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Old 07-31-2012, 11:11 AM
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Finally - a test drive...

So after months of anticipation and waiting I finally got to drive one of these beasts. I had an 06 Jeep SRT8 and I was curious what the comparison would be like. I would not call it dissapointing, but rather just summed up by saying under-powered and over-weight.

It's fast, fast as hell once you get going - but to get going there seems to be a lot of drama and say 75-100 more hp could help that considerably. Lots of body roll and this was in track mode with just some abrupt manuevers at speed. I think if it were actually on the track it would be better suited for a full eval but no chance for that on this drive - my old Jeep never felt tippy - and this one has that vague feeling of if I do something stupid I might be bicycling. It is not quick at all, the old gen had that going for it, there was not that neck snapping launch off the line - needs more torque. Passengers in my old Jeep were always like "holy shit" when you stomped it...I know a lot of that is muted by a refined chassis and better engineering and I know it is just as fast as the old one.

It is a super smooth, powerful vehicle that reminds me much of driving a Ranger Rover Sport Supercharged...with much better brakes, but not really what I am looking for. Looking for a little bit more of a raw experience...rather than a wallowing Autobahn cruiser, I am sure it would eat up the miles.

Fit and finish on the exterior horrible for a car sitting on a lot at a dealership - front bumper looks like it is ready to come off in a strong wind(front looked popped at the corner) and the fender flares are "flared" at each end where they are coming unstuck...dealer said these have been addressed once already and just by sitting there for a few weeks they have come undone again. Panel gaps in the rear on the lift gate were very uneven.

Interior is - well just like a Mercedes as that is what it is...very nice and where it should be.

Again - great truck and even at $58k the dealer was trying to unload it with all allowances built in, that did not move me to grab my checkbook. He has had it for about 3 months.

I think it is a great foundation for gen 2 - but it needs more power above all and firmer suspension tuning built in at least as an option...and it still has that 4X4 ride height ( I know, I know it is a 4X4) It was hard to detect much difference at all in the selectable settings...they need to turn the volume up on those if they are going to offer, otherwise don't bother.

I will wait a bit while they figure out what this gen wants to be when it grows up...

Again just my .02 - still a fan, just waiting for the next episode....
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:00 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

I don't have any direct experience with the WK1 SRT but compared to my Cayenne Turbo the WK2 SRT8 is a lot more fun to drive and IMHO has higher ultimate grip, faster acceleration (aside from the pumped up Turbo S) and a more comfortable and functional interior (I hated having to remove the headrests just to drop down the rear seats). I wanted a performance SUV that can tow my 5000 lb trailer and still snap off sub 5 second 0-60 runs (obviously without the trailer attached), not a pseudo race car. Obviously the WK2 SRT8 isn't for everyone but if you are cross shopping what's available in the showrooms today you will be hard pressed to find something that outperforms it and is more luxurious in the $60K price range. Try $100K+.

But I do agree with you on the body cladding. I had a 2011 Overland and the exterior fit and finish were a lot better on that. They really need to sort out the flair and bumper issues.

Also, I don't think there's a chance in hell the WK1 will outpace a WK2 on the track. It may feel like there's less body roll in exaggerated on road wheel yanking but the suspension geometry, chassis flex and live axle makes the WK1 the loser in that race.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:27 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post
I don't have any direct experience with the WK1 SRT but compared to my Cayenne Turbo the WK2 SRT8 is a lot more fun to drive and IMHO has higher ultimate grip, faster acceleration (aside from the pumped up Turbo S) and a more comfortable and functional interior (I hated having to remove the headrests just to drop down the rear seats). I wanted a performance SUV that can tow my 5000 lb trailer and still snap off sub 5 second 0-60 runs (obviously without the trailer attached), not a pseudo race car. Obviously the WK2 SRT8 isn't for everyone but if you are cross shopping what's available in the showrooms today you will be hard pressed to find something that outperforms it and is more luxurious in the $60K price range. Try $100K+.

But I do agree with you on the body cladding. I had a 2011 Overland and the exterior fit and finish were a lot better on that. They really need to sort out the flair and bumper issues.

Also, I don't think there's a chance in hell the WK1 will outpace a WK2 on the track. It may feel like there's less body roll in exaggerated on road wheel yanking but the suspension geometry, chassis flex and live axle makes the WK1 the loser in that race.
Agreed - for the price, tough to beat, (if beatable) I didn't get into that...I know the next iteration will not be cheaper and it should not be...just hope they adjust some of the flaws.

I am sure the current gen would also win out on the track - live axle does not translate into stellar handling - but back to the WKI - not sure what it is/was - it just seemed to handle much "flatter" when pushed - again this is from 30 minutes in the second Gen as compared to 2 years in the previous Gen behind the wheel time.

Again not sure slow was an accurate representation - maybe "muted", "numb"....and I am sure that comes from the refinement of the chassis, NVH and technology. Again they are appealing to a mass market not some track junkie

In terms of cross shopping I am all over the map - but keeping my eye out for 2014 - it's still on the list and kudos to all that have bought this gen it is a very nice rig.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:28 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

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Originally Posted by P-Dawger View Post
Agreed - for the price, tough to beat, (if beatable) I didn't get into that...I know the next iteration will not be cheaper and it should not be...just hope they adjust some of the flaws.

I am sure the current gen would also win out on the track - live axle does not translate into stellar handling - but back to the WKI - not sure what it is/was - it just seemed to handle much "flatter" when pushed - again this is from 30 minutes in the second Gen as compared to 2 years in the previous Gen behind the wheel time.

Again not sure slow was an accurate representation - maybe "muted", "numb"....and I am sure that comes from the refinement of the chassis, NVH and technology. Again they are appealing to a mass market not some track junkie

In terms of cross shopping I am all over the map - but keeping my eye out for 2014 - it's still on the list and kudos to all that have bought this gen it is a very nice rig.
Did it have the 3 season or 4 season tires? I've noticed the 4 season tires aren't as crisp as I would ultimately like, a fair bit of tread squirm but they do ride nice and they should also last about twice a long as the P-Zero's and at $450 a pop that's a good thing.

I think the front could also use some more aggressive adjustments but that would just aggravate the tire wear issue so that isn't going to happen on mine.

Hey, I was with you when it came out, just didn't see how it could justify the premium price but after having my 2011 Overland for over a year and getting a good feel for the overall character of the chassis I had a feeling the pumped up version would be about the closest I could get to my old Cayenne without having to part with 6 figures and so far I'm very happy.

It seems the previous generation owners are the ones who have the most problem with the cost. I guess that's because you got spoiled with how cheap the old one was considering it's raw performance.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:55 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

All good points PDawger. I cant believe track mode wasnt a jaw jarring and flat run for you. Track mode is unbearably stiff on mine
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:45 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

It's a truck not a race car. I think 99% of buyers will be stop light and on ramp racing but that's about it.

That's why it's hard to swallow the price tag. Hell you can get a brand new Overland, trailer and dedicated track car for $70k.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:03 AM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

I had a limited 5.7 2012 Cherokee and now I have a Durango 2012 5.7L. I just drove the Cherokee SRT8 2012 the other day and I was highly impressed. Felt very fast off the line and very stable around corners. I even drove it a little off road and didn't feel a thing. I felt that it was almost too fast. I guess its all perspective as I thought my Durango and Jeep were very fast vehicles. The only thing that stopped me from buying was the gas mileage.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:50 AM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

how was the off roading capabilities?
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:33 AM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

LOVE LOVE LOVE my 2012! Hands down 10x the vehicle my 2009 was!
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:07 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

Pdawger, you really have to drive a wk2 after some miles are on it, I've never had a vehicle that "woke" up so much after a few thousand miles. Id actually believe if it were true that the timing adjusts its so noticeable.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:24 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbantank View Post
Pdawger, you really have to drive a wk2 after some miles are on it, I've never had a vehicle that "woke" up so much after a few thousand miles. Id actually believe if it were true that the timing adjusts its so noticeable.
That might be in order - I have heard the same thing. Just to tack on a few more points here...little miffed at Chrysler and feel bad for some of the guys that have ponied up the $55-$60k only to have a ton of features added to the 2014 model that will come out essentially next summer...

Doesn't sound like the 6.2 S/C will be out then but the 8 speed will...wonder what that will do to performance and mpg? Finally bringing over the tech from the other models too with the new architecture.

So another data point on this and I am not sure if Chryco should wake up regarding performance and mpg...that Ford Ecoboost with the TT 3.5 pumping out 365 and Bully Dog already tuning it with a "conservative" 83hp gain putting it right around 450hp - really puts the Explorer Sport in the league with the SRT8 BUT with 22mg and a $40k price...lots of Land Rover tech in it as well with the terrain response systems and all of Fords cool new electronic architecture.

I guess I was always looking for the unique and one of a kind nature that the WK1 SRT offered when it first came out...rides like this are common place now.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: Finally - a test drive...

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Originally Posted by P-Dawger View Post
So another data point on this and I am not sure if Chryco should wake up regarding performance and mpg...that Ford Ecoboost with the TT 3.5 pumping out 365 and Bully Dog already tuning it with a "conservative" 83hp gain putting it right around 450hp - really puts the Explorer Sport in the league with the SRT8 BUT with 22mg and a $40k price...lots of Land Rover tech in it as well with the terrain response systems and all of Fords cool new electronic architecture.
OP, I can see your point with the advantage of a FI engine and reasonable expensive for tuning (via ECU/boost pressure). This is were most companies have gone with the exception of Chryco. However it is still nice to have a NA V8 as a starting point. Those wanting more performance, add a S/C kit and it will address the "deficiency".

Power is one measurement but the Explorer Sport doesn't match the SRT8 in handling and/or braking. IMO, this is more important vs. pure HP and torque. Also I believe the Explorer AWD system is front drive bias. I'll pass on this for a performance vehicle.

I don't own an SRT8 but it is on my list for a new vehicle next year. Others being considered are the S4/S5, RS5 and M3. Most are the same comparison of FI vs. NA V8.

FWIW, yes my car selection is all over the place. It is simply a matter of my wife picking a replacement vehicle. If she goes crossover or wagon, I go with a sedan or coupe. Otherwise it will be a SRT8 or CPO X5M.
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