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My new "smart" Jeep


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Last new car I bought was a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee (tow and trip car). Was the last design from the Daimler/Chrysler years and was eligible for every rebate known to man (public still wanted minivans then). Same chassis as a GL350. 300hp/5,000 lb tow rating (nearly the only option was the towing package). 24mpg at 70ish on 87 PON. Does what I tell it to and dead reliable. Shows what is happening on the DIC. Chrysler warranty is good until 2099 or 999,999 miles so I let them change the oil.

 

I like computer cars. Had scanners in ALDL days (1981- on). Have better scanners now (OBD-II). Been known to reprogram my cars, mostly to run cooler. Actually have several now,  Tech2Win is most cost effective for GM but I like the Autel DiagLink for multiple brands. Can display almost anything.

 

Also have an '11 Cad CTS Coupe (Catera Touring Sedan Coupe - about the only GM 2 door larger car left. OTOH if the wagon had 2 doors I would have bought that. ). Designed by Germans as a pseudo Track Day car. Staggered wheels and tires. I put the same size on all four and can rotate. Now has Android Auto on an 8" touch scream but I only need to know where one button is. The microphone. Is on the steering wheel. Can then tell it what I want it to do by voice. If don't want to be bothered can retract the screen and still get the GPS instructions over the squeakers. Don't care about radio, have over 500 albums on a micro SD card that fits in my phone. Available in all my cars along with handsfree telephony. Reads me text messages.

 

Have a friend with a 2018 Jeep Compass. She hates it. Stops for squirrels. Has been know to suddenly stop for no apparent reason (think it was a Walmart bag once). Has two batteries. Must remove negative terminal first/connect last or it carries on cranky.

 

Conclusion: there was a sweet spot ending around 2013 when you had the advantages of things like DOHC VVT but not the Big Brother effect. OTOH my '88 Reatta is a great road car and gets 27 mpg cruising all day. Doesn't have all the latest stuff and only 165 hp but just turn the AC on, hit the cruise and relax.

 

BTW there is one thing about modern cars I really do not understand: With Variable Valve Timing and FI, the torque bands no longer peak, now they run near flat from 1800 to 6500 rpm. So why do cars need 8-10 speed transmissions ? 5 or 6 is plenty. YWTK.

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Astonishing how driver- unfriendly these modern touch screen computermobiles are. You wonder if the kids who conjured them up even have a driver's license. Airplanes ? I doubt REAL pilots have input in their design anymore over at The Pride of Chicago, The "Lazy B". I have been told down at the Apple store that many employees use iPad minis like this one I am constantly fighting with. Gotta wonder if the engineers who designed these clumsy things ever use them. If so, and I were their boss, I would fire the whole department. I know how to make them far easier and faster to use, but I am sick and tired of walking for nothing. They would have to reward me, but I am sure they would not. Paddle shift ? No, thank you. A proper shift gate for me, please. Oh ! And while you're at it, delete that computer which constantly monitors my driving technique, the better to second guess me, as does the arrogant device which has cost me so much time just to tap out this tirade.

                                                                              Bitch, bitch, bitch,   -   CC 

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Many private pilots I know (see Sun'n'Fun) have an iPad strapped to their leg.

 

Both my SLK320 and Jeep Grand Cherokee have the same console shifter - slap left for down and right for up. Nice in mountains. CTS have to push sideways then forward for up and back for down, almost useless. Have never even driven a car with flappy paddles.

 

ps ergonomics used to be a science.

 

pps gives "all thumbs" a whole new meaning.

 

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Watched a car exiting the parking area of a fast food place at lunch today; and the engine cut off and restarted twice, as the driver waited for a break in traffic to pull out onto the street.

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12 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 

My dad felt the same way about Ford until his dying day. I have little or no brand loyalty, Ed. I've owned German, Jap, American, Korean, Italian and as far as I'm concerned everyone of them within a given price category are pretty much the same. Little more than an expensive commodity assembled from parts sourced from a common supplier, often non American,offering adequate quality at the lowest price...........Bob

 

Bob.....just having fun.......my father hated Fords also, and it's all I had in my rental fleet for years. Interestingly, having a very large modern repair shop, only one of my people ever drove a Chrysler product.........he was given it for free. 

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I am from a family that has always "just liked cars", new and old. One of my early memories is trying out a new 1953 Chevy with my Dad by driving down the Swamp Rd. along The Bergen Swamp (http://www.bergenswamp.org/) . We probably drive that road every week to 10 days and I always remember that ride. That was his first new car. He traded every 3 years. There is nothing like a new car. When one buys a new car or new-er car for utilitarian or price reasons I can see being critical with that being the criteria. When ones buys a car because it is exciting and an adventure I think it is a whole lot easier to get past some nuisance.

 

Ten years ago I had a new Buick Enclave. I hated the car. 5,000 pounds with a 3.6 engine, what a pig. Recently I have considered a Chevy Traverse, same pig drivetrain, but I could probably live with it because it's just a Chevy. My expectations would be lower.

 

 

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Have nothing against Fords or Pickups, had a lot of Hertz Ford rentals, mostly Pintos. Just have never owned one. I tend more to Mercs (and Jeeps of the Merc period) and GM cars to 2014 (pre-CUE). No more Grand Prixs so bought another Caddy coupe. Nice driver but Grand Cherokee is a better road car (and only an inch longer).

 

Suspect all of the electronic magic is a phase that is still in development. Buick had the good stuff thutty years ago (electronic ignition, ten "modules", and a touchscreen with a built in scan tool)

 

Personally do not mind stopping for roof rats but not for Walmart bags.

 

addendum: "new Buick Enclave. I hated the car. 5,000 pounds with a 3.6 engine, what a pig" OTOH my Grand Cherokee has a very good Bluetooth, many buttons (worst thing is the cruise control that must be turned on each time you use it and the wheel controls are on the right, Caddy's are on left. I put Velcro dots on important buttons.) But is a great road car, 4475 lbs with the 5,000 lb towing package, can just drive over center dividers and small rivers, and easy to park (188" long). Do plan to replace the 3.5" back up camera monitor with a 7" but only planned change. Michelin LT2's are great in rain/wind. 290hp (304 in Challenger) DOHC-6. Slap shifter. My first car had a DOHC-6 and I like them.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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7 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Ten years ago I had a new Buick Enclave. I hated the car. 5,000 pounds with a 3.6 engine, what a pig. Recently I have considered a Chevy Traverse, same pig drivetrain, but I could probably live with it because it's just a Chevy. My expectations would be lower.

 

 

 A pig compared to what?  I have a company car Traverse and with 300 HP and nearly 300 Lb/ft (much like your Enclave had) it moves along nicely with the 3.6.  I also get over 30mpg on the highway in it.  Not bad for an 8 passenger "suv."

 

Most every new vehicle produced scoots along better than most anything from the past. 

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I have been driving cars with pistons the size of juice cans all my life. If you have to wind an engine up into the high 6,000 RPM's to get "horsepower" it won't meet my expectations. I would drive that Enclave 100 miles on the NYS Thruway to Syracuse at 75 MPH and it was fine. I would come home through the rolling hills on RT 20 and it was disgusting. Too many things had to be pushed hard to compensate for the 220 cubic inch engine to suit me. I'm not a ram the throttle driver. I just got rid of it and was happy to see it go.

 

By the end of today I will have driven three of my cars. I will be very satisfied with their performance and will probably not exceed 3,000 to 3,500 RPM. They will all scoot when I want them to, not because I need to.

 

So the Enclave was a pig compared to my 5.3 Silverado on the same roads. And the exhaust doesn't smell like hair burning when you do have to step on it.

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4 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

Bob.....just having fun.......my father hated Fords also, and it's all I had in my rental fleet for years. Interestingly, having a very large modern repair shop, only one of my people ever drove a Chrysler product.........he was given it for free. 

 

My dad worked on a Ford assembly line in Detroit during the Harry Bennett years. That explains a lot.

Back in the day there were some noticeable engineering innovations and marque differences. Enough to sway a buyer or stoke brand loyalty. Today not so much. That today's makers are removing badges and offering the more or less limited pallet of drab colors adds to the "McDonald's effect."

Mopar still seems to have a bit of a following. Other than a couple of Dodge trucks and the odd Durango my only experience with a "Chrysler" was a 1956 St. Regis I restored. It turned out well but other than the sheet metal was pretty much just like all the others. That said there was just something about it I didn't like. Beautiful car but it seemed clumsy when driven ...............Bob

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We are all different, that is why there are markets and brands. Personally I like a good six between three and four liters (below is the realm of a four). Now have two that have a higher top end than my Judge and one I suspect would win a drag race. OTOH I know of a 3.4 liter 6 from the fifties that would have no problem driving coast to coast in Interstate traffic (would need an add on AC though). Today I still have a choice which car I take for a drive.

 

Do think these are the golden years before the gov removes the steering wheel and adds more gasoline taxes. Was some time ago when I realized it was cheaper for two to drive place but for one it is more cost-effective to fly. Is not going to change.

 

For years the price of a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk cost the same (first noticed when about 40c). Today a gallon of 87 pon is about the same as a 1/2 gallon of 2%. Just saying.

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On 10/16/2019 at 8:24 PM, Vila said:

Like I said, when you turn ON the running lights, only some front lights come on.

 

Some cars, like our '98 Saturn, this is not user selectable, they just come on when the handbrake is off. Pull up the handbrake and the driving lights go off.

 

13 hours ago, padgett said:

worst thing is the cruise control that must be turned on each time you use it

 

Yes, who came up with that? I'm so used to my GM cars that for years I just left the cruise control turned on. Heck, some just had the push button for set, no other control! When I rented Chrysler products I kept wondering why the cruise wouldn't work after we were out of the car for a few minutes.¬† The 2019 Ford Edge had the same issue.¬†ūüė°

 

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On ‚Äé10‚Äé/‚Äé16‚Äé/‚Äé2019 at 6:52 PM, Bhigdog said:

Only commitment was I had to make 4 monthly payments before paying it off with no penalty.  So I financed $10,000 of the total price. Made the first months payment a check for $9500 and are financing $500 over 3 more months for a total interest ding of $33 to get a $1000 discount. VooDoo financing. Only in the car dealer world. I'm sure I still got hosed one way or another though.........Bob

 

-It is highly illegal for the finance person or any dealership employee to imply that you are mandated to make a set number of payments on an installment contract before paying off all principle and avoiding all remaining finance charges. 3 or 4 months is the magic number- after this the dealership and finance department/people are absolved and no longer susceptible to the "charge back" on the reserve amount they receive from the lender for the rate mark up in the contract(typically an 80/20 split between lender and dealer).  So yes, depending on rate, term and amt financed they probably made that $1000 up just in another way. Chrysler Capital would pitch an absolute fit were you to tell them that you were instructed to do this at the dealer level. -Could probably get some free service or some other such trivial concession with a phone call were you so inclined. 

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Anyone remember the "rule of 78" ? That front loaded the interest so even if you paid off early the dealer was guaranteed a profit. I started using a credit union very early to avoid this sort of thing.

 

No politics allowed or would discuss Medicare and AGI.

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58 minutes ago, md murray said:

It is highly illegal for the finance person or any dealership employee to imply that you are mandated to make a set number of payments on an installment contract before paying off all principle and avoiding all remaining finance charges. 3 or 4 months is the magic number- 

 

They didn't say or imply 4 payments were "mandatory" just that it would be best for all concerned as far as the "paper work" was involved. Actually when they explained the 4 month reasoning I could detect just a bit of dissembling. But, I got my $1000 discount, evidently the dealer will get his cut, and Chrysler will get it's shot at me not paying off the loan early. As for what kind of smoke and mirrors were employed to extract the most $$$$ from my hide, I'm guessing I will never know and to tell the truth I don't really care. I bought the car from the dealer that best fit my needs under the best terms I could negotiate.

Not much more to it than that............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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56 minutes ago, md murray said:

 

-It is highly illegal for . . .

 

Now I am wondering what the difference is between illegal and "highly illegal". . . Infraction, misdemeanor, felony?

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1 hour ago, ply33 said:

 

Now I am wondering what the difference is between illegal and "highly illegal". . . Infraction, misdemeanor, felony?

You'll excuse my hyperbole;)-but right now this practice is allegedly on the hot list for regulators. The other one that's a real concern right now surrounds dealers offering "bonus rates" for consumers who opt into warranties. I.E. "your rate is 3.99% without a warranty but I can give you 2.99% if you opt into coverage" 

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51 minutes ago, md murray said:

You'll excuse my hyperbole;)-but right now this practice is allegedly on the hot list for regulators. The other one that's a real concern right now surrounds dealers offering "bonus rates" for consumers who opt into warranties. I.E. "your rate is 3.99% without a warranty but I can give you 2.99% if you opt into coverage" 

 

There was no pressure to buy the warranty, and no mention of rates other than they ran my credit score and the rate was based on that score. Actually, the rate was of little concern since one month in the principal is now $500  and will be paid off in 3 more payments. Based on what MD Murray says I could pay it off earlier and hose the dealer but I see little need or benefit to doing that.

I visited 2 other dealers before settling on the one I bought from. Both evidently figured I just stepped off the boat as I walked through the door. The last thing they wanted to say was the BOTTOM LINE PRICE. Talk about smoke and mirrors...........Bob

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When I sold Fords they often had the financing deal. If asked I'd just tell folks "it helps us out if you make your first three payments"... I don't think anyone ever "shorted" me on that. I'd get calls once in a while making sure it was okay to switch, but I often wondered how many folks stuck with the higher rate and never bothered to switch. Really that answer is even too honest. Ford didn't want folks knowing they could switch because they are the ones who really miss out on the money in the long run.

Lots of interesting ways to advertise and put deals together. Lots of different state laws that make it very confusing for customers who think it's worth traveling out of state for a better deal, never to know that it's not always (or even often) the case. The assumption is all dealers lie, but the reality with that outlook is you end up buying from whoever lies the best and prove your idea right to yourself.

Edited by Frantz (see edit history)
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BTW with Chrysler the important thing is whether the warranty/service contract is with Chrysler (MAXCARE) or a third party. I have a lifetime Chrysler warranty on my '12 Jeep and think is was under $2k (bought in first 12 months). Of course they were giving every rebate and discount known to man in Jan 2012 trying to move them and they just happened to have exactly what I wanted (V6, towing package, 2WD) on the lot.

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12 hours ago, padgett said:

Anyone remember the "rule of 78" ?

 

Yes I do. And this is no longer around for loans greater than 61 months, thank goodness. I never had a rule of 78 loan, always asked to make sure they were "simple" compound interest.  

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