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Old 11-27-2011, 03:47 PM
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First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

Hey all,

Well over the Thanksgiving Holiday I took my first road trip in the WK2, I thought folks may be interested in my thoughts as someone who hasn't owned anything but a Toyota in well over a decade.

We drove about 250 miles (so not a huge trip) from DC to NJ. No hills to deal with, but traffic (obviously), high speeds, and 4-4.5 hours behind the wheel due to traffic. My Jeep is a V6 Laredo X with 430N, moonroof, trailer tow and QT1.

Overall, we were very pleased with the Jeep's performance and enjoyed the trip a lot, got to show it off to the inlaws, etc. Here are my thoughts on some of the things I know people have been discussing:

V6 Power: I thought the V6 was very adequate for merging onto the highway, passing cars at highway speeds into the 80s. I never felt like I needed more power, very impressed.

Transmission: Its a little lumpy, could definitely use another gear.

Fuel economy: I averaged about 21.5MPG, that includes some stop and go traffic as well as periods with the cruise set at 75, and periods between 80-85 when the flow got up that high. We made the trip on about 1/3 a tank each time, which I think is pretty darn good.

Seat comfort and driving position: The seats are definitely firmer than we are used to, but very comfortable and we never felt sore or tired. Driving position is very good, great view of the road.

Navigation and audio: Ours has the Garmin 430N which we don't particularly care for, I think the 730N is a good upgrade if one is buying a trim where its available. The cartoony graphics of the Garmin leave a lot to be desired for us, but we knew that going in. The system worked well and got us where we were going all weekend though. Ipod connectivity through a USB cable however is pretty poor, FAR better in the Lexus. The system hangs up, cuts songs off before they are over, and starts songs several seconds into the recording. The system doesn't remember where you were after a restart. All in all I think this is the biggest disappointment with the Jeep, the Toyota/Lexus iPod interface is just much better from a playback perspective. The Jeep has better iPod navigation though, but for setting it to play and forgetting it, it left a lot to be desired. Audio quality was very good.

Ride and drive: For such a big vehicle it feels nimble when moving through traffic, scoots along great at 80MPH. Very smooth and quiet, very little wind or road noise.

Wow factor: People LOVE this thing. We've gotten more compliments on the Jeep than any vehicle we've ever owned, and we've owned some nice vehicles. The family loved it, comments from the guys at gas stations. Very surprising.

So all in all, I think Chrysler has a little ways to go with the details of their infotainment systems, but all in all this is a great road trip vehicle...
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2011, 05:16 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

I took the same trip in my HEMI Overland. Which highway were you doing 80 MPH on?

As with yours, the JEEP was great on the trip. The seats are firm but very supportive for long trips.

Only glitch was that the "SERV 4WD" warning light came on heading back towrds DC. That was scary. I stopped at the rest stop in DE (the new one) and after restarting the engine the light was off and stayed off. Apparently, there is a TSB #21-008-11 for a faulty warning light (something to do with an erroneous message from the electronic limited slip differential). JEEP is at the dealers to check it out.

Other problem is my Bridgestone DMV-1 winter tires are probably wearing out fast with these long trips and mild temps.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:45 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

thanks for the write-up! that does stink about the ipod interface, hopefully down the road Jeep has a software update maybe? in my current BMW, the ipod interface is still glitchy after the update, i have the ipod nano.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:06 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

Good write up, thanks for the time and effort mate!
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:59 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

thanks
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:08 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

Thanks for sharing
Altough I have a WK, I do very long trips every month. And never ever feel tired. Very comfy and nice.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:21 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by armoredsaint View Post
thanks for the write-up! that does stink about the ipod interface, hopefully down the road Jeep has a software update maybe? in my current BMW, the ipod interface is still glitchy after the update, i have the ipod nano.
I'm on my 3rd vehicle with factory ipod integration, and none of them have worked well. I've been using the 430N hard drive much more than ipod - much better.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:55 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

I just have a bunch of MP3s in a folder system on a USB thumb drive plugged into the armrest console. No ipod involved. Plays flawlessly, although no album art.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:11 AM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud11244 View Post
I took the same trip in my HEMI Overland. Which highway were you doing 80 MPH on?
We got up in the morning on Thanksgiving Day and left, so there were some spurts where we could do 80. Traffic was way worse than I expected though. We left to come back Saturday afternoon and same thing, way worse than I expected.

You know as well as I do thats just always a terrible trip LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200RT-P
I'm on my 3rd vehicle with factory ipod integration, and none of them have worked well.
I'm on my second, and I've had aftermarket integration in others and tried it out in a whole bunch of different vehicles. I agree, in general none of them work well for navigating through the iPod's playlists, etc. However, I have never had one have playback issues like the system does in the Jeep.

In the Lexus you plug the iPod in, and it plays music flawlessly within playlists, etc. Shut the car off and turn it back on and it remembers where you were within its shuffle, and even within the song you were listening to. This is true if you unplug the iPod/iPhone or not. The Jeep has none of that functionality, and on top of that it cuts songs off, starts songs too early, randomly stops playback so you have to skip a song to get it going again. On a long trip its pretty annoying. Now, there are options, you can use the AUX-in or Bluetooth streaming and retain the iPhone's internal controls for managing the music, but the AUX requires an annoying cable coming from the radio face, and the BT streaming reduces sound quality...and they don't charge the device.

Seeing that the iPod is the ubiquitous music storage device in the world, I don't see an excuse for Chrysler designing a system that doesn't work well with it, especially in a brand new vehicle design. It should have been specifically what the system was designed around, with other devices being secondary...since its the most popular. Thats how other carmakers design their systems.

I have no interest in putting music on some other device just to use it in the Jeep, fighting iTunes to let me do that...I want my $40,000 vehicle with designed and advertised iPod integration to work properly with the device I already have all my music on...

But...like I said...its a minor thing overall and otherwise the Jeep performed great. I'd say the iPod functionality and the annoying nature of the uConnect phone system are are only real gripes about the Jeep...at least the only ones we weren't prepared for going in.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:11 AM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

There may be dealer updates for the 430N that will help with the iPod integration and playback. Check out the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's) section of the site on wk2jeeps . com

Also, if you dont like the cartoonish look of the 430N, change the display setting so that its always in night mode, then bump up the brighness a bit so it's bright enough during the day as well. Night mode colors are a lot nicer IMO and fit the look of the interior much better.

Thanks for the review - glad your enjoying the Jeep
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:10 PM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

[QUOTE=SW03ES;522722]
Navigation and audio: Ours has the Garmin 430N which we don't particularly care for, I think the 730N is a good upgrade if one is buying a trim where its available. The cartoony graphics of the Garmin leave a lot to be desired for us, but we knew that going in. [QUOTE]

I just wanted to comment that, after using GPS products for decades, the 730N is a step down as far as GPS function and performance from the 430N. There is good reason that Garmin leads the world in GPS receiver ratings and popularity, and companies like Harman had to drop out of the GPS market due to poor performance. The 730N looks the same as harman product of about 5 years ago and its only redeeming values is the dead reckoning and a pretty good voice command implementation. The Garmin software, however, offers subtle but important features and displays navigation in a simple well thought out way that only Harman can dream about. One’s perception of cartoon is is an elegant and effective method for displaying direction guidance to most (BTW the level of detail is configurable).

I could go on about the Harman’s propensity for forgetting addresses and avoiding side streets. How awkward finding POIs are (and undependable) and that the directions it comes up are often poor, adding miles or hours onto your trip. Its estimate time of arrival is useless, always 10-20% off, and does not adapt to your driving style. It leaves simple things out like a speed limit indication or lane changing aids (both radios use the same map data base). There is no way to add custom points of interest or narration available in several national parks, for example. The 730N display lacks critical information at a glance and is hard/confusing to read in a pinch, but you can get used to it. Now that I’ve learned to live with its lack of features, even I’m getting used to it. The 730N effort is amateurish at best, but perfectly suitable for amateurs, who certainly can be more than happy with it, IMHO J.

The Garmin software isn’t perfect, it doesn’t always consider the effects of stop lights for example, but is better by far than the archaic Harman offering.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:30 AM
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Re: First road trip in the WK2...my thoughts...

I've just never cared for Garmin's interface...
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