Originally Posted by Crkwolf
Yep a diesel for me. I almost started to change my mind to save cost but the extra mpg has got a hold on me. To buy two Jeeps in the same month is going to sting but I wish to stay married. Lol.
After reading some of the problems I'm a little nervous and am now wondering if I should lease instead of buy, in the event at the end of the contract if I decide to just let the dealership have the vehicle back if I run into too many problems. Of course by the time I get mine, the bugs may be worked out.
People with later builds seem to be having much better luck. Mine was Dec 2nd and was delivered without any of the major QC problems often mentioned from earlier cars such as the misaligned tailgates. Nor have I had any electronic gremlins poke their heads out at me. The only found fault on mine was the gas cap cover is not aligned properly with a larger gap on top than on bottom. I make no excuses for jeep on this but I keep in mind my BMW at twice the msrp also has one misaligned piece.
In my mind the killer feature of the grand cherokee is the diesel combined with the 8 speed. I've had a number of diesels over the years going back to cave mannish up to a nice modern piece a few years ago. That however was not mated to an 8 speed and as I said its the two together that are rocktacular. I only test drove the hemi and pentastar so my impressions of them are limited but to me the oil burner feels every bit as powerful as the hemi around town in most driving situations, perhaps more powerful. That part is hard to describe because there is a seamless feeling to the power, its like you are drawing from a well without bottom. I would give the nod to the hemi out on the freeway though, the diesel requires a lot of throttle to get some quality acceleration where the hemi needs just the prod you would expect to get satisfying acceleration.
The hemi does sound much better to me and being a man who grew up as a kid in a V8 world that isn't surprising. I love the sound of a V8 at full throttle on the way to redline and for me there is no better music. The diesel cant match that but it does sound all right and the part that should be noted is it does make sound. If you test drive these truly modern diesels you will find that some are incredibly muted, you can barely discern engine sound at all when driving. In the GC you can hear the diesel. Its not loud but its there as it goes about its business and is only completely quiet when at steady state throttle. This of course is how most cars are but everyone is familiar with the sound of a V8 and they tune it out, you will notice the sound of the diesel at first because its different. I actually like this but some I'm guessing will not. It is louder when cold and most especially when first started up cold. This goes away quickly. Once warmed the engine can barely be heard idling when standing across the street.
The trans has been flawless so far for me. With 8 ratios available and very reactive programming that keeps it shifting quickly and smoothly its an exceptionally good piece. The best I've encountered in a vehicle of this type. A couple examples... In eco mode driving at a steady state 30 mph the car will be in 6th gear. Let the speed limit increase to 40 and give it some gas it instantly shifts down several gears and you're on your way. There is no hesitation while it gathers its skirts about itself, decides it needs to downshift, you feel it thunk into a lower gear, and then you get some acceleration. It just goes. Another would be out on the open road and you start going up a hill. You've likely read many people talk about how it maintains 8th gear a lot doing that. They're right but I also suspect that some may not realize how often it shifts down to 7th doing it. The reason is that you cant really tell it happened. The vehicle doesn't slow down, there is no felt acceleration after a slow down, you don't feel the shift, you cant hear the change in engine note if you have the stereo even at a moderate volume, the only way you can tell is by noting the gear indication on the evic.
I'm also getting the mileage I expected. I have two tanks of combined mileage with one hitting at 25 some odd and one a bit over 26 and I'm getting toward the end of tank 3 with all city mileage. If the evic is on its game this city tank is going to be about 23 but I always calculate at the pump. On an engine that is not broken in and winter blend I fully expect to do better in the future. In other words it looks like the diesel will actually attain its rated mileage and this was my expectation from previous diesels where I have met or in a couple cases exceeded the rated mileage.
Overall I think that adding 8 rations to a modern diesel has changed the game. There are no more excuses that need to be made, you don't have to point at the need to tow or anything else as a reason to buy. This is a kick ass combination in its own right that is fun and very satisfying to drive and has no downside to overcome in the way it goes about its business. When I test drove these things I first drove the pentastar which I thought was all right. I then stepped into a hemi and right away I couldn't help but think "This is more like it..." It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the pentastar and the fact that a gearhead like me considered it at all is a compliment to it but I was done with it after the hemi. From there all I had to decide was hemi or diesel. I tow a bass boat making it an easy choice for me particularly when the up to diesel from hemi is only 1300 dollars when you're buying a summit.
Lastly like many men and no insult intended, the WAF matters. My wife hates diesels but she likes this one. Her comments are along the lines of "Not obnoxious, isn't noisy, feels like a locomotive, kinda cool, etc". She actually borrowed it to take one of her friends to go get a coffee. Or see male strippers or whatever it is you ladies do when you're supposedly having coffee...
She has never taken one of my other diesel cars/trucks.
Bottom line if you want to save money test drive the hemi or diesel at your peril cause chances are its going to cost you.