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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the basic 6 cyl 4X2. I have a very bad back and wanted to get feel for the seats (since no one answered my other thread) and how it drives. My first impression was ...I defiantly do not want the basic 6 cyl as I found it under-powered. It drives more like a truck than the Euro Diesels I have test driven. Not that it is a bad thing just the impression.

The version I am looking at is the Overland Diesel 4x4 with the Adventure II pack. I have a cabin in the mountains and need 4x4 for the snow. Going Diesel is for mileage and towing.

For background I am coming from a BMW x3 as my daily driver (sportier but smoother suspension) that has been in the back country on the easier less high clearance areas. You would be surprised how good BMW all wheel drive performs. I also own a 93 Jeep Wrangler YJ for the more high clearance areas/a bit of rock climbing and a few other trucks for other purposes. Oh and I ride a Harley Ultra Classic Motorcycle.

I have a few questions:

1. Does anyone know if the Quadra - Lift™ Air Suspension makes a difference in the ride?
I find the 4x2 less then a luxury ride and a bit rough, even the freeway. The roughness was actually unexpected considering the way the vehicle has been touted as a high-end SUV to rival the Euro offerings. I have not really been able to find the diesel with that configuration to test drive in my local area.

2. It might be me, but I noticed you have to press the screen a lot to do things...since I am taller it means I have to lean forward every time. How often do you find yourself having to touch the screen to clear phone messages you have listened too and such?

3. With messaging, since it is a rental i am a bit limited in what I can/want to play with in regards to uConnect. I noticed when I tried to respond to a text message it said my uConnect was not setup for that...is that just a setting thing or is it something else?

It may sound like petty questions (like my seat question), but to me the ride and usability of the car I drive daily is important. Yes, it is a truck but as a daily driver for me it has to be a comfortable truck and there are plenty out there. I have limited myself to the diesels and I have dropped by selections it to the Porsche Cayenne and the Jeep GC. The Mercedes lost because it does not have lumbar in the passenger seat.

I was hoping for the Jeep as it offers more space and more gadgets but will ultimately probably end up with the best riding/driving vehicle that can tow as I recently found out I may not need the extra space as much.
 

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This 'FAQ' should answer Uconnect questions:
http://www.driveuconnect.com/faq/

As to ride- the air suspension pretty much keeps the ride uniform no matter what temperature and road conditions are. Its a closed system- meaning its reaction is pretty much 'instant'. To me ride is 'very good'. You just have to do a test drive and make up your own mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Brewster.

I looked up the uConnect last night and found for replying to text messages without the canned responses you have to pay the uConnect fee. I also read that it filters your speech for curse words (nice of them to police my speech). This confuses me since my phone is quite capable of sending a voice text messages on it's own without help from a 3rd party. All that is really required is that they utilize the system already available. Having a BMW right now that also does not have text replies it's not something that I think I would go out of my way to pay for at this time (yes, I know you get a year free). I was also confused by the availability of the free music apps being tied to the subscription service that are already available on my phone and play via Bluetooth through the car stereo anyway (I just can't control them on the bigger screen). My Mom owns a Prius and those apps are free with Toyota entune, no subscription required. I personally don't use the apps because of limited data but still I already pay for them through my phone service. For me that part of the system is not a big seller especially along with the recent "issues"......I just let the similar system in my BMW lapse because I found the offering to be less than worth the yearly fee (FYI for BMW you get 4 years of free not 1 year).

I have also been looking at information on if the Navigation can show traffic without XM or Sirius. For instance BMW and several other makers use and FM feed which can be augmented by XM/Sirius. I am not required to have either a connection to the BMW system or XM/Sirius to see traffic on my Nav. It's not the best Nav in the world but it does re-route based on traffic from the FM signal and it gets me where I am going when I need it.

The FAQs does not do much to tell me about daily use of the Uconnect system. For instance I have been searching for how to close a text message after listening without touching the screen. I have tried the steering wheel buttons and voice to no avail. I'm sure I just missed something but for the most part it sits there open in front of the Nav screen until I reach over and close it.

Personally, I am good with just hands free calling and bluetooth music. I may go as far as disabling text messages if the feature is useless or more annoying than helpful, but it always behooves a person to understand the system they are buying. And who better to ask then the folks that use it daily.

So here is a question...what is your favorite function of the uConnect subscription based system?

I have an Overland 4X4 on order but found that I really wanted to test dive the features before I purchased. It has been worth the rental cost of the base 6 cyl..there are some features I really like some I don't. The ride though has been a big 'maybe' in my book.

As for the Air Ride...I understand the mechanics of how it works....but did you also test drive one without it? Have any opinion on the comparison? As I noted, there are no local 4x4s with that package for me to test drive. I am going on vacation and will look for one at my destination. Though, I will have to find a rougher surface in the area for the test drive.
 

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Hello again- mine is the only one I drove- so can't comment. I think the main use of air suspension is 'off-road' to adjust ride height. On Uconnect I mainly use phone and as a 'Tip' you adjust phone volume by the radio's volume control (after you answer/call someone just grab hold of volume knob and adjust up and down to suit you- this is true of the NAV volume, too). I use the 'radar cruise' a lot. Tip: on the steering wheel it is the 'lower left switch' to activate it (Upper left turns on and off the regular cruise). Just turn the radar cruise on and 'hit set' when you get behind someone you are comfortable with following- it will actually bring you to a 'full stop' if the situation calls for it. You might want to use CAUTION with this feature until you get use to it- but it works great in 'congestion' where traffic is speeding up and down a lot. All in all I think you will find the GC does everything well! (Hope your dealer is 'competent' when it comes to servicing it).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ohh good tips...
I was not sure the rental has the cruise by radar. I'll look for the button. I turned on the regular one yesterday.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No fun...I only have regular cruise control. Going for an over night trip tonight before I take it back I've been enjoying the ride though.
 

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I too have only driven my Overland Diesel 4x4 with air suspension. I think the ride is plush and sometimes "spongy" on really bumpy roads. Everyone who rides in it says it rides very nice. I commute 90 miles a day in hellish Houston traffic on freeway and many side streets. Very nice and after 1.5hr commute I feel good. Much different than my 370z Nismo model. I will say when it's at highest position on off-road 2, and going over bumps that at times all 4 wheels will make a loud metal to metal smack sound. It sounds like the airbag is bottoming out and slamming on the metal stop. Dealer says this is normal and they verified a new one on the lot did the same. I'm not done with dealer verifying there is nothing wrong as there is no way this loud of a sound is normal. Luckily I doubt I will hardly use off-road 2 but, it does work when I need it.

I let my Uconnect expire but paid the fee because I like starting my GC from my phone or PC so it's cool when I get in it. Also like the feature to lock my doors from my phone in case I think I forgot to lock it. If you don't have Sirus you won't get traffic, fuel prices etc. Uconnect uses Sirus for those nice to have but not needed apps. I don't plan on re-newing Sirus so far as I Bluetooth Pandora from my phone. The collision avoidance can scare you at times but has saved my GC twice with idiots slamming on brakes while I was changing lanes. I leave it on despite it activating when I get to close to a car before changing lanes. You will learn how to drive to avoid triggering it which makes you a safer driver by maintaining a greater distance. I have 24.000 trouble free miles so far. I'm very happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info DarylP. Glad to hear yours has been so trouble free. I did get a chance to take a test drive of one in Bakersfield, CA. I really think there was a solid difference in the ride. I'm chomping at the bit right now waiting for mine to be delivered...lol. (though i had second thoughts about the colors I choose :confused:...going classic white with black)

I watched a YouTube Video where a guy made note of using the Jeep at it's highest point. Basically your shocks are as far as they can go so you have little travel in them at its high point. That would make sense but you would think they would give you a little more up there. I have a bad back so I am hoping the air will help a bit with entering/exiting & getting stuff out of the back. I used to drive a corvette but could not get in and out so the doctor insisted on SUVs...:p

Because I have a place in the mountains I have the extra foo but doubt I would use it to often as well. Might want to keep my pretty SUV off the narrow trails for a while (I have a 96 wrangler for that). There are, however, several "escape" routes from my house that are over and down dirt roads. I've had my BMW on a few so they are not too bad in dry conditions most of the year.

We do get some really good snow up there at the cabin. My first purchase for the GC this year will be a really good set of chains.

I think my biggest disappointment is the UConnect. I really have no need for satellite radio but we use my car for all the heavy driving so the traffic is really nice to have without having to use your phone. (Again my BMW does not need any paid connections as it uses the local FM signal). To get a decent price on Sirius you have to call and argue with them every year. I do like the auto-start...its been over 100 here the last few days...having a pre-cooled car is so nice! Guess it is just that "extra cost" I have to build into the car.

Looking forward to delivery. Will be the first car (SUV) that tows something decent. Saving up for the boat next :D.
 
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