI.

Each of these turbocharged, four-cylinder competitors, whether they have three-, four-, or five doors, are engineering hot spots and with distinct personalities. The Golf R hammers out midsize interior space and downplays its high performance with a reserved and revered German obsession for precision. You know it when you feel it when driving just about any Volkswagen model.

There is an RPM dividing line between a mild-mannered Golf R and its visceral alter ego. The difference is how the driver works the accelerator. Hard on the gas, and the Golf R delivers higher-revving shift points that still stitch nicely on the way up to sixth gear. With peak torque at 1,900 rpm, there is ever-ready passing power at 65 to 75 mph. The muscular exhaust note lets drivers know when they are in the sweet spot. It’s a good sound, though electronically generated.

The cabin is handsomely finished with a black microsuede headliner and two-tone black and blue upholstery.

The cabin is handsomely finished with a black microsuede headliner and two-tone black and blue upholstery.

2023 VW Golf R Pricing

Volkswagen prices the Golf R as one well-equipped version. Other than accessories for roof rack systems, seat covers, and heavy-duty floor mats, the only factory choices are for colors — Lapiz Blue, Deep Black Pearl, or Pure White — and the manual or automatic transmission.

Pricing for the 2023 Golf R with the six-speed manual is $45,385 or $46,185 for the seven-speed DSG. Pricing for 2023 is up just $200 from 2022 and includes the $1,095 freight charge from Wolfsburg, Germany.

The Golf R has transmission choices of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG, an automated manual transmission

The Golf R has transmission choices of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG.

Significant Golf R standard equipment includes: KESSY keyless access with push-button start; panoramic power tilt and slide sunroof; Nappa leather sport seats; a 12-way power driver’s seat with three-position memory; heated and ventilated front seats; Volkswagen Car-Net with Wi-Fi (requiring a data-plan subscription); a nine-speaker, 480-watt Harman/Kardon audio system with a 12-channel amplifier and subwoofer; and a head-up display, which is digitally projected onto the windshield.

For comparison, the front-wheel-drive Golf GTI uses a detuned version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder for 241 horsepower. And like the Golf R, there are choices for a six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Pricing for 2023 starts at about $30,180, and a 40th Anniversary Edition will arrive later.

Find current Volkswagen pricing and offers here.

2023 Golf R 20th Anniversary Model

A limited production Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition will go on sale this fall in tribute to 20 years of high-performance all-wheel-drive Golf models. The legacy began with the release of the Golf R32 (with a 3.2-liter V-6 engine). It debuted in Germany in 2002 and 2004 in the U.S.

The anniversary model is just $650 more than the standard Golf R, and is available with a manual or DSG transmission. Special features include 20th anniversary badging, blue “R” logos inside and out, carbon fiber interior accents, puddle lights at the side mirrors project a “20R” graphic, and gloss black 19-inch wheels. Around 1,800-anniversary models will be sent to the U.S. from Wolfsburg, Germany.

Golf R Performance Hardware

Dynamic Chassis Control. For particularly agile and accurate handling, the electronic DCC system can deliver individual wheel damping 200 times a second.

Ventilated disc brakes: 14.1-inch rotors at the front and 12.2-inch rotors at the rear. The two-piston, floating front calipers are cross-drilled and supported with aluminum hats for a 1.3-pound weight reduction. An electromechanical brake servo helps to sharpen pedal response and shortened braking distances in testing.

Metal-trimmed pedals are standard with a beefy footrest.

Metal-trimmed pedals are standard with a beefy footrest.

Driving Mode Selection. There are six pre-programmed modes of “Comfort,” “Sport,” “Race,” “Drift,” “Special,” and “Custom.” Each mode has a different steering heft and throttle response. Custom mode sets driver preferences for steering and throttle to their liking. The sportier modes have more aggressive shifts on cars with the DSG transmission.

“Drift” mode. In track-only drift mode, the torque vectoring system kicks off the drift by sending all available rear torque to the outside wheel. As a public safety incentive, the infotainment system displays a confirmation prompt that Drift mode will be used only on private roads.

Wheels and tires. 19-inch alloy wheels with Hankook Ventus S1evo-3 ultra-high performance summer tires, 235/35. The Hankooks have a very sticky treadwear rating of 340. These tires have no treadwear warranty; enjoy them but expect maybe 15,000 miles before it’s time to re-tire.

4Motion All-Wheel-Drive. Evolutionary improvements to Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system allow drive power to be transferred between the front and rear axles and the two rear wheels. The system activates before wheelspin occurs. The rear differential with two multi-plate clutches can distribute up to 100 percent of the rear torque to an individual rear wheel. In cornering, more power can be directed in milliseconds to the outside wheel, which tightens cornering and improves stability.

Other Golf R elements include:

  • R-specific multifunction sport steering wheel wrapped in leather with perforated inserts and a flat bottom, or “D” shape;
  • Golf R grille, bumpers, side skirts;
  • 2-piece rear spoiler;
  • Chrome-tipped quad exhaust;
  • Blue painted front brake calipers with R logo, and blue painted rear brake calipers;
  • Stainless steel pedal caps and footrest.
The flat-bottom Golf R sport steering wheel is heated with touch controls.

The flat-bottom Golf R sport steering wheel is heated with touch controls.

R is for Speed

The aerodynamicists and designers at Volkswagen worked to shape the Golf R in the wind tunnel. Each body panel was designed for unrestricted airflow, from its aero-optimized side mirrors and refined wheel-arch linings to its underbody paneling. Volkswagen says the Golf R displays an optimal combination of confident yet mature performance.

Subtle design elements separate the new Golf R from the Golf GTI. An accent line in “R” blue stretches across the grille, continuing through each headlamp and eventually merging with the fenders on the side of the vehicle. An illuminated crossbar underneath gives the Golf R an unmistakable light signature. It’s a badass image at night.

Car and Driver clocked 0-to-60 acceleration in a Golf R with DSG in 3.9 seconds. But more real-world is the strong pull from 30 to 50 mph and again at 65 and beyond.

The performance screen in the Golf shows six different modes, including Drift and Race

The Golf R has six performance modes, include Drift and Race.

Golf R Powertrain

Volkswagen considers the Golf R is an altogether different breed of Golf. In addition to being the performance benchmark of the Volkswagen lineup, the current Golf R is the most powerful production Golf ever.

In Golf R specification, the 2.0-liter EA888 evo4 engine produces 315 horsepower (using premium fuel) at 5,600 rpm. Peak torque ratings vary between manual and automatic. DSG models have 295 foot-pounds of torque at 2,000 rpm, and manual-equipped models produce 280 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,900 rpm.

The seven-speed DSG automatic transmission gearbox will stay in manual mode when in “Special” or “Drift” driving mode. And there is launch control.

Fuel economy ratings are based on fun per mile: 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and 23 mpg combined for the manual, and 23/30/26 for the DSG. Premium fuel is recommended. With the manual transmission, I quickly worked up to 30.6 mpg on the highway in Sport mode while enjoying every high-rev shift point around town.

A view of the 315 horsepower, 2.0-liter EA888 evo4 four cylinder engine.el) at 5,600 rpm.

The 2.0-liter EA888 evo4 engine produces 315 horsepower at 5,600 rpm.

Golf R Ride and Handling

VW engineering adds subtle refinement to how predictably the Golf R handles under pressure. Around town, the performance is school-carpool comfortable. But get down on the accelerator, and the demeanor shrugs off the lambskin for stick-and-stab wailing. Damn, that’s fun.

It is pure pleasure to feel the suspension make transitions in cornering and how the shift points knit under pressure. But upshifts between second and third can be notchy when in a rush. And the height difference between the brake and accelerator was not comfortable for me to make heel-toe shifts. However, the hill-holding clutch is will be of far more use to most enthusiasts.

Road harshness and noise are noticeable at speed, but that’s the nature of any high-performance car.

19-inch Hankook Ventus S1evo-3 ultra-high performance summer tires , 235/35

19-inch Hankook Ventus S1evo-3 ultra-high performance summer tires.

Interior Function

It is a handsome cabin with the black microsuede headliner and two-tone black and blue upholstery. The quality of materials reinforces the steep MSRP, and the quality of plastics is consistent from front to rear, top to bottom.

Were it not for the confounding 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, I’d give an A-grade for driver-area design. I’ve fumbled my way to a level of comfortable control on dozens of these digital systems. Still, it’s more of a process for the VW to switch from audio selections to

The driver-side door panel show the quality plastic and nonconventional trim pieces with a slight carbon-fiber look

Interior plastics and trim elements have a premium appearance, fit, and finish.

navigation and climate control. It takes just a swipe to move between settings. There are just a few physical buttons, including a slider for volume control. Changing fan speed requires a two-touch method to bring up the screen, either on the display screen or on a separate button just below the screen. Finding settings for temp or fan speed requires a couple of taps or swipes, which take eyes from the road.

Sightlines are open across the hood and fenders and slightly compromised over the shoulder at the wrap of the rear roof pillar.

The 12-way power driver seat has good thigh support with just modest side and bottom bolsters. The fit is secure in aggressive handling but without the scrunch on entry and exit.

Technically a midsize car, the Golf R has plenty of cabin width (almost 56 inches door to door) for comfortable shoulder and elbow room. But headroom of 38.5 inches with the pano sunroof might be a consideration for tall drivers.

Back-seat Legroom of 35 inches will be fine for the carpool.

Back-seat Legroom of 35 inches will be fine for the carpool.

Back Seat and Cargo Space

Legroom of 35 inches in the back seat will be acceptable for the carpool. But the cargo space transforms the Golf R from weekend warrior to weekend workhorse.

Fold the 60/40 split rear seatback for an almost flat cargo area of 34.5 cubic feet. But the big Harmon Kardon subwoofer in the cargo underfloor cancels the ability to drop the floor by a few inches.

A view of the cargo area with the back seats folded

Nearly flat cargo space is a Golf R asset with the folding rear seatback

Why Buy the VW Golf R?

The Golf R is an impressive collection of engineering. The body has much high-strength steel and solidity, adding to a sense of security and control.

All-wheel drive makes the Golf R feel heavier than its front-drive competitors. But the added lift of 315 horsepower lightens the effect. The turning circle of 39.3 feet is relatively wide, but such is the cost of high-performance greatness with AWD, a wheelbase of 103.5 inches, and 19-inch tires.

Like its German driving DNA, Golf performance is not trigger-happy but balanced and determined.

A rear view of the Golf R showing its rooftop spoiler and quad exhaust tips

Paint colors for the 2023 Golf R are Lapiz Blue Metallic, Deep Black Pearl, and Pure White.

VW Golf R Specifications

Body style: midsize, 5-seat, 5-door, AWD sport hatchback

Engine: 315-hp, turbocharged and intercooled, 16-valve 2.0-liter 4-cylinder; 280 lb.-ft. torque at 1,900 rpm (or 290 lb.-ft. at 2,000 rpm with automatic transmission

Transmission: 6-speed manual (optional seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic)

Fuel economy: 20/28/23 mpg city/hwy/combined (23/30/26 mpg automatic; premium fuel recommended

0-60 mph acceleration: 3.9 seconds per Car and Driver for the DSG model

BY THE NUMBERS

Fuel tank: 14.5 gallons

Cargo space: 19.9 to 34.5 cubic feet

Front head/leg room: 38.5/41.2 inches

Rear head/leg room: 38.1/35 inches

Length/wheelbase: 168.9/103.5 inches

Curb weight: 3,404 pounds (3,481 automatic)

Turning circle: 39.3 feet

FEATURES

Exterior standard equipment includes: power tilt-slide panoramic sunroof; 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires; automatic LED headlights-taillights-running lights; fog lights; integrated light bar in grille; side mirror puddle lights; illuminated door handle recesses; power (folding) side mirrors; rear window wiper and washer.

Golf R specific features: Golf R grille, side skirts, and trim, two-piece rear spoiler, chrome-tipped quad exhaust, blue-painted front brake calipers with R logo, blue-painted rear calipers

Interior standard equipment includes: Nappa-leather trimmed upholstery with blue accents and Golf R logo, leather-wrapped Golf R sport steering wheel with touch controls, Golf R interior with black microsuede headliner, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front sport seats, power driver’s seat, manually adjusted front passenger seat with power recline, rearview camera with guidance lines, USB data and charging ports, 3-zone automatic climate control with advanced air filter, rear seat climate control panel, adjustable back seat air vents, 60/40 split-folding back seat with ski pass-through, heated rear seats, lighted cargo area with an adjustable floor, multicolor ambient lighting, stainless-steel pedal covers and footrest, carpeted floor mats front and rear.

Technology and Convenience features: Volkswagen Digital Cockpit with 10.25-inch configurable display, adaptive cruise control, head-up display, dynamic road sign recognition, keyless access with push-button ignition, Discover Pro 10-inch touchscreen navigation and audio controls, Harmon Kardon audio system with center speaker and subwoofer, App-Connect smartphone integration via wireless and USB, Bluetooth phone and audio, wireless charging, electric parking brake.

Safety features include: 6 air bags, anti-slip regulation, engine-brake assist, hydraulic brake assist and brake-force distribution, stability and traction controls, automatic post-crash braking, park assist and park distance control front and rear, hill-hold control, high-beam control, Travel Assist semi-autonomous driving assist, lane assist lane keeping, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitor, rear traffic alert.

PRICING

Golf R manual base price: $45,185, including $1,095 freight charge

Options on test vehicle: none

Where assembled: Wolfsburg, Germany

Warranty: 4-years/50,000-miles; 3-years/36,000-miles roadside assistance, 2-years/20,000-miles free scheduled maintenance

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Lamborghini Debuts New Dealership Design Aesthetic In San Diego

Lamborghini Americas CEO Andrea Baldi attends Sept. 7 and 8 ribbon cutting for the redesigned Lamborghini San Diego showroom 

An exterior view of the Lamborghini San Diego dealership

Lamborghini debuted the new corporate identity and brand environment at Lamborghini San Diego, at 7440 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, Calif. (Lamborghini photo) 

VIP event follows record half-year sales for 2022

BY MARK MAYNARD

Lamborghini Americas CEO Andrea Baldi was in San Diego on Sept. 7 and 8 for the ribbon cutting of the redesigned Lamborghini San Diego showroom (O’Gara Coach) in La Jolla, Calif.

The new design aesthetic “affirms the brand’s commitment to its customers and new design direction for the future,” Lamborghini said in a statement.

The 4,430 square-foot retail space is more boutique than a typical automotive showroom, but Lamborghini’s presence is unmistakable. Like all Lamborghini models, the architectural treatment is thoroughly modern with polygonal geometric shapes, sharp forms, and diffused light and color.

Guests enjoying the dealership grand opening

The 4,430-square-foot retail space has a 360-degree client experience. (Mark Maynard photo)

Corporate Identity

The design treatment is in accordance with Lamborghini’s corporate identity, said San Diego Lamborghini General Manager Joe DeSantis. “All the U.S. dealers will have a similar look with consistent styling aspects.”

The exclusive event by VIP invitation drew around 120 potential intenders and showcased several special models. The new Urus Performante was displayed following its global debut last month at Monterey Car Week. Also showcased was the Pikes Peak record-breaking Urus in orange-and-black camo paint, still in its as-raced condition since the 100th mountain run in late June. Also on view were a Huracán Tecnica, in the electric green paint of Verde Selvan, and a Huracan STO (Super Trofeo Omologata), a street-drivable race car in a lighter shade of Verde Aries. Details below.

A display of fashion items and Lamborghini lifestyle accessories

The showroom includes an array of lifestyle accessories. (Mark Maynard photo)

Also open for perusing was the Ad Personam customization room. The space features bespoke options for paint colors, leathers, wheels, and carbon fiber accents. The idea is to have car buyers physically touch and play with combinations of colors and materials.

In the main show space are Lamborghini’s Collezione and Accessori Originali fashion offerings. Anyone can shop for clothing, lifestyle accessories, luggage, and collectibles like diecast Lamborghini models.

Introducing CEO Andrea Baldi

Andrea Baldi, 46, almost 47, was appointed last August as CEO of Automobili Lamborghini Americas. He is responsible for the company’s commercial operations in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. Among the region, there are 48 Lamborghini dealers.

He lives in Maryland within distance of the VW Group headquarters in Herndon, Va., and Washington, D.C. He is married with two daughters, ages 17 and 9. Baldi grew up in Bologna, Italy, near Lamborghini and Ducati manufacturing in Sant’Agata Bolognese.

Lamborghini Americas CEO Andrea Baldi at Lamborghini San Diego

Lamborghini Americas CEO Andrea Baldi. (Mark Maynard photo)

He began his career with Ducati (a VW Group subsidiary) and has had work stints in New York and at Ducati’s U.S. headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., per an interview in Robb Report

He moved with his family to Shanghai, China, in 2008, where he was responsible for sales in the Asia Pacific market.

Baldi joined Lamborghini in 2010 and relocated to Singapore and then Beijing as the general manager for mainland China and, soon, all of Asia Pacific. In 2018, his career with Lamborghini advanced, managing a second region, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Supply Chain Shortages

“I’ve been extremely lucky,” Baldi said. “Demand is above supply, and it is demand we have never seen.”

His biggest challenge today is keeping customers engaged until new Lamborghinis become available.

The United States continues as Lamborghini’s No. 1 market globally, with 1,521 vehicles delivered in the first half of 2022. Within the brand’s top region, California is the best performing market, representing 23 percent of total U.S. sales, followed by Florida at 15 percent.

But will the momentum continue? At this time, there are no new Lamborghinis for sale in any dealership in the U.S., Baldi said in an interview at the San Diego dealership opening. And worse, the shortage of new Lamborghinis is expected to last for the next 1 ½ to 2 years. Dealerships are buying up preowned vehicles to resell.

The lack of available new models has less to do with the microchip shortage and has more to due with the demand being so high, said dealership GM DeSantis in an email. “The Lamborghini models are in such high demand that our current waitlist for new vehicles is anywhere from 1-2 years, depending on the model.”

An image with Lamborghini San Diego General Manager Joe DeSantis receives a grand-opening silhouette model from Lamborghini CEO Americas Andrea Baldi and signed by Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann.

Lamborghini San Diego General Manager Joe DeSantis receives a grand-opening silhouette model from Lamborghini CEO Americas Andrea Baldi and signed by Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann. (Mark Maynard photo)

Lamborghini Electrification

The Italian manufacturer of supercars is at a shift point of change. Baldi said that the company is in its last year of selling only pure combustion engines in its sports cars. According to Automotive News, Lamborghini has allocated $1.7 billion for the shift to plug-in hybrids.

The iconic brand of super sports cars will launch its first hybrid model, possibly a plug-in, in 2023 as it moves to electrify its entire lineup by 2025. And with that electrification, Baldi said there would be a full battery-electric Urus SUV by 2028.

While Lamborghini is hybridizing its lineup, the company is celebrating the combustion engine to its end, Baldi said: “For a Lamborghini buyer, it is less about the price and more about value.”

New Lamborghini Models

Huracán Tecnica

The Huracan Tecnica, in Verde Aries paint.

The Huracan Tecnica, in Verde Aries paint. (Mark Maynard photo)

The Tecnica is the latest evolution of the V10-powered Huracan since the nameplate debuted in 2014. The 640-hp, rear-wheel drive car with rear-wheel steering can accelerate to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds. Pricing starts at $239,000.

Huracan STO

a Huracan STO (Super Trofeo Omologata), a street-drivable race car in a lighter shade of Verde Aries

a Huracan STO (Super Trofeo Omologata), a street-drivable race car in a lighter shade of Verde Aries. (Mark Maynard photo)

Beneath its somewhat familiar exterior is an all-new street-homologated race car. The Lamborghini Huracán STO — Super Trofeo Omologata — is a collaboration with Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s one-make race series with Huracán Super Trofeo EVO. It has technical features of rear-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering, a wider wheel track, and Lamborghini’s MagneRide 2.0 suspension.

Its 5.2-liter V-10 engine produces 640 horsepower and 417 foot-pounds of peak torque at 6,500 rpm. Lamborghini says that the Huracan STO will accelerate to 62 mph in 3 seconds.

With an aluminum and carbon fiber body, the Huracan STO has a dry curb weight of 2,951 pounds. (Carbon fiber is used in more than 75 percent of its exterior panels, Lamborghini says.) Pricing starts at $327,838.

Urus Performante

The Lamborghini urus that raced Pikes Peak

The Pikes Peak record-breaking Lamborghini Urus, still in its as-raced condition since the 100th mountain run in late June. (Mark Maynard photo)

Lamborghini’s big SUV recently tackled the 156 bends of Pikes Peak in 10:32.064, beating the previous 2018 record set by the Bentley Bentayga (10:49.902) by 17.838 seconds. The Urus Performante is wider, lower, and almost 104 pounds lighter for competition. Some light-weighting comes from using a sophisticated steel suspension rather than the standard air suspension. And with a body comprised of aluminum and composite materials, including a lot of carbon fiber, the Performante has a dry weight of 4,739 pounds.

The Performante’s uprated, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine has 627 hp and 627 lb.-ft. torque from 2,300-4,500 rpm. With all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, Lamborghini cites 0-62 mph acceleration in 3 seconds. Pricing for the 2023 Lamborghini Urus Performante starts in the U.S. at $260,676, excluding the shipping fee and gas guzzler tax. However, Baldi said there is a 1 ½-year wait for Urus Performante, and its limited production will be sold in just a few weeks.

Learn more about Lamborghini here. Contact Lamborghini San Diego here. And read more Lamborghini reports in Maynard’s Garage.

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Chevrolet Bolt EUV Review

There is much to like about the simple usability of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, especially its high-value pricing

A horizontal side view of the Bolt EUV somewhere on a beach

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is sold in four front-wheel-drive trim levels. Starting prices range from about $28,000 to $33,190, including the $995 freight charge from Lake Orion, Mich. (Photos courtesy of Chevrolet or as noted)

Table of Contents

Overview
Range and Charging
Bolt Recalls
Pricing
Information About Bolt Tax Credits
Interior Function
Performance and One-Pedal Driving
Ride and Handling
Super Cruise Technology, Confusion
Why Buy the Chevrolet Bolt EUV?
Specifications

BY MARK MAYNARD

Six inches can be pretty satisfying when trying to make the best impression — especially when it’s in the back seat of a Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

The extended-length Bolt “Electric Utility Vehicle” was added for the 2022 model year, following the original Bolt’s debut in 2017. Both models share a battery-electric front-motor and front-wheel drive layout. The small SUV crossover has five seats, four doors, and a rear liftgate. The design of both models features a high-strength-steel frame and aluminum front fenders, hood, door, and liftgate.

Both versions of Chevrolet Bolt use the same powertrain:

• A 65-kWh nickel-lithium-ion high-voltage battery

• Variable-speed automatic transmission

• A permanent magnet 150-kWh drive motor

The shorter Bolt EV has an EPA-estimated driving range of 259 miles. The Bolt EUV, heavier by 90 pounds, has a range estimate of 247 miles.

Among the Bolt competitors for size, electric driving range, and pricing are the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV.

The Bolt has roomy front seat area has tall headroom of 40 inches.

The roomy front seat area has tall headroom of 40 inches.

Chevrolet Bolt EUV Overview

Designing the Bolt EUV freshened the front-end styling which was also applied to the standard Bolt. But no exterior sheet metal parts are shared between the two vehicles.

The new body style is about 6 inches longer than the standard model on a wheelbase stretched by 2.9 inches. And back seat legroom grew by 3.1 inches, now at 39.2.

The new interior includes a flat-bottom steering wheel that incorporates the Regen on Demand paddle.

A view of the 8-inch color driver information center.

A view of the 8-inch color driver information center.

 Bolt Range and Charging

With every new Bolt EUV, Chevrolet includes a dual-level charge cord. It has a changeable plug that can be used with a household 120-volt three-prong outlet for Level 1 charging. Or change ends to plug into a 240-volt NEMA 14-50 amp outlet for 7.7kW Level 2 charging (the charge rate of many home EV chargers). For many Bolt owners, however, the dual cable function could eliminate the need to buy and install a home charger.

For maximum Level 2 charging speed, both Bolt models are capable of 11kW Level 2 charging, but only with a higher-capacity charger.

  • Level 1 120-volt charging will add about 4 miles of range per hour of charge.
  • Level 2 240-volt charging (with the dual-level charge cord) will add about 25 miles of range per hour of charge, with a full charge in about 10 hours.

Chevrolet will cover standard installation through Qmerit for Level 2 home charging. The offer is good whether leasing or purchasing a Bolt model.

And Chevrolet EV owners also have access to more than 80,000 chargers in North America through the Energy feature in the myChevrolet app. There are several other access points to the app, including:

  • Route planning and locations of available charging stations along the way.
  • Real-time alerts about range.
  • Click-to-charge payment for public charging.

Chevrolet Bolt Recalls

There is much to like about the simple usability of the Chevrolet Bolt or Bolt EUV, including their high-value pricing. Unfortunately, it was smacked down last year with a significant recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM had to recall all 143,000 Bolt and Bolt EUV models because of a battery manufacturing defect that increased fire risk. Korea-based LG Energy Solutions makes the lithium-ion batteries.

GM quickly found two manufacturing defects in the battery cells: a torn anode tab and folded separator. GM said that in some rare circumstances, the defects could lead to a battery fire.

The remedy is to replace entire battery packs or selected battery modules. Progress has been slow, and other occasional electrical glitches have been noted, according to comments on the many Bolt-owner websites. Among my sources were ChevyBolt.org and the Chevy Bolt Owners Facebook page.

Says General Motors: “We continue to prioritize battery module replacements for customers and are making progress every day. Customers who have completed the most recent software update can charge their [Bolt] battery to 100 percent capacity.”

Federal law requires automakers to provide hybrid battery warranty coverage of 8 years or 100,000 miles. But California requires a warranty length of 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Check here for Chevrolet information on the Bolt recall.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to NHTSA.gov.

Chevrolet Bolt Pricing

For 2023, the 2023 Bolt EV is available in two trim levels: 1LT and 2LT, with starting prices of $26,595 and $29,795.

The 2023 Bolt EUV is available in four trim levels: LT, LT Redline, Premier, and Premier Redline. New for 2023, the Redline treatment includes black wheels with red accents, black leather-trimmed upholstery with red stitching, and a horizontal red line on exterior mirror caps. The Redline is available with no-cost paint colors of Mosaic Black Metallic, Silver Flare Metallic, or Summit White.

2023 Bolt EUV starting prices are $28,195 for the LT; $28,690 for the LT Redline; $32,695 for Premier, and $33,190 for Premier Redline. All Bolt MSRPs include the $995 freight charge from Lake Orion, Mich.

 Chevrolet Bolt Tax Incentives

Congress recently passed new legislation in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The law changes credit amounts and requirements for clean energy vehicles, according to FuelEconomy.gov. Among the new requirements to qualify for a federal EV tax incentive, the vehicle’s final assembly has to be completed in North America.

In regard to the federal EV tax credit for the Chevrolet Bolt, General Motors is waiting on full Treasury guidance to determine vehicle eligibility. However, the IRA requirements make an important modification to the EV tax credit: It lifts the 200,000-vehicle-volume cap, which GM had already hit as an early mover on EVs.

According to GM’s latest statement on the federal EV tax credit provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act: “We think the legislation aligns very well with GM’s long-term plans, and over the life of the credit, we intend to offer a number of vehicles that should be eligible.

“While some of the provisions are challenging and cannot be achieved overnight, we are confident we can rise to the challenge because of the domestic manufacturing investments we are making to secure a supply chain for batteries and critical minerals,” GM said in the statement. “We will have more updates after the implementing guidance is finalized.”

For updates, check with your Chevrolet dealership or FuelEconomy.gov

Chevy Bolt Standard Equipment

There is no shortage of standard equipment on the base LT model. Among its safety features are 10 air bags, an electric parking brake, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.

LT convenience features include keyless entry and starting with remote start, six-way manually adjusted front seats, wireless phone charging, USB type A and C charge ports, six-speaker audio system, HD rearview camera with guidance lines, and wireless capability for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The 8-inch color driver-information center (gauges) has a choice of visual themes for Modern or Enhanced. And there is a screen that includes displays of vehicle efficiency with programmable charge times.

The Premier tester was $37,390 with the two major factory option packages of Sun and Sound ($2,495) and Super Cruise, $2,200. Details are below in the specifications chart.

Bolt EUV Premier adds such extras as perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. Safety technologies include rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rear camera mirror (digital), HD surround-view camera system, and lane change alert with side blind zone alert.

Find current pricing and special offers for the 2022 and 2023 Bolt EUV here.

A view of the Bolt shift console and upper infotainment system screen

Bolt electronics are not intimidating but facilitating.

Bolt EUV Interior Function

The Bolt EUV has big-and-tall head and leg room for a subcompact-class SUV.

Front headroom is large-vehicle tall at 40 inches as a hardtop or 39.1 inches with the dual-panel panoramic power sunroof, part of the $2,495 Sun and Sand package.

Legroom in the front seats is a lengthy 44.3 inches. There is comfortable seating for a 6-foot-6 passenger who has uncropped visibility out the windshield or having to steeply recline the seatback.

Back seat roominess benefits from a completely flat floor. While the rear legroom is long, the bench seat bottom is short for adult thigh support. But it works well for the school carpool or ride-hailing.

Cargo space is just a few tenths smaller than the standard Bolt. The space measures 16.3 cubic feet behind the back seat or 56.9 cu. ft. with the 60/40 back folded. The cargo entry opening is wide at 41 inches with multi-level capacity. Subfloor storage beneath the second level neatly stores the charging cables. Fold the back seat for 5 feet in length. And the roof rack is low enough to load bikes or other awkward-shaped gear that won’t fit inside.

Interior Design

Chevrolet interiors have a premium mix of plastics and other textured materials, all of which are in the Bolt.

The driver area is simply designed and straightforward to use. The technologies, such as the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus touchscreen, are not intimidating but facilitating. Its 10.2-inch-wide screen is easily viewed, and there should be no frustration for tech beginners to page through the choices.

Especially welcome are physical switches for many cabin functions, such as fan speed, temp control, and seat heating and ventilation.

Driver sightlines are unencumbered at the side mirrors or over the shoulder. And in between, the Premier’s surround-view camera system gives overhead and front or rear views. It is salvation when inching out of tight parking to see when it is time to crank the steering wheel.

The Bolt EUV back seat

Short bench but long legroom of 39.2 inches in the Bolt EUV.

Performance and One-Pedal Driving

There is enjoyable kick to the Bolt EUV performance with its 200 horsepower and 266 foot-pounds of torque. For most of my test week, I nursed the battery reserve by driving in Normal mode. And then I found Sport mode, which changed my perspective. Sport mode adds a line-drive response to acceleration. It is not blunt-force fun, but Chevy cites an estimated acceleration to 60 mph in 7 seconds and 6.9 for the slightly shorter Bolt EV.

With a Level 2 charger at home and the freedom to charge at will, I felt empowered to enjoy the quickness of Sport mode. And, in my experience, it was not a significant drain on the battery. The quick zip is enjoyable around town and essential to guard your line in commuter traffic.

The 200-hp Bolt powertrain

The 200-hp Bolt powertrain. (Mark Maynard)

One-Pedal Driving

I especially enjoy the feature of one-pedal driving, the so-called e-Pedal. The driver can slow or stop the Bolt using only the accelerator pedal under most conditions. And at the same time, the system recaptures energy for the battery.

In time, drivers can anticipate their stopping distance and lift off the accelerator to stop precisely at the intersection. The function does not eliminate the need to use the brake pedal altogether, especially in emergencies. But using one-pedal driving reduces the switching back and forth between pedals, which can take away from the electric driving range.

The one-pedal function can be switched off at the shift-console button. Sometimes when inching along in heavy traffic or when parking, the e-Pedal operation can be jerky.

When one-pedal is not engaged, the driver can get manually applied regeneration by using the Regen on Demand paddle at the back of the steering wheel. Pulling the regen paddle activates the regeneration process, piping kinetic energy to the battery.

Bolt EUV Ride and Handling

For a tall and small SUV, the Bolt EUV rolls with uncommon smoothness and no choppiness on the interstate. The suspension is simple but well-engineered of front MacPherson struts with a solid stabilizer bar and a rear torsion beam with coil springs.

The driver might notice the heft of the curb weight, 3,715 pounds, with the 947-pound battery. But I experienced no bottoming-out in dips are sensitivity to chin scrapes at driveways.

The suspension has a comfort-ride composure, but the Bolt EUV is steady in evasive maneuvers or hard braking. Its turning circle of 38.3 feet is nimble enough in cramped parking or making a U-turn on a side street.

Regenerative four-wheel-disc braking has vented 11-inch front rotors and 10-inch solid rotors rear. There is good steering response and little noise or road harshness transmitted by the 17-inch Michelin Energy Saver Selfseal (215/50).

And the Bolts are dolly towable behind a motorhome.

Super Cruise Technology

The 2022 Bolt EUV is the first Chevrolet offered with Super Cruise, a so-called hands-free driver assistance technology for enabled roads. The assist system can be used on more than 200,000 miles of enabled roads in the U.S. and Canada.

Super Cruise employs many advanced technology features, including a Driver Attention System and precision LiDAR map data. The Driver Attention System uses a small camera on the top of the steering column. It works with infrared lights to determine where the driver is looking whenever Super Cruise is in operation.

If the Driver Attention System detects the driver’s gaze has turned away from the road ahead for too long, the steering wheel light bar will prompt the driver to return their attention to the road. If the system determines continued inattentiveness, it will use visible and audible alerts to notify the driver to take back control of the wheel.

I don’t like surprises while driving, and semi-autonomous or fully autonomous systems always inject a little surprise into the driving experience. In my experiences with Super Cruise, I consider it a good hands-on driver-assist system — and I always drive with my hands poised near the steering wheel.

Super Cruise Confusion

Like many driver-assist systems, Super Cruise is not precise in lane centering. At times, the system would issue alerts when the Bolt EUV crossed into the white lines of lane delineation — but it did not cross over completely.

It was a prior testing experience that really put me on guard. While testing a GMC Sierra with the hands-free system, Super Cruise misread the road ahead.

Along a section of Interstate 5 north of downtown San Diego near the state Route 52 exit toward La Jolla, the interstate runs beneath SR52 as it merges with the interstate. The divided highway of SR52 cast two bold shadows across I-5. Approaching the underpass at 65 mph, Super Cruise must have thought the dark shadows were solid objects. The system applied full braking force at the first shadow crossing the interstate. It could not have stopped the truck, as the Sierra crossed the first shadow, it resumed heavy acceleration. Then, just a few yards beyond it came upon the second shadow, and Super Cruise again slammed on the brakes.

Fortunately, in both incidents the highway behind was clear for several car lengths.

I took over steering as my pounding heart rate settled down. The Super Cruise system also shut down and gave a message that the dealership should examine the vehicle.

While testing Super Cruise in the Bolt EUV, I covered the same interstate route to see what would happen. It was a cloudy day, but the system still applied braking but less firmly at the lighter shadows.

If I were buying a Bolt EUV, I’d pass on the $2,200 Super Cruise option and enjoy the standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go.

Fold the Bolt's 60/40 folding back seat for about 5 feet in length.

Fold the 60/40 folding back seat for about 5 feet in length. (Mark Maynard)

Why Buy the Chevrolet Bolt EUV?

The Chevrolet Bolt EUV is not a lifestyle statement. It is a life choice — and a smart one. It has the familiar operation of a traditional car but elevated by electric power.

There are many compact SUV EVs that are theaters of dazzling electronic tech. And most of those can cost $50,000 and a lot more.

The Bolts are an uncompromising first step into the future of battery-electric vehicles.

The second level of Bolt subfloor storage.

The Bolt EUV’s second level of subfloor storage. (Mark Maynard)

The third level of Bolt subfloor storage for storing the charge cable

Charging cables and Super Cruise brain in the lowest cargo subfloor. (Mark Maynard)

Chevrolet Bolt EUV Specifications

Body style: subcompact, 5-door, 5-seat, front-wheel drive battery-electric SUV crossover

Transmission: 1-speed automatic with one-pedal drive and Sport mode

BATTERY SYSTEM

Battery: 65 kWh lithium-ion of 288 cells

Weight: 947 pounds

ELECTRIC DRIVE

Type: Single motor and gearset

Motor: 200-hp permanent magnetic drive motor; 266 lb.-ft. torque

Driving range: EPA-estimated 247 miles on a full charge

0-60 mph acceleration: 7 seconds, using Sport mode

CHARGING TIMES

120 volt: 4 miles of range per hour

240 volt, 32 amps (dual charge cord): 25 miles of range per hour; full charge in about 10 hours

240 volt, 48 amps: 37 miles of range per hour; full charge in about 7 hours

DC fast charge: up to 95 miles in 30 minutes

EPA fuel economy equivalent: 125/104 city/hwy MPGe

BY THE NUMBERS

Cargo space: 16.3-56.9 cubic feet

Front head/leg room: 39.1*/44.3 inches *40 inches w/o sunroof

Rear head/leg room: 37.8/39.2 inches

Length/wheelbase: 169.7/105.3 inches

Curb weight: 3,715 pounds

Turning circle: 38.3 feet

FEATURES

Standard equipment includes: smart key locking and push-button ignition, remote start, Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus with 10.2-inch wide HD color touch screen with voice recognition, electric parking brake, Bluetooth phone and audio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable, in-vehicle apps, wireless charging, efficiency display screens with programable charge times, perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-inch driver-information display, sliding visors with lighted vanity mirrors, 8-way power driver seat with 2-way lumbar, 6-way manual front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, HD surround-view camera system, solar-absorbing glass, LED headlights-taillights-daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels with carbon flash painted pockets, heated and power adjusted side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, rear wiper-washer.

Safety features include: 8 air bags; stability and traction controls; lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear park assist (standard on Premier and available on LT).

Chevy Safety Assist includes automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, following-distance indicator, forward collision alert, and IntelliBeam auto high beams.

PRICING

Bolt EUV Premier base price: $32,695 including $995 freight charge; price as tested $43,690

Options on test vehicle: Sun and Sound package, $2,495, includes 7-speaker Bose audio system, power dual-panel sunroof with power sunshade, Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus with navigation;

Super Cruise, $2,200, includes 3-years of Super Cruise connectivity and enhanced automatic emergency braking.

Where assembled: Lake Orion, Mich.

Warranties: 3-years/36,000-miles basic bumper to bumper; free first scheduled maintenance service; 8-years/100,000-miles electric propulsion components (but 10-years/150,000-miles in California); 5 years/60,000 miles roadside assistance and courtesy vehicle when serviced

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Jeep Grand Wagoneer Review

 The 2022 Wagoneer will become a portfolio of vehicles that redefines ‘American premium,’ Jeep says

The Grand Wagoneer in Midnight Blue paint.

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is sold in four trim levels with all-wheel drive. Starting prices range from $89,995 to $109,995, including the $2,000 freight charge from the Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly Plant. (Photos courtesy of Stellantis)

Table of Contents

Wagoneer History
The Modern Wagoneer
2023 Hurricane Engine and L models
Pricing
Putting the Grand in Wagoneer
10 Cool Features
Performance and Ride and Handling
Wagoneer Client Services
10 Customer Promises
Why Buy the Grand Wagoneer?
Specifications

BY MARK MAYNARD

Jeep ballsied its way into the fray of large, body-on-frame SUVs with its 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. This segment of full-size, seven- to eight-passenger truck-based utes are friendly titans, and throwbacks to what were once just big family wagons.

For years the segment was a three-way competition, dominated by the Chevrolet Suburban (and Tahoe), Ford Expedition, and Nissan Armada. And their luxury variants.

According to GoodCarBadCar.net Second quarter U.S. sales of big SUVs, including the Suburban-based GMC Yukon, totaled 63,061.

And there is big money in big SUVs. So far in 2022, transaction prices on average have ranged from the mid-$60,000s to around $105,000, including the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade ESV.

Dinosaur or Dynamic?

The full-size SUV market has remained strong despite headwinds in the form of rising prices, scarce supply, and high fuel prices, said Ed Kim, president and chief analyst at AutoPacific, Inc. The automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm has offices in Long Beach, Calif., Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.

“Outside of families who need the space and towing capacity of a full-size body-on-frame SUV, full-size SUVs are increasingly popular among livery customers,” Kim said. “As full-size premium sedans like the Lincoln Town Car and Cadillac XTS have disappeared from their respective brands’ portfolios, livery customers have had to look elsewhere.

Kim said that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are very well executed full-size SUVs that are extremely competitive and, in some ways, better than the incumbents. “With their classy and very well-finished interiors, they will certainly impress any livery customers fortunate enough to ride in one.

“The Jeep brand has been pushing itself further upscale, so there certainly would be no brand deficit to using a Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer as a livery vehicle,” Kim said in email correspondence. “Livery firms now have another very appealing choice in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, so there’s no doubt they will find an audience in the livery market.”

The standard and long wheel base models of Wagoneer back to back

2022 Grand Wagoneer (left) and 2023 Grand Wagoneer L (right)

Wagoneer History

The brought-back Wagoneer nameplate continues in the original model’s uplevel presentation. The first-generation Jeep Wagoneer debuted in 1962 for the 1963 model year. Jeep says it the Wagoneer was the first four-wheel-drive vehicle mated to an automatic transmission.

Compared with the more utilitarian Jeep Cherokee, the first-generation Wagoneer was engineered for better ride quality, a more stylish appearance, and a luxurious interior. An independent front suspension was optional. Quadra-Trac, the first automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system, was introduced in 1973.

The Grand Wagoneer debuted in 1984 and marked the beginning of the luxury SUV. Jeep called it “the gold standard of the SUV market.” It was made special by leather upholstery, air conditioning, AM-FM-CB stereo radios, additional sound insulation, and wood-grain exterior trim. Jeep said the Grand Wagoneer’s 175-horsepower 360-cubic-inch V-8 engine had the segment’s highest towing rating.

A 1975 Jeep Wagoneer with simulated wood-panel sides.

A 1975 Jeep Wagoneer.

The Modern Wagoneer

The Jeep division of parent-company Stellantis took its sweet time to re-enter the fray, but it plays by its own rules. Jeep has elevated the format with comprehensive advanced technologies and premium materials.

The posh interior treatment of the Grand Wagoneer reminds of midcentury modern Chrysler. Everything about the interior and styling is over-the-top. The design and engineering have the weighty feel of quality. And its engineering teems with advanced technologies that are not fearsome to learn or use.

Stellantis Design Chief Ralph Gilles says the Grand Wagoneer was done the American way. “The first impression is that everything is so beautifully done,” he said in a video overview.

Jeep says the Wagoneer will become a portfolio of vehicles that redefines “American premium” while delivering a unique customer experience. The customer experience will include 10 promises and Wagoneer Client Services.

A front right 22 inch Goodyear Eagle tire on the Grand Wagoneer

Significant tire patch from the 22-inch Goodyear Eagle grand touring tires (285/45).

Wagoneer Foundation

The Wagoneer foundation is sourced from the Ram 1500 pickup, but any comparisons stop there. There are no shared body panels or other common parts that can be seen and touched. The Wagoneer format is a separator from the competition, which starts with a finished pickup truck engineered for hard work first and luxury second.

The current sales plan features two models, Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer that fill mainstream and luxury categories. Both models have a third row and seating for up to eight. For 2022, both models are V8-powered, but that changes for 2023:

2022 Wagoneer uses a 392 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine. It has the next generation of eTorque 48-volt hybrid with fuel-saving technologies of cylinder deactivation and variable cam timing. Rear-wheel drive is standard rear-wheel drive or there are three options of 4WD systems. The rear-drive Wagoneer has fuel-economy ratings of 16/22/18 mpg city/highway/combined; and 15/20/17 mpg for 4WD. Midgrade fuel is recommended.

2022 Grand Wagoneer features a 471-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 also with cylinder deactivation and variable cam timing. Four-wheel-drive fuel-economy ratings are 13/18/15 mpg using the recommended premium fuel.

Each engine mates to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Agave blue interior of the Grand Wagoneer

The Blue Agave interior with quilted Palermo leather.

2023 Hurricane Engine and L Models

Long-wheelbase models for both series of Wagoneer will be introduced for the 2023 model year. The additional 12 inches in overall length went to more rear-seat legroom and cargo capacity. With both rows of seats folded, there is room to slide in a few sheets of 4-by-8-foot plywood, Jeep says.

A new family of Hurricane inline six-cylinder engines will trim fuel use and maintain horsepower. The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engines have two power levels:

The 420-hp Hurricane in the Wagoneer L has 468 foot-pounds of torque. The heavier Grand Wagoneer gets the high-output Hurricane twin-turbo 510, with 510-hp and 500 lb.-ft. of torque.

Jeep says a run of the Hurricane twin-turbo 510 engine will be available on the 2022 Grand Wagoneer. Ordering is now open for the $2,000 engine option. Rear-drive models have mileage ratings of 15/21/17 mpg on the recommended premium fuel.

Also new for 2023 is the Wagoneer L Carbide with a black theme. Special features include gloss black wheels, black grille, gloss black mirror, and headlamp trim. The interior has a technical hydrographic instrument panel trim and door panels with gloss black seats.

A Wagonner Carbide emphasizing black elements

A 2023 Wagoneer L Carbide. Turn-key for limo service.

2022 Wagoneer Pricing

The 2022 Wagoneer is sold in six trim levels of Series I, Series II, Series III and three series of the Carbide model. Starting prices for the standard rear-drive Wagoneer range from about $61,000 to $76,000. Carbide models range in price from $66,490 to $80,190; add $3,000 for 4WD.

The 2022 Grand Wagoneer is sold in four trim levels, all with four-wheel drive: Series I, Series II, Obsidian, and Series III.

Series I starts at $89,995, Series II at $99,995, Obsidian at $105,490, and Series III at $109,995. All MSRPs include the $2,000 freight charge from the Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly Plant.

The Grand Wagoneer Series III tester was $116,720. It was nearly fully loaded with factory options and included: Midnight Sky metallic paint $645; Customer preferred package 23W $995; rear-seat entertainment group $2,195; 22-inch machined aluminum wheels with black noise pockets $1,595; and embossed metal interior accents $1,295.

There was a $1,500 bonus cash allowance for both Wagoneer models. See current Grand Wagoneer pricing here.

The passenger side 10.25 inch wide touch screen of controls

The passenger-side 10.25-inch touchscreen.

Safety Features

Standard safety features include eight air bags, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active lane management, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, and intersection collision assist.

A black and white image of the night vision camera

The Night Vision Camera is especially useful where there are no street lights.

Putting the Grand in Wagoneer

The Grand Wagoneer will stand tall — and long — among the luxury-class competitors. The standard wheelbase models of Wagoneer are about 4 inches longer than their closest competitors. Among the competing luxury SUVs are the BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Land Rover Range Rover, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

The Grand Wagoneer cabin is rich in comfort, with grandstand views. Jeep tried to ensure a quiet cabin with an acoustic laminated windshield, front door glass, laminated rear glass, and active noise canceling through the audio system. It is an engineering marvel for this towering beast to power along the highway in such traffic-calmed style.

From the suede headliner to the full-weave carpeting, The Grand Wagoneer’s list of standard equipment might be the longest I’ve had to itemize for any vehicle I’ve tested. Power door-closers and heated armrests might be the only missing luxe perks.

The entire list is in the specifications at the end of this review, but here are a few of the standout luxury basics:

Quilted Palermo leather-trimmed massaging seats, 20-way power adjustable front seats, suede headliner, natural walnut interior trim, second-row captain’s chairs with power tilt and slide, heated and ventilated front and second-row seats, luxury front and rear floor mats, reversible cargo mat, foldable cargo shade. There also is a new Uconnect 5 Navigation and infotainment system with voice command, a 360-degree surround-view camera system, and a 23-speaker McIntosh entertainment system.

A digital rearview camera mirror is standard, but I can’t use it with my eyeglasses. When I look at the digital mirror, it takes a second or two for my eyes to focus. But the mirror can be switched to the low-tech original.

Power running boards lower to a convenient step-aboard height.

Power running boards lower to a convenient step-aboard height.

10 Cool Grand Wagoneer Features

Some of my favorite Grand Wagoneer features:

Power running boards. These lower to a convenient step-aboard height, particularly with the air suspension’s lowered ride height when parked. Too often, running boards create too much of a step and are awkward to use. The design of the boards forms the rocker panel, so legs do not rub on dirty metal.

Power-adjustable pedals (with memory sets). Adjustable pedals are a safety feature to help dial in a secure seating position for drivers of all sizes. The pedals are assets with the power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Rear seat monitoring camera. The overhead split-screen view of the second row is mainly to keep an eye on a child’s seat, or two — or a pet.

Power folding and reclining second- and third-row seats. How convenient to have this function for loading kids or cargo. And with power switches in the cargo area to fold the second row or fold and raise the third row.

Tri-pane panoramic sunroof and sunshade. The span of glass is dramatic, particularly for those in the second and third rows.

Roof rack with crossbars. Roof-rack crossbars are typically an added cost, but these are standard and store neatly below the cargo floor. Storing the crossbars when not needed helps trim wind noise.

11 USB ports. Let’s hope the USB port does not soon become obsolete. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoner have eight USB ports, of the dual C-type and standard style. The count goes to 11 with the rear entertainment system.

Night Vision camera with pedestrian and animal detection. This type of system is an asset in areas without street lights. But it is a little odd visually to see the smallish X-ray-like presentation in the driver-info display.

Back seat passengers can view streaming TV and movies on the optional Rear Seat Entertainment system

The Rear Seat Entertainment system, $1,295, features two 10.1-inch touchscreens for streaming movies, apps, and Fire TV for Auto.

Wagoneer Screen Envy

There are nearly 45 inches of display screens along the front instrument panel. Among the inch count are the 12.3-inch-wide instrument cluster, and a 12-inch horizontal touchscreen to access audio, navigation, apps, and views from the 360-degree camera. Just below is a 10.25-inch horizontal display for cabin controls. Then push a button, and the screen rotates to reveal the media hub with two dual USB ports, aux-in, and the wireless charging pad.

To empower the front passenger, the Grand Wagoneer includes a 10.25-inch-wide passenger screen. The access has four primary functions:

  • Co-Pilot (navigation and device management);
  •  Entertainment (via HDMI or rear seat entertainment control);
  •  The ability to view the exterior vehicle cameras;
  •  Fire TV for Auto.  It is possible to start a movie at home and finish it in the Grand Wagoneer.

And there is a 10.25-inch rear screen in the second row to adjust temp, fan, airflow, and seat heating and ventilating controls.

The Rear Seat Entertainment system, $2,195, features Amazon Fire TV built-in. Second-row passengers can stream TV, movies, and apps on two 10.1-inch touch screens on the seatbacks.

In total, there are 75 inches of display screens.

Performance and Ride and Handling

The big 6.4-liter V-8 hits its power stride with a peak of 455 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. The eight-speed automatic rolls smoothly through gear changes while showing respect to stretching fuel economy. Sport mode steps up off-the-line force but not aggressively.

Fuel economy is challenged. The best I could get was 13.3 mpg on a long highway run. Owners will not enjoy filling the 26.5-gallon tank, but they will enjoy every mile it provides.

A hood-up view of the 6.4-lter V-8 engine.

Grand Wagoneer’s 471-hp, 6.4-liter V-8. (Mark Maynard photo)

Ride and Handling

Road tripping in a Grand Wagoneer Series III is a first-class cruiseliner experience. There is headroom and legroom for 6-foot-6 tall adults in the first and second rows. And the second-row captain’s recline and are heated and ventilated.

The ride quality is supple, and some might consider it too soft in road undulations. But there is very little wind or tire noise at highway speeds. And the tire patch is significant from 22-inch Goodyear Eagle grand touring tires (285/45).

Four-wheel-disc stopping power is absolute and necessary when controlling three-plus tons. The front brakes have 14.88-inch vented rotors, and the solid rear rotors are 14.76 inches.

At 6,420 pounds, the Grand Wagoneer is at least 300 to 800 pounds heavier than its mainstream competition. But its turning circle of 38 feet is up to 3 feet tighter.

The Grand Wagoneer’s max tow capacity is a benchmark at 9,850 pounds. A Class IV receiver hitch and 7- and 4-pin wiring harness are included.

Grand Wagoneer’s Air Ride

The GW’s Quadra-lift air suspension gives the feel of a carpeted ride. Head toss is well controlled over speed bumps or when pulling into driveways. The sophisticated system includes electronic semi-active damping to match changing road conditions and stabilizer bars.

Quadra-Lift adds up to 3.6 inches of lift, supported by four-corner air springs. The air-cushioned ride operates automatically, or it can be manually controlled at the shift console. It has five height settings:

Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8 inches of clearance offers improved fuel economy, as well as improved aerodynamics during on-road driving;

Off-road 1: Lifts the vehicle an additional inch from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles (9 inches);

Off-road 2: Adds 2 more inches of ride height, for 10 inches of ground clearance;

Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 1.6 inches from NRH. NRH and Park Mode are driver-selectable, allowing the driver full control over vehicle ride height;

Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle 0.6 inches from normal ride height. Aero Mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy. The vehicle will also lower to Aero Mode when in Sport Mode

The spacious second row captains chairs

There is headroom and legroom for 6-foot-6 passengers in the second row.

Wagoneer 4WD Systems

The Grand Wagoneer gets the top two-speed on-demand four-wheel-drive system. Its Selec-Terrain traction control has five modes: Automatic (functional for on- or off-road driving), Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud.

Rock mode works with the Quadra-Lift for a maximum height of 10 inches.

Selec-Speed Control integrates hill-ascent and hill-descent controls. The Electronic Range Select system, engaged at the steering wheel, allows drivers to control vehicle speed up and down trail grades without using the accelerator or brake pedals.

Wagoneer Client Services

Wagoneer will become a portfolio of vehicles that defines “American premium” and delivers a unique customer experience, the company says.

Customers interested in purchasing a Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer can go to Wagoneer.com, select a dealer and place a $500 deposit. A Wagoneer concierge will make contact to initiate the order process, provide vehicle updates, and assist with any dealer interactions.

After a customer receives their vehicle, support will continue through a VIP helpline via Wagoneer Client Services. Those services include:

  • Five years of free dealership maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations;
  • 24/7 concierge support and roadside assistance via phone or online chat;
  • No-charge equivalent service loaner;
  • Trip interruption coverage;
  • VIP access to exclusive events;
  • Interior and exterior vehicle cleaning and a full tank of fuel when serviced;
  • Vehicle pickup/delivery for service;
  • Free Wi-Fi and phone charging at the dealership.
The third row seats

With more than 3 feet of legroom, the third row can recline or fold flat.

10 Customer Promises

1. Only dealers that earn a “Customer First” award for excellence by J.D. Power will be allowed to sell the Wagoneer.

2. The sales process will be efficient. Sales reps will use tablets and full integration to digital communication.

3. Certified Wagoneer Ambassadors. To become certified, a sales or service associate must complete more than 90 hours of training and pass exams to ensure that he or she truly understands the brand, the cars, how they can be used, and how they can be equipped.

4. Every Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be sold with a full gas tank.

5. The vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned at delivery and after servicing and will be returned with radio, seating, climate, and other settings left as the customer had them.

6. Tech access to remote showrooms and to schedule test drives and delivery services.

7. An appropriate loan vehicle will be provided when a Wagoneer must be left at the dealership.

8. Remote services and diagnostics to schedule services and updates, including over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics.

9. Free Wi-Fi and phone charging in the showroom or service lounge, with “high-quality beverages and snacks.”

10. Wagoneer Client Services will provide 24/7 customer support and five years of maintenance. Concierge support and roadside assistance will always be available.

Both back rows of seats folded to show the open cargo area

All-new 2022 Grand Wagoneer rear interior cargo space (94.2 cu. ft. with second and third rows folded flat).

Why Buy the Grand Wagoneer?

It’s not a Jeep, it’s a Wagoneer — the only Jeep ID on the vehicle is in the headlight lenses. The Grand Wagoneer is grand luxury, not a Rubicon Trail-tested SUV. The elite dealership support and promises should be reassuring to new customers and conquests to the brand.

Despite the considerable sticker prices for these big vehicles, customers generally have incomes that make high fuel prices more of an inconvenience than a reason to reject such vehicles, auto-analyst Kim said. “The segment should remain strong in the coming years as lots of product action in that space will keep consumers interested and engaged.”

A rear view of the Grand Wagoneer

The Wagoneer customer experience includes 10 promises and dedicated client services.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III Specifications

Body style: large, 5-door, 7-seat body-on-frame SUV with two-speed electronically controlled 4WD

Engine: 471-hp 6.4-liter V-8 with fuel-saver mode and active grille shutters; 455 lb.-ft. torque at 4,400 rpm

Transmission: 8-speed Torqueflite 8HP75 automatic

4WD system: 2-speed electronically shifted transfer case; variable (50/50 or 100 front/rear) with traction modes of Automatic, Tow, Snow, Mud, Sand, Rock, and Sport

Fuel economy: 13/18/15 mpg city/hwy/combined; premium fuel recommended

Towing capacity: 9,850 pounds, with included Class IV receiver hitch and 7- and 4-pin wiring harness

BY THE NUMBERS

Fuel tank: 26.5 gallons

Cargo space: 27.4/70.9/116.7 cubic feet, behind 3rd row/2nd row/front seats

Front head/leg room: 41.3/40.9 inches

2nd-row head/leg room: 40/42.7 inches

3rd-row head/leg room: 39/36.6 inches

Length/wheelbase: 214.7/123 inches

Width/height: 94*/76.6 inches *at the mirrors

Curb weight: 6,420 pounds

Turning circle: 38 feet

FEATURES

Standard equipment includes: Keyless entry and push-button ignition, quilted Palermo leather-trimmed massaging seats, power running boards, 20-way power adjustable front seats, 2nd-row captain’s chairs with power tilt and slide, power folding and heated side mirrors, 60/40 power folding and reclining 3rd-row seats,  hands-free power liftgate, heated and ventilated front and 2nd-row seats, 12.3-inch cluster display, suede headliner, natural walnut interior trim, Uconnect 5 Nav with 12-inch touch screen display, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, 23-speaker McIntosh entertainment system, satellite radio with 6-month subscription, media hub with 2 USB ports and aux-in,tri-pane panoramic sunroof,  locking and lighted glove box, 4-zone automatic climate control, luxury front and rear floor mats, reversible floor mat, foldable cargo shade, roof rack with adjustable roof-rail crossbars, rear back-up-camera washer.

Driving features and technologies: head-up display, automatic headlights and high-beam control, map-in-cluster display, off-road info pages, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, ParkSense automated parking system, ParkSense front and rear park- assist with stop, night vision with pedestrian and animal detection, remote-start system, side distance warning, traffic sign recognition, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot (trial included), automatic crash-notification service, connected travel and traffic services, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, power-adjustable pedals (with memory sets), wireless charging pad, electric parking brake, digital rearview camera mirror, observation mirror, rear seat monitoring camera, acoustic-laminated windshield and front side glass, active noise-control system, LED exterior lighting with 3-optic fog lamps with cornering, 360-degree surround-view camera system.

Safety features include: 8 air bags, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active lane management, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, intersection collision assist, rear park assist sensors with stop, all-speed traction control, electronic stability control, brake assist, hill-start assist.

PRICING

Series III base price: $109,995, including $2,000 freight charge; price as tested $116,720

Options on test vehicle:

  • Midnight Sky paint $645;
  • Heavy-duty trailer-tow package, $995, adds a trailer-brake control, chrome tow hooks, trailer-hitch lineup assist, trailer-hitch zoom, removable rear tow hook, heavy-duty engine cooling;
  • Rear-seat entertainment group, $2,195, includes Amazon Fire TV built-in;
  • 22-inch machined aluminum wheels with black noise pockets $1,595;
  • Embossed-metal interior accents $1,295

Where assembled: Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly Plant

Warranties: 3-years/36,000-miles bumper to bumper; 5-years/60,000-miles powertrain; roadside assistance 5-years/60,000-miles

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The New Dodge Challenger Convertible

The Drop Top Customs third-party Challenger convertible-top option will have a retail price of $25,999, though final pricing will be negotiated and confirmed with the dealer

A front three-quarter view of the new Challenger convertible made by Drop Top Customs

Dodge dealerships will provide an expedited ordering process for the 2022 Dodge Challenger through Drop Top Customs. (Photos courtesy of Stellantis)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Dodge peeled back the roof on a new third-party Challenger convertible during its three-day Dodge Speed Week event. The three-day event features three nights of Dodge product reveals on Aug. 15, 16, and 17, 2022. The series wraps up on Aug. 20 with a big Dodge brand display in conjunction with the Modern Street Hemi Shootout group
on Aug. 20 during the Dream Cruise Weekend.
.
The 2022 Dodge Challenger convertible will be the first convertible Challenger since the 1970 and 1971 model years for the original muscle car.

“Last Call” for ICE Muscle

Parent company Stellantis is using the event to signal a “Last Call” to its Dodge Challenger and Charger, which will be phased out of production at the end of 2023. Among the debuts at Dodge Speed Week was the 710-hp, 2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat.

A 710 horsepower 2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

The 2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat in the newly available color of Frostbite.

“While we hit the throttle toward our new performance path, Dodge is also having fun on this victory lap by celebrating decades of muscle car power,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer, Stellantis. The future of performance for Dodge will be electrified, Kuniskis has said.

“What better way to commemorate how far we’ve come than to make it easier for Dodge Challenger customers to create a throwback convertible look,” Kuniskis said in a release.

Each 2023 Charger and Challenger will have a “Last Call” under-hood plaque with the vehicle name and silhouette showing their origin as “Designed in Auburn Hills” and “Assembled in Brampton.”

A side view of the Challenger convertible with the top down

The conversion will feature a padded roof and a heated glass rear window.

Challenger Convertible Ordering Process

Dodge dealerships will offer an expedited ordering process for third-party convertible modifications for the 2022 Dodge Challenger through Drop Top Customs. It is considered the oldest convertible coachbuilder in the U.S. and is based in Florida.

The new, integrated transportation ordering process allows customers to place third-party orders and pick up finished vehicles through participating Dodge dealers.

Dodge dealerships in the U.S. will begin taking retail convertible transportation orders on Aug. 16, 2022. Convertible third-party modifications through Drop Top Customs will also be available for the 2023 Dodge Challenger when orders open for the new model year.

Customers will work closely with Drop Top Customs and their Dodge dealership to order the vehicle to their specifications. Dodge dealerships will schedule unmodified customer vehicles to ship directly from Stellantis’ Brampton (Ontario, Canada) Assembly Plant to Drop Top Customs. Dodge says that the process will provide a more efficient build time, and allows owners to take the keys after completion.

Expedited shipment option to Drop Top Customs will be available for 2022 and 2023 Dodge Challenger R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and all Challenger SRT models.

A view of the open trunk space

Trunk space, to boot.

Challenger Convertible Pricing

The Drop Top Customs third-party Challenger convertible-top option will have a retail price of $25,999. However, final pricing will be negotiated and confirmed with the dealer.

Additional ordering information, including warranty information, is available through Drop Top Customs.

A convertible with the top up

The convertible conversions feature a fully hydraulic power top.

Drop Top Customs

Drop Top Customs has 46 years of modification experience, creating convertibles, including modern-era Dodge Challenger convertibles. The convertible conversions feature a fully hydraulic power top. Structural reinforcements will reduce body flex while retaining interior space. A padded roof and heated glass rear window provide sound and temperature insulation.

Learn more at Drop Top Customs www.droptopchallenger.com.

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Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak Review

The 797-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak is a throwback union of old school and new school

The red Challenger with a Navy recruit training ship in the background

The 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak starts at $87,120. Today’s tester was $97,077 with 12 options and the $2,100 gas-guzzler tax. (Photography by Mark Maynard)

Table of Contents

Overview
Challenger Then and Now
Pricing
Dodge Challenger Build Order
SRT Hellcat V-8s
Jailbreak Performance
Why Buy the Dodge Challenger SRT Jailbreak?
Specifications

BY MARK MAYNARD

I heard the car pull up before I saw it, and when I saw it, I muttered the enthusiast’s silent prayer, which goes something like: “Jeeziz, keep me from my own undoing.” I was looking at a 797-horsepower 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak Widebody.

Driving this week’s test car, in its TorRed paint and a straight-through exhaust hustle, I’d be guilty until proven innocent.

The supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine tinked and tokked as it cooled. With its 12-inch-wide Pirelli P Zero gumshoe-sticky tires and body widened 3.5 inches by pronounced fender flares, the Challenger Jailbreak has the stance of a predator. Yet, the bright red paint and Warp-Speed satin carbon chrome wheels made it appear less of a hooligan and just gloriously badass.

First impressions might be to hate this musclebound coupe for its gas-guzzling ways. It’s a throwback, but there just ain’t nothing wrong with being all ate up with motor, even as it inhales premium-unleaded fuel.

As a five-seat sport coupe, the Challenger has some utility. The wife of a vintage-racing friend told her husband, who was considering a Hellcat: “Go ahead and get it, honey. It has a back seat, a big trunk, and the back seat folds.”

The Challenger is a big two-door with distinct American features. It has big front headroom of 39.3 inches and long legroom of 42 inches. Sightlines are unimpeded for cornering, and the 38.7-foot turning circle is quite manageable.

The ride quality can be comfortable, and the standard equipment list is mostly competitive. But the aging architecture is apparent in the lack of small-item storage, wireless charging, or even a dedicated place to lay a phone.

But when it comes to performance hardware and engineering, the Challenger SRT Hellcats are fully functional.

A underbody view of the Challenger exhaust system

The 2.75-inch electronically controlled, straight-through active exhaust system.

2022 Dodge Challenger Overview

The Dodge Challenger is old school and new school — and the same goes for those who embrace this champion of the Mopar Nation.

This big pony car has been in production so long — 14 years — that whatever wasn’t right has been made right. J.D. Power — a juggernaut among automotive research firms — named the Dodge Challenger the “Best Midsize Sporty Car of 2022.”

With detailed survey feedback from verified car owners, J.D. Power gives the Challenger an 85 out of 100 rating. The ratings include an overall rating and sub-ratings for quality and reliability (40 percent), driving experience (20 percent), resale value (20 percent), and dealership experience (20 percent).

The flat-bottom SRT steering wheel

The leather-wrapped flat-bottom and heated SRT steering wheel.

Dodge Challenger Then and Now

The Dodge Challenger is among the more elevated and choice-optimized sport coupes in modern history. It goes way beyond its spiritual predecessor of the 1970-1974 Dodge Challenger pony car. And even it had eight engine choices, which ranged from the Slant 6 (aka, “Leaning Tower of Power”) to the legendary 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 and the even more powerful 7.2-liter 440 V-8.

There were less illustrious “Challenger” models, too. The 1978-1983 “badge engineered” Mitsubishi Galant coupe was hopeful but hollow of performance. It was a dreadful offering during the 1980s “malaise” years in American cars, performance or otherwise.

And here’s a note of trivia. Dodge first applied the Challenger nameplate in 1959 for the “value version” of its full-sized Coronet Silver Challenger.

The modern-era Dodge Challenger has been the golden Hellcat of sales. It was early 2008 when the current generation made its U.S. debut. And the Challenger has rode out its 14 years with the same basic chassis architecture but with a few face-lifts, dozens of fresh option packages, and iconic paint colors. The current-gen Challenger was introduced in 2014 for the 2015 model year.

Through 2021, the Dodge Challenger has racked up 645,509 U.S. sales since 2008, backed up by 19,856 in Canada, 4,603 in Mexico, and 3,077 from Europe. The grand total comes to 673,045, according to the Challenger page on Wikipedia. Last year there were 54,314 Challengers sold in the U.S. . So far in 2022, the Challenger has brought in 25,682 sales, down just 3 percent from the second quarter of 2021.

And all that while weathering a pandemic, gasoline crisis, and the pangs of a threatening recession.

An open view inthe driver's side of the Challenger with the two-tone black-and-gray Laguna leather option

The Challenger has a tall 39.3 inches of front headroom.

The End Is Near, or might be

Alas, all good things come to an end, at least for Hellcat models.

According to a report in Automotive News,  Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis is quoted in a report that the supercharged models are in their last days. Redesigned versions of the Charger and Challenger muscle cars are expected to move to Stellantis’ electrified STLA Large platform, which is capable of up to 500 miles of range.

“I will have this car, this platform, this powertrain as we know it, through the end of ‘23,” Kuniskis said in an interview during the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. “There’s two more years to buy a Hellcat, then it’s history.”

Dodge has said it plans to unveil an electric concept car that will give enthusiasts a taste of what’s to come when it debuts an electric muscle car in 2024. There is speculation that the upcoming vehicles could be an electric speedster and a plug-in hybrid.

The long gearshift console in the Jailbreak

All of the usual accommodations, except wireless charging.

Dodge Challenger Build Order

There are nine trim levels to the 2022 Dodge Challenger, with:

  • 6 choices for horsepower: One V-6 and five V-8 engines;
  • 2 choices of transmissions: six-speed manual (on certain trim levels) or eight-speed AutoStick automatic, with specific beefiness for each V-8, and;
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive (available on some models).

Paint colors

You have to love the marketing creativity of paint-color names for the 2022 Challenger:

  • Frostbite
  • F8 Green
  • Go Mango
  • Granite
  • Hellraisin
  • Indigo Blue
  • Octane Red
  • Pitch Black
  • Sinamon Stick
  • Smoke Show
  • TorRed
  • Triple Nickel
  • White Knuckle
The SRT performance page in the color infotainment touchscreen

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat SRT Performance Dashboard showing Sport mode.

SRT Hellcat V-8s

Decisions, decisions when it comes to power, but most Mopar disciples will buy the most their budget allows. There are five V-8s from which to choose:

375-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with fuel-saver (cylinder shutoff) technology

485-hp 392 Hemi V-8 SRT

717-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V-8

797-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat high-output V-8

807-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat high-output V-8
Challenger SRT Super Stock.

The 797 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 in the Challenger

797-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat high-output V-8.

2022 Dodge Challenger Pricing

Starting prices range from $32,025 for the entry Challenger SXT with 303-hp 3.6-liter V-6 to $89,125 for the Challenger SRT Super Stock. Pricing includes the $2,100 gas-guzzler tax and the $1,595 freight charge from Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

Today’s 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak starts at $87,120 and was $97,077 with 12 options and the $2,100 gas-guzzler tax.

The $18,595 Jailbreak 27D package includes: a 220-mph speedometer, widebody fender flares, high-performance engine controller, widebody competition suspension, instrument panel Jailbreak badge, and SRT power chiller, which uses air conditioning refrigerant to further cool the air fed to the supercharged engine.
And that is just the tip of the options list. Buyers of the Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak can order unrestricted option combinations.

Among the more than 20 categories of upgrades are:

  • 7 choices for seats, body stripes, and wheels;
  • 6 brake caliper colors;
  • 5 exterior badging finishes;
  • 4 choices of steering wheels, seat belt colors, and floor mats, and;
  • 13 paint colors. 3 are no-cost, the others range in cost from $95 to $395;
The driver side interior door panel has a bottle holder and a small stash space

Carved-out elbow room at the door panels.

Buyer Be Aware

Challenger (and Charger) Hellcat buyers should know that the Monroney price is merely a suggestion. Dealers are routinely charging $20,000 and more above the sticker. Check the MoparInsider website for more details.

For current Dodge Challenger pricing and incentives, check the factory website here. . And Dodge is currently offering a National Retail Consumer Cash (22CN1) discount of $1,000.

Looking into the front passenger side of the Jailbreak

The front passenger has just manual adjustment.

Challenger Jailbreak Performance

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak runs with the 797-hp high-output V-8. Car and Driver says the Jailbreak can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 203 mph.

Everybody loves a whiner when it’s the sound made by the Hellcat’s 2.7-liter supercharger, which spools up 14.5 pounds of boost. On hard acceleration, the supercharger’s industrial whine harmonizes with the gutty bellow of the Hellcat V-8 for a near-religious experience: “Sweet Jesus, take me home.”

As comfortable as a grand-tourer can be, the Challenger Jailbreak is not my choice for a road trip. There is significant drone in the cabin at highway speeds. And then there is the fuel-economy consideration.

Fuel economy ratings are a hopeful 13 mpg city, 21 highway, and 15 mpg combined using the required premium fuel. I might have been averaging 15 mpg, and the 18.5-gallon tank provides the range of a decent electric vehicle.

One of the 12-inch-wide Pirelli P Zero high-performance tires on the Jailbreakance grip, front and rear.

12 inches of 20-inch Pirelli P Zero 305/35ZR 20 all-season performance grip, front and rear.

Challenger Transmissions

Some models of Challenger models have the choice of a six-speed manual transmission — R/T, Scat Pack, and SRT Hellcat. The Tremec TR-6060 features a twin-disc clutch and has the much-hated first-to-fourth-gear skip shift.

Hellcats with the high-output V-8 are uprated with a heavy-duty Torqueflite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic. It rolls through the gears with fuel-saving precision in the standard drive mode. Punch up Sport on the touchscreen, and steering, suspension, and shift points sharpen but are not overly aggressive. The Torqueflite also allows manual control. Gear changes can be made at the gear shift or steering-wheel paddle shifters with three SRT selectable performance modes of Street, Sport, and Track.

The AutoStick is probably easier on tires than the manual. But hit the gas and concentrate on steering as the Pirellis light up. The 20-inch rollers (305/35ZR) are of such a grippy recipe that some owners run through a set in four months. With restraint, the tires can last a year. Replacements for the Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires cost around $400 a pop.

The Pirellis contribute to a cushioned ride quality and extreme adhesion, whether in cornering at speed or in launch control. Tires are essential to suspension and car control, so don’t cheap out.

With a curb weight of 4,481 pounds, the Hellcat is more of a barrel-chested straight-line blacktop pounder than a road-course interceptor.

Unfortunately, the Active Exhaust lustily rumbles out the call to let ’er rip. Standard on all Hemi V-8 models, the dual 2.75-inch straight-through exhaust pipes have twin electronic exhaust valves. Black Vapor-chromed tips finish the appearance.

The pair of back seats in the Challenger

Get in, shut up and just hold on.

Why Buy the Dodge Challenger SRT Jailbreak?

Because you’ve always wanted a Hellcat. An 800-horsepower coupe is not a need, but neither is a four-carat diamond ring, which, if it is of high quality, can cost as much as a stock Hellcat.

Damn the price of gas, full speed ahead.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said, “The muscle cars are a very nice niche business that is now being prepared for full electrification with some amazing innovations that will bring even more passion from the fans of this brand in the near future.”

A rear three-quarter view of the red Challenger Jailbreak

The widebody treatment adds 3.5 inches at the fenders for an overall width of 78.3 inches.

Dodge Challenger SRT Jailbreak

Specifications

Body style: midsize, 5-seat 2-door rear-wheel-drive coupe

Engine: supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat high-output V-8; 797-hp at 6,300 rpm; 707 lb.-ft. torque at 4,500 rpm

Transmission: Torqueflite 8HP90 8-speed AutoStick automatic; adaptive electronic control with full manual control via gear selector or paddle shifters with 3 SRT-unique selectable modes: Street, Sport, and Track (features performance shifting and gear holding)

Fuel economy: 13/21/15 mpg city/hwy/combined; premium 91 octane fuel required

Top speed: 203 mph (per Car and Driver)

0-60 mph acceleration: 3.7 seconds (per Car and Driver)

BY THE NUMBERS

Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons

Trunk space: 16.2 cubic feet

Front head/leg room: 39.3/42 inches

Rear head/leg room: 37.1/33.1 inches

Length/wheelbase: 197.5/116 inches

Curb weight: 4,481 pounds

Turning circle: 38.7 feet

FEATURES

Standard Hellcat equipment includes: smart-key locking and push-button ignition, LED interior lighting, six-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, manual front passenger seat, heated front seats, power side mirrors, split-folding back seat, floor mats, leather-wrapped flat-bottom (heated) SRT steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift handle, tilt-telescoping steering column, Uconnect 4C infotainment with 8.4-inch color display (music, climate controls, and vehicle
Information), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 6-speaker Alpine audio system, satellite radio (trial subscription), integrated voice command, Bluetooth, phone and streaming audio, a media hub with audio input jack and two USB ports

SRT performance equipment: 2 ignition keys (one red and one black, which holds power at 500 hp), SRT Track Experience (DodgeGarage.com/SRT), competition suspension, Brembo 6-piston front calipers, line lock, anti-spin differential rear axle, launch control with launch assist, dual scoop hood, conical cold air intake, after-run chiller, active exhaust, SRT configurable drive modes, SRT performance pages, performance shift indicator;

Safety features include: 6 air bags, electronic roll mitigation, stability and all-speed traction controls, hill-start assist, ParkView rearview camera with guidance lines, ParkSense rear park-assist system, rain-brake support, and ready-alert braking;

PRICING

SRT Jailbreak base price: $87,120, including $1,595 freight charge and $2,100 gas-guzzler; price as tested $97,077

Options on test vehicle: Hammerhead-gray seat belts $395; Hammerhead Gray floor mat binding $99; Black and Hammerhead-Gray seats $295; satin chrome exterior badges; 305/35ZR Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires $695; Uconnect 4C Navigation with 8.4-inch color touchscreen display, $995, with 5-year subscriptions for SiriusXM Travel Link and Travel Plus; 20-inch-by-11-inch Warp Speed satin carbon wheels $1,295; chrome fuel-filler door $9;

SRT Jailbreak package, $18,595, includes: widebody fender flares, widebody competition suspension, SRT Power Chiller, 220 mph speedometer, high-performance engine controller, and Jailbreak dashboard badge

TorqueFlite 8-speed AutoStick transmission (standard) with steering wheel shift control and remote start;

Laguna leather front seats with SRT Hellcat logo, $3,890, package includes ventilated front seats, Laguna leather door trim, stitched dash top, memory presets for driver-radio-mirrors, power tilt-telescoping steering column;

Driver convenience group, $1,295, power side mirrors with manual fold function, HID headlights, blind-spot and rear cross-path detection;

Harmon Kardon 18-speaker, surround-sound audio system with subwoofer and GreenEdge amplifier $1,995;

Where assembled: Brampton Assembly Plant, Ontario, Canada

Warranty: 3-years/36,000-miles bumper to bumper; 5-years/60,000-miles powertrain

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