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  #97  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:04 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

We checked out new Explorers today. Whoever decided this is the Truck/SUV of The Year needs a brain transplant.

The interior fit and finish is inferior and looks blah, and don't even think about the base model's interior, which is ugly and sloppily stitched. MyTouch is a mess to operate on the fly, although fine when you're stopped; touch screens work for phones, but don't hack it when you're trying to keep your eyes on the road. The killer for my wife was the headrest, which pushes her head so far forward that her back can't lean against the seat.

Exterior looks are okay, nothing that stands out for good or ill, and the metallic red is great -- 20" alum wheels are decent lookers, too, but the base 18" wheels seem to have plastic covers from a 1980 Toyota parts bin. On the positive side, the grille looks better in the flesh than in photos.

If you believe the panting press reports of late, the Explorer rides like a Rolls, much better than a trucky GC (the same GC they said rode wonderfully when they reviewed it months back). I don't know what Explorer these media nabobs drove, but the one we took out, with the higher-sidewall 18 inchers, let through every minor bump, crack and nick in the roadway.

Inside at idle and low RPMs was tomb quiet, all right, but rev up the engine and there's a whiny sound that only Oprah Winfrey's audience could appreciate; it's certainly not loud, tho.

Ergonomics: As to that extra 3" or so of width, in the driver's seat there is plenty of room to the left, unlike to the right, so to lean on the door puts you at an awkward tilt. For me, a lifelong door-leaner, this is as obnoxious as the headrest is for my wife. There is limited thigh support for taller adults, like with many other new cars.

As to cargo capacity, not only is there space taken up by the folded third seat (a plus for some, useless for us), but the back area's sides are uneven, reducing usable space. The vast front headroom indicated in articles to date is, in reality, precious little more than the GC -- I'm guessing maybe half an inch -- at least the way I set the seat.

The tailgate is one-piece, with no flipper glass (or at least the salesman thought so, and it seemed that way to me). It's electric, but unlike the Overland the steering wheel adjustments are always manual, with no electric option.

Off-line acceleration definitely beats the Pentastar, and I have no reason to doubt the Ford's good braking numbers in published tests.

Nevertheless, the salesman seemed downbeat. Why, he mused out loud, are they turning out yet another crossover when they already have more than one almost like it and need a genuine SUV?

Bottom Line: The Explorer, unlike the GC, is done on the cheap.
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  #98  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:22 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

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Originally Posted by Lingohocken View Post

Off-line acceleration definitely beats the Pentastar, and I have no reason to doubt the Ford's good braking numbers in published tests.

.

And this is why Chrysler needs to get moving on a new transmission for the V6 Grand Cherokees. The engine itself is fine...they just need more gears/better ratios to really make it great. The competition has V6 engines that are closer in performance to the V8 WK2 than the V6 WK2
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:15 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

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Originally Posted by GC2011 View Post
Not if the Jeep's number are accurate. You'll tie the V6 boat.

"The new Explorer is fast off the line. It does 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds"
My informal testing in my Hemi shows mid 6s....my money says the Exploder will get lots of time checking out the Hemi's hiney especially when already underway IMHO.
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  #100  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:48 PM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

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My informal testing in my Hemi shows mid 6s....my money says the Exploder will get lots of time checking out the Hemi's hiney especially when already underway IMHO.
Motor Trend got a 7.3 second 0-60 in their formal testing. That seems to fall into line with other mid-seven second times from other publications.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:41 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

Hey everyone, first post. I've been lurking forums looking for comparisons like these as I'm currently shopping for an SUV/CUV.

In reference to comparing these two vehicles in the same class or not, Jeep was the one to actually send me comparisons on GC vs Explorer, specifically what's standard vs optional on each vehicle.

I haven't yet driven or seen an Explorer or Durango in person yet, but will shortly. However, we've driven the following (rank from favorite to least favorite, pros/cons).

1. Jeep GC - pros: v8, overland trim cons: nav, stereo looks control
(edit) 1.a Ford Explorer - pros: Sync/Myford touch, interior room, gas mileage, looks cons: not as refiend, third row tiny, extended MKX/Edge
2. Buick Enclave - pros: only 3rd row that can fit adults, 40K warranty, cons: not completely keyless
3. Lincoln MKX - pros: Sync/MyFord touch cons: seats
4. Acura MDX - pros: warranty cons: bland looking all overs, costs $$$
5. Ford Edge - pros: Sync/MyFord touch cons: not as nice as MKX
6. Toyota Highlander - pros: Quiet, smooth ride cons: bland
6. Lexus RX350 - pros: nice ride cons: interior cheap/ugly
7. Lincoln MXT - pros: big, better seats than MKX, Sync cons: ugly
8. Volvo XC90 - pros: good exterior looks cons: completely outdated

This will be my wife's new car, coming from an 02 Audi A4, I drive an 06 Mustang GT. I had a Cherokee in HS several years ago that I took off road all the time. For me, I like the GC, and currently, it's my wife's favorite, but my wife will be the one driving the car.

She is really impressed with Ford's Sync and the fact you can control everything from the steering wheel or voice, and not worry about the touch screen. She travels alot for work and wants voice activated Nav/Bluetooth/Radio/(climate is just an extra).

In the GC, she likes the power of the V8 (no other has), the exterior look and the GC interior. What GC has that she likes is the complete keyless control, ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, headlights, etc.

The vehicle we choose won't go off road except for mostly gravel trails and will only tow a boat twice a year for 5 miles, a small trailer a couple other times. (I can use my Dad's truck for this when necessary).

So, there's my story and how I'm cross shopping, figured I'd let y'all know.

The 8 speed really peaks my curiosity
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  #102  
Old 01-15-2011, 04:27 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

I really don't care about wifi in my car as they pointed as minus.
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  #103  
Old 01-15-2011, 09:30 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

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Originally Posted by gt6974a View Post
I haven't yet driven or seen an Explorer or Durango in person yet, but will shortly. However, we've driven the following (rank from favorite to least favorite, pros/cons).

1. Jeep GC - pros: v8, overland trim cons: nav, stereo looks control
2. Buick Enclave - pros: only 3rd row that can fit adults, 40K warranty, cons: not completely keyless
Agreed, with the choice really coming down to your personal needs; too, if a third seat is important to you it is worth looking into the Durango. If you're still mulling over the Enclave, a nice highway tourer that's getting a bit dated, there's a first-rate forum at http://www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?board=1.0

IMO, V6 acceleration aside, the Explorer is a stripped-down, dumbed-down GC. Your wife is right that Sync is nice, but IMO MyTouch is more a negative than a positive.
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  #104  
Old 01-15-2011, 09:55 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

Great thread, but I wasn't able to read every single page. So apologies in advance is some of these points have been made many times...

A vehicle is an SUV if it is designed to handle aggressive off-road driving. Body-on-frame vs. unibody has nothing to do with it--Jeep's SUVs aside from the Wrangler have always been unibodies. Including every Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

The Edge is on a Mazda-derived platform, while the Taurus, Flex, and Explorer share a Volvo-derived platform.

The Explorer will likely be cross-shopped with both the Grand Cherokee and Durango, depending on whether the buyers wants a third row. Size-wise the Explorer falls between the two.

You can get some idea of which cars are cross-shopped from the "most popular price comparisons" list on my site's page for the Grand Cherokee, here:

Most popular Jeep Grand Cherokee comparisons

Explorer is #1, followed by the Edge and 4Runner.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:23 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

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Originally Posted by mkaresh View Post

A vehicle is an SUV if it is designed to handle aggressive off-road driving. Body-on-frame vs. unibody has nothing to do with it--Jeep's SUVs aside from the Wrangler have always been unibodies. Including every Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.
There's really no single clear-cut definition of an SUV. Some people will tell you that the chassis doens't define an SUV and other people will tell you that a "true" SUV is built body-on-frame. It all depends upon what a buyer wants/needs out of his vehicle. Still though, there's really no denying that body-on-frame vehicles are inherently more heavy duty than unibody chassis vehicles, all else equal. The real question is this: Do you want or need that kind of strength & rigidity? Obviously most people do not, as true body-on-frame vehicles are very rare these days. Years ago, most cars were built body-on-frame. Today, you really only see that on trucks and a few SUVs.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:28 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

Does anyone deny that the classic Cherokee is an SUV? Unibody since the 1960s.

I do agree that there is no clear definition. It's not always even clear what's a unibody vs. body-on-frame, as Land Rover uses a hybrid of the two for the LR4.

One good clue: SUVs at least offer a low range.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:55 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

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Motor Trend got a 7.3 second 0-60 in their formal testing. That seems to fall into line with other mid-seven second times from other publications.
OT
Having done a stint as a internal (manufacturer) vehicle evaluator and writer many years ago, keep in mind these "other" publications you speak of mostly quote test results already published by a peer publication. When you have several publications repeating results from the same test, it does not indicate corroborating evidence. I'm not saying MotorTrend has an invalid test, but how do we know all the variables in order to say "that's how quick the 2011 JGC Hemi is...period....end of story."? I felt it was a 7-sec truck by the seat of my pants, but after embarrassing my neighbor in his V8 Q7 over and over we used a stopwatch and got repeated 0-60 between 6.6 to 6.8 seconds; we did it eight or nine times one evening on a private road (Sport mode, traction control off). I should correct my "claim" to say mid to high 6s then.

In fact, MotorTrend, Road & Track and Car & Driver often get vastly different test results (half second here or tens of feet difference there) compared to each other and readers often call them out on it in reader-submitted letters. They have also all admitted that when they have multiple issues involving a specific vehicle, they often re-publish previous road test results in later issues leading readers to believe that a "later road test" yielded the same times; that is not dishonest, but it leaves a lot of variables unchecked and can indicate false consistency to the non-anal reader. Sometimes they actually do have an opportunity to perform a full re-test of the same kind of vehicle and get better or worse results because vehicles differ; there are lots of variables.

Read press reviews with a big gap between the lines when it comes to brand new vehicles. A press vehicle is thoroughly thrashed and trashed and can yield wide variations in performance compared to a vehicle fresh off the assembly line or a new vehicle that had proper break in, runs top shelf synthetic oil and proper fuel from a good station (Shell, Mobil, BP) with minimal ethanol or oxygenation. Ask yourself: did the press vehicles have good 89 octane fuel or ethanol-laden 87 and how many runs did the press do to get their times and what equipment did they use? Did that MotorTrend JGC come from the factory fresh (it will be significantly slower when spanking new vs broken in) or was it a press-pool vehicle that had been hammered on to the point that the engine wasn't broken in the best possible way?
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  #108  
Old 01-15-2011, 11:00 AM
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Re: 2011 Grand Cherokee vs. 2011 Ford Explorer

What launch technique did you use to get a time in the high 6s? The magazines often use techniques that most owners wouldn't.

Temperature and elevation can also be factors. At least one of the big magazines corrects for these, but how accurate is the correction?

I'm a fan of Car & Driver's "street start" test simply because it is more easily reproducible, since it doesn't involve brake torquing the engine or getting a "perfect" launch (the sort that puts a lot of stress on the drivetrain).
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