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Old 01-28-2014, 05:48 AM   #1
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Grand Cherokee vs. Wrangler


As & when we get our DP, a toad purchase will hopefully follow. As we would want to do some 'light' off-roading, nothing too serious, just tracks where you wouldn't necessarily want to take a car. As mentioned numerous times on here and else where, the 4x4 of choice appears to be the Jeep Wrangler and i wouldn't disagree. (I'm actually a huge Land Rover fan having owned/raced them several over the years) However, looking at the cost vs. the amount of usage it would get, I have been loping at possible alternatives and the one that jumps out from a cost (and easy availability) point of view, is the GC. The downside appears to be the gas mileage, with a common comment on here being that 'it sucks!' My question is, sucks in relation to what? A Prius or other medium sized SUVs? Can anyone enlighten me or even suggest alternatives for some light off-road use and to be towed 4 wheels down. Suzuki's seem to be as rare as hens teeth and CRV's are more than I would want to spend. Looking forward to receiving your comments & suggestions.


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Old 01-28-2014, 06:12 AM   #2
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Old info but our 1998 Grand Cherokee was a hog at 16/19 MPG. I understand they've got a diesel version now which is interesting, but they're also tipping the scales at $30-75K!!


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Old 01-28-2014, 06:38 AM   #3
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If it's a Jeep the mileage is not good. I got the Wrangler not for mpg but for the enjoyment of go any place I want to go. Spend a lot of money for MH, gas, campground, time to get there; so I want to make sure I can do what I want to do while there. GC can do limited off road, Wrangler will go anywhere and if it will not go there then add a winch and still go where you want.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:41 AM   #4
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Same with our Liberty. Mileage sucks, but that's not what we got the Jeep for. The 4 down towing ease and the off road use are what we got a Jeep for. We are heading to the Rocky Mountains this summer. I don't want to be driving a wimp around there.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:48 AM   #5
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I had a pretty nice 99 GC I really liked - other than the gas mileage. I was running back and forth between SW Mi and the northern lower (200 miles each way) frequently. That trip had long ago lost it's appeal, so it was more about traffic conditions and how long that trip was going to take - which is a long way around of saying it was often run at 80mph. At those speeds, the GC was at about 13-14mph (in good conditions - reasonable wind, no snow or ice). Around town, maybe 14mpg? Same conditions, 05 4x4 Dakota Laramie with full time 4wd (easily as nice as the GC), about 3mpg better.

Noteworthy is the fact the viscous coupler in the GC's transfer case would lock up when it got warm, like on longer trips (junk design or fluid specs, your call). So that entire transfer case was replaced by one from a Wrangler (straight bolt in!). This gave the GC the ability to run in 2wd (normally full time 4x4). The mileage STILL sucked!

We are now a CRV family, and though I had my doubts going into it, with 175k on it now, the car has earned my respect! Other than keeping gas in it (about 24mpg) and regular oil changes, it's needed 1 ball joint, and the AC compressor let go. I understand this happens frequently in the Gen 2 CRV's, but the parts to replace the compressor and all associated components were purchased as a kit on ebay for 700. Not a bad job for a do it your selfer.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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I have no personal experience with the Grand Cherokee, but I think you'll find mileage has improved over the years.

Our '07 Wrangler Rubicon came with 4.10 axle gears, heavy tires and was good for a solid 18 mpg with an occasional 19 - 20 (perfect conditions). Before I changed our '12 Sahara to the 4.10s I was getting 22 to 24mpg with the stock 3.21 gears. With the 4.10s (I wanted more "power" to tow our boat) I still get a solid 20mpg with an occasional bump to 22. I consider these numbers excellent for the type of vehicle.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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There is a new Jeep player on the market.

The Cherokee

The Limited with the V6 which I have is very nice and it is rated at 19 city 27 highway
The more off road capable Cherokee Trail Hawk is rated 18 and 25

I have 4400 miles on mine and love it. I have pulled it twice for about 300 total miles now.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #8
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We own a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited. 4x4 with the Hemi. It is equipped with the 8 speed transmission. We do not use this for our toad so to tow it you would have to do some checking on proper set up. But what I can tell you is that we absolutely love it. It has the cylinder deactivation. On the highway we can average 23-25 mpg. Not quite what the new Cherokee is but the Grand is much more vehicle. We purchased a 2013 wrangler and owned it for 11 months before trading it. I loved it but my wife did not find it practical, especially with 2 kids. But I will say I enjoy driving the grand Cherokee ...its plush and has power.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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We have towed a 2010 Jeep Wrangler for the past 4 years with our Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain tow bar. There isn't a vehicle that tows easier. The hook up and un-hook literally takes less then 10 mins for my husband and I. I have often connected and disconnected myself.
We do some two-tracking and off reading to spots to picnic on beaches, go down logging roads, and down to areas to launch kayaks. The Jeep Wrangler is of course the optimum vehicle for all these uses. It is also our second vehicle, my husbands daily driver. I alternate between a Chev Tahoe in the winter and my rear wheel drive, (unmovable in the winter) Cadillac as my summer vehicle.
All that being said, the Wrangler is a rough riding son-of-a-gun. Our 90 lb choc lab travels with us everywhere, and with it being a two door, climbing in and out of the back seat is tiresome when we do take someone with us.
We heavily considered trading for a 4 dr Wrangler, but that improved accessibility, but not the rough ride. With the new Cherokee out we investigated that. We couldn't decide, until we saw the Trailhawk model. Took that for a test drive and loved it. Much better mpg, great ride, and still off road capable, at least for the type of off roading we do. If you're into more hardcore off-roading you may want to stick with the Wrangler. But if you're a Land Rover fan, I think you may also tire of the Wrangler ride.
The Trailhawk won't be in until about mid-Feb as we ordered one to get exactly what we wanted and the color. Will post pics when we get it set up to go.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:04 PM   #10
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Isn't there now a diesel option for the Grand Cherokee? Also, the new 2015 GMC Yukon Denali is dropping all wheel drive in favor of 4 wheel drive so it's now a flat tow option.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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As others have said the Wrangler is the best choice for off roading. It's rough, tough, and is easy to tow. The downside is it rides like a log truck and only gets slightly better mileage (16 city - 20 highway). I've been driving trucks all my life that never got more than 10 mpg so to me it's quite an improvement. It's almost indestructible and can go places most drivers shouldn't take them.

We've had an 04 Wrangler since it was new. It's been towed over 100,000 miles and driven another 40,000, mostly off road. We did have 1 problem in all that time. A heater knob broke. Other than that it's been normal maintenance. I must admit I did put a new battery in it last week. Even though it was still starting good I didn't trust a 10+ year old battery in -25* temperatures.

There are several new engine/transmission options out this year for the GC. As I understand it some can be towed others can't. If you choose a GC make sure it's towable. The dealer should have a products specification book that explains in detail which combinations and options are necessary to tow 4 down. The owners manual also has a section on recreational towing, but it's a little late to find you can't tow something after you already own it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:53 AM   #12
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We just got a 2006 GC is has the hemi v-8 i know the millage will suck but got it at a great price.Just have to stay light on the accelerator.We will be full timers so it will have more towing then driving.We plan on spending some time in the Big bend area dry camping and the 4x4 will be helpful.As to how it will handle in snow that i will never know.The reason for the m/h is to move south at that time. I think the g/c with the quad 2 will make a good toad
We are trying to save money so we can get a better coach.We are still looking but getting close.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:54 PM   #13
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Grand Cherokee vs. Wrangler

I have a 2013 wrangler 2 door.

I like it so much it is my daily driver now. Highway mpg mid 20s in town very high teens.

Lots of power, comfortable to ride in even for long trips.

The new jeeps are not anything like the one's made 5 or more years ago.

Put he transfer case in neutral and the key in your pocket. (no steering lock)

Really nice vehicle.

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Old 01-29-2014, 05:14 PM   #14
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We been dragging our 2011 GC overland behind us for 3 yrs and about 20,000 miles. Its the best overall in 15 yrs and 6 toads. Its a great luxury, part time off road suv. We will buy another new one in about another year.


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