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Old 03-26-2014, 07:23 AM   #1
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Going from grand cherokee to wrangler unlimited

Hi this is my first post. I have a 2014 grand cherokee and am thinking about going to a wrangler unlimited. I get that the ride will be ruff in comparison and I probably won't be going over 75 on the highway.

Has anyone here made the switch? Any thoughts on doing it? My reason for switching is the GC is just too nice. I got a summit because I thought I wanted a luxury car. After getting one it just seems like it's not worth the hassle. I do like the comfort and features of the GC but I'm also afraid to do much with it.

Thanks

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Old 03-26-2014, 08:05 AM   #2
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:14 AM   #3
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Welcome to WF!

I understand that your GC is indeed nice but switching to a new JKU... well, you're going to be in the same situation. Once you get your hands on one you're going to find yourself constantly modifying it until the value has far surpassed what you paid for your GC. Hence, back to square 1: "it's just too nice".

This only applies, however, if you intend to wheel your new JKU--- if not then why make the switch?
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
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Welcome! I've went back and forth trying to decide on both myself. I like the options on the G-Cherokee Limited and the heavier towing capability but like the ruggedness and looks of the Unlimited. It's not an easy decision, have you driven an Unlimited.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:42 AM   #5
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I rented a regular wrangler for 10 days and test drove an unlimited. The ride is bouncy but I don't drive much so I think I can handle that.

I've only been off road once rocky trails in Hawaii to get to a beach. It was awesome.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:06 AM   #6
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My wife has the GC and I have the JKUR. I like driving the GC every now and then because it is by far more comfortable and smoother. You have to ask yourself the question "What do you want?" Is it comfort and occasional dirt road family wagon or are you going to go off-road frequently.

Do you live in Hawaii? A JKU would be great for the sun and beach. So really it comes down to what you want. Both vehicles serve two distinct purposes.

My family and I are moving to Hawaii next month.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:13 AM   #7
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I don't live in Hawaii. I was there on vacation. I'm in Massachusetts. I do a lot of outdoor stuff frequently (hike, ski camp etc.) but have only been off-road that one time. There are beaches here you can drive on buy the GC can handle that.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:24 AM   #8
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I've owned a Wagoneer Ltd, and a Liberty before my JK. Both of those along with the Grand Cherokee are respectable vehicles to drive. The JK or JKU are just badass. Keep the Cherokee if you tow, travel long distances and want to be normal. Get the JKU if you want to mod it, or off road it. It's not meant to be comfortable for long trips, and you have to enjoy its rough handling and quirks. If you keep the suspension stock it handles fine at high speeds (I'll take the 5th on just how high).
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:35 AM   #9
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If you keep the suspension stock it handles fine at high speeds (I'll take the 5th on just how high).
I can confirm it handles fine at high speeds, as long as there is no head wind, had it maxed out a few times...
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:40 AM   #10
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I've had a WJ & a WK, so I can't speak for the WK2, the GC's do handle better especially at highway speed w/wind(my JK isn't stock). Does your WK2 have a 5.7? If it does the power difference will be quite noticeable. The JK has excellent resale value & a large after market. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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I have a 2012 Grand Cherokee, and picked up my 2014 Wrangler Unlimited last night. It's certainly a different ride, but I know I'm going to LOVE the Wrangler! Sure it's louder and a bit more rough, but it's AWESOME!
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jaredstrauss View Post
My reason for switching is the GC is just too nice. I got a summit because I thought I wanted a luxury car. After getting one it just seems like it's not worth the hassle. I do like the comfort and features of the GC but I'm also afraid to do much with it.
At least to me, the GC Summit is like a Sunday suit. The Wrangler is like a pair of jeans. Both have their place, but most would find they are more comfortable in their jeans. The more worn and broken-in the jeans, the better. With a suit, one has to constantly be worried they might get something on it.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:04 AM   #13
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Wife has a 2011 GC Overland Hemi -- decked out with every option they offered. (It was on the lot, she saw the contrast stitching on the leather and the contrast piping around the seats and the burled wood, and it was over with.) I drive it nearly as much as her, because it's the car we usually take when going somewhere together, and always when travelling.

Other than going to our mountain cabin, with maybe 10 minutes of well-graded gravel road and driveway, it has never seen offroad. It has the air-lift suspension, all sorts of settings for different traction (Sand, Mud, Snow, Rock, etc.) All wasted, at least till it gets really old. No way anyone is messing up that truck, inside or out.

So I get where you're coming from. They are as different as Porsches and Priuses. May as well come from different companies.

The WK2, as I'm sure you know, was jointly developed by Daimler and Chrysler along with the ML350, and it shows in every facet. The Wrangler is probably the crudest vehicle sold in America today, where on-road Noise, Vibration & Harshness are concerned. If it weren't for its iconic status and amazing off-road prowess, the Wrangler would only be sold in developing countries and would cost $5000. Think Suzuki Samurai.

That said, the JK makes tremendous strides forward from the TJs I'm familiar with, so it closes the gap a bit. Well, not really, because the WK2 also made serious improvement over the WK. So maybe the gap is still just as big.

Conclusion -- You know what you're getting yourself into. A Wrangler is an "all-in" experience. If you just want a "jump in and run to the office, take clients out to lunch, pick up the kids after soccer, drive to Panama City for spring break" vehicle, it might not suit very well. I can see why, if you're replacing a WK2 with it you would be thinking long and hard about that decision. But I can attest to it being the perfect adder to a WK2! (And I don't even have mine yet -- on order. )
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:34 AM   #14
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We Have a 2013 Wrangler Sport and a 2013 GC Limited (w/ 5.7), I couldn't choose one over the other. As said, they have distinctly different purposes, the JK makes a great vehicle for running errands, short trips, or off road excursions. In the summer, with a bikini top and safari doors, it is almost always the vehicle of choice. The GC is the vehicle we use to pull our travel trailer, transport bulky items, or for a family outing, it is really just a good, comfortable, heavy duty station wagon. But if I had to have only one it would be a JKU, seems like a good compromise.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #15
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To add... I have taken a 2009 and a 2013 JKU hard top, automatic and 3:73 gears, and BFG MTs on long highway trips - 7 hours on moderate hills at 65-75mph. They do just fine, though gas mileage does indeed suck and increased braking distance is to be observed with off-road tires. Strong gusty wind blows you around a bit, but no more than a mid-sized pickup truck and not as bad as a cargo van. Noise isn't bad at all and you can talk on the phone and chat with other occupants. Honestly, I don't know why people say they are no good for long trips. The JKU is heavy, roomy and comfortable at 70mph in all but the worst conditions.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:12 AM   #16
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Honestly, I don't know why people say they are no good for long trips. The JKU is heavy, roomy and comfortable at 70mph in all but the worst conditions.
Really depends on your experience and expectations. If you had taken those same trips in a 2011+ WK2 with a hemi, front & back seat heaters, front seat coolers, steering wheel heater, auto climate, auto seat & mirror adjust to driver, radar cruise control, backup cameras, blah, blah, blah, (which is what the OP has been experiencing), you might have a different definition of "comfortable at 70mph." Just sayin'.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:53 AM   #17
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Really depends on your experience and expectations. If you had taken those same trips in a 2011+ WK2 with a hemi, front & back seat heaters, front seat coolers, steering wheel heater, auto climate, auto seat & mirror adjust to driver, radar cruise control, backup cameras, blah, blah, blah, (which is what the OP has been experiencing), you might have a different definition of "comfortable at 70mph." Just sayin'.
I understand what you mean completely. I have a "built" 5.7L 2008 Dodge Daytona Charger R/T that I've made the same run in several times. It's much, much nicer for sure. My only real point was that a JKU is far from intolerable and actually is not bad at all. I sometimes see posts that stop just short of saying you just plain can't drive a JKU at normal highway speeds on long trips without going insane or dying.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:02 PM   #18
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i just bought my JKU Rubicon. i bought it almost 200 miles away from home, drove interstate all the way 7-80 MPH, no problem at all wind was blowing pretty good, only once it really effected me. and for ride comfort it is really a nice ride. i cant compare to your GC, have you did a test drive to see the diff? you may mind yourself in the same delima. its definately not a pure rugged experiance like my TJ
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:06 PM   #19
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I have an '04 Grand Cherokee Overland, and am going to a Rubicon X.
One thing I will say is that when it comes to snow, I have never driven a vehicle (Wranglers included) that work as well as the Quadra Drive. That is hands down the most amazing system for snow and ice that I have ever had the pleasure to drive. I have owned and driven a lot of AWD & 4WD vehicles over the years.

I want a more offroad oriented vehicle which only looks better with "trail stripes" and rock dents. Just couldn't bring myself to ruin the G.C., it's still like new.
Good luck with your decision. Personally, I'd want to keep both. Maybe a stripped Sport with soft top to modify, and the G.C. for winter duty, and upscale travel.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:21 PM   #20
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Good luck OP.
I didn't make the switch (had a 2006 Liberty before the Wrangler), but when I frist srated looking at 2012's I did cross shop a 2012 Sahara JKU with a 2012 Grand Cherokee Larado (with the 3.6 and same 5 speed auto tranny).

Price wise, they are actually very similar once I factored in some of the immediate security and comfort mods that would have be done to the Sahara right away. The GC met everyone one of my needs....and actually did it better than the Sahara did for how I would use the vehicle (better highway fuel economy, better comfort, better towing, better winter handling, more room, dual sunroofs, etc). It was even available with tan leather and Winter Chill exterior.

However, a GC is a GC, and it is a really, really nice SUV......but a Wrangler is a Wrangler.

You cannot remove the top and doors from a GC, and there is simply no way to account for such a feature.

I didn't grow up lusting after a GC, I grew up lusting after a Wrangler.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:57 PM   #21
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Op if you can keep the 2014 GC and swing a wrangler you want regret it.
I have both 2014 GC and 2013 JKU. The wife drives the GC and I drive the JKU daily.
Trips and towing boat with GC and summer time JKU naked.....the two best vehicles I have ever owned.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:46 PM   #22
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Thanks for all the replies. I tried the jeep both idea and the wife lost it (as expected).

I don't drive much for work. I commute on my bike or take the train so my car generally sits during the week except for a few short drives. On weekends I ski regularly which involves a 150 to 200 mile drive each way. The GC is great for long drives. Set the smart cruise control and forget about it.

During the summer I generally do shorter drives on the weekends but still drive places to go to the beach etc. I also do a few longer road trips to go hiking and camping.

As I've said I've only been off road once but would like to do more of it. Does anyone have a Wrangler Unlimited and with similar driving habits?
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:47 PM   #23
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Yep, I have them both...wife drives a 2014 GC Overland (LOADED with the Summit options) and I drive a 2014 base model JKUR.

I like them both but for different reasons. The GC is very comfortable but I wouldn't feel comfortable taking it out in anything over a light to mid snow. Now, it *will* go in harsher conditions, I just prefer to keep it road ready. I've driven it on quite long drives and it's super comfortable, especially with the heated and ventilated seats.

My JKUR...It's stock with a lift and it's also comfortable but in a different way. I've pretty much had it offroad every weekend since getting it. Road noise is "ok" (definitely better than the older Jeeps) but it's still not as quiet as the GC.

There is slightly more space in the GC oh...I've not received any Jeep Waves in the GC. Not one. So there's this whole Jeep culture thing that you miss out on by not having a Wrangler.

As far as travelling, I do a similar routine as you...I work from home (mostly) and travel for activities (lately offroad with the Wrangler). Summer is where you'll really enjoy the Wrangler going to the beach and hiking/camping. I've camped in the GC and it was ok, but I expect a much more fun (and closer to nature) experience going out in a naked JK and a tent.

Drive them both...get what you like. Or do like I did...get a GC first...sell the wife on the idea that you need a Wrangler, then get that too.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:42 PM   #24
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Thanks for the information lespaulrob. I tried selling my wife on the GC for her and she said no way. I am going to take a used JKU for a longer test drive this weekend and make the call.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:48 PM   #25
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It sounds like you want a Wrangler. I've got a JKUS 6 speed. Love it. Sahara's are a little more plush. Automatics are very nice. Talk it over with your wife. I'm sure you both will make the right decision.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:59 PM   #26
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My wife and I have both a 2014 GC Overland (hers) and my new 2014 JKU. I think they each have their place. I too would not want to take the CG into too much harms way.
I fully admit that I may feel the same about the JKU after build-out as I suspect I will have the same investment in the JKU as the Overland. The cost of our hobby / disease ....
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:26 AM   #27
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I went from a Mercedes Benz Glk 350 4matic (tiny SUV) to the 14 JKU Sahara. I don't regret it at all. The JKU is equally as comfortable on trips and is very smooth on the road. I took it on a trip this week (4 hrs there, 4 back) going there was an easy drive, coming back was a little tough because it was super windy, combined with driving 85mph it was loud. Other than that it's a great vehicle, I love the culture, and I haven't looked back. You can always sell it if you don't like it.


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Old 03-28-2014, 12:06 PM   #28
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The Wrangler opens a different fractal portion of our grand holographic universe....which is why they used to be called "Universal".

Though you travel through the same Valley of Despair and Ennui in the same veritable neighborhood as your other vehicles, there will be considerable differences in the journey.

'a hundred men marching across a bridge into a village is a man marching across a hundred bridges into a village is a man marching across a bridge into a hundred villages'....

and all of them would rather be Jeeping....
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #29
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Depends on use. If you long-haul frequently at speed with passengers like I do, the Grand makes a superior high-speed high-mile all-weather traveling vehicle on the super slabs, IMHO. Better than the Mercedes or Audi sedans we've had and minimal difference economy-wise with the Hemi for those keeping score.

I've driven a friend's JKU on long trips enough times to compare to my WK2 Grand Cherokee and just returned from a 1500 mile trip this week through snow, rain and mountains on twisty roads at 70+mph, the Grand was royally comfy. Better aerodynamics and the Hemi helped in the mountains passing with a full complement of passengers and gear. Not meaning the JKU is bad, but there's no contest in stability, power and seating: the rear seats in the WK2 recline and there's more legroom than a JKU for rear passengers.

If it was a camping trip and trails were involved, then I would have rather had the JKU. It's all in your most important, intended uses. I would never trade my WK2 for a JKU; I'd just add a JKU or maybe trade my JK when it gets up there in miles.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:42 PM   #30
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Well now I'm really torn. The dealer let me take a wrangler unlimited for a few hours. It was plenty fast on he highway. I was actually shocked how quickly it got to 80. Slower than the GC but perfectly acceptable.

After the test drive I was all set to go figured I'd get the wrangler. But then I got back in my GC and drove home and was like wow this is nice.

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