Choices - Unlimited Rubicon vs. Grand Cherokee Trailblazer - JeepForum.com
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By cranbiz
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 02-08-2020, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
MikeAkerly
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 3
Choices - Unlimited Rubicon vs. Grand Cherokee Trailblazer

Hello everybody, I'm new to the forum and, for the most part, to Jeeps (though family had a couple growing up). Over the past year of doing OHV camping trips with friends, our family has gotten bit by the bug and want to buy our first Jeep in May when a lease we currently have ends. Here's my current dilemma - the Jeep is going to be the daily driver of my wife and two boys under 5. She is totally on board with the purchase and was OK with the possible downsides of having a Rubicon as a daily - until she looked up crash test ratings. Long story short, those reviews (the European ones since it's not rated in the US), have thrown a wrench into the plan for her. Please no need to reply with comments of "don't worry about it," the ratings are what they are and she's not comfortable with it at this point.

As an alternative, I've started looking at the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and trying to understand what I might be missing from a Rubicon. To be clear, this purchase is intended to allow us to take it off-road regularly (say once per month or more). Since we don't have years of experience doing that, I'm worried about buying a new SUV intended for this purpose only to be disappointed off-road. We already have a Mercedes GLE and we're not looking at this strictly for it's merits as a passenger hauler - we want to go off-road (but since we can't make 3 cars work at the moment, we're not going to buy two daily drivers + a Jeep for the weekends, thought that's an ideal long-term solution).

I guess what I'd love to hear from people is, how capable is the Trailhawk off-road, or at what point am I going to bump up against its limitations (i.e. what won't I be able to do)? I've watched some videos about it's off-road performance, read blogs, and am starting to learn a little about potential concerns with the air suspension system and lack of a mechanical locker (as examples), but in truth, I don't know enough to make my own judgments about those issues. I'm also open to modifying it after the purchase, and would also love to hear thoughts on what it would take to overcome those limitations, what the budget would need to be, to get me to the point where it does what I want it to do (and the wife is happy). So is this a good alternative or am I just going to be disappointed? Thanks in advance for the advice, see you this summer!

MikeAkerly is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 02-10-2020, 09:41 AM
cranbiz
Moderator
 
cranbiz's Avatar
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Wentworth
Posts: 4,309
Well, what is your definition of off road? That's going to determine if a Trailhawk would be capable.

I have both a JK and a Trailhawk. The Trailhawk is fine on fire roads, gravel roads and some very mild trails. It does the beach well. It's extremely comfortable, gets great mileage and is a joy to ride in for long distance travel and daily driving. The hawk certainly cannot go in many of the places my JK can. We have some mild trails at the Uwharrie National Forest and I can take the hawk on a couple of them but most of them have rocks that will deny the hawk. There is very little flex and you really can't lift an air suspension hawk further than the factory height in Off Road II. The hawk does have a LSD in it which helps in low traction conditions.

My Trailhawk is my (well my wifes) daily driving, and extended travel vehicle (and seeing as the beach is 4 hours away, we take that for beach use) but if I'm going anywhere that rock are involved, I take the JK.

06 KJ
12 JK, 2.5" Teraflex lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
17 WK2 Trailhawk
KN4BBA
cranbiz is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 02-10-2020, 10:25 AM
222Doc
Registered User
 
222Doc's Avatar
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lake Havasu City
Posts: 8,987
Garage
Rubicon is way WAY more jeep off road you can not compare at all. Any other jeep will have IFS independent front suspension. all "Jeeps" meaning cj-Ljs will be solid axle. this is why the other will be more like a car on the street.

The rubicon is able to do things you might not ever try. Do to the fact that as trails and they have ratings on how hard they are no matter where you go. once you get past moderate trails . Its about driver skill and that can be the difference from a little to a lot of damage.

for off road its a no brain'er.

Home of the Parker Desert Splash

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
222Doc is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 Old 02-10-2020, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
MikeAkerly
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 3
Definitely appreciate the insight. The fact that you generally see the Trailhawk as having limitations is exactly the type of feedback I needed to hear. Appreciate it.
MikeAkerly is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 02-11-2020, 10:08 PM
Kev M
Registered User
2012 WK 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Medford, NJ
Posts: 2,932
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAkerly View Post
Definitely appreciate the insight. The fact that you generally see the Trailhawk as having limitations is exactly the type of feedback I needed to hear. Appreciate it.
Until I hear your intended use I'm not convinced you mean the same thing as those guys.

THEY are talking about slowly (idling) over rocks with locked differentials.

The types of things that would just dead stop the GC or at least leave you with lots of damage.

That's way more extreme that "most" people use their Wranglers, never mind their GCs.

What do you mean by off-road?!?

Current Jeeps:

2016 JKUS
2012 WK2 Limited
Kev M is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 02-12-2020, 09:53 AM
cranbiz
Moderator
 
cranbiz's Avatar
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Wentworth
Posts: 4,309
What Kev said.

I asked and he asked what's your definition of Off Road, you haven't answered that.

If you want to use a Trailhawk like I use my JK, it's the wrong vehicle. If you want to use a Trailhawk on beaches and other types of non paved roads like I mentioned, it's a perfectly fine vehicle.

In my club, we have a guy that has a Renegade Trailhawk. He takes it Off Road. It's limited to easy, minimal rocky trails but it's surprisingly capable on some small rocks, big ruts, some off camber work. A WK2 Trailhawk has more ground clearance than a Renegade TH so it would go places that his won't but again, it won't go places I take my JK to.
Kev M likes this.

06 KJ
12 JK, 2.5" Teraflex lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
17 WK2 Trailhawk
KN4BBA
cranbiz is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 02-12-2020, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
MikeAkerly
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 3
Thank you again both. Regarding my use, I don't know how far we'll take it, and that's part of the challenge in making this decision. I've been looking at it I want to understand where the limitations of the vehicles lie because I can't really clearly say how far we'll push our off-roading. Now I have a lot to think about. The Trailhawk is going to be nice, but it's still going to be $35 - $45k (going to be slightly used either way) for a truck that I know up front might limit how far we want to take it. If I knew for sure we wouldn't be using testing it's capabilities, it would be an easy choice, but that's not the case. Thanks again for all the feedback!
MikeAkerly is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 02-12-2020, 11:32 AM
Kev M
Registered User
2012 WK 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Medford, NJ
Posts: 2,932
Well good luck with your decision.

Just to beat Dead horse, if you don't see yourself idling over big rocks with a spotter standing next to the vehicle to help guide you, then I think either will do what you want.

Me, I just plain LIKE my JKU better for everything (but luxury) so I have it even though everything I do with it (forest trails, beaches, dunes, and foul weather use) would be just as fine (and sometimes better like on-road foul weather) in our WK2.

Let us know how you go!

And have fun!!!

Current Jeeps:

2016 JKUS
2012 WK2 Limited
Kev M is offline  
Reply

Tags
rubicon , trailhawk

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome