Considering Grand Cherokee; a few questions - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
lardo1
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Considering Grand Cherokee; a few questions

Iím considering buying a Grand Cherokee and have a few questions.

I currently own a 2014 Cherokee (KL) Trailhawk, but looking for a vehicle with more cargo space, bigger gas tank (longer range), better transmission behavior, and still have good off-road capability.

Based on what Iíve read so far, Iím thinking about at 2018-2020 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk or maybe an Overland with off-road package. Iíd like HID headlamps, tow package, safety features (forward collision, lane departure, adaptive cruise control w/stop...), and Android Auto / Apple CarPlay. Havenít decided between V6 & V8 (sounds like V8 may be more reliable?).

I have a few questions:
  • Can the spare tire compartment fit an identical size tire to support a 5-tire rotation?
    I saw a Trailhawk video in which their ďfull-size spare tireĒ was 245/65/R18, while tires on the vehicle were 265/60/R18 (apparently same height, but different width).

  • Any Quadra-Lift differences between 2018-2020? Hesitant after reading several posts about issues with the system.

  • I understand the V6 transmission is made by Chrysler. Is the 2018-2020 V8 transmission made by Chrysler or ZF?

Will definitely get an extended warranty; too bad they no longer offer lifetime warranties.

Thanks for any comments or recommendations!

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post #2 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 06:34 PM
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V6 has the 8 speed zf since 14. Reliability they are pretty even.

I would say it’s not that much bigger than the Cherokee depends how much bigger you need.

lot of those options you listed will add up quickly in price if you are on a tight budget.

You should be able to fit the same size tire in the rear, I believe you can fit a slightly larger one if you take out the compartment pieces.


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post #3 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PwnCall View Post
V6 has the 8 speed zf since 14. Reliability they are pretty even.

I would say itís not that much bigger than the Cherokee depends how much bigger you need.

lot of those options you listed will add up quickly in price if you are on a tight budget.

You should be able to fit the same size tire in the rear, I believe you can fit a slightly larger one if you take out the compartment pieces.
All the eight speed autos use variants of the ZF HP8, the V6 is lower rated in terms of Torque, as far as I know they are all still made by ZF and the four wheel drive systems are from Mangna Powertrain which are also used by virtually every European 4WD car and SUV. The air suspension hasn't changed in the past few years.

You can fit up to a 245 size tire without removing the insert, anything wider you need to takeout out the mounting/padding.

There is no evidence that the V6 is less reliable but also consider there is not much difference in the fuel economy so you may as well go large, especially if you plan to use the towing package.
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 09:01 PM
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There is a buying a used WK2 sticky and a tire fitment sticky, as well as a FAQ sticky that may have answers to your questions in more detail.

The road tire is wider than will fit without raising the cargo floor. Details in the tire fitment sticky

QL has been the same through the years, except for some programing, and minor tweaks of sway bar location and steel vs aluminum. 2018-2020 are identical.

Now days about all 8 speeds are made in the US under license from ZF. Early model V8s were made in Germany. The window sticker will mention where the transmission was built.

The V8 is more durable, but how many miles or years are you talking? Differences usually don’t show up till 150,000 miles or so. The V6 will have ESS, which annoys some, the V8 has MDS.

Some people think I'm stupid and I totally disagree. But my biggest fear is that me thinking I'm smart proves them right.
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 09:08 PM
ColdCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilko View Post
All the eight speed autos use variants of the ZF HP8, the V6 is lower rated in terms of Torque, as far as I know they are all still made by ZF and the four wheel drive systems are from Mangna Powertrain which are also used by virtually every European 4WD car and SUV.
You may want to fact check that. FCA builds the transmissions under license from ZF. They make some adjustments.

The 4WD system is made is made in the US. The trail hawk 4WD transfer case is only used in the WK2 and GM light trucks and Escalades. The front and rear gears are corporate. The Laredoís AWD case I donít know off hand where else it may be used.

Some people think I'm stupid and I totally disagree. But my biggest fear is that me thinking I'm smart proves them right.
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 11:35 PM
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You can fit a 265/65/18 in the spare, no problem. Itís also as big as you want to go without getting into issues with rubbing. Get the Falcon Wildpeaks (in 265/65/18 - so slightly bigger) - much better than stock.

Go for the Trailhawk - itís a better deal overall if you go off-road. Load it up with options - sticker will be high, but youíll get a heavy discount.

Get the V8... Unless you know you want the V6, go big - I love, love, love how much torque this engine has when going off-road. Donít know about towing, but I can only imagine itís a lot better too.

If you go off-road, look at Chief Products... Lots of good stuff that youíll likely want too.

Off-road, the GC is bigger and heavier than the KL, but in my experience better overall - much more ground clearance and better 4WD system. On-road thereís no competition - itís the GC all day long.

Final thought, since you mentioned transmission. A lot of issues with the 9 speed in the KL - especially earlier models. The 8-speed in the GC is a completely different beast and very very good - at least when paired with the V8 (I believe the same with the V6, but I havenít tried it).
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-19-2020, 11:51 PM
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Just bought JGC 2020 Limited V6 with 20inch wheels, luxury 2 package, premium lights, tow package.
Drove it 500 miles straight right off the dealer lot. Impressive on highway. Smooth V6 mates well with trans.
I shopped for for midsize SUVs for 6 months. testing, reading reviews. 1998 4Runner owner upgrading.
Jeep GC had better road manners, quiet, interior quality, off road, simple clean media system and controls.
Negative was smaller storage, and well, it's not a Toyota. MPG was similar. Been around for 10yrs.

Test drove and compared similar models and packages:

2020 Toyota Highlander XLE v6. Cons: Drive like a balloon top heavy and wobbly. goofy ride. really just a Camry with a big shell.

2019 Toyota Highlander XLE v6. Cons: same above. Pros: Looked better.

2020 Toyota 4Runner v6. MPG sucked. Too much off road. Noisy on highway.

2020 Subaru Ascent Premium 4cyl Turbo. Almost picked this one but the turbo 4cyl and cvt drove odd. 2yr model.

2020 Honda Passport v6. Like driving a cardboard box. cheap interior.

2020 Ford Explorer 4cyl Turbo. Very nice drive. Cabin good. But big quality issues abound. 1yr model.

2020 VW Atlas v6. MPG sucked. Very nice interior and ride but quality inconsistent reviews scared me.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-20-2020, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
lardo1
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Based on specs, moving from the Cherokee to the Grand Cherokee, the cargo area behind the 2nd row seats is almost 50% bigger and the gas tank goes from 15.8 to 24.6 gal (which is huge, as WK2 V6 mileage is similar to my current KL Trailhawk).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCase View Post
There is a buying a used WK2 sticky and a tire fitment sticky, as well as a FAQ sticky that may have answers to your questions in more detail.

The road tire is wider than will fit without raising the cargo floor. Details in the tire fitment sticky

QL has been the same through the years, except for some programing, and minor tweaks of sway bar location and steel vs aluminum. 2018-2020 are identical.

Now days about all 8 speeds are made in the US under license from ZF. Early model V8s were made in Germany. The window sticker will mention where the transmission was built.

The V8 is more durable, but how many miles or years are you talking? Differences usually donít show up till 150,000 miles or so. The V6 will have ESS, which annoys some, the V8 has MDS.
Thanks for the info ColdCase. I skimmed over some of the sticky threads & I need to go back and read them. I've read many of your posts, which have provided a wealth of information...

Thatís a bummer if the cargo floor needs to be raised to fit an identical size spare as whatís on the vehicle (which I assume is a PITA; Bilko mentioned removing mounting/padding as another possibility). I love doing a 5-tire rotation, and never worrying about tread height differences with the spare tire and possible drivetrain damage if used.

If I get a V6, Iíll probably buy the aftermarket device to permanently disable ESS. Sounds like you canít disable the V8 MDS.
Hopefully Iíd keep the WK2 for a long time, so V8 durability is a plus (of course I also thought Iíd keep my KL longer than 6 years...)
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-20-2020, 12:05 PM
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Since you said you wan something larger: Speculation and early photos suggest the 2021 Grand Cherokee will be bigger than the current model.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-20-2020, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
lardo1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kga1978 View Post
You can fit a 265/65/18 in the spare, no problem. Itís also as big as you want to go without getting into issues with rubbing. Get the Falcon Wildpeaks (in 265/65/18 - so slightly bigger) - much better than stock.

Go for the Trailhawk - itís a better deal overall if you go off-road. Load it up with options - sticker will be high, but youíll get a heavy discount.

Get the V8... Unless you know you want the V6, go big - I love, love, love how much torque this engine has when going off-road. Donít know about towing, but I can only imagine itís a lot better too.

If you go off-road, look at Chief Products... Lots of good stuff that youíll likely want too.

Off-road, the GC is bigger and heavier than the KL, but in my experience better overall - much more ground clearance and better 4WD system. On-road thereís no competition - itís the GC all day long.

Final thought, since you mentioned transmission. A lot of issues with the 9 speed in the KL - especially earlier models. The 8-speed in the GC is a completely different beast and very very good - at least when paired with the V8 (I believe the same with the V6, but I havenít tried it).
Thanks for the info and recommendations.

I currently have Falcon Wildpeaks on my KL Trailhawk and also really like them. Iíve read other comments about going slightly larger to 265/65/18 as youíve suggested.

Leaning towards a V8 Trailhawk; want to test drive both engines. Unfortunately, in my area I havenít seen large discounts on new WK2 Trailhawks. Iíve read ColdCase comments about Dennis Dillon pricing, and it sounds like they offer the same discount pricing on new custom orders, which would be great to get exactly as desired (and turn the purchase into an Idaho hiking road trip...).

Yes, the issues with the KL 9-speed transmission... thanks for reminding me . Thatís why I was hoping the WK2 transmissions were made by ZF rather than FCA. But as you said and from other sources that Iíve read, the GC V8 8-speed transmissions are much much better.
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-20-2020, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
lardo1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeptome View Post
Just bought JGC 2020 Limited V6 with 20inch wheels, luxury 2 package, premium lights, tow package.
Drove it 500 miles straight right off the dealer lot. Impressive on highway. Smooth V6 mates well with trans.
I shopped for for midsize SUVs for 6 months. testing, reading reviews. 1998 4Runner owner upgrading.
Jeep GC had better road manners, quiet, interior quality, off road, simple clean media system and controls.
Negative was smaller storage, and well, it's not a Toyota. MPG was similar. Been around for 10yrs.

Test drove and compared similar models and packages:

2020 Toyota Highlander XLE v6. Cons: Drive like a balloon top heavy and wobbly. goofy ride. really just a Camry with a big shell.

2019 Toyota Highlander XLE v6. Cons: same above. Pros: Looked better.

2020 Toyota 4Runner v6. MPG sucked. Too much off road. Noisy on highway.

2020 Subaru Ascent Premium 4cyl Turbo. Almost picked this one but the turbo 4cyl and cvt drove odd. 2yr model.

2020 Honda Passport v6. Like driving a cardboard box. cheap interior.

2020 Ford Explorer 4cyl Turbo. Very nice drive. Cabin good. But big quality issues abound. 1yr model.

2020 VW Atlas v6. MPG sucked. Very nice interior and ride but quality inconsistent reviews scared me.
Thanks for your comments about shopping other midsize SUVs, especially coming from a 4Runner owner.

I've read lots of reviews, but no test driving yet due to current situation... I've ridden in 4Runners and if I did tons of off-roading, that's probably what I'd plan on buying. But most miles will be on paved roads & for the reasons you mentioned not too interested in a 4Runner.
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post #12 of 22 Old 05-20-2020, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckmiller View Post
Since you said you wan something larger: Speculation and early photos suggest the 2021 Grand Cherokee will be bigger than the current model.
It will be interesting to see what the 2021 Grand Cherokee will be. I'm not sure how much larger than a WK2 I'd want to go...

Based on my KL experience, I'll never buy the first year of a new FCA generation model. When they finally reveal what the WL will really be, and if it sounds amazing, I might consider waiting a few more years with my KL and see how things work out...
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-20-2020, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeptome View Post
Just bought JGC 2020 Limited V6 with 20inch wheels, luxury 2 package, premium lights, tow package.
Drove it 500 miles straight right off the dealer lot. Impressive on highway. Smooth V6 mates well with trans.
I shopped for for midsize SUVs for 6 months. testing, reading reviews. 1998 4Runner owner upgrading.
Jeep GC had better road manners, quiet, interior quality, off road, simple clean media system and controls.
Negative was smaller storage, and well, it's not a Toyota. MPG was similar. Been around for 10yrs.

Test drove and compared similar models and packages:

2020 Toyota Highlander XLE v6. Cons: Drive like a balloon top heavy and wobbly. goofy ride. really just a Camry with a big shell.

2019 Toyota Highlander XLE v6. Cons: same above. Pros: Looked better.

2020 Toyota 4Runner v6. MPG sucked. Too much off road. Noisy on highway.

2020 Subaru Ascent Premium 4cyl Turbo. Almost picked this one but the turbo 4cyl and cvt drove odd. 2yr model.

2020 Honda Passport v6. Like driving a cardboard box. cheap interior.

2020 Ford Explorer 4cyl Turbo. Very nice drive. Cabin good. But big quality issues abound. 1yr model.

2020 VW Atlas v6. MPG sucked. Very nice interior and ride but quality inconsistent reviews scared me.

I did a lot of cross-shopping too before settling on my '20 GC Limited. The 4Runner was high on my list until I test drove it on the highway and found its handling and ride were unacceptable. The GMC Acadia actually would have been my second choice after the Jeep.

I test drove both the GC V6 and V8 several times. I didn't really think the V8 was significantly better on rutted back roads and major hills. I wouldn't spend the extra money unless I was going to do a lot of towing or off-roading.

The spare tire well doesn't have a lot of storage space for things like jumper cables or ball mount. I'm going to see if I can devise some other padding solution that will provide more space but still prevent stuff from rattling around.

I've only got ~3K miles on my GC, but so far I've been very happy with my choice.
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-21-2020, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
I did a lot of cross-shopping too before settling on my '20 GC Limited. The 4Runner was high on my list until I test drove it on the highway and found its handling and ride were unacceptable. The GMC Acadia actually would have been my second choice after the Jeep.

I test drove both the GC V6 and V8 several times. I didn't really think the V8 was significantly better on rutted back roads and major hills. I wouldn't spend the extra money unless I was going to do a lot of towing or off-roading.

The spare tire well doesn't have a lot of storage space for things like jumper cables or ball mount. I'm going to see if I can devise some other padding solution that will provide more space but still prevent stuff from rattling around.

I've only got ~3K miles on my GC, but so far I've been very happy with my choice.
I had a similar experience. Shopped for months, test drove the Kia Sorento, Santa Fe, all the Subaru SUVs, Highlander, Pilot, even the Mitsu (amazing price on that one, and 0 financing on as many years as you want lol).


Was actually on my way to get the Ford Edge, and was passing the Jeep dealer with wife and she mentioned why not go for a test drive in the WK2 (we just assumed it was out of our price range), 5 mins into the test drive we both knew that was the one to get. We drove the Altitude without the sunroof/lights/winter package, so when I got back I asked him to bring it to me, and drove it home 3 days later after some extras were done to it.


Best decision ever, we're very happy, my first new vehicle ever, and maybe the last, but man, it's awesome. Still finding cool stuff to do and can't wait to customize it even more.


In hindsight, I maybe should have gotten the Limited over the Altitude, it's like the dealer didn't want to up-sell me, but now that I actually read the reviews of the higher model (passenger seat power seats, nah, don't want them, Alpine audio, don't want it), I don't know if it would be worth almost $6000 just to get the one thing I actually miss (memory seats/steering wheel for driver) and one that I thought I wanted but don't care about (auto fold in mirrors). And going to ACC and front sensors would mean going far higher in models, so the two options I would love to have are $20k above my ability to pay, lol.


I'm very happy with the V6 too, but maybe that's cuz I never drove the V8. With gas prices the way they usually are here in Canada (very high, except now in the crisis), even a 20% higher MPG would show up in my wallet.
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-30-2020, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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I finally had a chance for test drives and drove a V8 Trailhawk and V6 Limited (they didnít have a V6 Trailhawk in stock). A few impressions from my test drives.

I loved the Trailhawk leather/suede seats. Great fit/support and the ventilated seat felt great on the hot day I test drove.
The steering wheel column adjustable range is significantly better than my KL Trailhawk. So even before driving, just the TH seats & steering wheel position was a big improvement over my KL TH.

I liked both engines. The V8 was really nice, but I was surprised how well the V6 accelerated at lower speeds. At higher speeds (like highway passing) I noticed the V8 acceleration difference much more. For me, Iíll probably still go with the V8 (use at high elevations, easier towing, ...), but the V6 was nice.

The adaptive cruise control worked well, and itís something Iíve always wanted (as well as the ProTech II safety features).

It will be nice to again to have the option to manual shift if needed (KL doesnít have a normal manual shifter).

The dealership didnít seem very motivated to sell (maybe since it will still be a while before they start receiving new vehicles again??). They did offer 11% off MSRP for a Trailhawk with the options I want, but since they didnít have one of my preferred colors in stock, I didnít pursue it anymore for now.

Any inside news on how the GC production restart is going? (hopefully no one is getting sick)
Also, any news on how long theyíll accept WK2 custom orders before they change over for WL production?
(Speaking of the WL, it sounds pretty interesting from what Iíve read on the Jeep garage forums)

Anyway, impressed with the WK2 test drives.
Decisions, decisions... I havenít found a used 2018+ with the options I want in my area. Was hoping for a bigger discount on new 2020s, but maybe 11% off MSRP isnít too bad for my area... maybe check with Dennis Dillon on price of custom order & do road trip...
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