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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:54 AM   #1
RedCass
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2014 Grand Cherokee vs.. something "smaller" from other brand

Hi Guys, I'm totally new to this forum and the Jeep community and.. I need your professional help (of course ).

I have to buy a new car which must be strong (can tow around 2500 - 3000 lbs few times a month but seasonally), be smart (can drive some twisties but also handle daily city commute - work, shopping etc.), be comfortable (enough room for seating, luggage, not too loud inside, handle long hwy drive), be kids friendly (that's for the future ). I've checked some options (believe me I was trying to do my homework well) and.. only two vehicles have stayed on the list:

- 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 3.6L V6 4x4 (4x4 is nothing but my dream, I don't know if I will use it in the future but it's something that I just really want to have and check how it works - I just need something which could drive even on the snow or sand and to be honest I just want it for fun ) and.. please don't laugh now
- 2014 Ford Escape Titanium 2.0 Ecoboost l4 AWD

Ok, now you can laugh .. but.. first please, let me explain.. I've checked many cars in Ford price segment (i.e. Ford Explorer - I don't need third row, Chevy Equinox, Mazda CX9 - too loud!!, Honda CRV - too small and can't handle more than 1500 lbs in towing, Toyota RAV4 - I'm just not a fan of Toyotas , Dodge Journey - too.. slow and still don't need 3rd row, Subaru Outback - I felt almost no handling on twisties!!) and then I went up a little bit and checked that the Grand Cherokee could be the right car for me.. In my opinion it has everything I need but.. there are some cons that could stop me from buying it and I need to find out if they are true. Can you please tell me something about your maintenance cost and your true mpg (city/hwy) and.. what do you think about its handling and safety - I saw few "moose test" (also known as "elk test" or "maneuver test") and Grand Cherokee falled on it!!

I did the test drive on both of them and both were great - honestly and "unfortunately" Escape was little better (it's just more sporty as I like) and its equipment is better as well, but.. the comfort and interior quality of the G.Cherokee feels just.. almost luxury to me - you probably know what I mean, right?

I will be glad to hear any opinion and suggestion from you so, please do not hesitate to tell me more about it!!

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Unread 07-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
dmill89
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You do not want to tow 2,500-3,000 lbs. with an I4. A 4-cyl lacks low-end torque and a turbo does little to nothing to improve this (turbos mainly produce power in the high RPM range), towing anything significant (anything over 1,000 lbs. or so) will be miserable.

A turbo is also a bad idea if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a long time (over 100,000 mi). The turbo(s) itself will usually require an overhaul at around 100k mi. (at $1,500 or so ea.) and it also puts additional stress on other engine components reducing their life.

For what you're planning on using it for a Grand Cherokee is the better option. The new (WK2) Grand Cherokee is a very good vehicle and the 3.6L Pentastar is a very good engine, the current transmissions are either Daimler (2011-2013) or ZF (2014+) and both are very solid units. With it's 5,000 tow rating (V6) the Grand Cherokee should have no trouble pulling 2,500-3,000 lbs. and it also has a much better 4WD/AWD system, though you may never use it to it's fullest extent it is nice to know the capability is there if you need it.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
RedCass
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Woow, thank you so much - I've never thought about such kind of difference with the engines!! The numbers say that Escape can handle up to 3,500 lbs, but.. according to what you wrote, l4 even with the turbo could be not enough for me I have to think about it more.. but I hope not too long
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Unread 07-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
dmill89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCass View Post
Woow, thank you so much - I've never thought about such kind of difference with the engines!! The numbers say that Escape can handle up to 3,500 lbs, but.. according to what you wrote, l4 even with the turbo could be not enough for me I have to think about it more.. but I hope not too long
It is physically capable of towing 3,500 lbs. but it will be an absolute dog doing so. If you needed to tow a U-Haul that weighed that much "once in a blue moon" (i.e. once every several years when moving) it might be tolerable, but I would never want to tow a 2,500-3,000 lb. trailer regularly (even a few times a month) with it. Both due to the extremely poor performance/acceleration you would get (especially if you have any grades)and the additional stress it would put on an already stressed (due to turbo) engine which will not be good for reliability/longevity.

Also remember the Escape is primarily FWD (the AWD system only transfers power to the rear wheels when it detects the front wheels slipping) so the trailer is actually lifting the primary drive axle and the unibody is more stressed. The Grand Cherokee on the other hand is primarily RWD so the trailer weight is over the rear axle and the unibody doesn't have to deal with stress over its entire length (and the Jeep has a much stronger unibody to begin with).

Basically you're comparing an SUV to a Crossover. While the Grand Cherokee is unibody (allowing for better ride and MPG than body on frame SUVS like the 4Runner and Xtera) it's design follows the "traditional" SUV style with a true transfer case and longitudinal mount primarily RWD drive-train (basically the same design as a pickup except for the unibody) which is much better for towing. The Escape (current model) on the other hand is a Crossover and is based on a FWD car platform so it shares the basic design with most FWD cars (transverse mount primarily FWD) but with a slightly more reinforced unibody.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
RedCass
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Thank you dmill89 for your clues again!! They are very helpful!! But can you tell me also something about Jeep's real fuel economy? I'm a little bit afraid that it will eat a lot even without towing (daily commute, shopping etc.) and I will never be even close to the 17/24mpg (city/hwy)..
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Unread 07-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
JeepCares
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCass View Post
- I saw few "moose test" (also known as "elk test" or "maneuver test") and Grand Cherokee falled on it!!
And how did the Ford Escape do on that Moose Test?
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Unread 07-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
RedCass
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JeepCares, when I was comparing these tests, Ford Kuga (it's european name for Escape) did it pretty well - maybe not excellent, but good enough for me and it stayed on the road (Jeep didn't).
When I was doing my own test drive, both Escape and Grand Cherokee were great, but.. I didn't test Jeep so hard like I did with Escape (I took it to the twisty mountain road and I was really surprised how good it keeps the road even with my "hard foot" ). Just for comparison - Subaru Outback was almost flying even on simple turns (I was afraid every time that it will roll over!!)
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Unread 07-26-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
JeepCares
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Please read this link and this link for Chrysler's comments on the Grand Cherokee "Moose Test."
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:26 PM   #9
RedCass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCares View Post
Please read this link and this link for Chrysler's comments on the Grand Cherokee "Moose Test."
I saw many reviews about this Swedish test before and I always was confused, because many people were saying that it was a fake.. Now, I have to say that I feel satisfied, because germans did their own "homework" and result were great (I've just read the article on Auto Motor und Sport site and Chrysler comments). So.. if it's true (not a fake I hope!!) I wouldn't have any doubts about Jeep safety.

Thank you so much for that!!

But.. there are still questions without answers I would be grateful for knowing more about Grand Cherokee real fuel economy and maintenance/service costs..
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Unread 07-26-2013, 03:10 PM   #10
Dave2002ti
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Mpg

I get average 20 to 22mpg on my 2012 V6 GC. I find the GC perfect for chasing apexes on back roads and better than any FWD derived SUV or CUV. Much better than the Escape which pushes and understeers like pig. GC is much more balanced. 8spd should get you another 1-2 mpg. Also remember the GC outweighs an Escape by at least 1000lbs.

I have had my GC since 2012 and so far my only cost has been for oil changes averaging about $60 every 6000 miles or so with Mobil 1.

Previously I had a Honda Element a FWD based SUV. Similar to the Escape and CRV. I test drove an Escape and the new CRV and sorry these FWD based SUVs just dont handle like the GC. Previously I had an E30325i set up for the track. GC is based on RWD platform and handles better than any other SUV out there except for the 2013 Range Rover.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
dmill89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCass View Post
Thank you dmill89 for your clues again!! They are very helpful!! But can you tell me also something about Jeep's real fuel economy? I'm a little bit afraid that it will eat a lot even without towing (daily commute, shopping etc.) and I will never be even close to the 17/24mpg (city/hwy)..
As long as you don't press the accelerator too hard it should get close to the rated mileage. Engine technology has come a long way, my 2013 Mustang GT (6spd. manual) with a 5.0L V8 is rated for 15/26 and I average around 20 mpg (mixed highway/city and I have a some what "spirited" driving style when I'm driving it). The Grand Cherokee is heavier but the engine is smaller/more efficient, averaging 20-24 mpg shouldn't be too hard, this will obviously drop a bit when towing but so will anything else.

Of course my XJ Cherokee is lucky to get 20 mpg hwy and gets around 10-13mpg in the city but it was never designed for fuel efficiency (in 1995 when gas was less than $1.00/gal who cared what the MPG was?), has the aerodynamics of a brick, a 4.0L I6 that was designed 60 years ago, and it has about 218,000 mi and fuel-economy doesn't exactly improve with age (granted it still hits the EPA numbers). With all this being said I never bought it for the fuel economy, but it isn't my primary vehicle either so fuel economy has less of an impact.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
RedCass
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I'm so grateful to hear that the fuel economy in your Jeeps is not that bad - it's even better than I expected (except that '95 one but dmill89 you're right, nobody cared about MPG that time).

And.. Dave2002ti do you do your maintenance by yourself?? $60 for oil changing looks too good (!!!) - what about other maintenances ?? How it looks with the 12k and 20k miles schedule?

Thanks guys for your answers!!!
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Unread 07-28-2013, 03:18 PM   #13
Dave2002ti
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Nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCass View Post
I'm so grateful to hear that the fuel economy in your Jeeps is not that bad - it's even better than I expected (except that '95 one but dmill89 you're right, nobody cared about MPG that time).

And.. Dave2002ti do you do your maintenance by yourself?? $60 for oil changing looks too good (!!!) - what about other maintenances ?? How it looks with the 12k and 20k miles schedule?

Thanks guys for your answers!!!

With my coupons and club discount it comes to about $60. I need to change the cabin and engine air filter myself. No other maintenance needed at 12K and 20K.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 01:48 AM   #14
RedCass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2002ti View Post
With my coupons and club discount it comes to about $60. I need to change the cabin and engine air filter myself. No other maintenance needed at 12K and 20K.
That explains everything I wonder how much does it cost without the coupons and club discounts (maybe I'm wrong but I assumed that these are your personal discounts and not everyone can get it)?
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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:05 AM   #15
RedCass
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Pheewww.. After a long time of thinking, comparing, loorking, reading reviews and.. thinking again.. I finally made my decision!! I'm going to buy my first new Grand Cherokee!!

But.. please, help with one more thing (or maybe two ). I'm considering to go for Off-Road II package which includes Trailer Tow Group IV and Quadra-Lift Air Suspension - do you think it's worth to do that (instead of simple Tow Package) and do you know if it's stable enough (I've heard that there are some problems with this Quadra-Lift in previous models and I don't know if it's something that I should be afraid or Jeep's already fixed it).

The second thing is about.. current 2014 model - do you think it's "safe" to buy it now or the better choice is to wait a little bit until they will fix most of their problems (even on this forum I've read about all these electric issues, so I'm little scared). You don't have to tell me exactly what to do, I just need some constructive opinions and clues.. as always
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