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Old 09-29-2010, 12:49 PM
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Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

I thought I would start a thread on what you all test drove when shopping for a vehicle. I looked at just about everything out there, and the wk2 won me over in the end. Here's a rundown on what I was considering and why I went with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee:

2011 Ford Edge / Lincoln MKX - I thought the new remodel looked great, and was really interested in the My Ford Touch interface. I was waiting for this vehicle since Jan, and when it was finally released in August and I took it out for a test drive I was surprisingly disappointed with the My Ford Touch software. Yes you can customize everything, and yes the look of the nav is superior to the Jeep's (both Harmon and Garmin), but there was a pretty significant delay when selecting ANYTHING on their interface, and that I just couldn't live with. You can see this most prevalent when you change the ambiant lighting, as soon as you select a different color, it takes several seconds to actually change on screen. Something this slick needs to have smoother graphics, it's like ipod cool but rreeaaalllll slow. I was looking only for an SUV and felt that this was more minivan/car than SUV, so after my disappointment with the MY FORD TOUCH I started to look elsewhere - ELIMINATED!

2011 Lincoln MKX - The only reason why I think anyone would spend more $$ for this vs. the Ford Edge is for a/c seats. It also has a cool slider bar that is touch sensitive for a/c and volume control, but it wasn't responding correctly to my touch - in fact, when I would slide my finger to turn it up, it would actually turn it down and vice versa!! Cool idea, just executed poorly and therefore - ELIMINATED!

2011 Audi Q5 - this baby had me at hello. Looking at this vehicle head on, i think it's one of the meanest looking SUV's out there. I was looking at this since 2010 and was interested in the S-Line package b/c of the exterior styling, but they were hard to come by (similar to OVERLAND!). The Q5 3.2L was updated in the 2011 model year to come standard with S-Line packaging, so I figured it would be easier to find one and perhaps the dealer would start to budge a little on price. I test drove three different times, ultimately the rear seating was too tight and the navigation is not touch; it's operated with a knob that I thought would grow to become extremely annoying. Was also a little annoying that something this expensive would not have push start, my wife's Altima has push start - c'mon Audi! If this car was just slightly larger (not a compact SUV, but mid-size) and the nav was touch, I would probably have bought it, but since it's not - ELIMINATED!

2010 Toyota 4Runner - Looked at this before the Jeep and just didn't think it had a nice enough interior for $40K. Some of my friends have and love the 4runner, and like it particularly b/c it is "rugged" inside, but I just felt it was "cheap" looking IMO. The back up camera did not have the green, yellow and red lines indicating safe parking distances. We've all been parking for years with little or no issues, so it's probably not necessary, but if you are going to provide a back up camera you should at least go the distance to include the most common features - ELIMINATED!

Acura MDX - I personally have never been a huge fan of Honda or Acura, so admittedly I went into my test drive with some pre-conceived notions. Nothing happened on the test drive to change my opinion, and I was turned off by the vanilla navigation. This was a used MDX from I think 2008, and I heard their nav has been improved, but I wasn't willing to spend more time looking at it - ELIMINATED!

2010 Nissan Murano - was not a fan of the exterior, interior was really nice. Too car-like - ELIMINATED.

2010 Nissan Pathfinder - I probably didn't give this one a fair shot since my goal was to check out the Murano, but I did sit in it and just was not impressed. I'm looking for a new car and wanted something...grand - ELIMINATED!

2010 Infiniti EX - felt even smaller than the AUDI - ELIMINATED!

2010 Infiniti FX - as far as luxury SUV's go, this one was very nice. I preferred the AUDI's handling, although the Infiniti had a superior navigation/interface IMO (touch). I came close to actually buying one, but in the end I felt this also was more "car" than "truck" styling, which was kind of a turnoff for me - ELIMINATED!

2010 Range Rover - I didn't have $80K laying around and was concerned about cost of ownership, expensive parts - ELIMINATED!

BMW X5 - A little out of my price range for new, and the used just didn't seem to have nice enough electronics (radio/navigation/internal hd, etc.), at least I didn't find one in my price range (If i'm going used, I want to spend under $40K). No disrespect to BMW, I know they make fine automobiles, but I just didn't want to pay what I felt was a premium price just for a badge - ELIMINATED!

2010 Subaru Outback - great vehicle, didn't want a station wagon - ELIMINATED!

2010 Subaru Tribeca - great vehicle, didn't want a minivan - ELIMINATED!

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, 4x4, V8 - great exterior SUV styling, roomy front memory, a/c, heated seats, push to start and remote start, rain sensing wipers, meaty steering wheel, impressive interior styling, touch nav, radio control ipod interface with hard drive, roomy back seat (I'm 6'4" and could sit comfortably back there AFTER I adjusted the driver seat to my comfortable driving position - could not say that for any of the others), reclining seat backs in the rear, rear a/c and heat controls, power liftgate, and huge sunroof - BOUGHT! Well I should say ordered, now the wait begins.....
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:59 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

congratulations that is one fine list you have gone down through to end up buying the Overland !!! Way to go and welcome
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:11 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

Have you ever used an in-dash touch navigation unit? I like the MyGig in my WK1, but I find using the touch screen a little difficult while driving. The suspension reacting to road variations cause your body/arm/finger to move around while attempting to push the virtual buttons. I can see the benefit to Audi/BMW style input.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:11 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

For me this purchase was kind of unplanned b/c my '98 ZJ was totaled - I would drive it for at least another 5 years.

Next day after the accident I went to my local dealer and they had GC '11 in stock. On that day I just sat inside and didn't even test drive it. I liked what I saw.

When I started really looking I decided I don't care whether this is Jeep or not. Off-road ability didn't matter to me anymore - vehicle quality and ride comfort did. I also didn't need 3 row seating.

I also considered Toyota Rav 4 and Highlander, Ford Edge and Mazda CX 9.

Of these 3 I liked Ford Edge design the best. However, wide spread problems with PTU unit made me eliminate it. Also the lack of well-reviewed dealers in NYC was a neg.

Mazda CX 9 was a contender but a couple bad reviews at Edmunds turned me off. Plus there were no well-reviewed dealers in NYC area (www.dealerrater.com)

Rav 4 was kind of too small and Highlander - too large and bloated. They were still contenders.

So I decided to test-drive Jeep first and then check out CX-9, Rav4 and Highlander.

However, after I drove Jeep I decided I will not even look at the rest of them.

For me the real dilemma was V6 vs Hemi and I picked V6 mostly because potential for Hemi tick (which some people reported present on GC '11 with Hemi). I ordered Laredo V6 + X package + Nav + Towing package.

I wish rear seats in WK2 would slide back and forth for even more leg room, similar to Rav4. I also wish Chrysler offered another V8, something more modern and possibly less powerful than Hemi (as it did in some of the previous years) - leave Hemi for SRT-8 edition.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:15 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

I didn't actually test-drive any of them, but I made a spreadsheet with about 25 different vehicles on it to compare the specs and help me narrow it down.

I'm currently driving a Silverado 2500HD with the 6.6L Duramax diesel. I LOVE the truck -- it's roomy, comfortable on the highway, and it can tow 13K lbs!! But, the fact of the matter is that I don't need that towing capacity anymore and I need something easier to get in and out of parking lots. So, here's my comparisons:

Chevy Tahoe, Toyota Sequoia: Just as big, really as the Silverado. And still showing their crude truck roots. Still more towing capacity than I need.

Toyota Land Cruiser: I've always liked these, but my GOD!! Even used they're $55k!

Subaru Tribeca, Chevy Equinox, Nissan Murano: Nice vehicles. Right size. And I've always been a huge fan of Subaru. I rebuild old pickup trucks as a hobby, though, and with only 3500 lbs towing capacity, I couldn't put a truck on a trailer and pull it.

Nissan Pathfinder, XTerra: Closer. Towing capacity is right there at 5000 lbs, and they're the right size, but they are so poorly optioned that I couldn't get the three options I REQUIRE -- Heated mirrors, NAV, and leather.

The three finalists were the Toyota Highlander, which got eliminated because of it's short range and rather dowdy looks, the GMC Acadia, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Acadia looks pretty good, and meets all the requirements for towing capacity and features. It's 15" longer than the Jeep, which didn't help its cargo capacity for some reason, and the only engine available, the V6 is supposed to be really straining to schlep around the 5200 LB vehicle. What finally sealed the deal, though, was that its list price is $3K more than the Jeep, but the interior is WAY worse! The $42,000 Acadia has the same interior as the $32K JGC Laredo.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:19 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

Wow great read. I like reading what others think about vehicles. Good luck with the new jeep!!!! My pops has a 2009 MKX, Only thing I like about it is the AC seats. It's also slower than the 3.7 WK. My mom has a 2009 Murano. Like you said I don't like the exterior but the interior is very nice. Don;t like the Non Touch Screen Nav.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:59 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

You mentioned that the Infiniti FX was quite luxurious, and I'm sure the Audi and BMW were in that category as well. How would you say interior quality/soft touch materials compared to the overland?
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:00 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

Nicely done Tank. Good luck with the patience thing on the order.

We had similar experiences and have a Touareg and MDX in the garage now, previously Audi's. Loved the LR3/LR4/Sport/HSE but didn't like the reports on reliability problems, or the top heaviness felt in them all.

Biggest compliment, is the JGC runs, feels, and looks equal or better than these more costly vehicles, and therefore won me over.
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:44 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

I had an 06 Limited with Hemi that I leased; lease ended in 08 and all Chrysler leasing was over at that point. I hated the interior of the 06 and didn't even consider buying a new or used one.

I ended up with a certified 07 Volvo XC90 V8...the size is perfect for me but my God..for a car that cost over $50K brand new, interior quality is crap. The amount of rattles and squeaks is not to be believed. EVERYTHING makes noise. I have to have the rear middle seat folded flat all the time, that takes care of one sound. The others I have to live with. It rides well and I've had no problems with it mechanically but the build quality really stinks.

After a year or owning it, I really wanted out...I knew the GC was coming but didn't think I would last...

Checked out the Touareg TDI...really really liked the engine, interior was really nice, totally capable off-road...but the design was still so 2004, and I was concerned about expensive repairs down the line...plus it was not cheap!

Considered the Q7 (too big and boat like, and what's up with the cupholder in the arm rest???), the MB 350 diesel (meh, not a fan of MB in general), the Tahoe (nice truck, but really too big for me and I need seats that fold flat in the back) and the X5 (a close second but even 07s were costing close to $40K, and no real 4WD, blech).

In the end, I sucked it up and decided to wait. I really really wanted the GC. Patience is a virtue. Should have it by the weekend.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:00 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

Infinity FX35 - nice interior, but small back seat. Fun to drive. Underpowered with too much shifting. More powerful FX50 is too expensive. Not towable 4-down. Can't go offroad.

Mazda CX9 - Car like handling. Underpowered with too much shifting. Not towable 4-down. Can't go offroad.

VW Toureg diesel - Amazing engine and transmission. Fun to drive. Worried about quality. Not towable 4-down, so I didn't go back to test drive again to compare to Jeep more closely. But liked the engine and gas mileage so much I almost dropped my towability requirement.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - Towable. Can go anywhere. But doesn't drive well, seriously underpowered, and 4 speed automatic sucked.

Grand Cherokee 2011 - Wow. Drove much better than I remembered my brother's old Grand Cherokee from the mid '90s driving. Nice interior. Great rear seat leg room. Great off-road capability. Can tow over 7K lbs for when the wife is using the Suburban and I want to take the boat out. We can pull it 4-down behind the motorhome instead of the Suburban. Good price compared to European competitors and far more versatile/capable. SOLD!!
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:33 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

very nice thread
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:33 PM
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Re: Torn between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottina06 View Post
very nice thread
I Agree.
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