Ford, Chrysler and GM. Don’t write off the Big Three of the US auto market. After all, Americans are into big SUVS.
In Beverly Hills or Malibu there is a Tesla on every other block and between San Francisco and Mountain View there are so many self-driving cars on the road that no one turns a head: the days when Detroit set the tone for the American market may be over. .
Even as more and more drivers are transitioning to Generation E and asking for more advanced features, most Americans are still shopping for a classic and, if not for a pickup, then at least for an SUV. And nobody can fool Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
Three new models presented
The big three from the north-east have proven this again in recent months with a series of new models. Unlike the Ford Bronco, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cadillac Escalade, they all have one thing in common: they are very successful.
The Ford Bronco is so popular these days that new customers have to wait longer than any Tesla. But Bronco fans are used to waiting, after all it has taken 25 good years in Detroit since the end of production in 1996 before sending it back to the race against cars like Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender. And the wait was worth it. In a base version that doesn’t even cost $30,000, the Bronco is a Mustang in bad form and not only looks cool like the mother of all muscle cars, but it’s also at least as fun. Not only on the highway, but on the pampas.
You have replaced all-wheel drive
Newly equipped with activated all-wheel drive, off-road driving programs and manually activated locks, the Bronco doesn’t know where to stand in the desert, in snow or mud and stumbles down steep slopes with the prowess of a mountain goat.
The driving force is the 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder, which we know from the Mustang, or the 2.7-liter V6, which also does turbo pressure. But regardless of whether it has 270 or 310 hp: the Bronco is not a racing car. Even the V6, with the 10-speed automatic, prefers a leisurely trot and can only be driven with difficulty over 160 things on the pavement. But if you want to grind through the curves, you should drive a Mustang.
Reining and Kärcher, also inside
The fact that the car looks like Playmobil and is also largely made of plastic inside fits perfectly. After all, you can easily clean the Bronco with Kärcher and transform it yourself like a toy car: a few simple steps are needed so that the roof and side panels fall like a beach beauty in her bathing suit, and a few minutes. later even the doors are hung outside.
Leisure and adventure time cannot be enjoyed more freely. If all this goes too far, Ford also has an alternative in its range. In addition to the standard three- and five-door Bronco, there is also a Bronco Sport. But it not only uses a different platform, it is also quite smooth in other respects – and therefore it is just one SUV among many.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is back
One of the many – this was also the case with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which in the field of luxury SUVs could not hold its own against cars like the Mercedes GLE or the BMW X5. But by last fall, the Indian chief is back – and he’s proving to be greater than ever.
You can take that literally, because the flagship of the most successful Stellantis subsidiary is now available in the XL version with a third row of seats, which successfully defends itself against the GLS and X7. And that is used in a figurative sense, because Jeep has achieved a lot of beauty in terms of environment and modification: the digital cockpit and the large tablet next to it are embedded in a luxurious theme that ultimately seems more advanced than plastic.
The seats offer more comfort than any recliner chair, which is saying something for American TV furniture. The equipment is modern with video mirrors, camera monitoring for children or autonomous road pilot.
The optional air-sprung chassis soaks up even the worst road builders’ sloppiness with grace and without complaint. In any case, there is not much missing here for the “Magic Carpet Ride” that the posh Brits promise us otherwise. Only in one discipline does the new Grand Cherokee continue to bake small rolls: With a starting price of less than $40,000, it remains well below many of its competitors, especially those from Europe.
The design, the platform, the equipment are all new – only for the engine where the Americans rely on engines that are as old as they are tried and tested, at least for starters. It starts with the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 with 290 hp and the modern 5.7-liter V8, which also produces a solid 357 hp without modifying the Hemi. Before the weather guards and SUVs riot again, Jeep promises an electronic plug-in version, which should also be responsible for a large share of sales in Europe.
How proud Jeep is of the Grand Cherokee and how important Americans are to their high style is not only shown by the great effort involved in the generation change, but also by the new chief’s house. Because it is being built in the first new auto plant to open in Motorcity Detroit in the last 30 years.
Rising to third place in the league
Third in the league is the Cadillac Escalade, which for Americans is something like an S-Class for us. It’s not just rich drivers who appreciate the big space and the great feeling that this Big Mac in a tuxedo makes on the right lane. Many corporate executives prefer to be taken to the office in individual armchairs in the back of this giant than a limousine, not to mention hotel guests and other VIPs on the shuttle service. The fact that you have to dig into your pocket and invest at least 77,000 dollars does not prevent success.
In the fight with other luxury SUVs, the flagship of GM got a better design with a bigger grille and brighter lights – and a bigger size. Although the standard version has already been extended to 5.38 meters and is still available with an extended wheelbase, thanks to the new platform the car is almost three hundred meters lighter and more economical.
Popular diesel again
The new engine variant also corresponds to this, which is not without some irony: because when the Americans basically stopped diesel for German manufacturers and exposed the VW scandal, they are now developing a taste for diesel engines there. their own cars and above all enjoy a large variety: In addition to the traditional V8 petrol engine with 6.2 liters and 420 hp and of course the performance variant, there is now a V6 diesel for the first time with 277 hp, which is perfect. for easy navigation on endless highways.
Mated as standard to a ten-speed automatic transmission, the rear axle is driven first. For an additional charge, the Escalade is also available as an all-wheel drive.
Although the technology is common, the Americans continue to go on the offensive when it comes to equipment: They claim the first digital cockpit with curved OLED screens, place up to 36 speakers around six individual seats, expand navigation with augmented reality solutions and include tests their highway Super Cruise, which allows for touch-free driving in minutes on specially designed roads.
There’s the shirt-sleeve Bronco, there’s the luxurious Grand Cherokee and there’s the regal Escalade — there are certainly more modern cars than this SUV creation, even if Ford is already talking about an electric version with two other off-road vehicles. at least get a plug. But that doesn’t stop sales. Because each of these three sells better in the US than Tesla, Lucid & Co combined and it is not without reason that fans of the American Motorway on this side of the Atlantic are eager for an imminent export version. They don’t have to wait any longer for that: Jeep and Cadillac have promised a path to the old world this year and Ford’s decision is only a matter of time. (SP-X)