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Old 11-18-2014, 07:56 PM
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Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

Hello all. I have been lurking on this forum for the past few months. I am in the process of selling a car and am looking to buy a new 4wd capable vehicle. I have narrowed my options down to 2 different jeeps:

a slightly used Cherokee trailhawk (with the v6). I have been able to find ones with ~8-15k for about $29k, which I think is a fair deal given the starting MSRP's.

or

a moderately used Grand Cherokee (Wk2) with the Hemi V8. Looking at 2011-2013 series cars and have been able to find some going for $21k-$22k with about 55k miles.

I realize these are completely different vehicles in terms of weight, driving dynamics, capabilities, ect. The only reason I am cross-shopping the 2 is because of price. Though the GC Hemi will cost more to refill at the pump, the initial lower buy price is very good. I figure I would spend about $600 more a year on gas for the GC Hemi versus the V6 Trailhawk. So realistically, it would take me more than 10 years of driving the Trailhawk for its gas savings to make up for its higher buy price. At that point, why worry about gas savings? I doubt would keep either car for 10 years anyway.

The only unknown for me is cost of maintenance for the GC Hemi. Besides having a lot more mileage, I think the Hemi itself does require more maintenance. Does anyone have any feedback on how much a 55k mile GC Hemi will cost to maintain over the next 5-7 years? Is there anything else I am missing in terms of cost factors for both cars?


PS, I calculated the $600 difference in fuel costs between the GC and trailhawk based on the GC's rating of 13mpg city, 19 highway (combined 16) and the trailhawk's rating of 18mpg city, 25 highway (21 combined). If my assumptions were inaccurate, someone please let me know.

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Old 11-18-2014, 08:12 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

My opinion is you're going to have to drive them both and fall in love with one. People on here are going to be biased to what they like not what you like.
I happen to have a 13 GC with the hemi....guess which one I would vote for?

I haven't spent a dime on mine other than mods and self inflicted wounds. As for MPG, I have never gotten 13 MPG. I get 16ish city, including the ridiculous amount of off-roading we do and 20+ highway.

Don't let anyone sway your decision, you have to drive it.
Can't really go wrong either way...as long as it's a Jeep, you're good to go.

Best of luck with whatever you go with
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:23 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRTgirl View Post
My opinion is you're going to have to drive them both and fall in love with one. People on here are going to be biased to what they like not what you like.
I happen to have a 13 GC with the hemi....guess which one I would vote for?

I haven't spent a dime on mine other than mods and self inflicted wounds. As for MPG, I have never gotten 13 MPG. I get 16ish city, including the ridiculous amount of off-roading we do and 20+ highway.

Don't let anyone sway your decision, you have to drive it.
Can't really go wrong either way...as long as it's a Jeep, you're good to go.

Best of luck with whatever you go with
Thanks. Yeah I know what you mean. I definitely have a passion for driving and cars. So I don't see this in purely a financial light. I have driven both and like them in different ways.

I'm just trying to figure out which option will cost more in the long-run.

Edit: thanks for the info on the Hemi's mpg. That was very helpful!
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:36 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

Don't let the V6 vs the V8 sway your decision. Depending on your driving habits the difference in mileage may be minor. Get the one you want and enjoy it.



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Old 11-24-2014, 08:42 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

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Originally Posted by PeterM View Post
Don't let the V6 vs the V8 sway your decision. Depending on your driving habits the difference in mileage may be minor. Get the one you want and enjoy it.
+1. Drive what you love, love what you drive.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:15 AM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

If you haven't decided, I would go with the vehicle with lesser miles. 15-22k miles vs 55k miles is a lot.
If it was me in your position, I would want to verify the Grand Cherokee's maintenance history at that mileage. It may be safe to assume the the Cherokee's maintenance would be up to date with the lower mileage, but you never know. Check the maintenance history on it as well.

We knew we wanted a GC but gave the Cherokee a look when we went to our local dealership. Although we didn't actually drive it, it had a nice interior that looks to be identical to the GCs except at a smaller scale.

We bought a GC with the V6 and am happy with the power and slightly better gas mileage.

My advice is the same as the others, test drive them both and get the one you like best.

Good luck and let us know what you decide on
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:38 AM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

Trail hawk hands down for me out of those 2


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Old 11-26-2014, 08:42 AM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

The only thing I would be wary about with the used trailhawk, if it is a 2014/2015 Cherokee (KL) Trailhawk is that the transmission may have been an issue which is why it was returned or sold back. Ask if the transmission has been worked on, any TSBs or if it has been shop "taught" to shift well. You didn't have the opportunity to "teach" the car how to drive like you do, so there will likely be some rough shifting moments.

I love my KL, and I would reccommend it to anyone as long as you're the one teaching it how to drive.
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Old 11-26-2014, 04:17 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

As far as maintenance costs I have been around these Engines / transmissions since 2005. Not all in Jeeps, but essentially the same power-train.

I have put:
160K Miles on a 300C SRT (6.1L)
155K Miles on a Magnum R/T (5.7L)
& added over 50K miles to a WK2 SRT (6.4L), trading it in last week with just under 90K miles.

(Also have a SRT6 Crossfire with the same trans but a different engine and only 50K miles on it so far).

Maintenance needs?

Oil Changes (+ clean and re-oil my re-usable air filter) every 5000 miles or so, did Plugs every 60K miles. Coolant Flush / refill & trans fluid at 100K...

That's been pretty much about it. Just recently had some suspension parts in need of change on the Magnum, and of course I am not listing the other non power-train stuff like rotating tires, changing cabin air filter, etc...

Never a bit of trouble at all from any of the power-trains, nothing, not a leak, not a mis-fire. All run as good as they did on day one.

No car is maintenance free, but really don't think you can go wrong with either choice and I wouldn't worry at all about the higher mileage on that 5.7L....
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:02 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

Daniel, the Cherokee Trailhawk the OP is considering against the Hemi with the older 5/6-speed (MY2011-2013) has the new 9-speed transmission in it...
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:06 PM
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Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

Yes, was only speaking to the GC Hemi...

He said he was concerned of the mileage and associated maintenance cost of the GC Hemi. The 2011-2013 he referenced has the 5 speed. Was relaying my experience with that engine and 5 speed.

I haven't owned the Cherokee Trailhawk 9 speed so I can't speak to that but had hope to ease his fears of the higher mileage GC...
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:14 PM
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Re: Choice between Trailhawk and Hemi Jeep GC

MY2011 had the "5 speed". There was a slight change in the MY12 and MY13 where we got a "6 speed"...there is a slight variation in things for up-shift vs downshift to my understanding. Same transmission, otherwise. I suspect other Chrysler models have some similar fluctuations, but don't have any experience with them. I drove a Highlander Hybrid Limited before my Summit.

And yes, he was expressing concerns over the Hemi as you state...I forgot those details when I responded. My bad.
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