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Unread 09-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
kloubik
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First reviews and comparison to 2014 GC

I just read a review on autoguide.com and I am not very impressed.

I was waiting for the Cherokee and was seriously considering it but because of the delays I could not wait any longer and bought WK2 a few weeks ago.

I went with Laredo E V6 4x4, All weather group and Uconnect 8.4 + 18" wheels group, paid $34k. The new Cherokee seems to be only $2k (give or take) cheaper in similar trims but WK2 has probably slightly more features. The KL mpgs are not very impressive according to the review and on par with what I get with my GC with (8speed transmission is also slightly more proven).

I yet have to see one in person. I believe the front end will probably look better in flash than in pictures but the rear end is a bummer. Overall, I am not sure how well it is going to sell compared to WK2 since I feel the price difference is not significant enough considering you get a car that does look odd, has a noisy engine, is smaller and has same mpgs as its bigger brother for almost same price.

What do you guys think? How would you compare it to Grand cherokee? And what do you think about the price?

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Unread 09-17-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
dmill89
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I honestly can't think of a reason to buy a KL over other vehicles, and I think that is it's biggest problem. It is simply too expensive, not capable enough, and doesn't get good enough fuel mileage to seriously consider it over other vehicles. There is likely a very limited market for the combination of capabilities and price that the KL has.

It isn't much more capable than a Subaru Forester. I honestly think the Subaru actually has a better AWD system, since the KL lacks a true 50/50 split mode and only engages the rear axle when the front wheels slip (even the Trailhawk has this system). Non-Trailhawks don't offer anything capability wise-over the Subaru (in fact the Subaru is probably more capable than most trims of the KL) and the Trailhawk only offers a slight increase in capability for a $10k+ premium. Plus the Subaru is cheaper and gets better gas mileage than the KL.

Conversely for only a few grand more you can get a WK2 which is more capable, is offered with true 4WD and a real transfer-case, has better fit and finish, has greater towing capacity, has better engine options, and is just an overall better vehicle.

If you are looking for capability and aren't concerned about gas mileage you could get an Xtera or 4-door Wrangler for about the same price as the KL.

If you aren't concerned about capability at all and just want a cross-over you could get a RAV4, CRV, Equinox, Escape, etc. for the same price or less.

I really just don't see where the KL fits and it seems there are better options for just about every need.

The Patriot has a market because it is cheap and relatively capable making it a good "budget" option , the KL simply doesn't offer much to distinguish itself over competitive vehicles and the price is too high for what it does offer.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 07:27 AM   #3
loveracing1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
I honestly can't think of a reason to buy a KL over other vehicles, and I think that is it's biggest problem. It is simply too expensive, not capable enough, and doesn't get good enough fuel mileage to seriously consider it over other vehicles. There is likely a very limited market for the combination of capabilities and price that the KL has.

It isn't much more capable than a Subaru Forester. I honestly think the Subaru actually has a better AWD system, since the KL lacks a true 50/50 split mode and only engages the rear axle when the front wheels slip (even the Trailhawk has this system). Non-Trailhawks don't offer anything capability wise-over the Subaru (in fact the Subaru is probably more capable than most trims of the KL) and the Trailhawk only offers a slight increase in capability for a $10k+ premium. Plus the Subaru is cheaper and gets better gas mileage than the KL.

Conversely for only a few grand more you can get a WK2 which is more capable, is offered with true 4WD and a real transfer-case, has better fit and finish, has greater towing capacity, has better engine options, and is just an overall better vehicle.

If you are looking for capability and aren't concerned about gas mileage you could get an Xtera or 4-door Wrangler for about the same price as the KL.

If you aren't concerned about capability at all and just want a cross-over you could get a RAV4, CRV, Equinox, Escape, etc. for the same price or less.

I really just don't see where the KL fits and it seems there are better options for just about every need.

The Patriot has a market because it is cheap and relatively capable making it a good "budget" option , the KL simply doesn't offer much to distinguish itself over competitive vehicles and the price is too high for what it does offer.
If your going to say the Cherokee has no true 50/50 Split then you have to say the wk2 Grand Cherokee doesn't either. Both systems rely on the select terrain to transfer power front to rear in 4x4 high but in 4x4 low they both will be split 50/50. I'm guessing in the different select terrain modes there is one that will split torque 50/50 but that is just guessing based off of the sport mode being a 60/40 split rear to front.

Neither the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee have a true 4x4 lock in high range like a truck would.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
starscream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kloubik View Post
I just read a review on autoguide.com and I am not very impressed.

I was waiting for the Cherokee and was seriously considering it but because of the delays I could not wait any longer and bought WK2 a few weeks ago.

I went with Laredo E V6 4x4, All weather group and Uconnect 8.4 + 18" wheels group, paid $34k. The new Cherokee seems to be only $2 (give or take) cheaper in similar trims but WK2 has probably slightly more features. The KL mpgs are not very impressive according to the review and on par with what I get with my GC with (8speed transmission is also slightly more proven).

I yet have to see one in person. I believe the front end will probably look better in flash than in pictures but the rear end is a bummer. Overall, I am not sure how well it is going to sell compared to WK2 since I feel the price difference is not significant enough considering you get a car that does look odd, has a noisy engine, is smaller and has same mpgs as its bigger brother for almost same price.

What do you guys think? How would you compare it to Grand cherokee? And what do you think about the price?
We have a 2012 WK2 with the Pentastar and average about 15MPG with about 90% of driving done around town (no highway). We've always got less than what the sticker says we should get. I'm not sure what you're getting for mileage on yours but until real world numbers come in from owners of the new Cherokee I wouldn't trust the stickers to make the only comparisons to.

I don't think your comparing apples to apples if you're saying there's only a $2k difference in price. The sticker on our WK2 Limited was 43k and I think is about 6K more than a fully loaded KL Limited if I option it with everything, minus the technology group which we don't have. But at that point I do get the idea that if you're in for a penny you might as well be in for a pound. I don't know. It is hard to say without getting my hands on one myself and getting some first hand knowledge. As a WK2 owner I can say this, you can't go wrong with one of your own so be happy with your purchase.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
kloubik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveracing1988 View Post
If your going to say the Cherokee has no true 50/50 Split then you have to say the wk2 Grand Cherokee doesn't either. Both systems rely on the select terrain to transfer power front to rear in 4x4 high but in 4x4 low they both will be split 50/50. I'm guessing in the different select terrain modes there is one that will split torque 50/50 but that is just guessing based off of the sport mode being a 60/40 split rear to front.

Neither the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee have a true 4x4 lock in high range like a truck would.
I think what he meant by 50/50 split is Full time 4x4. The Grand Cherokee has a true Full time 4x4 with transfer case. The new Cherokee 4x4 is basically 100 % front wheel drive when Select Terrain set to Auto or whatever is the setting called unless the wheels slip and the rear axle engages.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
starscream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
I honestly can't think of a reason to buy a KL over other vehicles, and I think that is it's biggest problem. It is simply too expensive, not capable enough, and doesn't get good enough fuel mileage to seriously consider it over other vehicles. There is likely a very limited market for the combination of capabilities and price that the KL has.

It isn't much more capable than a Subaru Forester. I honestly think the Subaru actually has a better AWD system, since the KL lacks a true 50/50 split mode and only engages the rear axle when the front wheels slip (even the Trailhawk has this system). Non-Trailhawks don't offer anything capability wise-over the Subaru (in fact the Subaru is probably more capable than most trims of the KL) and the Trailhawk only offers a slight increase in capability for a $10k+ premium. Plus the Subaru is cheaper and gets better gas mileage than the KL.
There is a trade off for the better gas mileage in the Subaru. You get a smaller, less powerful engine. I wouldn't overlook the importance of towing capacity, which is why Jeep offers a Hemi and now a diesel for the Grand Cherokee (otherwise everyone would be fine with the Pentastar). If you need to tow, the Subaru is only rated to 2400 lbs. The KL Cherokee is rated up to 4500 lbs. That's almost double the capacity of the Forester. For a lot of people with "toys", the Subaru isn't even an option.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
loveracing1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kloubik View Post

I think what he meant by 50/50 split is Full time 4x4. The Grand Cherokee has a true Full time 4x4 with transfer case. The new Cherokee 4x4 is basically 100 % front wheel drive when Select Terrain set to Auto or whatever is the setting called unless the wheels slip and the rear axle engages.
I beleive the Grand Cherokee is supposed to run 60/40 split rear to front. On a dirt road if you get on it you can still spin the rear wheels for a second or so before it transfers torque to the front and takes off. So to me you are in the same boat with the Cherokee, it still needs to detect wheel spin to transfer torque. In cold weather though the rear axle is engaged to get you moving anyways, so in that regard it is close to the 50/50 split for launches.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
starscream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveracing1988 View Post
I beleive the Grand Cherokee is supposed to run 60/40 split rear to front. On a dirt road if you get on it you can still spin the rear wheels for a second or so before it transfers torque to the front and takes off. So to me you are in the same boat with the Cherokee, it still needs to detect wheel spin to transfer torque. In cold weather though the rear axle is engaged to get you moving anyways, so in that regard it is close to the 50/50 split for launches.
GC Selec-terrain torque split (F/R):

•Sand/Mud: 50/50
•Sport: 20/80
•Automatic: 40/60
•Snow: 50/50
•Rock: 50/50
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
dmill89
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Originally Posted by starscream View Post
There is a trade off for the better gas mileage in the Subaru. You get a smaller, less powerful engine. I wouldn't overlook the importance of towing capacity, which is why Jeep offers a Hemi and now a diesel for the Grand Cherokee (otherwise everyone would be fine with the Pentastar). If you need to tow, the Subaru is only rated to 2400 lbs. The KL Cherokee is rated up to 4500 lbs. That's almost double the capacity of the Forester. For a lot of people with "toys", the Subaru isn't even an option.
I wouldn't want to tow any trailer over 2,500-3,000 lbs. with a FWD vehicle (especially one based on a compact car platform) no matter what it is rated for. The weight is on the wrong set of wheels and it places allot of stress on a relatively week uni-body, I would also be very hesitant to trust that light-duty 9-speed automatic transmission (again it designed for FWD cars, not trucks/SUVs)with a heavy trailer (I'm kind of worried how they'll hold up in a vehicle as heavy as the KL even without a trailer). For towing I would be looking at an RWD(primary drive) vehicle with either a full-frame or heavily reinforced uni-body such as a Grand Cherokee, Xtera, 4Runner, etc.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:40 PM   #10
dmill89
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Originally Posted by kloubik View Post
I think what he meant by 50/50 split is Full time 4x4. The Grand Cherokee has a true Full time 4x4 with transfer case. The new Cherokee 4x4 is basically 100 % front wheel drive when Select Terrain set to Auto or whatever is the setting called unless the wheels slip and the rear axle engages.
Yes, I meant a true 4X4 mode where all 4-wheels are driven. The KL lacks this , it is more like FWD with rear assist than 4WD or even AWD. In the KL the rear wheels are not driven unless slip is detected on the front wheels.

Quote:
From Jp Magazine's review(on fourwheeler.com):

4WD SYSTEMS:

The KL sits atop a Fiat chassis which Jeep engineers breathed heavily upon to deliver as much off-road performance as possible. Three different 4x4 systems are available: Active Drive I, Active Drive II, and Active Drive Lock. No matter which you get, there is no transfer case to split power equally to the front and rear differentials. Rather, the Cherokee operates in front-wheel-drive at all times and engages the rear driveshaft and, in turn differential and pop shafts via a clutch system that sends varying degrees of engine torque to the rear. The level of torque split depends on the 4x4 system, the system’s terrain settings, and sensed tire slippage. In other words, there is no true 4x2 or 4x4 selection. The computer determines how much power to send to the rear wheels and when to send it, which can prove frustrating at times. But more on that later.....

...We absolutely didn’t like the 4x4 system. Even in low range, Rock mode, and with the rear diff locked the Active Drive system only sends power to the rear wheels when it senses tire slippage
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:44 PM   #11
starscream
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Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
I wouldn't want to tow any trailer over 2,500-3,000 lbs. with a FWD vehicle (especially one based on a compact car platform) no matter what it is rated for. The weight is on the wrong set of wheels and it places allot of stress on a relatively week uni-body, I would also be very hesitant to trust that light-duty 9-speed automatic transmission (again it designed for FWD cars, not trucks/SUVs)with a heavy trailer (I'm kind of worried how they'll hold up in a vehicle as heavy as the KL even without a trailer). For towing I would be looking at an RWD(primary drive) vehicle with either a full-frame or heavily reinforced uni-body such as a Grand Cherokee, Xtera, 4Runner, etc.
Oh good grief, what a bunch of marketing people in a room said "Damn the lawsuits and the powertrain warranty, we're advertising 4500lbs!".

If they say it'll do 4500 lbs safely, it'll do 4500 lbs safely.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 05:00 PM   #12
dmill89
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Originally Posted by starscream View Post
Oh good grief, what a bunch of marketing people in a room said "Damn the lawsuits and the powertrain warranty, we're advertising 4500lbs!".

If they say it'll do 4500 lbs safely, it'll do 4500 lbs safely.
They also rated the XJ to tow 5,000lbs. which while possible, has been proven not to be the smartest of moves, with it being "squarely" due to the short wheelbase and light vehicle weight, as well as extreme stress being placed on the cooling system, especially on grades.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 06:26 PM   #13
loveracing1988
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Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post

They also rated the XJ to tow 5,000lbs. which while possible, has been proven not to be the smartest of moves, with it being "squarely" due to the short wheelbase and light vehicle weight, as well as extreme stress being placed on the cooling system, especially on grades.
That was also over 10 years ago when lawsuits weren't quite as bad.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
loveracing1988
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Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post

Yes, I meant a true 4X4 mode where all 4-wheels are driven. The KL lacks this , it is more like FWD with rear assist than 4WD or even AWD. In the KL the rear wheels are not driven unless slip is detected on the front wheels.
In 4 low and in certain select terrain settings it should be locked, it shouldn't be kicking out like that.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #15
merft
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Originally Posted by starscream View Post
If you need to tow, the Subaru is only rated to 2400 lbs. The KL Cherokee is rated up to 4500 lbs. That's almost double the capacity of the Forester. For a lot of people with "toys", the Subaru isn't even an option.
Actually, the 2014 Forester has a tow rating of 1500 lbs. So the disparity is even greater.
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