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Unread 09-19-2013, 01:34 PM   #16
starscream
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Quote:
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.
Well this is good news then, because every XJ owner seems to hate the KL solely because they are nothing alike. SO it can't possibly have any of the issues the XJ had.

But seriously, we really don't know anything concrete about the Cherokee yet other than what Jeep is telling us. You talk about comparing capabilities amongst all the various SUV options out there like you're doing an objective analysis, but when it comes to something the Cherokee is rated better for, like towing capacity, without any hardcore factual evidence, you're dismissing it like it's a lie from the manufacturer. That clearly shows how biased against the Cherokee you are because you're literally inventing problems that don't exist yet in order to like it even less. If you don't like it, just say you don't like it and move on. There's no need to waste time putting on the charade of comparing models in a way that the Jeep never lands on top.

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Unread 09-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
dmill89
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Originally Posted by starscream View Post
Well this is good news then, because every XJ owner seems to hate the KL solely because they are nothing alike. SO it can't possibly have any of the issues the XJ had.

But seriously, we really don't know anything concrete about the Cherokee yet other than what Jeep is telling us. You talk about comparing capabilities amongst all the various SUV options out there like you're doing an objective analysis, but when it comes to something the Cherokee is rated better for, like towing capacity, without any hardcore factual evidence, you're dismissing it like it's a lie from the manufacturer. That clearly shows how biased against the Cherokee you are because you're literally inventing problems that don't exist yet in order to like it even less. If you don't like it, just say you don't like it and move on. There's no need to waste time putting on the charade of comparing models in a way that the Jeep never lands on top.
For me the tow rating is not a KL thing but a crossover thing. I wouldn't buy a new Explorer or Chevy Traverse to tow anything heavy (even though they are rated to tow 5,000 lbs.+) either for the same reasons (because it is a FWD car-based crossover).

A FWD vehicle, especially one based on a car platform will never be an ideal tow vehicle. They may suffice if you have to tow a light trailer or tow a heavy one once or twice (such as when you move) for a short distance but I would never buy one with the intent of towing a heavy trailer on a regular basis or for long distances.
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Unread 09-20-2013, 11:09 AM   #18
JeepXJ12
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Comparing apples to apples, you aren't going to get much more than 1500 lbs towing with the 4 cyl Cherokee over the Subaru Forester. They are pretty even on HP and Torque. The Forester does better with angle of approach and departure. Has better cargo capacity. Better fuel economy. Roomier. The Forester is much lighter than the Cherokee. Overall I believe the Forester is a much better product for the price. The Cherokee reaches beyond $40k for a loaded model. I think Jeep missed the mark big time on this one.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #19
merft
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Originally Posted by JeepXJ12 View Post
Comparing apples to apples, you aren't going to get much more than 1500 lbs towing with the 4 cyl Cherokee over the Subaru Forester. They are pretty even on HP and Torque. The Forester does better with angle of approach and departure. Has better cargo capacity. Better fuel economy. Roomier. The Forester is much lighter than the Cherokee. Overall I believe the Forester is a much better product for the price. The Cherokee reaches beyond $40k for a loaded model. I think Jeep missed the mark big time on this one.
I am actually in the market right now and seriously looking at the KL (waiting for them to show up). My wife took a new job and we can now longer carpool together. She has been driving my TJ but won't drive my Genesis Coupe. I need the TJ periodically for work so things get messy. So I am looking to replace the coupe. My criteria are:
  1. Good around town car
  2. Good on road trips (visit the grandkids in California)
  3. Something that can tow my teardrop trailer (~1700lbs loaded) for extended trips.

So the other vehicles I am looking at are the Subaru Forester/Outback and Ford Escape. I have looked at others in the CUV sector but am sitting on these for right now.

Subaru Forester - I originally was looking at the Forester but found out that the 2014 was dropped to 1500lbs maximum towing capacity (with brakes). I have tried to inquire as to why the 1000lb drop in capacity. From my research, it seems to be that Subaru is having problems with the CVT transmission or has reduced the structural integrity of the frame to save weight. My guess is the latter, otherwise they would provide two towing capacities for the manual vs CVT transmission. This just concerns me. I would prefer to not be towing at a vehicles maximum capacity. So the Forester was nixed for the Outback.

Subaru Outback - The Outback is rated at 2700lbs. Great. My concerns with the Outback is that the driver and passenger seats are not the most comfortable and the interior ammenities of Subaru always seem to be a decade behind. I owned a 1993 Impreza that was a beast and survived several children beating the hell out of it. Additionally, it is the cheapest vehicle I am looking at.

Ford Escape - I have been burned by crappy Ford's in the past, so this will only be a backup option.

Some of the recent KL reviews have been promising. I want to actually see the vehicle in person and test drive it. Am I thrilled with the styling... No. Is it a deal breaker.... No. Is it a Cherokee? Meh. Things change. I think that the 4-door Wranglers should have taken over the Cherokee name. Personally, I find 4-doors on a Wrangler to be sacrilegious. I do support calling the KL Honey Badger.

Best.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 08:09 AM   #20
shark715
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I know most of you are going to rag on me, but a fully loaded Cherokee Limited is on my short list. No way would I buy one right away...the reviews we have all read are all "first drives", and I'm eagerly watching for more thorough test drive reports, and of course want to check it out in person. In addition, I'll want to make sure any early "bugs" are resolved, and finally I would think you will be able to cut a better deal but not being one of the first buyers on the dealer's doorstep.

I suspect the KL isgoing to be a huge sales success. I think many mass market buyers will perceive the KL to be a more rugged vehicle than competitors like the Rav4, Escape, etc. and be attracted to that, particularly if it's as comfortable and has as good an on road driving experience as the early reports suggest. Another poster mentioned the Xterra and 4 door Wrangler as alternatives, but my perception is that the KL will be a far more luxurious, comfortable vehicle. I'm thinking "baby GC". I expect that Chrysler (or Fiat, or whatever) has hit a sweet spot here, and as much as many "Jeep people" think the use of the Cherokee name for the KL is sinful, using the Cherokee nameplate positions the KL exactly where it needs to be in the market.

I also like the GC (I owned three of them in the past), but I generally prefer a smaller, more nimble vehicle, and if you dig into the features list you will quickly see that the apples to apples MSRP is certainly far more than the $2000 difference the OP suggested.

The Forester XT is also on my short list, but based on the reviews to date I'm expecting that the KL will be significantly more luxurious and comfortable. I test drove two XT's and liked them a lot, although I was lukewarm on the slight turbo lag, and I was surprised that they would not have a more modern nav/ audio interface on a newly designed 2014 model.

If I were to get an XT, I would also get it fully optioned, and the MSRP is $36K. Both dealers quickly offered to discount the price by $1000, and I would expect to do significantly better than that. The MSRP on my theoretical Cherokee Limited is $3k more, but it includes a number of features unavailable on the XT at any price, including remote start, parking assist, blind spot and cross path detection, and substantially better towing capability, including the factory installed tow bar and full size spare. Nice to have the towing capability ready to go if and when you need it for that occasional Uhaul rental :-)

Granted you give up an EPA estimated 3 mpg, but I'm assuming the V6 will have more low end torque for real everyday driving versus the turbo lag (don't get me wrong, the XT is FAST once the turbo spools up, and turbo lag is not so substantial that it's a deal breaker).

At least one other poster mentioned that the Subaru has a better AWD system. I'm not clear why. Isn't the "snow" setting essentially full time AWD, and doesn't the "mud/sand" setting lock the transfer case? I'm not really sure, and it would be great if someone who knows for certain could elaborate.

Another poster claims that the KL has a "relatively weak unibody", and that it doesn't have a "heavily reinforced uni-body" like the GC, Xterra and 4 Runner have. I wonder where he or she is getting that information from. Have he or she been under a KL? In fact, have you been under a GC, Xterra, or 4 Runner? I have, and I certainly don't see any heavy reinforcing. Sounds like the poster has spent some time listening to the marketing people at Jeep, Nissan and Toyota :-) I towed my 5000 lb. boat and trailer long distances with several GC's and '01 Pathfinder, and never had any issues despite that these are uni-body designs without heavy reinforcing.

The same poster mentioned a "light duty 9 speed automatic", but didn't mention that ZF rates the one being used in the KL at 480 ft. lbs...more than beefy enough to tow 4500 lbs., especially with the extra cooling and shorter gear ratio that comes with the towing package.

Last edited by shark715; 09-22-2013 at 09:56 AM..
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Unread 09-22-2013, 08:41 AM   #21
shark715
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BTW, I actually like the way the front looks head-on or quarter view.

On the other hand, my opinion from the side view photos is that there is too much front overhang (in front of the front axle)
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Unread 09-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #22
loveracing1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shark715 View Post
I know most of you are going to rag on me, but a fully loaded Cherokee Limited is on my short list. No way would I buy one right away...the reviews we have all read are all "first drives", and I'm eagerly watching for more thorough test drive reports, and of course want to check it out in person. In addition, I'll want to make sure any early "bugs" are resolved, and finally I would think you will be able to cut a better deal but not being one of the first buyers on the dealer's doorstep.

I suspect the WJ is going to be a huge sales success. I think many mass market buyers will perceive the WJ to be a more rugged vehicle than competitors like the Rav4, Escape, etc. and be attracted to that, particularly if it's as comfortable and has as good an on road driving experience as the early reports suggest. Another poster mentioned the Xterra and 4 door Wrangler as alternatives, but my perception is that the WJ will be a far more luxurious, comfortable vehicle. I'm thinking "baby GC". I expect that Chrysler (or Fiat, or whatever) has hit a sweet spot here, and as much as many "Jeep people" think the use of the Cherokee name for the WJ is sinful, using the Cherokee nameplate positions the WJ exactly where it needs to be in the market.

I also like the GC, but I generally prefer a smaller, more nimble vehicle, and if you dig into the features list you will quickl;y see that the apples to apples MSRP is certainly far more than the $2000 difference the OP suggested.

The Forester XT is also on my short list, but based on the reviews to date I'm expecting that the WJ will be significantly more luxurious and comfortable. I test drove two XT's and liked them a lot, although I was lukewarm on the slight turbo lag, and I was surprised that they would not have a more modern nav/ audio interface on a newly designed 2014 model.

If I were to get an XT, I would also get it fully optioned, and the MSRP is $36K. Both dealers quickly offered to discount the price by $1000, and I would expect to do significantly better than that. The MSRP on my theoretical Cherokee Limited is $3k more, but it includes a number of features unavailable on the XT at any price, including remote start, parking assist, blind spot and cross path detection, and substantially better towing capability, including the factory installed tow bar and full size spare. Nice to have the towing capability ready to go if and when you need it for that occasional Uhaul rental :-)

Granted you give up an EPA estimated 3 mpg, but I'm assuming the V6 will have more low end torque for real everyday driving versus the turbo lag (don't get me wrong, the XT is FAST once the turbo spools up, and turbo lag is not so substantial that it's a deal breaker).

At least one other poster mentioned that the Subaru has a better AWD system. I'm not clear why. Isn't the "snow" setting essentially full time AWD, and doesn't the "mud/sand" setting lock the transfer case? I'm not really sure, and it would be great if someone who knows for certain could elaborate.

Another poster claims that the WJ has a "relatively weak unibody", and that it doesn't have a "heavily reinforced uni-body" like the GC, Xterra and 4 Runner have. I wonder where he or she is getting that information from. Have he or she been under a WJ? In fact, have you been under a GC, Xterra, or 4 Runner? I have, and I certainly don't see any heavy reinforcing. Sounds like the poster has spent some time listening to the marketing people at Jeep, Nissan and Toyota :-) I towed my 5000 lb. boat and trailer long distances with several GC's and '01 Pathfinder, and never had any issues despite that these are uni-body designs without heavy reinforcing.

The same poster mentioned a "light duty 9 speed automatic", but didn't mention that ZF rates the one being used in the WJ at 480 ft. lbs...more than beefy enough to tow 4500 lbs., especially with the extra cooling and shorter gear ratio that comes with the towing package.
First of all stop calling it a WJ, you will make a lot of people angry about that, the WJ is the last solid axle front and rear Grand Cherokee. The new Cherokee is the KJ.
I know what the 4x4 is supposed to do, which is stay engaged in every mode but Auto, so the reviews saying it needs to detect slippage to engage the rear axle even in 4x4 low in rock mode confuse me, I'm hoping they are imagining things or it is a pre production model with out of date software.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 09:53 AM   #23
shark715
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Thanks so much for pointing out my error. Can't believe I did that. I went back and changed each mistake in my post.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #24
dmill89
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Originally Posted by loveracing1988 View Post
The new Cherokee is the KJ.
Actually the new Cherokee is the KL, the KJ was the 1st. generation Liberty.


Jeep Model designations:
XJ: 84-01 "Regular" (not Grand) Cherokees.
SJ/FSJ: "Full Sized Jeeps" Wagnoeer (pre-84), Grand Wagoneer, Cherokee (pre-84), J-Series trucks
YJ: 87-95 Wrangler (1st gen)
TJ: 97-06 Wrangler (2nd gen)
JK: 07+ Wrangler (3rd gen)
ZJ: 93-98 Grand Cherokee (1st gen)
WJ: 99-04 Grand Cherokee (2nd gen)
WK: 05-10 Grand Cherokee (3rd gen)
WK2: 11+ Grand Cherokee (4th gen)
KJ: 02-07 Liberty (1st gen)
KK: 08-13 Liberty (2nd gen)
XK: Commander
MK: Patriot/Compass
MJ: Comanche (an XJ Cherokee based pickup)
CJ: "Civilian Jeep" pre-wrangler "Jeep Jeeps".
KL: The "new" 2014 Cherokee.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #25
loveracing1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post

Actually the new Cherokee is the KL, the KJ was the 1st. generation Liberty.

Jeep Model designations:
XJ: 84-01 "Regular" (not Grand) Cherokees.
SJ/FSJ: "Full Sized Jeeps" Wagnoeer (pre-84), Grand Wagoneer, Cherokee (pre-84), J-Series trucks
YJ: 87-95 Wrangler (1st gen)
TJ: 97-06 Wrangler (2nd gen)
JK: 07+ Wrangler (3rd gen)
ZJ: 93-98 Grand Cherokee (1st gen)
WJ: 99-04 Grand Cherokee (2nd gen)
WK: 05-10 Grand Cherokee (3rd gen)
WK2: 11+ Grand Cherokee (4th gen)
KJ: 02-07 Liberty (1st gen)
KK: 08-13 Liberty (2nd gen)
XK: Commander
MK: Patriot/Compass
MJ: Comanche (an XJ Cherokee based pickup)
CJ: "Civilian Jeep" pre-wrangler "Jeep Jeeps".
KL: The "new" 2014 Cherokee.
Yeah, that's what I meant, I have to learn to stop posting when I first wake up.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #26
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http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/19/2...w-first-drive/

Torsional body stiffness claimed to be 36% better than Liberty (14800 ftlbs /degree)

Following all this discussion here, I would have to say that the CVT on a Subaru is a deal breaker for me. Gears are remarkably efficient, durable (usually outlast the vehicle) and don't depend on dynamic friction to operate. The theoretical efficiency gains don't pay off for the fragile underlying concept. That's too bad. I generally like Subarus.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 06:07 PM   #27
dmill89
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Originally Posted by jay-h View Post
I would have to say that the CVT on a Subaru is a deal breaker for me. Gears are remarkably efficient, durable (usually outlast the vehicle) and don't depend on dynamic friction to operate. The theoretical efficiency gains don't pay off for the fragile underlying concept. That's too bad. I generally like Subarus.
That is the one downside of the Subaru, however they also have the manual option (though the "Limited" and "Touring" trims are CVT only) which is what I'd get if I was buying one. The 3.6L H6 Outback still comes with a regular automatic, but the CVT is now the only auto option on the Forester and 4-cyl Outback.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #28
dmill89
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Originally Posted by shark715 View Post
At least one other poster mentioned that the Subaru has a better AWD system. I'm not clear why. Isn't the "snow" setting essentially full time AWD, and doesn't the "mud/sand" setting lock the transfer case? I'm not really sure, and it would be great if someone who knows for certain could elaborate.
The online/magazine reviews so far state that power is only sent to the rear wheels if slipping of the front is detected regardless of mode, even in the Trail Hawk. There is no transfer case, like most cross-overs it has a FWD transaxle with an "auxiliary" shaft to send power to the rear when the computer directs it to. I agree that most modes (except for "auto" of course) should have some level of "fixed-split" but that appears not to be the case, I'm sure this could be fixed later on with re-programming but it looks like at least early models will have this issue. Apparently Chrysler/Fiat was having allot of the issues with programming the 9-speed trans-axle so that might be one of the "bugs" that needs worked out.

Review:http://www.fourwheeler.com/vehicle-r...hits-the-dirt/

Quote:
Originally Posted by shark715 View Post
Another poster claims that the KL has a "relatively weak unibody", and that it doesn't have a "heavily reinforced uni-body" like the GC, Xterra and 4 Runner have. I wonder where he or she is getting that information from. Have he or she been under a KL? In fact, have you been under a GC, Xterra, or 4 Runner? I have, and I certainly don't see any heavy reinforcing. Sounds like the poster has spent some time listening to the marketing people at Jeep, Nissan and Toyota :-) I towed my 5000 lb. boat and trailer long distances with several GC's and '01 Pathfinder, and never had any issues despite that these are uni-body designs without heavy reinforcing.
The 4 Runner and Xtera have Full-Frames not a uni-body. The Grand Cherokee has a "uni-frame" with a ladder-type frame welded to the floor (full-length rails) in addition to the strength provided by the body, and is a purpose designed platform specifically designed for an SUV. The KL shares it's platform with the Dodge Dart and Alfa-Romeo Giulietta, it is a compact-car chassis which relies on the floor pan, rocker panels, pillars, and roof to form a "space frame" that isn't anywhere near as strong as a full-frame or GC style uni-frame.

You're obviously not going to rip it in half or anything like that (unless it is severely overloaded) and towing a heavy trailer once or twice is probably ok, but if you use it to tow heavy (3,000lb +) trailers on a regular basis I wouldn't be surprised for stress cracks to start showing up in the uni-body and/or doors no longer lining up properly after a few years (likely after the warranty is up).

Quote:
Originally Posted by shark715 View Post
The same poster mentioned a "light duty 9 speed automatic", but didn't mention that ZF rates the one being used in the KL at 480 ft. lbs...more than beefy enough to tow 4500 lbs., especially with the extra cooling and shorter gear ratio that comes with the towing package.
It is a FWD transverse mount trans-axle. You have all the heat generated by the differentials (except for the rear) as well as the transmission itself, and the differentials are much lighter than what would generally be used as a stand-alone differential (mainly due to packaging constraints), and the internal torque-split device is not as strong as a stand-alone transfer case, not to mention the ton of clutches that are needed for a 9-speed trans-axle (especially one that handles front to rear and front L/R torque split internally). These things are incredibly complex and will cost a small fortune to fix when they fail.

Ultimately being a new design only time will tell how reliable this 9-speed trans-axle is but the odds for good long-term reliability don't look all that great and I certainly wouldn't want to be one of the "guinea-pigs" to buy one of the early ones.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #29
loveracing1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post

The online/magazine reviews so far stat that power is only sent to the rear wheels if slipping of the front is detected regardless of mode, even in the Trail Hawk. There is no transfer case, like most cross-overs it has a FWD transaxle with an "auxiliary" shaft to send power to the rear when the computer directs it to. I agree that most modes (except for "auto" of course) should have some level of "fixed-split" but that appears not to be the case, I'm sure this could be fixed later on with re-programming but it looks like at least early models will have this issue. Apparently Chrysler/Fiat was having allot of the issues with programming the 9-speed trans-axle so that might be one of the "bugs" that needs worked out.

Review:http://www.fourwheeler.com/vehicle-r...hits-the-dirt/

The 4 Runner and Xtera have Full-Frames not a uni-body. The Grand Cherokee has a "uni-frame" with a ladder-type frame welded to the floor (full-length rails) in addition to the strength provided by the body, and is a purpose designed platform specifically designed for an SUV. The KL shares it's platform with the Dodge Dart and Alfa-Romeo Giulietta, it is a compact-car chassis which relies on the floor pan, rocker panels, pillars, and roof to form a "space frame" that isn't anywhere near as strong as a full-frame or GC style uni-frame.

You're obviously not going to rip it in half or anything like that (unless it is severely overloaded) and towing a heavy trailer once or twice is probably ok, but if you use it to tow heavy (3,000lb +) trailers on a regular basis I wouldn't be surprised for stress cracks to start showing up in the uni-body and/or doors no longer lining up properly after a few years (likely after the warranty is up).

It is a FWD transverse mount trans-axle. You have all the heat generated by the differentials (except for the rear) as well as the transmission itself, and the differentials are much lighter than what would generally be used as a stand-alone differential (mainly due to packaging constraints), and the internal torque-split device is not as strong as a stand-alone transfer case, not to mention the ton of clutches that are needed for a 9-speed trans-axle (especially one that handles front to rear and front L/R torque split internally). These things are incredibly complex and will cost a small fortune to fix when they fail.

Ultimately being a new design only time will tell how reliable this 9-speed trans-axle is but the odds for good long-term reliability don't look all that great and I certainly wouldn't want to be one of the "guinea-pigs" to buy one of the early ones.
For the most part you are correct, except the power is sent to the rear end with a PTU, which is bolted to the transaxle. It is still a completely separate unit, both units are made of aluminum also soothes shed heat very well too. The PTU is surprisingly strong for what it is. The torque that they are designed to handle is far beyond what the vehicle will ever see. Considering the transaxle is designed by ZF I would not expect it to be anything but bulletproof either, Chrysler has a lot riding on this, they know if they screw this up there is a huge financial loss going with it.
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Unread 09-23-2013, 07:20 AM   #30
jay-h
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The market is different. The original Cherokee base had off roaders that needed something bigger than a wrangler or CJ. That market is now occupied by the JKU. The rest of the market was occasional off roaders (hunters, farmers) and (dare I say it?) suburban moms. Those occasional guys will probably do great with the new one.

To be honest, I'm really not worried about this drive train.
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