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Old 15th December 2012, 05:49   #1
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Default Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Prologue:

Most desis in the US stick to either Honda or Toyota for obvious reasons like resale value and fuel economy. Newbies buy a preowned civic or corolla while settled Indians go for a brand new accord or camry. SUV buyers prefer Honda CRV or Toyota Rav4 and families that need bigger vehicles look at either Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. I tried to think like a stereotypical desi and researched Toyota Highlander which got everything we needed but does not stand out in the crowd of boring crossover SUVs. Honda did not offer the right size for us because CRV is plain too small and Pilot is a full size 8 seater. Then came the Ford Edge with an advanced touch screen My ford touch system and good driving dynamics but again looked like a soccer mom SUV with feminine lines. Resale value and fuel economy were not in my check list as I plan to keep this vehicle for a longer term and I don’t mind spending a few extra bucks at the gas station for a good ride. I really wanted a jeep wrangler but I had to rule it out because of seat height and position of pedals which made them hard to reach for my wife who stands at 5”1. Also the bumpy ride because of suspension designed for off road use and mpg ratings of 15 city and 20 highway scared me away from wrangler. My friends advised me against buying a Chrysler product but the new Grand Cherokee looks too sharp to resist. We went to test drive the jeep first and every thing changed once we pulled off the dealer lot. We both were impressed by the quiet cabin, tech features and awesome power of 290hp pentastar engine. I just followed my heart and decided on Grand Cherokee and my wife backed me up on my decision.

Pros:

1. Refined V6 engine with plenty of horse power and torque.
2. More tech features than similarly priced competitors.
3. Very good rear leg room with no hump in floor.
4. Attention to detail with premium fit and finish.
5. Time less design with clean understated lines.

Cons:

1. Cramped front leg room.
2. Less storage space and cargo capacity for a midsize SUV.
3. Below average fuel economy due to dated transmission.
4. No inbuilt navigation in a $40,000 SUV.

I chose the pentastar V6 engine because it has been tried and tested in many dodge and chrysler vehicles. V8 would be an overkill for me because I dont have any boats or trailers to tow. Limited trim has more creature comforts like memory seats and power lift gate but costs whopping 8,000 dollars more than Laredo X. The colour which looks like black in pictures is actually a very dark green. Missing equipment in our jeep for this price range includes power sun roof (which I do not really care for) and navigation. We paid a little over $39,500 including taxes and fees.

Driving impression:

The jeep has completed 4000 miles this week and we went to the dealership to use the free complimentary oil change coupon. Customer service was good and the job was done in less than half an hour. We average 22.3 mpg on the highway with no head winds and 20.4mpg combined. It drops to around 18 mpg in pure city driving. I like the awesome driving range of 500+ highway miles with one tank of gas, thanks to huge 25 gallon tank. Steering and suspension are tight and gives confidence even at freeway speeds. We hear no rattles or squeaks so far. Take off from stop is very good but I feel a slightly annoying jerk when transmission upshifts to 2nd gear. Rest of the gear changes is mostly unnoticeable. And there is this rhythmic whine in 4th gear that can be heard only during acceleration on elevations like ramps on freeways. As per dealer and various jeep forums it is a “characteristic” of pentastar engine.The only thing I complain about is that the jeep is too slow to down shift and I have to literally floor the gas pedal to coax the tranny to downshift during merging on freeways. I guess I have to sacrifice fun-to-drive factor to get more than decent mpg from this 2 ton SUV. I may not be the best person to judge acceleration of an SUV because my daily driver is a 4.0 L mustang with stick shift. Braking is adequate and body roll is minimal taking into consideration the height. ABS and traction control have helped tremendously during a recent snow storm. I wish the seats had more bolstering laterally to help hard cornering.

Interior and comfort:

Heated leather 8-way power driver and front passenger seats are plush and comfortable with adequate under thigh support. I have not tried the rear seats yet but passengers have not complained about anything. “Keyless enter n go” allows you to unlock vehicle by touching front door handles with fob in your pocket and remote start helps to warm up the jeep and melt some snow on windshield in winters instead of waiting and freezing in a cold car. Little extras include 150v inverter to charge laptops, illuminated cup holders and turn signal stalk which can be depressed half way to blink only three times for lane changing. X-package also adds reverse camera, rear parking sensors, auto dimming rear view mirror, dual zone automatic climate control, 9 speakers with amplifier and subwoofer, touch screen entertainment system with blue tooth, voice recognition and inbuilt 40 GB hard drive. The system is capable of playing DVDs but unfortunately the state we live in does not allow video screens for front row seats. So it was disabled before delivery. Driver info display shows average mpg, distance to empty, coolant temperature, oil temperature, transmission temperature, oil pressure and engine hours. Upgrading to Laredo X also brought beefier 265/60R18 michelin tires instead of 245/70R17 tires on base Laredo.

Exterior: I will let pictures do the talking.
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by raveen_2023 : 5th January 2013 at 12:49. Reason: added text content
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Old 15th December 2012, 06:04   #2
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Whoa thats one butch vehicle you have got hands on to and the color compliments it very well! Congrats and many happy miles ahead!

Your new ride means business and seems built to last. Please post more pics of the interiors and everything else that is of interest.

Do let us know more about the build quality, ride and handling, ice etc.
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Old 15th December 2012, 06:15   #3
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Absolute butch and good looking! And here, we are content with the likes of the T-Fort . Looking forward to an extended ownership report in addition to the interior pics. Pardon me for my ignorance but, is it an able offroader (definitely looks like)?

Any performance mods to boost low/ mid range in the works? Or would those be after the warranty is done with?

Last edited by MetalBuff : 15th December 2012 at 06:22.
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Old 15th December 2012, 06:44   #4
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBuff View Post
Absolute butch and good looking! And here, we are content with the likes of the T-Fort . Looking forward to an extended ownership report in addition to the interior pics. Pardon me for my ignorance but, is it an able offroader (definitely looks like)?

Any performance mods to boost low/ mid range in the works? Or would those be after the warranty is done with?
I am planning for some minor exterior upgrades like chrome bezels for fog lamps and door sill scuff plates but will not touch power train until warranty expires.
Our jeep got Quadra-trac 1 system which is only good for snow and light trails or may be beaches. Serious offroading will need low range that comes with Quadra-trac 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Whoa thats one butch vehicle you have got hands on to and the color compliments it very well! Congrats and many happy miles ahead!

Your new ride means business and seems built to last. Please post more pics of the interiors and everything else that is of interest.

Do let us know more about the build quality, ride and handling, ice etc.
Will upload pics of interiors in a few hours.
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Old 15th December 2012, 09:46   #5
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Superb review raveen 2023.
Its an excellent vehicle you have there, dwarfs the Ford Mustang.
Thanks for sharing a review much before the launch of the Jeep in India.
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Old 15th December 2012, 10:09   #6
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Thanks for the share raveen_2023, this thing looks butch, and its coming to INDIA! Really looking forward to the launch. Also would like to know, what were your other option at this price point?
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Old 15th December 2012, 19:25   #7
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Quote:
Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
Thanks for the share raveen_2023, this thing looks butch, and its coming to INDIA! Really looking forward to the launch. Also would like to know, what were your other option at this price point?
I hope the 8 speed transmission they are plannjng for 2014 grand cherokee will make it to India. The only draw back with the current model is power sapping 5 speed automatic.
My other options were Ford Edge SEL and Ford Explorer XLT
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Old 15th December 2012, 20:49   #8
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Nice buy, raven! Congratulations from another Mopar owner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raveen_2023 View Post
My friends advised me against buying a Chrysler
product but the new Grand Cherokee looks too sharp to resist.
Good you didnt listen to your "friends".
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Old 15th December 2012, 21:29   #9
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Beautiful jeep. No matter how much Mahindra & other wannabe's copy jeeps they'l never look as good as a real jeep.

Your jeep has no tiptronic/paddle shifts? Is that for a particular reason?
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Old 15th December 2012, 21:49   #10
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

It does have manumatic. They just chose not to put + and- slots. When gear selector is in D moving it to the right will upshift and tapping to left will downshift.
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Old 16th December 2012, 11:00   #11
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Great pics,raveen_2023. The car looks beautiful and the background makes it even more stunning.

Never driven a Jeep till now although have tried out the Chrysler 300. Only gripe in the Jeep is that the interiors could have been different. Carries the same parts as the 300, which is of good standards but could have been better with a unique interior for the Jeep variety.

The gear lever in the 300 was cool with a very short stick and almost zero movement. This one seems different. RWD was thrilling to say the least.

Congrats on your new car and hope you drive many happy miles in it. Great Color!
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Old 16th December 2012, 12:27   #12
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Congratulations Raveen. What an aspirational garage. Love the shot with Jeep and the Mustang next to each other in the parking lot.

Your Laredo looks as stately as it is imposing. Is this Hamden, NY btw?

Wishing you a million miles on it and please let us also have the review of the stick shift stallion.
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Old 16th December 2012, 13:05   #13
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Does Jeep Cherokee makes sense as a daily driver?
Asking this because most of the times I have seen Jeep sharing garage with another car as the Daily driver. Mustang as in your case.
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Old 16th December 2012, 13:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omtoatom View Post
Congratulations Raveen. What an aspirational garage. Love the shot with Jeep and the Mustang next to each other in the parking lot.

Your Laredo looks as stately as it is imposing. Is this Hamden, NY btw?

Wishing you a million miles on it and please let us also have the review of the stick shift stallion.
Thank you Omtoatom. My mustang has 110,000 miles on odo and started to show signs of aging. It is still fun to drive when there is no snow on roads. I will post a review soon.
My location is Hamden, CT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
Does Jeep Cherokee makes sense as a daily driver?
Asking this because most of the times I have seen Jeep sharing garage with another car as the Daily driver. Mustang as in your case.
It can be a good daily driver if you dont mind 15 mpg in city. It will be my daily driver this winter so that i dont have to put winter tires on mustang like i did before we bought the jeep.
Btw my 'stang also gives similar mileage in city driving.

Note from Team-bhp support: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the same thread!

Last edited by moralfibre : 17th December 2012 at 05:46. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 16th December 2012, 13:24   #15
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Default Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X

Quote:
Originally Posted by raveen_2023 View Post
It can be a good daily driver if you dont mind 15 mpg in city. It will be my daily driver this winter so that i dont have to put winter tires on mustang like i did before we bought the jeep.
Btw my 'stang also gives similar mileage in city driving.
Is it easy to drive around in urban traffic?
Last time I checked out review of a Jeep (It was Rubicon btw) they were very happy that the Rubicon reached around 100+ on highways. And that was with I guess 6lt engine. It was a long time ago. Memory is weak. Was a bit amused at the engine power and the speed. Maybe because it is a off-roader.
But what I do remember that it handled terribly at 100+.
Hence asking the same question on Cherokee.
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