Off-Roading

2021 Jeep Jamboree schedule features 31 events in 24 states

Jeep Jamboree events allow Jeep drivers to off-road and enjoy the comraderie that comes with owning the same style of vehicle.

Photo by Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

The dates and locations of the 2021 Jeep Jamboree schedule have been announced. The roster includes 31 events, with a new event in Ohio making the calendar as well as a three-day event in Missouri.

Jeep Jamborees are weekend events that have been a part of the Jeep lifestyle since 1953. It was then, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, that Mark A. Smith (now a member of the Off-Road Hall of Fame and the Explorers Club) arranged an off-roading expedition across the Rubicon Trail. The following year Willys, the original Jeep manufacturer got involved and the rest, as they say, is history.

Each Jeep Jamboree is a family-oriented four-wheel drive adventure that allows for fun for everyone from novices to experts. Organizers advise that any Jeep with a 4-LO transfer case can participate. The style of Jamboree varies by event: Classic, Select, Signature, and Adventure. Be sure you research the event style ahead of registering so you know what to expect, including the cost, which varies by event.

Jeep descending in Sedona, Arizona Jeep Jamboree events have guides to assist drivers when they encounter tricky terrain. Photo by Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

The Jeep Jamboree website has a helpful FAQs section that can help you navigate the ins and outs of the events.

2021 Jeep Jamboree events, dates, cities, and states:

  • March
    • March 4-6, 2021 - Table Mesa, Anthem, Arizona
    • March 18-20, 2021 - Texas Spur, Llano, Texas
  • April
    • April 22-24, 2021 - Arch Canyon, Blanding, Utah
    • April 29- May 1, 2021 - Palo Duro, Amarillo, Texas
  • May
    • May 6-8, 2021 - Tennessee Mountains, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
    • May 6-8, 2021 - Big Bear, Big Bear Lake, California
    • May 13-15, 2021 - Land Between the Lakes, Marshall County, Kentucky
    • May 20-21, 2021 - Badlands, Attica, Indiana
  • June
    • June 9-12, Top of the Ozarks, Seymour, Missouri
    • June 10-12, Tillamook, Tillamook, Oregon
    • June 17-19, Drummond Island, Drummond Island, Michigan
    • June 24-26, Penn's Woods, Bradford, Pennsylvania
  • July
    • July 8-10, 2021 - Killington, Killington, Vermont
    • July 15-17, 2021 - Northwoods-Mole Lake, Crandon, Wisconsin
    • July 22-24, 2021 - Silver Valley, Mullan/Wallace, Idaho
    • July 29-31, 2021 - Coal Mountains, Coal Township, Pennsylvania
  • August
    • August 12-15, 2021 - Rubicon Trail, The Rubicon Trail, California
    • August 18-22, 2021 - Beartooth Adventure, Cody, Wyoming
    • August 26-28, 2021 - Big Horn Mountains, Dayton, Wyoming
  • September
    • September 9-11, 2021 - Killbuck, Killbuck, Ohio
    • September 16-18, 2021 - Catskill Mountains, Monticello, New York
    • September 16-18, 2021 - Ouray, Ouray, Colorado
    • September 23-25, 2021 - Black Hills, Deadwood, South Dakota
    • September 23-25, 2021 - Ozark Mountains, Ozark, Arkansas
    • September 23-25, 2021 - Uwharrie, Troy, North Carolina
    • September 29 - October 3, 2021 - Emigrant Trail Adventure, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
    • September 30- October 2, 2021 - Maine Mountains, Bethel, Maine
  • October
    • October 14-16, 2021 - Gateway to the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, Kentucky
    • October 21-23, 2021 - Greenbriar Valley, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
    • October 21-23, 2021 - Moab, Moab, Utah
  • November
    • November 4-6, 2021 - Death Valley, Death Valley, California
Rolling registration happens December 7-11, 2020.

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The Kia Sorento Hybrid offers a lot to like for families looking to save on fuel.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The redesigned Kia Sorento looks good. Kia has given the three-row SUV new life, not as a substitute for the Telluride SUV but instead as its own crossover, with plenty of differences to give them their own identity.

The 2021 Sorento comes in two variants, the Sorento and Sorento Hybrid. Each is offered in its own set of trim levels. The Sorento base model is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine that delivers 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Higher grades get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is rated at 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

Sorento Hybrid comes in two trim leaves, S and EX. Both are powered by the company's turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain that offers up 177 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The SUV prioritizes fuel efficiency over performance, an important distinction that sets the Sorento Hybrid apart from other hybrid variants, including the Toyota RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid that delivers an energetic boost to the RAV4 lineup.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The Sorento Hybrid is the type of vehicle that can get you to a trailhead, but isn't built to go beyond that.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The power output is fine if you plan on sticking to in-town driving and aren't looking to load up the Sorento Hybrid for a long road trip. In the default Eco drive mode, the car responds to the throttle the most comfortably. Under traditional and harder acceleration, the Sorento Hyrbid's powertrain is noisy and ill-mannered. It's almost like the SUV is telling you, "I'm built for efficiency, not speed". Message received.

Kia's done a good job making the Sorento agile and it drives nicely and makes for a pleasant daily runaround. Unlike what Toyota has done with the Highlander, all-wheel drive is not available on the Sorento Hybrid.

The 2021 Sorento Hybrid comes standard as a six-seater with captain's chairs in the second row. The seats, leatherette in the upmarket trim level, are comfortable enough. There's a decent amount of cargo space with the third row erect or stowed.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The cabin of the Sorento Hybrid is plush enough for its price point.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The well-thought out cabin design delvers exactly what customers need and in the EX trim level, the car's appointments are near-premium. The SUV has the usual list of standard and available features, but nothing is too fancy: Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, satellite radio, push button start, keyless entry, a rearview camera, wireless smartphone charger. Nothing looks, feels, or operates like it's cutting edge, but it doesn't have to - this isn't a luxury vehicle.

There is one very nice design touch in the cabin. On either side of the infotainment touch screen are vents that service the front row of the auto. Their output is divided into two each with the bottom vent able to serve the midsection of front passengers' bodies while the upper part goes higher. More automakers should design vents this way.

The Hybrid EX model that was delivered for testing had its lane keeping and centering system not as honed in on lane lines as is optimal, which resulted in crossing over the lines without any alert going off or corrective action being taken by the vehicle's computer.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid Cargo space is always tight in three-row SUVs, but Kia has given the Sorento a good balance between cargo space and third-row legroom.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid starts at $33,590. That's a thousand-and-a-half over the starting price of the Telluride and $4,000 more than the traditional 2021 Sorento.

There are currently only two other three-row hybrid SUVs on the market, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Ford Expedition Hybrid. The three models and their varied price tags and third-row layouts service very different customers but they generally all get lumped together. The Sorento Hybrid is, by far, the lowest priced model of the three, and it feels like it when you're inside. There's nothing wrong with that. Dodge sold a lot of Journeys despite the fact that it wasn't the best or most expensive SUV out there.

Think of the Kia Sorento Hybrid as the Dodge Journey of three-row hybrid crossovers and you won't be disappointed.

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Red light camera usage in the U.S. has declined over the last few years.

Photo by Mathieukor/Getty Images

New research shows that communities across the U.S. are not using as many red light cameras as they used to while implementation of speed detection cameras is increasing. Both have been shows to reduce the occurrence of automobile crashes.

A new checklist devised by AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) was designed to serve as a roadmap for communities that are establishing or expanding automated enforcement programs and to dispel myths surrounding the use of the cameras.

"Research by IIHS and others has shown consistently that automated enforcement curbs dangerous driving behaviors and reduces crashes," says IIHS President David Harkey. "We hope this document developed with our highway safety partners will help communities take full advantage of this tool."

From 2011 to 2014 more than 500 communities across the U.S. operated red light cameras. Today that number stands at 340. The systems are costly. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimated the cost as $67,000 to $80,000 per intersection. That number doesn't include the manpower hours, ticket mailing fees, court costs, or maintenance time and money associated with the ticketing. Today, the cost of the system is estimated to be in the $100,000 range per intersection.

Running red lights kills hundreds and injure tens of thousands of people every year, according to IIHS. In 2019, 846 people were killed and an estimated 143,000 were injured in red light running crashes. Most of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles and not the red light runners or passengers riding with them.

"Red light running and speeding are known killers on our roads," says Advocates President Cathy Chase. "Well-designed and implemented automated enforcement programs can deter these hazardous driving behaviors and reduce crash deaths and injuries. They can also provide an equitable, neutral option for upgrading safety. We urge states and localities to use this checklist together with road safety infrastructure improvements to help protect motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users."

Nearly one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2020 (9,478 deaths) occurred due to high speed. Crashes that occur at higher speeds tend to have more severe results.

"We know from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's research that more than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights," says Jill Ingrassia, AAA's executive director of advocacy and communications. "Automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to address dangerous driving behaviors and improve traffic safety for all road users. This new set of best practice guidelines is an excellent starting point in helping jurisdictions ensure these programs are well-designed, data-driven, transparent and equitably implemented."

Camera laws vary from state to state. Currently, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia prohibit both red light and speed cameras. Montana and South Dakota disallow red-light cameras, and New Jersey and Wisconsin have outlawed speed cameras.

The checklist features first-, second-, and long-term steps including many common sense action items including:

  • Identifying problem intersections and roadways
  • Make engineering and/or signage changes
  • Establish an advisory committee
  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Utilize safety data to determine camera locations
  • Require regular evaluations
The full checklist is available now at IIHS.org.

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