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  #13  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:53 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

I used to be in the auto industry in my previous career and saw firsthand the difference between design flaws and manufacturing defects. There are no design defects from my picky perspective. Don't let the "first-year" factor put you off from buying an outstanding vehicle. Any vehicle is subject to a manufacturing defect or dealer prep problem. The WK2 is, IMHO, world class and priced so well that not only did I make it my first Jeep ever by buying one, but have no regrets or worries about it being a first year model (no problems in mine after 1500 miles). After a lot of research and looking the WK2 over (and under) for several weeks and many comparison test drives, it sold itself.

Having owned several first-year and next-to-last-year vehicles, there wasn't any difference to me in the number of problems that occur over the vehicle's service life; like I said, there is a difference between design defects and manufacturing defects regardless of first-year status. The new Grand Cherokee, even a first-year model, is going to be a solid, reliable vehicle over its service life because it is such a critically important vehicle for Chrysler and the fact that it was developed with Mercedes as a platform for their M-class; the Grand Cherokee truly "had to be done right" for the company's survival being a flagship vehicle. The same thing holds for the new Pentastar V6 that will find its way into many vehicles; it is such a critically important engine that it also "had to be done right".

What I would suggest is that if you are at all worried, buy only a vehicle that you find on the dealer lot so that you can make sure nothing is amiss...the old touch & sniff test, if you will. The V6 is a good design and backed by a proven transmission (the WA580 5spd). The Hemi, as mentioned, is even more proven and also backed by refined 5spd (the 545RFE, and actually it has 6spds). Peruse this forum before buying, and then compare what you find to forums for other vehicles you are comparing; the grand Cherokee is unequaled for the amount of performance, purpose, and pleasant lines for the price. JeepGarage is an excellent place to help you answer all your concerns. Best of luck in your search/purchase!
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2010, 08:59 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

With the V-6, the transmission is the Mercedes W5A580; a 15 year old design that's had all the bugs worked out by now. The only potention "year one issue" source would be the Quadra-Lift air suspension and the Pentastar engine.

The QL is a pretty simple system. If there's a problem, I would expect it could be solved relatively easily. While fixing problems could potentially cost a bit, we aren't talking major engine problem levels of cash.

For the engine, automakers in general have been putting a LOT of work into the design and manufacturing of these things. I would expect problems to be more of the "defective part" kind than "whoops, there isn't enough oil flow so the thing dies in 90,000 miles" kind. I'm not too worried.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:55 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

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Originally Posted by Bmwister View Post
I used to be in the auto industry in my previous career and saw firsthand the difference between design flaws and manufacturing defects. There are no design defects from my picky perspective.
I've also worked in the auto industry, on the repair end as a tech. Unfortunately, most "design defects" aren't things that are visible. Very rarely can you actually "see" them. They just surface as miles start to accumulate. If it were easy to see them, then manufacturers would be able to eliminate virtually all of them before the first new vehicle is sold to the public. Manufacturers do try their best by logging hundreds of thousands of test miles before releasing a new or redesigned vehicle. People who buy first year vehicles (I'm not bashing them, I'm just making a point here) are actually helping the manufacturers as a sort of "beta" tester. You can bet your lunch money that manufacturers pay very close attention to the repair history & feedback from owners of these first-year models.

Quote:

Don't let the "first-year" factor put you off from buying an outstanding vehicle. Any vehicle is subject to a manufacturing defect or dealer prep problem. The WK2 is, IMHO, world class and priced so well that not only did I make it my first Jeep ever by buying one, but have no regrets or worries about it being a first year model (no problems in mine after 1500 miles). After a lot of research and looking the WK2 over (and under) for several weeks and many comparison test drives, it sold itself.
I'm glad you feel that way, and I certainly understand why someone who just purchased a first-year vehicle would want to feel good about his/her decision. I have a different perspective because I'm not (yet) a WK2 owner. I've learned over the years that I'd rather wait at least one model year (sometimes two, depending upon the vehicle in question) because there will be things corrected on the later vehicles that were learned from the early adopters. It happens across the board....it's not just a Jeep thing. If I decided to buy a first-year vehicle, I'd try to convince myself that I made a good decision too. And maybe that decision would be the right one for me. But like I said, I'm not willing to trade off the potential first year issues just to be the first guy on the block with a new vehicle.

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Having owned several first-year and next-to-last-year vehicles, there wasn't any difference to me in the number of problems that occur over the vehicle's service life
I can't argue with your experiences. But I've had just the opposite experiences. My very first new car that I ever purchased was a first-year vehicle. Since then, I've only purchased one other first-year vehicle. The issues with those two vehicles were much greater than any of the other new vehicles I've purchased. But hey, that's just my own experience....so take it for what it's worth. Still though, despite our own personal experiences, we can't ignore the statistics. And if you take the time to research them, you'll see a clear trend that there are more issues with first -year vehicles than the same vehicles as they age. This should be obvious and logical to anyone.

Quote:
... like I said, there is a difference between design defects and manufacturing defects regardless of first-year status. The new Grand Cherokee, even a first-year model, is going to be a solid, reliable vehicle over its service life because it is such a critically important vehicle for Chrysler and the fact that it was developed with Mercedes as a platform for their M-class; the Grand Cherokee truly "had to be done right" for the company's survival being a flagship vehicle. The same thing holds for the new Pentastar V6 that will find its way into many vehicles; it is such a critically important engine that it also "had to be done right".
I hope you're right. Yes, it is critical for the company. No doubt about it. Does that mean that actually did it right? Only time will tell. Maybe they did...

Quote:

What I would suggest is that if you are at all worried, buy only a vehicle that you find on the dealer lot so that you can make sure nothing is amiss...the old touch & sniff test, if you will. The V6 is a good design and backed by a proven transmission (the WA580 5spd). The Hemi, as mentioned, is even more proven and also backed by refined 5spd (the 545RFE, and actually it has 6spds). Peruse this forum before buying, and then compare what you find to forums for other vehicles you are comparing; the grand Cherokee is unequaled for the amount of performance, purpose, and pleasant lines for the price. JeepGarage is an excellent place to help you answer all your concerns. Best of luck in your search/purchase!
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:27 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

I do not think it is much about reliability, the key here, is what kind of car have you owned in the past.

If you are coming from a lower tier manufacturer, the GC will feel and look luxurious.

But if you are coming from a BMW, Audi, you will feel a shock in terms of service, and Mickey mouse issues you will have with the car.

I think is more a matter of the dealers not used to handle certain type of customers, and such advanced car.

this is just my advise to everybody. Just lower your expectations and you will be happy (just like everything else in life for that matter)
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:41 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

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Originally Posted by wk2silverbullet View Post
I do not think it is much about reliability, the key here, is what kind of car have you owned in the past.

If you are coming from a lower tier manufacturer, the GC will feel and look luxurious.

But if you are coming from a BMW, Audi, you will feel a shock in terms of service, and Mickey mouse issues you will have with the car.

I think is more a matter of the dealers not used to handle certain type of customers, and such advanced car.

this is just my advise to everybody. Just lower your expectations and you will be happy (just like everything else in life for that matter)
I agree with this^^^

And another way to look at it is this-- If you are coming from a more reliable manufacturer (Honda, for example), and you're able to lower your expectations, then you'll probably be a happy camper.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:44 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

With the Overland being a $46,000 truck, I do not feel that I should have to lower my expectations. Dealerships should be improving its service to match others in that price range. JMTC.
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  #19  
Old 12-05-2010, 11:21 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

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Originally Posted by Danco View Post
With the Overland being a $46,000 truck, I do not feel that I should have to lower my expectations. Dealerships should be improving its service to match others in that price range. JMTC.

^^ Agreed...but they wont get to this higher level overnight....and for some of us that is going to be an issue.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:36 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

I am a WK2 owner (Laredo X V6 QT I) and wouldn't purchase first year model if my old ZJ weren't totaled.
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  #21  
Old 12-05-2010, 03:16 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

A comment on dealerships: there is a wide variance among every manufacturer, but the one I dealt with for purchase has an excellent and knowledgeable staff, including a few techs I spoke to during my vehicle prep. In contrast, some Audi, BMW and Mercedes dealers I've had to work with in the past (warranty work) I wouldn't trust to repair my lawn mower if I was spending my own money. Don't discount all Chrysler dealer service departments or their techs as less capable than the ones at high brow marque dealers.
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  #22  
Old 12-05-2010, 09:13 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

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Originally Posted by Bmwister View Post
A comment on dealerships: there is a wide variance among every manufacturer, but the one I dealt with for purchase has an excellent and knowledgeable staff, including a few techs I spoke to during my vehicle prep. In contrast, some Audi, BMW and Mercedes dealers I've had to work with in the past (warranty work) I wouldn't trust to repair my lawn mower if I was spending my own money. Don't discount all Chrysler dealer service departments or their techs as less capable than the ones at high brow marque dealers.
I'll second this! We bought a Porsche last year and had a miserable experience with both the sales and service departments. Unfortunately there is only one dealer in town and we will never buy another make in which there is only one choice of dealers. Fortunately (knock on wood), our Cayman has been bullet proof, so we haven't had to go back to the 'lovely' dealership.

We only hope that we have a decent experience if/when we buy a WK2...
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  #23  
Old 12-05-2010, 09:44 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

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Originally Posted by wk2silverbullet View Post

But if you are coming from a BMW, Audi, you will feel a shock in terms of service, and Mickey mouse issues you will have with the car.
I wouldn't bet on this. My wife's car is an Acura. The dealer's service is great, but VERY expensive- as in $45 oil changes. Granted, they treat you well, but you pay for it. As for "Mickey Mouse" issues with the vehicle, it's been plenty reliable, but a couple winters ago it developed a squeak in the dash. The dealer made it go away for a short time, but it came back last year. I had to get in there myself, and so far it hasn't reappeared.

There's no such thing as a vehicle free from annoying little crap issues.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:02 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee - reliability

I see your point about expectations. I am currently driving a 2006 Acura MDX. I bought it a few years ago, certified pre-owned, and it already had about 50k miles on it. I've driven it a great deal since then, and it's been nearly perfect. All I have to do is routine maintenance. Before that, I had a Toyota 4Runner for 4 years that was also just about perfect. Consequently, my expectations for reliability might be unreasonable. I could tolerate a few minor fixes or quick trips to the dealer. My real concern is repair cost and being without my car while it's stuck in the shop. I've driven first year models before - my first car was a '93 Chrysler Concorde with the (then) newly designed cab-forward body style spearheaded by the immortal Lee Iacocca. Ironically, that was also a time at which the manufacturer needed to rescue itself. Anyway, the Concorde was a mess of electrical issues and it stalled frequently. Important considerations. I'm certainly grateful for this forum.
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