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I traded my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo for a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk yesterday. The 2011 was great when it wasn’t in the shop. I used it extensively on trails in the local mountains and loved it when it was working but I did have a number of problems like power steering pump, problems with the control doors and fan on the air conditioning/heating system, radiator, water pump, TIPM system (disabled the vehicle) as well as a recent left side head gasket replacement for which I have applied to FCA for relief under the extended warranty. Of course there were numerous recalls, all of which I had done. The 2011 was right up against 100,000 miles and for the latest work it was out of commission for 7 weeks due to living in an oil boom town and other reasons.

I had been shopping for about a year and came up against incredible incompetence at the dealerships in my little town and surrounding towns. No knowledge of the vehicle, like offering me Cherokees, when I clearly made known what I wanted, as well as complete unwillingness to budge from MSRP sent me to El Paso, Texas where 2019s were just arriving, one of which was very close to exactly what i had been wanting. The lack of rock rails was the only problem.

My experience at Dick Poe motors was excellent. They treated me with consideration and dignity and would budge some on price. I don’t care about lowest possible price very much; just don’t care to be gouged.

The short test drive was fun. It didn’t take a block of driving to see what a difference the ZF8 transmission makes on this vehicle. I have never complained about the 3.6 liter and old 5 speed but the new setup is a revelation in response. It is just much more fun.

In 2011 I heavily considered quadra-lift and ultimately decided for my use I wanted something simpler. I had visions of breaking down 50s of miles from the nearest paved road. I certainly hope the quadra-lift is reliable. I will be able to use the increased clearance well. In mild use to date I haven’t found the OR-II position to be that harsh. We will see. I thought I would never want to use the park mode unless I was loading an elderly person but I have found, with the excellent bolstered seats, that it can be a bit of a struggle to get in or out at higher lift settings.

In my judgement there are several things about the 2019 that are inferior to the 2011. One is the lack of the openable rear hatch window. Not too big a deal. And maybe this is unusual, but I really miss the ability to display the altitude on the NAV screen unless you go to the off-road pages, which takes a while to show the altitude and position in a small font. Also I have not found a way to save your track, something I used quite a bit. There are work arounds for all these but the 2011 was just more convenient.

I find the newer manual shift control to be inferior to the very simple operation on the 2011. It is "okay" using the paddle shifters.

Of course the 2019 Uconnect has many more features, which means more complicated operation. At least the most commonly used functions like cabin temperature set and basic radio controls have dedicated controls. I do like the way Apple CarPlay works on this vehicle much more than the way it is on my 2016 Ford Mustang. On the Jeep you maintain some of the important Uconnect functions even when in CarPlay. The ability to show a satellite map using Google Maps on CarPlay is stupendous for me. I love the Send & Go which eliminates looking up the destination on a computer then writing down the coordinates then going to the Jeep and manually inputting the data.

I am always amused when I see people discuss mileage on car forums. They almost always say I got this or that, which I think means that is the number they saw on the MPG computer on the dash. I discount all this data because my experience is that the dash figure is almost invariably way optimistic. My Mustang has the unusual ability to calibrate the MPG computer which makes it so much more useful. I only have one refill at about 1/3 of a tank left, so there is much more to learn. I was a bit disappointed to see the display number for mostly highway driving (around 22 MPG) because I expected the actual MPG, based on that, would be around 19 MPG or so. Astoundingly the calculated MPG was over 25 MPG. I can’t believe this of course, since it is just one fill up and I don’t know how the dealer did it on the initial fueling. We will see, but I think this might turn out to do quite a bit better than the 2011 for efficiency.
 

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'Glad you like your new JGC.

Relative to the milage, if you take some time to read the various threads on that topic here, a very good percentage of the folks commenting are not depending on the EVIC for their figure. They are doing actual calculations using applications like Fuely or other methods. (My EVIC is actually relatively accurate based on manual comparisons) How folks drive makes a significant difference, too, as does the ambient temperature. I personally get significantly better fuel economy than my spouse or daughter when driving the same vehicle over the same terrain/routes.
 

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Thanks for your comments on you new JGC. I also currently own a 2011 and am considering an upgrade. I appreciate your comparisons of the old and the new and especially the ZF8 transmission.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to detail old/new GC comparisons.

This is my 1st GC and its also a Trailhawk so i can't relate to your 2011.

The computer's gas mileage readout has been referred to by members of other forums as the 'lie o meter'
I only use it as a reference point.

Whenever i leave the pavement, the off road screen is the most important and its always enabled until i get back on the pavement.

I have to disagree about manual shifting.
IMO manual shift mode is absolutely great especially with the paddle shifters or even the console stick shift.
No comparison to the auto stick feature on my old Jeep Patriot.

The Uconnect system regarding user settings is light years ahead of the user settings in my '16 F150.
While my Trailhawk has dozens of user settings, my F150 sync3 system in comparison has only has a handful.

I so far am extremely happy with my Trailhawk but i didn't have a 2011 GC for comparison.
I guess its all relative to one's past and present vehicle experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Whenever i leave the pavement, the off road screen is the most important and its always enabled until i get back on the pavement.
I used that a lot out on the trails today. The coolant temperature was getting up some on a 70ish day but nothing alarming. I did look at the Nav screen some and it was a hoot. Up in the national forest it showed little evergreen trees all around."

I have to disagree about manual shifting.
IMO manual shift mode is absolutely great especially with the paddle shifters or even the console stick shift.
I think the paddles are fine on the highway but on the trail I think it is much harder than the old 2011 where you would just bump the lever to the left to grab a lower gear then it was left for lower yet or right for higher. To return to auto just hold to the right for a second.

With the paddles I found when i had the wheel cranked I couldn't find the paddles and it was a two step process to use the stick.
 

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.....I think the paddles are fine on the highway but on the trail I think it is much harder than the old 2011 where you would just bump the lever to the left to grab a lower gear then it was left for lower yet or right for higher. To return to auto just hold to the right for a second.

With the paddles I found when i had the wheel cranked I couldn't find the paddles and it was a two step process to use the stick.
The console stick shifter can also be used to shift gears manually just like the auto stick feature in many older FCA vehicles.
Pull the stick into the M position and there you go, in manual shift mode using the stick shifter.

From the Owner's manual:
To activate AutoStick mode, move the gear selector into the
MANUAL (M) position (beside the DRIVE position)
, or tap
one of the shift paddles on the steering wheel (if equipped).
Tapping the (-) shift paddle (if equipped) to enter
AutoStick mode will downshift the transmission to the
next lower gear, while tapping (+) to enter AutoStick mode
will retain the current gear. The current transmission gear
will be displayed in the instrument cluster. In AutoStick
mode, you can use the gear selector (in the MANUAL
position), or the shift paddles (if equipped), to manually
shift the transmission. Tapping the gear selector forward (-)
while in the MANUAL (M) position, or tapping the (-) shift
paddle (if equipped), will downshift the transmission to
the next lower gear. Tapping the selector rearward (+) (or
tapping the (+) shift paddle, if equipped) will command an
upshift.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The console stick shifter can also be used to shift gears manually just like the auto stick feature in many older FCA vehicles.
Pull the stick into the M position and there you go, in manual shift mode using the stick shifter.

From the Owner's manual:
Yes, that is how it works. I preferred the way it worked on my 2011.

With the 2019, if you want to quickly grab a lower gear using the lever you move the lever left then forward. This leaves out the step of trying to remember which direction to move the lever.

With the 2011, if you want to quickly grab a lower gear you flick the lever left, that is it. One step instead of two.

With manual transmissions left means lower. The forward and back business is not even standardized from manufacturer to manufacturer. I'm sure I can learn it but I didn't really have to learn anything with the old system.
 

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Ok i'm confused now.
Once you move the shifter to engage auto stick, Manual shift mode is there for the duration until you move the shifter stick back to the Auto position.

Once in Manual shift mode, the shifter only needs to be moved either up once to gear down one level or move the shifter down to gear up one level.
In other words, there's only one procedure to up or down shift gears while in Manual shift mode.

Unless i'm missing something, I don't see the two step procedure of shifting gears once in Manual mode that you mentioned.
The current gear is also displayed on the instrument panel which is a plus.

I had a Jeep Patriot with Auto stick similar to what you describe and i myself prefer the GC Auto stick method much better.
It much more emulates shifting gears similar to a real manual transmission minus the clutch of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok i'm confused now.
Once you move the shifter to engage auto stick, Manual shift mode is there for the duration until you move the shifter stick back to the Auto position.
Yes, two steps instead of one. Engage manual mode then decide what direction to move the stick. That can be learned but it is an extra step and less intuitive in my opinion.

I copy below what I just wrote about the issue on a FB page.

I don’t have anything against paddle shifters as an option. I find they work nicely on the road where you aren’t using large steering angles.

Yesterday on the trail when I wanted to grab a lower gear I couldn’t find the appropriate paddle because I had the steering wheel cranked over.

I was really referring to the manual method using the transmission selector lever. The method on the 2011 is brilliant. You are trucking along and need to shift down. You just tap the lever left then left again to shift down again or right to shift up. Left lower, right higher, just like with a manual transmission. To go back to auto you hold the lever right for half a second.

On the 2019 if you need to pop down a gear you first enter manual mode by moving the lever left into a separate detent. Then you need to decide whether to move the lever forward or backward to do what you want. No manual transmission analogy here. When you decide to go automatic again you move the lever right again out of the detent.

The new method is doable. The old method is flat out elegant.
 

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Ok i think i get it now.
The manual shifting you describe is similar to the system used on my old Patriot.
I myself prefer the new manual mode shift system.
If you think about it, its still sort of one movement. Say if you need to downshift from auto, pull the stick left and up in one continuous movement

By the way i think paddle shifters are more suited for racing type situations on paved roads.
Though i'd use the paddles when off road wheeling when there aren't any severe turns on the trail which is seldom. lol

Haven't tried this yet, but when the paddles are enabled i wonder if the stick shifter is also automatically put in manual mode. That would be a plus if thats the case.
Something else to try out on my Trailhawk.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Things have been going pretty swimmingly and I am still learning things, like the bread crumb feature I was missing is actually still there under a different name and mode of operation. Until today there have been no issues and the overall cumulative calculated MPG is 21.7 MPG with the computer display running around .5 to 1 MPG higher, which is much closer than I am used to.

I was out on a dry lake bed in 4WD low on loose dirt and mud and on came the chime and SERV 4WD and ESC Off alerts (1123 miles). DRAT! I headed back toward town and upon shutting the engine off then restarting the alerts cleared.

For someone who traded off my troublesome 2011 for this new chariot, this is disappointing. If the problem does not recur, I'm sure forgiveness will be forthcoming.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
https://jeepgarage.org/images/imagination/attach/jpg.gif

I have about 2,000 miles on the Trailhawk now. I have not received any more error messages despite using 4WD low quite a bit.

I am shocked that the satellite radio quality is sort of acceptable, unlike the satellite radio quality in my 2011. I think that is due to having an XM receiver rather than Sirius. I can conceive of actually subscribing to this. The over all sound quality of the audio system is fairish with pretty horrible mid bass emphasis and pretty much nothing below that, especially when you run the bass controls down a bit to remove some of the boominess.

The displayed MPG is surprisingly close to the calculated figure. It appears that it reads only about .5 to .75 MPG high.

Just for fun I went through the steps to activate the onboard wifi. I do have it working but can't figure out a possible reason to subscribe to it after the free data is used, especially since it uses the same wireless network that my phone does.

https://jeepgarage.org/images/imagination/attach/jpg.gif

I had some trouble figuring out how to make the rear 12V outlet live all the time. Older instructions I found did not apply. It turns out that rather than moving the fuse to a completely different location, you just move it over half a space.

I am enjoying this thing a bunch.
 

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Thanks for the info! We’re looking into a Trailhawk (possibly) and this it’s good to know about the manual mode. My 08 SRT shifts manually like your previous GC did, it sounds like.
 

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It takes a LONG time for the Alpine sound system to break in fully. Mine started sounding decent - to the extent that I've decided to live with it - after about six months. After that, try turning off surround mode, leaving the midrange and treble flat, dropping the bass two or three notches, and moving the front/rear balance one or two ticks to the rear. The tonal difference between the front and rear speakers is so marked that the front/rear balance has a very striking impact on the overall tonal complexion of the system.

Those settings have given me the best overall sound. It's still extraordinarily source-dependent, but acceptable to my now less critical and aging ears.
 

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It's funny that you mention poor satellite radio reception. I had a 2015, 2017, and now a 2019 Grand Cherokee and for whatever reason. the 2019 pulls in satellite radio stations in my garage. All of my other Jeeps and my other cars don't pull in satellite radio at all in the garage, but the 2019 Jeep does for some strange reason. The other day I was sitting in my Jeep in the garage playing with the vehicle settings for about 15 minutes and the satellite radio was playing the whole time. I was very surprised...
 

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I realize that this thread is over a year old, I will get my list of questions. I went from a 2016 JGC Overland to a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. 🇺🇸 I have many questions this is not my first Rodeo as they say on a television commercial. I have a lot of questions. So I will be back. 🇺🇸
 
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