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Old 10-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #41
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Location: Tucson, AZ, Arizona
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21 tow vehicle

P.S. We use the Anderson hitch and are very happy with it after using a number of other WDH,s.

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Old 10-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by crnelson View Post
Thanks, I think we have decided on the JGC Overland, now to decide whether we want V6 or V8....many think the V8 is over kill, we seem to have a hard time deciding this one and we are excited about the car....will prob sell my forester...we were looking at durangos and they are tanks...happy to have choices!
The current (model year 2011 and up) Durango and Grand Cherokee are based on the same platform, meaning that they use basically the same suspension, share complete drivetrains (engine and transmission), and have at least some structure in common. These are unibody vehicles with four-wheel independent suspension and a traditional (longitudinal) drivetrain layout.

They are essentially the same width, but the Durango sits a little higher; the "tank" description may result from the taller overall height, the longer/higher hood line, or the substantially longer wheelbase. I assume that the Durango is a very capable trailer tug (if you get one that doesn't suffer Chrysler fall-apart-itis), but it is as long as my minivan (Toyota Sienna) which may not suit some drivers.

If you like this platform, and have money to burn, it is also used under the Mercedes GLE-class (formerly known as the ML), although with completely unrelated engines, transmissions, interiors, and body details. The ML/GLE has the same wheelbase as the Grand Cherokee, not that of the longer Durango.

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Old 10-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #43
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Location: Parksville, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 17B " Glass Cabin"
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Jeep reliability

Brian, ditto the reliability comment. The latest consumer reports just released, show Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat to have the lowest reliability ratings. IHO reliability should be at the top of the purchase check list in particular when towing a trailer, in front of fuel economy.
2016 VW Touareg TDI
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:53 PM   #44
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Location: Tucson, AZ, Arizona
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I always questioned Consumers since the days of very early VW, 1950/1967 even though I have subscribed up to now. Now I guess we are one of the luckiest of new vehicle owners, a Jeep GC for 5 years and a Fiat for 4 years with no problems and I will probably replace the GC next year when it hits 95,000 miles and my wife says the Fiat convert is forever unless someone on a telephone takes it out.
Lucky Jack
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:06 PM   #45
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Livermore, California
Trailer: Escape 21', "Cardinals' Nest"
Posts: 60

Once in a while, Consumer Reports publishes a 10 year or longer history of reliability, which in the past has shown most countries including the USA improving their reliability by about the same percentage, but a few Japanese manufacturer's started with a lead and have maintained it.

Since we found only one vehicle that we liked, that got excellent reviews as a really nice vehicle, and met our towing requirements with lots of margin; I used the above to argue that even if the JGC is near the bottom today in reliability, it is much more reliable than cars I grew up with. So my hope is that AZJack isn't one of the luckiest, but that he and I hope we, are NOT among the few who are unlucky!

Time will tell.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:42 PM   #46
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To be fair to Chrysler, they can build very reliable vehicles, and I know people who have had Chryslers for many years with no issues. They do tend to have inconsistent quality, so many of us know people with anecdotal evidence of what can only reasonably be called "lemons". My suggestion if buying from Chrysler is to watch for problems, and sell the vehicle while still under full warranty if it proves problematic; if it makes it a couple of years without issues, you probably have a good one.

I have disregarded Consumer Reports as a source of automotive expertise since a series of blunders years ago. They may know washing machines, but not cars. Collecting statistics may be different - it isn't important to understand the technology for that.

I agree that cars are continually improving, but they are also getting more complex, so there is more to go wrong. In my opinion, Chrysler's issue is inconsistency, so even if the average is very good, a lemon is still a problem. Of course, a good one is really good.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:04 AM   #47
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I really cannot be fair to Chrysler. I have owned 3 of them in my life and all three were "lemons." One of them was the worst vehicle I ever owned. The other two were consistent, that is, consistently having one problem or another. I will never own another one; I have been burned enough times already.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:57 AM   #48
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: January 6, 2017 Escape 21 June Bug
Posts: 69
Hmmm....thought we had a conclusion and now back to drawing board...where do you do your car research on line??....the JGC has everything we want in a car and it seems they have some reliability issues...big problem if we buy a used lemon....the only chrysler we had was a mini van and we bought it used with a warranty(we never buy) and we had a lemon. We have been toyota/subaru buyers used and new with good gx460 or........yikes...
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:42 AM   #49
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Trailer: Escape(d)
Posts: 41
Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel with 21- user feedback

We have a 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit with the eco-diesel. We have put about 10K miles on it since picking up our 21 in June of this year for a total of 17K miles. Most of these miles were towing since we were on the road most of the summer.

The positive:
The Jeep has plenty of power on the highway and on most mountain grades. Going into the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 (a steep, long grade), I did have to slow down to about 50 miles an hour but that has been rare.
The Jeep is very comfortable on and off road. Handles well off road when not towing. Easy to drive/ park in the city. I never liked driving my Suburban or fullsize pickup in the downtown areas.
I get 20 MPG around town and 30 MPG on the highway when not towing, I get around 16 - 18 MPG when towing the 21 including mountains and freeways. I do limit my speed to 70 MPH, even when the speed limit is higher. Usually, I stay with the truck speed limits.
We have the Anderson hitch and I have driven through wind, rain and thunderstorms with no problems from the trailer behavior.
The Summit package includes the trailer towing including with anti-sway logic, the air suspension and paddle shifters. The air suspension can cause some humorous situations when the Jeep "decides" to change heights when we are hitching or unhitching the trailer but I think it helps to give us a well controlled ride. The paddle shifters are great in the mountains when you want to use downshifting to save your brakes.
The safety/ driver assist features make driving much less tiring. The accomodative cruise control is great when following other vehicles on the highway since you don't have to keep overriding the cruise control to stay at an even distance
The HID computer controlled headlights improve vision tremendously at night and help you spot that elk that is just about to jump in front of you (in Yellowstone)
The negative:
The Jeep doesn't have towing mirrors available, so you have to get extension mirrors to see properly behind you. It also doesn't have the break controller built in like on many trucks, so you have to have a separate unit added in.

The diesel has some scary behaviors that make it look like it is going to overheat on long grades especially in hot weather and Jeep has not put all the relevant temperature information in the digital dashboard to help with towing even though it would be very easy to do. Instead the Jeep has a digital version of an analog display temperature gauge which does not have any numbers on it and the "danger" zone can be reached even without overheating. Check out for extensive discussion of this. We decided to rely on the fact that the engine will slow itself down if it is really going to overheat. We have driven a lot of mountain passes and it hasn't yet.

So, for our money, we like the Jeep and for the first time ever bought an extended warranty to try to mitigate the reliability issues. When the six years are up, we can decide if we need to let it go.

I am sure you will enjoy what you get. I hope these notes give you some help with choosing.,
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:52 AM   #50
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
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A good comprehensive report. Thank you.

2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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