Chicago Auto Show Blog

Off-road Adventures at the 2016 MAMA Fall Rally

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

The 2016 Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Fall Rally united more than 100 MAMA members and 75 cars, trucks and SUVs last week for a day of hot laps on the track, on-road and off-road fun. The annual event took place at the regarded Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, and wrapped up with a celebration of the association’s 25th anniversary.
One of the highlights of MAMA’s Fall and Spring Rallies include the off-road track, this year sponsored by Jeep. Chrysler Pacifica minivans shuttled attendees to the off-road course that consisted of rutted trails, rock climbs and creek crossings where journalists could put trucks and SUVs through their paces.
Featured vehicles included a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, 2016 Jeep Wrangler Willys, 2016 Renegade Trailhawk, 2016 Ram Rebel, Range Rover Sport HSE TD6, Nissan Titan PRO-4X, 2016 Crosstrek 2.0i Limited and a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – plenty of options for journalists to test on the varying terrain.
Both the Range Rover Sport HSE TD6 and the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk handled extremely well through the sludgy, muddy, rocky course. The Range Rover Sport HSE TD6 offers consumers the option of fuel-efficient diesel powertrain that delivers 25 mpg combined – a 32 percent improvement over a V6 engine.
Tried and true, Land Rover has put the Sport diesel through a rigorous test to ensure it can meet the unique demands of the U.S. climate. The vehicle has navigated from sea level to altitudes of 14,000 ft. and has been tested in climates ranging from the coldest Minnesota winters to the summer desserts of southwestern states. So, as one could imagine, it seamlessly and effortlessly took on the MAMA off-road course.
Even though most know it as an “everyday SUV,” the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk proved to be another solid off-road option. The Cherokee was more than capable as it navigated its way through the slimy mud in the running stream and over rocky bumps that tilted the SUV from side-to-side – while keeping the SUV stable and dodging the many trees that framed the course. The Cherokee’s automated hill descent feature was put to the test, which enabled the vehicle to crawl down the hill without any input from the driver. Talk about putting trust in technology!
What are your favorite off-road vehicles? Comment below or tweet us @ChiAutoShow
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