Consumer Reports has come out with some rankings for the best mid-sized sport-utility vehicles, and the Ford Explorer (as well as four other vehicles) beat out the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Here are the top six:
Ford Explorer XLT
Toyota 4Runner SR5
GMC Envoy SLE
Dodge Durango SLT
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Here's a snippet from The Detroit News article:
The new Explorer, redesigned with an independent rear suspension and a third row of seats, is a "vast improvement over its predecessor," with a "steady ride and versatile, well-designed interior," the magazine said.
One criticism: The SUV performed poorly off road. The SUV earned a "promising" rating and could make Consumer Reports' recommended list if it proves reliable.
Since production of the Jeep Cherokee ceased back in June of this year, several buildings at Jeep's Toledo assembly have been vacated. It seems that nine of these buildings will now be coming down. Here's a snippet from The Toledo Blade:
Part of the multibuilding Jeep Parkway factory will be torn down in the next year or so, dashing any lingering hopes that another use will be found for 1915-era buildings last used to make Jeep Cherokees, a company official confirmed yesterday.
Demolishing part of the nation’s longest-running auto plant, however, does not signal the end for the rest of the Toledo Jeep Assembly factory, said Trevor Hale, a spokesman for DaimlerChrysler AG’s U.S. side. Jeep Parkway gained fame by churning out World War II military vehicles and, until June, was home to Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees.
"We’re still continuing to build Wrangler" there, Mr. Hale said. "To have vacant, unused buildings all just sitting there can present a health and safety issue, as well as the cost of having those buildings."
The nine of 54 Toledo Jeep buildings to be torn down starting in the fall are along Jeep Parkway and were used to finish assembling Cherokees, which ended production in June after 18 years.