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Old 01-02-2011, 02:59 PM
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Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

I had to rent a car yesterday, because after my Jeep was built on 12/14 with a 12/26 delivery date, I put my car up for sale. The guy flew in from California yesterday and drove it away. Unfortunately, Chrysler can't seem to figure out how to put my WK2 on a railcar, so I had to find a car to rent. I originally reserved a full size car, which after taxes, etc, was going to cost $330 for two weeks. I get to the rental place, and they said they have too many SUVs, and they can upgrade me to the WK2 for $10 more per day. I hate to waste money, but that wasn't too much to help me get over the pain of not having my jeep yet (which STILL hasn't shipped).

Anyway, they put me in a full loaded, White WK2 with dark leather interior, and the V6 engine. White exterior and dark leather were my second choices, and I like the look A LOT. I hope I don't regret the mineral gray and saddle. Driving home from the Salt Lake airport (about 5,000ft above sea level), I had the car in cruise at 68mph, and was a little surprised at how much it was downshifting to go over small elevation changes. Today I took it up to Park City with just my 11 year old in the car. It is a 20 miles drive, with a lot of 4-8% grades. Again, cruise control set at 68. I spent most of the drive up listening to the engine whinning at 3,300 rpm in 3rd gear. This is a road that my old car would easily climb in 6th gear (manual transmission). Granted my old car had 300HP with a turbo, and did 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, but the WK2 with the V6 is a total dog. I can't imagine if I had 5 people + gear, or was actually trying to tow something. The v6 may be o.k. in Chicago, but if I had the V6 here in the Rockies, I would shoot myself.

The rest of the car is awesome. I can't believe how smooth it rides. It corners at "normal" speeds with very little body roll, and really inspires confidence. I am worried I am going to miss the low stance and incredible handling of my old car, but the rest of the package is great. There is no doubt that the WK2 is the SUV to own.

My only minor two complaints so far for the rest of the car: If you don't have the push button to start it (the rental doesn't), there is very little space behind the steering wheel to get the fob into the ignition and turn it. I'm glad I won't have to do that in my Overland. The second has to do with the radio presets. I put a bunch in. I can go forward through them by using the button behind the steering wheel on the left, but can't go backwards. If I want to go back to a preset I just passed, I have to loop all the way around again. The up and down buttons seem to scan through the radio stations, which makes no sense to me because I'm not likely to do that much when I have all the stations I like programmed in the radio! Am I missing something here?
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:04 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Forgot to add, that after two days of essentially 95% highway, I'm averaging 17.3mpg. I think the Hemi will do that or better, because it won't be struggling so much to push the 5,000lb vehicle up all these hills at high altitute. We'll see....
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:29 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Elevation is a little over 5000ft in the greater in the Denver area where we live. We test drove both the V6 and the V8 and would definitely agree the V8 is the way to go for higher elevations. Our older 2000 GC I6 suffers a bit worst than the WK6 V6 at 5000 ft and it really starts to dog when you head up into the Rockies (10K+).

In my opinion a V8 is a must on an SUV at 5000+ ft.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:43 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

+1
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:14 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Man am I glad you wrote this! I ordered the HEMI after test driving both engines for a couple of blocks without hesitation, but I was second guessing myself.
I'm very happy with my choice now! Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:31 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Turbocharged engines don't suffer like the naturally aspirated engines do at higher elevations. The thinner the air, the turbo just spins faster, and you still get the pressurization. That 300HP turbo engine was still making 300HP at 5000 feet up. The Pentastar V-6 was probably making nowhere near its rated power.

The V-8 is a better pick for the high altitudes, but nowadays, anything is going to have to downshift on a decent grade; the top gear is usually going to be pretty tall in order to help with fuel economy.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:34 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Good point on having multiple people in the car dragging the V6 down.I was going to buy the V6 too and managed to talk my wife into letting me get the Hemi. The V6 I thought was great on my test drive too.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:57 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

I think the rule of thumb is 3-4% power loss per 1k rise in altitude for normally aspirated engines. Forced induction engines aren't immune to altitude but their loss is smaller.

Which rental companies have the WK2?
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:18 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

+1 I am very glad I got the V8 living here in Denver. Over the holidays, we took a trip up to Brekenridge, I had 5 ppl in the car + luggage and the drive through the mountains was absolutely wonderful with the V8, never once did it seem to struggle with any of the climbs up to about 8k feet!

If I lived in Dallas, pretty flat with little to no mountains to travel through or if I was not towing, I would have opted for the V6. I am averaging about 15.8 MPG and that is mostly all city driving here in Denver with the occassional trip up to the foothills.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:21 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmonger View Post
Which rental companies have the WK2?
Enterprise!
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:34 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technosavant View Post
The V-8 is a better pick for the high altitudes, but nowadays, anything is going to have to downshift on a decent grade; the top gear is usually going to be pretty tall in order to help with fuel economy.
Agreed, but the V6 shifted down 2 gears to 3rd. I noticed when I test drove both, that the V8 would not shift down like the V6 did on uphill highway on-ramps.

I will report back on the V8 when it arrives, after doing the same drive with the cruise control set at the same speed. I bet the V8 will not drop below 4th gear.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:06 PM
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Re: Man am I glad I ordered the Hemi!

I'm happy with the Hemi also. I was on some steep grades (15 deg) this weekend and she ground them out without a fuss. On flat highway roads at cruising speed I feel like I barely need to press the gas to maintain speed (that is, when I'm not using the beloved ACC feature).

Re radio presets, I use the button behind the wheel in certain situations but mostly I'm diggin' the voice command. When listening to Sirius, I just say the number without the prefix "channel" and it works great.
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