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Unread 03-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
BikeGuy77
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Trying to decide betweet Grand Cherokee, Explorer and Pathfinder

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to get a new SUV in the $30 - $35k range and the GC is at the top of my list. But I'm a big time mountain biker, and I was wondering how larger 29er mountain bike fits in the back with rear seats down with only the front wheel on the bike removed. Also, I carry an electric mini-power-washer to hose down the bike, so I'd need an electrical outlet. Does anyone have any experience with this in their GC?

I'm also looking at the Explorer and the new Pathfinder, which both seem to have more room, but look less rugged.

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Unread 03-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
NYWk266
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Trying to decide betweet Grand Cherokee, Explorer and Pathfinder

I'm an avid mountain biker and use a hitch mounted carrier. I wouldn't want my bike sliding around the interior of my 35k rig anyway. Bad for the bike bad for the truck. Get a rooftop or hitch carrier.


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Unread 03-22-2013, 04:39 PM   #3
mx71
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I can't comment about the interior room for a 29er, but the Jeep does have more towing capacity than either of the two (by at least 2500 lbs with the 5.7L), and it's built for more off-road capability. The pathfinder has moved from a true SUV to more of a crossover, and the explorer can go either way. The explorer outsells the Grand Cherokee nearly every month, but it's a different crowd of people buying the Jeep. I would easily cross the pathfinder off my own list. Also, if you don't get the 4wd, the Explorer is a FWD.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #4
Kev M
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All I can add is that there are plenty of power outlets - both 12v DC or 120v DC.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
jlused
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I've got a Durango, which while on the same chassis, is a few inches longer than the JC. I haul my XXL road bike around inside it all the time because I can't leave a bike that expensive on an outside rack. There's more than a few inches to the front seats, so I imagine you could fit a 29er in the back of the JC.

If you're trying to decide several models, you may want to try this service called Car Match (I have no affiliation). My inlaws used it last week and they thought it was helpful in helping them decide on car models. I think the url is www.CarMatcher.com
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Unread 03-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #6
AbleRiot
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I advise against the Pathfinder-all the reviews I've read about it all mention how bad the CVT is on this new remodel. Owners complain the same too-engine struggles. I too was considering it as I currently have a Nissan lease but have pretty much decided on the GC.

Last edited by AbleRiot; 03-22-2013 at 05:44 PM..
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Unread 03-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
jacko15
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I've got a $2,000+ Trek carbon fiber bike, and I wouldn't carry it any other way than a hitch rack. Racks lock to vehicle, and bike locks to rack. I understand nothing is fail-safe, but thats worked for me for many years. I've looked at the same vehicles as you have, and quite a few more. My choice was the JGC. But it's your decision. Drive them all and buy the one you like driving best. Everything else can be worked out.
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Unread 03-22-2013, 07:18 PM   #8
NYWk266
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Trying to decide betweet Grand Cherokee, Explorer and Pathfinder

Exactly. I have a highly modded hard tail trek 26er and lock the bike to the rack which has a locking pin to the hitch. Works great and no hydraulic brake fluid or pushed out pads from bike bouncing around in the back!!


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Unread 03-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
FAUEE
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GC has a 120V power outlet on the back of the center console (Durango should too). There's also a 12V outlet in the cargo area, one in the center armrest console, and one in the center stack.

I've not driven a new Pathfinder (yet), but liked the last generation for its great cargo room, truck-like ride, and overall good reliability. Bonus points for the surprisingly quick 5.6L models. All the reviews I've seen of the new Pathfinder were generally positive, praising it for its features, build quality, comfort, and overall upscale feel. CVTs take some getting used to (and some people never get used to them), but Nissan's have been reliable overall. I don't think I'd like a CVT, but my better half doesn't seem to mind them and actually sort of liked them for being unobtrusive. *shrug* I wouldn't be surprised if her next vehicle had a CVT, but would prefer otherwise still.

I've spent a good amount of time with the new Explorer. It is more comfortable inside than the Jeep, especially when comparing lower end models. The seats are softer, the ride is plusher, and you've got more room. That said, it feels like a big wagon on stilts, not like a truck as GC does. It's certainly not as capable, but if all you're planning on doing is driving out to some trails in comfort, it will do fine. GC offers some features that Explorer doesn't on the Overland level models, and my Nappa leather is definitely nicer than Explorer's, but at your price bracket the Explorer has a slight edge.

Drive them all, see which one you like best. I picked GC for me, but Explorer (especially if they make a nice Lincoln version) would be high on the list of vehicles for the better half.

EDIT: Check out Durango too, it's like a slightly larger, but slightly lower interior quality GC. Doesn't offroad as well, but definitely does better than the Pathfinder, probably about the same as Explorer. Tows better than either though.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 09:08 AM   #10
Dave2002ti
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How Much Off Road ability Do You Need

The new Pathfinder and Explorer are based on FWD platforms while the GC is based on a RWD platform. GC has a transfer case and front and rear differentials. GC offers a low range and depending on how you option a lockable rear diff. FWD platforms just has a transaxle. The Explorer offers a a version of select terrain but no low range. It is just an Edge with higher ground clearance. Both the Pathfinder and Explorer are CUVs not SUVs. There might be a rack available to mount you bike in the rear in the GC.. It shouldnt be that hard to fab something up.

A GC with ORAI and no air suspension can go further off road than any new Pathfinder or Explorer. Think of the Pathfinder and Explorer as dual sport Trek bike can go on a trail and the road but excels at neither. GC is like Treks Single Track Trail line.

Nissan's Xterra and Toyota's 4 Runner have similar off road capabilities to the GC. Land Rover's LR4 is more expensive than the GC and go can go as far off road as a GC. Nothing from BMW, Porsche, Audi, VW can go as far off road. Mercedes G's(not GL, GLK or ML) can but they are up there price wise. Chevy's Tahoe is another option.

I prefer carrying my bike inside the vehicle. I dont care how secure you bike is attached to an outside rack either roof or trailer hitch mounted with the right tools its gone.

A car or truck is a personal choice get what you want since you are the one paying for it.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 10:02 AM   #11
Jackal01
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My Specialized Rockhopper (29") fits in the back with the left-side rear seats down, leaving the single right seat up. It fits without removing the front wheel. I also carry a full socket set, another bag of tools and a backpack with first aid gear. on top of my top rack bag and helmet and other gear. With room still to spare.

I had a '12 Explorer. Obivously I have my WK2 now and no longer the Explorer. See the first page in my build thread for the details on the switch. Get the WK2. Plenty of storage and plenty of ruggedness. I would throw the Xterra into the mix if youre looking for options. My buddy has a '12 Xterra Pro 4X and it is pretty sweet. I havent been in it off roading but it seems well built with fantastic features that are suited for the outdoors unlike the pathfinder and Explorer.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
BikeGuy77
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Great info. Thank you! Sounds like the GC should work for me.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
Jackal01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeGuy77 View Post
Great info. Thank you! Sounds like the GC should work for me.

Good luck. Keep us posted if you get the WK2.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 02:34 PM   #14
loveracing1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2002ti View Post
The new Pathfinder and Explorer are based on FWD platforms while the GC is based on a RWD platform. GC has a transfer case and front and rear differentials. GC offers a low range and depending on how you option a lockable rear diff. FWD platforms just has a transaxle. The Explorer offers a a version of select terrain but no low range. It is just an Edge with higher ground clearance. Both the Pathfinder and Explorer are CUVs not SUVs. There might be a rack available to mount you bike in the rear in the GC.. It shouldnt be that hard to fab something up.

A GC with ORAI and no air suspension can go further off road than any new Pathfinder or Explorer. Think of the Pathfinder and Explorer as dual sport Trek bike can go on a trail and the road but excels at neither. GC is like Treks Single Track Trail line.

Nissan's Xterra and Toyota's 4 Runner have similar off road capabilities to the GC. Land Rover's LR4 is more expensive than the GC and go can go as far off road as a GC. Nothing from BMW, Porsche, Audi, VW can go as far off road. Mercedes G's(not GL, GLK or ML) can but they are up there price wise. Chevy's Tahoe is another option.

I prefer carrying my bike inside the vehicle. I dont care how secure you bike is attached to an outside rack either roof or trailer hitch mounted with the right tools its gone.

A car or truck is a personal choice get what you want since you are the one paying for it.
You still have a rear axle and instead of a transfer case you will have a ptu.

If you want to go off road, choose the grand cherokee, but if you want more storage space and need to haul more than 4 other people get the durango or the Explorer. Off road wise there won't be a whole lot of difference between those two, but with the low range on the grand cherokee it definitely gets the edge.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 05:52 PM   #15
Dave2002ti
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Not the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveracing1988 View Post
You still have a rear axle and instead of a transfer case you will have a ptu.

If you want to go off road, choose the grand cherokee, but if you want more storage space and need to haul more than 4 other people get the durango or the Explorer. Off road wise there won't be a whole lot of difference between those two, but with the low range on the grand cherokee it definitely gets the edge.
The transaxle in the Pathfinder and the Explorer is not as durable as the transmission and transaxle in the Grand Cherokee. You are asking a transaxle to do too many things at low price point off road. On a paved road and on a lawn the Explorer and Pathfinder are okay. Also the fwd platform of the Explorer and pathfinder provide you with a totally different feel and vehicle dynamics than the GC's traditional RWD platform. If you like a lot of push and ponderous front end go FWD platform with Nissan, Ford, VW/Audi etc. If you want a more traditional RWD feel in a tossable package go with the GC.
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