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Camp Jeep at the 2015 New York Auto Show

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An outdoor Jeep exhibition is a Jeep tradition in New York City now - it was indoors in Chicago, but they apparently have better ventilation and much more space. It's always interesting to have the Jeeps doing their thing outside, near bustling Manhattan traffic, amidst the skyscrapers.


The course is the same for all the Jeeps, which this year were (in rough order of capability) Renegade, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler. First, you go on the 30° tilt, which gives little warning; then up a small ramp where the two sides have different angles. In the Wrangler, they emphasize that all four wheels stay planted, while in the Cherokee, they let it wobble on two wheels from side to side to show the strength of the body.

Then it's around the turn and over the logs and stumps, two tests that would destroy many a crossover or even a truck-based SUV, and up the steep, slippery 18-foot ramp (it was 24 feet in Chicago). Coming down, the drivers used the automatic speed control; going up, the Wrangler went slowly to demonstrate its traction regardless of the slope, and the Cherokee sort of blasted up and we could feel some slippage on the treacherous steel.

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The Cherokee was definitely smoother for most of the course, but you could tell that the Wrangler was purposely engineered primarily with these obstacles in mind. Either one, reportedly, will take you across the Rubicon (for Cherokee, this is Trailhawk only), and easy was fun even just for passengers. This is a "must do" event for the show.

Camp Jeep is held from Friday, April 3, to Sunday, April 12, and opens at 10 am. It closes at 10 pm on April 3-4 and April 6-11, and at 7 pm on April 5 and April 12. Participants are automatically entered into a national giveway for up to $45,000 for an eligible vehicle. Participants 17 or younger must be accompanied by an adult and be at least 44 inches tall. See the main page, below, for directions and more auto show information.

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