Category Archives: Jeep

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 (222)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 sport utility vehicle.

I believe Americans are beginning to re-think the need to support US made products and stop exporting jobs abroad at our economic peril. The good news is that these cars are far superior to the low point in the late 1960s for US cars. They have earned the right to be re-considered. One trip to Detroit or simply following the news about how the American auto industry is suffering should convince you of the need to support it. When you look closer you will find them to be every bit as good in today’s world.

Keeping the Dollar at home by keeping jobs at home will help American families. Think about it.

General Info:

Parts – US/Canadian 71%, Engine and transmission – Germany.

Assembly – Detroit, MI, USA

Class:  – Special Purpose

Cars: – Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot & Wrangler.

Observation:

… on SIRIUS radio. How can there be so many stations and so few worth listening to. Ok, so it does give you the opportunity to filter out all the commercial junk and zero in on those few that are of interest to you. On the whole it gives more benefits than negatives. It is the wave of the future and much like cable TV where you only watch very few of the hundreds of stations available.

Reception on SIRIUS, however, can be frustrating at times in that there are a lot of interruptions. I suspect it will get better in time. Until then they should reduce the pricing.

Handling & Performance:

I was impressed with the Crest Test ride that was smooth and controlled with the high tech suspension including 4-wheel traction control, hill start assist and descent control, Electronic Stability Program and Quadra Trac full time 4WD. These control features are surely the most significant improvements to our driving experience. In other words, power isn’t all that important to performance. It is the control assists that keep you safe and enhance handling and driving comfort.

Jeep unlike all other off road contenders is actually used off road and has the highest percentage of off road use. This is why Jeep offers Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II options with electronic limited slip differentials.

Styling:

The Grand Cherokee smoothes out the rough edges of other more squarely cut models and gives that elegant luxury feeling even though it is still a capable 4-wheel off road tracker. I think you’ll also appreciate small things like stylish seating. But getting to them in the rear is through narrow door openings.

Fit and Finish:

Very good. I think all car makers have taken a page out of the Japanese book on work ethics and thus Japanese cars are no longer noticeably better.

Cost:

In the hunt… reasonably competitive.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very good as equipped but you may want to consider adding some options. Trailer tow group adds $280; limited slip front and rear differential is $795; Multimedia InfoTainment system with GPS Navigation, hard disc drive, Bluetooth hands free communication, SIRIUS Satellite Traffic and touch screen display is only $900.

Consumer Recommendation:

Consider returning to American Made products because they are far better, thanks to European and Japanese competition. I think that is why Toyota, for one, is producing some cars in this country because Americans are sure to think of their own family’s well being once again and return to American Made everything. Watch out Wal-Mart. Face it; the American people have paid enough to rebuild those countries who sought to destroy us in WWII. Now they are succeeding economically where they failed through armed aggression.

Recognized Competition:

Jeep Grand Cherokee $28-43,000, Buick Rainier $32-34,000, BMW X5 $46-55,000, Lexus RX 350 $37-39,000, Land Rover LR3 $41-53,000, Nissan Pathfinder $26-37,000, GMC Envoy $27-36,000, Infiniti FX $38-50,000, Acura MDX $40-48,000, Dodge Durango $26-37,000, Honda Pilot $26-36,000, Chevrolet TrailBlazer $27-37,000, Ford Explorer $26-36,000, Toyota 4Runner $28-39,000, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Mitsubishi Endeavor $28-31,000.

Good News:

Well made American product, competitive pricing, handles beautifully and great off road.

Bad News:

Need improved fuel economy, narrow rear door openings.

Standard Equipment:

4.7 liter 235 hp V8 gas engine, (3.0 liter V6 215 hp turbo diesel engine in test vehicle), 5-speed auto trans., front and side curtain airbags, enhanced accident response system, 4-wheel traction control, 4-wheel ABS brake assist disc brakes, hill start assist and descent control, Electronic Stability Program, Quadra Trac full time 4WD, park view rear back up camera, Remote start system, power sunroof, Rain sensing windshield wipers, Sentry key theft deterrent system, power windows, tire pressure monitoring, auto dual zone temp control air conditioning, power adjustable pedals, power locks, cruise control, remote keyless / illuminated entry, steering wheel mounted audio controls, tilt / telescopic column, multimedia entertainment system, Boston sound system, SIRIUS satellite digital radio (one year provided), auto dimming rear view mirror, power heated front seats with lumbar adjust and memory, 2nd row 60/40 folding seat, trip computer, auto on/off headlights, fog lights, power heated folding mirrors.

Gas Stats:

$3.25/ Gal avg. November 20, ‘07

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

17 City and 22 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $40,210 including turbo diesel engine for $1,655.

1998 Jeep Cherokee Limited (211)

Overview: 
You can hardly talk about a sport utility without mentioning the name Jeep. Over the past several years as I’ve reviewed the likes of the Olds Bravada, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Blazer, Infiniti QX4, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Lexus LX450, Honda Passport, Dodge Durango, Mercedes Benz ML320, GMC Yukon Denali, Isuzu Rodeo etc., I have referred to Jeep. And why not, Jeep is the original and still is the Jeep of Sport Utility Vehicles. I have been endeared to the Jeep for offroading since before all other manufacturers got hip to this wild and crazy passenger vehicle capability.

The only one I really can’t warm up to is the Wrangler because it insults my intelligence. Simply put – I can’t see the value for the dough. Take the carpet and comfortable seats out, paint it gray and we have a post WWII Jeep I drove in the Navy. Paint it Army Green and put a machine gun mount on the back, and it’s the familiar GI Jeep General George S. Patton rode in through Europe. It rides rough, burns gas like an Army tank, has no storage space and much less.

Sorry, Chrysler I had to say that and get it off my chest. However, the rest of the Jeep line and the company generally is great. Management is forward thinking and caters to its customers in a family sort of way. They organize Jeep Jamborees, that are off road outings for a few days in the country with a bunch of other Jeep owners that is organized by Chrysler. There are about 30 venues in the US and are “must do’s” for Jeep owners. I did the Mohawk Trail Jamboree in Massachusettes a few years back and still think of that outing from time to time with fondness. You meet some very nice people and you have a lot in common. Jeep says that 65% of all Jeep owners have never taken their Jeep off roading. Jamboree’s are ranked by degree of difficulty and I would never suggest you take on a “Ten” at first. Inexperienced owners could bring their Jeep back in a body bag.

Now Jeep has taken the initiative again and began organizing a program to teach owners “off-highway” driving basics. They call it “Jeep 101” and you drive company owned new Jeeps around a course designed to simulated difficult trail conditions in the widerness. Literally it is a cut down version of the Jeep Jamboree. They invite Jeep owners or prospective owners to experience a course of sand traps, log crossings, rock crawling, hill climbing, water hazards etc. The program begins in April and runs through November in cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa. It’s an interesting way to spend a half day and if you intend to buy a SUV you should consider this opportunity. I went on the one in Gorman, about an hour north of LA.

I suspect this is what separates the men from the boys in the SUV market. Jeep is the “Real Thing” and they put their product where their marketing mouth is. This is truly a different car company. The third event they sponsor is called Camp Jeep which is a three day owner event to educate, entertain and place owners in a family vacation environment. There are activities like fly-fishing, four-wheel drive trails, mountain biking, white-water rafting, all-terrain mountain boarding, archery and out door concerts. Trust me, Chrysler knows how to do an event.

For more information on Jeep Jamborees, Camp Jeep or Jeep 101 you can call 1-800-925-Jeep or visit the Jeep website at www.jeep.com.

The competition: 

Chevrolet Blazer $21,713 – $25,226, GMC Jimmy $21,836 – $25,905, Honda Passport $22,700 – $28,950, Jeep Cherokee $15,665 – $24,605, Mitsubishi Montero Sport $18,030 – $32,250, Nissan Pathfinder $23,999 – $32,849, Subaru Forester $18,695 – $22,195, Toyota 4Runner $20,658 – $34,718.

Good News: 

The Jeep of SUV’s, fun and educational events.

Bad News: 

Prior quality issues (but they try harder and address the problems).

Standard Equipment:

4.0 liter inline 6-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic trans with 4 wheel drive, dual air bags, power front disc and rear drum brakes, power steering, AM/FM with cassette, power folder mirrors and roof rack.

Gas Stats:

15 City/ 20 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP is $22,115. The model I tested included air conditioning, power leather seats, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, cruise control, special wheels, special suspension like skid plates heavy duty engine and oil coolers ABS brakes, fog lamps, CD etc that brought the total to $27,405.